Nadal Rolls, Djokovic Slips; Federer Seeks 11th Straight French Final 16
by Staff | May 28th, 2015, 6:01 pm
  • 66 Comments

And the favorites continue to roll at the French Open. Today, Rafael Nadal continued to dominate his favorite event, crushing his countryman Nicolas Almagro 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 in the French Open second round.

“I’m very happy,” said Nadal. “I think I played a good match. The score is easier than what the match was like. I think I did a few things very well.

“My footwork was better. I felt better than during the first round. I’m very happy with my performance and result.”

Nadal, who lost to Almagro a year ago, is now 67-1 at the premier clay event on the planet.

Novak Djokovic was on later with the top seed easily winning in straight sets over Gilles Muller 6-1, 6-4, 6-4. But the story is the health of the World No. 1 who appeared to injure his right leg. Djokovic received treatment for the ailment which, at times, impacted his movement on court.

“Well, thankfully it’s nothing major,” said Djokovic. “So it’s not a concern for the next match, which is the most important thing, obviously. It wasn’t pleasant with the conditions that were changing today, and I think a little bit of heavier conditions made the court a little bit more wet and it was pretty slippery.

“So I think that’s when it happened, I made a couple of slides that were quite, I’d say, unusual with change of directions. And it happened in those dynamic movements, jammed the hip a little bit. Thankfully it’s nothing serious, really. It’s going to be fine.”

Andy Murray was the first Big 4 member to drop a set, but no harm was done as the Scot ran his clay streak to 12 defeating Joao Sousa 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.

The next wave continued to surprise. Australian 19-year-old Thanasi Kokkinakis overcame a 2-set deficit and three match points to stun his countryman Bernard Tomic 3-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 8-6. Tomic led 5-2 in the final set and held three match points at 5-3.

Kokkinaki and Borna Coric, who beat Tommy Robredo in 5, became the first teenagers to reach the third round at Roland Garros since Ernests Gulbis (19) reached the quarterfinals in 2008. Kokkinakis will face Djokovic on Saturday in the third round while the Croatian Coric clashes with either Jack Sock or Pablo Carreno Busta.

While Sock advanced, John Isner was sent off by Jeremy Chardy who has now beaten the American big man in all three of their meetings.

Also, Marin Cilic ran his Grand Slam win streak to nine. David Ferrer cruised and Richard Gasquet and Carlos Berlocq were suspended at 2 sets apiece.

Tomorrow, Roger Federer continues his quest for a second French Open against little-known Damir Dzumher. Stan Wawrinka and the big three Frenchman – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gael Monfils and Gilles Simon – are also in action.

FRIDAY FRENCH OPEN SCHEDULE

Philippe-Chatrier Court 11:00 AM Start
Alize Cornet (FRA)[29] vs. Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (CRO)
Damir Dzumhur (BIH) vs. Roger Federer (SUI)[2]
Samantha Stosur (AUS)[26] vs. Maria Sharapova (RUS)[2]
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)[14] vs. Pablo Andujar (ESP)

Suzanne-Lenglen Court 11:00 AM Start
Ana Ivanovic (SRB)[7] vs. Donna Vekic (CRO)
Nicolas Mahut (FRA) vs. Gilles Simon (FRA)[12]
Gael Monfils (FRA)[13] vs. Pablo Cuevas (URU)[21]
Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP)[8] vs. Flavia Pennetta (ITA)[28]


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66 Comments for Nadal Rolls, Djokovic Slips; Federer Seeks 11th Straight French Final 16

Humble Rafa Says:

As long as I can choose my umpire, my draw, my choice of court, my ball boys and girls, I will be happy.

That sounds like a life I deserve.


jalep Says:

Oh goody. Carla Suarez-Navarro v Flavia; and dear Ana v 18 yr old Croatian up and comer, Donna Vekic.- easy on the eyes and ears.

Pablo Cuevas could be tricky for LaMonf the Frenchman’s mind could wander with such an opponent. He’ll need the crowd to keep his mind on the task.

Don’t know much about Dzumher, other than he’s from (BIH). Hoping Federer makes it through easy and we get Federer v LaMonf.


jalep Says:

Dzumher – born, 1992 in war torn Sarajevo. Childhood idol, Roger Federer. Damir is ranked #88 and only 1.75 m or 5’9″. Great experience for him v Federer on Chartrier.


Michael Says:

The medical time out opted by Novak certainly gave some anxious moments which was missing in the whole of the match between Novak Vs Muller. It would have been terrible if the ailment was serious. But, from Novak’s comment, it does appear to be a minor impediment and it seems he is fit and energetic for his next match against a potential bright prospect.

