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andrewbroad
May 24th, 2009, 03:40 AM
=============
ROLAND GARROS (Paris, France; red clay; Major)
============= http://www.rolandgarros.com/

Welcome to the master-thread of my French Open 2009 reports! I reported on each day of the main draw (starting on Sunday 24th May), including TV-reports of all the attractive women's matches that the BBC deigned to televise. In 2010, I wrote up two of Maria Sharapova's matches that I acquired from Tennis Videos International.

From here, you can navigate quickly to the individual posts within this thread (these links open in new windows – or tabs if you prefer):
Tournament-preview (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?p=15704307#post15704307) (Saturday 23rd May 2009)
Day 1: First round (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?p=15712458#post15712458) (Sunday 24th May 2009)
Day 2: First round (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?p=15721852#post15721852) (Monday 25th May 2009)
Day 3: First round (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?p=15731129#post15731129) (Tuesday 26th May 2009)
Day 4: Second round (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?p=15740472#post15740472) (Wednesday 27th May 2009)
Day 5: Second round (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?p=15750557#post15750557) (Thursday 28th May 2009)
Day 6: Third round (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?p=15760973#post15760973) (Friday 29th May 2009)
Day 7: Third round (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?p=15770681#post15770681) (Saturday 30th May 2009)
Day 8: Fourth round (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?p=15780298#post15780298) (Sunday 31st May 2009)
Day 9: Fourth round (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?p=15787957#post15787957) (Monday 1st June 2009)
Day 10: Quarter-finals (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?p=15795390#post15795390) (Tuesday 2nd June 2009)
Day 11: Quarter-finals (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?p=15803636#post15803636) (Wednesday 3rd June 2009)
Day 12: Semi-finals (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?p=15811139#post15811139) (Thursday 4th June 2009)
Day 13: Round-up (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?p=15816138#post15816138) (Friday 5th June 2009)
Day 14: Finals (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?p=15823560#post15823560) (Saturday 6th June 2009)
Day 15: Finals (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?p=15828970#post15828970) (Sunday 7th June 2009)I have since posted my full TV-reports for members of my Eternal Fanship:
Magdaléna Rybáriková (http://abroad.sqweebs.org/tennis/rybar/french_open2009.html) (added 16th June 2009)
Maria Sharapova (http://abroad.sqweebs.org/tennis/shara/french_open2009.html) (1r v Anastasiya Yakimova added 8th March 2010; 2r v Nadia Petrova added 19th June 2009; 3r v Yaroslava Shvedova added 17th June 2010; 4r v Li,Na added 21st June 2009)
Lucie Šafářová (http://abroad.sqweebs.org/tennis/safar/french_open2009.html) (2r v Venus Williams added 20th June 2009)--
Dr. Andrew Broad

andrewbroad
May 24th, 2009, 03:42 AM
=============
ROLAND GARROS (Paris, France; red clay; Major)
============= http://www.rolandgarros.com/
Contents
--------

1. Photos
2. UK TV-alert
3. Notable main-draw absentees
4. Qualifying-results
5. First-round draw
6. Lucie Šafářová preview
7. Maria Sharapova preview
8. Anna Chakvetadze preview
9. Daniela Hantuchová preview
10. Jelena Dokić preview
11. Nicole Vaidišová preview
12. Andrew's wishes
13. Order of play for Sunday

Abbreviations:
[Q] qualifier
[LL] lucky loser
[WC] wild card
[EF] member of my Eternal Fanship
[DF] member of my demi-fanship
[s] Selesian (two hands both sides)

---------
1. Photos
---------

Maria Sharapova practising:
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=sharapova
http://www.fotosports.com/ (search for "sharapova")

--------------
2. UK TV-alert
--------------

The French Open will be televised on BBC Red Button from 10:00 BST each day of the tournament (digital viewers press Red or select the appropriate Freeview-channel - 301 or 302).

Sunday 24th May to Friday 5th June, 10:00-19:00, BBC Red Button
Women's final: Saturday 6th June, 14:00-16:30, BBC 2
Men's final: Sunday 7th June: 14:00-18:00, BBC 2

------------------------------
3. Notable main-draw absentees
------------------------------

#6 Vera Zvonarëva [EF] (right-ankle injury)
#25 Katarina Srebotnik (hasn't played since October 2008 due to left-Achilles and left-ankle injuries)
#128 Michaëlla Krajíček [DF] (lost in qualifying)
#583 Romana Tabaková [DF] (too low)
#unranked Iroda Tulyaganova [EF] (hasn't played since May 2008 due to lower-back and left-wrist injuries)
#unranked Tatiana Golovin [DF] (hasn't played since May 2008 due to back-injury, but will be commentating for French television)


3.1 My reaction to Vera Zvonarëva's withdrawal
----------------------------------------------

Vera's withdrawal was entirely expected, given that she retired from Charleston on 16th April with a very nasty right-ankle injury (two torn ligaments: one full, the other partial), and has not played since. But it is a very bitter pill to swallow after the tremendous progress she's made in the last nine months.

Clay has historically been Vera's best surface (she beat Venus Williams at the French Open 2003 to reach her first Major quarter-final), and she's come so far since the 2008 clay-court season, beating four top-seven players to reach the final of the Sony Ericsson Championships last November, reaching her first Major semi-final at the Australian Open, and winning Indian Wells. She has taken a firm grip on the #6 ranking, having also spent four weeks at #5 this year.

What hurts me the most is the lack of media-attention Vera has been getting despite this success. She is regularly omitted from tournament-previews, and the BBC has only televised ONE MATCH of hers in the last two years. Before the injury, I really thought she was going to make the whole world sit up and take notice of her this summer!

Had that horrible injury not happened, Vera would certainly have been among the leading contenders to win the French Open - and my personal favourite. With her flairsome power allied to excellent retrieval-skills and tremendous resourcefulness, she is a potential Major champion (in singles - she's already won three Majors in doubles) and a joy to watch.

We will all miss her.

---------------------
4. Qualifying-results (Andrew's selections)
---------------------
4.1 First round (Wednesday 20th May)
---------------

Nice winner, nice loser:
+ Polona Hercog d. Julia Vakulenko, 6-4 7-6 (7/2)

What rocked:
+ Yuliana Fedak d. Vesna Manasieva, 6-3 1-6 7-5
+ YAROSLAVA SHVEDOVA [1] d. Shenay Perry, 6-4 6-4
+ Vitalia Diatchenko [s] d. Estrella Cabeza Candela, 4-6 7-6 (7/4) 6-1
+ STEFANIE VÖGELE [4] d. Ekaterina Dzehalevich, 6-4 7-5
+ Zuzana Ondrášková d. MELANIE OUDIN [14], 6-0 6-1
+ Angela Haynes d. Zuzana Kučová, 5-7 7-6 (7/4) 6-2
+ ELENA BALTACHA [15] d. Anna Gerasimou, 6-2 6-0
+ Sandra Záhlavová d. Abigail Spears, 7-5 7-5
+ KATIE O'BRIEN [8] d. Karla Mraz [WC], 6-1 6-7 (5/7) 6-2
+ TATJANA MALEK [10] d. Elena Bovina, 6-2 6-1
+ Olga Savchuk d. Madison Brengle, 7-6 (7/4) 6-3

What sucked:
- MICHAËLLA KRAJÍČEK [17,DF] lt. Simona Halep [WC], 4-6 5-7
- MARIA ELENA CAMERIN [2] lt. Anna Tatishvili, 4-6 6-7 (1/7)
- Olga Puchkova lt. Frederica Piedade, 6-4 1-6 1-6
- Aiko Nakamura [s] lt. Chanelle Scheepers, 4-6 7-5 1-6
- Kristína Kučová [s] lt. MICHELLE LARCHER DE BRITO [20], 3-6 6-1 3-6
- HSIEH,SU-WEI [24,S] lt. Youlia Fedossova, 0-6 6-7 (5/7)
- Ekaterina Bychkova lt. ALBERTA BRIANTI [11], 5-7 4-6


4.2 Second round (Thursday 21st May)
----------------

Nice winner, nice loser:
+ YAROSLAVA SHVEDOVA [1] d. Angela Haynes, 6-1 6-2
+ Polona Hercog d. STEFANIE VÖGELE [4], 7-6 (7/5) 7-6 (7/2)
+ TATJANA MALEK [10] d. Olga Savchuk, 5-7 7-5 7-5

What rocked:
+ Vitalia Diatchenko [s] d. Simona Halep [WC], 2-6 6-1 6-3
+ Zuzana Ondrášková d. Catalina Castańo, 6-2 7-6 (7/2)
+ ELENA BALTACHA [15] d. Stéphanie Vongsouthi [WC], 6-1 7-5
+ KATIE O'BRIEN [8] d. Rika Fujiwara, 7-6 (7/3) 6-2

What sucked:
- Yuliana Fedak lt. MICHELLE LARCHER DE BRITO [20], 3-6 7-6 (7/1) 3-6
- Sandra Záhlavová lt. ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA [16], 3-6 7-6 (9/7) 1-6


4.3 Third round (Friday 22nd May)
---------------

Nice winner, nice loser:
+ YAROSLAVA SHVEDOVA [1] d. ELENA BALTACHA [15], 6-2 6-2

What rocked:
+ Vitalia Diatchenko [s] d. Irina Begu, 2-6 6-4 6-3
+ Zuzana Ondrášková d. Carmen Klaschka, 6-4 6-1
+ Polona Hercog d. MARIANA DUQUE MARINO [13], 6-7 (4/7) 6-4 6-1

What sucked:
- KATIE O'BRIEN [8] lt. Arantxa Rus, 4-6 6-7 (6/8)
- TATJANA MALEK [10] lt. YVONNE MEUSBURGER [18], 6-7 (7/9) 6-3 1-6

The qualifiers:
* Yaroslava Shvedova
* Zuzana Ondrášková
* Anastasija Sevastova
* Polona Hercog
* Chanelle Scheepers
* Vitalia Diatchenko [s]
* Michelle Larcher de Brito
* Arantxa Rus
* Corinna Dentoni
* Yvonne Meusburger
* Petra Martić
* Carly Gullickson

The lucky losers:
* Katie O'Brien
* Mariana Duque Marino

-------------------
5. First-round draw
-------------------

The players on the left are the ones I want to win.


5.1 Top quarter
---------------

* Anne Keothavong v DINARA SAFINA [1] (let's get rid of Safina)
* Mathilde Johansson v Vitalia Diatchenko [Q,S] (my loyalty is to Mathilde)
* Nuria Llagostera Vives v Julie Coin (meh)
* Ioana Raluca Olaru v ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA [27] (hai Ioana Raluca!)

* Polona Hercog [Q] v ALISA KLEYBANOVA [23] (dajmo Polona!)
* Aravane Rezaď v Ai Sugiyama (allez Aravane!)
* Michelle Larcher de Brito [Q] v Melanie South (Brito > this Briton)
* ZHENG,JIE [15] v Stéphanie Cohen-Aloro (jia you Jie!)

* VICTORIA AZARENKA [9] v Roberta Vinci (my Passion says Roberta, but my Reason says Victoria)
* María-Emilia Salerni v Kristina Barrois (Ąvamos María-Emilia!)
* Lucie Hradecká [s] v Yvonne Meusburger [Q] (pojďme Lucie!)
* Edina Gallovits v CARLA SUÁREZ NAVARRO [22]

* IVETA BENEŠOVÁ [32] v Julia Görges (Görges is gorgeous, but my loyalty is to Iveta)
* Varvara Lepchenko v Alla Kudryavtseva (go Varvara!)
* Camille Pin v Tamarine Tanasugarn
* ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] v Sara Errani (ajde Ana!)


5.2 Second quarter: Lucie Šafářová, Maria Sharapova
---------------------------------------------------

* VENUS WILLIAMS [3] v Bethanie Mattek-Sands
* Lucie Šafářová [EF] v Sabine Lisicki [DF] (my loyalty is to LUCIE)
* Elena Vesnina v Séverine Brémond Beltrame (my loyalty is to Elena)
* ÁGNES SZÁVAY [29] v Corinna Dentoni [Q]

* DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20] v Alyona Bondarenko (my loyalty is to Domi)
* Kirsten Flipkens v Stéphanie Foretz (komaan Kirsten!)
* Gisela Dulko [DF] v Tamira Paszek (my loyalty is to Gisela)
* Anna-Lena Grönefeld v AMÉLIE MAURESMO [16] (jeder außer Mauresmo)

* NADIA PETROVA [11] v Lauren Embree [WC]
* Maria Sharapova [EF] v Anastasiya Yakimova (DAVAI MARIA!!)
* Olivia Sánchez [WC] v Arantxa Rus [Q]
* Yaroslava Shvedova [Q] v KAIA KANEPI [19] (davai Yaroslava!)

* Marta Domachowska v LI,NA [25] (dawaj Marta!)
* Timea Bacsinszky v Emilie Loit [WC] (hopp Timea!)
* Irena Pavlović [WC,S] v Akgul Amanmuradova (allez Irena!)
* Katie O'Brien [LL] v Olga Govortsova (my loyalty is to Katie)

N.B. Katie O'Brien [LL] replaces VERA ZVONARËVA [6,EF]. :bigcry:


5.3 Third quarter: Chakvetadze, Hantuchová, Dokić
-------------------------------------------------

* Petra Cetkovská v JELENA JANKOVIĆ [5] (pojďme Petra!)
* Magdaléna Rybáriková [DF] v Kristina Mladenović [WC] (poďme Magda!)
* Jarmila Groth v Kinnie Laisné [WC]
* ANNA CHAKVETADZE [26,EF] v Mariana Duque Marino [LL] (DAVAI ANNA!!)

* ALIZÉ CORNET [21] v Maret Ani (allez Alizé!)
* Sorana Cîrstea v Carly Gullickson [Q] (hai Sorana!)
* Tsvetana Pironkova [DF] v Jill Craybas (aide Tsvetana!)
* CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [10] v Vera Dushevina (kom sĺ Caroline!)

* MARION BARTOLI [13,DF,S] v Pauline Parmentier (allez Marion!)
* Ayumi Morita [s] v Tathiana Garbin (ganbatte Ayumi!)
* Daniela Hantuchová [EF] v Virginie Razzano (POĎME DANIELA!!)
* Ekaterina Makarova v ANABEL MEDINA GARRIGUES [18]

* SAMANTHA STOSUR [30] v Francesca Schiavone
* Urszula Radwańska v Yanina Wickmayer (my loyalty is to Urszula)
* Jelena Dokić [EF] v Karolina Šprem [DF] (my loyalty is to JELENA)
* ELENA DEMENTIEVA [4] v Chanelle Scheepers [Q]


5.4 Bottom quarter: Nicole Vaidišová
------------------------------------

* SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [7] v Claire Feuerstein [WC]
* Sania Mirza [DF] v Galina Voskoboeva (go Sania!)
* Anastasija Sevastova [Q] v Melinda Czink
* Nathalie Dechy v SYBILLE BAMMER [28]

* Kateryna Bondarenko v PATTY SCHNYDER [17]
* Maria Kirilenko [DF] v Olivia Rogowska [WC] (davai Maria!)
* Patricia Mayr v Mariya Koryttseva
* Rossana de los Ríos v AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [12]

* FLAVIA PENNETTA [14,DF] v Alexa Glatch (forza Flavia!)
* Barbora Záhlavová Strýcová v Lourdes Domínguez Lino
* Mara Santangelo v Petra Martić [Q]
* Monica Niculescu [s] v ALEKSANDRA WOZNIAK [24] (hai Monica!)

* PENG,SHUAI [31,S] v María José Martínez Sánchez (jia you Shuai!)
* Viktoriya Kutuzova v Zuzana Ondrášková [Q] (my loyalty is to Viktoriya)
* Nicole Vaidišová [EF] v Virginia Ruano Pascual (my loyalty is to NICOLE)
* Klára Zakopalová v SERENA WILLIAMS [2] (pojďme Klára!)

-------------------------
6. Lucie Šafářová preview
-------------------------

After enduring an injury-induced slump in 2008, Lucie's recent form is much more encouraging. She has a positive win/loss record of 17:11 for 2009 so far, and has risen from #63 to #46 in the rankings.

Prior to the main clay-court season, Lucie had two wins in each of Brisbane, the Australian Open, Memphis and Monterrey, and one win each at Indian Wells and Miami. Her only first-round losses came at Sydney and Acapulco. She also won both Fed Cup rubbers that she played for Czechia (one in February, the other in April).

Lucie's form improved even more in the clay-court season. She reached the quarter-finals of Barcelona, then took a set off #5-ranked Venus Williams in the second round of Rome.

Then she reached the third round of Madrid, beating world #19 Kaia Kanepi 6-2 2-3 retired in the first round, and #57 Anne Keothavong 6-1 7-5 in the second round. She then lost 6-0 4-6 6-3 to world #1 Dinara Safina - and was the only player to take a set off the eventual champion all week.

To take sets off the world #5 and #1 in her last two tournaments is a very encouraging sign for Lucie ahead of the French Open!

What's not so encouraging, however, is the draw: Charleston-champion Sabine Lisicki, potentially followed by a second-round showdown against world #3 Venus Williams.


6.1 First-round preview: Šafářová v Lisicki
-------------------------------------------

19-year-old Sabine Lisicki is a top player in the making. She has a huge serve and a big backhand, and I consider her the most exciting up-and-coming player in women's tennis at the moment. I recently decided to become a demi-fan of Sabine, and was hoping for her to have a great run at the French Open until I learned that she had to play Lucie!

Sabine's 2009 so far has been even more impressive than Lucie's: while they have both won 17 matches, Sabine has only had 8 losses to Lucie's 11. Sabine is currently ranked #39, but will surely be much higher by the end of the year.

After a second-round loss at the Australian Open, Sabine beat Lucie 6-3 6-4 in the quarter-finals of Memphis - their only prior meeting. Sabine then lost her semi-final 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7/1) to eventual champion Victoria Azarenka.

Sabine only won two matches in her next three tournaments (Indian Wells, Miami and Ponte Vedra Beach), but then she stunned the tennis-world by winning the Premier tournament at Charleston for her first WTA singles-title: she stunned world #5 Venus Williams 6-4 7-6 in the third round, then thrashed #57 Elena Vesnina 6-4 6-0, #12 Marion Bartoli 6-3 6-1, and #12 Caroline Wozniacki 6-2 6-4 to take the title!

I already knew that Sabine was talented, pretty, and a great fighter, but I think her Charleston-victory proves that she is one of the fine young players making their way towards the very top of women's tennis.

But things haven't really gone Sabine's way since Charleston: she had a respectable 7-5 5-7 6-3 loss to world #4 Jelena Janković in the second round of Stuttgart, then retired in the quarter-finals of Estoril with a right-shoulder injury.

Alarmingly, Sabine was hospitalised with severe abdominal pains two weeks ago. But she arrived in Paris on 20th May, and has been Tweeting to say that her French Open preparations are going well <http://twitter.com/sabinelisicki>.

In conclusion: a very tough first-round draw for Lucie, but there are large question-marks over Sabine after her recent health-problems.

--------------------------
7. Maria Sharapova preview
--------------------------

What a difference a year makes. Last year, Maria came into the French Open as world #1, having won her first 18 matches of 2008, including winning her third Major at the Australian Open, and titles at Doha and Amelia Island.

But she was struggling with a right-shoulder injury, and dropped sets to players ranked #103 and #106 in the first two rounds of the French Open, before losing to world #14 Dinara Safina in the fourth round (6-7 7-6 6-2 after leading 7-6 5-2* with a match-point, and 5/2 in the second-set tiebreak).

Now Safina is world #1 (albeit having never won a Major), while Maria is #102 after missing almost ten months with her much-documented right-shoulder injury.

After an abnormal, embarrassing second-round exit from Wimbledon 2008, Maria withdrew from Montréal after beating Marta Domachowska 7-5 5-7 6-2 in her opening match, and had not played singles (she did play one doubles-match at Indian Wells 2009) since until she came back at Warsaw earlier this week.

Maria underwent minor arthroscopic surgery on her right shoulder on 15th October 2008, but it has taken a long time to recover her fitness. She says her shoulder is much better, but it was taped up for her matches at Warsaw, and she was also icing it during her press-conferences there.

In the first round at Warsaw, Maria beat world #68 Tathiana Garbin 6-1 6-7 (8/6) 6-3 in 2h34m, but that was after leading 6-1 *4-0, when she got nervous, somehow managed to drop that second set after squandering six match-points, and found herself 1-3* down in the third. But then that famous Sharapova-overdrive kicked in, and she won five games in a row, converting her NINTH match-point.

Maria then thrashed #209-ranked lucky loser Darya Kustova (who had replaced injured world #10 Caroline Wozniacki) 6-2 6-0 in 57 minutes, but almost suffered the same fate herself in the quarter-finals - at the amazingly-manicured hands of world #39 Alyona Bondarenko, who led 6-2 *5-0 before closing Maria out 6-2 6-2. It was a very impressive performance from Alyona, but Maria was rushing her shots and unable to find her range from the baseline.

Maria needs only a French Open title to complete her Career Grand Slam, but realistically, it's too soon for her to rediscover championship-form on her worst surface.

I'd sign for Maria just to defend her fourth-round points from last year - no mean feat as she has a potential second-round match against world #11 Nadia Petrova, who has twice reached the semi-finals here - and then rediscover her magic in the grasscourt-season.

Maria has already committed to Birmingham - which is unusual as, in the past, she has always waited until she's out of the French Open before confirming her entry.

Should she lose in the first week of the French Open, I might even suggest that she should start her grass-court season a week early at ITF Nottingham (week of 1st June) - which, by the way, is where the WTA tournament at Birmingham is rumoured to be moving next year (because Nottingham was recently vacated by the ATP Tour, and is Laura Robson's favourite city).


7.1 First-round preview: Sharapova v Yakimova
---------------------------------------------

Maria has never played Anastasiya Yakimova: her fellow 22-year-old, currently ranked #64. I remember watching Yakimova lose 6-2 7-5 to Justine Henin-Hardenne at the French Open 2006, and that she was a solid, unspectacular player (much like Alyona Bondarenko, I would have said).

Yakimova has had a much better 2009 than Maria so far, compiling a 26:11 win/loss record - mostly on the WTA Tour, with a couple of titles on the ITF circuit.

Yakimova lost in the first round of the Australian Open, but won ITF Cali in February, dropping just one set and beating world #95 Rossana de los Ríos in the final.

At Indian Wells, she had three very one-sided wins to reach the second round as a qualifier, then lost 6-4 6-3 to eventual runner-up Ana Ivanović. She then reached the third round of Miami as a qualifier, beating world #13 Marion Bartoli 6-4 6-3 in the second round before losing 6-3 3-6 6-4 to #26 Alisa Kleybanova.

She won five matches to reach the quarter-finals of Barcelona as a qualifier, then had a couple of early exits at ITF Cagnes-sur-Mer and WTA Estoril. But she made up for that at ITF Saint-Gaudens, where she won the title with a 7-5 7-6 win over #64-ranked Estoril-champion Yanina Wickmayer in the final.

At Strasbourg this week, Yakimova beat #135 Maret Ani 6-3 7-5, but lost 6-4 6-1 in the second round to #79 Aravane Rezaď - the eventual champion.

My conclusion is that Yakimova's 2009 form has been somewhat streaky - she has had four first-round losses between the highlights I picked out above. Yakimova could be dangerous if Maria is well below par, but it's a very winnable match if Maria puts up a half-decent performance.

---------------------------
8. Anna Chakvetadze preview
---------------------------

Anna is, at #26, the highest-ranked representative of my Eternal Fanship at the French Open, but if 2008 was a poor year for her, 2009 has been even worse: her win/loss record is in the red at 8:9.

Of course, we still have to qualify any discussion of Anna's form by remembering that she was tied up by burglars who broke into her house in December 2007. But while 2008 did have its highlights - a title at Paris, a Tier I semi-final at Rome and a final at New Haven - 2009 has begun as a continuation of Anna's slump, but without any such highlights so far.

The best that can be said of the first two months of 2009 is that Anna won her first-round match at the Australian Open, and turned in a great performance for Russia to thrash Yan,Zi 6-1 6-2 in Fed Cup. But she lost to Ayumi Morita - the lucky loser who replaced Shahar Pe'er - at Dubai, and to Shahar herself at Indian Wells.

A second-round effort at Miami was more encouraging, considering that Anna thrashed Daniela Hantuchová 6-3 6-1 before losing to eventual champion Victoria Azarenka, but she then suffered two humiliating losses in a row to Flavia Pennetta: 6-4 6-0 in Fed Cup, and 6-2 6-0 at Stuttgart.

Anna got her act together at Rome, as she thrashed Fčs-champion Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-2 6-3 in the first round, and overcame Aleksandra Wozniak 5-7 7-6(2) 6-3 in the second round before losing 6-0 6-7 6-4 to world #5 Venus Williams.

At least Anna's fighting-spirit - which had been questioned in the weeks leading up to Rome - was well and truly back: she fought back from 3-5* to win the second set against Venus, and from *0-4 to 3-4* in the third.

And Madrid was a very similar tournament for Anna: she beat #118 Virginia Ruano Pascual 6-4 6-3, then staged a terrific fightback to beat #31 Samantha Stosur 1-6 6-2 7-6 (7/4): Stosur led *4-1 in the third set, and served for the match at *5-4!

Anna lost 6-0 2-6 6-3 to Alyona Bondarenko in the third round of Madrid, but that doesn't seem so bad now that Bondarenko has beaten Maria Sharapova en route to the Warsaw-final.

But by now, a clear pattern in Anna's matches has emerged: she loses the first set easily, then fights back to at least take the second set...

Anna has been handed a kind draw for the first two rounds: lucky loser Mariana Duque Marino, then either journeywoman Jarmila Groth (née Gajdošová), or French wild card Kinnie Laisné whom I've never even heard of. After that, a potential third-round meeting with world #5 Jelena Janković awaits... although I hope Magdaléna Rybáriková will have something to say about that!


8.1 First-round preview: Chakvetadze v Duque Marino
---------------------------------------------------

Anna has never played Mariana Duque Marino: a 19-year-old ranked #124. I remember her best for the fact that she reached the French Open 2007 Girls' Singles final (losing to Alizé Cornet).

Duque Marino is having an even worse year than Anna, with a win/loss record of 6:11 - ten of those matches coming in qualifying for various WTA tournaments.

In fact, Duque Marino had to wait until March for her first win since October, when she snapped a 9-match losing-streak by successfully qualifying for Miami - only to lose in the first round to the notorious Alla Kudryavtseva.

First-round exits at Charleston and Fčs followed, but like Anna, Duque Marino managed to get two wins at Rome - the difference being that they were in qualifying. She lost to Patty Schnyder in the first round.

And again at Madrid, Duque Marino won two matches to qualify, then lost 6-3 7-6 to world #57 Anne Keothavong in the first round.

Duque Marino lost in the third round of qualifying here: after beating #197 Silvia Soler Espinosa 6-3 6-3 and #214 Frederica Piedade 6-3 6-4, she lost 6-7 6-4 6-1 to #163 Polona Hercog, but got into the main draw as a lucky loser.

If Anna manages to lose to Duque Marino, then her slump will have plumbed a new depth that I don't even think she's capable of.

-----------------------------
9. Daniela Hantuchová preview
-----------------------------

Daniela has yet to regain the kind of form she was enjoying prior to a ten-week lay-off with a stress-fracture in her right heel from April to June 2008, but she has a respectable win/loss record of 19:13 for 2009 so far. Still, it feels strange to see her outside the top 32 (currently #33) after all the time she has spent in the top 20 and top 10 in recent years.

Daniela had what the French might call "une problčme Cornet" earlier in the year: after losing to Alizé Cornet in the third round of the Australian Open, she also lost to her in the second round of Paris.

Daniela reached the third round of Dubai, but lost 6-2 1-6 6-2 to #58-ranked Virginie Razzano: her first-round opponent here. She then reached the fourth round of Indian Wells, but suffered a disappointing 6-3 6-2 loss to #29 Sybille Bammer, and was thrashed 6-3 6-1 by Anna Chakvetadze - who's having a much worse year than Daniela - in the second round of Miami.

Daniela reached the quarter-finals of Ponte Vedra Beach - only to be thrashed 6-2 6-2 by #12-ranked eventual champion Caroline Wozniacki. She then scored a 6-7 6-3 6-4 revenge-win over Cornet in Fed Cup, then thrashed her 6-3 6-1 in the first round of Stuttgart before losing 6-4 6-2 to world #1 Dinara Safina in the second round.

At Rome, she beat Vera Dushevina 6-4 6-1, only to lose 6-3 6-3 to #8 Svetlana Kuznetsova in the second round. At Madrid, she beat Gisela Dulko 7-6 6-1 - a fine win on clay - but lost 7-5 6-2 to Jelena Janković in the second round.

At Warsaw, Daniela battled past claycourt-specialist Nuria Llagostera Vives 3-6 6-3 6-3, thrashed #81 Urszula Radwańska 6-3 6-1, then came through another tough battle against #116 Klára Zakopalová 6-3 4-6 6-4 to reach the semi-finals.

There, she lost to #201-ranked qualifier Alexandra Dulgheru - whom I'd never heard of before this week, and who caused perhaps the biggest upset in tennis-history by winning the Premier title!! Daniela lost 6-4 6-7 6-1.

