French Open 2007: Andrew's TV-reports (preview + 1r + 2r + 3r + 4r + qf)
ROLAND GARROS (Paris, France; red clay; Grand Slam)
1. UK TV-alert
2. First-round draw
3. Andrew's wishes
4. Nicole Vaidišová preview
5. Order of play for Monday
This report is derived from my full tournament-reports (preview + Day 1):
1. UK TV-alert
The French Open will be televised on BBCi from 09:50 BST each day of the tournament (digital viewers press Red or select the appropriate Freeview-channel - 301 or 302).
Sunday 27th May to Sunday 3rd June, 10:00-19:00, BBCi
Monday 4th to Wednesday 6th June, 11:00-19:00, BBCi
Thursday 7th June, 13:00-19:00, BBCi
Friday 8th June, 12:00-19:00, BBCi
Saturday 9th June: Women's final 14:00-16:30, BBC Two
Sunday 10th June: Men's final 13:45-19:00, BBCi
Sunday 10th June: Highlights of men's final 16:00-17:30, BBC Two
2. First-round draw (Sunday's losers removed)
2.1 Top quarter
* JUSTINE HENIN  won
* Tamira Paszek won
* Tamarine Tanasugarn v Casey Dell'Acqua [WC]
* MARA SANTANGELO  v Agnieszka Radwańska
* Roberta Vinci v SYBILLE BAMMER  (forza Roberta!)
* Yaroslava Shvedova v Olga Savchuk [Q] (davai Yaroslava!)
* Pauline Parmentier [WC] v Mariya Koryttseva [Q]
* Sandra Klösel v LI,NA 
* DINARA SAFINA  won
* Melinda Czink v Tzipora Obziler
* Timea Bacsinszky [Q] v Zheng,Jie (hopp Timea!)
* Yvonne Meusburger v FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE 
* SÉVERINE BRÉMOND  v Michaëlla Krajíček (both nice, but I don't like Michaëlla's new hairstyle so allez Séverine!)
* Olivia Sánchez [WC] v Shenay Perry
* Milagros Sequera v Virginie Razzano
* SERENA WILLIAMS  won
2.2 Second quarter: Vaidišová
* JELENA JANKOVIĆ  v Stéphanie Foretz [WC]
* Catalina Castańo v Emma Laine [LL]
* Ashley Harkleroad v Aleksandra Wozniak (go Ashley!)
* Alizé Cornet [WC] v VENUS WILLIAMS  (allez Alizé!)
* MARION BARTOLI [18,S] v Aravane Rezaď (both nice - peut la meilleure le gagner!)
* Jarmila Gajdošová v Andrea Petković [Q]
* Mathilde Johansson [WC] v Anna-Lena Grönefeld (allez Mathilde!)
* Angelique Kerber v ELENA DEMENTIEVA 
* NADIA PETROVA  v Kveta Peschke [Q]
* Anastasiya Yakimova v Stéphanie Cohen-Aloro [WC]
* Nuria Llagostera Vives v Anna Smashnova
* Akiko Morigami [s] v TATHIANA GARBIN  (ganbatte Akiko!)
* SAMANTHA STOSUR  v Jamea Jackson
* Maria Kirilenko [DF] v Maria Elena Camerin (both nice, but my loyalty is to Kirilenko)
* Akgul Amanmuradova [Q] v Vania King
* NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [6,EF] v Emmanuelle Gagliardi (pojďme Nicole!)
2.3 Third quarter: Hantuchová
* ANA IVANOVIĆ [7,DF] v Sofia Arvidsson [LL] (ajde Ana!)
* Sania Mirza v Alberta Brianti (go Sania!)
* Tatiana Poutchek v Youlia Fedossova [WC]
* JULIA VAKULENKO  v Ioana Raluca Olaru [Q] (davai Julia!)
* Varvara Lepchenko v ANABEL MEDINA GARRIGUES  (davai Varvara!)
* Elena Likhovtseva v Chan,Yung-Jan (davai Elena!)
* Olga Poutchkova v Eleni Daniilidou (davai Olga!)
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [12,EF] v Jelena Kostanić Tošić (poďme Daniela!)
* SHAHAR PE'ER  v Kaia Kanepi (kadima Shahar!)
* Edina Gallovits v Vasilisa Bardina
* Vera Dushevina v Camille Pin
* KATARINA SREBOTNIK  v Anastasia Rodionova (dajmo Katarina!)
