Women’s Former Champ Li Upset; Friday Fights at French Open
by Staff | May 30th, 2013, 11:46 pm
  • 164 Comments

Unseeded American veteran Bethanie Mattek-Sands provided the biggest upset at the French Open on Thursday, sending former champion and No. 6 seed Li Na on a plane back to China 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 on another day where rain halted play early at Roland Garros.


“That’s one of the best wins of my career,” said Mattek-Sands, who hit 32 winners during the aggressive assault. “I knew she wasn’t going to give it to me. She’s a champion, and I had to play some of my best tennis ever to beat her…It was kind of a battle of who can take control of that middle court.”

Top 10 players advancing into the third round were No. 3 Victoria Azarenka who defeated German Annika Beck, No. 7 Petra Kvitova who beat China’s Peng Shuai, and No. 9 Sam Stosur who defeated France’s Kristina Mladenovic, all in straight sets.

“I think it was very hard conditions today in terms of waiting, and there is so much on, off, on, off — it’s not consistently raining or consistently not raining,” said Azarenka after defeating the reigning French Open junior champ. “[Beck] came into the match really aggressive and getting every ball back too. So I lost my focus a little bit, but I’m glad I could turn it around and step it up in the important moments.”

Azarenka will next meet No. 31 seed Alize Cornet, who defeated S�lvia Soler-Espinosa 6-1, 6-3.

Stosur will next meet former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic, a 6-3, 6-0 winner over Garbine Muguruza.

“It’s always tough playing Jelena,” Stosur said. “We played about four or five weeks ago in Stuttgart and she beat me there. We played in the semis here in 2010. So we certainly played enough times on all different surfaces.”

Other upsets on Thursday were New Zealand’s Marina Erakovic toppling No. 16 Dominika Cibulkova 6-2, 2-6, 6-4; and Argentine qualifier Paula Ormaechea downing No. 27 Yaroslava Shvedova 6-4, 7-6(6).

Ormaechea and Mattek-Sands will meet in the next round.

Other Americans joining Mattek-Sands in the winner’s circle on the day were No. 18 Sloane Stephens who has little problem with compatriot Vania King, and unseeded Jamie Hampton who topped Slovak qualifier Anna Schmiedlova in straight sets.

“I’ve been playing better and better,” Stephens said. “It’s always tough playing another American, so when I got out there I was a little nervous, but I’ve been playing well so I was also excited to get out there.”

Matches suspended due to rain were No. 2 Maria Sharapova leading Canadian upstart Eugenie Bouchard 6-2, 4-2; No. 12 Maria Kirilenko tied with Aussie wildcard Ashleigh Barty 3-3, and Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi leading fellow un-seed and Swiss Stefanie Voegele 6-5.

On the men’s side only seven matches were completed due to the rains.

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic made quick work of Guido Pella, rolling over the Argentine 6-2, 6-0, 6-2. Djokovic will next face No. 26 seed Grigor Dimitrov, another winner Thursday.

“I think he’s got more confident as he was getting big wins in the past few months, and so he’s a tough player now to beat now, definitely,” said Djokovic of Dimitrov, who he lost to in Madrid. “Even though maybe his style of play could be better on the hard court or faster surfaces, he’s showing that he can play equally well on clay.”

Other seeds advancing were No. 13 Kei Nishikori, No. 17 Philipp Kohlschreiber receiving an injury walkover from Yen-Hsun Lu, No. 24 Benoit Paire, No. 27 Fabio Fognini, along with Victor Hanescu the only unseeded winner after Dmitry Rursunov retired in the second set with a left thigh injury.

Friday’s embarrassing riches of highlights include (2) Roger Federer vs. nemesis (30) Julien Benneteau, an all-French in (6) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. (25) Jeremy Chardy, French tough out Virginie Razzano vs. (14) Ana Ivanovic, (3) Rafael Nadal vs. Slovak Martin Klizan, (1) Serena Williams vs. (26) Sorana Cirstea, Gael Monfils vs. (32) Tommy Robredo, an all-Spanish in Feliciano “F-Lo” Lopez vs. (4) David Ferrer, big-hitting German (32) Sabine Lisicki vs. (5) Sara Errani, upset-minded American (29) Varvara Lepchenko vs. (8) Angelique Kerber, (12) Tommy Haas vs. Jack Sock, former champ Francesca Schiavone vs. (21) Kirsten Flipkens, (15) Gilles Simon vs. (18) Sam Querrey, Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco vs. (8) Janko Tipsarevic, Puerto Rican riser Monica Puig vs. (20) Carla Suarez Navarro, an all-American in Ryan Harrison vs. (19) John Isner, and the serving contest of (14) Milos Raonic vs. (23) Kevin Anderson.

TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS

Rafael Nadal hasn’t played since Monday…Roger Federer has lost only 11 games in two matches, but both against qualifiers…The Thursday rains have made the tournament 14 matches behind schedule, meaning someone like John Isner will have to win back-to-back five-set matches on clay to reach the fourth round…Sergiy Stakhovsky was fined $2,000 for taking a picture of a ball mark…Sara Errani is 0-28 lifetime against Top 5 players, good thing she plays Sabine Lisicki on Friday…If you can think of a worse first week of weather at a Slam please let us know. Not only has it been raining, it’s also unseasonably cold in Paris…Sam Querrey beat Gilles Simon the only time they played on clay. Funny reading neophyte tennis writers’ stories painting Querrey, who took a set off Rafael Nadal on clay in Davis Cup, as a claycourt fish out of water…Serena Williams hasn’t been to the semifinals at the French Open since 2003. Serena has also won her last 26 matches…Novak Djokovic won his 499th career match on Thursday, he lost just two games to Guido Pella — we hope it was worth the wait…Agenieszka Radwanska has never lost to anyone outside of the Top 100 at a Slam (20-0)…Venus and Serena Williams pulled from the French Open women’s doubles due to Venus’ ongoing back injury.

