Wawrinka Stretched, Murray Breaking? Djokovic, Nadal Tues At Roland Garros
by Staff | May 23rd, 2016, 6:34 pm
  • 59 Comments

No. 3 seed and defending champ Stan Wawrinka couldn’t have drawn a tougher first-round opponent than upset specialist Lukas Rosol, who won the first set then worked the Swiss to the brink on Monday at Roland Garros. Wawrinka eventually prevailing in five sets 4-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4


“Really tough match today,” said Wawrinka, who had beaten Rosol days earlier in the Geneva semifinals. “He was playing really well. He was going for his shot. (He) didn’t miss much until he started to get a little bit tired in the fourth set and fifth. But before that I was always under pressure.”

Wawrinka’s victim in last weekend’s Geneva final, No. 10 seed Marin Cilic, was not so lucky as the Croat fell in his first round match in Paris to unheralded Argentine Marco Trungelliti 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.

A shocker that has not yet come to conclusion is 37-year-old qualifier Radek “The Worm” Stepanek leading No. 2 seed Andy Murray 6-3, 6-3, 0-6, 2-4, when the match was called due to darkness. The delay will give hope to Stepanek, who had run out of gas on Monday after his quick start.

Other Top 10-seeded winners Monday were No. 5 Kei Nishikori beating Simone Bolelli 6-1, 7-5, 6-3 in a match carried over from the previous day, and No. 8 Milos Raonic who straight-setted injury comeback player Janko Tipsarevic 6-3, 6-2, 7-6(5).

“I was able to move on and really give myself something to prepare for in the next match and to be better,” said the oft-injured Raonic. “I’m in good shape. I feel physically strong and I have no nagging issues to start the tournament, which is nice.”

Nishikori sees himself as a title threat after an above-average claycourt season leading up to Roland Garros.

“I really feel confident, especially these past three years. I have won Barcelona two times. Couldn’t defend this title this year, but I have been beating Top 10 guys on clay,” said Nishikori, who will next meet Andrey Kuznetsov. “But on clay, I think the biggest challenge is beating Rafa and Novak and Andy, too. I think that’s my next challenge.”

Other seeded players into the second round Monday were No. 16 Gilles Simon, No. 22 Viktor Troicki who outlasted Grigor Dimitrov in five sets, No. 23 Jack Sock who beat Robin Haase in five, No. 27 Ivo Karlovic, and No. 30 Jeremy Chardy.

Sock will next meet the upset specialist Dustin Brown of Germany, who outlasted Dudi Sela 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-4.

Another mild upset was Spanish veteran Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco straight-setting No. 33 seed Steve Johnson 7-5, 6-4, 7-5.

Other notable all-unseeded results were Brit riser Kyle Edmund topping Nikoloz Basilashvili in four, wildcard Bjorn Fratangelo winning the all-American battle against Sam Querrey in four, and Croat Ivan Dodig sending out veteran Mikhail Youzhny in five.

Tuesday’s matches of note at Roland Garros include (2) Murray vs. The Worm to finish, (1) Novak Djokovic vs. Yen-Hsun Lu, (4) Rafael Nadal vs. the giant-serving Sam Groth, (7) Tomas Berdych vs. Vasek Popsicle, Borna Coric vs. Taylor Fritz in a battle of young risers, and (24) Philipp Kohlschreiber vs. Nicolas Almagro.

TUESDAY FRENCH OPEN SCHEDULE
Philippe-Chatrier Court 11:00 AM Start
Angelique Kerber (GER)[3] vs. Kiki Bertens (NED)
Radek Stepanek (CZE) vs. Andy Murray (GBR)[2] To Finish 6-3 6-3 0-6 2-4
Novak Djokovic (SRB)[1] vs. Yen-Hsun Lu (TPE)
Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)[6]
Serena Williams (USA)[1] vs. Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK)

Suzanne-Lenglen Court 11:00 AM Start
Francesca Schiavone (ITA) vs. Kristina Mladenovic (FRA)[26]
Rafael Nadal (ESP)[4] vs. Sam Groth (AUS)
Oceane Dodin (FRA) vs. Ana Ivanovic (SRB)[14]
David Ferrer (ESP)[11] vs. Evgeny Donskoy (RUS)


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59 Comments for Wawrinka Stretched, Murray Breaking? Djokovic, Nadal Tues At Roland Garros

mat4 Says:

I just checked the ranking of younger players. It seems to me that we have gone back to a time similar to the 50s and 60s, when stable conditions, no changes in technology since the introduction of laminated wood, didn’t give young players an advantage against heir elder.