Summary: Daniela has no trouble winning her opening match of a tournament - in fact, she hasn't lost a first-round match since Brisbane in January. But then she loses her second or third match, and it doesn't seem to make much difference whom she's playing.

Conclusion: Daniela still doesn't seem to be as fit as she was before her big injury last year, when she was one of the very fittest players on the Tour. To lose 6-1 in the third set to Dulgheru seems to emphasise this.

The draw has certainly not been kind to Daniela. First the dangerous Virginie Razzano, then, potentially, clay-court expert Anabel Medina Garrigues followed by Marion Bartoli.


9.1 First-round preview: Hantuchová v Razzano
---------------------------------------------

On the surface, there's not much to choose between #33-ranked Daniela and her fellow 26-year-old: #36-ranked Virginie Razzano.

Daniela leads their head-to-head 3:2, but all her wins came in 2000-2002, while Razzano won their last two encounters: 6-1 7-5 at Auckland 2007, and 6-2 1-6 6-2 at Dubai 2009.

Razzano has a 17:11 win/loss record for 2009 so far (61% to Daniela's 59%).

She reached the semi-finals of Hobart, third round of the Australian Open by thrashing world #15 Patty Schnyder 6-3 6-1, but lost 6-4 6-1 to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova at Paris.

Razzano then had an amazing run to the final of Dubai, beating #2 Dinara Safina 6-4 6-2, Daniela 6-2 1-6 6-2, #5 Vera Zvonarëva 7-6 7-5, and #24 Kaia Kanepi 6-1 6-2, before losing 6-4 6-2 to Venus Williams in the final.

She then retired from the second round of Indian Wells with a mid-back injury, lost to #115 Julia Görges in the first round of Miami, and to #12 Caroline Wozniacki in the second round of Ponte Vedra Beach.

Razzano was playing Vera Zvonarëva in the third round of Charleston when Vera suffered a nasty ankle-injury, from which she has yet to return. :sad: Razzano was then hammered 6-2 6-0 by Wozniacki in the quarter-finals.

Razzano beat #51 Magdaléna Rybáriková 6-0 6-7 6-4 in the first round of Rome, then lost 7-6 6-1 to world #1 Dinara Safina. She beat #48 Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-0 4-6 6-3 in the first round of Madrid, then lost 7-5 6-3 to #52 Elena Vesnina.

Conclusion: Razzano is a streaky player who can be a very dangerous floater, and being French, is likely to have the support of the fickle crowd at Roland Garros. I've got a bad feeling about this.

------------------------
10. Jelena Dokić preview
------------------------

Jelena made an amazing comeback to reach the quarter-finals of the Australian Open ranked #187 - beating world #80 Tamira Paszek 6-2 3-6 6-4, #18 Anna Chakvetadze 6-4 6-7 6-3, #12 Caroline Wozniacki 3-6 6-1 6-2, and #31 Alisa Kleybanova 7-5 5-7 8-6 before losing 6-4 4-6 6-4 to #3 Dinara Safina.

But Jelena warned us at the time that it would be difficult to keep up that form, and so it has proved. She won two matches to qualify for Memphis, but Wozniacki took a 6-1 6-2 revenge. She lost 6-4 6-2 to #102 Jill Craybas at Indian Wells, and blamed tiredness due to a bad schedule of tournaments.

After beating #68 Edina Gallovits at Miami, Jelena lost to Wozniacki again - this time 6-3 5-7 6-2 - then pulled out of Ponte Vedra Beach with sports-fatigue syndrome.

Jelena contributed a win over Stefanie Vögele to Australia's Fed Cup victory over Switzerland in the World Group II play-offs, then reached the semi-finals of ITF Bucharest, but lost 6-1 3-6 6-1 to #141 Andrea Petković.

It was at this time that Jelena had to deal with yet more controversy from her father Damir, who threatened to blow up the car of the Australian ambassador in Serbia over articles in the Australian media confirming what I suspected ten years ago: that he physically abused Jelena. The police raided his house, finding guns and bombs, arrested him, and he now faces eight years in prison if the charges stick.

Personally, I'm very glad to see Damir finally getting what he deserves for the way he treated Jelena (albeit for different crimes), but apparently she is "distressed and saddened" about his arrest, which is understandable as, after all, he is still her father.

This week, Jelena lost 6-4 6-3 to #106 Ioana Raluca Olaru in the first round of Warsaw, describing it as "probably my worst match in the last two years."

Jelena opens against Karolina Šprem, but I guess the second round is her limit, as she would likely face #4-ranked Olympic champion Elena Dementieva.


10.1 First-round preview: Dokić v Šprem
---------------------------------------

Jelena starts with 24-year-old Karolina Šprem: a player who, like herself, is making her way back after falling off the face of the Earth in recent years, and has had dealings with the Bikić-brothers (Jelena is coached by Borna while Tino is her boyfriend; for Karolina, I believe it was the other way round).

Karolina scored a sensational 7-6 7-6 victory over Venus Williams in the second round of Wimbledon 2004, going on to reach the quarter-finals with her go-for-broke hitting. She also put up an impressive losing performance against Venus in the third round of the French Open 2006.

Karolina had terrible injury-problems in 2007, missing the French Open with a wrist-injury; in fact she didn't play for ten months after right-elbow surgery in May 2007.

When she did come back, she came back with a bang, beating world #10 Daniela Hantuchová in her comeback-tournament - Amelia Island 2008 - before losing to Lindsay Davenport. But her other 2008 results are nothing to write home about - apart from a Tier III semi-final at Budapest.

When I looked at Karolina's 2009 results, I must admit I was shocked to see that her win/loss record is 25:6! She picked up five qualifying-wins in Australia, then reached the second round of Paris as a qualifier - only to be thrashed 6-1 6-2 by world #1 Serena Williams.

Karolina then won ITF Biberach, beating #96 Kirsten Flipkens 6-1 6-2 in the final. She reached the second round of Miami as a qualifier, then won ITF Tourhout, beating #128 Viktoriya Kutuzova 6-1 6-4 in the final.

More recently, Karolina won three matches to qualify for Stuttgart, losing 6-3 2-6 6-1 to #13 Marion Bartoli in the first round. She then lost 7-5 6-4 to #544 Stefania Chieppa in the first qualifying-round of Rome.

Karolina is now ranked #91 after dropping out of the top 200 in 2007, and finishing 2008 at #175. So her comeback seems to be mirroring Jelena's - albeit without a sensational run to a Major quarter-final this year!

Jelena and Karolina have met only once before: in the second round of Strasbourg 2003, where Karolina beat Jelena 7-5 1-6 6-3 in what was her original breakthrough-tournament: she won seven matches to reach the final as a qualifier!

It's quite a tough one to call, as both girls are on the comeback-trail and have had some encouraging results, and both are coming off exceptionally disappointing losses in their last matches. I'm sitting on the fence...

----------------------------
11. Nicole Vaidišová preview
----------------------------

Nicole followed up her mainly-disastrous 2008 with an even more disastrous start to 2009, for which she's currently in the red with a win/loss record of 8:9.

After beating Alla Kudryavtseva in the first round of Auckland, Nicole lost four matches in a row - including the Australian Open - some of them by deplorable scorelines.

After reinstating her stepfather Aleš Kodat as her coach in February, Nicole returned to some semblance of form at Indian Wells, where she beat #159-ranked Michaëlla Krajíček 6-3 6-4, #30 Alyona Bondarenko 6-3 6-1, and lost in the third round to #102 Jill Craybas: 6-4 6-3.

She did even better at Miami, beating #79-ranked qualifier Patricia Mayr 6-4 6-2 and crushing Alyona Bondarenko 6-1 6-0 before losing 6-1 6-4 to her old nemesis Svetlana Kuznetsova in the third round.

Nicole is 3:3 for the clay-court season so far. At Marbella, she beat #139 Angelique Kerber 3-6 6-4 6-4, but lost 6-3 6-3 to #67 Roberta Vinci. At Barcelona, she beat #228 Yevgenia Savranska 6-2 6-4, then lost 6-2 6-3 to #44 Francesca Schiavone. At Rome, she hammered #279 Eloisa Compostizo de Andres 6-1 6-1, but lost 6-2 7-5 to #109 Yaroslava Shvedova.

Nicole is now ranked #59, having been as low as #80 after starting the year at #41. She was due to play qualifying for Madrid, but pulled out with a viral illness - I hope she's fully recovered!

Nicole has an intriguing draw: first a seemingly easy match against veteran Virginia Ruano Pascual, then potentially world #2 Serena Williams in the second round.

But Serena is currently on a 4-match losing-streak (starting with the Miami-final), has a knee-injury, and starts against Klára Zakopalová, who beat her at Marbella, so don't be surprised to see an all-Czech second round between Nicole and Klára!


11.1 First-round preview: Vaidišová v Ruano Pascual
---------------------------------------------------

World #133 Ruano Pascual is one of the oldest players on the WTA Tour at 35. Nicole crushed her 6-1 6-0 in their only meeting - San Diego 2006 - so she could hardly have asked for an easier first-round draw as she sets out to atone for last year's embarrassing first-round exit from the scene of her first Major semi-final (French Open 2006).

Ruano Pascual reached the quarter-finals of the French Open 1995, and is one of the few players linking that era of women's tennis to the current generation. But she is probably better known for stunning world #1 Martina Hingis 6-4 6-2 in the first round of Wimbledon 2001.

There's not much cause for concern in Ruano Pascual's 2009 results, as her win/loss record is a modest 4:7.

She beat Mariana Duque Marino 6-3 6-2 in the first round of the Australian Open, but Duque Marino was in a terrible slump at the time.

She won two matches to qualify for Indian Wells, but lost 6-4 6-1 to #63 Chan,Yung-Jan in the first round, and 6-4 6-2 to #81 Ayumi Morita in the first round of Miami.

Ruano Pascual's latest win came at Marbella, where she beat #61 Tathiana Garbin 6-1 2-6 6-1, then lost 6-2 6-3 to #20 Anabel Medina Garrigues. She lost 7-5 7-5 to #128 Karin Knapp in the first round of Stuttgart, and 6-4 6-3 to Anna Chakvetadze in the first round of Madrid.

I would be very disappointed if Nicole were to lose this match.

-------------------
12. Andrew's wishes
-------------------
12.1 Second round: Top half
---------------------------

+ Mathilde Johansson d. Anne Keothavong
+ Ioana Raluca Olaru d. Nuria Llagostera Vives
+ Aravane Rezaď d. Polona Hercog [Q]
+ ZHENG,JIE [15] d. Michelle Larcher de Brito [Q]

+ VICTORIA AZARENKA [9] d. María-Emilia Salerni
+ Lucie Hradecká [s] d. Edina Gallovits
+ IVETA BENEŠOVÁ [32] d. Varvara Lepchenko
+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] d. Camille Pin

+ Lucie Šafářová [EF] d. VENUS WILLIAMS [3]
+ Elena Vesnina d. ÁGNES SZÁVAY [29]
+ DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20] d. Kirsten Flipkens
+ Gisela Dulko [DF] d. Anna-Lena Grönefeld

+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. NADIA PETROVA [11]
+ Yaroslava Shvedova [Q] d. Olivia Sánchez [WC]
+ Marta Domachowska d. Timea Bacsinszky
+ Katie O'Brien [LL] d. Irena Pavlović [WC,S]

N.B. Katie O'Brien [LL] replaces VERA ZVONARËVA [6,EF]. :bigcry:


12.2 Second round: Bottom half
------------------------------

+ Magdaléna Rybáriková [DF] d. Petra Cetkovská
+ ANNA CHAKVETADZE [26,EF] d. Jarmila Groth
+ ALIZÉ CORNET [21] d. Sorana Cîrstea
+ Tsvetana Pironkova [DF] d. CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [10]

+ MARION BARTOLI [13,DF,S] d. Ayumi Morita [s]
+ Daniela Hantuchová [EF] d. Ekaterina Makarova
+ Urszula Radwańska d. SAMANTHA STOSUR [30]
+ Jelena Dokić [EF] d. ELENA DEMENTIEVA [4]

+ Sania Mirza [DF] d. SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [7]
+ Nathalie Dechy d. Anastasija Sevastova [Q]
+ Maria Kirilenko [DF] d. Kateryna Bondarenko
+ Rossana de los Ríos d. Patricia Mayr

+ FLAVIA PENNETTA [14,DF] d. Barbora Záhlavová Strýcová
+ Monica Niculescu [s] d. Mara Santangelo
+ PENG,SHUAI [31,S] d. Viktoriya Kutuzova (my Passion says Viktoriya, but my Reason says Shuai)
+ Nicole Vaidišová [EF] d. Klára Zakopalová


12.3 Third-round wishes
-----------------------

+ Ioana Raluca Olaru d. Mathilde Johansson
+ Aravane Rezaď d. ZHENG,JIE [15]
+ VICTORIA AZARENKA [9] d. Lucie Hradecká [s]
+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] d. IVETA BENEŠOVÁ [32]

+ Lucie Šafářová [EF] d. Elena Vesnina
+ Gisela Dulko [DF] d. DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20]
+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. Yaroslava Shvedova [Q]
+ Marta Domachowska d. Katie O'Brien [LL]

N.B. Katie O'Brien [LL] replaces VERA ZVONARËVA [6,EF]. :bigcry:

+ ANNA CHAKVETADZE [26,EF] d. Magdaléna Rybáriková [DF]
+ Tsvetana Pironkova [DF] d. ALIZÉ CORNET [21]
+ Daniela Hantuchová [EF] d. MARION BARTOLI [13,DF,S]
+ Jelena Dokić [EF] d. Urszula Radwańska

+ Sania Mirza [DF] d. Nathalie Dechy
+ Maria Kirilenko [DF] d. Rossana de los Ríos
+ FLAVIA PENNETTA [14,DF] d. Monica Niculescu [s]
+ Nicole Vaidišová [EF] d. PENG,SHUAI [31,S]


12.4 Fourth-round wishes
------------------------

+ Ioana Raluca Olaru d. Aravane Rezaď
+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] d. VICTORIA AZARENKA [9]
+ Lucie Šafářová [EF] d. Gisela Dulko [DF]
+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. Marta Domachowska

N.B. Marta Domachowska replaces VERA ZVONARËVA [6,EF]. :bigcry:

+ ANNA CHAKVETADZE [26,EF] d. Tsvetana Pironkova [DF]
+ Jelena Dokić [EF] d. Daniela Hantuchová [EF] (sorry, Daniela - Jelena needs it more)
+ Maria Kirilenko [DF] d. Sania Mirza [DF]
+ Nicole Vaidišová [EF] d. FLAVIA PENNETTA [14,DF]


12.5 Quarter-final wishes
-------------------------

+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] d. Ioana Raluca Olaru
+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. Lucie Šafářová [EF]
+ Jelena Dokić [EF] d. ANNA CHAKVETADZE [26,EF]
+ Nicole Vaidišová [EF] d. Maria Kirilenko [DF]


12.6 Semi-final wishes
----------------------

+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF]
+ Jelena Dokić [EF] d. Nicole Vaidišová [EF]


12.7 Final wish
---------------

+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. Jelena Dokić [EF]

Vera Zvonarëva was actually my ideal champion before she withdrew (which would have precluded Maria getting past the fourth round), but my priority now is for Maria to complete her Career Grand Slam, although I'd love to see another member of my Eternal Fanship win a Major.

----------------------------
13. Order of play for Sunday
----------------------------

Play starts at 11:00 CEST = 09:00 GMT = 10:00 BST, but no members of my Eternal Fanship are scheduled for Sunday.

Full order of play:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/scores/schedule/

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

andrewbroad
May 25th, 2009, 01:51 AM
=============
ROLAND GARROS (Paris, France; red clay; Major)
============= http://www.rolandgarros.com/
Contents
--------

1. Photos
2. First-round results
3. First-round TV-report: Ivanović v Errani
4. First-round TV mini-report: Petrova v Embree
5. First-round scoreboard mini-report: Diatchenko v Johansson
6. First-round draw
7. Sam Smith's comments about Maria Sharapova
8. Andrew's wishes
9. Women's Doubles: First-round draw
10. Order of play for Monday

---------
1. Photos
---------

Vitalia Diatchenko is even more beautiful than I had previously realised - her eyes are amazing - and she's a Selesian! :hearts:

Galleries of many players:
http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/gallery?cap=1&pg=1 (latest 200 only)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8065901.stm
http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/tennis/photos.html
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/news/photos/

Where to search for specific players:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/news/photos/players.html
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/bios/indexw.html
http://news.yahoo.com/
http://www.fotosports.com/
Getty Images

Search-list for Day 1:
ivanovic
dulko
diatchenko
vesnina
goerges
benesova
shvedova
bremond
johansson
azarenka
lepchenko
errani
salerni
embree

*Jean*'s reports and pics from RG (various players including Maria Kirilenko, Gisela Dulko, Sabine Lisicki, Yuliana Fedak, Polona Hercog, Corinna Dentoni):
http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=379760

----------------------
2. First-round results (Sunday 24th May 2009)
----------------------

Nice winner, nice loser:
+ Gisela Dulko [DF] d. Tamira Paszek, 6-1 6-3
+ Vitalia Diatchenko [Q,S] d. Mathilde Johansson, 2-6 6-2 10-8
+ Elena Vesnina d. Séverine Brémond Beltrame, 6-3 6-3
+ VICTORIA AZARENKA [9] d. Roberta Vinci, 6-4 6-2
+ IVETA BENEŠOVÁ [32] d. Julia Görges, 7-5 4-1* retired (heat-illness)

What rocked:
+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] d. Sara Errani, 7-6 (7/3) 6-3
+ Yaroslava Shvedova [Q] d. KAIA KANEPI [19], 7-6 (7/2) 3-6 6-2
+ Timea Bacsinszky d. Emilie Loit [WC], 4-6 6-4 6-1

Emilie Loit announced her retirement - effective immediately.

What sucked:
- Marta Domachowska lt. LI,NA [25], 4-6 2-6
- Ioana Raluca Olaru lt. ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA [27], 3-6 2-6
- Varvara Lepchenko lt. Alla Kudryavtseva, 3-6 3-6
- María-Emilia Salerni lt. Kristina Barrois, 6-3 1-6 2-6
- Lauren Embree [WC] lt. NADIA PETROVA [11], 1-6 2-6

Was mir Schadenfreude gibt:
+ Anna-Lena Grönefeld d. AMÉLIE MAURESMO [16], 6-4 6-3

All other results:
+ Julie Coin d. Nuria Llagostera Vives, 7-5 6-2
+ Arantxa Rus [Q] d. Olivia Sánchez [WC], 6-1 6-1

-------------------------------------------
3. First-round TV-report: Ivanović v Errani (Sunday 24th May 2009)
-------------------------------------------

+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] d. Sara Errani, 7-6 (7/3) 6-3

BBC Red Button started its French Open 2009 coverage with this match.

It's great to get the first match out of the way - with a win! - but it was an unconvincing performance by the defending champion Ana, in terms of how she played when she had important points in her favour.

Ana came into this tournament having withdrawn from Madrid with a knee-injury, and her right knee was taped for this match.

This was my first time to see Errani play. She doesn't hit the ball anywhere near as hard as Ana, but she did pick up the pace at times (particularly when she was behind, it seemed). Her first serve is quite big. She grunts louder than Ana, but without that sexy twang that Ana's grunt has.

Commentator Mark Petchey described Ana as a "confidence-player" with a low margin for errror, which is why she struggles on the big points.

Whereas Errani makes the most of her limited talent by going for it only at the right times, making many fewer unforced errors than Ana.

Errani has sharp shot-selection, but tends to charge around the court like an express-train, which makes it difficult for her to turn - she doesn't have that split step that, say, Rafael Nadal has.

Ana overpowered Errani with a W:UE ratio of 50:38 to Errani's 16:16, and a comfortable victory looked on the cards when she broke for *3-1 in the first set.

But Errani did a good job of hanging tough and moving Ana around the court. She broke back immediately, and even served for the first set at *5-4... but her forehand broke down, and Ana was the more courageous player in the end, despite missing two set-points at 6-5*.

Ana raced to a 5-1* lead in the second set, but had a bit of a wobble before closing out the match 7-6 6-3. I dread to think what would happen if she did that against Dinara Safina in the quarter-finals, given Safina's amazing recoveries here last year!

The most worrying aspect of this match for Ana is her break-point conversion-rate. She converted only 2 of 12 BPs in the first set, while Errani converted 2 of 2. In the second set, Ana converted 3 of 8 BPs, while Errani converted 1 of 9.

So Ana should have won the first set much more easily, while Errani should have done much, much better in the second!


First set
---------
IVANOV * *@__*__@*_T 7(7)
ERRANI _*__@* *@__*_ 6(3)

The match started at 11:08 CEST.

Ana serving 0-0: A long opening rally culminated with Ana hitting a pinpoint forehand down the line + off-forehand winner off the resulting short ball. 15/0. Errani on the fourth stroke hit a deep, hard crosscourt forehand, forcing Ana to net a forehand. 15/15. Errani mishit a forehand return out of court. 30/15. After a longish rally, Ana painted the sideline with a crosscourt forehand winner. 40/15. A deep forehand return induced Ana to net a sliced backhand. 40/30. Ace down the middle.

Errani serving 0-1: Backhand return down the line forced Errani to net a forehand. 0/15. Ana on the fourth stroke hit a "smart" backhand winner down the line, back behind Errani. 0/30. Ana off-forehand + crosscourt forehand winner. 0/40 (BP #1). Ana blasted an off-forehand return wide. 15/40 (BP #2). Errani opened up the court and hit a crosscourt backhand winner. 30/40 (BP #3). A long rally ended with Errani's crosscourt backhand onto the sideline forcing Ana to net a backhand. 40/40. Big serve out wide forced Ana to hit a down-the-line forehand return into the tramlines. Ad Errani. Ana backhand long.

Three break-points (0/40) go begging.

Ana serving 1-1: Ana's depth forced Errani to net a forehand. 15/15. Ana sliced a backhand wide. 15/15. Ana on the fourth stroke hit a crosscourt forehand winner back behind Errani. 30/15. Errani backhand long. 40/15. Ana's depth forced Errani to bunt a forehand lob wide.

Errani serving 1-2: Errani hit an aggressive off-forehand wide. 0/15. Errani appeared to take the initiative with a crosscourt forehand, but Ana hit an amazing forehand winner down the line. 0/30. A good serve forced Ana to net a forehand return. 15/30. Errani sprayed a backhand wide on the fifth stroke - after a huge, deep backhand return from Ana. 15/40 (BP #1). Ana backhand return just wide. 30/40 (BP #2). A huge Errani-forehand down Ana's forehand-sideline forced a very short ball from Ana; Errani hit a big crosscourt forehand, which Ana did well to get her racket on, but her forehand landed in the bottom of the net. 40/40. Ana came to the net behind an off-forehand, forcing Errani to net a backhand. Ad Ana (BP #3). Ana broke with a deep forehand return-winner just inside the baseline, and Errani seemed disappointed that she didn't do anything about it.

Ana is overpowering Errani, but had to wait for her sixth break-point of the match to convert one.

Ana serving 3-1: Double fault #1. 0/15. Ana's crosscourt backhand found the sideline; Errani's didn't. 15/15. Errani hit an off-forehand dropshot, forcing Ana to hit a backhand long. 15/30. Ana ran around her backhand to hit a forehand winner down Errani's forehand sideline. 30/30. Double fault #2 (second serve long). It's a bit windy. 30/40 (BP). Ana forced a lob from Errani, but netted a forehand smash to give the break straight back.

Ana needed six break-points to break, Errani just one.

Errani serving 2-3: Ana netted a forehand. 15/0. Ana forced a short ball and hit a crosscourt forehand volley-winner onto the baseline - called long but overruled as good without a replay. 15/15. Ana crosscourt forehand return-winner. 15/30. Errani forced a short lob, and hit a "highly intelligent" short-angled crosscourt punch-volley winner just inside the sideline. 30/30. Errani hit a crosscourt forehand just inside the sideline, forcing Ana to miss a forehand. 40/30. Errani sprayed a crosscourt forehand wide. 40/40. Second serve: deep forehand return-winner down the line. Ad Ana (BP #1). Ana netted an off-forehand. Deuce #2. Ana hit a crunching forehand virtual winner down the line. Ad Ana (BP #2). Errani's deep crosscourt forehand (just inside the baseline) forced Ana to spray a crosscourt forehand wide. Deuce #3. Ana crosscourt forehand return just wide. Ad Errani. Ana got away with losing her early initiative from a pinpoint backhand down the line, as Errani later netted an unforced backhand. Deuce #4. Errani's deep crosscourt backhand forced Ana to hit a backhand long. Ad Errani. Ana hit a hard crosscourt forehand winner back behind Errani, and said "ajde". Deuce #5. Ana blasted a down-the-line forehand return just long; the umpire checked the mark to confirm it. Ad Errani. Ana came to the net, but her approach was too short, and Errani hit a pinpoint backhand pass-winner down the line.

Ana serving 3-3: Ana's depth and approach to the net forced Errani to hit a backhand long. 15/0. Ana netted a backhand on the fifth stroke - her backhand down the line on the third stroke had been clearly wide but not called. 15/15. Ana forced a short lob, and dispatched it with a crosscourt forehand smash-winner. 30/15. Ana's depth forced Errani to spray a crosscourt forehand wide. 40/15. Ace out wide.

Mark Petchey said Errani was struggling too much in her own service-games to make much of an impact on Ana's service-games (except that one break back).

Sam Smith said Ana had a very good perspective on defending her title: "I don't think about defending; I just think about winning the title."

Errani serving 3-4: Errani hit a down-the-line forehand winner back behind Ana. 15/0. Errani on the third stroke hit a backhand just long. 15/15. Errani came to the net, but a dipping crosscourt backhand pass at her feet forced her to earth a backhand. 15/30. Errani forced a short lob from Ana, let it bounce, and dispatched it with an off-forehand smash-winner. 30/30. Forehand return just long (the umpire checked the mark at Ana's request, and confirmed it). 40/30. Errani slipped and hit a forehand long. 40/40. Double fault (second serve long). Ad Ana (BP #1). Second serve: Ana hit a big forehand return just long. Deuce #2. Errani hit a down-the-line forehand back behind Ana, forcing Ana to net a backhand behind her back. Ad Errani. Ana hit a backhand halfway up the net.

That's three Errani service-games now where Ana has had break-points but not broken. Errani's in trouble whenever she has to hit a second serve, but there was no need for Ana to go for such a big return on that last break-point.

Ana serving 4-4: Ana hit an error-forcing crosscourt forehand just inside the sideline. 15/0. Ana netted a backhand. 15/15. Double fault (second serve VERY long). 15/30. Tentative second serve after that double fault: a deep forehand return forced Ana to hit a forehand long. 15/40 (BP #1). Errani's return forced a short ball, which she dispatched with an off-forehand winner to break, and will now serve for the first set...

Ana could have won this first set easily if she hadn't squandered so many break-points: she has only converted one of eight, while Errani has converted two of two!

Errani serving 5-4: Ana hit a deep crosscourt forehand return-winner into the corner. 0/15. First serve: backhand return just long. 15/15. Ana hit a deep crosscourt forehand return, forcing Errani to miss a forehand. 15/30. Errani lofted an off-forehand wide. 15/40 (BP #1). Errani mishit a crosscourt forehand wide.

Suddenly Errani's forehand has broken down - perhaps nerves at the prospect of 'shoulding' to take the first set from the defending champion?

Ana serving 5-5: Service-winner out wide. 15/0. Ana forehand long. 15/15. Ana's deep forehand forced Errani to bunt one long. Ana pumped her fist and said "ajde". 30/15. Ana forced a short ball and hit a "very measured" crosscourt forehand winner. 40/15. Ana defended well against a big return and big fourth shot, and Errani netted a forehand smash.

Sam Smith said Ana was not as good as the other top players at pulling through when she's playing badly - in contrast to Safina, who won Rome after playing terribly in the early rounds.

Errani serving 5-6: Second serve: Ana hit a lightning crosscourt forehand return-winner into the corner. 0/15. Ana pushed Errani into the tramlines with an acute crosscourt backhand, and hit a backhand winner back behind Errani. 0/30. First serve out wide: down-the-line forehand wide. 15/30. Errani forced a short lob, and dispatched it with a high forehand volley-winner. 30/30. Service-winner out wide. 40/30. Ana chased down a volley and hit a forehand pass-winner down the line. 40/40. Double fault (second serve wide). Ad Ana (SP #1). Errani took the initiative, and her down-the-line forehand forced Ana to net a backhand. Deuce #2. Ana hit a forehand winner down Errani's forehand-sideline, and celebrated with a bigger fist-pump + "ajde" than before. Ad Ana (SP #2). Errani saved it with an error-forcing backhand dropshot - Ana was about four metres behind the baseline. Deuce #3. Ana forced a short lob, but got her position wrong and hit a crosscourt forehand smash wide. Ad Errani. She went to the net and hit a delectable crosscourt backhand drop-volley winner.

Two more break-points go begging for Ana - set-points this time!

