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tennisIlove09
May 24th, 2005, 02:44 PM
One And Done: Defending Champ Myskina Falls In French Open First Round
http://www.sportsmediainc.net/tennisweek/SanchezLorenzoSMULLANE05.jpg
Photo By Susan Mullane By Richard Pagliaro
05/24/2005

Slumping into her court-side seat, Anastasia Myskina swiped the sweat from her face with a towel and stared at the red clay in front of her as if contemplating a confounding chasm confronting her. The reigning Roland Garros champion stood up and returned to the court, but could not wipe away the deep deficit she found herself facing against Maria Sanchez Lorenzo.



A year ago, Myskina made history as the first Russian woman to win a major and now she was about to make history for all the wrong reasons. Her name is reminiscent of Russian royalty, but today Myskina could not carry her crown for one round as the 109th-ranked Sanchez Lorenzo scored a stirring 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 opening-round upset of Myskina at Roland Garros.

The fifth-seeded Myskina made history as the first defending champion to fall in the first round of the French Open in the 80-year history of the women's singles. Myskina was the third woman defending champion to suffer a first-round Grand Slam setback.

The 1989 Roland Garros junior doubles champion scored the biggest win of her career at a tournament where she had bowed before the second round in five of her previous seven Roland Garros appearances. It was Sanchez Lorenzo's first victory in a major since she beat British wild card Katie O'Brien in the opening-round of the 2004 Wimbledon.

The 27-year-old from Barcelona entered this match with a 4-10 record on the season and just one clay-court win to her credit, but she basically beat Myskina at her own game in striking deep shots devoid of pace that permitted the lethargic Russian to implode in errors.

Myskina's problems began long before she took the court today to launch defense of her title.

An aching shoulder prevented her from raising her racquet above her head to hit serves in practice for Roland Garros. The should pain was secondary to the personal anguish she's endured with the illness of her mother, Galina. Myskina arrived in Paris as a wounded worrier and the most vulnerable defending champion since Iva Majoli reached the 1998 quarterfinals the year she upset Martina Hingis to win her lone major in Paris.

"I just want to say, my mom was sick, she has a problem with her health, (a) really serious problem, so I have been dealing with this for the past couple of months," Myskina told the media on Sunday. "I would like (you) to not ask any questions about this any more. It has been a pretty hard time, but I am a professional tennis player so I have to play no matter what."

In addition to her sore shoulder, she was in dire need of a confidence transplant. Myskina endured an abysmal clay-court campaign, winning one match in three clay-court events prior to Paris. Looking listless for much of the match today, Myskina lacked the energy to even toss a tantrum, which has often been the emotional trigger to fire her up for past comebacks.

Holding a 4-2 first-set lead, Myskina typically precise strokes grew sloppy. Like a painter whose brush couldn't find the canvas she surrendered four consecutive games; slapping a forehand wide to to drop serve and face a 4-5 deficit she donated the set in the following game by sending a backhand beyond the baseline.

Sanchez Lorenzo won the first set in her lone prior meeting with Myskina, but ultimately lost the match, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the third round of the 2003 U.S. Open.

Neither woman could hold serve at the start of the second set as both players sent shots down the middle for long stretches of rallies as if unwilling to take too much risk. Myskina broke serve to take the second set and even the match, but rather than rallying from that reprieve, Myskina played tight, timid tennis in the final set.

A year ago, Myskina’s consistent counter-punching and willingness to fight carried her to the Roland Garros crown with successive victories over four seeded players — Svetlana Kuznetsova, Venus Williams, Jennifer Capriati and Elena Dementieva — but while she hit all the right shots on pivotal points last year, she resorted to a hit and hope approach today.

Striking shots with two hands off both sides, Sanchez Lorenzo picked on the Myskina forehand and forced the defending champion to try to create opportunities. Myskina's inability to initiate offensive openings was a direct result of diminished confidence. But even when she's at the top of her game, the slender Russian is much more comfortable counter-punching against harder-hitting opponents than she is taking control of baseline exchanges. At times, Myskina would hit a well-placed shot that forced Sanchez Lorenzo on the run, but rather than follow up the shot and pursue her advantage, she retreated behind the baseline effectively allowing Sanchez Lorenzo back in the point.

Netting a pair of returns off pedestrian serves, Myskina fell behind 0-4 as her window of opportunity shrunk to about the size of the white micro mini shorts she wore.

If Sanchez Lorenzo needed further fuel to complete the most monumental victory of her career, she could see it in the eyes of Myskina, who wore the haunted expression she showed in blowing a 5-1 lead in the decisive set of her 7-5, 5-7, 8-6 loss to Justine Henin-Hardenne in the semifinals of the Athens Olympic Games last summer.

Her eyes empty of emotion, Myskina flailed a forehand wide — her 65th unforced error of the match — then sliced a wild backhand wide to donate serve and fall behind 0-5. Sanchez Lorenzo reached triple match point with a service winner. Two points later, Myskina concluded a 17-shot rally by slapping a forehand into the net.