 


Also Check Out:
Women’s Zzzzzzzzzzs at Wimbledon
Halep, Petkovic Win; Women’s Semis Thursday
Radwanska Eliminated Leaving No Top 3 Women’s Seeds In A Slam 4th RD For First Time In Open Era
French Preview: It’s Serena’s World, You’re Just Along for the Ride
Confusion on Women’s Side Kicks Off 2009 Wimbledon

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164 Comments for Women’s Former Champ Li Upset; Friday Fights at French Open

Michael Says:

It is good that Novak completed his match yesterday and in double quick time. He needs to reserve all energy for that semi showdown with Rafa. The next round is quite challenging in the form of Dmitrov. But since it is a five setter, I think Novak will have less worry.


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

That was a fantastic win for BMS,one of the more colourful charaters of female tennis,didnt see the match,except for highlights she was just going for her shots ripping the ball and everything was going in,the commies were saying she put her self on a Novak style gluten free diet,and its brought about big improvements in her game(YAWN).


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Without sounding like a rabid ranting Rafa fan but Jim Courier sounds so biased,just wondering why he seems to take such delight in reminding us all of Rafas defeat against Rosol at last years Wimbledon?or claiming how the rain saved Rafa against Novak in last years final?maybe its me but i always thought commontators were supposed to be more impartial?


Giles Says:

The ITV channel must really be hard up to employ Jim Courier as a commie. I agree he is very biased against Rafa in most of his comments. Sounds like a green-eyed monster. He is unsuccessful as the Davis Cup Captain, not in the least surprised. #BuzzOffCourier


Wog boy Says:

Jim Courier is exellent commentator with a great tennis knowledge. We are blessed to have him here for AO every year. I didn’t find him biased, not at all. On the contrary, always gives credit to both players and if he has guest commentator who is taking one side in the match, he always even the things. Pitty he doesn’t do FO for Fox Sports, which I am using. Great personality, great character, great knowledge.
#JimCourierisTheBest#

What this has to do with him being commentators:

“Sounds like a green-eyed monster. He is unsuccessful as the Davis Cup Captain, not in the least surprised.”
#Justmoronic#


Wog boy Says:

Jim Courier is exellent commentator with a great tennis knowledge. We are blessed to have him here for AO every year. I didn’t find him biased, not at all. On the contrary, always gives credit to both players and if he has guest commentator who is taking one side in the match, he always even the things. Pitty he doesn’t do FO for Fox Sports, which I am using. Great personality, great character, great knowledge.
#JimCourierisTheBest#


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Wogboy i have always been of that impression too,but the last few days he has seemed a bit biased towards Novak and against Rafa,even my husband commentated on his commontating and hes not even a tennis fan in fact he hates tennis,like i say im not a Rafa fan having a rant as you know im not like that,as i always do my utmost best to be fair,no harm or foul but i will have to agree to disagree with you on this occasion.#This is Alison BTW LOL.


Alex Says:

This is the world we live in Folks.

A fellow human being cant even pick his butt, more times in one tennis match than a monkey on a 3 month zoo visit, without being criticized.

#TisehShame


Alex Says:

Oh my, is the king of clay gonna lose one more set today?

Looks that way.


Wog boy Says:

hippy chic,

I have been listening Courier for years now, and I have to say I learned a lot about tennis listening him. I am only a tennis fan, never played it and not embarrassed to admit it. I do make my opinion about players and other things by watching, judging myself and listening the others that I think I should listen. I loved when John Newcombe was doing AO and few others. I cannot listen Courier doing FO, but I just cannot believe he is biased. Sometimes we think that somebody is biased simlpy because we are fans of one but not the other one.
BTW, I don’t have a problem with your opinion, we are all entitled on one, and yes, I like your new moniker:)


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Wogboy yeah fair enough,as ever great post,thanks for saying you like the new moniker,i was just telling you so you knew who i was,in actuall fact it was you you put the idea into my head,with a post we sent to each other on the Novak football thread,which i dont know if you read? ;).


Okiegal Says:

Unfortunately, hippy chic, I’m afraid we’re gonna be reminded of the Rosol match for years to come….even the Soderling match rears it’s head on occasion. How long ago has that been?? Rafa gets no breaks. He just got broke. Vamos Rafa, get this set.


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

^My new moniker fits what i am all about in the real world^.


Thomas Says:

I agree with you Wog Boy with respect to Jim COurier. I love listening to his commentary on channel 7 during the Australian open.


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Okiegal yeah all goes with the territory of been a top tennis player i suppose,even though the following year he actually beat Soda in the final,and has actually won the title 3 times since then *ROLLS EYES*.


Alex Says:

I thin some of you are missing the point. Its about the way Soda and Rosol beat Nadal. As one can see many players are employing the same style, which is why Rosol and Soda’s name keep popping up. Second opponent thats used this tactic and 2nd opponent to take a set. I think Nadal is not happy that players are hitting at him with max power. All he can do is run and wait for errors, just like in this match. Gone are the days players will let Nadal run them around. Players now just hit full power, if they can do it for 3 sets they win. Cant see this Nadal beating Djokovic, just no way.


Wog boy Says:

^^^ It is not only Soda and Rosol. Tsonga blew him away at 2008 AO, literally blew Rafa away.


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Alex again fair enough,but ATM as a Rafa fan,im only thinking about whether or not he will beat Klizan not Novak as he aint playing Novak,also what about Grigor Dimitrov whos also playing very well, does he not get a say?


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Wogboy Novak,Roger and Andy have all been blown away at some point in matches,so what?whats your point?SHIT HAPPENS.


Okiegal Says:

@Wog Boy

Forgot about that one, you are so right….a real beat down.

I’m watching this match on TV and my lap top….so when the Tv goes to another match, I won’t miss one butt pick or anything!! LOL

I watch on espn3.com. and when the live feed is good, the angle of the court is awesome, it’s just like you are on top of the court, can see where the ball is hitting everytime. Live feed is unusually clear today. Lovin’ it. Vamos, Rafa!!


Wog boy Says:

hippy chic,

They certainly do get blown away, it wasn’t about that, it was in regard of style of tennis that Alex was talking about, style that is same in all three mentioned Rafa defeats.