6-6 tiebreak (all scores Ivanović/Errani):
{*0/0} Ana hit a crosscourt forehand just wide - after good retrieval by Errani.
{0/1*} Errani came to the net, but Ana's dipping forehand pass forced her to net a forehand volley.
{1/1*} Errani hit a forehand winner, but Ana asked the umpire to check the mark from Errani's previous shot: the umpire called it long, and Errani was upset and shouting.
{*2/1} First serve out wide + crosscourt forehand drive-volley winner.
{*3/1} First serve out wide + crosscourt backhand winner.
{4/1*} Errani played an aggressive rally, finishing with a crosscourt forehand winner.
{4/2*} Ana ran around her backhand, and hooked a forehand winner down Errani's forehand-sideline.
{*5/2} Ana on the third stroke netted a backhand.
{*5/3} Errani dumped a one-handed backhand into the bottom of the net - constant pressure from Ana in that rally.
{6/3*: SP #3} Errani on the third stroke hit a forehand wide. Ana won the first set 7-6 (7/3) at 12:21 (1h13m).

Mark Petchey: "Ivanović was certainly more courageous in that opening set than her Italian opponent."


Second set
----------
IVANOV _*@*@*__@ 6
ERRANI *_____*@_ 3

Errani serving 0-0: Errani went to the net, forcing Ana to net a forehand pass. Errani's depth forced Ana to net a forehand. 30/0. Errani netted a forehand, and swished her racket. 30/15. Ana backhand wide. 40/15. Errani forehand just long... but the umpire checked the mark and overruled it, so they had to replay.

Mark Petchey said Ana was overdoing the fist-pump: it gives the opponent belief that Ana doesn't have total belief in herself.

Ana serving 0-1: Errani netted a forehand. 15/0. Ana came to the net and hit an off-backhand punch-volley. 30/0. Ana backhand wide. 30/15. Ana on the third stroke hit a forehand long. 30/30. Ana forehand wide. 30/40. Ace down the middle. 40/40. A crosscourt-backhand drill finished with Ana hitting one for a winner. Ad Ana. She hit a down-the-line backhand wide. Deuce #2. Another crosscourt-backhand drill ended with Ana netting one. Ad Errani (BP #1). First serve out wide + "stunning" backhand winner down the line. Deuce #3. Ana forehand just long. Ad Errani (BP #2). The power and depth of Ana's forehand forced Errani to net a backhand. Deuce #4. Ana netted a forehand. Ad Errani (BP #3). Ana's off-forehand forced Errani to hit a sliced backhand wide. Deuce #5. Service-winner out wide. Ad Ana. Errani backhand just long.

Now it's Errani with the baggage of three missed break-points in this set.

The commentators said that Ana was a very difficult player to coach, because she doesn't have enough compromise in her game, but you don't want to take away her power, which is her strength.

Craig Kardon has been Ana's coach since February, and it's been a successful relationship so far, because they share the same ideas about the way her game should be: aggressive but consistent.

Errani serving 1-1: Ana netted a forehand. 0/15. Ana crosscourt forehand winner. 15/15. Errani's backhand clipped the netcord and fell back on her side. 15/30. Errani backhand lob just long. 15/40 (BP #1). Errani hit an off-forehand into the corner, forcing Ana to hit a one-handed backhand that floated long and wide. 30/40 (BP #2). Ana netted a backhand, and reacted tetchily. 40/40. First serve out wide: Ana hit a pinpoint forehand return-winner down the line. Ad Ana (BP #3). First serve out wide + forehand winner down Ana's forehand-sideline. Deuce #2. Double fault (second serve just long). Ad Ana (BP #4). Ana's depth forced Errani to hit a forehand lob wide.

Ana serving 2-1: Ana dumped a backhand halfway up the net. 0/15. Ana crosscourt forehand winner. 15/15. Ace down the middle: on the centre-line. 30/15. Ana went to the net and hit a forehand drop-volley winner. 40/15. First serve down the middle forced Errani to hit a forehand return very long.

Errani serving 1-3: Ana went back behind Errani with a forehand winner down the line. 0/15. Ana pounced on a short ball with a backhand winner down the line, and said "ajde". 0/30. Ana off-forehand return-winner. 0/40 (BP #1). Errani crosscourt forehand wide.

Ana serving 4-1: Ana backhand long. 0/15. Service-winner. 15/15. Ana off-forehand winner. 30/15. Ana netted a forehand. 30/30. Ana crosscourt forehand winner back behind Errani. 40/30. Double fault (second serve into the net). 40/40. Quadruple fault! (second serve long/wide). Ad Errani. Ace down the middle. Deuce #2. Double fault (second serve into the net). Ad Errani (BP #1). Errani backhand long. Deuce #3. An intriguing rally - with good recovery by Ana - ended with Errani dumping a sliced backhand halfway up the net. Ad Ana. Errani forehand dropshot-winner (Ana backhand not up). Deuce #4. Ana forehand wide. Ad Errani (BP #2). Ana went to the net, hit an off-forehand drive-volley winner and said "ajde". Deuce #5. Ana ran down a dropshot and returned the favour with a forehand dropshot-winner. Ad Ana. She stranded Errani and hit a crosscourt forehand winner.

Ana got away with three double faults in that game.

The commentators are talking about Ana like she has already won this match - despite her problems converting leads in the first set.

Errani serving 1-5: Second serve: Ana backhand return-winner on the sideline. 0/15. Ana dumped a forehand halfway up the net, and swished her racket in annoyance. 15/15. Errani hit a pinpoint forehand winner down the line. 30/15. Ana forehand long. 40/15. First serve out wide: forehand return wide.

Mark Petchey said Ana was "introspective" and "very analytical", which means she has problems mentally brushing off bad games.

Ana serving 5-2: Ace out wide. 15/0. Errani backhand winner down the line. 15/15. Errani hit a big forehand down the line, forcing Ana to net a sliced backhand. 15/30. Double fault (second serve into the net). 15/40 (BP #1). Ana painted the sideline with a crosscourt backhand winner. 30/40 (BP #2). Errani forced a short ball, and dispatched it with a crosscourt forehand winner.

In the first set, it was Ana struggling to convert break-points (2 of 12), but in this set, it's Errani who is struggling in that department (1 of 9).

Errani serving 3-5: Errani netted a forehand. 0/15. Ana opened up the court for a backhand winner down the line. 0/30. Double fault (second serve into the net). 0/40 (MP #1). Ana forehand long. 15/40 (MP #2). Ana hit a down-the-line forehand just wide - after her previous backhand was guided in by the netcord. 30/40 (MP #3). Ana forced a short lob, and dispatched it with a forehand smash-winner. Ana won 7-6 (7/3) 6-3 at 13:11 (second set 50m, match 2h03m), and screamed with delight.


Quotes from Ana
---------------

"I expected a tough match. I knew I would have to work hard for my points today, and I'm very happy I did that. I kept my composure even when I was making a few mistakes. I knew I just had to work my way slowly into the match. I was just happy to use the chances I had and finally win.

"My knee wasn't a problem. I feel fine. I had some good practice-sessions last week after taking the Madrid-tournament off. It only takes a few days to get back into shape. I feel very fit.

"Obviously I'm going to feel it here and there - there is still a bit of residue, a feeling of discomfort. But it's nothing that can stop me from doing what I have to do on court."

-----------------------------------------------
4. First-round TV mini-report: Petrova v Embree
-----------------------------------------------

- Lauren Embree [WC] lt. NADIA PETROVA [11], 1-6 2-6

In an unexpected treat for fans of women's tennis, BBC Red Button televised this match on Suzanne Lenglen Court because it was the one before Andy Murray's - for once, the BBC used him as an excuse to SHOW a women's match!

Lauren Embree is an 18-year-old American ranked #628 (and #7 in the ITF junior-rankings), who got into the draw by winning the USTA's French Open wild-card play-off (the French and Americans have a reciprocal agreement for getting into each other's draws).

Embree is short, blonde, and cuter on TV than in the photos I saw when I plugged her name into Google Image Search.

Embree looked scared to death as she waited to come onto court with world #11 Petrova, and then actually did. She didn't show much power or depth early on, while Petrova is a huge, muscular specimen with plenty of power.

Embree cut her right knee when she slipped over in the second game of the match, and played with a stream of blood running down her leg until the changeover when she was 0-3* down - only then did she get it cleaned and taped by the trainer.

I was pleased to see Embree win a game in the first set; in the second set, she was a bit more aggressive and won two.

Embree has chosen to go to college rather than turn professional, which means she doesn't get any prize-money; the commentators said that was the correct decision for her, given her lack of weapons, and that going to college would be better for her tennis than trying to grind out a living on the ITF Women's Circuit.

Petrova could face Maria Sharapova in the second round, but against the resistance of a junior, it was difficult to gauge how much of a threat she'll be to Maria, who can match Petrova's power but was very erratic at Warsaw this week.

-------------------------------------------------------------
5. First-round scoreboard mini-report: Diatchenko v Johansson
-------------------------------------------------------------

+ Vitalia Diatchenko [Q,S] d. Mathilde Johansson, 2-6 6-2 10-8

Johansson served for the match at *7-6 in the third, and missed several match-points before Diatchenko broke back. But at that time, I was looking at Diatchenko's photos on Yahoo!, and changed my mind about who I wanted to win!

Diatchenko led 8-7* and 9-8*, when she broke to love to seal victory, having saved EIGHT match-points! (four with double faults). Johansson was a tearful wreck after the match.

Johansson: "For each match-point, I was very confident. I thought I would win it, and I missed the first one, and I was pretty nervous on the second, and it was more difficult for me to play. At the moment, I just feel like running away. But we all make mistakes, and this is an experience I'll be able to use for my future Grand Slam [sic] tournaments."

I have a good chance of seeing Diatchenko on BBC Red Button in the second round, as she will play either top seed Dinara Safina or British #1 Anne Keothavong!

-------------------
6. First-round draw (Sunday's losers removed)
-------------------

The players on the left are the ones I want to win.


6.1 Top quarter
---------------

* Anne Keothavong v DINARA SAFINA [1] (let's get rid of Safina)
* Vitalia Diatchenko [Q,S] won
* Julie Coin won
* ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA [27] won

* Polona Hercog [Q] v ALISA KLEYBANOVA [23] (dajmo Polona!)
* Aravane Rezaï v Ai Sugiyama (allez Aravane!)
* Michelle Larcher de Brito [Q] v Melanie South (Brito > this Briton)
* ZHENG,JIE [15] v Stéphanie Cohen-Aloro (jia you Jie!)

* VICTORIA AZARENKA [9] won
* Kristina Barrois won
* Lucie Hradecká [s] v Yvonne Meusburger [Q] (pojďme Lucie!)
* Edina Gallovits v CARLA SUÁREZ NAVARRO [22]

* IVETA BENEŠOVÁ [32] won
* Alla Kudryavtseva won
* Camille Pin v Tamarine Tanasugarn
* ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] won


6.2 Second quarter: Lucie Šafářová, Maria Sharapova
---------------------------------------------------

* VENUS WILLIAMS [3] v Bethanie Mattek-Sands
* Lucie Šafářová [EF] v Sabine Lisicki [DF] (my loyalty is to LUCIE)
* Elena Vesnina won
* ÁGNES SZÁVAY [29] v Corinna Dentoni [Q]

* DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20] v Alyona Bondarenko (my loyalty is to Domi)
* Kirsten Flipkens v Stéphanie Foretz (komaan Kirsten!)
* Gisela Dulko [DF] won
* Anna-Lena Grönefeld won

* NADIA PETROVA [11] won
* Maria Sharapova [EF] v Anastasiya Yakimova (DAVAI MARIA!!)
* Arantxa Rus [Q] won
* Yaroslava Shvedova [Q] won

* LI,NA [25] won
* Timea Bacsinszky won
* Irena Pavlović [WC,S] v Akgul Amanmuradova (allez Irena!)
* Katie O'Brien [LL] v Olga Govortsova (my loyalty is to Katie)

N.B. Katie O'Brien [LL] replaces VERA ZVONARËVA [6,EF]. :bigcry:


6.3 Third quarter: Chakvetadze, Hantuchová, Dokić
-------------------------------------------------

* Petra Cetkovská v JELENA JANKOVIĆ [5] (pojďme Petra!)
* Magdaléna Rybáriková [DF] v Kristina Mladenović [WC] (poďme Magda!)
* Jarmila Groth v Kinnie Laisné [WC]
* ANNA CHAKVETADZE [26,EF] v Mariana Duque Marino [LL] (DAVAI ANNA!!)

* ALIZÉ CORNET [21] v Maret Ani (allez Alizé!)
* Sorana Cîrstea v Carly Gullickson [Q] (hai Sorana!)
* Tsvetana Pironkova [DF] v Jill Craybas (aide Tsvetana!)
* CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [10] v Vera Dushevina (kom så Caroline!)

* MARION BARTOLI [13,DF,S] v Pauline Parmentier (allez Marion!)
* Ayumi Morita [s] v Tathiana Garbin (ganbatte Ayumi!)
* Daniela Hantuchová [EF] v Virginie Razzano (POĎME DANIELA!!)
* Ekaterina Makarova v ANABEL MEDINA GARRIGUES [18]

* SAMANTHA STOSUR [30] v Francesca Schiavone
* Urszula Radwańska v Yanina Wickmayer (my loyalty is to Urszula)
* Jelena Dokić [EF] v Karolina Šprem [DF] (my loyalty is to JELENA)
* ELENA DEMENTIEVA [4] v Chanelle Scheepers [Q]


6.4 Bottom quarter: Nicole Vaidišová
------------------------------------

* SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [7] v Claire Feuerstein [WC]
* Sania Mirza [DF] v Galina Voskoboeva (go Sania!)
* Anastasija Sevastova [Q] v Melinda Czink
* Nathalie Dechy v SYBILLE BAMMER [28]

* Kateryna Bondarenko v PATTY SCHNYDER [17]
* Maria Kirilenko [DF] v Olivia Rogowska [WC] (davai Maria!)
* Patricia Mayr v Mariya Koryttseva
* Rossana de los Ríos v AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [12]

* FLAVIA PENNETTA [14,DF] v Alexa Glatch (forza Flavia!)
* Barbora Záhlavová Strýcová v Lourdes Domínguez Lino
* Mara Santangelo v Petra Martić [Q]
* Monica Niculescu [s] v ALEKSANDRA WOZNIAK [24] (hai Monica!)

* PENG,SHUAI [31,S] v María José Martínez Sánchez (jia you Shuai!)
* Viktoriya Kutuzova v Zuzana Ondrášková [Q] (my loyalty is to Viktoriya)
* Nicole Vaidišová [EF] v Virginia Ruano Pascual (my loyalty is to NICOLE)
* Klára Zakopalová v SERENA WILLIAMS [2] (pojďme Klára!)

---------------------------------------------
7. Sam Smith's comments about Maria Sharapova
---------------------------------------------

BBC-commentator Sam Smith made the following comments about Maria Sharapova during the Nadia Petrova v Lauren Embree match:

"I'm hesitating about my assessment of Sharapova, who looked in great shape [at Warsaw]: her shoulder was absolutely fine - no residual problems after the matches.

"But for some of the matches, she looked as if she'd never been away, and in her quarter-final match against Alyona Bondarenko, who's a very good player - former top-twenty player - she was very, very erratic, and missed so many shots.

"She's trying to play very aggressively now, Maria Sharapova, and coming into the net as much as she can on the shorter ball.

"She's got a brand new serve: completely abbreviated action. It looked quite good, actually, after a match.

"Sorry to be so vague, but it's just really difficult to get a measure of the form of Sharapova coming in here. I think it could be a competitive match [against Petrova, should they meet in the second round] - very much so."

------------------
8. Andrew's wishes (updated after Sunday)
------------------
8.1 Second round: Top half
--------------------------

+ Vitalia Diatchenko [Q,S] d. Anne Keothavong
+ ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA [27] d. Julie Coin
+ Aravane Rezaï d. Polona Hercog [Q]
+ ZHENG,JIE [15] d. Michelle Larcher de Brito [Q]

+ VICTORIA AZARENKA [9] d. Kristina Barrois
+ Lucie Hradecká [s] d. Edina Gallovits
+ IVETA BENEŠOVÁ [32] d. Alla Kudryavtseva
+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] d. Camille Pin

+ Lucie Šafářová [EF] d. VENUS WILLIAMS [3]
+ Elena Vesnina d. ÁGNES SZÁVAY [29]
+ DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20] d. Kirsten Flipkens
+ Gisela Dulko [DF] d. Anna-Lena Grönefeld

+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. NADIA PETROVA [11]
+ Yaroslava Shvedova [Q] d. Arantxa Rus [Q]
+ Timea Bacsinszky d. LI,NA [25]
+ Katie O'Brien [LL] d. Irena Pavlović [WC,S]

N.B. Katie O'Brien [LL] replaces VERA ZVONARËVA [6,EF]. :bigcry:


8.2 Second round: Bottom half
-----------------------------

+ Magdaléna Rybáriková [DF] d. Petra Cetkovská
+ ANNA CHAKVETADZE [26,EF] d. Jarmila Groth
+ ALIZÉ CORNET [21] d. Sorana Cîrstea
+ Tsvetana Pironkova [DF] d. CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [10]

+ MARION BARTOLI [13,DF,S] d. Ayumi Morita [s]
+ Daniela Hantuchová [EF] d. Ekaterina Makarova
+ Urszula Radwańska d. SAMANTHA STOSUR [30]
+ Jelena Dokić [EF] d. ELENA DEMENTIEVA [4]

+ Sania Mirza [DF] d. SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [7]
+ Nathalie Dechy d. Anastasija Sevastova [Q]
+ Maria Kirilenko [DF] d. Kateryna Bondarenko
+ Rossana de los Ríos d. Patricia Mayr

+ FLAVIA PENNETTA [14,DF] d. Barbora Záhlavová Strýcová
+ Monica Niculescu [s] d. Mara Santangelo
+ PENG,SHUAI [31,S] d. Viktoriya Kutuzova (my Passion says Viktoriya, but my Reason says Shuai)
+ Nicole Vaidišová [EF] d. Klára Zakopalová


8.3 Third-round wishes
----------------------

+ Vitalia Diatchenko [Q,S] d. ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA [27]
+ Aravane Rezaï d. ZHENG,JIE [15]
+ VICTORIA AZARENKA [9] d. Lucie Hradecká [s]
+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] d. IVETA BENEŠOVÁ [32]

+ Lucie Šafářová [EF] d. Elena Vesnina
+ Gisela Dulko [DF] d. DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20]
+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. Yaroslava Shvedova [Q]
+ Katie O'Brien [LL] d. Timea Bacsinszky

N.B. Katie O'Brien [LL] replaces VERA ZVONARËVA [6,EF]. :bigcry:

+ ANNA CHAKVETADZE [26,EF] d. Magdaléna Rybáriková [DF]
+ Tsvetana Pironkova [DF] d. ALIZÉ CORNET [21]
+ Daniela Hantuchová [EF] d. MARION BARTOLI [13,DF,S]
+ Jelena Dokić [EF] d. Urszula Radwańska

+ Sania Mirza [DF] d. Nathalie Dechy
+ Maria Kirilenko [DF] d. Rossana de los Ríos
+ FLAVIA PENNETTA [14,DF] d. Monica Niculescu [s]
+ Nicole Vaidišová [EF] d. PENG,SHUAI [31,S]


8.4 Fourth-round wishes
-----------------------

+ Vitalia Diatchenko [Q,S] d. Aravane Rezaï
+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] d. VICTORIA AZARENKA [9]
+ Lucie Šafářová [EF] d. Gisela Dulko [DF]
+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. Katie O'Brien [LL]

N.B. Katie O'Brien [LL] replaces VERA ZVONARËVA [6,EF]. :bigcry:

+ ANNA CHAKVETADZE [26,EF] d. Tsvetana Pironkova [DF]
+ Jelena Dokić [EF] d. Daniela Hantuchová [EF] (sorry, Daniela - Jelena needs it more)
+ Maria Kirilenko [DF] d. Sania Mirza [DF]
+ Nicole Vaidišová [EF] d. FLAVIA PENNETTA [14,DF]


8.5 Quarter-final wishes
------------------------

+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] d. Vitalia Diatchenko [Q,S]
+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. Lucie Šafářová [EF]
+ Jelena Dokić [EF] d. ANNA CHAKVETADZE [26,EF]
+ Nicole Vaidišová [EF] d. Maria Kirilenko [DF]


8.6 Semi-final wishes
---------------------

+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF]
+ Jelena Dokić [EF] d. Nicole Vaidišová [EF]


8.7 Final wish
--------------

+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. Jelena Dokić [EF]

Vera Zvonarëva was actually my ideal champion before she withdrew (which would have precluded Maria getting past the fourth round), but my priority now is for Maria to complete her Career Grand Slam, although I'd love to see another member of my Eternal Fanship win a Major.

------------------------------------
9. Women's Doubles: First-round draw
------------------------------------

My selections (desired winners on the left):

* Anna Chakvetadze [EF]/Maria Elena Camerin v Gisela Dulko [DF]/Ágnes Szávay

* Nicole Vaidišová [EF]/Eva Hrdinová v Ekaterina Dzehalevich/Andreja Klepač

* (DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [EF]/AI SUGIYAMA)[7] v Emilie Loit/Kristina Mladenović [WC]

* Lucie Šafářová [EF]/Vladimíra Uhlířová v Stéphanie Foretz/Camille Pin [WC]

* Jelena Dokić [EF]/Alisa Kleybanova v Petra Cetkovská/Carla Suárez Navarro

* (MARIA KIRILENKO [DF]/FLAVIA PENNETTA [DF])[8] v Sorana Cîrstea/Caroline Wozniacki

* Magdaléna Rybáriková [DF]/Ayumi Morita [s] v (BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS/NADIA PETROVA)[10]

* (HSIEH,SU-WEI [s]/PENG,SHUAI [s])[9] v Liga Dekmeijere/Aleksandra Wozniak

* (YAN,ZI [s]/ZHENG,JIE)[16] v Edina Gallovits/Olga Govortsova

----------------------------
10. Order of play for Monday
----------------------------

Court 1 (start 11:00 CEST = 09:00 GMT = 10:00 BST)
MS 1r: Nicolas Devilder v STANISLAS WAWRINKA [17]
WS 1r: Maria Sharapova [EF] v Anastasiya Yakimova
MS 1r: Björn Phau v Jérémy Chardy
WS 1r: CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [10] v Vera Dushevina

Court 6 (start 11:00 CEST = 09:00 GMT = 10:00 BST)
MS 1r: ROBIN SÖDERLING [23] v Kevin Kim
WS 1r: Lucie Šafářová [EF] v Sabine Lisicki [DF]
MS 1r: Robby Ginepri v Pablo Andújar
WS 1r: Jarmila Groth v Kinnie Laisné [WC]

Court 16 (start 11:00 CEST = 09:00 GMT = 10:00 BST)
MS 1r: Mikhail Youzhny v Gilles Müller
WS 1r: Edina Gallovits v CARLA SUÁREZ NAVARRO [22]
MS 1r: José Acasuso v Santiago Ventura
WS 1r: ANNA CHAKVETADZE [26,EF] v Mariana Duque Marino [LL]

Full order of play:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/scores/schedule/

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

andrewbroad
May 26th, 2009, 03:32 AM
=============
ROLAND GARROS (Paris, France; red clay; Major)
============= http://www.rolandgarros.com/
Contents
--------

1. Photos
2. First-round results
3. First-round TV mini-report: Safina v Keothavong
4. First-round scoreboard-report: Šafářová v Lisicki
5. First-round scoreboard-report: Sharapova v Yakimova
6. First-round scoreboard-report: Chakvetadze v Duque Marino
7. First-round draw
8. Second-round preview: Šafářová v V.Williams
9. Second-round preview: Sharapova v Petrova
10. Andrew's wishes
11. Order of play for Tuesday

---------
1. Photos
---------

Search-list for Day 2:

sharapova
safarova
chakvetadze
maria kirilenko
pennetta
pironkova
lisicki
bartoli
cibulkova
bondarenko
rezai
hercog

----------------------
2. First-round results (Monday 25th May 2009)
----------------------

Nice winner, nice loser:
+ Lucie Šafářová [EF] d. Sabine Lisicki [DF], 6-2 1-6 6-1
+ DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20] d. Alyona Bondarenko, 6-4 2-6 6-4
+ Olga Govortsova d. Katie O'Brien [LL], 6-1 6-1

What rocked:
+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. Anastasiya Yakimova, 3-6 6-1 6-2
+ MARION BARTOLI [13,DF,S] d. Pauline Parmentier, 3-6 6-1 6-3
+ Aravane Rezaď d. Ai Sugiyama, 6-3 6-2
+ Polona Hercog [Q] d. ALISA KLEYBANOVA [23], 6-2 4-6 6-1
+ ZHENG,JIE [15] d. Stéphanie Cohen-Aloro, 6-1 6-3
+ Lucie Hradecká [s] d. Yvonne Meusburger [Q], 6-1 6-2
+ Kirsten Flipkens d. Stéphanie Foretz, 6-1 4-6 6-4

What sucked:
- ANNA CHAKVETADZE [26,EF] lt. Mariana Duque Marino [LL], 6-3 4-6 4-6
- Maria Kirilenko [DF] lt. Olivia Rogowska [WC], 4-6 4-6
- FLAVIA PENNETTA [14,DF] lt. Alexa Glatch, 1-6 1-6
- Tsvetana Pironkova [DF] lt. Jill Craybas, 5-7 2-6
- Ayumi Morita [s] lt. Tathiana Garbin, 5-7 5-7
- Irena Pavlović [WC,S] lt. Akgul Amanmuradova, 3-6 4-6
- Barbora Záhlavová Strýcová lt. Lourdes Domínguez Lino, 1-6 6-4 7-9

Flavia's shocking defeat can be put down to a leg-injury that prevented her from practising until late last week.

All other results:
+ DINARA SAFINA [1] d. Anne Keothavong, 6-0 6-0
+ VENUS WILLIAMS [3] d. Bethanie Mattek-Sands, 6-1 4-6 6-2
+ AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [12] d. Rossana de los Ríos, 6-3 6-1
+ Kateryna Bondarenko d. PATTY SCHNYDER [17], 6-4 6-3
+ CARLA SUÁREZ NAVARRO [22] d. Edina Gallovits, 6-1 6-4
+ ÁGNES SZÁVAY [29] d. Corinna Dentoni [Q], 6-3 6-3
+ Michelle Larcher de Brito [Q] d. Melanie South, 0-6 7-6 (7/5) 7-5
+ Tamarine Tanasugarn d. Camille Pin, 6-3 5-7 7-5
+ Mariya Koryttseva d. Patricia Mayr, 6-1 6-1
+ Jarmila Groth d. Kinnie Laisné [WC], 6-4 6-3

Suspended overnight due to darkness:
* CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [10] v Vera Dushevina, 4-6 7-5 *0-0

--------------------------------------------------
3. First-round TV mini-report: Safina v Keothavong (Monday 25th May 2009)
--------------------------------------------------

+ DINARA SAFINA [1] d. Anne Keothavong, 6-0 6-0

This was the only women's match on BBC Red Button today. First Keothavong started losing, and then the loserful loser lost. I've never understood how Keothavong became a top-fifty player with her abject lack of talent, and I'm certainly none the wiser today.

It looked like Keothavong would avoid the double bagel at *0-3 (40/0) in the second set, but Safina pulled it back to deuce, and converted her second break-point of that game.

Keothavong saved four match-points from *0-5 (0/40), and had two game-points in that game. But whereas Ioana Raluca Olaru had avoided being double-bagelled by Keothavong from 0-6 0-5 at Warsaw last week, Keothavong couldn't hold off Safina, who no doubt wanted to send a statement to the rest of the women's draw after becoming world number-one without winning a Major.

Keothavong: "I'm a much better tennis-player than I was, you know, this time last year, and I think the other players know that. And, you know, she's the number-one player in the world; she's capable of doing that to anyone, and it happens some times, but you just move on and look ahead."

I beg to differ. The WTA confirms that this was the first 6-0 6-0 victory of Safina's career, so it had to take an exceptionally incompetent player to be on the receiving end of this particular scoreline.

----------------------------------------------------
4. First-round scoreboard-report: Šafářová v Lisicki (Monday 25th May 2009)
----------------------------------------------------

+ Lucie Šafářová [EF] d. Sabine Lisicki [DF], 6-2 1-6 6-1

A mouthwatering, but sadly untelevised match between the last player I inducted into my Eternal Fanship, and one of the leading contenders to be the next (my Passion says Magdaléna Rybárikova, but my Reason says Sabine - I need both Passion and Reason to become an Eternal Fan of someone).

A strange, seesaw scoreline. It's understandable that Sabine would be out of sorts after she was hospitalised with severe abdominal pains just over two weeks ago, but I thought she was perhaps just rusty when she stormed back to win the second set. But Lucie made a great start to the third set, and pushed home her advantage like a pro.


First set
---------
ŠAFÁŘOV @ @*@* * 6
LISICKI _@____*_ 2

The match was second on Court 6, and started at 13:43 CEST.

Sabine serving 0-0: Broken to love.
Lucie serving 1-0: Broken to love.
Sabine serving 1-1: Broken to love.

Lucie serving 2-1: 15/0. 15/30. 30/30. 40/30. Held.
Sabine serving 1-3: 0/15. 15/15. 15/40 (BP #1). 30/40 (BP #2). Broken.

