Djokovic Beats Rain, Goffin Tuesday at French Open
by Staff | May 28th, 2013, 11:55 pm

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic came through a tough test in his opening-round match on a rain-soaked Tuesday at Roland Garros where a number of matches were not completed or not started.

Djokovic defeated Belgian David “The Boffin” Goffin in a tightly-contested match 7-6(5), 6-4, 7-5.

“He did really well at the start, and throughout all the match he was playing really nice tennis from baseline,” Djokovic said. “It was a tough match. I needed to fight all the way through every set, and I served well when I needed to and played my best tennis when it was most important.”

There were two men’s upsets on the day as Russian Dmitry Tursunov took out No. 22 Alexandr Dolgopolov 7-6(7), 6-4, 7-6(7), and Uzbek Denis Istomin advanced when No. 28 seed Florian Mayer retired with a thigh injury down two sets to one.

Other seeded winners into the second round were No. 9 Stan Wawrinka, No. 12 Tommy Haas, No. 16 Philipp Kohlschreiber, No. 26 Grigor Dimitrov, and No. 29 Mikhail Youzhny.

American qualifier Jack Sock was a straight-set winner over Spaniard Guillermo “G-Lo” Garcia-Lopez, and will next meet Haas.
Troubled Aussie Bernard Tomic retired with injury against Victor Hanescu, then regarding his even-more-troubled dad told the media, “He’s here in Paris. He’s still working with me. He’s still my coach. He’s still my dad, and I love him a lot. Nothing’s changed. The injury to my leg is the only thing I’m worrying about.”

No surprises in the end on the women’s side Tuesday with only 10 matches completed, and all six seeds in play advancing.

Struggling through in three sets were No. 13 Marion Bartoli over Belarus’ Olga Govortsova 7-6(8), 4-6, 7-5, and No. 27 Yaroslava Shvedova defeating American Coco Vandeweghe 6-0, 3-6, 6-2.

Bartoli saved match points down 3-5 in the third.

“It was a very long day,” Bartoli said. “I started at 11 o’clock and then again at 2 and we finished at 6, so it was a very long match, and I think the rain delay was to my disadvantage, because I think I was dominating a little bit and I think she was able to regroup in the break. She started to play really well and missed pretty much nothing, and was hitting her backhands really strong and deep. If I lost this match I don’t think I’d have any regrets because I was really doing the best I could.”

Other seeded winners were No. 9 Sam Stosur, No. 16 Dominika Cibulkova, No. 18 Jelena Jankovic, and No. 31 Alize Cornet. Jankovic recovered from 0-5 in the second to win in straights.

The rains make for a loaded Wednesday schedule at Roland Garros, with highlights including (3) Victoria Azarenka vs. Russian veteran Elena Vesnina, Gael “Force” Monfils vs. “The Importance of Being” Ernests Gulbis, (1) Serena Williams vs. French comer Caroline Garcia, (7) Petra Kvitova vs. France’s Aravane Rezai, (24) Benoit Paire vs. Marcos Baghdatis, (14) Milos Raonic vs. France’s Michael Llodra, Dutch upset-maker Igor Sijsling vs. (32) Tommy Robredo, Puerto Rican upset-maker Monica Puig vs. Madison Keys, and (10) Caroline Wozniacki vs. Bojana Jovanovski.

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50 Comments for Djokovic Beats Rain, Goffin Tuesday at French Open

Michael Says:

It is really a good start for Novak and a fine launching pad for realizing his ultimate dream of winning Rolland Garros. What this match could have done to Novak is to regain his confidence back which has faltered a bit. The tough ask has just now begin and there is a mountain hill to climb. I think Novak is not new to this and he always has the knack of converting challenges into opportunities.

Rumble Says:

These are best-of-5 slam matches. The amount of experience and success that Fed, Djoke, and Nadal have had in this format is in a different league compared to the rest of the field. I would be shocked if all three don’t reach the semi. Its tough for anyone else to take 3 sets from them in one match. Only they do it to each other most of the time.

Its early stages. Lets see in 4-5 days as to how the draw looks in the round of 16.

Go Klizan!

skeezer Says:

Saw some of Nole’s match against Goffin. Most interested in his movement, and he looks good. There is no reason from here he starts ramping up his play.
“‘Ajde mo?”

