Tennis-X Wrap: Wawrinka Struggles with Pressure at French Open
by Staff | May 26th, 2014, 8:24 pm
  • 82 Comments

Australian Open winner Stan Wawrinka led a handful of men’s seeds exiting in the first round on Day 2 of the French Open.


Entering Roland Garros after experiencing a back issue late in the claycourt season, Wawrinka was out-hit by Spaniard Guillermo “G-Lo” Garcia Lopez 6-4, 5-7, 6-2, 6-0.

“I’ve had ups and downs,” Wawrinka said. “That’s why I’m saying I am not at the level of Djokovic, Nadal, Federer, because they have been around for many years, and they win everything. I know I’ll have the level. I could defeat them, but it’s different…I need to put the puzzle back together, find solutions, because the pressure is different.”

Other seeds exiting Monday were the injured No. 9 seed Kei Nishokori bowing out to Slovak Martin Klizan 7-6(4), 6-1, 6-2, and No. 30-seeded Canadian Vasek “Popsicle” Pospisil, who is still getting penalized for returning to quickly from injury, losing to Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili 6-4, 6-2, 6-3.

Leading the top seeds were world No. 1 Rafael Nadal, who looked like he had shrugged off his iffy claycourt season with a 6-0, 6-3, 6-0 win over American Robby Ginepri.

“It was very important for me, because it gave me the opportunity of having two days’ break so that I can practice,” Nadal said. “That’s always positive. When you win, you’re always happy. Of course, as always, I had ups and downs, and I could have played being a bit more aggressive.”

The No. 279-ranked Ginepri gained the main draw after winning the USTA’s claycourt contest for the American men’s wildcard.

“Always wanted to play [Rafa] on clay and see how good he is,” Ginepri said. “He showed me a lesson today. A lot of positives to take away. It was fun out there today, even though the scoreline didn’t really reflect it. Thought the match was a little tighter than it showed.”

The other Top 10 winner on the day was world No. 2 Novak Djokovic, who eased past Portugal’s Joao Sousa 6-1, 6-2, 6-4.

Other seeded winners were No. 14 Fabio “The Fabulous One” Fognini, No. 17 Tommy Robredo, No. 18 Ernests Gulbis, No. 25 Marin Cilic, No. 26 Feliciano Lopez, No. 27 Roberto Bautista, and No. 29 Gilles Simon.

Other unseeded notable winners were Austrian comer Dominic Thiem who topped French veteran Paul-Henri Mathieu in straights, Argentine Facundo Bagnis who outlasted veteran Julien Benneteau 18-16 in the fifth, veteran Jurgen “Tuna” Melzer who beat David “The Boffin” Goffin in four, and German comer Tobias Kamke who dismissed Miloslav Mecir Jr. in straights.

“Given the fact it was Roland Garros, of course it’s cruel,” said the French Benneteau after his marathon loss. “But honestly, I want to congratulate him. He was huge. He served perfectly each time. He was present everywhere on the court. Sometimes it’s just hard.”

In women’s play, Top 10ers Petra Kvitova and Dominika Cibulkova were winners, but not after some testy moments in the first sets against unseeded opponents.

The No. 5-seeded Kvitova topped Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas 7-5, 6-2, while the No. 9-seeded Cibulkova defeated France’s Virginie Razzano 7-5, 6-0.

“You know, it wasn’t easy today,” said Cibulkova, who found herself down a break early in the first set, on Razzano who famously upset Serena Williams a few years back at the French. “I was prepared for a really tough match, because Virginie, she’s a great player. With her, you never know. At 5-4 on her serve, I just changed a little bit on my return. I went a little bit forward to giver her less time.”

The No. 7-seeded Maria Sharapova, the former French Open champ who is surprisingly on few “Who to Watch” lists, defeated Russian countrywoman Ksenia Pervak 6-1, 6-2.

“Going into a first round match at a Grand Slam, you want to be solid and do the things you need to do,” said Sharapova, who hopes to reach the quarterfinals and a meeting with world No. 1 Serena Williams, who has been her career roadblock. “It’s never easy, no matter how good you’re feeling or how bad you’re feeling. It’s just a different story once you get on the court.”

In the lone seeded upset on the day, Frenchwoman Pauline Parmentier rode the crowd support to a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over No. 17 Roberta Vinci.