The scores so far imply that Sabine is out of sorts - perhaps not fully fit after being hospitalised with severe abdominal pains a couple of weeks ago.

Lucie serving 4-1: 30/0. 30/15. 40/15. Deuce #1. Ad Lucie. Deuce #2. Ad Lucie. Held.

Sabine serving 1-5: 0/30. 15/30. 15/40 (SP #1). 30/40 (SP #2). Deuce #1. Ad Lucie (SP #3). Deuce #2. Ad Sabine. Held.

A bit of baggage for Lucie, missing three set-points there!

Lucie serving 5-2: 30/0. 30/15. 40/15 (SP #4). 40/30 (SP #5). Lucie won the first set 6-2 at 14:14 (31m).


Second set
----------
ŠAFÁŘOV _*_____ 1
LISICKI * *@*@* 6

Sabine serving 0-0: 30/0. 30/15. 40/15. 40/30. Held.
Lucie serving 0-1: 0/30. 40/30. Deuce #1. Ad Sabine (BP). Deuce #2. Ad Lucie. Deuce #3. Ad Lucie. Held.

An important hold for Lucie from 0/30. Now that Sabine has settled into holding her big serve, a break there would have really changed the momentum in Sabine's favour.

Sabine serving 1-1: 30/0. 30/15. 40/15. 40/30. Held.
Lucie serving 1-2: 0/15. 15/15. 15/40 (BP #1). Broken.

That's a big blow to Lucie's chances. I'm not sure if Sabine was feeling unwell or just rusty in the first set, but she certainly has the momentum now...

Sabine serving 3-1: 0/15. 15/15. 40/15. 40/30. Held.

...and the advantage of serving first.

Lucie serving 1-4: 0/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP). Broken.

I think it would be better for Lucie to sacrifice this set now, and start the third set with the advantage of serving first.

Sabine serving 5-1: 0/30. 30/30. 40/30 (SP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Lucie (BP). Deuce #2. Ad Sabine (SP #2). Deuce #3. Ad Sabine (SP #3). Deuce #4. Ad Sabine (SP #4). Sabine won the second set 6-1 at 14:49 (second set 35m, match so far 1h06m).


Third set
---------
ŠAFÁŘOV *@* *@* 6
LISICKI ___*___ 1

The third set didn't start until 14:57 - not long enough for a heat-break, so I guess it must have been a bathroom-break.

Lucie serving 0-0: 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30. Held.
Sabine serving 0-1: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 30/40 (BP). Broken.

Wow - what a great response by Lucie to losing that second set!

But I must admit I'm not that confident that Lucie can push home her advantage from here, after the second set slipped away from her so one-sidedly - and it's not like she wasn't trying, given that the last game of the second set had four deuces. And I know Sabine is a great fighter, so it ain't over till the fat lady sings.

Lucie serving 2-0: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15. Held.
Sabine serving 0-3: 15/0. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 40/30. Held.
Lucie serving 3-1: 30/0. 30/30. 40/30. Deuce. Ad Lucie. Held.
Sabine serving 1-4: 15/0. 15/40 (BP). Broken.
Lucie serving 5-1: 40/0 (MP #1). 40/15 (MP #2). Lucie won 6-2 1-6 6-1 at 15:25 (third set 36m, match 1h42m).

Statistics:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/scores/stats/day7/2018ms.html

------------------------------------------------------
5. First-round scoreboard-report: Sharapova v Yakimova (Monday 25th May 2009)
------------------------------------------------------

+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. Anastasiya Yakimova, 3-6 6-1 6-2

A scrappy performance by Maria, who lost the last four games of the first set after leading *3-2.

It would appear that the Sharapova-overdrive kicked in after that, as she swept through the last two sets with just a few minor hiccups, and won just a minute shy of the two-hour mark.

The match was second on Court 1, and started at 15:30 CEST. Unfortunately, BBC Red Button was showing the early stages of Martín v Federer at the time, so I had to make do with live scores at www.rolandgarros.com (http://www.rolandgarros.com).


First set
---------
SHARAPOV __@*@____ 3
YAKIMOVA *@___@*@* 6

Yakimova serving 0-0: 40/0. 40/15. Held.
Maria serving 0-1: 15/15. 15/40 (BP). Broken.
Yakimova serving 2-0: 0/30. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP). Broken.

They say great champions break back immediately.

Maria serving 1-2: 15/0. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Maria. Deuce #2. Ad Yakimova (BP #2). Deuce #3. Ad Maria. Held.

Two break-points saved - it could easily have been 1-3* now.

Yakimova serving 2-2: 30/0. 30/30. 30/40 (BP #1). Deuce. Ad Maria (BP #2). Broken.
Maria serving 3-2: 0/30. 15/30. 15/40 (BP). Broken.

Four breaks in six service-games - this is so up and down. I can't believe Maria's actually going to lose this one...

Yakimova serving 3-3: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30. Held.
Maria serving 3-4: 15/0. 15/40. 30/40 (BP). Broken.

Yakimova serving 5-3: 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30 (SP #1). Deuce. Ad Yakimova (SP #2). Yakimova won the first set 6-3 at 16:16 (46m).

Maria has lost four games in a row now, so we do now have to contemplate the dreadful possibility of her losing in the first round of a Major for the first time since the French Open 2003.

And with Federer currently leading 6-4 5-2*, Maria could even slip out of the French Open without being televised by the BBC since Wimbledon 2008. :sad:


Second set
----------
SHARAPOV *@*@ @* 6
YAKIMOVA ____@__ 1

Maria serving 0-0: 40/0. 40/15. Held.
Yakimova serving 0-1: 15/0. 15/15. 15/40 (BP). Broken.
Maria serving 2-0: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15. Held.
Yakimova serving 0-3: 15/0. 15/40 (BP). Broken.

Tremendous response so far by Maria to dropping that opening set!

Maria serving 4-0: Broken to love.

I hope I didn't just jinx her.

Yakimova is now taking a medical time-out to get her lower back massaged.

Yakimova serving 1-4: 0/40 (BPx3). Deuce. Ad Maria (BP #4). Broken.
Maria serving 5-1: 0/15. 40/15. 40/30. Maria won the second set 6-1 at 16:54 (second set 38m, match so far 1h24m).


Third set
---------
SHARAPOV @* * *@* 6
YAKIMOVA __* *___ 2

Yakimova serving 0-0: 15/0. 15/40 (BP). Broken.
Maria serving 1-0: Held to love.

She's got the bit between her teeth now! :D

Yakimova serving 0-2: 15/15. 40/15. 40/30. Held.
Maria serving 2-1: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30. Deuce. Ad Maria. Held.

It's just as well that Maria seems on course for victory now, because Federer's match just finished, but BBC Red Button is now showing Roddick v Jouan instead of joining this match. :fiery:

Yakimova serving 1-3: Held to love.

Maria's certainly not out of the woods yet. She's not looking quite so dominant now, as Yakimova has held her last two service-games, and Maria already lost the first set after leading *3-2.

Maria serving 3-2: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15. 40/30. Held.
Yakimova serving 2-4: 0/30. 15/30. 15/40 (BP). Broken.

Maria serving 5-2: 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30 (MP #1). Deuce. Ad Maria (MP #2). Maria won 3-6 6-1 6-2 at 17:29 (third set 35m, match 1h59m).

Statistics:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/scores/stats/day7/2026ms.html


Maria's press-conference
------------------------

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How encouraged were you by your performance today?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I started pretty lousy. You know, even though I was up a break, I was just not doing the right things and, you know, letting her play really well. She got a lot of balls back. She made me hit a lot of balls. I was just a little sloppy.

But I totally changed it around, and I started playing a lot better and more aggressive. The match kind of changed after the first few games of the second set.

Q. Must be a different feeling this year than last year, when you were still the No.1. Can you express your feelings? Where is your level now?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, it's a very different - very different time in my career, as well, because I've only played a couple of tournaments since I played here last - actually two, only.

So, you know, I feel like I don't have as many matches under my belt as I had coming into this tournament last year, where, you know, I was No.1. You know, I won a few titles, I was playing really good tennis. This year, it's obviously different after having a long layoff.

Q. Tough to find yourself back here, at the No.128, being the No.1 like you were last year.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: At this point in my career, I don't think - it certainly doesn't bother me, doesn't change the way I think. Many of the girls that are, say, are in the top 10 or top 20 when I was top 5 or 1 in the world, I used to play them second or third round, anyways. Now I just kind of change around, and I've been out of the game. I've always made a point about not really caring who's on the other side of the net, and knowing that I have to go out there and just compete and try to win the match.

Q. Serve is a big part of your game. How would you describe your relationship with your serve today and, say, the last little while trying to get back to it?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: It's interesting, because we're on clay, so I don't feel like - I've never hit 20 ace in a match, per se. I've always been a solid server, so I think especially on clay, it's just so important to have a good percentage of first serves, you know.

Make the opponent hit a return; make the opponent hit a good return. Make them get back in the point. That's kind of what I'm working on here, you know. After shoulder-surgery, I'm not going to come out and hit Mach 50, and try and hit aces left and right.

Q. Seemed like the first set maybe a little bit of nerves. You were hesitating a little bit. Didn't have your normal anticipation. Is it just coming - I know you played more - coming back to the big stage? I know it's a Slam [sic]. You have some expectations of at least playing well.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, well, I don't really have expectations,to be honest. I think this is the first time in my career where I can really say where I don't have any expectations; I don't know how things are going to work out.

I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow, how my shoulder is going to feel. Obviously, I haven't played competitive matches in a long time. That's a big factor for my body and for my shoulder, and, you know, tennis-wise, competing and playing, you know, getting all that back.

I think that's just so important right now just to - I mean, it's definitely - it's tough coming out and thinking of the things you have to do in order to win the match, because at the end of the day, you have to focus on yourself and, you know, you have to focus on what you do well, but you also - you don't want to come out making too many errors, and that kind of hesitation today, you know, force me to make more errors than I usually do.

Q. Doyou see this as sort of a second career now? It's almost been a career since you've been comfortable.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, in a way. Definitely. It's the first time in, you know, in my life where I couldn't practise for such a long period of time. I think it was three months where I didn't touch a tennis-racquet. I mean, everything about it was just bizarre. It was some things were just taken away from your life.

In a strange way, it's kind of, I don't know - it was a little calming, you know. Even though it's obviously stressful because you don't know if you're ever going to get the chance to be out here again and playing again, and you always have to be positive. I mean - don't get me wrong - there are many days where I was really hesitant, and, you know, you try to do the best things, but there are so many different paths and so many voices and so many opinions, and at the end of the day, you have to try and choose the right one.

You know, I've been grateful to have a wonderful team around me that's been able to, you know, support me and help me in making those right decisions, and is leading me to the right paths.

Q. What do the doctors say long term about your shoulder? Do you expect to get completely back to where you were before?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: They say I should be fine.

Q. You've spoken before how fortunate you are.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yes.

Q. When you were out this length of time, did you have time to reflect on what a tremendous experience, what a tremendous life you've had, and the possibility that you might not have it again?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Oh, absolutely.

Q. Could you reflect on that, please?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, absolutely. Every single day. You know, no matter where I was, I was obviously - it seems like I was, you know, home for the whole nine months, but I was spending a lot of time in Arizona, so I wasn't exactly home, home.

I did have an opportunity to have a normal life, and I think when you're traveling 11 months out of the year, always on the go, and you never have the time to actually settle down and appreciate the very little things that you have in life, and, you know, the number-one thing is your family, your support-system, and, you know, the people that are sending you positive vibes every single day. And then just the opportunities that you've had, that you've gained in life from your tennis-career, you know.

Everything, tennis and, you know, in my career and when I go out on the court, drives everything, drives myself, drives my business, drives everything that I do.

You know, you realise that, you know, you sit back and you're like, you miss it, you want to be out there, and, you know, doesn't - it's from the hour you're in the locker-room and putting your dress on, you know, to the 15 minutes before your match, where you're warming up and you're pumping yourself up and, you know, you're going to get out there in front of 20,000 people. You miss that. I certainly missed it.

Q. And the one piece of advice that you got during all this period - what was the best advice that you got?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I mean, many. Definitely many. All that I'm very appreciative of. You know, one thing is that you have to - what I had to realise from the beginning was that it was going to be a long road. As an athlete, you try to anticipate your comeback. You try to figure out when you're going to be back. Oh, there are so many times I thought, "Oh, I had I'll be back in Australia," or, "Oh, I will be back in a few weeks." Every single time, it was disappointment after disappointment because you couldn't achieve that goal. So that's when it kind of becomes a little bit frustrating.

I think another thing is: many people think that you have surgery and you wake up and you're completely fine. There's a lot of work that goes on, especially after being out of the game, not only getting your shoulder right and getting your strength back after shoulder-surgery, but also getting back on the court and training, and trying to be where you were before and even better.

Q. You will play Petrova. How do you consider this match?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I've had pretty good success against her. I haven't seen her recently - especially in the last year or so - so I don't really know how she's playing, but I think my coach watched a little bit of her match, and I'm sure I'll get a few pointers. She has a very aggressive serve. She plays a pretty big game. You know, I'm just excited that I gave myself another opportunity to play tomorrow - not tomorrow, but the day after.

Q. If this is Act 2 of your career, given that you've had a lot of time to think about things, is there anything you feel like you'll approach differently?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think my losses, you know, because I was - I am still and I was a big competitor. The losses are very tough to take, and no matter what brave face you put on, it's always difficult, especially the next day or so, but I think after going through this long process with the shoulder, you know, stuff, I think - I don't think I'll treat those losses that emotionally bad.

Q. You think you'll try to put them behind you faster, and process the lessons?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think I just have more perspective on those things. I've always really had good perspective, but I'm a competitor, you know. So is everyone else here in the draw. Everyone wants to win, and unfortunately there's only - fortunately, because that's what makes it so exciting. There's only one winner in the men's and women's field. You want to be that one person.

When you're not, you know, you're always thinking of how you can be.

Q. You're known as a fighter. It's practically attached to your name. How difficult was it to encounter a situation where really fighting did not help?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: To be honest, it really did. I think if I was - if I was a mentally weak person or individual, I think I wouldn't be here today. I'd be on some island. I mean, sounds good to me, probably sounds good to everyone in this room. You know, with a nice cold towel they hand around at the pools.

But I love being here, and there's no better feeling than waving to the crowd after you've won. There's no better feeling than going on court when they call your name, and, you know, there's a job in front of you and, you know, especially in these days, to know that you have an opportunity to go out and play, and have a job.

Q. Your serve: you've obviously had to work a little bit on it, and a little different service-motion. Can you talk us through that a little bit, and where you feel it needs to be, the adjustments on that, Maria?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think I'm just trying to do everything I can. Work on my shoulder, make it easier. Not just looking for the next five or six months. I'm looking down the road. I want to be playing for as many years as my body can, as long as my body can hold up, and I think these little changes, I mean, little or big, I think whatever I can do in order to help my body and to help my shoulder in this particular case, I will do.

In this point in my career, where I've already achieved things way beyond that I expected when I was a little kid, I think if I can adjust and make these changes, it will help my body, then I'm totally up for it.


Articles
--------

Sharapova battles into round two [CEEFAX 490->494]
>>>
Maria Sharapova marked her return to the Major arena by coming from behind to beat Anastasiya Yakimova 3-6 6-1 6-2 on Day 2 at the French Open.

Sharapova, who underwent surgery on a troublesome shoulder-injury in October, has not contested a Major since Wimbledon 2008, and is now ranked #102 in the world.

The former world number-one made a poor start against Yakimova, but responded strongly to seal a much-needed win.
<<<

Sharapova recovers [Teletext 495->498]
>>>
Sharapova fights back [Teletext 498]

Former world No.1 Maria Sharapova recovered from a set down to beat Anastasiya Yakimova in the first round.

The unseeded Russian, who returned last week after a nine-month lay-off, lost the opening set, but fought back to beat the Belarusian 3-6 6-1 6-2.

Alisa Kleybanova became the first seed to be knocked out in Paris after the 23rd-ranked Russian went down to Slovenian Polona Hercog 6-2 4-6 6-1.
<<<

Sharapova recovers to advance at French Open (AP)
>>>
Maria Sharapova's bandaged right shoulder held up despite a shaky start, sending her into the second round of the French Open with a 3-6 6-1 6-2 win over Anastasiya Yakimova of Belarus.

The unseeded Russian was broken three times in the first set of Monday's match, but she opened the second with four straight wins before being broken once again. Before the start of the next game, Yakimova called for a trainer to work on her lower back.

Sharapova made her season-début in singles this month in Poland, reaching the quarter-finals in her first tournament since taking time off because of a shoulder-injury.

The three-time Major champion needs only to win the French Open to complete a career Grand Slam.
<<<

Nadal, Federer and Safina sparkle in Paris (Reuters)
By Pritha Sarkar (editing by Sonia Oxley)
>>>
Roland Garros has never been a happy hunting-ground for Maria Sharapova or Andy Roddick, but they kept alive their chances with contrasting victories.

Twelve months after Sharapova competed in Paris as the world number-one, the Russian turned up ranked 102nd as she is on a comeback-trail following a nine-month injury-layoff.

Some things, however, never change, as Sharapova shrieked and screeched her way to a 3-6 6-1 6-2 victory over Anastasiya Yakimova of Belarus.
<<<

Sharapova back at French (AP)
By Howard Fendrich: AP Tennis Writer
>>>
Those unmistakable shrieks punctuating point after point on Court 1 at the French Open on Monday trumpeted Maria Sharapova's return to the Major stage.

There were other ways Sharapova made her presence felt: the big groundstrokes off both wings; the tough-as-nails turnaround after a slow start; the prematch accessories of buttoned-up blue jacket and oversized white purse; the post-match victory-waves and blown kisses.

Sharapova's tennis is not yet back to her lofty standards - as one might expect after shoulder-surgery in October and four singles-matches in the past 10 months. The 64th-ranked Anastasiya Yakimova of Belarus is not the sort of opponent who would normally trouble a top-of-her-game Sharapova, yet there was trouble on Monday.

Still, a win is a win, and Sharapova's first match at a Major tournament in nearly a year ended with a 3-6 6-1 6-2 victory over Yakimova and a spot in the French Open's second round.

It will take more than that performance for Sharapova to erase the uncertainty that comes with such a long layoff.

"This is the first time in my career where I can really say I don't have any expectations," the three-time Major champion said. "I don't know how things are going to work out. I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow, how my shoulder is going to feel."

Because of her time away, Sharapova is ranked 102nd and unseeded at Roland Garros, which might help lower others' expectations, too. A year ago, after all, she was No.1.

"If I was a mentally weak person or individual," Sharapova said, "I think I wouldn't be here today."

<snip>

If there never appeared to be real doubt about the outcome of that [Nadal v Daniel] encounter, Sharapova's deficit against Yakimova was more daunting.

"I started pretty lousy," Sharapova said.

She hit four double faults in her first two service-games, and was broken three times in the opening set. She also had 15 unforced errors in that set — more than the rest of the way.

"She was probably a little nervous," said Yakimova, who is 4:12 in Major play. "And she hasn't had much practice, so she was missing more than usual."

But Sharapova won 16 of the first 20 points in the second set and, with Yakimova slowed by a bad back, pretty much controlled things from there.

Sharapova hadn't played a match at a Major since 26th June 2008, when she was upset 6-2 6-4 in Wimbledon's second round by 154th-ranked Alla Kudryavtseva. Go further back, to 3rd June, and Sharapova lost in the fourth round to Safina at the French Open.

On Monday, she was back at Roland Garros, playing the game that made her rich and famous before she turned 20.

"I love being here, and there's no better feeling than waving to the crowd after you've won," Sharapova said. "From the hour you're in the locker-room and putting your dress on, to the 15 minutes before your match, where you're warming up and you're pumping yourself up, and you're going to get out there in front of 20,000 people — you miss that. I certainly missed it."
<<<

Sharapova steals spotlight from Nadal, Federer (AFP)
>>>
Rafael Nadal - bidding for an historic fifth successive French Open - and Roger Federer - still seeking a first Roland Garros crown to complete a Career Grand Slam - swept into the second round on Monday.

But the two great rivals were overshadowed by the eagerly-awaited Major return of Maria Sharapova: the world's highest-paid and most recognisable sportswoman.

The Russian golden girl - ranked at a lowly #102 after a nine-month absence to cure a shoulder-injury - overcame Belarusian Anastasia Yakimova 3-6 6-1 6-2 to book a last-64 date against compatriot Nadia Petrova: the 11th seed.

Sharapova - a former Wimbledon, US and Australian Open champion - said her return feels like a second career has just get underway.

"Definitely. It's the first time in my life where I couldn't practise for such a long period of time," said Sharapova, who warmed up for the French Open by playing singles at the low-key Warsaw event last week.

"I think it was three months where I didn't touch a racquet. Everything about it was just bizarre. It was like some things were just taken away from your life."
<<<

Sharapova screams back (Reuters)
>>>
Russian Maria Sharapova shrilled her way into the second round of the French Open with a 3-6 6-1 6-2 victory over Anastasiya Yakimova of Belarus.

The former world number-one - who dropped to 102nd in the world-rankings being out of action for nine months because of a shoulder-injury - needed a set to find her range on Court One before cracking winners past the world number 64.

Yakimova called on the tournament's trainer at change of sides at 4-1 in the second set to have her lower back massaged, and she never seemed to recover.

Sharapova, who returned to singles-play last week at the Warsaw Open - where she reached the last eight - will next face 11th-seeded compatriot Nadia Petrova.
<<<

Federer, Nadal, Safina win first-rounders at French (AP)
>>>
Dinara Safina - the top-seeded player in the women's draw - advanced with No.3 Venus Williams and unseeded Maria Sharapova.

Sharapova played with a bandage on her right shoulder, and she struggled in the first set before beating Anastasiya Yakimova of Belarus 3-6 6-1 6-2.

The unseeded Russian was broken three times in the first set, but she opened the second with four straight wins before being broken once again. Before the start of the next game, Yakimova called for a trainer to work on her lower back.

"I started pretty lousy," said Sharapova: playing a Major match for the first time since last year's Wimbledon. "I was just a little sloppy. But I totally changed it around, and I started playing a lot better and more aggressive."
<<<

Sharapova glad to swap cocktails for racket (Reuters)
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; editing by Pritha Sarkar and Sonia Oxley)
>>>
* Sharapova beats unheralded Yakimova in Major comeback.
* Second career is starting for me, says the Russian.

Maria Sharapova began Act II of her storied career on Monday, when she shrieked her way into the second round of the French Open with a 3-6 6-1 6-2 victory over Anastasiya Yakimova of Belarus.

Twelve months after competing in Paris as the world number-one, the Russian turned up ranked 102nd as she is on a comeback-trail following a nine-month layoff with a career-threatening shoulder-injury.

After not knowing for months whether she would ever be able to return to the big stage again, Sharapova was delighted to be back in Major action.

"If I was a mentally weak person or individual, I wouldn't be here today," Sharapova - who was unable to defend her Australian Open title in January - told a news-conference.

"I'd be on some island... with a nice cold towel they hand around at the pools.

"But I love being here... there's no better feeling than going on court when they call your name and, especially in these days, to know that you have an opportunity to go out and play and have a job."

Playing her first Major match since losing in the second round of Wimbledon last year, the 22-year-old needed a set to find her range on Court One before cracking winners past the world number 64.

Yakimova called on the tournament's trainer at change of sides at 4-1 in the second set to have her lower back massaged, and she never seemed to recover.

Sharapova, who returned to singles-play last week at the Warsaw Open, where she reached the last eight, will next face 11th-seeded compatriot Nadia Petrova.

Asked if she felt like she was starting a second career, Sharapova said: "Yeah, in a way. Definitely.

JUST BIZARRE

"It's the first time in my life where I couldn't practise for such a long period of time. I think it was three months where I didn't touch a tennis-racket.

"There are so many times I thought, 'Oh, I'll be back in Australia,' or, 'Oh, I will be back in a few weeks.' Every single time, it was disappointment after disappointment because you couldn't achieve that goal.

She did, however, find a silver lining in her layoff.

"I did have an opportunity to have a normal life, and I think when you're travelling 11 months out of the year, always on the go, and you never have the time to actually settle down and appreciate the very little things that you have in life, and the number-one thing is your family," Sharapova said.

With a new sense of perspective, Sharapova was realistic about what she hopes to achieve in the only Major she has failed to win.

"I don't really have expectations, to be honest," she said.

"I think this is the first time in my career where I can really say I don't have any expectations; I don't know how things are going to work out."
<<<

Self-aware Sharapova discusses comeback (Abigail Lorge, TENNIS.com)
>>>
Playing her first Major tournament-match in 11 months following shoulder-surgery, Maria Sharapova battled to defeat Anastasiya Yakimova 3-6 6-1 6-2 in her fourth singles-match of the season.

Sharapova, who has had to adjust her service-motion in the wake of the injury, recorded five double faults and was broken three times in the brutal first set, but then raised her level, while her Belarusian opponent - who called for a trainer during the second set - apparently struggled with a lower-back injury.

Afterwards, Sharapova - who has won every Major except the French Open - spoke poignantly about how, during her discouragingly long layoff, she grew to appreciate the privileges that her athletic gifts have earned her in life.

"Just the opportunities that you've had, that you've gained in life from your tennis-career," she said. "Tennis drives everything: drives myself, drives my business, drives everything that I do."

It was an insightful appraisal from the candid and eloquent 22-year-old. In describing her psychological struggles over the past year, Sharapova joked that she would have retired to an island if she weren't by nature a competitor, determined to make it back to the domain where she forged her reputation as a champion.

"I love being here, and there's no better feeling than waving to the crowd after you've won," said the former world No.1. "There's no better feeling than going on court when they call your name, and there's a job in front of you."
<<<

------------------------------------------------------------
6. First-round scoreboard-report: Chakvetadze v Duque Marino (Monday 25th May 2009)
------------------------------------------------------------

- ANNA CHAKVETADZE [26,EF] lt. Mariana Duque Marino [LL], 6-3 4-6 4-6

I stand by what I said in my preview: this loss means that Anna's slump has plumbed a new depth that I didn't even think she was capable of, and I'm very angry about it.

I can't think of a worse loss in Anna's career - not in terms of the scoreline, but in terms of losing in the first round of a Major to a player who has never been a player, and - I guess - probably never will be (sorry - couldn't resist recycling an old quote from a 16-year-old Jelena Dokić).

Anna looked to be cruising to victory when she led 6-3 2-0*, but the match turned when she dropped serve from 40/0 up to make it 2-2*. It was hard to believe at the time that she would go on to actually lose to a player of Duque Marino's calibre after this hiccup, and the fact that she did suggests extreme emotional fragility.

Anna also wasted a break-point at 2-2*, and at *4-5, Duque Marino broke to take the second set.

The third set was what is known in the trade as a "Noah's Ark" set: each player (starting with Duque Marino) won two games in a row, jerking my emotions up and down like a yo-yo between anger, relief, delight, and finally back to anger when Anna again at *4-5 failed to hold serve.

In the photos from this match, Anna looked very worked up and very red - particularly in the face.

I can only suggest that Anna now expands her plans for the grass-court season - which, to the best of my knowledge, currently stand at Eastbourne and Wimbledon. Clay was always her worst surface, while she used to list grass as her favourite until she had all those great results on hard courts in 2007.

I think she should definitely enter Birmingham, and, if she's all out of the French Open before the second week, perhaps even ITF Nottingham.


First set
---------
CHAKVETADZE *__@* *@* 6
DUQUE MARIN _*@__*___ 3

The match was fourth on Court 16, and started at 17:57 CEST.

Anna serving 0-0: 0/15. 15/30. 40/30. Held.
Duque Marino serving 0-1: 30/0. 30/15. 40/15. Held.
Anna serving 1-1: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15. Deuce #1. Ad Anna. Deuce #2. Ad Duque Marino (BP). Broken.

Duque Marino serving 2-1: Broken to love.

An immediate, emphatic break back! :)

On paper, this should be an easy win for Anna, but somehow, when I'm following live scores, it never seems so simple. Lucie Šafářová and Maria Sharapova both won in three sets today, so I hope - and even dare to expect - that Anna will make it 3:0 for my Eternal Fanship by winning in straight sets!

Anna serving 2-2: 30/0. 40/15. 40/30. Deuce. Ad Anna. Held.
Duque Marino serving 2-3: 0/15. 15/15. 40/15. 40/30. Held.
Anna serving 3-3: 40/0. 40/15. Held.
Duque Marino serving 3-4: 0/15. 15/15. 15/40 (BP #1). 30/40 (BP #2). Broken.
Anna serving 5-3: 40/0 (SP #1). 40/15 (SP #2). Anna won the first set 6-3 at 18:31 (34m).

The abnormal, embarrassing situation (1-2*) is now firmly back to normal.


Second set
----------
CHAKVETADZE @*___* *__ 4
DUQUE MARIN __*@* * *@ 6

Duque Marino serving 0-0: 0/15. 15/15. 15/40 (BP #1). 30/40 (BP #2). Broken.
Anna serving 1-0: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15. 40/30. Held.
Duque Marino serving 0-2: 30/0. 30/15. 40/15. 40/30. Held.

