Nadal, Murray Roll At French Open, Federer Djokovic Return Friday In Third Round
by Sean Randall | May 29th, 2014, 6:33 pm

It’s been quite an upsetting French Open thus far. Tournament favorites Stan Wawrinka, Serena Williams, Li Na, Grigor Dimitrov and even Venus Williams all bowed out before “their time”. But that’s been the theme for most of the season – surprises, surprises and more surprises.

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending upon your allegiances, the stalwart Big Four march on. Today Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray broke barely a sweat taking down their opponents who had combined for zero career wins at Roland Garros before the week began.

Nadal blasted Dominic Thiem in straight sets 6-2, 6-2, 6-3. After a suspect clay lead-up Rafa is looking like Rafa again. And that’s scary. For all his promise – and he has a lot (IMO he’s the best of the young guns), the 20-year-old Thiem just couldn’t hang with Nadal’s relentless attack, and not sure who can outside of Novak Djokovic. Still, one day in the future Thiem will have his revenge.

Murray was much of the same, simply overmatching Marinko Matosevic who at 28 broke a 12-match losing streak to win his first career Slam match. It’s nice for the Australian but for Murray it was hardly a test.

So after all the upsets this week, nothing much happened today. American Donald Young had a notable win over Feliciano Lopez in a battle of clay-challenged lefties.

David Ferrer, Richard Gasquet and even another rising American, Jack Sock, all rolled into the third round.

Fernando Verdasco came from two sets down to advance. And in what will be the match of the first week, Gael Monfils and Fabio Fognini will meet on Saturday after the two drama queens/kings won today.

In the women’s draw, with the Williams sisters and Li Na out, Maria Sharapova is the favorite. But not far behind is Simona Halep who had an nice 6-2, 6-4win today over Heather Watson. If Halep can handle the pressure and Maria gets upset, the Romanian could be the the champ – I believe the last 7 years have seen 7 different women’s winners.

As for the upsets…

Stan Wawrinka – We asked if being a Grand Slam champion would be too much of a burden and it turns out it is. At least he got his Australian because I don’t see him getting another.

Serena Williams – How can we continue to call her the best player on the planet when she keeps losing Slams? I guess there’s no one to take her place.

Li Na – Former champion nearly retired in the middle of last year. My guess is we’ll hear that talk again after Wimbledon.

Grigor Dimitrov – So much talent but a decent clay season flushed down the toilet in a disappointing loss to Ivo Karlovic.

So as we’ve seen really anything can happen. Anything is fair game. Nothing is certain.

On tap tomorrow we have Roger Federer against Dimitrov Tursunov. Novak Djokovic faces Marin Cilic and in what looks to be the best match of the day JW Tsonga takes on Jerzy Janowicz. That one should be fun. And also Milos Raonic battles Gilles Simon. If Raonic is worth the hype, it’s a match he can and should win. Simon’s a heady player but clay isn’t his best.

ESPN2 will have the matches early then handing off to Tennis Channel.

Court Philippe Chatrier 11:00 AM Start
Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)[3] vs. Ajla Tomljanovic (CRO)
Dmitry Tursunov (RUS)[31] vs. Roger Federer (SUI)[4]
Paula Ormaechea (ARG) vs. Maria Sharapova (RUS)[7]
Milos Raonic (CAN)[8] vs. Gilles Simon (FRA)[29]

Court Suzanne Lenglen 11:00 AM Start
Dominika Cibulkova (SVK)[9] vs. Samantha Stosur (AUS)[19]
Marin Cilic (CRO)[25] vs. Novak Djokovic (SRB)[2]
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)[13] vs. Jerzy Janowicz (POL)[22]
Daniela Hantuchova (SVK)[31] vs. Angelique Kerber (GER)[8]

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99 Comments for Nadal, Murray Roll At French Open, Federer Djokovic Return Friday In Third Round

htamak Says:

Raonic vs Simon thats what I’m looking forward to! Although Tsonga vs Janowicz is potentially the bomb. Cibulkova vs Stosur could shine too.

andrea Says:

amazing that donald young is still in the mix. he’s a chronic under achiever and clay isn’t his best surface so kudos to him for making it this far.

