Nadal, Del Potro Dominate At French Open, Shapovalov Upset; Monfils v Goffin Fri.
by Staff | May 31st, 2018, 4:47 pm
  • 68 Comments

Things were tight between Rafael Nadal and Guido Pella for the first 15 minutes of their second round encounter at the French Open Thursday. But King of Clay pulled away with a resounding 6-2, 6-1, 6-1 victory on Lenglen.

“I’m happy about the things that happened this afternoon, of course. I played a solid match, and it’s true that during the match I improved the level. The forehand, especially after the first set, I think it starts to go quicker and find more of the right spots, playing more inside the court and hitting many more winners,” Nadal said.

“So just happy for that and happy about the concentration that I was able to hold all the time, the right focus on the match to keep doing things better and better.”

Nadal has never lost to a lefty at the French Open. And won’t play one in the next round because Richard Gasquet is up next. The French dropped the second but won in four 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-0.

Nadal could face another lefty in the fourth round on Monday. Maximilian Marterer pulled the upset of the day stunning the 19-year-old Canadian Denis Shapovalov 5-7, 7-6(4), 7-5, 6-4.

Marterer failed to serve out the second at 5-4, but got the job done in the breaker and then hung on to reach his first French Open third round.

“The plan was to serve well and be tough in my service games, so that he didn’t get too many chances to break,” said Marterer. “That was key today. He plays with a really heavy, heavy forehand, so I tried to keep [the ball] a little on his backhand. I think I managed [the plan] really well after losing first set, especially. It was good that I could raise the quality of my return, so he also had some problems in his service games after this.”

The 22-year-old from Germany isn’t talked about much among the new crop, that could change especially since he’ll be favored over Jurgen Zopp who came from two sets down to deny fellow “lucky loser” Ruben Bemelmens in 5 sets.

Also, Juan Martin del Potro retired Julien Benneteau from the French Open, with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-2. The 36-year-old Benneteau is set to retire from tennis at the US Open.

Del Potro moves on to face former quarterfinalist Albert Ramos Vinolas.

Americans Steve Johnson and John Isner both advanced after dropping the first set to win in four over Jan-Lennard Struff and Horacio Zeballos, respectively.

Alexander Zverev’s older brother, Mischa, was a winner over lucky loser Sergiy Stakhovsky. He now gets Kevin Anderson who scored an impressive win over Pablo Cuevas.

No. 3 seed Marin Cilic has a much tougher day than predicted, fighting in four sets to fend off Pol Hubert Hurkacz 6-2, 6-2, 6-7(3), 7-5.

“I felt that I just took my foot off the gas and just gave him a little bit more room to breathe,” Cilic said. “I felt like I was constantly close to breaking. I just felt like I was not returning as good as I can and just missed some returns, especially in some critical moments. And then the fourth set he was serving well… there were not many opportunities, but luckily I finished it in a good way.”

And in the last match of the day, Pierre-Hugues Herbert earned a trip into his first French Open third round with a 9-7 in the fifth win over countryman Jeremy Chardy.

In Wednesday carryover matches, Dominic Thiem finished off Stefanos Tsitsipas and Lucas Pouille hung on to beat Cameron Norrie.

On Friday, the third round gets underway with Novak Djokovic taking on the heavy-hearted Roberto Bautista Agut who just lost his mother a few weeks ago.

Gael Monfils will have Lenglen rocking as he duels David Goffin, Kei Nishikori clashes with Gilles Simon and Grigor Dimitrov faces Fernando Verdasco.