Anna serving 2-1: 40/0. Deuce #1. Ad Anna. Deuce #2. Ad Duque Marino (BP). Broken.

A nasty psychological blow against Anna to drop serve from 40/0 - indeed, after having four game-points. I just hope it was a lapse of concentration rather than something more sinister.

Duque Marino serving 2-2: 0/15. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP). Deuce. Ad Duque Marino. Held.

And more baggage for Anna as a break-point goes begging. From what I saw of her at Wimbledon 2008, I can imagine her getting very emotional round about now.

Anna serving 2-3: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 30/40 (BP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Anna. Deuce #2. Ad Duque Marino (BP #2). Deuce #3. Ad Duque Marino (BP #3). Deuce #4. Ad Anna. Held.

Phew! After following live scores for my Eternal Fanship virtually non-stop for over five hours already, I don't relish the prospect of being taken to yet another third set - and I certainly wouldn't relish the prospect of losing Anna, who, at the start of the day, looked to have a better chance of winning her match than Lucie Šafářová and Maria Sharapova, who both won in three.

Duque Marino serving 3-3: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15. Held.
Anna serving 3-4: Held to love.

Now it comes to the crunch, I really hope Anna's class will tell. While her form this year has been very poor by her standards, it has certainly been much better than Duque Marino's.

Duque Marino serving 4-4: 0/30. 40/30. Held.

What a waste of a 0/30 opening. Anna should be coming out to serve for the match right now - not to save the second set!

Anna serving serving 4-5: 0/15. 15/15. 15/40 (SP #1). Duque Marino won the second set 6-4 at 19:20 (second set 49m, match 1h23m).

Pathetic... just pathetic. I already missed my lunch; now my evening-meal's going to go cold - especially if Anna puts me through another 8-6 ordeal like her first round at Wimbledon 2008. The things I do for love!


Third set
---------
CHAKVETADZE __@*__@*__ 4
DUQUE MARIN *@__*@__*@ 6

Duque Marino serving 0-0: 30/0. 30/30. 40/30. Deuce. Ad Duque Marino. Held.
Anna serving 0-1: Broken to love.

I'm so angry I can't print what I'm thinking. :fiery: Sometimes it's better to hold it in, otherwise you just end up hurting the ones you love.

Duque Marino serving 2-0: 0/30. 15/30. 15/40 (BP). Broken.
Anna serving 1-2: 0/15. 15/15. 15/40 (BPx2). Deuce. Ad Anna. Held.

Phew!!

Duque Marino serving 2-2: Held to love.
Anna serving 2-3: 0/40 (BP #1). 15/40 (BP #2). Broken.

Anna made some great fightbacks at Rome and Madrid. She could sure use another one right now.

Duque Marino serving 4-2: 0/40 (BP #1). 30/40 (BP #3). Broken.
Anna serving 3-4: 15/15. 40/15. 40/30. Held.

Back on level terms - yay! :)

Duque Marino serving 4-4: 40/0. 40/30. Held.

And now we're back where we were at the end of the second set: Anna serving at 4-5, but this time to stay in the match.

Anna serving 4-5: 0/40 (MP #1). 15/40 (MP #2). Duque Marino won 3-6 6-4 6-4 at 20:03 (third set 43m, match 2h06m).

Statistics:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/scores/stats/day7/2036ms.html


Article
-------

Duque through to second round at Roland Garros (Colombia Reports)
>>>
Colombian tennis-player Mariana Duque has advanced to the second round of Roland Garros, beating Russian Anna Chakvetadze against all odds.

The 19-year-old, born in Bogotá, faced a tough challenge against the seeded Chakvetadze: 26th on the women's world ranking. Initially, things went as expected as the Russian won the opening set 6-3.

But Duque then began to improve her performance, and went on to win the second set 6-4. In the third set, Chakvetadze could no longer compete with her opponent, who finished it off with another 6-4 result - 2:1 in sets.

In the second round, Duque faces Slovakian Jarmila Groth: ranked 73rd. The Colombian herself currently occupies the 124th position.

The second-round appearance will be Duque's second after having managed to survive the first round at last year's US Open as well.
<<<

-------------------
7. First-round draw (Monday's losers removed)
-------------------

The players on the left are the ones I want to win.


7.1 Top quarter
---------------

* DINARA SAFINA [1] won
* Vitalia Diatchenko [Q,S] won
* Julie Coin won
* ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA [27] won

* Polona Hercog [Q] won
* Aravane Rezaď won
* Michelle Larcher de Brito [Q] won
* ZHENG,JIE [15] won

* VICTORIA AZARENKA [9] won
* Kristina Barrois won
* Lucie Hradecká [s] won
* CARLA SUÁREZ NAVARRO [22] won

* IVETA BENEŠOVÁ [32] won
* Alla Kudryavtseva won
* Tamarine Tanasugarn won
* ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] won


7.2 Second quarter: Lucie Šafářová, Maria Sharapova
---------------------------------------------------

* VENUS WILLIAMS [3] won
* Lucie Šafářová [EF] won
* Elena Vesnina won
* ÁGNES SZÁVAY [29] won

* DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20] won
* Kirsten Flipkens won
* Gisela Dulko [DF] won
* Anna-Lena Grönefeld won

* NADIA PETROVA [11] won
* Maria Sharapova [EF] won
* Arantxa Rus [Q] won
* Yaroslava Shvedova [Q] won

* LI,NA [25] won
* Timea Bacsinszky won
* Akgul Amanmuradova won
* Olga Govortsova won


7.3 Third quarter: Daniela Hantuchová, Jelena Dokić
---------------------------------------------------

* Petra Cetkovská v JELENA JANKOVIĆ [5] (pojďme Petra!)
* Magdaléna Rybáriková [DF] v Kristina Mladenović [WC] (poďme Magda!)
* Jarmila Groth won
* Mariana Duque Marino [LL] won

* ALIZÉ CORNET [21] v Maret Ani (allez Alizé!)
* Sorana Cîrstea v Carly Gullickson [Q] (hai Sorana!)
* Jill Craybas won
* CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [10] v Vera Dushevina, 4-6 7-5 *0-0

* MARION BARTOLI [13,DF,S] won
* Tathiana Garbin won
* Daniela Hantuchová [EF] v Virginie Razzano (POĎME DANIELA!!)
* Ekaterina Makarova v ANABEL MEDINA GARRIGUES [18]

* SAMANTHA STOSUR [30] v Francesca Schiavone
* Urszula Radwańska v Yanina Wickmayer (my loyalty is to Urszula)
* Jelena Dokić [EF] v Karolina Šprem [DF] (my loyalty is to JELENA)
* ELENA DEMENTIEVA [4] v Chanelle Scheepers [Q]


7.4 Bottom quarter: Nicole Vaidišová
------------------------------------

* SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [7] v Claire Feuerstein [WC]
* Sania Mirza [DF] v Galina Voskoboeva (go Sania!)
* Anastasija Sevastova [Q] v Melinda Czink
* Nathalie Dechy v SYBILLE BAMMER [28]

* Kateryna Bondarenko won
* Olivia Rogowska [WC] won
* Mariya Koryttseva won
* AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [12] won

* Alexa Glatch won
* Lourdes Domínguez Lino won
* Mara Santangelo v Petra Martić [Q]
* Monica Niculescu [s] v ALEKSANDRA WOZNIAK [24] (hai Monica!)

* PENG,SHUAI [31,S] v María José Martínez Sánchez (jia you Shuai!)
* Viktoriya Kutuzova v Zuzana Ondrášková [Q] (my loyalty is to Viktoriya)
* Nicole Vaidišová [EF] v Virginia Ruano Pascual (my loyalty is to NICOLE)
* Klára Zakopalová v SERENA WILLIAMS [2] (pojďme Klára!)

----------------------------------------------
8. Second-round preview: Šafářová v V.Williams
----------------------------------------------

Venus Williams needs little introduction, but I'll give it anyway: she has won seven Major titles (Wimbledon 2000-2001, 2005, 2007-2008; US Open 2000-2001), is a former finalist at the other two Majors (French Open 2002, Australian Open 2003), has spent 11 weeks as world #1 (in 2002), and is currently ranked #3.

Lucie has played Williams twice before, and they have both been second-round matches at Rome: 1-6 4-6 in 2006, and 2-6 6-4 2-6 in 2009 - the latter might have been rather different, had Lucie not squandered four break-points at 1-1* in the third set.

Williams comes into this match with an impressive 20:5 win/loss record for 2009. In fact, she started the Australian Open as favourite after winning the Hong Kong exhibition, in which she beat then world #1 Jelena Janković and #7 Vera Zvonarëva both 6-2 6-2.

But she suffered an unbelievable upset to #46 Carla Suárez Navarro in the second round of the Australian Open: 6-2 3-6 5-7 after leading 5-2* in the third set, and wasting a match-point at 5-4*. So perhaps it's a good omen for Lucie that she's the world #46 now!

Williams bounced right back from that setback by winning Dubai, beating world #4 Elena Dementieva 6-3 6-3, #1 Serena Williams 6-1 2-6 7-6 (7/3), and #58-ranked surprise-finalist Virginie Razzano 6-4 6-2.

The following week, Williams won an International-level red-clay tournament at Acapulco, beating world #15 Flavia Pennetta 6-1 6-2 in the final.

After boycotting the Premier Mandatory tournament at Indian Wells, Williams reached the semi-finals of Miami, but lost 6-4 3-6 6-3 to world #1 Serena Williams. She then lost to teen-sensation Sabine Lisicki 6-4 7-6 in the third round of Charleston; Sabine went on to win the title!

At Rome, Williams scored three-set wins over Lucie and #22 Anna Chakvetadze, stunned world #12 Agnieszka Radwańska 6-1 6-2 in the quarter-finals, but lost 6-7 6-3 6-4 to #1 Dinara Safina in the semis.

But her last tournament - Madrid - was her worst of the year, as she lost her opening match 6-3 3-6 7-5 to #26 Alisa Kleybanova.

She also struggled past #45 Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-1 4-6 6-2 in the first round here, so perhaps this is as good a time as any for Lucie to have another crack at Williams on clay, which is Lucie's favourite surface and Williams's worst.

Williams has a massive serve, a big backhand and amazing long-limbed athleticism, while Lucie has a swinging lefty serve, and groundstrokes of flairsome power - a blistering forehand in particular.

Perhaps the key factor in this match-up is that Lucie is extremely determined and runs like the wind, so Williams - especially on clay - will have to deal with a lot more balls coming back than she's used to, which just might induce a hail of errors from Williams's unreliable forehand.

The key factor in Williams's favour is her serve. Lucie likes to stand in, take her returns early and be very aggressive, but it's tough to do that when the serve is coming down at up to 128 mph! So my advice to Lucie would be to stand back a little, and use the pace of Williams's serve against her.

--------------------------------------------
9. Second-round preview: Sharapova v Petrova
--------------------------------------------

After struggling through her first-round match on Monday, Maria comes up against world #11 Nadia Petrova, who will certainly be well-rested after brushing aside world #628 (and junior world #7) Lauren Embree 6-1 6-2 on Sunday.

Maria leads Petrova 5:1 head to head, but they've never met on clay, on which surface Petrova has had better results in her career than Maria: namely three clay-court titles (all in 2006) to Maria's one (Amelia Island 2008), and two French Open semi-finals (2003, 2005) to Maria's one (2007).

Maria beat Petrova 6-2 2-6 7-5 as a 16-year-old at Los Angeles 2003, and all their other meetings came in 2005-2006, including three Major quarter-finals (Wimbledon 2005: Maria won 7-6 6-3; US Open 2005: Maria won 7-5 4-6 6-4; Australian Open 2006: Maria won 7-6 6-4).

Maria's wins over Petrova have all been three-setters or tight two-setters. Petrova - a big, muscular specimen with a huge serve - can match (or even, at times, exceed) Maria's power, but Maria's far greater mental strength has been the key against an opponent who really dislikes her.

The only time Petrova beat Maria was at the round-robin stage of the 2005 WTA Tour Championships - a meaningless match, as Maria had already qualified for the semi-finals, so she just played casually and let Petrova win 6-1 6-2.

Petrova comes into this match with a modest 13:8 record for 2009, which she began by being hospitalised with viral meningitis. She lost in the first round of Sydney, but made the fourth round of the Australian Open (albeit without beating anyone in the top 90), losing 7-5 6-4 to world #7 Vera Zvonarëva.

Petrova was then sidelined with a right-foot injury until Miami, where she struggled past #154 Michaëlla Krajíček 3-6 6-4 6-2, and lost to #54 Ekaterina Makarova in the third round: 7-5 6-1.

But she has played a full clay-court season, starting with an International-level semi-final at Ponte Vedra Beach, where she lost 6-4 4-6 6-2 to #35 Aleksandra Wozniak.

At Charleston, she struggled past #73 Patricia Mayr 6-1 2-6 6-2, then lost third round to #82 Melinda Czink: 3-6 6-4 7-5. At Stuttgart, she beat #16 Zheng,Jie 6-4 5-7 6-4, but was thrashed 6-2 6-2 by #14 Flavia Pennetta. At Rome, she beat #23 Carla Suárez Navarro 6-2 3-6 6-3, but lost third round to #48 María José Martínez Sánchez: 6-4 6-7 6-4.

Petrova reached the third round of Madrid by beating #30 Iveta Benešová 6-0 2-1 retired, and #53-ranked qualifier Anna-Lena Grönefeld 4-6 7-6 7-6. She lost 6-4 6-7 7-6 to #20 Patty Schnyder.

Maria v Petrova is an intriguing match-up, but I worry that it might be a little too soon in Maria's comeback to face such a powerful opponent in just the second round of the French Open.

On the other hand, given that Maria has been fit, powerful but erratic in her comeback so far, it might actually be better for her to face a big hitter rather than a counterpuncher such as Alyona Bondarenko or Anastasiya Yakimova.

I guess it depends primarily on Maria's form on the day, since at Warsaw there were times when it looked like she'd never been away, yet was very erratic at other times.

-------------------
10. Andrew's wishes (updated after Monday)
-------------------
10.1 Second round: Top half
---------------------------

+ Vitalia Diatchenko [Q,S] d. DINARA SAFINA [1]
+ ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA [27] d. Julie Coin
+ Aravane Rezaď d. Polona Hercog [Q]
+ ZHENG,JIE [15] d. Michelle Larcher de Brito [Q]

+ VICTORIA AZARENKA [9] d. Kristina Barrois
+ Lucie Hradecká [s] d. CARLA SUÁREZ NAVARRO [22]
+ IVETA BENEŠOVÁ [32] d. Alla Kudryavtseva
+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] d. Tamarine Tanasugarn

+ Lucie Šafářová [EF] d. VENUS WILLIAMS [3]
+ Elena Vesnina d. ÁGNES SZÁVAY [29]
+ DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20] d. Kirsten Flipkens
+ Gisela Dulko [DF] d. Anna-Lena Grönefeld

+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. NADIA PETROVA [11]
+ Yaroslava Shvedova [Q] d. Arantxa Rus [Q]
+ Timea Bacsinszky d. LI,NA [25]
+ Olga Govortsova d. Akgul Amanmuradova


10.2 Second round: Bottom half
------------------------------

+ Magdaléna Rybáriková [DF] d. Petra Cetkovská
+ Jarmila Groth d. Mariana Duque Marino [LL]
+ ALIZÉ CORNET [21] d. Sorana Cîrstea
+ CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [10] d. Jill Craybas

+ MARION BARTOLI [13,DF,S] d. Tathiana Garbin
+ Daniela Hantuchová [EF] d. Ekaterina Makarova
+ Urszula Radwańska d. SAMANTHA STOSUR [30]
+ Jelena Dokić [EF] d. ELENA DEMENTIEVA [4]

+ Sania Mirza [DF] d. SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [7]
+ Nathalie Dechy d. Anastasija Sevastova [Q]
+ Kateryna Bondarenko d. Olivia Rogowska [WC]
+ AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [12] d. Mariya Koryttseva

+ Alexa Glatch d. Lourdes Domínguez Lino
+ Monica Niculescu [s] d. Mara Santangelo
+ PENG,SHUAI [31,S] d. Viktoriya Kutuzova (my Passion says Viktoriya, but my Reason says Shuai)
+ Nicole Vaidišová [EF] d. Klára Zakopalová


10.3 Third-round wishes
-----------------------

+ Vitalia Diatchenko [Q,S] d. ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA [27]
+ Aravane Rezaď d. ZHENG,JIE [15]
+ VICTORIA AZARENKA [9] d. Lucie Hradecká [s]
+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] d. IVETA BENEŠOVÁ [32]

+ Lucie Šafářová [EF] d. Elena Vesnina
+ Gisela Dulko [DF] d. DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20]
+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. Yaroslava Shvedova [Q]
+ Olga Govortsova d. Timea Bacsinszky

+ Magdaléna Rybáriková [DF] d. Jarmila Groth
+ ALIZÉ CORNET [21] d. CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [10]
+ Daniela Hantuchová [EF] d. MARION BARTOLI [13,DF,S]
+ Jelena Dokić [EF] d. Urszula Radwańska

+ Sania Mirza [DF] d. Nathalie Dechy
+ Kateryna Bondarenko d. AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [12]
+ Monica Niculescu [s] d. Alexa Glatch
+ Nicole Vaidišová [EF] d. PENG,SHUAI [31,S]


10.4 Fourth-round wishes
------------------------

+ Vitalia Diatchenko [Q,S] d. Aravane Rezaď
+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] d. VICTORIA AZARENKA [9]
+ Lucie Šafářová [EF] d. Gisela Dulko [DF]
+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. Olga Govortsova

+ Magdaléna Rybáriková [DF] d. ALIZÉ CORNET [21]
+ Jelena Dokić [EF] d. Daniela Hantuchová [EF] (sorry, Daniela - Jelena needs it more)
+ Sania Mirza [DF] d. Kateryna Bondarenko
+ Nicole Vaidišová [EF] d. Monica Niculescu [s]


10.5 Quarter-final wishes
-------------------------

+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] d. Vitalia Diatchenko [Q,S]
+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. Lucie Šafářová [EF]
+ Jelena Dokić [EF] d. Magdaléna Rybáriková [DF]
+ Nicole Vaidišová [EF] d. Sania Mirza [DF]


10.6 Semi-final wishes
----------------------

+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF]
+ Jelena Dokić [EF] d. Nicole Vaidišová [EF]


10.7 Final wish
---------------

+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. Jelena Dokić [EF]

Vera Zvonarëva was actually my ideal champion before she withdrew (which would have precluded Maria getting past the fourth round), but my priority now is for Maria to complete her Career Grand Slam, although I'd love to see another member of my Eternal Fanship win a Major.

-----------------------------
11. Order of play for Tuesday
-----------------------------

Court 1 (start 11:00 CEST = 09:00 GMT = 10:00 BST)
MS 1r: JUAN MARTÍN DEL POTRO [5] v Michaël Llodra
WS 1r: Daniela Hantuchová [EF] v Virginie Razzano
WS 1r: ELENA DEMENTIEVA [4] v Chanelle Scheepers [Q]
MS 1r: JAMES BLAKE [15] v Leonardo Mayer [Q]

Court 6 (start 11:00 CEST = 09:00 GMT = 10:00 BST)
WS 1r: Sania Mirza [DF] v Galina Voskoboeva
MS 1r: TOMMY ROBREDO [16] v Adrian Mannarino [WC]
WS 1r: Jelena Dokić [EF] v Karolina Šprem [DF]
MS 1r: Andrei Pavel v Tommy Haas

Court 17 (start 11:00 CEST = 09:00 GMT = 10:00 BST)
WS 1r: Monica Niculescu [s] v ALEKSANDRA WOZNIAK [24]
WS 1r: Nicole Vaidišová [EF] v Virginia Ruano Pascual
MS 1r: Guillermo García-López v Andreas Seppi
WD 1r: Nicole Vaidišová [EF]/Eva Hrdinová v Ekaterina Dzehalevich/Andreja Klepač

Full order of play:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/scores/schedule/

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

andrewbroad
May 27th, 2009, 04:10 AM
=============
ROLAND GARROS (Paris, France; red clay; Major)
============= http://www.rolandgarros.com/
Contents
--------

1. Photos
2. First-round results
3. First-round TV-report: Cetkovská v Janković
4. First-round scoreboard-report: Hantuchová v Razzano
5. First-round scoreboard-report: Vaidišová v Ruano Pascual
6. First-round TV-report: Zakopalová v S.Williams
7. First-round scoreboard-report: Dokić v Šprem
8. Second-round draw
9. Second-round preview: Dokić v Dementieva
10. Andrew's wishes
11. Women's Doubles: First round
12. Order of play for Wednesday

---------
1. Photos
---------

Various players including Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanović, Vitalia Diatchenko, and Arantxa Rus looking surprisingly sexy!
http://www.tennis.com/features/galleries/FrenchFirstRound/

Search-list for Day 3:

dokic
hantuchova
vaidisova
rybarikova
sprem
mirza
cornet
zakopalova
wozniacki
cetkovska
kutuzova

----------------------
2. First-round results (Tuesday 26th May 2009)
----------------------

Nice winner, nice loser:
+ Jelena Dokić [EF] d. Karolina Šprem [DF], 3-6 6-1 6-2
+ Viktoriya Kutuzova d. Zuzana Ondrášková [Q], 6-2 6-4
+ Yanina Wickmayer d. Urszula Radwańska, 4-6 6-3 6-0
- Nicole Vaidišová [EF] lt. Virginia Ruano Pascual, 4-6 3-6

What rocked:
+ Magdaléna Rybáriková [DF] d. Kristina Mladenović [WC], 6-1 2-6 8-6
+ CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [10] d. Vera Dushevina, 4-6 7-5 6-1
+ ELENA DEMENTIEVA [4] d. Chanelle Scheepers [Q], 6-4 6-3
+ Sorana Cîrstea d. Carly Gullickson [Q], 6-4 6-2

What sucked:
- Daniela Hantuchová [EF] lt. Virginie Razzano, 3-6 3-6
- Sania Mirza [DF] lt. Galina Voskoboeva, 4-6 6-7 (3/7)
- Klára Zakopalová lt. SERENA WILLIAMS [2], 3-6 7-6 (7/5) 6-4
- Petra Cetkovská lt. JELENA JANKOVIĆ [5], 2-6 3-6
- PENG,SHUAI [31,S] lt. María José Martínez Sánchez, 6-1 2-6 4-6
- Monica Niculescu [S] lt. ALEKSANDRA WOZNIAK [24], 4-6 6-4 3-6

Sania Mirza: "It was tough conditions to play in, going on the court and then going off, and it was windy. I haven't had too much practice as well, because I injured my wrist again after Madrid, and had to head back home and get that treated. And it's not one of my favourite surfaces to play on! But I take nothing away from her. She played really well; she served really well, and I think that was the difference."

All other results:
+ ANABEL MEDINA GARRIGUES [18] d. Ekaterina Makarova, 6-2 5-7 6-0
+ SAMANTHA STOSUR [30] d. Francesca Schiavone, 6-4 6-2
+ Petra Martić [Q] d. Mara Santangelo, 6-4 6-2
+ Melinda Czink d. Anastasija Sevastova [Q], 3-6 6-4 6-1
+ SYBILLE BAMMER [28] d. Nathalie Dechy, 6-3 7-6 (7/1)
+ SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [7] d. Claire Feuerstein [WC], 6-1 6-4

Suspended overnight due to darkness:
* ALIZÉ CORNET [21] v Maret Ani, 6-4 *4-4

----------------------------------------------
3. First-round TV-report: Cetkovská v Janković (Tuesday 26th May 2009)
----------------------------------------------

- Petra Cetkovská lt. JELENA JANKOVIĆ [5], 2-6 3-6

This match was first on Chatrier, and I saw it on BBC Red Button.

Mark Petchey said Cetkovská was a frustrating player to watch, because she's very talented, and likes to volley, and has so much to her game, but is so inconsistent.

Sam Smith: "We see why Cetkovská is #85 in the world: she's a lovely striker of the ball, but there are too many errors. She's trying all sorts of things, because she doesn't think she can rally with [Janković] from the baseline."


First set
---------
JANKOVIĆ * *@* *@ 6
CETKOVSK _*___*__ 2

Janković serving 1-1: Cetkovská put Janković at 15/30 with an acute crosscourt backhand dropshot-winner off one of Janković's all-too-predictable dropshots, but Janković recovered, courtesy of a couple of her trademark backhand winners down the line.

Cetkovská serving 1-2: Cetkovská changed from her one-handed sliced backhands of the previous games to her flat double-handed backhand, but couldn't stave off the first break of the match.

Janković serving 3-1: 30/0. Cetkovská hit a big crosscourt forehand winner. 30/15. Janković's forehand clipped the netcord and fell back on her side. 30/30. Errors from both players saw Cetkovská squander break-points at 30/40 and Ad. It started to rain heavily, and Janković held with a crosscourt forehand winner.

Play was suspended at 11:30 CEST, with Janković leading 4-1*. It resumed at 13:40 CEST, which took me by surprise as I had been told 14:00 at the earliest!

Cetkovská serving 1-4: She came through a game of several deuces to hold.

Janković serving 4-2: Cetkovská won two points with crosscourt forehand drive-volley winners, and pegged Janković back to deuce, but couldn't prevent the hold.

Cetkovská serving 2-5: A double fault gave Janković 15/30, and a couple of points later, Janković had set-point at 30/40, which she converted when a Cetkovská-forehand landed just long.


Second set
----------
JANKOVIĆ *@__*@ @* 6
CETKOVSK __@*__@__ 2

Janković serving 0-0: Cetkovská painted the sideline with an off-forehand winner on the first point. A few errors and deuces later, a dead netcord-winner gave Janković game-point, and she converted with a backhand winner down the line.

Cetkovská serving 0-1: At 0/40, the rally of the match entailed Cetkovská running back for a Janković-lob, and eventually hitting a crosscourt forehand pass-winner. She raised her arm and smiled, but couldn't ward off the break at 15/40.

Janković serving 2-0: Excellent depth from Cetkovská gave her 0/40. She squandered the first two break-points with errors, but Janković at 30/40 hit a forehand long.

Cetkovská serving 1-2: Held to 15, sealed with a crosscourt backhand winner onto the sideline.

Janković serving 2-2: 30/15. Cetkovská drew Janković to the net with a crosscourt backhand dropshot, and passed her with a crosscourt forehand winner. 30/30. Two Cetkovská-errors gave Janković the hold.

Sam Smith suspected Cetkovská's errors were due either to loss of concentration, or to indecision.

Cetkovská serving 2-3: Cetkovská netted a forehand to give Janković 30/40, then hit an awful sliced backhand halfway up the net.

Janković serving 4-2: Janković came to the net, but an awkward dipping pass from Cetkovská forced her into error. 0/15. 15/15. Cetkovská hit a lovely crosscourt backhand to set up a forehand winner down Janković's forehand-sideline. 15/30. Cetkovská's forehand drop-volley forced Janković into error. 15/40 (BP). An error-forcing crosscourt forehand gave Cetkovská the break back.

Cetkovská serving 3-4: 0/15. An entertaining rally ended with a deep ball on the baseline forcing Cetkovská into an amusing error. 0/30. A wild backhand very long gave Janković 0/40. Janković went to the net behind a forehand that forced Cetkovská to bunt a backhand lob wide.

Janković serving 5-3: Cetkovská hit a crosscourt forehand virtual winner just inside the sideline. 0/15. Janković sprayed a wild forehand wide of the tramlines. 0/30. Cetkovská forehand just long. 15/30. Double fault (second serve hit the netcord and fell wide). 15/40 (BP #1). Cetkovská dumped a cheap backhand halfway up the net. 30/40 (BP #2). Janković hit a crosscourt forehand winner right in the corner: just inside the baseline. Deuce #1. Cetkovská backhand half-volley lob long. Ad Janković (MP #1). Cetkovská went to the net behind a big crosscourt forehand, and hit a forehand drive-volley winner down the line. Deuce #2. Cetkovská hit a sliced backhand way long. Ad Janković (MP #2). Cetkovská went for a crosscourt forehand winner onto the sideline, but it was just wide. Janković won 6-2 6-3 at 14:36 CEST.

------------------------------------------------------
4. First-round scoreboard-report: Hantuchová v Razzano (Tuesday 26th May 2009)
------------------------------------------------------

- Daniela Hantuchová [EF] lt. Virginie Razzano, 3-6 3-6

The match was littered with breaks of serve: in fact 13 of the 18 games were breaks! Daniela managed to drop serve from *1-0 (40/15), *2-1 (40/30) and *2-3 (40/30) in the first set; she also squandered three game-points in the first game of the second set, and almost dropped serve from *1-1 (40/0)... all in all, a terrible day at the office for Daniela's serve.

Daniela converted 5 of 11 break-points, but Razzano converted 8 of a whopping 21 break-points!

The other factor was that Daniela was far more erratic than her opponent, with a W:UE ratio of 18:22 (not that bad in itself) to Razzano's 31:14 (very impressive).

I thought Daniela had a chance to get back into the match after breaking back for 3-6 *3-3, but instead, she just lost the last three games.

Daniela has entered Birmingham, so I look forward to an upswing in fortunes on grass.


First set
---------
HANTUCH @ @___@__ 4
RAZZANO _@ @*@ @* 6

The match was second on Court 1, and started at 15:26 CEST.