Humble Rafa Says:

I broke up with my well-lined up water bottle in a 3 minute phone call. Should I be worried?

contador Says:

Ahhh, I get my annual FO Monfils vs Fognini this Saturday. Very happy.

Tomorrow, I will have my DVR recording set for Court 1, where the sexy Steps worm will try to wriggle by Ernests Gulbis. Come on G-bis. Right after that match will be Taylor Townsend vs. Carla Suarez Navarro.

Also looking forward to seeing who wins between Garbine Muguruza and Anna Schmiedlova – the Williams Sisters beaters.

Especially impressed by the Spanish 20 year old, G. Muguruza.

Goatexpert Says:

some good matches today. I think another seed bites the dust!

Nadal has the easiest road to the QF. I hope he at least has to beat ferrer, Murray then Djokovic if he is to win his 9th. Can’t really see anyone other than djoke or Nadal winning this right now.

M Says:

@andrea – was hoping Feli would make it through, but one of the underachievers had to go down.

Looking forward to Monfils v. Fognini. Truly the Battle of the Drama Kings.

funches Says:


The last time I disagreed with you on something so strongly, you proved to be right and I was wrong. Don’t remember what it was.

But the idea that Thiem is the best of the young guys is absurd, at least based on the evidence to this point. HIs signature win, against Wawrinka at Madrid, has been totally devalued since then by Stan’s mediocre performance.

Otherwise, I don’t see the big wins. Simon at Indian Wells? Granollers at Barcelona. I see some bad losses, though, to Mahut at Monte Carlo, Giraldo at Barcelona, someone named Gombos in Davis Cup, and a almost terrible loss last week to Steve Johnson in Nice, when an American with a slice backhand served for the match three times before losing,

Thiem has a lot of game, but then so do a ton of ATP players who never go far. He is an amazing 18-1 in qualifying matches this year, but that doesn’t do much more for me than Carrena-Busta’s Challenger run last year.

roy Says:

the truth about williams is she got lucky when henin, clijsters and even mauresmo retired.
they were all either matching or getting the better of her before injuries put them away.
for some reason the generation following either can’t serve or have no mental toughness.

williams was getting exposed for a period but then the competition weakened significantly

gonzalowski Says:

cool photo….

Michael Says:

Rafa looks in murderous form although I thought that Theim played really well which the easy scoreline might not reveal. His inside out forehand was a marvel and was troubling Rafa. But, unfortunately for Theim, he met Rafa on a day he could not make anything wrong. That well sealed the match in Rafa’s favour who with his impeccable error free Tennis can outlast any opponent irrespective of how well they play. Still there is more to play and it remains to be seen if Rafa is able to place his hands on Rolland Garros trophy for an unprecedented 9th time.

senorita Says:

Overall rating, Nadal has 318m, Fed 105m and Djoko 91m. Fordet the ATP rigged poll of fans’ favourite.

Hippy Chic Says:

Now Aggie goes out,gutted :-((…. Says:

Roy, that’s just a load of nonsense.
Clijsters (2-7 against Serena with ONE pre-comeback Slam) and Mauresmo (2-11 against Serena, with two Slams)
Really? You think Serena was shaking about a player she was 11-2 against with a double digit Slam count lead?

Come on dude. Its fine to not like a player but don’t come round here with bollocks like that.

By the way, despite a brief dominant period, Henin had a losing record against Serena. And Williams won their last two matches.

Sirius Says:


according to some, the continuous success of a player only comes due to weak competition. The only exception being the ever so dominant rafa nadal who had to deal with the strongest(!) era ever

Polo Says:

TennisVagabond, you are correct about Serena against her competitors.

Hippy Chic, I feel sorry for Radwanska because good as she is, she sorely lacks power. She always has to play at her peak against anyone. Against powerful players, she is always at their mercy and in a majors, she is almost always destined to meet at least one powerful player who is playing well.

Polo Says:

Ouch! Federer lost the second set after holding a set point. Scared for him now.

skeezer Says:

Fed having difficulties with Tursonov as expected (imo). Never liked his form on the last match…..