Novak should be pretty careful in not exerting too much during the initial rounds. He has a very tough match against Rafa in the Quarters and that in all probability might be a marathon encounter.

After many years of incredible and total domination, this is the first time that there are shades of doubt in everyone’s mind about Rafa’s successfully defending his crown. Earlier, the outcome was almost like the Ten Commandments famous quote “And so it shall be written and so it shall be done”. There was never any doubt about the eventual outcome and everything was foregone. But, this year due to the several reverses suffered by Rafa in the various clay court tourneys ahead of this all important major, there is that element of skepticism that we might see a new Champion at this venue. And if there is anybody who can beat Rafa at this venue today, it is only Novak and nobody else. Let us not be deceived by Rafa losing to players like Fognini, Ferrer, Almagro and even Andy. These set backs happened in three set tournaments whereas Rafa is completely a different animal in five set matches and it would take enormous amount of effort and consistency to thwart his bid to secure his ridiculous 10th crown.


Michael Says:

That devastating forehand of Rafa is unique. Arguably, it must be ranked as the best forehand in Tennis history. I have never seen any other player hit that forehand with such velocity, speed, loop, direction and angle. It really suffocates the opponent. When that shot of Rafa is working, his opponent can only have nightmares at the other end.


van orten Says:

medical time Outs from the djoker ………..


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Michael, must respectfully disagree on a couple points:

1) the 5-set myth. First of all, how can we say Rafa is a different animal on 5-sets than 3, when he has, what 8 Barcelonas and Monte Carlos and 7 Romes? That’s not very different from his 9 Roland Garros. Look off clay: in 11 or so years on tour, that is, 33 non-clay Slams, he has 5. So, that’s hardly unbeatable on 5 sets. Where Rafa has been unbeatable has been clay, and there has been only a marginal difference in his record at Barcelona, Rome and Monte Carlo with RG. So, while I agree with your general point that Rafa’s absolutely a slight second favourite here, I hardly think his losses are irrelevant.

2) The forehand: velocity? seriously? He is the topspin monster. His forehand sails about 7′ over the net! Rafa has the ability to hit with incredible precision, and CAN flatten out his forehand, but in general his rally shots are rally shots: super consistent, super-spinny and hard to return effectively, but (others I’m sure will jump in and correct me if I’m wrong) I tend to think of him as having a far lower rate of winners than Federer or modern Novak. He strives for long rallies, breaking down his opponents groundtsrokes and/or moving them around, whereas a Fed, Tsonga, Berdych or Wawrinka go for more insta-kills. So to me, he has a highly effective forehand as part of a winning strategy, but as a single shot, I don’t think Rafa’s groundstrokes are “kill shots”.


skeezer Says:

“Nadal rolls”*
*with getting is requests granted for whos his (ch) ump.

Meanwhile Fed up in the 3rd, hopefully will close this match out soon.


skeezer Says:

“Federer Seeks 11th Straight French Final 16″
Done. Congrats 11 straight.


Humble Rafa Says:

“Federer Seeks 11th Straight French Final 16″
Done. Congrats 11 straight.

French Choker #123, aka, La Monf, will beat the Arrogant One so bad, I can feel it now.


elina Says:

I agree with TV on both counts.

The RG success with just one loss has as much if not more to to with the nuances of Chatrier conditions (speed, size, wind, etc.). It is a challenging court to play on.

And yes, congrats to Roger for his very consistent Top 16 results at RG. Who did he play again today?

As one would say, incoyable!!!


Tennisfan Says:

I really hope Monfils loses against Cuevas. He is a big threat in making the final a non big-4 one (which would be so boring because more likely than not the big-4 member will thenwin)


elina Says:

Other than his one loss, only Isner has ever taken the first two of three sets from Nadal at Roland Garros so the best of five factor hasn’t really played a big role at all for Nadal.


Emily Says:

I think one of the reasons people talk about 5 sets matches favoring Rafa is because some players have to battle to get one set off of him, let alone 3. whether that’s as true this year is still an unknown, but that’s the rationale you always hear. it’s more about whether the other player can stay with Rafa rather then the other way around.

Think monfils has a real shot, especially considering how much the crowd helps him


jalep Says:

Lord Stanley bossing the court. Appears to have found his world beater level. Not kidding.