Razzano serving 0-0: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30. Deuce. Ad Daniela (BP). Broken.

Nice start!

Daniela's compatriot Magdaléna Rybáriková just beat Kristina Mladenović 6-1 2-6 8-6, while Aleksandra Wozniak beat Monica Niculescu 4-6 6-4 6-3 on Court 17 a few minutes ago - which means I will soon be following live scores for Vaidišová v Ruano Pascual simultaneously!

Daniela serving 1-0: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15. Deuce #1. Ad Razzano (BP #1). Deuce #2. Ad Razzano (BP #2). Broken.

Very disappointing after 40/15, and a psychological blow too. Yesterday, Anna Chakvetadze managed to lose to Mariana Duque Marino after leading 6-3 2-0* - it all turned nasty when she blew a 40/0 lead at *2-1.

Razzano serving 1-1: 0/30. 40/30. Deuce. Ad Daniela (BP). Broken.

An important break for Daniela. I didn't want her to be carrying the baggage of not capitalising on 0/30 there - especially after the disappointment of losing her own serve.

Daniela serving 2-1: 15/0. 15/30. 40/30. Deuce #1. Ad Razzano (BP #1). Deuce #2. Ad Razzano (BP #2). Broken.

Another game-point goes begging, and no one's held serve yet.

Razzano serving 2-2: 15/0. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 40/30. Held.
Daniela serving 2-3: 0/30. 15/30. 30/30. 40/30. Deuce #1. Ad Razzano (BP #1). Deuce #2. Ad Razzano (BP #2). Broken.
Razzano serving 4-2: Broken to love.

Great champions break back immediately! :)

Daniela serving 3-4: Broken to love.
Razzano serving 5-3: 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (SP #1). Razzano won the first set 6-3 at 16:13 (47m).

Judging by the BBC's current coverage of Đoković v Lapentti, it's cold and windy: big clouds of red dust are blowing up around the court.


Second set
----------
HANTUCH _@*__@___ 3
RAZZANO @__*@ @*@ 6

Daniela serving 0-0: 30/0. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30. Deuce #1. Ad Daniela. Deuce #2. Ad Razzano (BP #1). Deuce #3. Ad Razzano (BP #2). Deuce #4. Ad Daniela. Deuce #5. Ad Razzano (BP #3). Deuce #6. Ad Razzano (BP #4). Broken.

Another nasty psychological blow for Daniela, who had three game-points there.

Razzano serving 1-0: 15/0. 15/40 (BPx2). Deuce #1. Ad Daniela (BP #3). Deuce #2. Ad Daniela (BP #4). Broken.

A very important break after missing three break-points there - and of course, to recover from a set and a break down.

Daniela serving 1-1: 40/0. Deuce #1. Ad Razzano (BP #1). Deuce #2. Ad Razzano (BP #2). Deuce #3. Ad Razzano (BP #3). Deuce #4. Ad Razzano (BP #4). Deuce #5. Ad Daniela. Held.

And an important hold after leading 40/0 and then having to save four break-points!

Right now, both Daniela and Nicole Vaidišová are a set down and 2-1* up in the second...

Razzano serving 1-2: 30/0. 30/15. 40/15. Held.
Daniela serving 2-2: 0/40 (BP #1). 15/40 (BP #2). Broken.

Now both Daniela and Nicole are a set and 2-3* down, but at least Daniela has broken Razzano four times in this match - Nicole hasn't broken Virginia Ruano Pascual even once today.

Razzano serving 3-2: 0/30. 15/30. 15/40 (BP #1). 30/40 (BP #2). Broken.

Daniela's now doing a lot better than Nicole, who's about to go 2-5* down...

Daniela serving 3-3: 0/40 (3 BPs). Broken.
Razzano serving 4-3: 0/30. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Daniela (BP #2). Deuce #2. Ad Razzano. Held.

Two more break-points go begging, and Nicole just lost 6-3 6-4 - am I about to lose two members of my Eternal Fanship within five minutes of each other? :sad:

Daniela serving 3-5: 15/0. 15/40 (MP #1). 30/40 (MP #2). Razzano won 6-3 6-3 at 17:11 (second set 58m, match 1h45m).

-----------------------------------------------------------
5. First-round scoreboard-report: Vaidišová v Ruano Pascual (Tuesday 26th May 2009)
-----------------------------------------------------------

- Nicole Vaidišová [EF] lt. Virginia Ruano Pascual, 4-6 3-6

Nicole's main problem was a failure to break serve: a feat she only accomplished when Ruano Pascual served for the match at 6-4 *5-2. Prior to that, Nicole had only three break-points: two at 2-1* in the first set, and one at 1-0* in the second.

Whereas Ruano Pascual converted 4 of 7 BPs: a single break in the vital seventh game was enough for her to take the first set; Nicole also lost her last three service-games of the match (from *2-2 in the second).

The other major problem was Nicole's whopping error-count: she had a W:UE ratio of 22:50 to Ruano Pascual's 7:9.


First set
---------
VAIDIŠOVÁ * * *___*_ 6
RUANO PAS _* * *@* * 4

The match was second on Court 17, and started at 15:46 CEST, at which time I was also following live scores for Daniela Hantuchová v Virginie Razzano.

Nicole serving 0-0: 40/0. Held.
Ruano Pascual serving 0-1: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15. 40/30. Held.
Nicole serving 1-1: 30/0. 30/30. 40/30. Deuce. Ad Nicole. Held.

Ruano Pascual serving 1-2: 0/15. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Ruano Pascual. Deuce #2. Ad Ruano Pascual. Deuce #3. Ad Ruano Pascual. Deuce #4. Ad Nicole (BP #2). Deuce #5. Ad Ruano Pascual. Deuce #6. Ad Ruano Pascual. Held.

How important will that game prove to be? Three break-points go begging, while Ruano Pascual needed five game-points.

Nicole serving 2-2: 0/15. 40/15. 40/30. Held.

Judging by the BBC's current coverage of Đoković v Lapentti, it's cold and windy: big clouds of red dust are blowing up around the court.

Ruano Pascual serving 2-3: 0/15. 40/15. Held.
Nicole serving 3-3: 0/15. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP). Broken.

It seems that game at *1-2 was very important: that's when Nicole had all her break-points, but now she's the broken one.

Ruano Pascual serving 4-3: 30/0. 30/15. 40/15. Deuce. Ad Ruano Pascual. Held.
Nicole serving 3-5: 0/15. 40/15. Held.
Ruano Pascual serving 5-4: 30/0. 30/15. 40/15 (SP #1). Ruano Pascual won the first set 6-4 at 16:30 (44m).

Last time I saw Nicole play, she was having big trouble returning serve. Didn't put up much resistance against Ruano Pascual's in that set.


Second set
----------
VAIDIŠOVÁ * *____@_ 3
RUANO PAS _* *@*@ @ 6

Nicole serving 0-0: 15/0. 40/15. Held.
Ruano Pascual serving 0-1: 0/15. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP). Deuce. Ad Ruano Pascual. Held.

Only the second game in which Nicole has had break-point, and again she doesn't convert.

Nicole serving 1-1: 30/0. 30/15. 40/15. 40/30. Held.

Right now, both Nicole and Daniela Hantuchová are a set down and 2-1* up in the second...

Ruano Pascual serving 1-2: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15. Held.
Nicole serving 2-2: Broken to love.

Well, I guess that's that: a set and a break down, and Nicole hasn't broken serve at all today. Daniela is also a set and 2-3* down, but at least she's broken Virginie Razzano several times.

Ruano Pascual serving 3-2: 30/15. 40/15. Held.
Nicole serving 2-4: 0/30. 15/30. 15/40 (BPx2). Deuce #1. Ad Ruano Pascual (BP #3). Deuce #2. Ad Nicole. Deuce #3. Ad Ruano Pascual (BP #4). Broken.

Ruano Pascual serving 5-2: 15/0. 15/30. 15/40 (BP). Broken.

Nicole breaks for the first time in the match!

Nicole serving 3-5: 15/0. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (MP #1). Ruano Pascual won 6-3 6-4 at 17:04 (second set 34m, match 1h18m).

-------------------------------------------------
6. First-round TV-report: Zakopalová v S.Williams (Tuesday 26th May 2009)
-------------------------------------------------

- Klára Zakopalová lt. SERENA WILLIAMS [2], 3-6 7-6 (7/5) 6-4

This was televised on BBC Red Button, and was a great match, played at a breakneck pace.

Williams led 6-3 5-3*, but Klára - who beat Williams at Marbella - held for 4-5* after saving five match-points in an amazing game of eight deuces.

No tournament punishes lack of preparation like the French Open, and Williams paid for it as she failed to serve out the match at 6-3 *5-4, and dropped the second set on a tiebreak, in which *6/2 for Klára became *6/5 before she finally closed it out.

Klára broke first in the third set for *2-1, but dropped serve from 40/0 up, and lost four games in a row to trail *2-5. But, as in the second set, she raised her game amazingly to save three more match-points, and thwarted Williams's second attempt to serve for the match at *5-3.

However, with Klára serving at *4-5, two backhand return-winners gave Williams her ninth match-point, and Klára hit a forehand wide.

I enjoy watching Klára play: she has wonderful control on her groundstrokes, and uses it to play great spreading rallies. Her forehand looks a bit unorthodox in the way that she gets under the ball, but it's very effective. Of course, it also doesn't hurt that she's pretty, and that her shirt hikes up to bare her midriff when she serves! ;)

Klára actually sat next to my father in the stands at Bad Gastein 2008 (I couldn't be there myself), with Lucie Šafářová on her other side!

The only thing I have against Klára is her crimes against my Eternal Fanship: most notably at the Australian Open 2003, where she knocked 15-year-old Maria Sharapova out in the first round, then knocked Monica Seles out in the second round of what would prove to be Monica's last Australian Open.

Klára's maiden-name Koukalová sounds suspiciously like Kukl ("witchcraft" in Icelandic), and until the last game, it looked like she had put a curse on Williams (or a charm on herself) to prevent herself from being beaten!


Second set
----------

BBC Red Button televised this match almost from the start, but I couldn't actually watch it live at first, because I was following live scores for two members of my Eternal Fanship: Daniela Hantuchová and Nicole Vaidišová. I started watching this match once they had both lost, just after Williams had broken back from 6-3 1-3*.

Williams serving 2-3: Klára's deep off-forehand forced Williams to net a backhand. 0/15. Backhand return long. 15/15. Ace down the middle. 30/15. Point of the match: Klára ran down a dropshot and hit brilliant crosscourt backhand dropshot-winner! 30/30. Klára moved Williams from side to side, inducing her to net a backhand - Williams looked physically uncomfortable in that rally. 30/40 (BP). Klára forehand just long. Deuce #1. Klára backhand just long (called by the umpire). Ad Williams. Klára ran down a dropshot and blasted a backhand right at Williams at the net, forcing Williams to hit a forehand volley wide. Deuce #2. A very long, nailbiting rally ended with Klára making the error. Williams screamed, and Klára doubled over in exhaustion. Ad Williams. Service-winner. Williams doubled over with a massive fist-pump, and screamed again.

Klára serving 3-3: Second serve: Williams off-backhand return-winner. 0/15. Klára forehand just long, and threatened to throw her racket. 0/30. Williams's low-over-the-net crosscourt forehand forced Klára to net a forehand. 0/40 (BP). A deep backhand return just inside the baseline forced Klára into error.

Williams has now won four games in a row.

Williams serving 4-3: Big serve + off-backhand winner into the corner. 15/0. Klára forehand just long. 30/0. Service-winner down the middle. 40/0. Service-winner out wide.

Klára serving 3-5: Klára drew Williams to the net with a backhand dropshot, and hit a crosscourt backhand pass-volley winner! 15/0. Williams backhand long. 30/0. Williams forehand just long. 40/0. Klára backhand long. 40/15. Double fault #3. 40/30. A deep return induced Klára to spray a backhand wide. Deuce #1. Klára left a return that apparently landed on the baseline, but the umpire checked the mark and called it long. Ad Klára. She netted a backhand off another deep ball from Williams. Deuce #2. Forehand return-winner down the line. Ad Williams (MP #1). Williams shanked a backhand long. Deuce #3. Williams forehand long. Ad Klára. Williams came to the net behind a fierce crosscourt forehand, forcing Klára to hit one wide. Deuce #4. Williams opened up the court and hit a forehand winner down the line. Ad Williams (MP #2). Klára slipped while preparing for a forehand, but still hit an acute-angled off-forehand winner!! Deuce #5. Williams backhand winner down the line. Ad Williams (MP #3). Williams scooped a sliced forehand long. Deuce #6. A deep, low-bouncing crosscourt forehand return forced Klára to hit a forehand into the tramlines. Ad Williams (MP #4). A very long rally with excellent depth from Klára ended with Williams hitting a forehand wide. Deuce #7. A big forehand return forced Klára to net a forehand. Ad Williams (MP #5). Williams netted a forehand. Deuce #8. Williams netted a forehand. Ad Klára. Williams sprayed a forehand return wide.

Williams serving 5-4: Klára forced a short ball and hit a crosscourt forehand winner. 0/15. Williams netted an off-backhand off a short ball, doubled over and looked close to tears. 0/30. Williams slugged a down-the-line backhand wide. 0/40 (BP #1). Williams forced a short ball and hit a backhand winner down the line. 15/40 (BP #2). Service-winner down the line. 30/40 (BP #3). Double fault #3 (second serve long).

Klára serving 5-5: Williams crosscourt forehand winner. 0/15. Williams netted a backhand. 15/15. Klára painted the sideline with a crosscourt forehand winner. 30/15. Williams backhand long. 40/15. Service-winner out wide: just inside the service-line.

The commentators said this turnaround was due to Klára playing well, while Williams is also paying for her lack of match-play.

Williams serving 5-6: Williams backhand wide. 0/15. Williams forehand just wide. 0/30. Klára forehand long. 15/30. First serve: Klára netted a backhand return. 30/30. Klára mishit a forehand wide, and looked distraught. Williams sportingly celebrated the error with a fist-pump and a scream. 40/30. Klára netted a backhand return.

John Lloyd: "Excellent serving by Serena Williams from 0/30."

6-6 tiebreak (all scores Zakopalová/Williams):
{*0/0} Service-winner.
{1/0*} Williams backhand long.
{2/0*} With groundstrokes of pinpoint accuracy, Klára set up and hit a forehand winner down the line.
{*3/0} With a high-pitched yell, Serena hit a high forehand off-forehand winner.
{*3/1} Klára netted an off-backhand to relinquish her second mini-break.
{3/2*} Klára painted the sideline with a crosscourt forehand winner.
{4/2*} Williams crosscourt backhand wide.
{*5/2} Williams netted a backhand.
{*6/2: SP #1} Williams ran down a dropshot that was more like a mini-lob, and dispatched it with a crosscourt forehand winner.
{6/3*: SP #2} Klára hit a "freebie" backhand return long.
{6/4*: SP #3} A crosscourt-backhand drill ended with one of Serena's clipping the netcord, inducing Klára to dump a forehand halfway up the net.
{*6/5: SP #4} Serena got jammed by a deep forehand from Klára, forcing herself to hit a forehand wide. Klára won the second set 7-6 (7/5) at 17:56 CEST.


Third set
---------
ZAKOPALO _*@____*@_ 4
WILLIAMS *__@*@*__@ 6

Williams serving 0-0: 15/0. Williams crosscourt backhand winner. 30/0. Klára netted a forehand off an awkward wide ball that she snatched at. 40/0. Klára backhand long.

Klára serving 0-1: Klára forehand wide. 0/15. Williams opened up the court but hit a down-the-line backhand wide. 15/15. Klára painted the sideline with an off-forehand winner. 30/15. Williams went to the net behind a deep crosscourt forehand, forcing Klára to net a forehand. 30/30. Klára's backhand on the baseline was called long, much to her annoyance. 30/40 (BP). Williams's forehand return clipped the netcord and fell back on her side. Deuce #1. Williams forehand wide. Ad Klára. She missed a backhand. Deuce #2. Williams blasted a forehand return long. Ad Klára. Williams netted a forehand return.

Williams serving 1-1: Williams dumped a forehand halfway up the net. 0/15. Klára netted a forehand return. 15/15. Williams on the third stroke netted a backhand. 15/30. Williams forced and ran down a short ball, and hit an off-forehand winner. 30/30. Double fault #4 (second serve into the net). 30/40 (BP). Klára hit an off-forehand winner.

Sam Smith: "Klára Zakopalová is playing out of her skin, and goes ahead for the first time in a match. It's very different beating Serena in a small tournament such as Marbella, and beating her in a Major."

Klára serving 2-1: Two service-winners. 30/0. Klára got away with a short second serve as Williams didn't move her feet, and netted a sloppy backhand return. 40/0. Williams hit a short-angled crosscourt backhand, forcing Klára to stretch wide and net a backhand. 40/15. Klára forehand just long. 40/30. Klára forehand long. Deuce. First serve out wide: Williams sprayed a forehand return wide. Ad Klára. She hit a backhand long. Deuce #2. Klára netted a backhand, and shouted in Czech. Ad Williams (BP). Klára defended well, but netted a forehand to give the break back.

Williams serving 2-2: Klára backhand long and just wide. 15/0. Serve out wide + error-forcing crosscourt forehand just inside the sideline. 30/0. Williams forehand long. 30/15. Williams forehand just wide (confirmed by the umpire). 30/30. Klára hit a pinpoint backhand winner down the line. 30/40 (BP). Klára dumped a backhand not halfway up the net. Deuce. Ace #1: down the middle. Ad Williams. Ace #2: out wide.

Klára missed a break-point in that game, and has much to be disappointed about in the set so far.

Klára serving 2-3: Williams netted a tame forehand. 15/0. Klára lofted a forehand long. 15/15. A deep crosscourt forehand forced Klára to hit a forehand long and wide. 15/30. Williams hit a crunching crosscourt forehand winner. 15/40 (BP #1). Klára's depth forced Williams to net a backhand. 30/40 (BP #2). Serve out wide + backhand winner down the line. Deuce. Williams hit a backhand winner down the line: back behind Klára, who stumbled. Ad Williams (BP #3). A penetrating backhand return down the line forced Klára to hit a forehand that clipped the netcord and fell back on her side.

Williams serving 4-2: Klára ran down a dropshot and hit a forehand dropshot-winner down Williams's forehand-line. 0/15. Klára backhand just long. 15/15. Ace down the middle. 30/15. Backhand return long. 40/15. Williams didn't move back well for a deep return, and netted a backhand. 40/30. Klára forehand just long.

Klára serving 2-5: Klára's width forced Williams to net a backhand. 15/0. Klára on the third stroke netted a backhand off a mildly awkward return. 15/15. Klára caught a backhand late: it sat up nicely for Williams to hit a backhand winner down the line. 15/30. Klára netted a forehand. 15/40 (MP #6). First serve into the net. After a baseline-rally, Klára saved it with a backhand winner down the line. 30/40 (MP #7). Williams netted a backhand return. Deuce. Williams blasted a crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline. Ad Williams (MP #8). Klára saved it with a crosscourt backhand + backhand winner down the line. Deuce #2. Klára off-forehand winner. Ad Klára. Williams gave Klára the runaround, finishing with a backhand winner down the line. Deuce #3. Williams netted a backhand. Ad Klára. Williams hit a wild forehand return very long.

The way Klára has raised her game to save all those match-points in both sets is amazing!

Williams serving 5-3: Klára backhand winner down the line. 0/15. Williams netted a backhand. 0/30. After a tough rally, Williams sprayed a backhand very wide. 0/40 (BP #1). Ace out wide. 15/40 (BP #2). Klára hit a great return + backhand winner down the line to break back.

Klára has now thwarted Williams when Williams served for the match in both the second and third sets, and saved eight match-points in both sets!

Klára serving 4-5: Klára hit a brilliant short-angled crosscourt backhand winner. 15/0. Backhand return-winner down the line. 15/15. Klára sprayed a crosscourt backhand wide. 15/30. Backhand return-winner down the line. 15/40 (MP #9). Klára on the third stroke hit a forehand wide. Williams jumped up and down three times as she won 3-6 7-6 (7/5) 6-4 at 18:40 CEST (2h25m).

Serena Williams: "I played horrendous [sic]. I played junior-tennis or even worse. I was a little nervous because I hadn't won a match on clay all year. I was just desperate for a win, and it pretty much showed in my game. I just hit the wrong shots, and then she went for broke on a few shots. I probably should have closed it out but I just didn't, and I couldn't, and I didn't want it to beat me down."

-----------------------------------------------
7. First-round scoreboard-report: Dokić v Šprem (Tuesday 26th May 2009)
-----------------------------------------------

+ Jelena Dokić [EF] d. Karolina Šprem [DF], 3-6 6-1 6-2

Jelena made a bad start to her first French Open match since 2004, going *0-3 down. She broke back for *3-4, but Karolina reinstated her break immediately, then served out the first set 6-3.

Jelena faced a break-point in the first game of the second set, but after saving it, she took complete control, racing to a 5-0* lead and taking the second set 6-1.

In the third set, Karolina dropped serve from *1-1 (40/0), and another five-game winning-streak put Jelena 5-1* up. Karolina held for 2-5* after being taken to deuce, but couldn't stop Jelena serving out to 15 to reach the second round of the French Open for the first time since 2003.

Jelena had a negative W:UE ratio of 19:28 (including a disastrous 4:13 for the first set), while Karolina was seemingly the less aggressive, as hers was 13:16. Jelena also served 6 aces and 9 double faults.


First set
---------
DOKIĆ ___* *@__ 3
ŠPREM *@* *__@* 6

The match was second on Court 6, and started at 17:27 CEST. I got a little bit sidetracked watching the amazing Klára Zakopalová v Serena Williams match on BBC Red Button, and missed the first two games on the scoreboard.

Karolina serving 2-0: 30/0. 30/15. 40/15. Held.
Jelena serving 0-3: 30/0. 40/30. Held.
Karolina serving 3-1: 40/0. 40/30. Held.
Jelena serving 1-4: 30/0. 30/15. 40/15. Held.
Karolina serving 4-2: 0/40 (BP). Broken.
Jelena serving 3-4: 0/40 (BP #1). 15/40 (BP #2). Broken.
Karolina serving 5-3: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15 (SP #1). 40/30 (SP #2). Karolina won the first set 6-3 at 17:56 (29m).


Second set
----------
DOKIĆ *@*@* * 6
ŠPREM _____*_ 1

Jelena serving 0-0: 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP). Deuce. Ad Jelena. Held.
Karolina serving 0-1: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15. 40/30. Deuce. Ad Jelena (BP). Broken.
Jelena serving 2-0: 40/0. Held.
Karolina serving 0-3: 0/40 (BP #1). 15/40 (BP #2). Broken.
Jelena serving 4-0: Held to love.
Karolina serving 0-5: 40/0. Deuce. Ad Karolina. Held.
Jelena serving 5-1: 15/0. 40/15 (SP). Jelena won the second set 6-1 at 18:24 (second set 28m, match so far 57m).


Third set
---------
DOKIĆ _*@*@* * 6
ŠPREM *_____*_ 2

Karolina serving 0-0: 30/0. 30/15. Held.
Jelena serving 0-1: 30/0. Held.
Karolina serving 1-1: 40/0. Deuce. Ad Jelena (BP). Broken.
Jelena serving 2-1: 15/15. 30/30. Deuce. Ad Jelena. Held.
Karolina serving 1-3: 0/15. 30/40 (BP). Broken.

Serena Williams finally beat Klára Zakopalová on her ninth match-point after failing to serve out the match in both the second and third sets, so at last I can give this match my proper attention!

Not much to say, really, as Jelena seems to be in complete control after dropping the first set.

Jelena serving 4-1: 30/0. 30/30. 40/30. Deuce #1. Ad Jelena. Deuce #2. Ad Jelena. Held.
Karolina serving 1-5: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30. Deuce. Ad Karolina. Held.

A scrappy couple of games, but surely too little too late for Karolina.

Jelena serving 5-2: 40/0 (MP #1). 40/15 (MP #2). Jelena won 3-6 6-1 6-2 at 18:57 (third set 33m, match 1h30m).


Articles
--------

Serena struggles, Đokovic eases through in Paris tennis (AFP)
>>>
There was an emotional return to Roland Garros - after a five-year absence - for Australia's Jelena Dokić.

The 26-year-old, whose career and life were in a tailspin until a magical run to the Australian Open quarter-finals this year, beat Croatia's Karolina Šprem 3-6 6-1 6-2.

It was her first victory at Roland Garros since she reached the second round in 2003. She played and lost the first round in the following year.

"This is only my sixth tournament since the Australian Open, and I feel good. It's a good sign that I was able to turn it around after losing the first set," said world number 80 Dokić.

"It's been five years since I played here, and only my second Grand Slam [sic] in four years. It all feels kind of new."

Dokić - a quarter-finalist in 2002 - will now face Russian fourth seed Elena Dementieva for a place in the last 32.
<<<

Jelena Dokić and Sam Stosur move into second round of French Open in Paris (Fox Sports / AAP)
>>>
Australian duo Samantha Stosur and Jelena Dokić have cruised through to the second round of the French Open on a day with few surprises among the women.

Dokić - a former world No.4 - came from behind to win her first-round match against 24-year-old Croatian Karolina Šprem 3-6 6-1 6-2.

It was Dokić's first appearance at the tournament since 2004, when she was bundled out in the opening round.

The 26-year-old didn't have the best start, misfiring shots during some determined battles with the No.91-ranked Šprem.

But the world No.80 bounced back, breaking Šprem early on in the second set and again in the third, celebrating with a shout of "come on" to the crowd before she wrapped up the match in 90 minutes.

Dokić has been trying to make a comeback after battling depression for several years.

She made the quarter-finals of the Australian Open in January, and sliced nearly 100 places off her ranking to reach No.80 this week.

But her performance has been patchy since Melbourne, having withdrawn from Ponte Vedra Beach and Charlestown in April citing fatigue, and then losing the first round of the Warsaw Open to qualifier Ioana Raluca Olaru.

"It's the second Grand Slam [sic] of the year that I've gotten past the first round, so I have to be happy with that," Dokić told reporters.

"It was not going to be an easy match [against Šprem].

"She's played pretty well this year, and maybe she was even a favourite coming into this match, because I haven't had so many matches in the last few months, and I didn't play so well the last two weeks, three weeks.

"But I was really, really strong mentally today, and I'm happy with the way I came back."

Dokić faces a tough challenge in her second-round match against world No.4 Elena Dementieva from Russia, who beat South African Chanelle Scheepers 6-4 6-3.
<<<

The Ticker (Kamakshi Tandon, TENNIS.com)
http://tennis.com/news/ticker.aspx
>>>
Jelena Dokić defeats Karolina Šprem 3-6 6-1 6-2 to set up a match with Elena Dementieva in the next round. "There's absolutely no pressure in that match, and I can just go out and try and do my best," said Dokić.

She said she had been surprised by the spectator-interest in her first-round match, which featured two fallen prodigies who also have a coaching-link. Dokić's coach Borna Bikić was once the coach and boyfriend of Šprem. Dokić's long-time boyfriend Tin Bikić is Borna's brother. "I actually honestly didn't think that many people would watch, and there's a lot of, you know, other, you know, great players playing," said Dokić.

Dokić refused to comment about recent events involving her estranged father, Damir, saying, "I'm not answering any questions regarding my father, regarding my personal life, at all."

Earlier this month in an interview with _Sport & Style_, Jelena confirmed that her father had beaten her during her early teens, while he was serving as her coach on the Tour. Damir Dokić has been charged with threatening the Australian ambassador in Belgrade while calling to demand an investigation into the interview.
<<<

Dokić thanks Australians for rekindling her passion (Reuters)
By Pritha Sarkar (editing by Sonia Oxley)
>>>
Jelena Dokić, playing at the French Open for the first time since 2004, thanked her adopted country Australia on Tuesday for rekindling her passion for tennis.

Dokić, who was born in former Yugoslavia, marked her return to Roland Garros by downing Croat Karolina Šprem 3-6 6-1 6-2.

After booking a second-round date with Russian fourth seed Elena Dementieva, she said she could not have made it back on to the big stage if it had not been for the support she got during her emotional journey to January's Australian Open quarter-finals.

"Those people in Australia have probably brought my career back on track. I will be grateful to them for the rest of my life," the former world number-four - now ranked 80th - told a news-conference.

"No matter how hard it is on Tour sometimes, every week when you play, I always try to remember that, because that's what brought me back."

Since her unexpected run in Melbourne, her form has dipped, and she has not managed to win back-to-back matches on the main Tour. However, since she has had to overcome greater obstacles, including breaking links with her domineering father Damir, she was not about to get too disheartened.

"Coming into the Grand Slam [sic], I was a little bit shaky, but it's a very good sign that I was able to turn around and still be able to play a fairly good match today," she said.

"I'm number 80 in the world, so I have nothing to defend for the rest of the year. I have pretty high goals.

"Even though I haven't played as well as I wanted to since the Australian Open, I've still had good wins - and I've only played four events. Considering all that, I think I'm on the right track."
<<<

Dad's off limits as Dokić wins on French Open return (AFP)
>>>
Australia's Jelena Dokić continued her professional and personal rehabilitation on Tuesday when she clinched her first win at the French Open for six years, but insisted her controversial father was off limits.