And there’s nothing to see. No new Federer, Nadal, Djokovic on the horizon. Coric is ranked 54 and he is regressing. At his age, Djokovic was top ten. Zverev is ranked 39, Friz 61. The others are outside the top 100.


mat4 Says:

I’ve seen just a few games today. Murray looked good, and I was surprised when I saw the result. Stan was almost eliminated. Let’s now see what’s in stock for tomorrow.


Travis Bickle Says:

I hope Murray figures out The Worm Puzzle tomorrow. He is too good of a player to be out in the very first round.
And this just two days after BBC asked if he is new King of Clay. You’ve got to love British press – dumb losers putting too much pressure on a guy who is not good in handling it – had he lived in any other country, he would have had at least 6 slam titles by now.


lakie Says:

Hope Murray wins tomorrow. Radek isn’t going to go far if he wins. But Murray will get stronger as he goes deep into the tournament and we can look forward to high quality QF and SF if Nishikori and Stan also survive the treacherous early rounds.
That is why a soft draw can be a great advantage. A tricky opponent in the first round when the top player has not peaked but the tricky opponent is ready to go for broke can derail the star. Fortunately there is less chance of the less accomplished winning this way in a 5 set match. I would never want slam matches for men to be reduced to best of 3.


Michael Says:

Unfortunately for Andy when he had the momentum and Stepanek was tanking, rain and bad light played havoc and postponed this match to another day. I think this is a shot in the arm for the aged ever fighting Veteran Stepanek to rejunevate himself and recover lost ground to may be stage a remarkable upset. He is already leading two sets to one and although a break down in the fourth can hope for a turn around sooner than later.


Michael Says:

Stan is lucky to survive to fight another day after being outplayed by Rosol.


Margot Says:

@TB
Depends which Andy comes out to play, I suppose.
Agree about British press, they are despicable. How they love to big someone up, then knock them down. Not just Andy, of course.


Van Persie Says:

I remember Stepanek giving a hard time Nole in the 3 round or 4 round at Wimbledon 2014. He can be tricky.


mat4 Says:

He gave him a hard time at the USO too, where they played an epic 5-setter in 2007.


Daniel Says:

Tense for Murray, he didn’t broke Step yet and he is serving behind, from now on any mistakes can cost him the match. A few second serves and could be it. Pressure time


nits Says:

Murray’s match is scary to watch


nits Says:

Very strong performance by Nadal


Anto Says:

Nadal won 6-1 6-1 6-1 . That was quite comfortable i guess.


Daniel Says:

Murray breaks and close it out, finally!!

Now he can navigate more to his draw and build from it.


J-Kath Says:

Nits

You are so right…I stopped watching. Just found out Andy won now.

Okie, GL and all Rafa’s fans. Many, many congrats. Didn’t try to watch Rafa because thought I’d be offered the Andy match which I couldn’t bear to watsch. But Rafa must have been stunning with that scoreline.


Anto Says:

Did anybody saw rafa match? how was he. The score line and the stats looks pretty convincing.


Anto Says:

@mat4. thanks for the interview. And yeah its great. :-)


jalep Says:

Dear Lord, that was a terrifying 2 sets of tennis, 4th and 5th set. Andy d. Sexy Steps.


Daniel Says:

Saw a few games before work today and Groth was playing like a lunitic. He didn’t exchange any ball, just serve and whatever ball comes to him or in return he smack the ball, sending shots all over the court.

Nadal probably will go to a practice court and hit for 30 min to 1 hour to get a few of the ball because that math was only good to teat his refex on returns.


jalep Says:

Benneteau playing better than ever too; nearly pipped Luca Pouille. But Stepanek was unreal in that match.