Ben Pronin Says:

How many break points has Federer squandered now? How well is Tursonov playing?

Josh Says:

Tursunov is a tricky opponent – he’s really putting everything into this. I thought he would be 2 sets down now

skeezer Says:

Still trying to drum up ways to trash the best players in the world for your loves sake. She holds 17 GS Singles titles. Pffft.

skeezer Says:

BP won 2/10 so far. Fed up an early break in the 3rd.

Josh Says:

@skeezer: good. He needs to get back on track as quickly as possible, particularly since the next round could be very tough indeed for him

skeezer Says:

Fed wins the 3rd 6-2, looking much better atm.

Ben Pronin Says:

Cilic not going down without a fight either. What a ridiculous third round match-up.

I like how everyone cried so hard about the lopsided draw in Australia but when Nadal gets no seeds and Djokovic gets Chardy, Cilic, and Jerzy/Tsonga before the quarters, no one bats an eye.

Polo Says:

Fed wins the third but Tursunov is ailing. I’m not sure about Federer’s form for this tournament. Scared for him the rest of the way. Says:

Chardy is a Slam threat now?

contador Says:

So both Federer and Djokovic look a little vulnerable today, imo.

Come on, you top seeds….

skeezer Says:

Absolutely agree. Rafafanatics are snickering..and hiding in response…hehe. When does Nadal ever face a seed this tourney anyway, the finals (sarc)?

Ben Pronin Says:

He took out Delpo a few years ago. I’m not saying he’s a threat but he’s not an ideal second round opponent. Djokovic owns him but, c’mon, that’s what you’re going to nitpick?

Polo Says:

Is Isner the most boring player to watch? His matches just seem to drag on and on and on.

Ben Pronin Says:

I don’t mind Isner when he’s dictating. His forehand can be pretty awesome. But yeah, it’s because he looks like he’s dragging himself all the time. Says:

Well, Almagro, the theoretical R16 guy, is a Cilic level player, but one who actually just beat Rafa.
Ferrer is a better player than Tsonga AND just beat Rafa.

So Chardy is really your argument that Novak has a killer draw over Rafa…

Thomas Says:

LOLOL@ gulbis’s press conference–ten.html

Q. You have two younger sisters that play tennis, as well. Are they going to be as good as you? When was the last time you played with hem?

ERNESTS GULBIS: Hopefully they will not pursue professional tennis career. Hopefully. Because for a woman, it’s tough. I wouldn’t like my sisters to become professional tennis players. It’s tough choice of life.
A woman needs to enjoy life a little bit more. Needs to think about family, needs to think about kids. What kids you can think about until age of 27 if you’re playing professional tennis, you know.
That’s tough for a woman, I think.

Ben Pronin Says:

Almagro, the theoritcal 4th round opponent, right? Cilic is Djokovic’s second round opponent. Ferrer is the quartfinal opponent, right? Tsonga could be the fourth round opponent.

In Australia, Nadal and Djokovic lost to the same guy. But that guy was in Djokovic’s half, therefore he actually ended up with the tougher draw. But it didn’t stop everyone from going crazy about the lopsided-ness of it all. No there’s nary a peep all because Nadal had some crazy losses in Barcelona and Monte Carlo?

Polo Says:

Isner never dictates, otherwise, with a serve like that, he should not be having too many tiebreak sets. That just tells me he cannot do anything against his opponents serves.

contador Says:

@Thomas says:

“LOLOL@ gulbis’s press conference”

That is a protective big brother talking….( hahahaha…. hope he is not always so sexist !!) Says:

Ben, I see you’re point, I had the rounds mixed up. I would still prefer a line-up of Colic, Tsonga, Raonic to X, Almagro, Ferrer in this context.
Its not a case where Novak’s draw is absurd and Rafa’s a joke. Now, if you want to compare to the cupcake draws Fed and Andy got…

Ben Pronin Says:

Robredo lost the first set after hitting only 2 unforced errors. You’d think that’d be perfect on clay. As much as everyone hates his game, I give Isner a lot of credit for eeking out wins like this time and time again.