The 26-year-old, whose career and life were in a tailspin until a magical run to the Australian Open quarter-finals this year, battled back from a set down to defeat Croatia's Karolina Šprem 3-6 6-1 6-2.

It was her first victory at Roland Garros since she reached the second round in 2003. She played and lost the first round in the following year.

Tuesday's win was even more remarkable, given the latest turmoil involving her estranged father Damir, who has been charged with threatening the Australian ambassador to Serbia, and illegal possession of firearms.

"I'm not answering any questions regarding my father or regarding my personal life, at all," she said.

"I've answered a lot of questions in Australia. I've answered a lot of questions over the last four or five years. I think everybody knows the story.

"I really don't think there's anything further that I should talk about. There is no reason to bring up those questions again and again."

Dokić - a quarter-finalist in 2002 - will now face Russian fourth seed Elena Dementieva for a place in the last 32.

"No-one can say I'm the favourite," Dokić added. "On paper, she should probably win easily. There's absolutely no pressure in that match, and I can just go out and try and do my best."

Dokić - a former world number-four but now ranked at #80 - won more than three million US dollars in prize-money in the first stage of her career, when she was a teenage prodigy who reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2000.

But she lost the money when she split from Damir, whom she blames for her downfall, and was reportedly sleeping on the floor of a Melbourne-apartment as she prepared for this year's Australian Open [sic - it was in 2007 that Jelena was sleeping on the floor of a St. Kilda flat].
<<<

--------------------
8. Second-round draw
--------------------

The players on the left are the ones I want to win.


8.1 Top half: Lucie Šafářová, Maria Sharapova
---------------------------------------------

* Vitalia Diatchenko [Q,S] v DINARA SAFINA [1] (davai Vitalia!)
* ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA [27] v Julie Coin
* Aravane Rezaď v Polona Hercog [Q] (my loyalty is to Aravane)
* ZHENG,JIE [15] v Michelle Larcher de Brito [Q] (jia you Jie!)

* VICTORIA AZARENKA [9] v Kristina Barrois (davai Victoria!)
* Lucie Hradecká [S] v CARLA SUÁREZ NAVARRO [22] (pojďme Lucie!)
* IVETA BENEŠOVÁ [32] v Alla Kudryavtseva (pojďme Iveta!)
* ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] v Tamarine Tanasugarn (ajde Ana!)

* Lucie Šafářová [EF] v VENUS WILLIAMS [3] (POJĎME LUCIE!!)
* Elena Vesnina v ÁGNES SZÁVAY [29] (davai Elena!)
* DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20] v Kirsten Flipkens (poďme Dominika!)
* Gisela Dulko [DF] v Anna-Lena Grönefeld (Ąvamos Gisela!)

* Maria Sharapova [EF] v NADIA PETROVA [11] (DAVAI MARIA!!)
* Yaroslava Shvedova [Q] v Arantxa Rus [Q] (davai Yaroslava!)
* Timea Bacsinszky v LI,NA [25] (hopp Timea!)
* Olga Govortsova v Akgul Amanmuradova (davai Olga!)


8.2 Bottom half: Jelena Dokić
-----------------------------

* Magdaléna Rybáriková [DF] v JELENA JANKOVIĆ [5] (poďme Magda!)
* Jarmila Groth v Mariana Duque Marino [LL]
* (ALIZÉ CORNET [21] v Maret Ani) v Sorana Cîrstea (allez Alizé!)
* CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [10] v Jill Craybas (kom sĺ Caroline!)

* MARION BARTOLI [13,DF,S] v Tathiana Garbin (allez Marion!)
* ANABEL MEDINA GARRIGUES [18] v Virginie Razzano
* Yanina Wickmayer v SAMANTHA STOSUR [30] (komaan Yanina!)
* Jelena Dokić [EF] v ELENA DEMENTIEVA [4] (go Jelena!)

* SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [7] v Galina Voskoboeva
* SYBILLE BAMMER [28] v Melinda Czink
* Kateryna Bondarenko v Olivia Rogowska [WC]
* AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [12] v Mariya Koryttseva

* Alexa Glatch v Lourdes Domínguez Lino
* Petra Martić [Q] v ALEKSANDRA WOZNIAK [24]
* Viktoriya Kutuzova v María José Martínez Sánchez (davai Viktoriya!)
* Virginia Ruano Pascual v SERENA WILLIAMS [2] (Ąvamos Virginia!)

-------------------------------------------
9. Second-round preview: Dokić v Dementieva
-------------------------------------------

I must admit it was a pleasant surprise for me to recall that Jelena leads Elena Dementieva 5:3 head to head!

Dementieva won their first two meetings, beating 17-year-old Jelena 6-4 6-3 at New Haven 2000, and 2-6 6-4 6-4 in the semi-finals of the Sydney Olympics.

But Jelena won their next five meetings, starting with a 4-6 7-5 6-4 revenge at New Haven 2001. Jelena then beat Dementieva 6-3 6-3 in the final of Moscow 2001 - the third of the five WTA singles-titles that Jelena has won so far (a tally that, sadly, has not increased since Birmingham 2002).

Jelena also beat Dementieva in two quarter-finals in 2002: Paris 5-7 6-1 6-2, and Amelia Island 0-6 7-6 (7/3) 6-1. Her last victory over Dementieva came at Charleston 2003: 4-6 6-4 7-5. Dementieva won their last meeting 5-7 6-1 6-3 at Miami 2004.

Dementieva is a year and a half older than 26-year-old Jelena, but she has done much better since their last meeting, finishing every year in 2003-2008 in the top eleven, and rising to her current #4 in 2008 (she was briefly #3 about a month ago). She has never won a Major, but she has won the next-best thing: an Olympic Gold Medal (Beijing 2008).

Dementieva has an impressive 32:8 win/loss record for 2009 so far. While Jelena's season-highlight is reaching an Australian Open quarter-final, Dementieva went one better and reached the semis (albeit without beating anyone ranked higher than #19), falling 6-3 6-4 to world #2 and eventual champion Serena Williams.

Indeed, Dementieva went into the Australian Open with two titles from 2009 already under her belt: she won Auckland without dropping a set, beating #76 Elena Vesnina 6-4 6-1 in the final, then won Sydney, beating #10 Agnieszka Radwańska 6-2 5-7 6-4 in the quarters, Serena Williams 6-3 6-1(!) in the semis, and #3 Dinara Safina 6-3 2-6 6-1 in the final.

Dementieva reached the final of WTA Paris on a walkover from Serena Williams, and lost 7-6 2-6 6-4 to #24 Amélie Mauresmo. She then lost 6-3 6-3 to #6 Venus Williams in the quarter-finals of Dubai.

Dementieva suffered her only opening-round loss of the year at Indian Wells, losing 7-6 2-6 6-1 to #71-ranked qualifier Petra Cetkovská. She fell in the fourth round of Miami to #12 Caroline Wozniacki.

Dementieva lost to Wozniacki again in the semis of Charleston: 6-4 5-7 7-5. She beat #13 Marion Bartoli 6-2 4-6 6-3 to reach the semi-finals of Rome, but lost 6-4 6-2 to Svetlana Kuznetsova. She lost to Mauresmo again in the third round of Madrid: 1-6 6-4 6-2.

Dementieva won her first round here by beating qualifier Chanelle Scheepers 6-4 6-3, albeit in an error-strewn performance by both players (Dementieva had a W:UE ratio of 17:30 to Scheepers's 7:22).

The bottom line is that this is a very tough draw for Jelena, but her destiny is in her own hands. We all know what to expect from Dementieva: she doesn't have a great serve (to put it mildly, though it has improved a lot), but she has very solid groundstrokes, and will be prepared to grind all day.

The unknown factor is whether Jelena can find the magic that thrashed Martina Hingis 6-2 6-0 in the first round of Wimbledon 1999, and was last seen (at that level of brilliance) in the last two sets of her win over Wozniacki at this year's Australian Open (3-6 6-1 6-2): that mode where Jelena hits the ball so sweetly with flairsome power and winners at will.

-------------------
10. Andrew's wishes (updated after Tuesday)
-------------------
10.1 Third-round wishes
-----------------------

+ Vitalia Diatchenko [Q,S] d. ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA [27]
+ Aravane Rezaď d. ZHENG,JIE [15]
+ VICTORIA AZARENKA [9] d. Lucie Hradecká [S]
+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] d. IVETA BENEŠOVÁ [32]

+ Lucie Šafářová [EF] d. Elena Vesnina
+ Gisela Dulko [DF] d. DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20]
+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. Yaroslava Shvedova [Q]
+ Olga Govortsova d. Timea Bacsinszky

+ Magdaléna Rybáriková [DF] d. Jarmila Groth
+ ALIZÉ CORNET [21] d. CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [10]
+ MARION BARTOLI [13,DF,S] v ANABEL MEDINA GARRIGUES [18]
+ Jelena Dokić [EF] d. Yanina Wickmayer

+ SYBILLE BAMMER [28] d. SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [7]
+ Kateryna Bondarenko d. AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [12]
+ Petra Martić [Q] d. Alexa Glatch
+ Viktoriya Kutuzova d. Virginia Ruano Pascual


10.2 Fourth-round wishes
------------------------

+ Vitalia Diatchenko [Q,S] d. Aravane Rezaď
+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] d. VICTORIA AZARENKA [9]
+ Lucie Šafářová [EF] d. Gisela Dulko [DF]
+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. Olga Govortsova

+ Magdaléna Rybáriková [DF] d. ALIZÉ CORNET [21]
+ Jelena Dokić [EF] d. MARION BARTOLI [13,DF,S]
+ Kateryna Bondarenko d. SYBILLE BAMMER [28]
+ Viktoriya Kutuzova d. Petra Martić [Q]


10.3 Quarter-final wishes
-------------------------

+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] d. Vitalia Diatchenko [Q,S]
+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. Lucie Šafářová [EF]
+ Jelena Dokić [EF] d. Magdaléna Rybáriková [DF]
+ Viktoriya Kutuzova d. Kateryna Bondarenko


10.4 Semi-final wishes
----------------------

+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF]
+ Jelena Dokić [EF] d. Viktoriya Kutuzova


10.5 Final wish
---------------

+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. Jelena Dokić [EF]

Vera Zvonarëva was actually my ideal champion before she withdrew (which would have precluded Maria getting past the fourth round), but my priority now is for Maria to complete her Career Grand Slam, although I'd love to see another member of my Eternal Fanship win a Major.

--------------------------------
11. Women's Doubles: First round
--------------------------------
11.1 First-round results (Tuesday 26th May)
------------------------

What rocked:

+ Lucie Šafářová [EF]/Vladimíra Uhlířová d. Stéphanie Foretz/Camille Pin [WC], 3-6 6-1 6-3

+ (YAN,ZI [S]/ZHENG,JIE)[16] d. Edina Gallovits/Olga Govortsova, 6-4 6-2


What sucked:

- Anna Chakvetadze [EF]/Maria Elena Camerin lt. Gisela Dulko [DF]/Ágnes Szávay, 3-6 4-6

- Magdaléna Rybáriková [DF]/Ayumi Morita [S] lt. (BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS/NADIA PETROVA)[10], 5-7 3-6


To be played on Wednesday:

* Nicole Vaidišová [EF]/Eva Hrdinová v Ekaterina Dzehalevich/Andreja Klepač

* (DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [EF]/AI SUGIYAMA)[7] v Emilie Loit/Kristina Mladenović [WC]

* Jelena Dokić [EF]/Alisa Kleybanova v Petra Cetkovská/Carla Suárez Navarro

* (MARIA KIRILENKO [DF]/FLAVIA PENNETTA [DF])[8] v Sorana Cîrstea/Caroline Wozniacki

* (HSIEH,SU-WEI [S]/PENG,SHUAI [S])[9] v Liga Dekmeijere/Aleksandra Wozniak


11.2 Second-round draw
----------------------

Andrew's selections (desired winners on the left):

* Lucie Šafářová [EF]/Vladimíra Uhlířová v ((NATHALIE DECHY/MARA SANTANGELO)[15] v Vera Dushevina/Anastasia Rodionova)

* (YAN,ZI [S]/ZHENG,JIE)[16] v Klaudia Jans/Alicja Rosolska

-------------------------------
12. Order of play for Wednesday
-------------------------------

Court Philippe Chatrier (start 11:00 CEST = 09:00 GMT = 10:00 BST)
MS 2r: ANDY MURRAY [3] v Potito Starace
WS 1r: ALIZÉ CORNET [21] v Maret Ani, 6-4 *4-4 to finish
WS 2r: ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] v Tamarine Tanasugarn
MS 2r: MARAT SAFIN [20] v Josselin Ouanna [WC]
WS 2r: Lucie Šafářová [EF] v VENUS WILLIAMS [3]

Court Suzanne Lenglen (start 11:00 CEST = 09:00 GMT = 10:00 BST)
WS 2r: Vitalia Diatchenko [Q,S] v DINARA SAFINA [1]
MS 1r: Fabrice Santoro [S] v Christophe Rochus, 3-6 1-6 6-3 *3-5 to finish
MS 2r: GILLES SIMON [7] v Robert Kendrick
WS 2r: Maria Sharapova [EF] v NADIA PETROVA [11]
MS 2r: RAFAEL NADAL [1] v Teimuraz Gabashvili


UK TV-alert
-----------

The tennis will start on BBC 2 at 10:00 BST, as Andy Murray is first on Chatrier. I assume the same coverage will be on BBC Red Button (Freeview-channel 301) too. BBC 2's transmission is scheduled to end at 11:15 BST.

The BBC plans to start on Chatrier with Murray v Starace, Cornet v Ani and Ivanović v Tanasugarn, then to switch to Lenglen for Sharapova v Petrova and Nadal v Gabashvili.

So I guess the only chance of Šafářová v Williams being televised would be if Nadal finished first, and the BBC had the decency to switch back to Chatrier rather than end its transmission prematurely. :rolleyes:

Full order of play:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/scores/schedule/

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

andrewbroad
May 28th, 2009, 04:17 AM
=============
ROLAND GARROS (Paris, France; red clay; Major)
============= http://www.rolandgarros.com/
Contents
--------

1. Photos
2. Women's Singles: Second round
3. Second-round TV-report: Sharapova v Petrova
4. Second-round scoreboard-report: Šafářová v V.Williams (Part 1)
5. Second-round draw
6. Third-round preview: Sharapova v Shvedova
7. Andrew's wishes
8. Women's Doubles: First round
9. Order of play for Thursday

---------
1. Photos
---------

Search-list for Day 4:

sharapova
safarova
ivanovic
dulko
cibulkova
benesova
shvedova
cornet
diatchenko
vesnina

--------------------------------
2. Women's Singles: Second round (Wednesday 27th May 2009)
--------------------------------
2.1 First-round result
----------------------

+ ALIZÉ CORNET [21] d. Maret Ani, 6-4 7-5


2.2 Second-round results
------------------------

Nice winner, nice loser:
+ DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20] d. Kirsten Flipkens, 6-1 6-0
+ Aravane Rezaï d. Polona Hercog [Q], 3-6 6-4 6-2

What rocked:
+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. NADIA PETROVA [11], 6-2 1-6 8-6
+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] d. Tamarine Tanasugarn, 6-1 6-2
+ Gisela Dulko [DF] d. Anna-Lena Grönefeld, 7-6 (7/5) 0-6 6-2
+ IVETA BENEŠOVÁ [32] d. Alla Kudryavtseva, 6-1 6-2
+ Yaroslava Shvedova [Q] d. Arantxa Rus [Q], 6-0 6-2
+ VICTORIA AZARENKA [9] d. Kristina Barrois, 7-6 (7/1) 7-5
+ Olga Govortsova d. Akgul Amanmuradova, 6-3 6-7 (3/7) 7-5

What sucked:
- Vitalia Diatchenko [Q,S] lt. DINARA SAFINA [1], 1-6 1-6
- Elena Vesnina lt. ÁGNES SZÁVAY [29], 2-6 0-6
- ZHENG,JIE [15] lt. Michelle Larcher de Brito [Q], 4-6 3-6
- Lucie Hradecká [s] lt. CARLA SUÁREZ NAVARRO [22], 2-6 4-6
- Timea Bacsinszky lt. LI,NA [25], 1-6 4-6

All other results:
+ ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA [27] d. Julie Coin, 6-2 7-6 (7/2)

Suspended overnight due to darkness:
* Lucie Šafářová [EF] v VENUS WILLIAMS [3], 7-6 (7/5) *0-0

----------------------------------------------
3. Second-round TV-report: Sharapova v Petrova (Wednesday 27th May 2009)
----------------------------------------------

+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. NADIA PETROVA [11], 6-2 1-6 8-6

I saw the whole match on BBC Red Button, and it was amazing! Even on the slow red clay, on a cold, heavy day, Maria's shots skidded through the court so fast and low bouncing!

Maria has adjusted her game to protect her right shoulder since I last saw her play in 2008:
(a) She now uses an abbreviated service-action, which consists of mainly just throwing the ball up and hitting it, rather than starting with the racket down by her knees and taking a full swing.
(b) She hits more of her forehands with the conventional follow-through (racket finishing over her left shoulder) rather than her trademark buggy-whip forehand (racket finishing over her right shoulder).

Maria ambushed the eleventh seed with a brilliant first set, breaking in the first game, and although she was broken back immediately and went *1-2 down, she reeled off five games in a row to take the first set. If she could play every set like that one, she'd certainly win the French Open to complete her Career Grand Slam!

In the second set, however, worrying groundstroke-errors started to creep into Maria's game as she was broken for 1-3*, and by the end of the set, she was haemorrhaging errors, while Petrova grew in belief, her big serve and big forehand doing a lot of damage as she kept stranding Maria with crosscourt forehands to set up winners.

The third set was a worthy sequel to yesterday's Klára Zakopalová v Serena Williams thriller, as the momentum shifted from one player to the other. Would Maria's far greater mental strength win out in the end, or would she make too many errors at the wrong times?

Maria got broken for *0-1, but broke back immediately with two blazing backhand return-winners. With more errors creeping into Petrova's game, the momentum seemed to be firmly back with Maria.

But Maria put herself in desperate trouble when, from *2-2 (30/0), she made four unforced errors in a row to get broken, then Petrova held to love for 4-2*, and had two break-points at 15/40 that would have left her serving for the match at *5-2!

Maria saved 15/40 with a first serve + forehand winner, 30/40 with a good second serve, then an ace at deuce as she held for 3-4*. Then Petrova got very nervous and tentative as Maria broke back for *4-4.

In a dramatic game at *4-4, Maria went 40/0 up with two great serves and a forehand winner, then her serve deserted her and she found herself facing a break-point. She saved it with an error-forcing forehand that caught the back edge of the baseline, but a horrendous netted forehand gave Petrova a second break-point. Maria saved it with an error-forcing backhand down the line, an ace and a Petrova forehand winner took it to a fourth deuce, then Petrova hit two forehands long for *4-5.

The next four games went with serve, but while Petrova held to love at both *4-5 and *5-6, Maria - who was looking very tired by now - had to recover from *5-5 (15/30) and *6-6 (30/40).

A couple of weird things happened to Petrova at *6-7. At 15/0, she opened up the court perfectly for an off-forehand winner, but put it long. At 30/30, she thought she hit an ace, but ended up serving a double fault. This gave Maria match-point, and Petrova hit a forehand just wide.

My heart was throbbing, I was smiling, and Maria looked delighted too. And I laughed with joy when reminded just what this victory means: a mouthwatering third-round match with Yaroslava Shvedova!

One tactical observation from this match is that Maria's crosscourt forehands sometimes expose her to being passed down her backhand-line, especially when she goes to the net. She might get away with it on grass, where the ball skids through lower on crosscourt shots, but it sits up nicely for the opponent on clay.

I'll post my full TV-report - with a blow-by-blow description of every point - at a future date (most probably in the week before Wimbledon).

--------------------------------------------------------
4. Second-round scoreboard-report: Šafářová v V.Williams (Part 1: Wednesday 27th May 2009)
--------------------------------------------------------

* Lucie Šafářová [EF] v VENUS WILLIAMS [3], 7-6 (7/5) *0-0

Lucie has made an excellent start, taking the first set off Venus Williams before play was suspended overnight due to darkness.

The match was switched from fifth on Court Philippe Chatrier to sixth on Court Suzanne Lenglen, and started at 19:59 CEST. But BBC Red Button ended their live transmission after the Nadal v Gabashvili match on Lenglen, so I had to make do with live scores. :fiery:

Lucie broke for 2-0*, was broken back for 3-3*, squandered two break-points in the "vital seventh" game, saved one in the following game, and was always one step ahead in the tiebreak.

Lucie dominated the first set with a spectacular W:UE ratio of 19:10 to Williams's modest 14:12. She even hit a faster fastest serve than Williams, although Williams's serves were faster on average. They won 44 points each in the first set.

The most worrying statistic so far is that Lucie is only winning 33% of the points when she has to hit a second serve, although she's getting 67% of her first serves in, and winning 73% of the points when she does so. Williams's first-serve percentages are similar (70% in, 67% won), but she's winning 46% of her second-serve points.

Lucie has won 3 of 4 points at the net so far, so perhaps that's something she should be looking to do more of.


First set
---------
ŠAFÁŘOVÁ @* *___* * *T 7(7)
WILLIAMS __* *@* * *__ 6(5)

Williams serving 0-0: 30/0. 30/40 (BP). Broken!
Lucie serving 1-0: 40/0. 40/15. Held.

What a start!

Williams serving 0-2: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15. Held.
Lucie serving 2-1: 40/0. 40/30. Held.
Williams serving 1-3: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30. Held.
Lucie serving 3-2: 15/0. 15/40 (BP). Broken.

What a shame. But I hope Lucie takes inspiration from the way Czech mate Klára Zakopalová fought against Serena Williams yesterday! Not that she needs that as inspiration, of course - she's already incredibly determined.

Williams serving 3-3: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 30/40 (BP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Lucie (BP #2). Deuce #2. Ad Williams. Held.

Two break-points go begging. :(

Lucie serving 3-4: 0/15. 15/15. 15/30. 40/30. Deuce #1. Ad Williams (BP). Deuce #2. Ad Lucie. Deuce #3. Ad Lucie. Held.

Break-point saved - phew!

Williams serving 4-4: 0/15. 40/15. Held.
Lucie serving 4-5: 15/0. 15/30. 30/30. 40/30. Held.

Well recovered from 15/30!

Williams serving 5-5: 0/15. 40/15. Held.
Lucie serving 5-6: 40/0. 40/15. Held.

6-6 tiebreak (all scores Šafářová/Williams): 0/0*. *1/0. *2/0. 2/1*. 2/2*. *3/2. *3/3. 4/3*. 5/3*. *5/4. *6/4 (SP #1). 6/5* (SP #2). Lucie won the first set 7-6 (7/5) at 20:58 CEST (59m).

Due to darkness, play was suspended overnight. At least that gives the BBC a second chance to televise this match... doesn't look like it has any plans to do so, though! :fiery:

--------------------
5. Second-round draw
--------------------

The players on the left are the ones I want to win.


5.1 Top half: Lucie Šafářová, Maria Sharapova
---------------------------------------------

* DINARA SAFINA [1] won
* ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA [27] won
* Aravane Rezaï won
* Michelle Larcher de Brito [Q] won

* VICTORIA AZARENKA [9] won
* CARLA SUÁREZ NAVARRO [22] won
* IVETA BENEŠOVÁ [32] won
* ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] won

* Lucie Šafářová [EF] v VENUS WILLIAMS [3], 7-6 (7/5) *0-0
* ÁGNES SZÁVAY [29] won
* DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20] won
* Gisela Dulko [DF] won

* Maria Sharapova [EF] won
* Yaroslava Shvedova [Q] won
* LI,NA [25] won
* Olga Govortsova won


5.2 Bottom half: Jelena Dokić
-----------------------------

* Magdaléna Rybáriková [DF] v JELENA JANKOVIĆ [5] (poďme Magda!)
* Jarmila Groth v Mariana Duque Marino [LL]
* ALIZÉ CORNET [21] v Sorana Cîrstea (allez Alizé!)
* CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [10] v Jill Craybas (kom så Caroline!)

* MARION BARTOLI [13,DF,S] v Tathiana Garbin (allez Marion!)
* ANABEL MEDINA GARRIGUES [18] v Virginie Razzano
* Yanina Wickmayer v SAMANTHA STOSUR [30] (komaan Yanina!)
* Jelena Dokić [EF] v ELENA DEMENTIEVA [4] (go Jelena!)

* SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [7] v Galina Voskoboeva
* SYBILLE BAMMER [28] v Melinda Czink
* Kateryna Bondarenko v Olivia Rogowska [WC]
* AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [12] v Mariya Koryttseva

* Alexa Glatch v Lourdes Domínguez Lino
* Petra Martić [Q] v ALEKSANDRA WOZNIAK [24]
* Viktoriya Kutuzova v María José Martínez Sánchez (davai Viktoriya!)
* Virginia Ruano Pascual v SERENA WILLIAMS [2] (¡vamos Virginia!)

--------------------------------------------
6. Third-round preview: Sharapova v Shvedova
--------------------------------------------

This mouthwatering match-up gave me even more motivation (if any were needed) for Maria to beat Petrova, knowing that Yaroslava Shvedova was waiting for the winner!

They've never met before, but I suppose I should give Yaroslava a slight edge in this match, seeing as she's currently ranked #98 to Maria's #102! ;)

I must admit that Yaroslava is gorgeous: I used to think of her as a taller, prettier version of Martina Hingis, but that doesn't come close to justifying her beauty once you've seen her up close in person. She's tall and leggy, with a pretty face, a divine ponytail and a lovely smile.

I kind of met Yaroslava at Birmingham last year: we were staying in the same hotel; I opened the front door for her, and she said "Thanks" - the only time a professional tennis-player has ever spoken to me! Though I must admit I didn't actually realise who she was until the hotelier later told me that she was staying there - I only knew that she was sexy! ;)

Yaroslava seemed to be quite a classy player as I watched her outwit the tall, manly Akgul Amanmuradova with acute angles, sliced backhands and even a lob-winner over AA's head!

Yaroslava first made the tennis-world sit up and take notice of her when she won the Tier III WTA Bangalore 2007: then ranked #143, she beat world #36 Mara Santangelo 6-4 6-4 in the final.

Yaroslava's win/loss record for 2009 stands at 14:8 after her five wins here as a qualifier. She had a poor start to the year, losing to world #95 Julie Coin in the first round of Brisbane, and to #11 Petrova in the first round of the Australian Open.

Yaroslava beat #79 Tamira Paszek 6-3 6-4 in the first round of Pattaya City, and lost 6-4 6-4 to #5 Vera Zvonarëva in the second round. She then won three matches to reach the second round of Indian Wells as a qualifier, beating the notorious Alla Kudryavtseva (#72) 6-4 6-2 in the first round, then losting 4-6 7-5 6-3 to #11 Victoria Azarenka.

Yaroslava then turned to the ITF Women's Circuit, suffering a disastrous 6-2 6-0 loss to #94 Aravane Rezaï in the first round of Tourhout, and losing to Coin again in the second round of Cagnes-sur-Mer.

Returning to the WTA Tour, Yaroslava won three matches to reach the second round of Rome as a qualifier: she beat a certain Nicole Vaidišová (#59) 6-2 7-5 to qualifier, beat #32 Samantha Stosur 6-4 6-2 in the first round, then lost 6-3 6-7 6-1 to #14 Flavia Pennetta.

Yaroslava fell in the second qualifying-round of Strasbourg, beating #355 Claudine Schaul 6-3 6-1, then losing 6-2 6-2 to #478 Astrid Besser.

Yaroslava had never won a match in three previous French Opens, but has reached the third round as a qualifier, with the following results:
1q + Shenay Perry, 6-4 6-4
2q + Angela Haynes, 6-1 6-2
3q + ELENA BALTACHA [15], 6-2 6-2
1r + KAIA KANEPI [19], 7-6 (7/2) 3-6 6-2
2r + Arantxa Rus [Q], 6-0 6-2

Maria's results - the contrast in their second-round scorelines could hardly be greater:
1r + Anastasiya Yakimova, 3-6 6-1 6-2
2r + NADIA PETROVA [11], 6-2 1-6 8-6

Conclusion: there's not much to be scared of in Yaroslava's pre-FO results, but to knock out the 19th seed and then win 6-0 6-2 is definitely a step up for her, so Maria needs another good performance if she is to defend her fourth round from last year.