FRIDAY FRENCH OPEN SCHEDULE
Court Philippe-Chatrier – Play starts at 11am
Damir DZUMHUR (BIH) [26] vs Alexander ZVEREV (GER) [2]
Pauline PARMENTIER (FRA) vs Caroline WOZNIACKI (DEN) [2]
Lucas POUILLE (FRA) [15] vs Karen KHACHANOV (RUS)
Camila GIORGI (ITA) vs Sloane STEPHENS (USA)[10]

Court Suzanne-Lenglen – Play starts at 11am
Madison KEYS (USA) [13] vs Naomi OSAKA (JPN) [21]
Roberto BAUTISTA AGUT (ESP) [13] vs Novak DJOKOVIC (SRB) [20]
David GOFFIN (BEL) [8] vs Gael MONFILS (FRA) [32]
Petra KVITOVA (CZE) [8] vs Anett KONTAVEIT (EST) [25]


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68 Comments for Nadal, Del Potro Dominate At French Open, Shapovalov Upset; Monfils v Goffin Fri.

chofer Says:

If Delpo keeps hitting the bh like today, I certainly see a SF against Rafa, which would be an amazing run for him after having played on clay like 8 matches in 4 years.

Hope he has some gas and the tear injury don’t reappear.

Isner is overperforming on clay, which leads me to believe he will lose the next one:)

I predicted Zverev as “second best” here. I wouldn’t believe some fresh weels like him couldn’t get past a Grand Slam QF! Somewhere there’s a breakthrough, always. Maybe this is IT.


chofer Says:

This Zverev is unbelievable. Grigor is goin down, too (so far) but that was expected. Time for Nole or Nishikori to step up on that side of the draw.


el_matador Says:

chofer,plz dnt talk about delpo reaching semi..its very hard to predict which delpo turns up nowadays..I would be happy if he just can beat ramos tomorrow..ramos is a tricky competitor


el_matador Says:

& isner is not overperforming..he beat zeballos who is one of the most frustrating players on tour..as I have a soft spot for anything related to argentina,I’ve followed zeballos since he beat rafa(!!!!) in that clay final..& all he has done is proving he’s a bit shit


el_matador Says:

the inhuman defence to stay in that point,then the open fh miss,then the raquet smashing..here’s djokovic’ tennis career in one point for u folks


gonzalowski Says:

el matador it appears like you need to relax 😊 at this RG…
Hard match Nole-Bautista til the moment, maybe we’ll check today if Nole’s diet suits grand slams needs


jalep Says:

Did you guys know that RBA is playing only a few weeks after the sudden loss of his mother? RBA said that the best thing he could do right now is go out and keep fighting. I only knew of this reading Moo tennis..and some tweets from James, one of their posters. Happened on May 9. He may well be determined and inspired not to lose. Grief can certainly be motivational in some people.


Daniel Says:

Djoko at least showing he can endure a long match, three sets and its already more than 3 hours. And great effort for him to break when Agut served for third set.


Daniel Says:

Yeah Jalep, commentors in my TV mention it yesterday.


Daniel Says:

Loving seeing Djoko behave like his former self and unleashing his strokes.


Van Persie Says:

Did not expect Nole to win this, after Bautista won the 2nd.
Impressed that Nole survived a 4 setter. :)


Daniel Says:

VP,

He looks title contender ready to me now. Verdasco should be easier than Agut and than Goffin should be another battle.


Margot Says:

Goodness me, “Pretty Boy” showing excellent fighting qualities, needs a new nickname, “Steely Boy” perhaps? C’mon Sascha!


chofer Says:

Jalep

I did know. Incredible he’s there AT ALL!

el matador

Sure, with Delpo you never know. But I do, as I follow him closely. I did say he had a chance at IW and not at all in Miami. I was right.

I say he has a chance to get SFs her barring injuries. Ramos in no way is tougher than Isner. I was joking about Isner. I think they will collide in the 4th. round.

Careño is the best Spanish pick right now outside Rafa.

Zverev made a Houdini escape.

Did you know Lendl was a choker his firsts five, six Slams. Zverev reminds me of him. One player on Masters 1000, another at GS.

Well, Lendl lost and awful lot of 5 setters against below ranked player. Intil he won the one that mattered to him: against McEnroe in 84 at RG.

He would lose one more time to Mac in a final until he wouldn’t be stopped for the better part of that decade.

The German will break through somewhere soon at GS. It’s just a matter of where.


chofer Says:

If Dzumhur can’t make himself a champion (he gifted the match to Zverev) I’m sure he could make himself a model.