Okiegal Says:

@hippy chic

I think you should change your moniker to ROLLS EYES…………as one Rafa fan to another, I do that all time reading comments on TX!! LOL


Alex Says:

@Chic

Of course Demitorv has a say. Its not sure they will both get there, yes. I just meant I cant see the Nadal ive seen in these last 2 matches beat the current Novak. We will see ;), just MO. Do you disagree or agree with me?

If Nadal played Djokovic now, today, do you think he would win? From a neutral perspective I mean.


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Wogboy sorry i was bang out of order,theres no need to take a swipe at you,please dont fall out with me,id be gutted if you did :(


Okiegal Says:

I think what chic is trying to say is when the others get beat it’s a moot point…..but when Rafa’s losing, it’s a big deal. A win is a win and a loss is a loss, how it was done, makes no difference to me. That problem is for the tennis player to figure out. It’s just that people keep on about it when Rafa loses….gets redundant.


Okiegal Says:

By the way, Rosol got flogged yesterday…..or should I say Fogged!! LOL


Wog boy Says:

hippy chic,

No way I can fall out with you:)


Alex Says:

Its not just when Rafa loses. Its his style of play. His game wont slowly and gracefully dissipate like someone like Federer. Once he can’t run 100 percent Nadal will decline really fast, most Tennis experts agree. That’s why its significant if Rafa loses, specially on Clay. That’s why people go on about it. Last I checked there’s loads of Rafanatics here proclaiming him the Next Goat and all that, so they shouldn’t complain when his game is analyzed and criticized-it comes with the territory. Also if Nadal doesn’t win RG, would anyone be surprised if he didn’t win another slam this year? Just a question, cause this is supposed to be the future Goat right?

ROLLING EYES.


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Alex speaking from a neutral point of view, in answer to your question NO this Rafa would not beat this Novak,i know he has alot to improve upon,but i think he has another level to reach,although im yet to see it:(,dont worry im not one of those blind fans,i dont need to see a weather forecast to tell me when its p*ssing it down with rain,i only need to look outside :).


Alex Says:

@Chic

Great Post, good to see some honest fans. :)


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Alex i have never been interested in GOATHOOD Roger is the GOAT PERIOD,im just happy Rafas an all time great,and i always have been,i just have a hard time when posters dont even give him credit for that,seems that sometimes some people can only be 100% happy when the rest of the world is 100% miserable.


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Alex thankyou i dont see the point in dancing around an issue with BS,honesty is the best policy :).


Okiegal Says:

Rafa=Clay GOAT
Rog=Goat, period. Hey, I am a fair poster. Give Okiegal a little credit….eyes not rolling!! LOL


Brando Says:

Bar 3 games on his serve it was pretty good from Rafa there I thought. Unlike the Brands match in this one he really had more control of the match, and the depth, power on his shots was impressive. Good thing is he can really improve alot still, he’s doing well but with a great margin to improve. IMO he needs to start matches more aggresively, as the depth of his shots, the power and FH/BH and serve are looking good. Another positive is he has played 2 matches in cloudy, overcast conditions with opponents taking it to him: the only way to win. This shall sharpen him up on facing such a challenge and really when he plays aggressive this court gladly rewards him big time. It’s made for him. Onwards and upwards Rafa!


Giles Says:

Come on Bennetteau!!


Giles Says:

Bennetteau breaks already. Come on Bennetteau!


Okiegal Says:

@Alex

I’m not chic….but if Rafa had played Joker today……no, I don’t think Rafa would have won,
but if it was a day of 90 degree weather, yes.

Would also like to add, Rafa winning the whole thing, I am not so sure. Rafa is now facing the Law of Average, that’s catching up with him also….just like Fed’s run at USO and Wimby, can’t win um’ all.

These great players have given us tennis lovers some wonderful matches, whether your fav won or not.


Alex Says:

Lmao, so the anti-fan rears its ugly head.


Alex Says:

@Okiegal

Agree on all points, good post. :)


Brando Says:

Are you rearing your head then Alex?


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Okiegal quite right what Rafa does now at RG is all gravy nothing left to prove anymore,and as you say by the law averages all runs come to an end eventually,same with Roger and eventually it will happen to Novak,anyway hes still here fighting for this title so you never know,hopes springs as they say.


Okiegal Says:

@Alex at 7:49

Are you saying Rafa is going to hobble off into the sunset? Well, will probably have to agree with you on that one…….but it will be after the battle. Gracefulness on the tennis court for a man……I’m not sure about that…..a woman, yes. But, I root for Serena too, graceful….not, but a Rafa like fighter….yes maam!! Go Serena!!


Ben Pronin Says:

Easy set for Federer. Wouldn’t be surprised if Benneteau retires. He looks beat.


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Off topic but is John Isner going for the career GS in the longest maches ever played? Wimbledon,USO,FO?


mem Says:

Okiegal,

just an observation, but why do you stress so much over nadal playing djokovic. djokovic is not unbeatable and neither is nadal. nadal lives in the moment and i’m sure he will think about djokovic when the time comes, if they should meet and there is no guarantee that they will.

the reason most of you are always disappointed when certain players lose is because you are always focusing on the final when there are six matches to be played and won in order to get there. first of all, the french open is not won playing djokovic ONLY, there are other players to overcome. my point is, you don’t have to worry about whether nadal will beat djokoic or not or whether he will win this tournament. we will know those results in due time! in the meantime, a win is a win and nadal is moving on. as far as i’m concerned, that’s great news! haven’t you learned by now that these guys are gunning for nadal’s scalp and it is not as easy as playing tennis from behind your computer. we will see what happens!


Okiegal Says:

Chic, I hated to bring up the law of average scenario, but it’s out there, sorry to say. But, u r right, he has nothing to prove at this stage of his life. It’s only a tennis match, no??


Alex Says:

^
Post was meant for Brando.


Ben Pronin Says:

Nadal gets Fognini tomorrow? Won’t be dropping a set to him, that’s for sure.

I just don’t see what about Benneteau’s game troubles Federer.


