It was a clean day on the men’s side Wednesday at the French Open where all 15 seeds in action advanced after a stacked schedule as a result of rain on Tuesday.
Top 10 seeds advancing, all without dropping a set, were No. 2 Roger Federer defeating Indian qualifier Somdev Devvarman, No. 4 David Ferrer putting down Spanish countryman Al Montanes, No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beating Finn Jarkko Nieminen, No. 8 Janko Tipsarevic topping French wildcard Nicolas Mahut, and No. 10 Marin Cilic taming Aussie wildcard Nick Kyrgios.
Tsonga will next face No. 25 seed and French countryman Jeremy Chardy who defeated Roberto Bautista Agut 6-1, 7-5, 6-4.
“It will be a tricky match,” Tsonga said. “Jeremy plays very well at Roland Garros. He’ll be entering the court with a massive game behind him. And it’s up to me, then, to be solid and to show him that I deserve the ranking that I hold.”
Federer will next meet No. 30-seeded Julien Benneteau, who he has struggled against in the past.
“It’s true when I play against him he makes it difficult for me,” Federer said. “I have some problems and I have to find a solution. Anyway, I like that kind of challenge. I’m looking forward to it. We [haven’t] played often on clay.”
Other notable seeded winners were No. 14 Milos Raonic over Frenchman Michael Llodra in four sets, No. 32 Tommy Robredo putting down challenger Igor Sijsling 6-1 in the fifth, and French wildcard Gael Monfils thrilling the home crowd with a four-set victory over Ernests Gulbis.
“He amazed me,” Monfils said of Gulbis, who amazed with both his ability to end points and his ability to melt down. “He was hitting the ball so hard. But I have a strong belief in myself. I never give up.”
Highlights of Thursday matches at Roland Garros are (1) Novak Djokovic vs. Argentine Guido Pella, (3) Rafael Nadal vs. Slovak Martin Klizan, Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco vs. (8) Janko Tipsarevic, Tommy Haas vs. American upstart Jack Sock, an all-American in Ryan Harrison vs. (19) John Isner, and (9) Stan Wawrinka vs. Argentine grinder Horacio Zeballos.
TENNIS NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
What did Victoria Azarenka do on Tuesday when her match was cancelled? “I went back and was just chilling the rest of the day, watching The Voice. It was incredible. I was so entertained.”…John Tomic has not reportedly tested his ban from Roland Garros, trying to sneak in with a wig and mustache: “Our tournament committee decided for the purpose of avoiding any trouble inside Roland Garros that Bernard’s father will not be allowed in,” the FFT said. “Bernard, his agent and the ATP were informed by us several days ago. Instructions have been given to the ticket sales office and to the gates.” In October the elder Tomic will have to go to court in Madrid for head-butting his son’s practice partner, sending him to the hospital…The U.S. had the most women players in the main draw first round at Roland Garros…Venus Williams lost in the first round of the French this year to Urszula Radwanska, after losing last year in the second round to Aggie Radwanska…Serena Williams on speaking French to the crowd at Roland Garros in on-court interviews: “I have been speaking French for years and years, but I don’t have a lot of confidence. I just had to jump in. Once I get warmed up, I know how to say things. But it’s way, way more nerve-wracking than playing tennis.”…Venus and Serena, who lost in the Aussie Open quarters, are playing doubles together at the French for only the third time…Let’s revisit last year when Gilles Simon said women don’t deserve equal prize money, and Sloan Stephens responded she didn’t like Simon because he is a meanie: “He hit me with a ball when I was ball kid for the first time. He hit me right in my chest because he lost a point and he turned around and slammed the ball and it hit me,” Stephens told a small group of U.S. reporters last year. “Whatever he says, that means nothing to me. We had discussion about it on the court last year because he was trying to kick me off the practice court in Estoril and I’m like, ‘Dude you don’t have this court.’ His coach was nice and he asked me, ‘Why don’t you like him?’ and I said because when I was 10 he hit me with the ball and he didn’t even say sorry and kind of walked off. So I was like, ‘I don’t like him.'”…Sloane doesn’t like a lot of people…Roger Federer will skip Switzerland’s home Davis Cup Playoff group tie against Ecuador in September…Jack Sock told USA Today he ate at the Mexican food chain Chipotle in seven of his first 10 nights in Paris (including qualifying rounds).
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