Other seeds advancing Monday were No. 12 Flavia Pennetta, No. 16 Sabine Lisicki, No. 18 Eugenie Bouchard, No. 19 Samantha Stosur who topped last week’s first-time title winner Monica Puig 6-1, 6-1; No. 20 Alize Cornet, No. 28 Andrea Petkovic, and the only seed in play Monday that needed three sets to win, No. 32 Elena Vesnina who defeated American Christina Mchale 7-6(0), 4-6, 6-3.

Among unseeded winners of note were former world junior No. 1 Taylor Townsend over fellow American Vania King 7-5, 6-1 in her first French Open appearance, and German ball-batterer Julia Goerges easily over Portugal’s Michelle Larcher de Brito 6-2, 6-3.

Suspended due to darkness, Canadian Sharon Fichman led No. 6 Jelena Jankovic 7-5, 1-5 when play was postponed to Tuesday.

 


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82 Comments for Tennis-X Wrap: Wawrinka Struggles with Pressure at French Open

Rafa better than roger Says:

Stan is a fluke winner just like AO winner Johansson.
Author desperately trying to excuse his loss with back injury.
Very funny.

And so ironic that Stan only won because Rafa was injured and did not do a Nishikori bailout in the finals.

Stan and Roger are done. Will both go down the rankings like a lead balloon.

Really funny how desperate to prop up Stan’s loss vs. Garcia Lopez! Really desperate.


Gordon Says:

Rafa better than roger -

Go ahead and bad mouth every other player except your wanna be boyfriend Nadal, but when you start attacking the writers of these blogs – you know, those who make this community possible – you expose yourself as being what you are – a bitter mean spirited troll.

Keep to praising Rafa – he deserves a lot of praise, but why don’t you turn the knob down in the negativity; it is really quite tiresome.


Tennis lover Says:

Rafa will never overtake Roger’s record in tennis even he offers his life in tennis court. His dooms day is approaching near..there’ll be no rescue no pathetic fan like Rafa is better than Roger can do anything..With 14 grandslams at best Rafa the ugly tennis player will retire at the end of 2015.


Hippy Chic Says:

Tennis Lover i agree with you theres no need to belittle any of the other players,but can you please stop saying Rafa will retire at the end of 2015,as he has stated that he will play Rio in the 2016 Olympics,ok he probably wont be a factor by then,but he has no intention of retiring,can these players themselves decide when they wish to retire and not us please?


Hippy Chic Says:

RBTR im also a fan of Rafa,but Stan won the AO because he was the better player,also Rogers ranking might go down but does it matter with all hes achieved,still a top 10 player at the ago of almost 32,no need to put the other players down to make yourself feel better about Rafa,he doesnt need that as his achievements speak for themselves,and he wouldnt want that either?….


Tennis lover Says:

@ Happy Chic

Sorry, it’s an irratic outbursts due to Rafa is better than Roger’s derogatory statements. U r great, fan like u is blessing for tennis. Rafa is no way an ugly player I don’t like his certain ritualistic behaviour but his grinding game equally is pleasing because there’s no one else in current Pro who can play with same intensity as Rafa. However, Rafa is still my favourite to lift French open this year..


Giles Says:

The bloody French crowd surpassed themselves again booing GGL after his victory against Wawawewo. What is it with these Frenchies? No manners, no decent upbringing, just a rude crude bunch munching on croissants! Oh well!!


Giles Says:

Didn’t Wawawewo say clay was his best surface? Perhaps he meant green clay! Lol


Hippy Chic Says:

Tennis Lover sorry and no problem,im the Hippy Chic BTW,but the happy Chic is still nice,sometimes im the Happy Hippy Chic but not always,but thanks anyway :))….


Josh Says:

Grigor Dimitrov on the brink of losing in straight sets…


gonzalowski Says:

And he lost! I saw as inevitable the R32 clash between Dimi and Ferrer… what a difficult sport


Josh Says:

Women’s side news: Li Na also loses 5-7, 6-3, 1-6 to Mladenovic, so BOTH Australian Open champions knocked out in the 1st Round of the next Grand Slam


metan Says:

Josh, I guess the curses of AO. Remember Rafa won AO 2009 and he lost to Soda Soderling, Roger we won AO before that year and never won FO he lost AO and won FO at 2009 just joking or coincidence. Must ask our Sean what is the jinx. 😜


Hippy Chic Says:

Some of our brackets will be taking a knock,Li Na and Grigor going out,this GS is certainly throwing up some surprises,i wonder any many more will happen before the days out?