Brando Says:

@Mem: spot on post! At RG of course Rafa is the hunted guy, but fans are just too focused who’s going to beat him, how he’ll do against player x and so forth when they need to just stay in the moment and enjoy/follow the present match. Rafa’s fan’s need to stick with enjoying his tennis here rather than worrying about the worst: for goodness’s sake the guy wa out for 7 months, atleast enjoy his matches! With Rafa it’s simple as far as I’m concerned: he was better than his Brands match and tommorrow he’ll hopefully be better than today. Period!


Ben Pronin Says:

Isner played a ridiculously long match at the French last year when he lost to Mathieu 17-15 in the fifth.


Okiegal Says:

@Mem

I am not stressed out about anything. I just responded to a post from Alex directed to Chic about if Joker and Rafa played today, who would have won. About me playing tennis from my computer……….duh have never played a game of tennis in my life. I never said Novak was unbeatable. Heck, I don’t have a clue who will be in the finals…..will leave that up to Jamie. I just stated not sure if Rafa can do it again. I certainly hope so. But your exclamation points are placed in your comment like you are mad or something. I certainly did not mean to stir up anything. I apologize for offending you. I will be more selective of what I post in the future.

Being a die hard Rafa fan, cmon’babe, bite that trophy one more time!!!!!!!!!


Alex Says:

Hey I am no antifan, I have no problem with Nadal, the only reason I post cra& about him, is to get back at certain Rafatards that choose to insult Federer, every second they can. I believe in returning the favor and let the haters have some of there own medicine. You seem like a decent poster, so you shouldn’t let it bother you. My posts are only directed at Rafanatics, as far as I am concerned.

Its not like you get bothered wen your little Rafa followers tras& talk Federer, now is it?

So who are you to get upset when some of us Fed fans do the same? Trust me, most of us don’t enjoy doing it, but its people like Giles that started it.


Nole Rules Says:

A Small question.Does anyone think Rosol DELIBERATELY lost to Fognini because he didnt want to Rafa to take revenge?


Ben Pronin Says:

^No. That’s a big pay check to miss out on if you’re going to go out of the tournament anyway.


Nole Rules Says:

want Rafa*


Humble Rafa Says:

In a match of perennial chokers, Hot Sauce and Tipsy are locked at 4-4 in the 5th.

Who will gain the title of Chokemeister?


Nole Rules Says:

@Humble Rafa the Chokemeister title BELONGS to Gulbis.It is an insult to his choking abilities to even suggest otherwise.


skeezer Says:

Such a joy watching Fed play, even on a sh!tty surface.

#artist


squirrel Says:

backhand passing shot to win to break,i love you Fed!!


Okiegal Says:

They all choke at one time or other. The pressure of the moment can get to you sometime. I played basketball, and getting that winning point at the free toss line with a sec to go is not easy. I feel sure its the same way for our wonderful talented tennis players. They’re human……and to err is human.


steve-o Says:

Wouldn’t be surprised if Benneteau retires. He looks beat.

Nonsense. Benneteau is playing well, he’s serving (higher first serve % than Federer) and being aggressive. He was a break up in the first and had break points in the second. He’s also got the home-court advantage.

He is one of the few players who can match Federer in first-strike tennis, that’s why Federer has so much trouble with him indoors. He can find Federer’s backhand fairly easily and his own backhand is explosive.

Federer is having to serve very well to stay in it, and he’s converted 100% of his break points so far. He’s needed to, because Benneteau has allowed very few on his serve.


Seth Says:

Looks like Fed is reminding Benneteau of his role as a spare. Good.


Alex Says:

Well done Fed!

Keeping it short, conserve energy.

@Brando

I wrote a post for you earlier, it has not gone throgh. Maybe will a little later.


Okiegal Says:

Rog is moving right along. Julien couldn’t cut the mustard today. I think Julien looks like a young Kevin Costner…….. which has nothing to do with tennis…..please forgive. lol


Ben Pronin Says:

Alright I spoke too soon. Benneteau played well. Federer, he played ok. But really stepped up at the end of each set with some great shots to break and close it out. Like I said, straight sets.

Steve-o, you’re overrating Benneteau big time. Explosive backhand? Eh, it’s ok. First strike tennis, yeah, he’s a doubles specialist after all. But I still don’t see how this troubles Federer. He’s still a much better player and better at attacking. I don’t know. I just don’t see it.


Alex Says:

Agree with Ben, its weird.
Perhaps Benneteau is just really good at guessing where Roger is gonna hit his combos, spots, Down the line FH and BH..etc


skeezer Says:

Good fun read here from espn. The top 10 hardest things in Tennis to beat. No worries Rafans, he holds the #1 spot.

http://espn.go.com/tennis/french13/story/_/id/9326054/french-open-beating-rafael-nadal-clay-hardest-thing-do-tennis


squirrel Says:

really good run skeezer!thanks!!


Alex Says:

Nice list, though the chances of Nadal losing 3 sets in a match at RG are soooooooo much higher than Fed retiring in a match. Just simple logic really, Feds never retired, Nadal has lost a match at RG.


mem Says:

Okiegal,

i have read a number of your posts and if memory serves me correctly you are almost always consumed with concern of whether rafa will beat djokovic as if djokovic is some kind of invincible immortal. quite the contrary! both of them have their strengths and weaknesses; both of them have beaten each other many times. maybe you are trying to impress, i don’t know. however, you are entitled to your opinions, but the way i see it you either believe in rafa or not and that means on sunny days and rainy days. those are the fans who i called true supporters.

make no mistake, you didn’t offend me!! i deal in reality; i always have. rafa’s attitude and realistic view of tennis and life in general is one of the many reasons why i am a rafafan; i just get sick and tired of some of his fans always questioning his ability when he struggles the tiniest bit, considering how he has proven himself time and time again. it’s like a lot of people wait for him to struggle so that they can have something to criticize.they are free to do so! i’ve never heard rafa tell anybody nor have i ever read that he couldn’t lose on clay; that’s some junk concocted by the media, journalists, commentators, sportwriters, former players, etc. and they have indoctrinated weak minded fans with this myth and nothing is farther from he truth. anyway, your opinions don’t affect me one way or the other. i made an observation to which i commented on.
btw, i love exclamation points, just placing emphasis, not anger.


