Hewitt, Murray, Gaudio, Ivanovic on Day 1 at French Open
by Staff | May 23rd, 2009, 11:02 pm

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal goes for five straight French Open titles, while women’s No. 1 Dinara Safina seeks to prove she is the real deal among a field including former No. 1s Venus and Serena Williams, and struggling Serbs Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic beginning today at Roland Garros.
Ivanovic won the title last year before a hand injury and a bout of self-doubt threw her game into a spiral, but the Serb thinks she is a better player than in 2008.

“I’m more mature,” Ivanovic told reporters. “Comparing my game to last year, it’s improved. There are some areas that I’ve added to and I feel really confident on the court. I have a very good opportunity to do well again here, and I love playing here on clay.”

Nadal has beaten Roger Federer in the last three finals, and in the semifinal the year before that, and the world No. 1 and No. 2 could again be on a collision course after Federer beat Nadal in the Madrid final. Novak Djokovic narrowly lost to Nadal in the Madrid semis, and Britain’s Andy Murray looks to enter the claycourt mix with the help of new claycourt coach Alex Corretja.

“I know I have to play well if I want to go deep into the tournament,” Murray offered as some deep insight into doing well at Slams, speaking to reporters at Roland Garros. “I can come through matches when I’m not necessarily playing my best, whereas on clay I have to play tough tennis from the start and play my best to win.”

Matches of interest on the men’s side at the start of play Sunday include last year’s last-American-standing Wayne Odesnik vs. (7) Gilles Simon, Murray vs. veteran Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela, former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt vs. the giant-serving (26) “Dr.” Ivo Karlovic, (10) Radek “The Worm” Stepanek vs. former Roland Garros champ Gaston Gaudio, the explosive Ernests Gulbis vs. American Sam Querrey, and a guaranteed grinder in (31) Nicolas Almagro vs. Argentine Agustin Calleri.

On the women’s side Sunday, matches to watch include Italian Sara Errani vs. the slow-starting defending champ (8) Ana Ivanovic, Germany’s Anna-Lena Groenefeld vs. former No. 1 (16) Amelie Mauresmo, and (11) Nadia Petrova vs. American wildcard Lauren Embree.

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6 Comments for Hewitt, Murray, Gaudio, Ivanovic on Day 1 at French Open

vared Says:

Betting experts say Ana is second pick after Safina to win. I am hoping for ANYONE but Serena or Safina.

TMH Says:

Ivo vs. Hewitt – 55 Aces from Ivo = World Record. First two sets 7-6 7-6 for Ivo!

But who won the match?…. Ivo?…….nooooooooot

Von Says:

Dr. Ivo looked very crest-fallen after Hewitt broke him in the 4th set. After that break it seemed as though the doctor didn’t much care about the match. He’s been having a bad year in ’09. Anyway, kudos for Hewitt, winning from two sets down. It’s also nice to see Hewitt not behaving like his former zhlub self, with his in the face fist pumps. Change is a good thing, and so is mental maturity.

Kimmi Says:

Its a very good win for Hewitt since he never won against Dr Ivo before. Can you believe that, their H2H says they met 3 times before today and its been all Dr Ivo. Very Surprising, especially I consider Hewitt as a good returner.

Anyway, Kudos to Hewitt, he can celebrate his 1st win today.

Giner Says:

Von: “Anyway, kudos for Hewitt, winning from two sets down. It’s also nice to see Hewitt not behaving like his former zhlub self, with his in the face fist pumps. Change is a good thing, and so is mental maturity.”

Did you see all of the match or just the end? I’ve seen him enough times to know how he operates. He only gets in people’s face when he’s thrashing them, or at least ahead. And also when he gets a break to go ahead in a set. He doesn’t do it when he’s playing catch up, and that’s what he was doing for 3-4 sets.

If he’s down 2 breaks and he gets one back, you won’t hear a come on. If he wins a first set, you can expect to have to mute the TV, because it’s going to be come ons all the way. The last time he beat Federer was in Davis Cup 2003, and his reaction after winning it, I felt like shooting him.

He is a bit different now though. He knows he’s no longer a force to be feared like he once was, and doesn’t intimidate his opponents as much. They just aren’t afraid of him anymore.

Von Says:


Sorry for the delay, but I just saw your comment. No, I didn’t see the entire match, because, sadly, the Tennis Channel does not show most of the matches in their entirety. I saw the last two sets, and it’s why I mentioned Karlovic’s disappointment and broken spirit. he got Hewitt to 3 tie-breaks, so it must have been hard to lose the third tiebreak to Hewitt, having won the other two.

I still feel that Hewitt has matured somewhat and he’s not behaving as his previous irascible self, which is good for him and for the fans who watch.

I think the writer of the article you posted was very harsh to Hewitt, and I can’t believe the Aussie public’s cruelty toward him. I suppose he’s earned their anger, but it’s still sad that he’s their own and they should back him.

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