Emily Says:

Got some confidence from Rome, and this is definite redemption after losing here 1st round last year


jane Says:

wawa dispatched johnson easily. haven’t seen his form here, yet, but versus rafa in rome he played very well. again, though, it’s a matter of consistency.

popsicle and sock won too.


jalep Says:

Standing ovation for Stan from the appreciative spectators. If he can keep that level, Simon or Maruti will be a small snack for him on the way to the quarterfinal.


jalep Says:

Mahut.


jalep Says:

Johnson hits the ball hard, very hard but Stan appeared to love the pace; no problem with Johnson’ s power. Man, the Stan looks strong!! Also Johnson relies on a big serve quite a bit. Stan handled the serve easily and put so much pressure on Johnson -Johnson had no answers.


jalep Says:

jane. That was AO 2014 Stan who mowed down everything in his way. Not sure if he can pull that off again next match. He’s been up and down this season on clay.

What great matches on tomorrow, right?!


Felipe Says:

Stan only problem is Federer….he hates Federer style of play. Wawrinka must be playing with lots of confidence (last year Montecarlo / Master cup when he missed 5 match pionts))to stand a chance. The rest of the field, after Australia, he fear no one….and looks like he is made for the big tournaments..since Frech open last year…QF at wimbledon / QF at USopen / SF WTF / SF Australia


Emily Says:

Beating roger would be massive for him, but he would have to be at his best. Watching them in Rome, they know each other almost too well. However, at WTF, Stan just went for it and played his game, and if he does that again and doesn’t serve and volley on match point, he could get through.

These QF may be the most dramatic in any slam for a while


jalep Says:

Hallelujah. Benoit. Paire got a set off Berdych!

Go Benny


Margot Says:

Lol this match might prove “interesting” after all! Expecting Berd to win but meantime:
Go BP!


jalep Says:

Cuevas took 1st set but guessing LaMonf has only just begun. Expecting great things from this match.


jalep Says:

Trying to watch both Monfils match and keep an eye on Paire to see what he can do. No shortage of french flair at the moment, Margot. ..


Margot Says:

Indeedy Jalep and Cornet match earlier was really terrific. Both were so gutsy and the back story of her opponent is both very sad and totally inspiring.


jalep Says:

Saw some of Cornet but was glued to Stan mostly…that and flipping to Giro d Italia stage. Busy day for me and my remote control.

Monfils isn’t having any fun playing Pablo Cuevas. Not up for it, I fear. We’ll see. Surely Federer would get him going, if he can win a set here…tie break for 2nd set on …Allez Monfils! 5-1 tb lamonf.


jalep Says:

Got it. One st all. Cuevas/Monfils


jalep Says:

Looks like Paire is surrendering to his superior. 3-0 Berdych 4th set. At least BP got a set.

La Monf can’t be trusted to keep his mind on the match.

Guess I’ll see what Tsonga looks like


elina Says:

You guys!!! This is why I love Gael Monfils!!!!

Greatest athlete in tennis!!!

Allez Gael!!!

You’re next Roger!!!

Woop woop!!!


sienna Says:

elina
you probably didnot see the match.

monfils did nothing to win that match. It was Cuevas who choked the biggest choke since Jana Novotna. Incroyable.


skeezer Says:

^ever heard of Sloth?


jalep Says:

Haha…I fell asleep watching Tsonga. Had given up on Gael, elina.

Allez La Monf!

Federer will need to finish him off in 3, is my guess, otherwise…well it will be interesting.

Stan v Simon

Berdych v Tsonga (I’d pick Berdych from what watched of Tsonga) but hope it’s a long protracted fight)

Kei v Gabashvilli. I like Kei’s chances!


RZ Says:

Is Monfils going to have any gas left in the tank?


elina Says:

I am sure the French crowd will be unanimous in their support and account for any loss of energy RZ.

Gael is a respectable 4-3 vs Roger since 2010 and beat Roger in the DC tie in straight sets on the same court last November.

He also beat Roger in straight sets in Monte Carlo this year.

Bap-bap-bap-bap-bap-bap-bap-ba-tadaaaah!!!!

ALLEZ!!!!!


Ben Pronin Says:

I definitely think fatigue could play into this. Not only has Monfils expanded a lot of energy playing back to back 5 setters but he expanded energy in having to make comebacks in both matches. I think Federer wins in 4 unless Monfils actually zones like at the US Open or Davis Cup. Monte Carlo was a pretty tight match and Federer was pretty off for most of it. I also don’t think the French crowd will be unanimous. They love Federer and root for him as if he were their own. It’ll be an exciting atmosphere for sure.