Ben Pronin Says:

I feel like Federer’s never retiring should be above taking 3 sets off Nadal only because it’s NEVER happened. At least Nadal has lost 3 sets ONCE. I mean this is all relative, but you know :)


James Says:

Rafa vs Klizan: do people know who Klizan is? He won the 2006 juniors FO. He looks a future top 10 player. Having said that, I didn’t like Rafa’s approach or tactic in the 1st set. He kept trying to topspin the ball. He also played a little too defensive. He played like a man out for 7 months. That’s not how he should approach his matches. He is a 7 time FO champion, and when he plays well, can make most players on clay look ordinary.
The way he bounced back in the 2nd set I thought was impressive. He’d decided top spin or not he’s taking this set. He began playing agressively and Klizan just couldn’t keep up with him. Unfortunately, Rafa wasn’t able to sustain that level of tennis for long this time. However, he was in control of the match esp in 3rd and 4th sets.
Among the top 3 players in the tournament, Roger’s been the most impressive so far. Novak has also been more impressive than Rafa. But that doesn’t mean Novak is going have him for breakfast when they meet. There’s a reason why Rafa leads Nole 4-0 at RG. Of course Rafa isn’t unbeatable esp not for Novak. It is very much possible. But having watched Rafa over the years, I can tell you it’s gonna take something special to beat Rafa in Paris, even for Novak Djokovic.


Okiegal Says:

@Skeezer

Please don’t speak of this sur frace (Rafa’s lingo) in such an unkind way! LOL Me be lovin’ some of that dirty old red clay!! All in fun, Skeez.


Okiegal Says:

@James

Yes, it will take something special…..I am thinking 90 degree weather, for starters!!! Hope he gets the kinks worked out.


Alex Says:

Querrey serving for the set…So if Simon does win, I take it it will be in Simon fashon, four hour match. Some might say im jumping ahead of myself here(prob am hah)but Im thinking Feds in the QF in my eyes! YESS! Go ROGGER!! Fed fans think of our man wen you’re having your well deserved drink this evening after a hard week :). The only thing standing in the way of Fed and a final is Tsonga IMO, thumbs crossed for the win. A RG final at 32 would be amaaaazzing and would surely have antifedfans in a rage-heheh.


Wog boy Says:

“…. I can tell you it’s gonna take something special to beat Rafa in Paris …”

Well, Novak Djokovic is special and it might rain too. Remember, the same was said for MC but something special happened in Monte Carlo … it wasn’t so long ago.

BTW, Tsonga is playing really good, best I have seen him this year (exept for Federer match at AO), Federer looked sharp too, Troicki took out Cilic (cannot believe it) … and it is bed time, too much of tennis today.
Ajde Nole:)


Okiegal Says:

@James
Rafa stated in his after match on court interview that the weather wasn’t good for his game. I am wishing for a major heat wave in Paris……I’ll just bet Rafa is too.

If the weather remains chilly and damp, his opponents will be fired up more than ever, hoping for that extra edge against the best clay courter ever.


Ben Pronin Says:

http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2013/05/rafael-nadal-rips-french-open-scheduling/47720/#.UajDLKz-JK8

Man, what he says about doubles is just hilarious. I completely agree with him, don’t get me wrong, but just the way he goes on about signing up for doubles just to have priority is too funny.


nadalista Says:

RT @SI_BTBaseline: “Rafael Nadal’s t-shirt in press: “Talent Ain’t Enough.” #RG13″

https://twitter.com/SI_BTBaseline/status/340489448762527744/photo/1

Don’t these people know you don’t wanna make Rafa mad?? Now he’s gonna make someone pay……………


Giles Says:

Weather forecast much better from tomorrow.Sunny, no rain and temperatures rising gradually
Vamos Rafa!


Giles Says:

nadalista. Hahaha. That is the true, no? You’ve got to have some lucky as Rafa would say.


Giles Says:

Ben. Believe it or not Rafa can be quite witty sometimes. Lol


RZ Says:

Rafa is complaining about the scheduling. He probably has a point; I feel like Rafa is the member of the big 4 who usually gets screwed by lousy weather. But I take it more as a sign of him not feeling too confident – which I don’t get, since no one except perhaps Nole is going to stop him.


RZ Says:

BTW, I wish all the tennis players and commentators would stop referring to the female players as “girls.” Makes me cringe to hear Rafa say “I cannot play third after men’s and girls.” Why are the males called “men” but females called “girls”? (Rafa isn’t the only one guilty of this – most of them do it, including the women!)


jane Says:

RZ, What’s wrong with Rafa’s schedule? I.E., why is he complaining? I didn’t read his presser so I am not up to date.


jane Says:

^ Forget it: just saw Ben’s link so will read up.

Abysmal effort by Raonic. Anderson was on top of Milos’ weaknesses from the get go, particularly exploiting his weakness off the backhand side when shots are kept low.


the DA Says:

@jane – I saw bits of the match and I have to agree. Milos looked lost at sea.


Mg Mg Says:

Rafa’s next opponent (Fognini) match was completed yesterday (second match on the schedule). So Rafa thinks it is not fair. I think he is right.


the DA Says:

Apart from the Monfils-Berdy match there hasn’t been a really griping match so far. Or have I missed something? It seems as dull as the weather this year. Come on sun, warms things up!


the DA Says:

^ gripping of course, although I’m sure there were some griping ones too ;)


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

The weather forecast is pretty good for the next few days,agree with The DA and about time we did see some sunshine,getting sick of seeing matches interupted because of the bloody rain.


jane Says:

DA, there has definitely been griping ones ;). Phone photos of line calls, complaints about the order of play, lack of lights, and rain. Inevitable, that griping. But I agree with you on the lack of really gripping tennis thus far – but then again I missed a few of the matches that went 5 sets (Nando and Tipsy today for example)


andrea Says:

raonic….time to start winning some of these tougher matches.


the DA Says:

@jane – oh yeah, I heard about the Janko match. Was said to have been a thriller. Hopefully Nole’s next match won’t provide the wrong kind of gripping ;)

I must say, apart from some of the tennis, I’ve been enjoying Andy’s tweets about RG (or as he nicknamed it ‘Rolly Garros’). He’s put up some funny tweets and seems to really be pulling for Monfils to do well.


jane Says:

DA, hopefully indeed.