* MARTINA MÜLLER  v Rossana de los Ríos [Q]
* Dominika Cibulková [Q] v Sun,Tiantian (poďme Dominika!)
* Anastasia Myskina v Meghann Shaughnessy (davai Anastasia!)
* Ekaterina Bychkova v SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA  (davai Ekaterina!)
2.4 Bottom quarter: Chakvetadze, Sharapova
* AMÉLIE MAURESMO  v Laura Granville
* Caroline Wozniacki v Nathalie Dechy
* Flavia Pennetta [DF] v Nicole Pratt (forza Flavia!)
* LUCIE ŠAFÁŘOVÁ [25,DF] v Yulia Beygelzimer (pojďme Lucie!)
* AI SUGIYAMA  v Eva Birnerová
* Romina Oprandi v Meilen Tu
* Anne Kremer v Ágnes Szávay [Q]
* ANNA CHAKVETADZE [9,EF] v Alicia Molik (davai Anna!)
* Martina Suchá v PATTY SCHNYDER  (poďme Martina!)
* Zuzana Ondrášková v Kateryna Bondarenko (pojďme Zuzana!)
* Karin Knapp v Victoria Azarenka
* Iveta Benešová v ALYONA BONDARENKO  (both nice; my loyalty is to Iveta)
* GISELA DULKO [29,DF] v Hsieh,Su-Wei [Q,S] (ˇvamos Gisela!)
* Julia Schruff v Alla Kudryavtseva [Q]
* Lourdes Domínguez Lino v Jill Craybas
* MARIA SHARAPOVA [2,EF] v Emilie Loit (davai Maria!)
3. Andrew's wishes (Nicole-filtered)
NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [6,EF]:
1r + Emmanuelle Gagliardi
2r + (1r: Akgul Amanmuradova [Q] v Vania King)
3r + Maria Kirilenko [DF]
4r + Akiko Morigami [s]
qf + (1r: MARION BARTOLI [18,S] v Aravane Rezaď)
sf + SÉVERINE BRÉMOND 
_f + MARIA SHARAPOVA [2,EF]
4. Nicole Vaidišová preview
Last year, Nicole came here as a promising 17-year-old, having just won Strasbourg (her sixth and latest WTA singles-title). She enjoyed a trailblazing French Open, upsetting world #1 Amélie Mauresmo and Venus Williams back to back to reach her first Grand Slam semi-final.
This year, Nicole comes in having reached a career-high ranking of #7 on 14th May (when retired #5 Kim Clijsters was removed from the rankings), following a year with five WTA Tier I/II semi-finals (but no more WTA finals), plus her second Grand Slam semi-final at the Australian Open.
But she has been pulling out of tournaments left, right and centre with a right-wrist injury, and hasn't played since sealing a whitewash-victory for Czechia over Slovakia in World Group II of the Fed Cup on the eve of her 18th birthday.
When she pulled out of Strasbourg, Nicole said, "My wrist is still bothering me and it is not enabling me to compete at 100%. I will continue my daily rehab with my medical team in an effort to get ready for the French Open."
It's a lousy time for Nicole to be injured, and her ranking looks set to plummet out of the top ten as the points from Strasbourg and the French Open 2006 come off. She's already down from #7 to #10 after Strasbourg (too late to affect her French Open seeding), and could drop as low as #15 after the French Open unless she can pull off a miracle. :-(
4.1 First round
Emmanuelle Gagliardi is currently ranked #110, and has played a mixture of WTA Tour and ITF Women's Circuit tournaments this year, with a positive 17:13 win/loss ratio, but nothing too scary (her highest victim being #79 Ekaterina Bychkova).
Gagliardi has even less power than the young Tatiana Golovin who beat her at Wimbledon 2004 - the last time that I saw Gagliardi play. Normally, Nicole would eat her for breakfast, but with Nicole's wrist-injury meaning that she cannot play at 100%, there's a big question-mark over Nicole's prospects against anyone at the moment.
So if Nicole doesn't reach the second round, it will be 100% because of her wrist-injury and nothing to do with Gagliardi's modest abilities.
4.2 Second round
Vania King (presumably no relation to Billie Jean King) is one of the dying breed of young Americans, none of whom seem to be worthy successors to Monica Seles, Jennifer Capriati, Lindsay Davenport or the Williams sisters.
