Tennis-X Wrap: Li, Dimitrov Crash Out of French Open on Day 3
by Staff | May 27th, 2014, 10:43 pm
  • 53 Comments

This year’s Australian Open champions on the men’s and women’s sides never made it out of the first round at Roland Garros.


Following Stan Wawrinka’s exit Monday, on Tuesday former French Open champ Li Na bailed out of Paris lost in a claycourt cloud of self-doubt, losing 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 to No. 103-ranked Kristina Mladenovic of France.

“The problem is myself. I don’t think I’m doing well on the court,” the Chinese world No. 2 said. “And also, even during the match, I don’t think totally what I should do, like especially I didn’t follow the game plan…In my mind, I didn’t have any idea how to play the match…I gave it away.”

Mladenovic hasn’t advanced past the second round in any tournament this year, but won the French Open junior girls’ championship in 2009.

Another car crash occurred when No. 13 seed Caroline Wozniacki took the court against Belgian Yanina Wickmayer. Fresh off getting dumped by golf boyfriend Rory McIlroy after the wedding invitations had gone out, and fighting a number of injuries, the former No. 1 is likely not too saddened by the opportunity to exit the Paris media spotlight.

“Obviously, you’re not prepared for something like this and it came a bit as a shock,” said Wozniacki after asking the media for questions focusing solely on her match. “I just tried to prepare the best that I could, and really tried to focus on my match and on what I had to do out there.”

Wozniacki competed in only one claycourt warm-up event due to wrist and knee injuries.

“I felt a little bit rusty, and it wasn’t really a pretty match,” she said. “In general I’m positively surprised about how [the injuries] held up.”

Top 10 players successfully through to the second round on Tuesday were No. 4 Simona Halep who defeated Russian Alisa Kleybanova 6-0, 6-2; No. 6 Jelena Jankovic who needed three sets to subdue Canadian Sharon Fichman 5-7, 6-1, 6-3; and No. 10 Sara Errani who ground down American Madison Keys 7-5, 3-6, 6-1.

Other seeded winners were No. 11 Ana Ivanovic, No. 15 Sloane Stephens, No. 21 Kirsten Flipkens, No. 22 Ekaterina Makarova, No. 23 Lucie Safarova, No. 24 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova who outlasted Japanese veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm in three, No. 26 Sorana Cirstea who came from a set down to beat Canadian qualifier Aleksandra Wozniak, and No. 27 Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Another upset was orchestrated by Spaniard Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor who topped No. 30 Klara Koukalova 7-6(4), 6-2.

Other unseeded winners of note were Italian Camila Giorgi, Americans Alison Riske and Coco Vandeweghe, and qualifiers Heather Watson of Britain and Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens.

On the men’s side one of the hottest players went out in first-round play on Tuesday when the towering “Dr.” Ivo Karlovic served No. 11 seed Grigor Dimitrov off the court in straight sets 6-4, 7-5, 7-6(4).

“I just couldn’t find the rhythm, and I couldn’t make any of the little opportunities that I had in the match,” said Dimitrov, who was on the receiving end of 22 aces. “So it’s something to obviously learn from, but in a way was one of those days that you can’t control anything. It happens.”

Karlovic was not too concerned afterwards with looking forward in the draw.

“Now I’m just going to relax a little bit, enjoy, and have a beer,” the Croatian said.

Other seeds exiting Tuesday were No. 16 seed Tommy Haas, and No. 21 Nicolas Almagro, both succumbing to injuries.

Haas retired leading Estonian Jurgen Zopp 5-2 in the first set.

“I felt it on one shot at 5-2, and that was it,” Haas said. “I felt a little something in the shoulder. I couldn’t really do the motion anymore that I need to create power and to feel good. Nobody knows your body as well as yourself, so it’s tough to understand from the outside. But I just know that something is not right…I need some rest and more rehab and will see if I can get it back on track again.”

Almagro retired trailing American Jack Sock 5-0 in the first set.

“I came here knowing I would not be 100 percent, for sure, but I thought I could be at 60, 70, 80 percent, and I would try to do my best,” said Almagro, suffering from a foot injury for more than a month. “In the first set, I felt it again and the pain was terrible. It was impossible to keep playing.”

Sock’s draw opens up and he will next meet either American Steve Johnson or France’s Laurent Lokoli, whose match was suspended due to darkness with Johnson leading 3-1 in the fifth.

Top 10 seeds moving into the second round were No. 5 David Ferrer who eased past Dutchman Igor Sijsling in straights, and No. 7 Andy Murray who needed four sets to get past Kazakhstan’s Andrey Golubev.

“It was windy, especially at the start. You want to dictate as many points as you can but when it’s breezy, it’s tricky to stick to your tactics,” said Murray whose droll humor was on display. “Have I found a coach? Hopefully soon. I’m trying but not many people want to work with me so it’s not that easy.”