I was pulling for La Monf too, but just watched his collapse versus Robredo!


Brando Says:

La Monf blows 4 MPs- insane rallies at times though in this one. The DA: Muzza is gripped by la Monf- check Twitter!:-)


the DA Says:

@jane – that was a major brain cramp by Monfils. Even the commentators thought he wouldn’t serve it out.

@Brando – I’ve been following Andy’s tweets. Who knew he had a bromance with Monfils?


the DA Says:

I love the fact that Gael drinks Coca Cola on chanegovers. Very healthy…hehe


jane Says:

La Monf is hitting one error after another. Come back La Monf! Focus!


Brando Says:

@the DA: LOL, even posting videos of his dance moves once- big fan!:-) here in the UK all of LaMonf matches have been shown full coverage on ITV at least. Mr Entertainment for sure!


Brando Says:

Oh oh 2-2 after having 4 MPs:-(


the DA Says:

Oh Monfils! He never does it the easy way. I can’t remember the last time he won in straight sets.


Brando Says:

Monfils and Berdych have to be the 2 players who if they were solid up there would have it all in order to be at te top of this sport!


RZ Says:

I’m so torn…Monfils is so entertaining and I want him to do well at his home slam, but Robredo is part of the 30+ club and I want them to do well too.


Brando Says:

Correction: La Monf and Ali!


Brando Says:

LOL, and he hits a smoking BH DTL now to win the game. La Monf is special!


the DA Says:

Uh-oh, trainer. He could’ve been off the court and in an ice bath by now. tsk tsk


RZ Says:

Brando, Ali = Tsonga?


Brando Says:

@RZ: who else can float like a butterfly and sting like a bee on a tennis court?:-)


Brando Says:

Very well done by Tommy in that game- a well earned break.


the DA Says:

Somewhere a rotund lady is preparing to sing for Gael. He’ll have nightmares about this. Still, good to have him back.


the DA Says:

haha…I started to wonder if Tommy would get back up on his feet.


RZ Says:

Today’s theme: early leads mean nothing! Harrison, Querrey, and Monfils all had early leads on their opponents but all lost in 5. :-(


Brando Says:

Sad to see La Monf lose- nice reaction at the net though. But standing for Tommy Robredo: 30 plus, French fav at RG is his opponent, 0-2, 4 MP down and he still wins. Well done good sir!


Humble Rafa Says:

Rafa is complaining about the scheduling. He probably has a point;

Thanks for noticing how I get screwed. With my game as it is, I can use all the help.


jane Says:

Well one Frenchie came through in those two 5 setters; congrats to Simon. Too bad for LaMonf.


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

One of those games where its a shame there had to be a loser,so gutted for Gael but IMO he has been the star of this tournament,he looked close to tears,Gael will have knightmares about all of those MPs that came and went,lovely embrace between the two at the net,and a nice standing ovation afterwards,conrats to Tommy Robredo nice to see a player playing such fantastic tennis at that stage of his career,great stuff from both guys well done.


Giles Says:

http://alturl.com/hdm73
Andy Murray posted this vid. Goats yelling like humans. Funny!


gonzalowski Says:

Haha
the “yelling goat” controversy!


RZ Says:

Someone pointed out that there’s the possibility of a Tommy vs. Tommy final. Although the chances of that happening are microscopically low, I’d so love to see it happen!


Ben Pronin Says:

^That would be the worst final ever.


Okiegal Says:

I think Roger floats like a butterfly but a healthy Del Po stings like a bee. I think when he is well he cracks the ball harder than anyone….like he did at the USO.


James Says:

@Okiegal, I agree Rafa would def like some sun in Paris. So the weather forecast for the next few days is sunny. Awesome!
Well, you know it’s like Rafa’s been playing minus his top spin game in last 2 matches. Like I said in my earlier comment, main reason he lost 1st set today was because he was focusing so much on generating his top spin which wasn’t happening. That gave Klizan enough room to play his game effectively.
Rafa’s top spin game has helped him so much on clay that people forget he’s very very good minus his top spin too. But yes with the top spin he’s the most difficult player on clay.


Humble Rafa Says:

Someone pointed out that there’s the possibility of a Tommy vs. Tommy final.

That’s crazy. Where do people get these crazy ideas? I assume they are fans of the Arrrogant One who have lost their mind since he lost his mojo. I feel bad for them.


James Says:

On another note, Gulbis should stop saying Rafa gives boring interviews. The guy clearly speaks his mind when he wants to, just not as controversial as perhaps Gulbis is looking for. Gulbis might have to start with himself, maybe say something nasty about a top player lol


Humble Rafa Says:

Gulbis is looking for. Gulbis might have to start with himself, maybe say something nasty about a top player lol

In case, you didn’t observe from his interview the other day..he is in LOVE with the Arrogant One.


Jimmy Says:

A top player doesn’t want to waste energy explaining “colorful” comments, they want to concentrate for the next task.


Eric Says:

Apologies if this has already been posted on an earlier thread, but here is a very interesting with Gulbis after his loss to Monfils:

http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/news/interviews/2013-05-29/201305291369854954631.html

“I didn’t pay too much attention what I was doing when I was 17, 18. You know, I thought everything was going to come to me, just keep on coming and that’s it. I didn’t really pay any attention when I was in quarterfinals here. Okay, I was in quarterfinals, and that’s it, you know. Next day basically I forgot about it because I thought it was going to happen all the time and it’s gonna be easy.

It’s wrong, you know. You cannot sit on your, let’s say, laurels. You know, you can’t sit on the past. You have to move on, and that’s what I didn’t do.”