Van Persie Says:

Daniel,

If Djoko makes it to quarters, it’ s good . Should he go further, it is a bonus for me as a fan. :)
Title contender? A bit too much, I guess. I do not dare to think of that ;)


Van Persie Says:

Margot,

New nick name: “Give me 5″, perhaps?


chofer Says:

VP

Looking good!

And I want Monfils to win over that teenager Belgian.


Margot Says:

VP: Jez Green was just interviewed and he said “Steely Boy” works and works his cotton socks off and almost enjoys the pain involved. Hoping his next match is a bit easier, needs a winning 3 setter.


Van Persie Says:

Margot,

Well, Germany might use some steel at the moment, given the Merkel-Trump missunderstandings . Hehe. Very inspiring nick name.
Sorry for bringing politics into this :D


Margot Says:

VP: I thought Nole match was interesting, once he’d decided that he’d had enough of RBA bossing him around, he was up another gear and away he went.
A bit like Serena yesterday, not quite as noisy as Serena tho….;)
As you know I love “Steely Boy” and really hope this is his breakthrough slam.


el_matador Says:

hope u’re right chofer..& if delpo reaches semi,I’m confident it’ll be hell of a match..delpo brings his best against the bests..


Van Persie Says:

Margot,

Yes, U know you like him. I don’t dislike him, but he’s sometimes to arrogant for my taste. But he has the game and skills to be a future Nr. 1.
Chofer is right, he will break through at a a slame in tbe near future. Not sure it will be tbis FO.

About Serena, Margot, I am grateful to her somehow. She overshadows Nole’s tittings with her ridicule costume. I know, it is meant for her health, but a skirt added to it, might have saved the day….Even great champions can lose their minds….:)


Van Persie Says:

^^ sorry for the typos


Margot Says:

VP: Yes, I think this RG will be a step too far for him and, TBH, Rafa is looking pretty invincible. I like USOpen more for Steely, not sure about him on grass. I think Denis is going to be a menace on grass, pretty much has the perfect game for it. A bit young to get Wimbledon this year, however.


Margot Says:

I’m cheering on Goffin aka “the teenager.” Playing the crowd and Monfils, needs all the support he can get. Unlikely Monfils could make a 5 setter either.


j-kath Says:

Jalep: Re RBA – Yes, very tough about his mother – I also read that his father had died approx. a year ago…I felt sorri for him playing despite it being a “memorial” to his Mum.


Van Persie Says:

Agree, also do not see anyone beating Rafa at this FO. who knows though, somebody may surprise. But would not be bothered if Rafa won.

I think Wimbly might be very interesting. Tbh I think Sascha has a achance to play semis or finals there. Shapo, not his year yet.


j-kath Says:

Re Nole —- My goodness, he’s almost totally back – many may disagree.

Wasn’t too impressed by Sasha – thought he was talented but for me he lacked variety…he reminded me of Isner, although better.

I’m leaving the planet now in case derisory comments come quick and heavy….


SG1 Says:

Zverev struggling somewhat but showing resolve which will serve him well in the 2nd week.


jalep Says:

That’s a lot to lose at age 30, J-Kath.

Hope he has lots of family and friends for support. Actually he may feel the responsibility to be the solid rock at this time and support those around him.
Good man, I think, RBA.


jalep Says:

Margot, Yay. Goffin takes the 2nd set but he looks tired already. This could go 5 sets. But would think Monfils wouldn’t be as tuned up and conditioned right now for a long match as Goffin. This one not over until tomorrow maybe.

The teenager Goffin 😀 Allez wee wizard!


chofer Says:

j-kath

“thought he was talented but for me he lacked variety”

You may hace have catch him when he’s 3 feet behind the baseline and making doble faultas galore… like today?

The second set against Rafa inRTome he was pretty much inside the baseline, hitting all kinds of BHs and drops. So much for lack of “variety”.

Isner? What are you having?:))

If anything, he’s a little bit like Nole without the wheels and the elbow flying FH. Indeed, he lacks something, just like Djokovic: a world-class slice BH. Nole doesn’t need that. His wheels get him there. But he does already something better than Novak: volley and smash!