Ben Pronin Says:

I have no idea why people value Almagro so much. He’s terrible. Cilic is at least formidable. Yes Ferrer over Tsonga any day. But Almagro is terrible and I can’t emphasize this enough.

contador Says:

Isner is on a roll. What are his chances of winning the FO?

contador Says:

Almagro is terrible.

skeezer Says:

Fed is through. Next match against the Wild Thing. Awesome. Says:

I don’t value Almagro at all. I’d rather have a chocolate bar. But he IS ranked higher than Cilic and he DID just beat Rafa on clay.

Polo Says:

Almagro is terrible.

Josh Says:

Djokovic and Federer, as much as I love them, have not quite shown their best today. Cilic and Tursunov putting up decent fights, extending them both to 4 sets. Time to step it up in the 4th round.

skeezer Says:

Did you se the match where Nico beat Rafa? He played for once out of his mind. Not repeatable. Cilic is always a tough out. I think the point here is, meeting a Cilic or an Almagro in the 2nd rd of a Slam is no cupcake for any of the top 4.
Btw they both have been ranked as high as #9 in their careers…

contador Says:

lol, ddn’t Rafa donate that win to Nico?

Wild Thing vs Federer….woot!

Josh Says:

Novak could have been 5-1 up in this set ages ago, instead it’s 4-4…

contador Says:

If you are not watching Schmiedlova vs Muguruza, you should be, very easy on the eyes, TV. :D

Daniel Says:

Fed and Djoko lost sets in what was expected tricky matches. Djoko even losyt a 4-1 lead in 4th set but still leads 5-4.

Agree with Ben, with Djokos draw, he is expected to loses sets in versus CIlic, Tsonga, Milos and Fed, whereas on Nadal case looking at the draw, only Ferrer (big if) and Almagro (another big if) and Maybe Murray/Wawa could win sets. In Djoko’s case if he reached semis without droping sets it would be afeat already with the caliber of players, not ranking it self.

contador Says:

Agree with you, Josh. I can’t watch that anymore. Nole is frustrating me – I want to see him bossing at this point.

Switched to the Williams sisters beaters.

Daniel Says:

Berdych is cruising.

Gulbis has a real shot. If he beats Fed, he has winnable match against Berdych (which is cruisng now by the way) and a chance of going deep to a potential semis against Novak. Maybe he was under the radar and would be the young gun story of this tourney.

But I liked that Fed went through, was able to watch second set and Tursunov smacked the ball. Fed had 3 set points on 6-5 Tursonov serve but could capitalize and lost tiebreak. Culd have been an 3 set win with 2 tight sets, instead was a long match (3 hours). But he came true and played decent. it was not because he was making awful errors or struggling, it was just a tuff match with both playing at a high level.

Daniel Says:

MP Djoko on CIlic serve

contador Says:

Nole wins the match…..oh ouch but Marin Cilic double faulted. Nole wins on a Cilic double fault. Yikes

Daniel Says:

From here on out Djoko could get a tuff road if he gets Tsonga, Milos and Fed. Any straight set win would be a blessing for him, but draw can open up (Tsonga and Milos will still play today)and he has to face: Jerry, Simon and Gulbis or Berdych before final, that won’t look too complicated for him. Remain to be seen…

contador Says:

Oh Daniel… will shut-up during the Gulbis-Federer match. But you got to know I am all for Gulbis going ALL the way! Gulbis FTW!

Polo Says:

Djokovic and Federer not stellar in spite of their wins today. I won’t worry about Djokovic but Federer is on a ledge. Berdych played extremely well but wait till he gets into the finals where he’ll fold like a third rate player.

Polo Says:

Contador, Gulbis is hard to figure out but he is very capable of beating anyone. Federer tends to surprise people by losing unexpectedly…it would be one interesting match.