Hippy Chic Says:

Metan you have a point in that its trend that the AO champions generally loose at the FO,Rafa at the AO 2009 looses to Soderling at the FO,same thing for Roger in 2010(same player aswell),Novak 2011,Novak 2012,Novak 2013,Stan this year,the winning of the AO curse/jinx?


Josh Says:

Jim Courier was the last man to have success at both events. Li Na in 2011 almost did it – she won the FO and had finished runner-up at the AO earlier that year.


Hippy Chic Says:

Im liking Daveeds new haircut….


metan Says:

Wawa lost, he becomes Swiss no. 2 and Roger is Swiss No. 1.??? All good, keep switching place.


Hippy Chic Says:

Well done Heather Watson….


Dan Martin Says:

I have my predictions on the men’s and women’s matches up at http://tennisabides.com


Giles Says:

Barry Flatman
More historic embarrassment for Stan Wawrinka. 1st reigning MC champion to lose in FO 1st rd since Joakim Nystrom 1986.

Hmmm!


Josh Says:

@metan – Wawa only drops down if RF reaches the semis


Dan Martin Says:

Stan on clay after a shaky Madrid and Rome against a solid Spanish player was not a clear cut win for him. He lost to Hewitt last year at Wimbledon as well. First round matches can be tricky. Stan needs to do something at Wimbledon IMHO. Paris does not indicate a ton about where he is at.


Okiegal Says:

I should have done a bracket challenge……I picked Kei to lose his first match……strictly because of health reasons and being a 5 setter, and picked Dr. Ivo over Grigor because of stamina reasons…..but would have missed on Wa Wa……what’s up with that?
His back has got to be a bigger issue, imo.

Berlocq just received a 2nd time violation and lost a point. The women officials don’t mess around!!


Hippy Chic Says:

Okiegal well Wimbledon aint far away,make sure you do one then,Kimberly always puts up a link,the more the merrier….


Okiegal Says:

One of my favorite older players just lost after winning the first set…..too bad Rusty, you will still go down as a great fighter with lots if grit!


Hippy Chic Says:

Okiegal Hewitt was always one of my favorites of the older players too ;))….


Okiegal Says:

@Chic

To be perfectly honest with you…….I looked it over and I’m too computer illiterate to figure our how to do it. Don’t know how to get pictures downloaded either. One of my Facebook friends suggested I get one of my first grade neighborhood kids to do it for me……LOL. I informed him that he was a smart aleck!! Enjoyed seeing your pic…..always nice to see a face behind the name. Are you on Facebook? If so, we could friend each other.

Sloane is in a dog fight…..match point…..hey, she’s through to the next round. Good for her!


contador Says:

No time to watch tennis today but ouch! Dimitrov fails the Karlovic test. My bracket!


contador Says:

Gasquet….yes…


contador Says:

Okiegal, I am sure you could do a bracket. Just go in, sign up/create an account and Kimberly or I will help you. No problem.


Okiegal Says:

Almagro out, Sock in!


Perfect fan Says:

We r in round 1….and 4 major upsets already:

Stan
Li Na
Kei
Dimi

O God….this is turning out to be another wimby ’13. The top guys need to gear up.

There is a possiblity now that the actual big 4 reach the semis….rafa-andy could be interesting considering andy played so well at rome. But then, its still a long way to go.


contador Says:

Dimitrov was unprepared, evidently, for Dr. Ivo. Murray looking sharp.


Okiegal Says:

Thanks, Conti……can you teach an old dog new tricks?? Lol I’m pretty thick headed….but I have a good friend that’s a whiz on computers, and he’s an ex tennis player too. I will try to get smart before Wimby! Lol


El_Flaco Says:

Nadals draw is looking better every day. Almagro, Haas, Dimitrov and Wawrinka are out. The way things are going Nadal may not face a seeded player until the final.


Josh Says:

Oh, this is an impeccable start from Murray – he’s hardly missing and this is great to watch


Daniel Says:

Things looking good for Gasquet and Murray to reach semis. I think they will play Round of 16. Can’t see none other than these 2 reaching semis, otherwise will be a major shock in that quarter. Nadal only test will come in quarters. Maybe Ferrer can steal a set.


Polo Says:

One by one the ballyhood Nadal busters are falling off the wayside.


RZ Says:

@contador – where do you do your brackets? I do the Grand Slam Fantasy Tennis (http://www.grandslamfantasytennis.com/) one. I haven’t done the suicide pool because I can’t be sure I’d have a chance to submit a player for each round/day. And I got too lazy to do the Tennis Channel Racket Bracket this time around.