M Says:

Come on, Madison!

jane Says:

Wish I could watch Gulbis and LaMonf but I’ll be travelling. : / Hard to predict that one, but obviously Gael will have crowd support. Both of them are great to watch (and both can be abysmal too); hopefully it lives up to potential.

gonzalowski Says:

Ferru has done it strong through Montañes.
Next Feliciano, who sometimes has upset him, and must be playing well.
About Nadal: there was another great spanish champ, cyclist M. Indurain, who was beaten in the Tour de France, amongst others, by the rain of that particular year (1996?)
Some French experts have said that like I-don’t-know-what XIX century’s year, this year could not exist the summer season in West Europe.
just to comment…

John Says:

Monfils seems to have a minor wrist injury, Bennetau down a break early on. Wouldn’t be surprised if neither of these two progress to play Federer, making the draw even easier, maybe to easy.

Gulbis vs Monfils up now. Should be a cracker.

John Says:

Simon with the wrist injury, had it massaged early on.. *-*

Ben Pronin Says:

If Monfils had the discipline of the top 4 he would be the greatest player ever.

Ty Says:

WTHIGOW Dolgopolov???

How does he lose to Tursunov (who admitted years ago to be one of the worst clay courters around while blogging for atptennis)??

What’s up, is there an injury or what? His game seems so finely suited for the dirt.

Ty Says:

Looks like Nadal introduced Robredo to his doctors this past offseason. He’s charging back from 0-2 down.

Vamos Espana!!!

Ty Says:

Gulbis going walkabout. Five games to the wind for LeMonf.

The Great Davy Says:

No mention of my great valiant fight against Serra. Boohoo.

Alex Says:

hahah Bennetau getting one of those “comfort” massages again. Is it fair?

Think not. Fed will cruise through this match and make mince meat out of the next opponent.

Alex Says:

Which match will finish first?

The Benny match that’s been running more than 3 hours or the Fed match that’s been going 20 min?

I pick Feds match.

Alex Says:

Breaking new:

Mats Wilanders detects a bit of sweat on Rogers shirt!

Giles Says:

C’mon Benneteau!!

contador Says:

Slim chance that Roger and Somdev will finish before Juju and Kamke – Juju swerving for match – I think he’s gonna make it!

Alex Says:

Feds ground strokes looking very methodical. Good signs for his chances later in the tourney.

contador Says:

Federer looks completely relaxed. Not a competitive match, though.

Federer playing of course, beautifully.

andrea Says:

hmm…just tuned in to watch fed take out somdarev. love that back hand down the line. he doesn’t use it as often as i’d like.

Kimberly Says:

wozniaki on a real downward spiral. Wish Laura had won that match. #disappointing.

Meanwhile the Miami Heat in Hot Water while San Antonio sweeps.

Alex Says:

Watching Serena vs Garcia is like watching WWE sized opponent vs a featherweight boxer.

Watching this you cant help wondering, should there be weight divisions?

Size is def an issue, Serena def has an advantage in that department.

Tennis x hippy chic Says:

The woman is an animal,the WTA is in need of an oponent that can really test her,theres only Vika at her absolute best,Sharapova looks great against everyone else but Serena makes her look average,Stosur did it once but was unable to back it up with any consistency,i miss Henin and Clijsters who seemed to be the only players would could really push her.

Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Bit desrespectfull there i should say the Serena is just incredible.

Margot Says:

Really happy Monfils, he’s so lovely, won but Gulbis kind of let him.
Got so erratic and seemed far more puffed than Monfils in the 4th. Surprising really as M has only just come back from yet more injury.
@Ben, not sure about that a) Gael won’t come off the baseline and b) makes, and continues to make, horrendous shot selections at key points.
Has had endless coaches who seem unable to fix either of those.

Ben Pronin Says:

Margot, he lacks the discipline. But imagine a Federer or Nadal mind in Monfils’ body. He is super long, super fast, super strong. Easy power off both sides, great touch, big serve, lots of variety in his strokes. If he had a great tennis mind, he’d be unbeatable. The only whole in his game is his head.

Kimberly, thoroughly disappointed in the Heat. Getting sick of staying up late just to be let down.

Polo Says:

The problem with Federer recently is that he could play a flawless match one day but come out extremely flat in his next match. And that has been happening rather frequently recently. He does not have the same focus he had when he was younger.

Okiegal Says:

Totally agree with Ben @2:10 Monfils is such a talented player, but the word discipline is not in his vocabulary. Such a shame, really. I love to watch this guy play……almost as much as I do Rafa….but not quite!!!