Polo Says:

Women’s tennis has now undeniably turned to crap. Who’s going to save it? There seems to be nobody in sight.

contador Says:

Yes Wild thing vs Federer promises to be good, as matches go. But I don’t cheer against Federer on Tennis-x. Learned my lesson a couple times here cheering on Delpo over Federer. ; )

Womens tennis was looking good, Polo. If you tune into Muguruza – tall, beautiful, athletic, 20 year old Spaniard can really serve and has lots of confidence. Schmiedlova is new on the scene too. Add in Halep and WTA is looking good, imo.

contador Says:

I hope Jerzy Janowicz at least plays well and we get a good match when it stops raining on Suzanne Lenglen.

Jo Willie vs Jerzy Says:

Contador, meet us back here and cheer for Gulbis.
But I hate to say it, when you fall for a bad boy you’ll just get your heart broken.
Gulbis could beat anyone, sure. But he doesn’t.
(although I do remember that clay tournament years back when he beat Fed in the semis and then brought a good challenge to Rafa in the finals… all of which is to say, he’s a temptress. Don’t give him your heart)

RZ Says:

I think Gulbis has a great shot against Fed, but it all depends on which Gulbis shows up for that match – the world class beater or the self-destructor. It also depends on which Fed shows up – TMF/maestro or shankerer.

RZ Says:

@Polo (10:35am) – are you talking for the tournament or long-term?

contador Says:

It is too late TV. In person, I would never take a guy like him seriously. I am very safe from him @ TV. You are so sweet to care ; )

Most of the time I like the unique, Safinesque personality on court. He can get OTT, as can Fabulous Fogna. They are just flashy players. Tour needs those characters.

With as many favorites as I have, my heart is pretty safe. thanks

Ben Pronin Says:

Jerzy, Simon and Gulbis or Berdych are the possible back-up players Djokovic could face, for lack of a better term.

This is why he has a tougher draw than Nadal. Who are Nadal’s back-up opponents? Says:

Ben, no one knows, they’re still listed as Qualifier A, B, C in the draw.

contador Says:

Here they are….Jo Willie and Jerzy! hehehe….

Some boo’s from the crowd for the young Pole…not nice. Hope Jerzy brought a cheering section.

Ben Pronin Says:

Clever. But I think I’ve proven my point. When Djokovic gets an easy draw it’s blasphemy. When Nadal gets one, it’s no big deal, just luck of the draw.

It’s always luck of the draw but let’s try to remember that next time Djokovic or even Federe get a cupcake, a brownie, and a slice of pie as their first 3 opponents.

contador Says:

JJ can move well for 6’8″

Ben Pronin Says:

Isner up 2 sets to 0 on Robredo on clay. I know Robredo could still very likely come back, but again I give Isner a lot of credit.

contador Says:

@Tennis Vagabond, Gulbis has improved, for the most part, he is more controlled on court. He says he now knows how important it is to keep partying out of his tennis. He wants to improve. That’s a big difference from in 2011. And you can see he now has the fitness to back up his claims.

He still gets too crazy and nervous on the big points. Federer would have to have an off day or a shankerer day.

Go Gulbis!

Hippy Chic Says:

To be fair Novak has the toughest draw here,and Rafa got a fluffy one this time swings and roundabouts as they say,however what appears easy on paper is one thing,but the reality can be somewhat different,sometimes easy can be too easy,Novak will probably be more battle hardened than Rafa should both get that far?also with the age factor and the law of averages catching up with Rafa,and also the tricky year hes had so far,maybe thats why some of us are keeping shtum, and waiting to see what unfolds, rather than saying hey its got an easy draw,so therefore he has this title in the bag,at least one cannot be left with egg on their faces should all go tits up,sometimes it doesnt matter what you say though you just cannot win?

Margot Says:

Gulbis was just interviewed on TV. To my surprise he came over as charming, funny, clever and self aware!
Goodness, might even find myself a fan….wowzer!
Meanwhile GO JO. Has just won the first set. Can’t stand the scowly one.
I think Aggie was still carrying an injury. Heavily strapped and not moving very well, normally her biggest asset.

Susan Says:

To Hippy chick, you said

“Novak will probably be more battle hardened than Rafa should both get that far”

Maybe Djokovic could be more tired.