Hippy Chic Says:

Okiegal i had alot of help from Conty,Kimberly,Margot at various times when setting up the bracket,so if i can do it anyone can,regarding the picture Conty gave me intructions and i was still flumoxed,i got a friend of mine to get the picture up for me as hes a computer wizz,im not on Facebook at the moment but i will look into setting it up at some point,and then we will deffinetly be friends….


Hippy Chic Says:

Daniel that is exactly why im not counting on anything for Rafa been a gimee here,with the way this tournaments going im remaining cautious,only thinking about Dominic Thiem at this precise moment in time,and certainly not taking anything for granted….


Hippy Chic Says:

RZ whenever theres a bracket challenge Kimberly always puts up a link….


jamie Says:

I agree with Tennis lover. Nadal will win RG this year and it will be his last slam win. He will retire with 14 slams at the end of 2015 after a dismal year.


Gordon Says:

@Dan Martin – you called Wawrinka’s loss in your daily prediction column. Very impressive. A few here now say they saw it coming, but you predicted it ahead of the match.

Nice.


Hippy Chic Says:

Josh the impecable start from Andy appears to have gone t*ts up….


andrea Says:

li na out, dimitrov out, wozniacki out. dropping like flies this year in the first round.


Hippy Chic Says:

He is not RETIRING AT THE END OF 2015,AS HE WANTS TO PLAY RIO IN 2016,DEAR GOD HOW MANY MORE BLOODY TIMES?apologies for the shouty capitals….


jamie Says:

@Hippy Chic

Nadal will retire at the end of 2015 after a really terrible year. Just wait and see it happen. He will realize that playing in 2016 will not be meant to be after his horrible 2015 year.


Giles Says:

Jamie is a joker troll!


Okiegal Says:

@Chic

You must do Facebook…….then we could oogle and google over Rafa amongst ourselves……in private so to speak!! Tee hee…..

Hey, I’m very worried about Thiem……more than ever now……with all the upsets…..but Roland Garros is “home sweet home” for our guy……at least 8 times, anyway…….Yes, I’m a little concerned to say the least…….LOA could come into play, that’s my greatest fear!!


Hippy Chic Says:

Okiegal i promise at some point i will set up a FB account,and also i could see a photo of you :)),Dominic Thiem is a very talented up and coming young player,so IMO that and the dreaded LOA will be why im not taking anything for granted,one match at a time….


Hippy Chic Says:

Okiegal i might take a break in a minute,as i feel im about to say something i might come to regret afterwards,and end up in moderation otherwise….


Hippy Chic Says:

Well done Murray,a dip in the 3rd set,but came through in the end,no upset thank goodness….


the DA Says:

I don’t know what went wrong, Andy started so well. In the 3rd set there was passivity and a complete lack of focus. Better now than the 3rd round I guess. I loved the interview with Santoro – Andy asked him if he’d be his coach so Fabrice gave him a card which Andy kissed. *aw*


contador Says:

I’m too paranoid to do either Facebook or Twitter. Just to be honest.

I used to do social media but …well, why invite trouble.

Still like reading other people’s tweets.

___________
@ RZ

Kimberly put up a link to Global Tennis Network. I am on Tennis Channel under ‘pigoonse’. I love the suicide bracket! have not done it in a few years though…


contador Says:

Okiegal. Where there is a will, there is a way, as the saying goes :D


SG1 Says:

Tough loss for Stan. I’m a Wawa fan so it’s disappointing.

It does give me a real appreciation for just how good Federer, Nadal, Novak and Andy are. This doesn’t usually happen to them. They are so consistent, particularly at slams.

Hope Stan can get things back on track for Wimbledon and the US Open. I will reiterate the sentiments of the many here. Stan wasn’t lucky to win the AO. He earned it. One loss (even a 1st rounder) should in no way invalidate his slam win.


Margot Says:

^ Loved that too, and Andy’s response to Jamie’s question *wub*
A typical Andy lapse in the 3rd, and first serve percentage got dire :( but lots to be positive about. For one his ROS was simply majestic :)
One down! Come on Andy!


Josh Says:

Whew, get in Andy! Always nice to notch up the first win – hopefully he can make a clean run to the semis, maybe even further


contador Says:

Andy Murray has become very regal on the tennis court, methinks.


RZ Says:

@contador – thanks! (And thanks to Kimberly for always posting the links)


RZ Says:

Well done to Andy. A good showing here will help his ranking since he skipped last year.