Other seeded winners were No. 12 Richard Gasquet, No. 19 Kevin Anderson, No. 23 Gael “Force” Monfils in four over Victor Hanescu, No. 24 Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco, No. 28 Philipp Kohlschreiber, and No. 32 Andreas Seppi.

Matches to watch for on Wednesday at Roland Garros are (2) Novak Djokovic vs. France’s Jeremy Chardy, (4) Roger Federer vs. Diego Sebastian Schwartzman, (10) John Isner vs. Mikhail Kukushkin, (13) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Jurgen “Tuna” Melzer, (15) Mikhail Youzhny vs. Radek “The Worm” Stepanek, (25) Marin Cilic vs. Tobias Kamke, (29) Venus Williams vs. Anna Schmiedlova, (7) Maria Sharapova vs. Tsvetana Pironkova, (1) Serena Williams vs. Spanish riser Garbine Muguruza, (20) Alize Cornet vs. former No. 1 junior Taylor Townsend, an upset alert in (16) Sabine Lisici vs. Mona Barthel, and (18) Genie Bouchard vs. Julia “Gorgeous” Georges.

 


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53 Comments for Tennis-X Wrap: Li, Dimitrov Crash Out of French Open on Day 3

roy Says:

dimitrov can’t return at top ten level.
he’ll be extra vulnerable to big servers because of it.


Eric Says:

Wickmayer is a hugely rough first-round draw. She’s not consistent, but dangerous. Not, frankly, hugely surprising that she pushed Woz out of this tournament, given the latter’s lack of preparation.

Too bad about Haas and Dimitrov, too (especially for my bracket…).


Margot Says:

Dimi hinted at injury during an interview, but said he couldn’t say anything about it cos he would get ragged in the “locker room.”
Apparently you just don’t blame injury if you lose a match.


Dan Martin Says:

I have my picks and some other fun stuff up at http://tennisabides.com – I wish Dimitrov was still playing, good Ivo is never easy.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Ivo’s hilarious.

The kids are not alright. Do they expect Rafa and Novak to just give them the keys to the palace?
Nishikori, Dmitrov and big kid Stan, very disappointing so far. Rafa and Novak could well be contesting slams in wheelchairs in front of 200 Federer grandchildren.

For Rafa, two players that recently beat him have been eliminated from his path.


Hippy Chic Says:

Tennis Vagabond LMAO….


Hippy Chic Says:

Margot May 28th 2.20am lol so glad you said that ;-)


Hippy Chic Says:

And Serenas struggling now…..


gonzalowski Says:

Stepanek beats nº 15 Youzhny, it’s kind of surprise. Gulbis is in Fed’s horizont

Garbiñe Muguruza rolling over Serena in the 1st, and good for Roberto Bautista beating Paire


Polo Says:

There’s a plague going on at the French that afflicts the top seeded players. Maybe today is not a good day for the favorites to play.


Josh Says:

Serena Williams gone.


Hippy Chic Says:

I bet Maria will be smiling,will certainly fancy her chances of winning another FO now….


Josh Says:

Hippy Chic absolutely, but I think she’ll also be apprehensive at the same time – the women’s matches particularly have shown that nothing can be taken for granted.


Polo Says:

The only thing that can make Serena’s lose is if Sharapova wins. With Serena gone, Sharapova’s confidence and shriek level rise exponentially. Ugh!


Polo Says:

Oops: loss (not lose)…that’s for the grammar police.


Hippy Chic Says:

Josh thats why as a Rafa fan im not taking Dominic Thiem,the defending womens champion going out,im just hoping the defending mens champion doesnt go the same way,like the two AO champions did?….


Hippy Chic Says:

^Thats why im not taking Dominic Thiem for granted should say^….


Josh Says:

Hippy Chic – I couldn’t have put it any better. Thiem is a talented player, so he might pose a few problems.
I’m pulling for the true Big 4 to all reach the semis, I really hope they can make it.
Novak looking very good on Chatrier against Chardy atm


Hippy Chic Says:

Josh i hope your right too,Noles cruising but the match is rather dull though,the crowd seems a little flat,could be because a French man is getting his ass kicked i suppose?


Hippy Chic Says:

^I Think ill go interactive and watch Roger instead^….


Josh Says:

That is probably the reason – they still have Gilles Simon in the tournament though


Josh Says:

Hippy, how does one “go interactive” may I ask? ITV4 are only showing me Novak’s match


Hippy Chic Says:

Josh if you have sky sports,Eurosport 2 is showing FO coverage,they usually have the red button to go interactive and you can choose the matches you wish to watch,my mistake however there is no interactive today sorry ;-))….


tweener Says:

First stan gone, li na followed (both AO champs)

Now with serena gone, its nervous times for both rafa and fans (both are defending champs) :((


Hippy Chic Says:

Still this match looks to be almost over thankfully,lets see some Roger tennis….


Okiegal Says:

@Polo 8:52

Grammar police……funny! I call him our resident English major!! Picky, picky……LOL!