RZ Says:

@Elina and Ben – the crowd will (mostly) be for Monfils and that will help him for sure. But he’s now played 2 5-setters in a row. I agree with Ben that Monfils could win if he zones, but otherwise those 2 long matches may cost him. However, Fed hasn’t been tested yet and Monfils is a big step up in quality from his previous opponents. This will be a fun match to watch. (Then again, when is Monfils not fun to watch?)


sienna Says:

monfils was a joke. He didnot deserve that win. It was handed to him and 100% he will lose to Federer if injury doesnot strike.

My God giving monfils kudos for this match.
Cuevas could not get a ball in play after 4-1 in fourth. same thing happened after 2-0 in fifth.

Cuevas is sick to the bone losing this match.
Roger losing to Monfils? not in this form.


sienna Says:

1-0 in fifth… but a break


jalep Says:

You guys, I picked Monfils over Federer in my bracket challenge based on their recent meetings, especially Monte Carlo. Federer had no answer.

The way Gael looked during the first 3 sets today, I thought he would die of boredom before getting the MOJO to beat Pablo. He wasn’t putting much energy into the match. He must have in the end, but the man will be so pumped up with Federer out there!

As far as the crowd goes, agree with Ben.

But they will also want their man to win!


jalep Says:

For Daniel’s sake, I will hope Federer prevails. It’s likely that Monfils wins over Federer and comes out flat in the quarterfinal. That’s La Monf :D


Daniel Says:

Thanks jalep;-)

Actually seeing Monfils goes the distance would be nice as well. But if Monfils is to beat Federer I hope he commit to it and see that he has a decent oportunity to go the distance for the French delight.

But I don’t believe Monfils will beat Fed in straights (what he needs in order to have a chance). Eventually all this matches and the mental stress will caught him. He would have to be ultra focus, what we haven’t seen for him this tourney. Seems he needs to go down for the crowd to go even more in his favor for him to have any drive.

No, Fed won’t lose this match.

Also think Wawa will have no trouble with Simon and Berdych versus Tosnga is the most open I think. Tsonha osnplaying very agressive and Berdych lost a few sets already. My tak eis Nishikori and Wawa are in the quarters already, Monfils is a huge question mark. He may very well prove me wrong and play the macth of his life, he seema to be loving playing Fed this days.

Saw that there is rain forecasted for Monday and Tuesday, hope it is early morning to not delay the matches.


elina Says:

I am quite confident that Roger as a top player will request and receive an early start as he should.


Wog Boy Says:

The five set match was 3,5 hours, not really energy draining match, so that’s not a problem for Monfils, but his head can be a problem, as usual.
BTW, I noticed Roger girls were reading Slovakian comic strips during the match, I guess Mirka has Slovakian nanny for her kids?


skeezer Says:

“I am quite confident that Roger as a top player will request and receive an early start as he should.”
When you find that Roger has “requested” to play his next match with Monfils with an early start please let us know. I haven’t seen it. But have seen Nadal’s demand…….err….request to NOT have a very qualified and highly respected Umpire reside of his matches.


Leon Says:

@WB 6.10 pm
Interesting observation. On the one hand, nothing special, Miroslava has Slovakian roots and speaks Slovakian with the daughters, etc. On the other, Roger, according to his words, doesn’t speak Slovakian at all (nor any other Slavic language). I never heard him showing particular interest to any Slavic or eastern european country; don’t remember him even visiting a single one, except maybe Moscow 2002, in spite of plenty of them are quite near to travel, and he is an eager traveller.


Wog Boy Says:

@Leon
Yes, I knew she is Slovakian but I am glad she didn’t forget who she is and where she is from and that she is passing that on to her children, not all of them do that, that is to be commended. We do the same thing here, though we can’t afford Serbian nannies so we organize weekend schools in the church halls of our churches where we pay teachers to teach our kids Serbian language and we bring choreographers from Serbia to teach them traditional folk dances from the old country.
BTW, Roger visited Sebia last year for DC match, it was last minute decision, those who don’t like him say he was waiting to make sure Nole is not playing for Serbia, I don’t believe them.
I guess Eastern Europe didn’t fit in his schedule, I wonder if he visited Aya Sofya whrn he was in Istanbul, haven’t seen picture of him there, it would be pity and waste to go to Istanbul and not visit the most important thing in Istanbul.


jane Says:

yes, loads of good matches jalep. kind of nervous of novak vs 4-k to be honest but hopefully novak can come through. i have never seen 4-k play a match! just happened to miss them due to scheduling or whatever. looking forward to coric/sock and am hoping for coric, because i really like him, but also because i want sock to focus on doubles with popsicle!