With Stan out, the top contenders for the semifinal slot are likely to be Andy, Monfils, Fognini, and Verdasco.


Okiegal Says:

If Rafa goes away, this girl is on the Andy train.

@Contador

Don’t know how to do twitter. My daughter in law did my hubby’ s Facebook account for him, but I’m the one on it most. Please do Facebook…..it would be fun……..

Funny you said where there’s a will, there’s a way…..that was the motto that me and my two best friends lived by all our school days. I am a believer in that!!


contador Says:

Just checked my Tennis Channel bracket, @ RZ.

The entire top half is the color of red, except for Nadal and Ferrer!

The bottom half looks only a little better ; Wawa and Kei going out shot holes in it:D

Okie, I do not do social media anymore. Tennis-x and another sports site or two and occasional games is as social as it gets for me online. It is best that way ; )


RZ Says:

@contador – the way the Grand Slam Fantasy Tennis challenge works, you pick a total of 8 players. Only 5 can be in the top 16 players and at least one of must be unseeded. Thanks to these rules, I didn’t have room for Kei on my team and ended up picking Klizan to balance out my sections. Pure luck that I got points from him. But having Stan on my team is going to hurt unless everyone else ranked above me picked him too.


RZ Says:

^ The rules were also the reason I didn’t have Dmitrov on my team. Luck again.


Humble Rafa Says:

The way things are going Nadal may not face a seeded player until the final.

Humble believes everything happens for a reason and we all have to live with reality.


Humble Rafa Says:

I agree with Tennis lover. Nadal will win RG this year and it will be his last slam win. He will retire with 14 slams at the end of 2015 after a dismal year.

I heard your astrologer will die in 2015, so he can’t see further than that.


Giles Says:

HR. LMAO!


van orten Says:

roger gifted stan the monte carlo final. it is obvious to me now!!!


Okiegal Says:

@van orten

I wanted to spout that same thing off after that match…….but didn’t do it…….so, since you did, I will just agree!!


mat4 Says:

I guess that Jamie reads the “predictions” of two astro… whatever: Bertie B and Fiji.

Google a bit and find by yourself what they have predicted so far.

FYI: Bertie B is a Rafan, Fiji seems to be a Nolefan.


mat4 Says:

Not to mention Sally K… who always predicts

1. Roger to win Wimbledon,
2. Rafa to win RG,
3. Novak to win the AO.

Unfortunately, they always seem to be wrong when it’s Novak turn to win… ;-)


Steve 27 Says:

jamie is the follower of a Indian “Nostradamus”,
Greenstone Lobo.
She only repeat this bs.
he predicted Atletico to win the Champions League.
LOl!


Steve 27 Says:

Rafa is a lock, the others two dont


mat4 Says:

Steve 27:

No, it’s not Lobo. I was curious to see where Jamie got his predictions — Lobo makes so many, silly mistakes that it is obvious it wasn’t him.


Okiegal Says:

@Contador 1:54

OK Conti, I totally understand!!


Kimberly Says:

I love Facebook. I’m not quite feeling twitter and Instagram but undo like Pinterest. But I use Facebook socially, for business and a news source. Including tennis news!


Voicemale1 Says:

So a mere 3 days in to the 2nd Major of 2014, we’ve lost the two title holders of the 1st Major of 2014 – Stan and Li. Looking at that, along with others like del Potro, you get an idea of just HOW remarkable the achievements of Federer, Nadal, Serena, Djokovic, and to a lesser extent Maria and Murray are in comparison. The pressure that folds players like Stan and Li in terms of living up to hype are what the truly great ones deal with successfully day in and day out. I guess Billie Jean King was right: “Pressure is a privilege”.


Hippy Chic Says:

Mat4 i dont mind Jamies BS predictions,the only thing that riles me is retirement talk,it makes my blood boil grr….

Top story: Djokovic v Murray Halloween Friday In Paris; Raonic, Ferrer Fighting For Final London Berth
  • Recent Comments
Rankings
ATP - Oct 27 WTA - Oct 27
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Roger Federer2 Maria Sharapova
3 Rafael Nadal3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 Tomas Berdych5 Ana Ivanovic
6 David Ferrer6 Agnieszka Radwanska
7 Kei Nishikori7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Andy Murray8 Caroline Wozniacki
9 Marin Cilic9 Na Li
10 Milos Raonic10 Angelique Kerber
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