Hippy Chic Says:

Susan yeah thats also true,the point is an easy draw doesnt necassarily mean you are destined for the title or the final,depends if both actually get that far,and the way this tournaments been going im not taking anything for granted,so until then its all moot anyway….

contador Says:

Margot, Ernie has matured. He is high strung on court, though. Always vigilant, watching the ball kids, fans in the crowd, the lines people – seems very ADD to me. He needs to just have tunnel vision and get the job done.

contador Says:

Allez, Allez….

contador Says:

Go Frenchies…

Ben Pronin Says:

Robredo hit 41 winners and 11 errors in 4 sets on clay and lost. He was 0/13 on break points. Big John is carrying the American flag pretty high right about now. Says:

Simon is a good test for Raonic. Will force him to hit a lot of groundstrokes. If he can survive, it will be a valuable practice.

contador Says:

You are right TV. And Simon is an intelligent, mentally tough player.

I picked Milos to win this but it won’t be easy.

Daniel Says:

Seems Tsonga is fired up playing home. WIll he finish the job he could/should have done in 2012 against Djoko?! If he found his form again and enter in his groove could be a thriller match.

contador Says:

Very important hold from Milos.

contador Says:

One can only dream….@ Daniel

Seeing Tsonga win Roland Garros…..allez!

madmax Says:

senorita Says:
Overall rating, Nadal has 318m, Fed 105m and Djoko 91m. Fordet the ATP rigged poll of fans’ favourite.

May 30th, 2014 at 3:34 am

Everyone is the favourite senorita. No such things as a rigged poll of fans.

Yes, Gulbis v Federer will be an interesting one, that’s for sure.

Always surprises me when a player declares, with such cockiness that he will win – which is more or less what Ernie is saying. No humility in the slightest. Yet, he has a chance. He has beaten Fed before on clay. It’s just the cocky attitude, rather than the more underplayed, but confident attitude that I have problems with.

Let the tennis do the talking, and of course, Allez, Vamos, Go, Fed!

Hippy Chic Says:

Madmax nice post exactly….

Ben Pronin Says:

Holy moly what a weird scoreline.

Ben Pronin Says:

Big men making their mark on clay! Raonic is through!!!

contador Says:

Milos makes it. Happy for him. Sad for Simon.

contador Says:

Klizan and Granollers fight on into the night, with no end in sight. Says:

Huge win.
I said on the other thread, Raonic has had the most consistent success on the big stages of the mostly-disappointing Class of ’11. Technically, Raonic is higher ranked, but Simon is a legit top tenner as well, and he dips his toe there from time to time. Its one thing to approach the top ten- a la Cilic, Gasquet, Simon, Gulbis, Dolgopolov, Monfils, its another thing to stay there. Raonic is becoming, like Bedych and Tsonga till recently, a mainstay in the top ten. And he’s improving.
So many big things about this: proving himself on clay, winning on a big stage against a tough crowd, having the fitness to beat Simon in a long five-setter.
Great stuff.
If he isn’t too beat up, he has an amazing opportunity to make the quarterfinals. Hope he gives Djokovic a real run there.

contador Says:

I like Milos – don’t think of him any more as just a serve at all. Isner’s tennis is tough for me to get behind – very unpatriotic of me.

But I will really dislike either of them taking out Nole here. I will possibly cry, in fact…and stomp my feet…and so on.

Margot Says:

Will you “scweem scweem until you’re thwick?”
Violet Elizabeth (;)) Bott, from “Just William” books…….
A wonderful character, I hasten to add.

Hippy Chic Says:

Margot lol nice one,i remember the TV series Just William when i was a little girl,was it Bonnie Lanford who said that?lets just say if Andy doesnt win Wimbledon i will cry,stomp my feet,have a paddy,and throw my teddy out of my pram he he….

Margot Says:

Yeah, Bonnie made a perfect “Violet!” Don’t suppose our American/European friends know WTH we’re talking about ;)
Martin Jarvis was reading a couple recently on the radio. Still find them hilarious.

Hippy Chic Says:

Margot nah i dont suppose they do,and the SOH is very different to ours anyway(no disrespect of course),it was a very British comedy,made for and by British people….

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