Wog Boy Says:

jane, I saw his match against Tomic and I can trll you he is getting better and better and nice on court attitude. Give him one more year and he will be one hell of a player. He grew up 15cm in one year, his brain and feet are not quite connected yet. Once he sorts that out wotch out. If Nole stay focused and plays deep with moving him around that will be challenge for 4K. I like the kid but not so much today:)


jane Says:

wog boy, thanks for the update. i thought you might’ve been a little put off by his last on-court celebration, no? what he grabbed when he won?! :O ;)

anyhow, yeah; i won’t be able to appreciate him too much tomorrow if it’s close. i never like these matches with unknowns, but especially unknowns who are “known”, if you know what i mean.

novak has never played him so he’s an unknown in that regard. but of course his potential has already been much discussed. he’s a classic young gun with talent and nothing to lose.


Wog Boy Says:

jane, I didn’t see the end of the match, what did he do, well I might change my opinion about him?


Wog Boy Says:

jane, don’t worry, I found it, that was ugly, immature and completely unnecessary, shame on him.


jane Says:

wog boy, i think it was probably uncharacteristic. i only saw it because someone tweeted it. but i didn’t see the match itself. and the rest of his celebration was perfectly fine. he’s just a teen. likely, he’ll learn from that. they all grow, change and mature. :)


Wog Boy Says:

Hopefully jane, but still not nice, and who for and for was that, just doesn’t make a sense, unless he wanted to make a statement that he has a balls, what nobody doubted anyway.


jane Says:

i think he made it towards his coach/box, wog boy, but definitely unnecessary.


Margot Says:

@Wog Boy
Andy practises a lot with 4K and says he’s getting better all the time.
Didn’t see “celebration.” Glad I didn’t but from what you’re saying, honestly, someone needs to give those boys a slap.


Michael Says:

Tennis Vagabond @8.29 am,

I didn’t anywhere say the losses are irrelevant anywhere. Ofcourse, as I had earlier posted, if there is some skepticism today, it is only on account of those losses suffered by Rafa in the earlier clay court tournaments as a preparation to Rolland Garros. This has never happened right through his career . This year, he has looked highly vulnerable with all the reverses he has suffered and that sheen of invincibility has worn off which has provided some breathing space to his opponents.

Nobody can deny that his achievements at Rolland
Garros borders on the ridiculous. He has lost just once in his career here to Soderling and that too has been explained away with his physical issues. To completely dominate a Grand Slam tournament losing just once in over a decade really looks imposing and daunting. You cannot just bring in here his hard court and grass court results to condescend his prospects here. They cannot be just compared. He still remains the player to beat and Novak will have his hands full if he manages to meet him at the quarters as all pressure will be right on his shoulders as he is the favourite to win and that is an onerous burden on him. And adding to his travails, he has already lost six times here to Rafa and that would be playing on his mind. I hope Novak breaks through with a win to propel him into the big league.

Regarding that incredible forehand of Rafa, he uses it as defence as well as offence. I remember once Roger quipping that he would love to have Rafa’s forehand which is hit with incredible angles.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

I am not denigrating his prospects at all, Michael. I am refuting the 5-set myth. It is not a 5-set issue, which is why grass and clay are relevant. It is a Roland Garros issue, which is why his results at his OTHER pet tournaments (Monte Carlo, Barcelona) are of interest.

I absolutely regard Rafa as #2 favourite and would not be surprised if he wins.


Markus Says:

Sock vs Coric: That’s what I want to see today but unfortunately won’t be able to. Coric should win this to show that at this age, he is close to the level that Djokovic and Nadal were at an equivalent age, beating a good player, not necessarily a highly ranked one but one also aspiring to move up in the game.


jalep Says:

Was wondering if there would be coverage of Coric match on Tennis Channel but since he’s playing Sock, imagine there will be.

Sock has lots of confidence right now. I can’t predict a clear winner.


elina Says:

Agree with TV. Chatrier court is the difference not best of five.

This year’s final will be played on Rafa’s birthday regardless of who wins. The rest is formality.

As an aside, I will be very surprised should Coric beat Sock.


jane Says:

chatrier in particular: lenglen plays faster, and it’s smaller so can’t run quite as many miles on it.


django Says:

https://amp.twimg.com/v/7c113bd0-79bd-43b0-bd82-b4040b0b0764
Novak with ballkids. He’s a big kid himself.lmao


Wog Boy Says:

@django,
Where are his bodyguards? O yes…these are his bodygards, dozens of them:)

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