Friday on the men’s side at Roland Garros was like you enjoy your frites — with lots of catch-up. Catching-up the schedule after rainy days this week, 17 men’s second- and third-round matches were completed, with the seedings holding firm for the most part.
Eight of the Top 10 seeds were in action, with only one casualty when relentless Serb Viktor Troicki upended No. 10 Marin Cilic 7-6(12), 6-4, 7-5.
Other Top 10 winners were No. 2 Roger Federer over No. 30 Julien Benneteau in straights, No. 3 Rafael Nadal rebounding from a first set loss to defeat Slovak Martin Klizan, No. 4 David Ferrer easing past Spanish countryman Feliciano “F-Lo” Lopez in straights, No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga roughing up No. 25 seed and countryman Jeremy Chardy in straights, No. 7 Richard Gasquet working Polish qualifier Michal Przysiezny 6-0 in the third, No. 8 Janko Tipsarevic outlasting unseeded Spaniard Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco 8-6 in the third, and No. 9 Stan Wawrinka downing Argentine Horacio Zeballos in straights.
“I started the match probably with not the right intensity, with more doubts than usual,” said Nadal of dropping the first set against Klizan. “The positive thing was that I had a good reaction at the beginning of the second, even if I didn’t play fantastic. I played the way that I had to play, with intensity, with passion, playing more inside.”
Gasquet was happy with an efficient and energy-saving win.
“Nobody expects me to win the tournament, but for sure I want to perform here,” Gasquet said. “I’m very motivated, so I will try to do my best. It was important to win in straight sets, because it’s difficult to do such a thing in a Grand Slam. You need to save your energy.”
Federer, who next meets the No. 15 seed Simon who has been tested in long matches, was also on the energy-conserving tip.
“I’m happy because I have not used much of my energy so far,” said the philosophical and zen-state-seeking Swiss who has yet to lose a set. “I’m still there in the tournament, and therefore, I think I can perhaps go deep in the tournament. I feel totally relaxed. Mentally I’m okay. I’m quite confident. I can feel it, which is what you need to be if you want to go deep and have good results here at Roland Garros.”
In other notable matches, No. 23 Kevin Anderson out-served No. 14 Milos Raonic in straights, Simon subdued No. 18 Sam Querrey 6-2 in the fifth, No. 32 Tommy Robredo ended the run of French wildcard Gael “Force” Monfils 6-2 in the fifth after saving four match points, No. 12 Tommy Haas ended the run of American qualifier Jack Sock in straights, and No. 19 John “The Marathon Man” Isner outlasted fellow American Ryan Harrison 8-6 in the fifth.
“I have to give him credit because I think I wasn’t shy,” Monfils said of Robredo, who will next meet his countryman Nicolas Almagro. “I went for my shots. I missed maybe some, but some he played good points. It was very close. And when you lose a match, you’re not happy. But you can always find something positive in the match. Maybe today he was physically fitter than me. It is frustrating, because I don’t like to lose matches for physical or fitness reasons. But today I have to admit he was stronger.”
Five of the Top 10 were in action on the women’s side Friday in a mixture of second- and third-round meetings, headlined by No. 1 Serena Williams pounding No. 26 Sorana Cirstea 6-0, 6-2, and No. 2 Maria Sharapova finishing off a rain-delayed match from the previous day, defeating statuesque Canadian riser Eugenie Bouchard 6-2, 6-4.
“I think everyone, when they step out to play me, I feel like they’re really bringing their A-game,” said Williams upon winning her 27th match in a row. “I just have to get really pumped up for everything to a point where I want to win as much as I can out there, whether it’s every point or just do the best that I can do.”
Sharapova was happy to finally get her result in the books against the Canadian teen.
“We had a lot of warm-ups — obviously it’s very important to keep yourself going and to start really well when you get back on the court, because the momentum can sometimes change in different directions, which hopefully it doesn’t of course,” she said. “At 8:45 last night, when it was still raining, it was pretty tough to continue. But I was happy to play part of the match and get myself in a good position to come out again today and finish it off.”
Four other rain-delayed matches were completed from the previous day with Swiss Stefanie Voegele stunning Kaia Kanepi 8-6 in the third, No. 12 Maria Kirilenko easing past Aussie wildcard Ashleigh Barty 6-3, 6-1, Marion Bartoli struggling past unheralded qualifier Mariana Duque Marino 7-6 (5), 7-5, and former champion Francesca Schiavone dialing-up some old claycourt magic to upend No. 21 seed Kirsten Flipkens 6-3 in the third.
“I think I played better today than I did in the first match,” said a particularly-doughy-looking Bartoli, who will next meet Schiavone. “She’s won four matches already, so I had to produce more. I had to play a better game when my back was on the wall.”
Other Top 10-seeded winners were No. 4 Aggie Radwanska putting down Dinah Pfizenmaier 6-3, 6-4, No. 5 Sara Errani subduing No. 32 Sabine Lisicki 6-0, 6-4, and No. 8 Angie Kerber outlasting No. 29 Varvara Lepchenko 6-4 in the third.
No. 14 seed and former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic, No. 20 Carla Suarez Navarro who ended Puerto Rican Monica Puig’s run, and former world No. 2 and unseeded Svetlana Kuznetsova were other winners of note on the day.
“I was really happy with my performance today because I knew Virginie [Razzano] is a tough opponent, and she can be very streaky,” said the former champ Ivanovic, who next faces Radwanska. “So I’m very happy with how I handled it and happy with the end result of course.”
Third-round highlights on Saturday include another embarrassment of riches in confident Frenchwoman (31) Alize Cornet vs. (3) Victoria Azarenka, China’s Jie Zheng vs. (2) Maria Sharapova, (3) Rafael Nadal vs. (27) Fabio “The Fabulous One” Fognini, (1) Novak Djokovic vs. (26) Grigor “That’s Mr. Sharapova to You” Dimitrov, (13) Marion Bartoli vs. former champ Francesca Schiavone, veteran grinder Nikolay Davydenko vs. veteran fader (7) Richard Gasquet, (18) Jelena Jankovic vs. (9) Samantha Stosur, (12) Tommy Haas vs. (19) John Isner, (9) Stan Wawrinka vs. (21) Jerzy Janowicz, (29) Mikhail Youzhny vs. a tired (8) Janko Tipsarevic, and (7) Petra Kvitova vs. American upstart Jamie Hampton.
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