Wog Boy Says:

I don’t know how much really Rafa can take out of this match, Groth was playing like he had axe instead of racquet in his hand. I was forced to watch it since Australians shows Australians on TV, I was more interesting in Andy’s match but they showed only last two games after Rafa’s match.


nits Says:

Nadal dominated well looking @ the scoreline
A good way to start his campaign


Margot Says:

No words.


J-Kath Says:

Echoing that Margot.

PS: Jane: Charming little interview Nole with BBC. Like Nole’s new hairstyle.


jalep Says:

Margot. Angie ๐Ÿ˜ž
Didn’t see that one coming.


Daniel Says:

Seems Djoko won’t have the same scare as Murray and Stan. Cruisimg in second set.


Giles Says:

http://metro.co.uk/2016/05/24/rafael-nadal-pulls-off-incredible-hot-dog-as-he-thumps-sam-groth-in-french-open-first-round-5902169/
Wow! Rafa certainly handed Groth his lunch today, three breadsticks and a hotdog. Well done Champ!


calmdownplease Says:

“No words…”

@Margot
Perhaps Muzz was so transfixed by Stepanek’s incredible handsomeness that it rendered him so mindbogglingly passive!
Apparently no man, woman, animal or even vegetable is immune!
(Or maybe not ;0)
Funny when he plays passive he has all sorts of problems & when he takes control he does not
Who’d have thunk it?
Anyhoo, they do go on about the dangers of the first round, don’t they?
Let’s not be too surprised when things like this actually happen, esp when Radek was well settled and playing very well for quite a bit of it.
Should be of benefit to Andy and I expect him to flatten the debutante (?) tomorrow, losing no more than 10 games
If we are to take this campaign of his for clay glory seriously, that is.


Margot Says:

You lucky so and sos, you Rafa and Nole fans, how easy you had it!
@CDP
Quite
@jalep
My WTA bracket is completely screwed and, for a moment there, thought my ATP one was as well.
Didn’t see match but commies said Angie is carrying a shoulder injury.


RZ Says:

I woke up a little while ago and after a few minutes I realized that Murray’s match must have been over. I decided to look the results up via Twitter to get more context rather than the just the score. Was so nervous looking it up until I was able to breathe a sigh of relief.

Couple of items I picked up via my Twitter review:
- Andy is now tied in 2nd place for the number of 5 set matches won after being down 0-2 in sets. He has 9 (so does Fed). Becker and Krickstein hold the record for the most at 10.
- Andy said that as a player you could feel good and confident on court but still not hit the ball well (I definitely know that to be the case when I play!).


RZ Says:

@Margot – we Andy fans never have it easy. But maybe he is getting the drama out of the way early. :-) I was worried that the fates were going to take my wooden spoon prediction seriously rather than as an anti-jinx.


Dave Says:

Andy was within 2 points of losing the match on 2 different occasions. Stepanek was very close to pulling off a huge upset today. That is big time relief for Andy. One sports writer said that whoever got to the final in this half would be gassed from all of the long matches. I didn’t realise it was going to start in the first round for the contenders in this half of the draw. Nadal and Nole perserving all of their energy for the later matches and Wawrinka and Andy just barely getting through. Usually when you survive matches like this, you feel like you were given a second chance and you take this momentum with you and don’t take any match for granted. After Nole won 7 to 5 in the 5th set against Anderson in the 4th round of Wimbledon after being down 2 sets to 0, he never looked back after that. Same with this year at the Australian Open in the 4th round. After the Simon match, Nole never looked back. That’s the kind of momentum that Wawrinka and Murray need to take from these matches. They can’t afford to be in many more 4 and 5 set matches leading up to the final. Time for both to start dominating and see what happens.


Daniel Says:

Guess we are not seeing Nadal x Fabio next chapter, Foggy is down a set and a break in second.


jalep Says:

Had to quit watching Vika. She’s pulling faces out there, obviously uncomfortable…Karen Knapp (who hasn’t done much all year) is serving bombs. Not looking good for my picks!

Wish I’d have known about Angie’s shoulder, Margot. Was so sure about her.

Well, first half of the day went okie dokie on the ATP side. Now, my picks are s****** there too, ugh…

Very happy how it went for Nole, tho. That was enjoyable.