They say the say about Lendl 35 years ago. The kid hits hard but he’s a bore! Until he beat everybody 6-2 6-2 and started wonder why.

Watch him more closely. Especially when he’s playing better, so you must wait for another Masters 1000, perhaps.


chofer Says:

oops, sorry for all the typos.

I’m at my dyslexic worst today. Plus, my eyeballs had been taken out by Serena.


Margot Says:

Agree with chofer, I think he’s multi-talented. Like “Isner?” Eek, no!


j-kath Says:

Chofer: My outer space transporter is waiting – but before I leave, the Isner semi-twinning (with Sasha)was to do with the strong serves…I hope your eyeballs improve…cucumber slices + dark room + no watching tennis will “SEE” you thru (pun intended).

Jalep: Yes agree – RBA strikes me also as a very good, decent person.


chofer Says:

Slicing up eyeballs, hey, hey, hey!


chofer Says:

Margot

The announcer here made a comparison here I dug: The so-called Big Four are The Beatles, with Djokovic being Harrison (choose your own Lennon-McCartney) and poor Andy being the drummer.

I’d like to say that Ringo was the one sticking it all together:))


Margot Says:

“Poor Andy” indeed!” Cheeky! You can go off people you know….;) Raining at RG so they are re-showing last set from 4-3. Missed it so I can now watch with no nerves….:)


jalep Says:

Rain delay means no Kvitova vs Kontaveit match today. :(

Is it a blasphemy to wonder out loud why there isn’t a roof over a clay court for FO?


Margot Says:

Last set from 4-3 of Steely and Dzum. match, that is.


chofer Says:

Which match? Here they’re replaying thehotbosnianwhatisname and no talen-Zverev.


chofer Says:

Oh, same!


Margot Says:

RZ: they’ve had awful problems with locals regarding any changes they’ve wanted to make, including a roof. If you remember they were planning to move the whole caboodle a few years ago, but that fell through. I think they’re stuck with what they’ve got.


chofer Says:

A roof-made clay court is the ultimate antonym. It’s entirely another surface!


Margot Says:

OMG would you look at the shoulders on the hotbosnianwithnoname! Why are all these rugby props playing tennis? Get off now!


chofer Says:

LOL!


chofer Says:

Monfils is playing with a stomach virus? When was the last time he was healthy?


j-kath Says:

Margot: Are you having a tipple?


Margot Says:

No! Think you must have been very tipsy tho., since you are comparing darling Sascha to Spider-Man. Just seen the press conference with a Yorkshire man and Sascha telling him he “didn’t understand a word” of the question, said with a lovely smile and humour in his voice. He is simply delightful! I think I’m in love.


Margot Says:

Play suspended for the rest of the evening. shame.


chofer Says:

It may not happen. But I’ll watch the women’s final if Kvitova is in it.


j-kath Says:

Margot: I referred to U @ 1.43pm to RZ when I think it was Jalep @ 1.40pm who asked the question….abject apologies if wrong…ahem!………………

As for comparisons….I’m tempted to answer – but I need a whisky to give courage….


jalep Says:

Here we go – too much time on my hands today.

Regards ATP players:

To my eyes, there is a big difference between Isner, Karlovic, Opelka and the likes of Cilic, Delpo, Sascha — the last group are exceptional movers for their height. Anderson and Querrey fall in between – better to watch them than Isner types but duller than Sascha or Delpo.

Paire is 6’5″ and absolutely a joy to watch when he’s in the mood to really compete. Berdych is the same height but nah, not so interesting. Although I do have a soft spot and cheer for poor Berdych these days.

Edmund is not overly giant but he’s dull. Too many Americans and a couple of Canadians have been dull too. And this is all SUBJECTIVE NONSENSE – not to be taken seriously! Okay. I’m not the last word in trendiness or fashion. LOL I tend to like a couple naughty Australians when they are not injured and are in the mood to play. Kyrgios and Kokkinakis.