Ben Pronin Says:

I don’t know if this is a good interview or not. Gulbis is definitely growing up but the press needs to, I don’t know, stay on topic? They went from today’s match to a Henman match to his play against the top 4. I mean, I don’t know. Gulbis’ answers were good, though.

Vvx Says:

Gulbis is a tw*t! Maybe egohead would have better results if he was more focussed on his own weaknesses rather than the manners of the top four.

Ben Pronin Says:

I wouldn’t really say it was a “tirade”.

I like Gulbis. I like his personality. I agree with him. The top 4 give boring interviews. It’s really nothing new. But this reaction is hilarious. He’s saying what we all know but it’s a criticism of the top 4’s INTERVIEWS and look at all of the overreacting! Tennis is gonna need to ease it’s way back into the trash talking days of past. Clearly it’s not ready for the mega-intense personality of Gulbis.

Wog boy Says:

Do you have to talk bad about someone in order to make your point?

What credibility Gulbis has to talk like that and what his achievements are? None !!

Brando Says:

Rather than judging Gulbis, since ultimately NO ONE here knows him on a personal basis and it’s just what one gauge’s from something unreliable as the media (as we know it present anything according to the agenda it has on hand) let’s look at what he argue’s:

That the top 4 are a boring bunch of personalities.

IMO: he’s right.

Including Rafa too here.

Their interview’s are monotonous, repetitive and also feel so computer programmed: where is the personality?

And it’s starting to detract from the game too.

Roger and Rafa are huge crowd puller’s due to their on court charisma but as soon as they vanish from the scene: who on earth is going to bring the crowd in from the rest?

For example:

This year when Rafa and Roger both withdrew from the MIAMI MASTERS their director publicly stated what a huge bummer it was for the tourny, and said that ticket sales have dwindled as a result.

That’s not good news considering MIAMI is one the game’s top 10 biggest tour event’s.

Not good news at all.

IMHO: this is due to the lack of personalities on show at the top.

They ALL seem so stripped of any individuality off court that they seem nothing other than a corporate’s advertising tool.

On court really only Roger and Roger due to their skill and on court charisma are able to attract more fans, but once they go- as the Miami tourny director touched upon- then what?

The game need’s more personalities- both on and off court, otherwise it’s going to head the way golf is at the moment: a niche sport that gains coverage but hardly dominate’s it in the world of sport.

Brando Says:

LOL, typo: ROger and Rafa, as opposed to Roger and …Roger.

Too many brain fart moment’s today!

Ben Pronin Says:

Just because he hasn’t won a lot of slams doesn’t mean he can’t point out that the top 4 and most of the top 10 give boring interviews. This is nothing new! It’s not like he’s saying they’re crappy tennis players. He reserves that for the rest of the top 100 ;)

Polo Says:

Federer gives the most boring interview followed very closely by Nadal. However, these two remain the top ticket sellers on the tour. So it is what you do in the tennis court that counts. As the saying goes, “Action speaks louder than words.”

Wog boy Says:

“Just because he hasn’t won a lot of slams doesn’t mean he can’t point out that the top 4 and most of the top 10 give boring interviews.”
He hasn’t won any, his best result was QF at FO 2008.
John McEnroe (I loved him) could say and do anything, he was winning GS titles and he was best in the world, and he was genuine, so you cannot compare them, not at all. I saw documentary about McEnroe and the way his father raised his boys, cannot be more further away from the way Gulbis was raised. Of course Gulbis can have his opinion, but what weight it has and how seriously we are going to look at it considering that tennis is only his hobby;)

Ben Pronin Says:

Wog boy, you haven’t been reading his interviews this year, have you? Gulbis has been serious about getting his career on track. His results haven’t been superb but it’s not like he’s just going to start winning everything because he wants to. It’s a process and he gets that now. And if you consider that we’ve been talking about him being a dangerous opponent for a solid 3, 4 months now, that’s serious progress for him. Before he’d come out once every year or so. Now he’s been steadily rising.

Winning slams doesn’t give you credibility to criticize someone’s interview. Nor does not winning any hurt your credibility. Again, he’s not insulting their tennis. If he said “I don’t like how Roger plays, it’s not that great” then that would be something to say “who the hell are you?” Otherwise, it’s really not a big deal. Everyone IS extremely conservative in their interviews. He’s not saying anything outrageous here. We discuss it on this site all the time and none of us are even making the qualifying of slams.