RZ Says:

@Ben, sure the quality would be a lot lower than Djokovic or Nadal vs. Federer or Ferrer, but if the two Tommys made the final, the eye candy would make up for it. :-)


RZ Says:

Humble Rafa, I thought you’d be more supportive of a possible final involving the President of the Injury Club and a bona fide member of it (even if that member is someone other than your humbleness). :-)


Okiegal Says:

@James

Hope you are right. Want to see some sun. You have got the technical part down on Rafa’s game. Me not being a tennis player, I am not very knowledgeable where the mechanics of tennis is concerned……but I do know a good tennis player when I see one!! I think he can beat anyone on clay!! Vamos Rafa……get r done!!


M Says:

TXHC – I was listening to the match on RRG. Tommy saved four match points. Both warriors fought for every inch today.

@HR et al – not only is Rafa right about the scheduling, but other players agree not only that he is but also why he is.


steve-o Says:

No matter whether the men or women play first, the same amount of time will be required to complete all matches. If the women play after the men, it’s they who will have less time to recover because they will be the ones who will have their matches delayed till the next day.

What Nadal proposes doesn’t solve the problem, it merely puts the onus on the women.

His claim that this doesn’t make a difference b/c the women are used to playing on consecutive days is bullshit.

Because not all women will be forced to play on back-to-back days (only those whose matches are delayed). The others will get the extra day of rest, conferring a competitive advantage over those who are forced to play back-to-back. Which is the exact same problem Nadal claims the men now have. So all he is doing is dumping the problem into the lap of the female players so he can have an advantage. He’s not solving anything or making anything more fair; he’s just being self-aggrandizing at others’ expense, as usual.

It’s just the typical self-serving gabble, whining about having to do his job (when he gets paid gajillions of dollars and the adoration of millions to swat a little yellow ball around), disguised in a transparent veneer of enlightened concern for the game, and people are leaping all over themselves to see the sagacity and aptness of his remarks.

Save yourself some trouble. There’s nothing there. Just more bullshit from the greatest bullshitter the game has ever known.


James Says:

@christophclarey #Nadal has a valid point to complain on schedule. With rain in forecast, would-be opponents deserve parallel scheduling #FrenchOpen


Thomas Says:

Well said steve-o. Nadal is simply a douche….


Ben Pronin Says:

No freaking way. I don’t care if I sound sexist, but it is a much bigger deal for the men to play back to back best of 5 set matches than it is for the women to play back to back best of 3, even if another player is better rested. At least the women have experience playing consecutive days. Men never play best of 5 on consecutive days anywhere except maybe Davis Cup if you count the doubles.

Nadal might be whining, but he has a legitimate complaint. It would, at least, make more sense to schedule men first in case of rain.


James Says:

We might not agree with Rafa but I think it’s ok for people to speak their mind when they feel the system isn’t fair. And I’m more interested in what other players have to say on this as they are the ones going through it (I don’t mean Rafa).


James Says:

@Ben, sounds like you gave it some thought. Agree with you there’s a big difference between men’s best of 5 and women’s best of 3. Btw, Ana Ivanovic agrees with Rafa on this that men should play earlier as they play best of 5.
I don’t agree or disagree with Rafa. Like I said, I’m interested in what other players think of it.


steve-o Says:

Mr. Pronin: whether women have experience at playing two days in a row, but whether the playing field will be level. It won’t be, under Nadal’s proposal, any more than it is now. Because some women will have that extra rest day, others won’t. And it will make a difference.

And it could get worse. Suppose there are consecutive rain days. If you always schedule the men first, there’s a possibility that a woman might have to play not just back-to-back days, but two matches in one day. If the men’s matches go into overtime on several consecutive days, very few of the women will be allowed to play, creating a huge backlog of women’s matches.

To avoid that, you would have to schedule some women’s matches early on in the day to have a balance. Presumably that is what they do now. Nadal wants to change that. Why? Just so he won’t have to play two days in a row.

Just to reiterate: his proposal is absolutely fucking stupid. And unfair, to boot.

@James: it’s OK for Nadal to whine and be self-serving. And it’s equally OK for me to point out how self-serving and whiny Nadal is being. We’re all OK, see?

Now if you really mean I should go easy out of some misguided notion of civility, I’m afraid that’s not OK.

The system has problems. Players being occasionally forced to play a couple days in a row is not one of them.

The tournament officials can’t do much about the weather. If Nadal doesn’t like the rain, he should lobby for a roof over Chatrier. Of course, indoor conditions would favor shot-making players with aggressive games over his, and if he ever lost a match on indoor clay, we would no doubt hear from him about how the roof is a stupid idea and how it should be torn down, etc.


James Says:

Okiegal, I love and sometimes play tennis. But I’m no expert on tennis either, although perhaps I do understand (a little bit) the psychology part of a player. Being nervous and playing defensively, I’ve been there myself. That’s why I was impressed with the way Rafa came back strongly in the 2nd set, esp first 4 games. He needed to do that to remind himself and his opponent why he’s 53-1 (now 54-1) at RG.
Hopefully he’ll play much better against Fognini. He has to if he wants another RG championship. I think he can and he should.


Steve 27 Says:

It’s funny the idiots criticizing Rafa statements, telling all, insulting, in front of their computers (how original!). When it’ll say the same thing, political correctness (we know who you mean Gulbis), maintaining the status quo, close your eyes and say nothing, feed corporations to remain wider. But of course, what company likes someone has a shout and criticize the shortcomings of the system, it is better to remain quietly and still as meek ​​lambs faithful to the orders of the boss.
As the wise Lampedusa: If we want everything to stay as it is, everything must change.


Okiegal Says:

I think Rafa has a legit reason to complain about the scheduling. Some of these posters on here ought to go out on the courts and bat those little yellow balls all over the court for 5 sets that could run into playing 5 hrs…….well they would probably whine too!!