As the women walked to net for the post-match handshake there was no demonstrative celebration from the veteran Sanchez Lorenzo, who is well aware of Myskina's troubles and the humbling nature of the sport. Offering a sympathetic kiss to Myskina on both cheeks, Sanchez Lorenzo applauded the supportive crowd.

Myskina's departure leaves 2004 French Open finalist Elena Dementieva as the highest seed in the second quarter. The fourth-seeded Dementieva defeated Barbora Strycova, 6-3, 6-3. Venus Williams, a 2002 French Open finalist who won her first title of the year at Istanbul on Saturday, and 18th-seeded Italian Silvia Farina Elia are two other players who could come out of this quarter of the draw.

For complete Roland Garros results, please visit Roland Garros.com (http://www.rolandgarros.com/).

Helen Lawson
May 24th, 2005, 02:49 PM
I feel for her, I've been there! I made some crap movies in '59 after my big Oscar win. I mean, Thunder in the Sun with Jeff Chandler and Woman Obsessed with Stephen Boyd weren't going to get me back up at the Oscar podium. She'll bounce back! I segued into retirement and just took big money junk roles after that (and I mean BIG money junk roles), but I can tell that Anastasia wants it more than I ever did, plus, I was like 42 years old and she's only 20 something.

*JR*
May 24th, 2005, 04:07 PM
I feel for her, I've been there! I made some crap movies in '59 after my big Oscar win. I mean, Thunder in the Sun with Jeff Chandler and Woman Obsessed with Stephen Boyd weren't going to get me back up at the Oscar podium. She'll bounce back! I segued into retirement and just took big money junk roles after that (and I mean BIG money junk roles), but I can tell that Anastasia wants it more than I ever did, plus, I was like 42 years old and she's only 20 something.
@ least you didn't wind up doing infomercials like Sally. :o

Helen Lawson
May 24th, 2005, 04:12 PM
@ least you didn't wind up doing infomercials like Sally. :o

Hon, I do do infomercials, though only in Japan so none of my millions of American and European fans will know. I do cigarette infomercials, mostly, I did a couple of lighter ads, some hair dye ads, some make-up ones. I do lots of alcohol ads. They wanted me to do a chewing tobacco ad to try to get Japanese women into fun pasttime of tobacco chewing, but I refused, I'm not going to sit there for an hour with cotton shoved in my gum spitting into a coke can for an hour, even I have my limits!

Cybelle Darkholme
May 24th, 2005, 04:45 PM
Sad. Her ranking will plummet now. I hope she can get her act together in time for the US Open. I doubt its going to happen by wimbledon but she may surprise us.

©@®eLess
May 24th, 2005, 04:56 PM
Poor Anastasia,

Myskina, Srebotnik my faves are out
and Jankovic is on her way too :sad:

brunof
May 24th, 2005, 05:15 PM
As the women walked to net for the post-match handshake there was no demonstrative celebration from the veteran Sanchez Lorenzo, who is well aware of Myskina's troubles and the humbling nature of the sport. Offering a sympathetic kiss to Myskina on both cheeks, Sanchez Lorenzo applauded the supportive crowd.


It would have been easy to go wild over this win, but classy stuff from Sanchez-Lorenzo. :worship:

manu32
May 24th, 2005, 08:06 PM
best wishes to nastya

Spunky83
May 24th, 2005, 08:09 PM
It would have been easy to go wild over this win, but classy stuff from Sanchez-Lorenzo. :worship:

Yup :worship: If I could, Maria would get a good rep point for it ;)

Alvarillo
May 24th, 2005, 08:40 PM
Nastya :sad:
Mery :) you deserved it ! congrats :hearts:

DevilishAttitude
Oct 5th, 2006, 06:07 PM
BUMP

A good win for Maria after a dreadful start to 2005. Myskina was in a huge slump but still nice for her to look back on now she's retired.

This board was down all that RG week.

Adios Maria! :wavey:

frenchie
Oct 5th, 2006, 06:35 PM
BUMP

A good win for Maria after a dreadful start to 2005. Myskina was in a huge slump but still nice for her to look back on now she's retired.

This board was down all that RG week.

Adios Maria! :wavey:

I was there and Nastya played like shit, tanking the last set :rolleyes:
A tennis court was the last place Nastya wanted to be at that time :tape:

:wavey: MSL ;)

hablo
Oct 5th, 2006, 06:37 PM
What a pointless thread to bump ! :rolleyes:

fufuqifuqishahah
Oct 5th, 2006, 06:45 PM
What a pointless thread to bump ! :rolleyes:


ahhaha yea.... not xactly pointless but still

DevilishAttitude
Oct 5th, 2006, 07:00 PM
What a pointless thread to bump ! :rolleyes:

I bumped this thraed because this was 1 of Maria's best wins of her career, regardless of Nastya's situation.

This is for Maria's fans.

:weirdo:

manu32
Oct 5th, 2006, 07:02 PM
poor thread