Wog boy Says:

Ben, I haven’t been reading his interviews this year, but I read one more than year ago, when he said 2012 is most important year for him and if he doesn’t do any good in tennis, he will be considering quiting tennis, I even posted then, here what I think about him.
Winning slam gives more credibility and more people listen to what you have to say than what Gulbis, Rosol and likes have to say. I will definitelly pay more attention what Roger or Raf have to say than the other too.
Main thing we keep forgeting when it comes to top4 interviews is that they have contracts with sponsors, ATP, ITF you named it and that they are role models for kids, you cannot say what you want and how you feel, these are not the times of 70’s 80’s . Rafa, Roger, Andy, Nole are not the same when they are in their iner circle of friends, but they are simply forced to be PC when they give interviews and is what Gulbis doesn’t understand or doesn’t want to understand. Didn’t we have case with Novak stepping out of the line few times and was forced to adjust himself in the last couple of years. I will repeat myself, we live in corporate world and they dictate the terms and conditions.

Ben Pronin Says:

I remember that. I guess he decided to give it another go. But what do Roger and Rafa ever say that’s particularly interesting?

I’m not forgetting that at all. And I’d like to think Gulbis knows it, too. But it sucks. And again, it just proves his point. Their interviews are boring. Why? They’re too PC. Why? Because the general public is filled with overreacting hypocrites who can’t handle hearing their own opinions from someone else’s mouth. We jump on Gulbis for saying he thought he played better than Nadal but have you ever talked to a tennis player after a match? They ALWAYS say that. And they believe it. It’s part of being a competitor. But the media gave Gulbis so much flack like what he said so just outrageous and he should’ve gotten on his knees and started kissing Rafa’s feet. I mean cmon! Give me a freaking break. Let these guys be themselves for change. I loved how brash Djokovic used to be. I love how he said he felt in control when he was down 2 sets to love (a statement pretty similar to what Gulbis says, no?). But now he doesn’t say anything and it’s a shame.

Wog boy Says:


contador Says:

I have always liked Gulbis. Sure, he was a real tantrum throwing, racquet tossing brat when I saw him live in Indian Wells. But it is entertaining. (Glad all players don’t all act that way, however) Anyway, that was in 2011 and he was saying he hated tennis. Now he is trying to get something out of himself – so I wait and watch. I’ve always liked his interviews. He did very well in the latest interview fielding the questions, given that the interviewer seemed to be attempting to lead the questioning and make more of a story than there is. ( Ben’s link) He sounds open and honest and knows what he has to do. Never heard him sound better, really.

Wog boy Says:


You are not wrong, he sounds very confident in that interview. We will wait and see.

contador Says:

Wog boy,

He just has too much talent to give up on him – even if I say I get frustrated, it’s useless, and stop backing him, all he has to do is say he is trying and I like him again lol…

Okiegal Says:

Boring interviews come from boring interviewers. It’s the same old questions over and over. I bet the players dread walking into the press room…..and I can understand why. IMO Roddick was the best in the press room. Loved his comebacks. I miss him.

Wog boy Says:


If we are to believe Niki Pilic, and I trust his judgment, after Novak, Gulbis is the most talented player that went through his academy and didn’t live nowhere near his potential. As I said once, Pilic made more 40 top 100 players in his academy, so I believe he can reconize talent.

skeezer Says:


Re: Roddick interviews. Agree! He owned the reporters…LOL.

Margot Says:

Andy used to do brilliant interviews and then, in one, he made a light hearted response to some teasing about Scotland being rubbish at football. Since then, he has been pilloried and reviled by a segment of the British public who, to this day, claim he is “anti-English.” No wonder he withdrew and has become so guarded in interview. Plus he has a very dry sense of humour, which let’s face it, many don’t “get.”
His tweets are far more entertaining.
Courier said Monfils has the “ideal” athlete’s body, out of all the tennis players. Can easily see him as a runner.

Brando Says:

@Margot:LOL, I couldn’t agree with you more! Especially about Andy’s tweets- some are really priceless stuff.:-) Me thinks if the real Andy came out of the closet personality wise then his would be hilarious press conference with some real witty barb on there for good measure. IMHO I think Roger and Rafa are pretty much what they seem to be: pretty polite, nice guys who are not all that different from what you see. I used to think Novak was a Safinesque kind of personality but he has toned it down to such a boresome extent- with him it seems very mechanical now in his behaviour. As for Andy: yep he got jumped on badly by the media for the England WC comment. Personally, I did not see anything wrong with it at all, but naturally the media are always going to make a headline out of nothing. I miss Marat Safin. :-(

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