Hippy Chic Says:

Okiegal i do actually like Colin as a poster,but im sorry i cant help it if im not the worlds best speller,even if English is my 1st language,as long as you put your point across whats it matter anyway?


Daniel Says:

I am impressed with Djoko’s BH DTL, he is hitting that shot at will since Rome. His return is looking better by the day, several times landing mid court deep in the feet of the server even after a great first serve. In this form, if one doesn’t have a great return game he won’t have a shot against him. That’s why I think only Nadal and Murray can beat him, and maybe Fed if in one of those inspired days. Road getting hard from here on, he may have to face: Cilic, Tsonga, Milos, Fed and Nadal. Great test although Cilic and Tsonga are not in the level they once were, Milos will have to replicate the Rome form and Fed is a question mark. He may reach semis without losing a set only to have a bad match against Novak, or not.


Hippy Chic Says:

Gosh how small is this guy that Rogers playing?


Josh Says:

Hippy – he’s 5 ft 7 apparently. Playing quite well though, attempting to take the ball early, not allowing himself to get bossed around all the time by Federer


Hippy Chic Says:

Josh well hes taller than me im only 5-3,hes taller than i thought aswell,i suppose TV can be quite deceptive though,wonder how tall Cibulkova is?anyway the guys giving a good account of himself,which is all one can hope against the greatest ever mens tennis player i would think,when youve nothing to lose<(right,not loose ha ha),you can just go for it and enjoy your time on court?


Humble Rafa Says:

For Rafa, two players that recently beat him have been eliminated from his path.

And your point is…


contador Says:

No chinks in Nole’s armor vs Chardy. Novak is looking majestic.

Berdych wearing his Hawaiian shirt. Nedovyesov with an early break of serve in the 4th set. I have never watched Nedovyesov play. He is holding his own. Nothing too easy for Tomas today.


Hippy Chic Says:

Roger looks pretty good,love both his and Rafas kits….


Margot Says:

Serena out now, whoops! Just shows how vulnerable gr8 players are in the first week of slams.


Okiegal Says:

@Chic

He looked rather short to me also. I told my hubby he had very short legs or shorts way too long! Lol
He doesn’t even look 5’7″. My tv channel stopped carrying the matche at 9:00 so I will have to go to my computer for the rest of it……sigh….


Okiegal Says:

Lots of pressure for the top players. We sometime forget that they are human and very vulnerable in important moments. Wasn’t Serena’ s day, for sure. She got beat soundly……on to the next one!


Kimberly Says:

I cant believe she lost. big opening for the other women


Tennis lover Says:

What if Rafa departs early now??


RZ Says:

With Fed’s win today, he scores another entry in the record books. He’s now the only player with 60 or more wins at 4 all grand slams. Amazing longevity and consistency!


RZ Says:

Huge opening for the other women. I doubt this would happen but I’d love to see JJ win! Or Sam Stosur, as she’s done well here in the past but couldn’t get past her nerves when it counted.


El_Flaco Says:

What a draw for Djokovic; Cilic in the 3rd round and if he wins probably Tsonga in the 4th.


SG1 Says:

If not for tie-breakers, John Isner’s career would have ended long ago.


Daniel Says:

RZ and only Nadal have more wins than him, currently at 60-1 as well. If Nadal loses 2 rounds before Fed (yeah right), he would be RG matches won record holder together with AO where he stand alone.


Hippy Chic Says:

Would love to see a new female champion,but with Serena gone Maria seems even more fired up,and has to be the favorite to win the title now,still with the way this tournaments going,you cant take anything for granted….


contador Says:

Yay ! Taylor Townsend! Great win over Cornet. I like Taylor…so sweet.

John Isner is not someone that I can get behind. Personally a nice guy, I think. But I really do not like his tennis.

Raonic has improved his movement and is not just a serve and serve some more player. Milos is going to win a GS! Go Milos!


contador Says:

I adore Agnieszka Radwanska’s tennis. Pliskova is a tricky opponent.

Come on Agie!


Margot Says:

@Conty
Isn’t Taylor a sweetheart?
I love Aggie’s tennis too, so intelligent, so inventive.
And Muguruza, who put out Serena…well just WOW! She’s really gonna be something!
Women’s tennis rocks….suddenly….;)


Hippy Chic Says:

I like Agie would love to see her win a GS….


Hippy Chic Says:

Margot agree its great to see some new players making some noise,ive never heard of Taylor till today,but what a sweet girl,and what a great win?


Margot Says:

@Hippy
Yes, I agree :) And she’s coached by Zena Garrison, that’s a famous name from the past to be sure.


RZ Says:

I’d also love to see Aggie win a GS. I think it’s less likely for her to win here than at the others.


the DA Says:

That was my first experience of Taylor Townsend and *wow*. She has the power of Serena and the attacking-net-approach of Martina Navratilova (her idol). Bright future. She also has a fan in Andy. He tweeted positive comments about her play during the match. Refreshing to have a few ATP players who don’t look down on the WTA.

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