Shapovalov and Tsitsipas are my favorites lately. And Goffin, of course, as always. And Kei, Simon….the old favorites – Andy Murray, Djokovic, ect.


chofer Says:

Jalep

I understand what you’re saying. But you’re referring to creative players. Players who play with mirrors and many tricks up their sleeves. I agree with you. My favorite player of the last 15 years is David Nalbandian, who, is spite of his perpetual belly, one never would confound him with a ball basher or a “workhorse”.
But there are ballbashers and then “ball bashers”. I can count on many ways why I think Delpo has the most verstile Fh (yes! better than Roger’s and Rafa’s) starting with the “banana outside in” of Rafa’s and the whip-angled of Roger’s. And at least, THREE more spins on it.

But lazy people tends to classify that as a “rocket and flat” and miss entirely how many spins and trajectories it has; and that he can have a short or wide wingspan with it, so he can hit it, virtually from ANY position in the court.

All this rant is meant to say that you can’t classify players as DULL and DULLER (That’s a reduction and ultimately your perception; which is totally fine!) I’d never EVER, put in the same sentence Zverev, Delpo, etc with Isner, whom I think has improved his baseline game exponentially but who’s force remains his two serves (is there any match he won’t plat TBs?) Let alone, Karlovic, whom I think is a nice fella but a one trick pony.

Then, there are the tastes. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, they say.


jalep Says:

Thanks Chofer 🤗

Glad you understand and thanks for your response.
I reckoned many a reader would fall asleep or maybe even be annoyed lol

Loved Nalbandian, Safin, Davydenko…..


MadMax Says:

Boring French open so far. No surprises.

Perhaps Novak has a second wind.

Richard who? Whatever happened to him along the way, the next big thing – a blow out. Such a pity.


MadMax Says:

Jalep,

Yes,

Loved Nalbandian, Safin, Davydenko…..

June 1st, 2018 at 7:27 pm

but gone no, though not forgotten. Isn’t Nalbandian doing commercials now in his home country? That is the sadness here, he perhaps could have gone on for longer. Nalbandian was certainly underrated. Same goes for Safin and Davydenko. They all had their great moments.


Willow Says:

French open boring ?, well people have a choice they dont have to watch it, IMO theres been quite alot of interesting matches, Rafas have been straight forward no question, and Rafas always been a bad match up for Gasquet, but thats because he is that good on this surface, but theres been quite a few other interesting competitive matches on the mens and ladies side, shocks too nothings a gimmee ….


Margot Says:

Aaaaah…”notasgoodasIsner” making very heavy weather of his match against KK :(


j-kath Says:

My goodness “KH” U R a Kool Kid – but Sasha still got time to mount his own Lochinvar….you both deserve to win, me thinks.


Margot Says:

Phew “NotasgoodasIsner” levels the match!


Margot Says:

Actually Kath I like them both, in fact KK is in my team on a fantasy league I play. But for the sake of my shredded bracket Pretty Boy needs to win. But, if he doesn’t I guess most other people’s will be shredded too.


j-kath Says:

Yep Margot – they are both likeable guys and in the future (if they continue like today’s face-to-face) we’ll have a new top 2. I call “KK” – “KH” (my initials – which, if I’m not careful, may tie me to his tennis strings in the absence of Andy).


Madmax Says:

Willow relax please.

Now, it’s getting interesting with Zverev really walking the wire. My opinion is that the FO has improved, almost overnight.


Margot Says:

Don’t know how Sascha wriggled out of the 4th, but wriggle out he did. Will he be knackered in the 5th tho? Meanwhile Kei looking as if he was about to be wiped out, seems to revived, at least temporarily.


Willow Says:

Madmax im perfectly relaxed thankyou ;-)


Willow Says:

Madmax i dont know if Nadal will win RG, but clay will be over soon, and the Nadal hype will die down, then we move onto grass so your favorite will be back, and i wouldnt worry too much anyway, there aint many Nadal fans left here anymore, you can count them all on one hand ….

Top story: Rafael Nadal Withdraws From China Events, Novak Djokovic In Prime Position For No. 1