Okiegal Says:

@James

I like hearing about the mechanics of tennis, not sure I understand how he generates the topspin that seems to trouble everyone. I think if he could get more free points on serve, his game would be almost perfect. Do love to watch him play……his tenacity and mental toughness is over the top!! Oh, I’d even let him SHIP A FEW BULLS for me here in Oklahoma. lol


Okiegal Says:

I agree with Ben at 8:40 pm post. He too thinks Rafa has a reason to complain, and he isn’t even a Rafa fan. Just using a little common sense in making his comment. Good job, Ben, you are my new favorite poster on here!! LOL


James Says:

@Okiegal,

When I play tennis, I use more backspin than topspin simply because I’m not good at topspinning the ball. To backspin the ball you slide the racquet underneath the ball, and as the ball hits the ground it bounces back towards you instead of moving forward. How good you are at it depends on how well you use your wrist and power you put into generating the backspin. To generate topspin you do the opposite of it or so I’m told. The result is also opposite of the backspin as the ball bounces high forward, towards your opponent. Then it gets difficult for the opponent to hit the ball back as hard as they’d like. They are then forced to return the ball slower and as a result you get a chance to hit a winner. In case they choose to attack the topspining ball agressively, they’re very likely to make an error.
Well, I’d think a lot of players do no know how to generate topspin but Rafa must have practiced it a lot more than others as he’s able to generate more topspin. I think he uses it very cleverly too.
I’m sure a tennis expert or coach can explain this much better and simpler. I hope I’m not confusing you.


skeezer Says:

When Steve 27 Says:

kettle/black.


Steve 27 Says:

Wow, skeezer, you poor vocabulary, being Anglo-Saxon, is really amazing. Unfortunately, you are so blinded for a player, the opponent beats the crap it is both your constant target of teasing. I already had advised, do us a favor by going to a psychiatrist. you family and your dog will thank you.
Cheers


Okiegal Says:

@James

Thanks for the explanation of topspin and backspin. I actually do understand what you’re saying. The commentators on TV are always talking about Rafa’s topspin, had no idea what it meant. Thanx for taking the time to explain that to me. It helped a lot. I hope Rafa gets the win tomorrow. I have got to get to bed so I can get up at 4:00 and watch tennis.


skeezer Says:

@steve 27

Your conspiratist theory Rafa talk is all to familiar. Try another angle.

——

re; Rafa whining about scheduling.
Whining again? And partially blaming it on Rosol? LMAO.

#cantennisgetanybetter?
#enterdoubles


Steve 27 Says:

Il a raison Nadal. La programmation était aberrante .J’ai fait 300 km,provincial pour voir Nadal jouer.Je pensais que les organisateurs étaient sûrs que la pluie allait cesser en milieu d’après-midi.Retour au bercail frustré.Nadal ne se plaint pas, il critique à juste raison la logique d’une programmation ridicule pour une journée était annoncée pluvieuse,c’est tout.En 2009 ,en Australie , il a fait un match marathon en 1/2 finale , il a gagné ce GC face à un Federer tout frais.


Rsutherland Says:

Ignorer Skeezer. Pour être le gastro-entérologue de Roger Federer est sa seule raison de vivre


Steve 27 Says:

skeezer, do yo like to say the right thing?
do you agree always with your boss?(I assume you are working)
do you know something Establisment?
do you like to be a puppet?
What do you think of freedom and the opportunity to have a voice that deserves to be heard?


skeezer Says:

Yes! Say whats best for the game!! Very good.

But when one continually contests rules that could suspiciously favor ones personal gain is another story. Its a fact.
This is not the subject of world order nor corporate/politcal policy. Its simply a game of Tennis. Wake up and smell a rose that doesn’t have Rafa in it and maybe you’ll see the light.
I am not impressed that you can also use google translate to seem linguistic with your weakened vocabulary skills. You have much to learn Padawan.


Margot Says:

@RZ 12.09
A big thumbs up for that. Sometimes I think the commentators exist in a time warp.
Ben @8.40
Not sexist at all. I happen to agree with you. Following on from RZ’s point, I think that belittles women as well. Women run marathons, a 5 set tennis match should be no problem. Same as women being allowed on court coaching, what on earth is THAT about?
Found out rooting for Monfils can be almost as stressful as rooting for Andy :( Just knew he wouldn’t be able to serve it out, so much pressure he got so tight.


Margot Says:

PS
TBH think Rafa had a point. Bad weather was forecast, they could’ve re-scheduled.


Steve 27 Says:

boy, you have so much to learn, but it will not be me to do know.
Unlike continually demonstrate ignorance in your poor writing (being the English speaking your native language), in my country is prioritized knowing more than one language and do not need to use translators. Calm down, breathe deeply, and expel all your miseries to the psychiatrist, trust me, it’s for your own good.
Padawan?, Kid, you like Star Wars, says a lot about you. You’re so nerdy!
Let’s talk about tennis, read some Wilander (of course, is in French, a language you do not know)
http://www.lequipe.fr/Tennis/Actualites/Wilander-nadal-me-touche/375008


Steve 27 Says:

Margot, Rafa in spanish said: Mujeres (women) rather than girls, which may sound pejorative.


Nadalista Says:

The women themselves refer to themselves as girls, you only have to look up Kim Clijsters’ pressers to hear her say, “us girls”.


skeezer Says:

steve 27

Nothng new in that link. Try this, lots of info on Rafa. He is not the type to complain, no? He is humble.

http://www.forbes.com/profile/roger-federer/

PS; may the Fed Force be with you.


Steve 27 Says:

Nah, Ali Force be with you,
Be prepare, garçon
Au revoir


Giles Says:

skeezer the geezer spreading his usual boring BS all over this forum.
20-10!


Margot Says:

@nadalista
Just because Kim is a woman doesn’t mean she has a feminist perspective. My other less than favourite is “lady.” Lol that’s a term for the landed gentry and should be left to them. I’m a WOMAN and proud.
@steve 27
Good for Rafa :)Think the French may have got it right- isn’t every woman over 21 simply “Madame?”


Thomas Says:

Speaking of sexism, here is a hilarious video my friend showed me recently.(not to be taken seriously, as the guy is kind of like a comedian.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0xoKiH8JJM

Top story: Djokovic, Murray Advance At US Open, Azarenka Survives; Federer, Monfils v Dimitrov Tuesday
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