RZ Says:

@Jalep – sometimes I wonder why they play if they are injured. I feel like with Angie, Vika, Aga, and Simona, it’s been like that most of the year. I guess the $20K first round loser prize money is too much to give up. Or they are optimistic that the injuries go away as they play.


jalep Says:

Yeah, Fabio. He’s been awful for months now. Rafa v Bagnis next, then Rafa v Granollers or Mahut. Bagels with cream cheese.


jalep Says:

Aga isn’t having too bad a year, RZ — even with her troubles! World #2 — she ninja’s her way to the top ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Fognini really has no business playing – he’s been so outta shape. But I was believing in him since he was there and picked him two rounds, I think!


BBB Says:

Nice interview with Djokovic on Tennis Channel. He said the response from the crowd after the loss last year at RG was one of the most significant moments of his career.


BBB Says:

Yikes. Poor Azarenka. It seems her body is not built to withstand the rigors of the game.


Margot Says:

@RZ
OMG I do hope you’re right about Andy, still my beating heart!
@jalep
Now Vika is out injured. Yeh my bracket is really, really pants.
Jeez, I wish the media would shut up about the split with Amelie, just s**t stirring and unnecessary now. Grrrrrr.


Okiegal Says:

@mat4……Thanks for the link regarding Rafa’s interview…I will agree that is was a good one!

@J-Kath….thank you for congrats on Rafa’s win…..and I am glad Andy survived to play on another day….the older fella had some game yesterday and caught Andy off guard, maybe??
@Margot …happy for you too!


anki Says:

Groth played so so poorly, Rafa was solid. Good win for him. Novak started out slow, but then was much better in the second and third set. On paper, he shouldn’t drop any sets until the SF.


Humble Rafa Says:

Poor Azarenka. It seems her body is not built to withstand the rigors of the game.

Well at one point, she had Redfoo. Life only gives you so much.


RZ Says:

@Humble Rafa – considering she had Redfoo, she deserves much more out of life.


Humble Rafa Says:

I am glass half full kind of guy, looks like you are glass half empty kind of guy. Is the world too hard on you not to get a full name?


RZ Says:

@HR – it’s all about maintaining a mysterious aura. :-)


Markus Says:

WTA, so exciting! The only way it can be made even more exciting is if they just completely do away with seeding the players.


BBB Says:

LOL re Redfoo – her stock went way up when they parted company.


J-Kath Says:

I had the courage to watch the replay of Andy’s match an hour ago. He looked pretty determined. Didn’t look tired…so here’s hoping.


J-Kath Says:

http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2016/05/throwback-throwdown/58693/#.V0TQT-Tci1s

Margo, RZ (and other friends of Andy e.g. Okie). I enjoyed this article.


J-Kath Says:

PS: Also the comments, or at least most of them.


RZ Says:

Thanks J-Kath. Tignor is one of the better tennis writers.

I saw a dumb article on ESPN.com about this being a frustrating time for Murray. It alluded to his split from Mauresmo. I say it’s dumb because the “frustrating time” is really all about one tough match.


RZ Says:

Jalep has taken the lead in the bracket challenge, with Nikola and Margot tied for 2nd place.


J-Kath Says:

http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2016/05/throwback-throwdown/58693/#.V0TQT-Tci1s

Okie…hopefully this cut and paste shows the section I wanted to show….let’s see


J-Kath Says:

Okie…Sorri …it only gives what I pasted before….there was a comment and picture of Rafa I was trying to send.


J-Kath Says:

RZ: Andy was drilled on the Amelie question. He’s usually honest and he said a whole pile of stuff but all of it indicated that the relationship was talked out between them and they were still friends. Know this is not the impression given in some articles…I might be naive, but Andy is usually brutally honest. We both need to go to bed-I believe you also live in the UK?


RZ Says:

@J-Kath, no I live in the U.S. now. You can take the girl out of Britain but you can’t take Brit out of the girl. :-)
Yeah, saw another article claiming the Murray-Mauresmo split was getting snippy, but there was nothing snippy in the article from either end. I guess they are using headlines to get readers.


Okiegal Says:

@J-Kath…..Nice try…..maybe I can catch it at some point. mat4 posted a nice link of a Rafa interview….it was a good read. I appreciated him doing this and you too for trying!

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