King had a stunning run to the Bangkok Tier III title last October, with six 6-1 sets in her first four matches! But she's had a disappointing 2007 so far, with an 11:12 win/loss record and a highest victim of #59 Jelena Kostanić Tošić.
Akgul Amanmuradova is a dangerous floater. She's very tall, with a big serve, and looks just like the first four letters of her surname! ;-) But her 2007 results are even more modest than King's (highest victim #90 Jarmila Gajdošová).
A healthy Nicole would have no trouble in her first two rounds.
4.3 Third round
My dream match-up would be Nicole v Maria Kirilenko, but sadly Little Maria's slump has gone from bad to worse this year, and she comes into Roland Garros on a losing-streak of 6 matches, although she did score a 6-1 6-2 win over #28 Flavia Pennetta and a 6-2 6-3 win over #15 Shahar Pe'er early in the year.
The /likely/ opponent is Samantha Stosur. I don't know how much she serves & volleys on clay, but she beat #4 Amélie Mauresmo at Rome a couple of weeks ago, and is an altogether more dangerous opponent for Nicole than the other six players in this 16th - although Nicole does have a 3:0 head-to-head, with comprehensive victories in their last two meetings.
4.4 Fourth round
Nicole faces a steep difficulty-gradient if she has to play Nadia Petrova - the powerful and muscular player who won WTA Paris in February and was runner-up to Tatiana Golovin at Amelia Island, but who retired at Rome with low-back pain two weeks ago.
Petrova leads their head-to-head 3:1, and their last meeting was a 6-1 6-2 blow-out at Linz last October. Nicole's lone win over Petrova came in the Bangkok 2005 final: 16-year-old Nicole won her fifth WTA singles-title while 23-year-old Petrova had yet to win one - but now Petrova has won seven titles to Nicole's six!
The form-player in this quarter is recent world #4 Jelena Janković, who has won the titles at Auckland, Charleston and Rome this year. Many people are talking about Janković like they expect her to win a Grand Slam. I can only assume that she's developed her game radically from the low-power counterpuncher she's been every time /I've/ seen her play - most recently when she was the beneficiary of Venus Williams's unforced errors at Wimbledon 2006.
Nicole leads their head-to-head 4:2, but Janković has won two of their last three meetings - most significantly in 3r US Open 2006, where Janković went on to reach the semi-finals where she choked even more dramatically than Nicole did on the verge of reaching what would have been her first Grand Slam final.
I think Janković made a major blunder by playing Strasbourg this week instead of resting between Rome and the French Open, and she paid the price as she withdrew with gastrointestinal illness after reaching the semi-finals. So she might not be 100% by the start of her French Open campaign.
Another possibility is a rematch of last year's French Open quarter-final between Nicole and Venus Williams. Venus has an impressive 19:5 win/loss record for 2007 so far, but she seems unable to keep the unforced errors at bay when it matters most, and she lost to #59 Aravane Rezaď at Constantinople this week.
The other likely quarter-finalist is 2004 runner-up Elena Dementieva, who won Constantinople when Rezaď retired from the final. Dementieva has an impressive 16:7 win/loss record for 2007 so far, despite missing March and April with a career-threatening stress-fracture in her rib. Nicole won their latest meeting: at the Australian Open 2007.
While I fantasise that the pretty Yuliana Fedak will come through [Edit: Yuliana lost on Sunday], Nicole would likely be facing the winner of a quarter-final between the two form-players of the year so far: Serena Williams and Justine Henin.
I pick Henin to come through that one because clay is her best surface and Serena's worst, and Serena seems to have fallen off from the awesome form that won her the Australian Open and Miami, as she has been struggling with a groin-injury in recent weeks: she retired against Chan,Yung-Jan at Charleston, and lost to Patty Schnyder at Rome.
Nicole has a 0:2 head-to-head against each of Henin and Serena, so defending her semi-final is the best that can be hoped for at this stage. I can only pray that her wrist will have healed in time for the start of her French Open campaign.
5. Order of play for Monday
Court 1 (start 11:00 CEST = 09:00 GMT = 10:00 BST)
1. MS 1r: NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO  v Stefano Galvani
2. WS 1r: Milagros Sequera v Virginie Razzano
3. MS 1r: Radek Štěpánek v FERNANDO GONZÁLEZ 
4. WS 1r: NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [6,EF] v Emmanuelle Gagliardi
Full order of play:
Dr. Andrew Broad
Last edited by andrewbroad; Jun 11th, 2007 at 08:16 AM.
Reason: edit Title