------------------
7. Andrew's wishes (updated after Wednesday)
------------------
7.1 Third-round wishes
----------------------

+ ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA [27] d. DINARA SAFINA [1]
+ Aravane Rezaï d. Michelle Larcher de Brito [Q]
+ VICTORIA AZARENKA [9] d. CARLA SUÁREZ NAVARRO [22]
+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] d. IVETA BENEŠOVÁ [32]

+ Lucie Šafářová [EF] d. ÁGNES SZÁVAY [29]
+ Gisela Dulko [DF] d. DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20]
+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. Yaroslava Shvedova [Q]
+ Olga Govortsova d. LI,NA [25]

+ Magdaléna Rybáriková [DF] d. Jarmila Groth
+ ALIZÉ CORNET [21] d. CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [10]
+ MARION BARTOLI [13,DF,S] v ANABEL MEDINA GARRIGUES [18]
+ Jelena Dokić [EF] d. Yanina Wickmayer

+ SYBILLE BAMMER [28] d. SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [7]
+ Kateryna Bondarenko d. AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [12]
+ Petra Martić [Q] d. Alexa Glatch
+ Viktoriya Kutuzova d. Virginia Ruano Pascual


7.2 Fourth-round wishes
-----------------------

+ Aravane Rezaï d. ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA [27]
+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] d. VICTORIA AZARENKA [9]
+ Lucie Šafářová [EF] d. Gisela Dulko [DF]
+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. Olga Govortsova

+ Magdaléna Rybáriková [DF] d. ALIZÉ CORNET [21]
+ Jelena Dokić [EF] d. MARION BARTOLI [13,DF,S]
+ Kateryna Bondarenko d. SYBILLE BAMMER [28]
+ Viktoriya Kutuzova d. Petra Martić [Q]


7.3 Quarter-final wishes
------------------------

+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] d. Aravane Rezaï
+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. Lucie Šafářová [EF]
+ Jelena Dokić [EF] d. Magdaléna Rybáriková [DF]
+ Viktoriya Kutuzova d. Kateryna Bondarenko


7.4 Semi-final wishes
---------------------

+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF]
+ Jelena Dokić [EF] d. Viktoriya Kutuzova


7.5 Final wish
--------------

+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. Jelena Dokić [EF]

Vera Zvonarëva was actually my ideal champion before she withdrew (which would have precluded Maria getting past the fourth round), but my priority now is for Maria to complete her Career Grand Slam, although I'd love to see another member of my Eternal Fanship win a Major.

-------------------------------
8. Women's Doubles: First round
-------------------------------
8.1 First-round results (Wednesday 27th May 2009)
-----------------------

What rocked:

+ (DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [EF]/AI SUGIYAMA)[7] d. Emilie Loit/Kristina Mladenović [WC], 7-5 7-5

+ Jelena Dokić [EF]/Alisa Kleybanova d. Petra Cetkovská/Carla Suárez Navarro, 6-3 6-2

+ (MARIA KIRILENKO [DF]/FLAVIA PENNETTA [DF])[8] d. Sorana Cîrstea/Caroline Wozniacki, 6-4 6-4

+ (HSIEH,SU-WEI [s]/PENG,SHUAI [s])[9] d. Liga Dekmeijere/Aleksandra Wozniak, 6-3 6-1


What sucked:

- Nicole Vaidišová [EF]/Eva Hrdinová lt. Ekaterina Dzehalevich/Andreja Klepač, 5-7 6-3 2-6


8.2 Second-round draw
---------------------

Andrew's selections (desired winners on the left):

* (DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [EF]/AI SUGIYAMA)[7] v Arantxa Parra Santonja [s]/Ekaterina Makarova

* Jelena Dokić [EF]/Alisa Kleybanova v (CARA BLACK/LIEZEL HUBER)[1]

* Lucie Šafářová [EF]/Vladimíra Uhlířová v Vera Dushevina/Anastasia Rodionova

* (MARIA KIRILENKO [DF]/FLAVIA PENNETTA [DF])[8] v Jill Craybas/Carly Gullickson

* (HSIEH,SU-WEI [s]/PENG,SHUAI [s])[9] v Olga Savchuk/Sun,Tiantian

* (YAN,ZI [s]/ZHENG,JIE)[16] v Klaudia Jans/Alicja Rosolska

-----------------------------
9. Order of play for Thursday
-----------------------------

Court Suzanne Lenglen (start 11:00 CEST = 09:00 GMT = 10:00 BST)
WS 2r: Magdaléna Rybáriková [DF] v JELENA JANKOVIĆ [5]
WS 2r: Lucie Šafářová [EF] v VENUS WILLIAMS [3], 7-6 (7/5) *0-0 to finish
WS 2r: ALIZÉ CORNET [21] v Sorana Cîrstea
MS 2r: Juan Mónaco v JO-WILFRIED TSONGA [9]
MS 2r: Sergiy Stakhovsky v NOVAK ÐOKOVIĆ [4]

An absolutely mouthwatering OoP on Lenglen, but BBC Red Button plans to start on Court 2 with Kuznetsova v Voskoboeva, because "Kuznetsova sometimes goes under the radar at the Majors, but could be a contender." YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!! :fiery:

Court 1 (start 11:00 CEST = 09:00 GMT = 10:00 BST)
MS 2r: Jérémy Chardy v Simone Bolelli
MS 2r: NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO [10] v Diego Junqueira, 4-6 6-3 6-0 *2-2 to finish
WS 2r: ANABEL MEDINA GARRIGUES [18] v Virginie Razzano
MS 2r: PAUL-HENRI MATHIEU [32] v Pablo Andújar
WS 2r: Jelena Dokić [EF] v ELENA DEMENTIEVA [4]

Full order of play:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/scores/schedule/

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

andrewbroad
May 29th, 2009, 04:06 AM
=============
ROLAND GARROS (Paris, France; red clay; Major)
============= http://www.rolandgarros.com/
Contents
--------

1. Photos
2. Women's Singles: Second round
3. Second-round TV mini-report: Voskoboeva v Kuznetsova
4. Second-round TV-report: Rybáriková v Janković
5. Second-round TV-report: Šafářová v V.Williams (Part 2)
6. Second-round TV mini-report: Ruano Pascual v S.Williams
7. Second-round scoreboard-report: Dokić v Dementieva
8. Third-round draw
9. Andrew's wishes
10. Women's Doubles: Second round
11. Vera Zvonarëva and Gaël Monfils
12. Order of play for Friday

---------
1. Photos
---------

Thursday's players including Jelena Dokić, Lucie Šafářová and Caroline Wozniacki:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8071990.stm

Search-list for Day 5:

safarova
dokic
rybarikova
bartoli
wozniacki
cornet
kutuzova

--------------------------------
2. Women's Singles: Second round (Thursday 28th May 2009)
--------------------------------

A very sad day for me (in tennis-terms):
- Jelena Dokić [EF] lt. ELENA DEMENTIEVA [4], 6-2 *3-4 retired (low-back injury)
- Lucie Šafářová [EF] lt. VENUS WILLIAMS [3], 7-6 (7/5) 2-6 5-7
- Magdaléna Rybáriková [DF] lt. JELENA JANKOVIĆ [5], 1-6 2-6
- MARION BARTOLI [13,DF,S] lt. Tathiana Garbin, 3-6 5-7
- Viktoriya Kutuzova lt. María José Martínez Sánchez, 6-3 3-6 3-6
- Virginia Ruano Pascual lt. SERENA WILLIAMS [2], 2-6 0-6
- Yanina Wickmayer lt. SAMANTHA STOSUR [30], 3-6 6-4 4-6
- Petra Martić [Q] lt. ALEKSANDRA WOZNIAK [24], 3-6 3-6
- ANABEL MEDINA GARRIGUES [18] lt. Virginie Razzano, 2-6 2-6

Marion Bartoli: "I was a bit tired, a bit sick as well. I had a sore throat, and my nose is running. It was very cold, and the court was really heavy. The ball was stuck on the strings, and it was very slow. It was the slowest surface on Earth, so to her advantage. Her attitude was getting on my nerves, so I had to calm down. When I made unforced errors, her team would shout. It's not sportsmanlike."

A quantum of solace:
+ CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [10] d. Jill Craybas, 6-1 6-4

Nice winner, nice loser:
+ Sorana Cîrstea d. ALIZÉ CORNET [21], 6-3 6-2

All other results:
+ SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [7] d. Galina Voskoboeva, 6-0 6-2
+ AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [12] d. Mariya Koryttseva, 6-1 6-4
+ Melinda Czink d. SYBILLE BAMMER [28], 4-6 6-3 10-8
+ Kateryna Bondarenko d. Olivia Rogowska [WC], 4-6 7-5 7-5
+ Jarmila Groth d. Mariana Duque Marino [LL], 6-2 7-6 (11/9)
+ Lourdes Domínguez Lino d. Alexa Glatch, 7-6 (7/0) 7-5

-------------------------------------------------------
3. Second-round TV mini-report: Voskoboeva v Kuznetsova (Thursday 28th May)
-------------------------------------------------------

+ SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [7] d. Galina Voskoboeva, 6-0 6-2

I watched this match casually on BBC Red Button - annoyed that I couldn't be watching Magdaléna Rybáriková on Lenglen (yet - luckily this match finished first and the BBC switched to Lenglen).

It was my first time to see Voskoboeva play. You can learn a lot about a new player from her first service-game. It was interesting to see Voskoboeva going to the net a couple of times (a serve & volley and a sliced-backhand approach).

Kuznetsova went 6-0 1-0* up with a pretty ruthless performance, then Voskoboeva held serve to avoid the dreaded double bagel. She also held for 2-4*.

Voskoboeva put up a good fight at *2-5, hitting a forehand smash-winner, and saving two match-points at 40/15. But Kuznetsova converted her third match-point after one deuce.

------------------------------------------------
4. Second-round TV-report: Rybáriková v Janković (Thursday 28th May 2009)
------------------------------------------------

- Magdaléna Rybáriková [DF] lt. JELENA JANKOVIĆ [5], 1-6 2-6

I saw the last five games of this match on BBC Red Button! It was my second time to see Magda play (the first was the Wimbledon 2006 Girls' Singles final, which she lost to Caroline Wozniacki).

Magda looked stunning in a pink, open-shouldered dress. She looks as similar as you can get to a young Daniela Hantuchová.

I think the scoreline is a harsh assessment of Magda's performance (at least in the second set). She won 44 points (just 4 shy of the minimum needed to win a best-of-three match), and detained Janković for 1h22m.

What struck me about Magda in tennis-terms is that she has become a very proficient net-player. She mixes two-handed backhands with one-handed sliced backhands, behind which she now goes to the net (unlike Wimbledon 2006, where she basically spent the first half of the Girls' Singles final in two-handed backhand mode, and the second in sliced-backhand mode but not going to the net AFAIR); she did hit some elegant volleys in this match. I can't wait to see her play on grass again!

What I'm not so impressed by is Magda's proclivity to run around her backhand to hit forehands. Not only does this expose a huge gap to her right, it can also result in the ball jamming into her body when she does it on a ball wide to her backhand-sideline.

I do think Magda is a candidate for my Eternal Fanship, and have promoted her to the top of my demi-fanship. She's made great progress in the last year after some injury-setbacks after Wimbledon 2006, but she needs to show me a lot more quality-tennis (there were glimpses in this match) before I would seriously consider inducting her.

Magda's net-game looks very flairsome, but I require brilliance from the baseline - the bread and butter of any member of my Eternal Fanship - and I haven't seen that from Magda yet. She was a junior the first time I saw her, and a little bit out of her depth today (she had a W:UE ratio of 17:29 to Janković's 19:8), but I believe she has a lot of potential.


Second set
----------

Magda serving 1-2: Ad Janković. Magda on the third stroke netted an off-forehand.

Janković serving 3-1: Janković advanced towards the net, forcing Magda to net a forehand. 15/0. Magda forehand just long. 30/0. Janković backhand long. 30/15. Janković came to the net on a netcord from Magda, and Magda hit a nice backhand lob-winner just inside the baseline. 30/30. Magda netted a backhand under pressure. 40/30. Janković forehand long. 40/40. Janković opened up the court with a backhand down the line, and hit a forehand winner down the other line. Ad Janković. Magda hit what would have been a crosscourt forehand winner onto the baseline - had it not been just long (the umpire checked the mark and confirmed it).

Magda looks rather sad at the moment.

Magda serving 1-4: Magda on the third stroke netted a sliced backhand off a penetrating return. 0/15. Janković off-forehand winner. 0/30. Magda netted an off-forehand. 0/40 (BP #1). Serve out wide: Janković netted a backhand return. 15/40 (BP #2). Magda hit a terrific wide serve onto the sideline for a virtual ace (the umpire checked the mark, and Janković rubbed it out with her foot). 30/40 (BP #3). Magda went to the net and hit a forehand smash-winner. Deuce #1. Magda went for a big ace down the centre-line, but it was just wide. She mishit a sliced backhand just long. Ad Janković (BP #4). A good serve forced a very short return, which Magda dispatched with a thunderous crosscourt forehand virtual winner. Deuce #2. Magda hit a down-the-line backhand virtual winner. Ad Magda. After a beautiful rally, Janković hit a short-angled crosscourt backhand winner. Deuce #3. Janković off-forehand wide. Ad Magda. Service-winner out wide.

Janković serving 4-2: Weak second serve: Magda hit a pinpoint forehand return-winner down the line. 0/15. Backhand return long. 15/15. Magda went to the net, but hit a high backhand volley wide. 30/15. Magda went to the net once behind a sliced backhand, hit a few volleys and was forced to retreat, then later worked her way back in to the net and hit a forehand smash-winner. 30/30. Magda ran down a short ball and hit a forehand winner down the line. 30/40 (BP #1). A long baseline-rally ended with Magda netting an ambitious backhand dropshot. Deuce #1. Janković slipped going for a good backhand from Magda, and netted a forehand. Ad Magda (BP #2). Magda ran around her backhand on a very wide serve, and netted an off-forehand - what a terrible decision! Deuce #2. Magda hit a wild backhand return very wide. Ad Janković. Magda went to the net behind a sliced backhand, and hit an off-forehand punch-volley winner. Deuce #3. Janković off-forehand smash-winner. Ad Janković. Magda went to the net, but it wasn't the right ball to come in on; she also stumbled a bit, and Janković hit a forehand pass-winner down the line.

Very nice stuff from Magda in that game, though she let herself down with a couple of bad mistakes.

Magda serving 2-5: Magda ran around her backhand and hit an off-forehand wide. 0/15. A deep ball just inside the baseline from Janković forced Magda to mishit a backhand lob wide. 0/30. Magda forced a short ball, but hit an aggressive down-the-line forehand just long. 0/40 (MP #1). Magda caught her toss, and Janković netted a backhand return. 15/40 (MP #2). Double fault (second serve just long). Janković won 6-1 6-2 at 12:33 CEST (second set 54m, match 1h22m).

------------------------------------------------
5. Second-round TV-report: Šafářová v V.Williams (Part 2: Thursday 28th May 2009)
------------------------------------------------

- Lucie Šafářová [EF] lt. VENUS WILLIAMS [3], 7-6 (7/5) 2-6 5-7

BBC Red Button showed the resumption of this match (from the start of the second set) after Kuznetsova v Voskoboeva finished first!

The third set was amazing - Lucie even had a match-point - but I'll start my summary with the second set, which was a disappointing performance from Lucie, who wasn't going for her shots as I've come to expect from her.

Williams came out returning ultra-aggressively; she broke and held for 2-0*. The next four games went with serve, then Lucie at *2-4 dropped serve for 2-5* despite leading 30/0 and 40/30.

Lucie stepped up the pace at 2-5*, hitting a couple of return-winners, though she couldn't stop Williams serving out the second set 6-2.

Lucie made a brilliant start to the third set, her swinging lefty serve setting up two crosscourt forehand winners as she held for 1-0*. She also held for 2-1* with backhand and forehand winners down the line.

By this stage, Lucie was hitting the ball as hard and sweetly as she did at her best in 2007. Sam Smith even said Lucie was the ideal left-handed player whom junior world number-one Laura Robson should study.

Games continued to go with serve, with Lucie saving a break-point at *3-3. Deuce #3 of that game was the point of the match: Lucie played a great spreading rally, finishing with a down-the-line forehand winner on the 17th stroke.

5-4* was the game of the match. Lucie hit two searing crosscourt backhand winners to put Williams in a 0/30 hole, but she was desperately unlucky on the next two points: a would-be forehand winner that missed the baseline by a whisker, and a netcord that fell back on her side.

Lucie did have one match-point at 30/40, but Williams saved it with a first serve to set up an off-backhand winner into the corner. Then, from Deuce, Lucie missed two backhands, although the first of these was a forced error after a long, nailbiting rally.

At *5-5, Lucie recovered from 0/40 to Deuce - courtesy of a brilliant crosscourt backhand winner, and a great spreading rally finishing with an off-forehand winner. But Williams converted her fourth break-point with a backhand winner down the line, and duly served out the match. The last point summed up Lucie's luck as another netcord fell back on her side.

Lucie was desperately unlucky, then, but she's had greater wins than this would have been, and will definitely improve on her career-high #22 ranking if she keeps up the good work and stays injury-free.

I'll post my full TV-report - with a blow-by-blow description of every point - at a future date (most probably in the week before Wimbledon).

-----------------------------------------------------
6. Second-round TV-report: Ruano Pascual v S.Williams (Thursday 28th May 2009)
-----------------------------------------------------

- Virginia Ruano Pascual lt. SERENA WILLIAMS [2], 2-6 0-6

This match was third on Court Philippe Chatrier, and I watched it casually on BBC Red Button. Of course it should have been Nicole Vaidišová out here, had she not suffered a dismal defeat to Ruano Pascual in the first round.

Ruano Pascual showed some good prowess at the net - as befits a nine-time Major doubles-champion - but was just too weak to give Williams any real trouble, or even to detain her for a whole hour.

Beating up on such a weak opponent doesn't really say anything about Serena's prospects of winning the title, which looked approximately zero as she came in on a 4-match losing-streak, carrying a knee-injury, and had a tough draw - which has become much easier after Serena survived against Klára Zakopalová while Nicole, Peng,Shuai and Flavia Pennetta all lost early.

I think a quarter-final against Svetlana Kuznetsova would be Serena's limit now.


First set
---------
RUANO PA _*___*__ 2
WILLIAMS * *@* *@ 6

Williams serving 0-0: Ruano Pascual showed good reflexes at the net to save 40/30 with a backhand volley-winner, then Williams netted a backhand to give her a break-point. But Ruano Pascual netted a backhand, and Williams held with a couple of big serves.

Ruano Pascual serving 0-1: Ruano Pascual recovered from 0/30 with a couple of good points at the net, and held courtesy of a couple of Williams-errors.

Williams serving 1-1: Williams netted a silly dropshot, but held to 30 in an otherwise somnolent game (sorry, but this is where 3˝ hours' sleep catches up with me).

Ruano Pascual serving 1-2: Williams hit both a blazing return-winner and a wild backhand error, then Ruano Pascual missed a sliced backhand pass with the court wide open. At 40/30, Williams hit a "devastating" crosscourt forehand winner. Double faults on both deuces gave break-points to Williams, and Ruano Pascual hit a backhand long on the second.

Williams serving 3-1: Williams came to the net a couple of times, netting a backhand drive-volley, and then getting passed by Ruano Pascual for 15/30. But she recovered with a forehand smash-winner. 30/30. Williams backhand winner down the line. 40/30. Williams netted. Deuce. Williams went to the net but was forced to retreat, but forced an error from the baseline. Ad Williams. She held with a pinpoint forehand winner down the line: just inside both lines.

Ruano Pascual serving 1-4: Four unforced errors gave Ruano Pascual a hold to love.

Williams serving 4-2: Williams hit two forehand smash-winners and a service winner, and her grunt is getting louder and higher pitched. 40/0. Ruano Pascual forehand pass-winner down the line. 40/15. Williams hit a forehand smash-winner right in the corner.

Ruano Pascual serving 2-5: 15/30. Williams opened up the court with a short-angled crosscourt backhand, and hit an error-forcing crosscourt forehand. 15/40. Ruano Pascual went wide to give Williams the first set 6-2.


Second set
----------
WILLIAMS *@*@*@ 6
RUANO PA ______ 0

Williams serving 0-0: Held to love with a forehand smash-winner, two service-winners and a one-two punch.

Ruano Pascual serving 0-1: An off-backhand winner gave Williams 30/40, which she converted when Ruano Pascual's forehand went long.

Williams serving 2-0: Ruano Pascual left a lob that landed on the baseline for a winner. 30/15. Williams backhand winner down the line. 40/15. Williams's depth forced Ruano Pascual's forehand long.

Ruano Pascual serving 0-3: Williams's down-the-line backhand return-winner gave her 0/30, and she broke to 15 when Ruano Pascual's forehand went wide.

Williams serving 4-0: 15/0. Williams backhand winner down the line. 30/0. Ruano Pascual netted a forehand dropshot. 40/0. Williams held with a short-angled crosscourt backhand winner just inside the sideline.

Ruano Pascual serving 0-5: Ruano Pascual off-forehand volley-winner. 15/0. Ruano Pascual netted a forehand. 15/15. Williams's forehand return clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner. 15/30. Ruano Pascual forehand winner down the line. 30/30. Ruano Pascual netted a backhand, and rolled her head. 30/40 (MP #1). Williams went to the net, but Ruano Pascual squeezed a forehand pass-winner down the line, and gave a lovely smile. Deuce. Williams blasted a crosscourt forehand return-winner onto the baseline. Ad Ruano Pascual. A long baseline-rally with sliced backhands from Ruano Pascual, and spreading from Williams, ended with Ruano Pascual's backhand going long. Williams won 6-2 6-0 at 17:39 CEST (57m).

-----------------------------------------------------
7. Second-round scoreboard-report: Dokić v Dementieva
-----------------------------------------------------

- Jelena Dokić [EF] lt. ELENA DEMENTIEVA [4], 6-2 *3-4 retired (low-back injury)

Poor, sore Jelena. She dominated the first set like she was back to her best, and led the world #4 by a set and a break (6-2 *2-1).

But her back went at 2-2* (15/0*). After a nine-minute delay - during which she took an off-court medical time-out - she tried to continue in tears and pain, and even reinstated her break for *3-2! But she won only two points in the next two games, and retired at *3-4.

The pain must have been absolutely unbearable for her to retire at 20:40 CEST - about 20 minutes before they tend to suspend matches for bad light at the end of a set. Could she really not have just hit some underarm serves, stood still to receive serve, come off for the night at a set all, and got hours of treatment before the match resumed on Friday?

I sincerely hope this injury won't put pain to Jelena's plans to play Birmingham and Wimbledon!


First set
---------
DOKIĆ @* *@* * 6
DEMEN __*___*_ 2

The match was fifth on Court 1, and started at 19:25 CEST. I followed live scores at www.rolandgarros.com while BBC Red Button showed Monfils v Crivoi.

Dementieva serving 0-0: 0/40 (BP). Broken.
Jelena serving 1-0: 30/0. 30/15. 40/15. Held.

What a start! Of course Dementieva made a 0-3* start to her first match and still managed to win in straight sets, but with all due respect to Chanelle Scheepers, she's playing a different class of opponent today.

Dementieva serving 0-2: 15/0. 15/30. 40/30. Held.
Jelena serving 2-1: 0/30. 40/30. Deuce #1. Ad Jelena. Deuce #2. Ad Dementieva (BP #1). Deuce #3. Ad Jelena. Deuce #4. Ad Dementieva (BP #2). Deuce #5. Ad Dementieva (BP #3). Deuce #6. Ad Jelena. Held.

Well recovered from 0/30 and then three break-points - what a game!

Dementieva serving 1-3: 0/40 (BP #1). 30/40 (BP #3). Broken.

Now Monfils v Crivoi has finished, but BBC Red Button has ended its live transmission rather than show this match! :fiery:

Jelena serving 4-1: 0/30. 40/30. Held.
Dementieva serving 1-5: 30/0. 30/40 (SP #1). Deuce. Ad Dementieva. Held.

Now the moment of truth for Jelena: can she serve it out?

Jelena serving 5-2: 0/15. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP). Deuce. Ad Jelena (SP #2). Jelena won the first set 6-2 at 19:59 CEST (34m).

Well, one thing's for sure: Jelena's not going to lose today, because there wouldn't be enough light for a third set. [Boy did I jinx her by writing that!]


Second set
----------
DOKIĆ _*@ @__ 3 retired
DEMEN *__@ @* 4

Dementieva serving 0-0: 0/15. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 40/30. Deuce. Ad Dementieva. Held.
Jelena serving 0-1: 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 40/30. Held.
Dementieva serving 1-1: 0/30. 15/30. 15/40 (BP). Broken.

A set and a break up! :D

Jelena serving 2-1: 0/40 (BP #1). 30/40 (BP #3). Broken.

Not any more. :(

Dementieva serving 2-2: 0/15. Long delay from 20:22 CEST... so I went to the live-scores thread on tennisforum.com, and found that Jelena has collapsed with back-pain! :sad:

Chiakifug: "Jelena cant bend forward and struggled to sit down. She looks in tears... She went for a serve then pulled up. Didnt look serious at the time but obviously is."
<http://www.tennisforum.com/showpost.php?p=15747301>

Play continued at 20:31 CEST. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP). Broken!

Wow - a miracle for Jelena! But she's still crying.

Jelena serving 3-2: 0/30. 15/30. 15/40 (BP). Broken.
Dementieva serving 3-3: 40/0. 40/15. Held.

I guess Jelena can only try to hang on until it gets suspended for darkness, and hopefully come back better tomorrow... but no: Dementieva won 2-6 4-3* retired at 20:40 CEST (second set 41m, match 1h15m).


Statistics
----------

Jelena got 61% of her first serves in, winning 61% of the points when she did so, and 48% on second serve. Her winning-percentages dipped from (65%, 57%) for the first set to (50%, 29%) for the second.

Dementieva got 67% of her first serves in, winning 50% of the points when she did so, and 44% on second serve. From the first set to the second, she traded her first-serve percentages (from 71% in, 53% won to 63%, 47% won) for a higher second-serve winning-percentage (29% to 56%).

Jelena served one ace and 2 double faults, Dementieva 2 aces and 6 double faults.

They each had a fastest serve of 110mph. Jelena's average serves were faster than Dementieva's (first serve 103-100mph, second serve 96-88mph).

Jelena had a W:UE ratio of 13:20 to Dementieva's 15:20.

Jelena broke 4 times (twice in each set) from 9 BPs, Dementieva just twice (only in the second set) from 8 BPs.

In a baseline-oriented match, Jelena won 1 of 3 points at the net, Dementieva 3 of 3.

In points, Jelena won 55-47 (first set 36-25, second set 19-22).


Articles
--------

Injury halts Dokić [Teletext 495->497]
>>>
Agony for Dokić [Teletext 497]

Jelena Dokić was denied the chance of a major upset against Elena Dementieva in the French Open when injury forced her to retire when leading in round two.

The Australian was back to her best as she took the first set 6-2, but then hurt her back at 2-2 in the second set.

A tearful Dokić received treatment and tried to carry on, but she was forced to pull out three games later, putting Dementieva through to the third round.
<<<

Dementieva advances after Dokić retires (AP)
>>>
Elena Dementieva advanced to the third round of the French Open when Jelena Dokić retired with a back-injury while leading 6-2 3-4 on Thursday.

Dokić turned for a backhand during the fifth game of the second set, grimaced in pain, and called time. She then reached toward the lower part of her back, and gingerly walked toward her chair to call for a trainer.

She returned to the court and broke Dementieva to take a 3-2 lead, but then cried into her towel during the changeover. After losing the next two games, Dokić stopped.

The fourth-seeded Dementieva has reached at least the semi-finals at every Major event. She lost in the finals of the 2004 French Open and US Open.
<<<

Sobbing Dokić retires hurt while leading Dementieva (Reuters)
By Pritha Sarkar (editing by Sonia Oxley)
>>>
Jelena Dokić left Roland Garros in floods of tears after retiring hurt with a back-injury. The Australian had fourth seed Elena Dementieva on the run for over an hour, but was left sobbing when she had to quit while leading 6-2 3-4.

"It will be hard to swallow this... very disappointing, considering that I was up and I was playing well," said Dokić.

Dementieva added: "I really didn't deserve to win this match, because of the way I was playing."
<<<

Tearful Dokić retires, Dementieva advances (Reuters)
By Sonia Oxley (editing by Pritha Sarkar)
>>>
* Sobbing Dokić retires with back-injury while leading.
* Dementieva says she did not deserve to go through.

Jelena Dokić left the court in floods of tears on Thursday after retiring with a back-injury while leading by a set in her French Open second round match against Russian fourth seed Elena Dementieva.

"It's a shock and a disappointment," the Australian former world number-four told a news-conference after quitting with the score at 6-2 3-4 against.

"I felt like I had the match in my hands and I was doing well, and even if I didn't win, I was playing really well... I felt like I probably played the best tennis that I played this year."

Dokić - appearing at her first French Open since 2004 - appeared to pull something in her lower back at 2-2 in the second set, and went off court to receive treatment from the tournament-trainer.

She returned to break Dementieva despite crying between points.

"I just went down and couldn't come back up. I don't know what it is yet. It was very painful, and I just hope it's not too serious," said Dokić, who sobbed uncontrollably into her towel after retiring while Dementieva came over to comfort her.

Dokić, who rolled her ankle in her last-16 match at the Australian Open, said she was not having much luck at the Majors on her comeback-trail after a troubled few years.

"Obviously, it's not my time at the Grand Slams," said Dokić. "I'm not 15 anymore, so it's time probably to take more care now, and I just really, really hope it's nothing serious.

"I was supposed to play doubles tomorrow. I don't think that will happen."

Dementieva was full of sympathy for her opponent.

"It feels bad to win this way, and it must be hard on her. She was very solid. It's bad luck for her," the Russian - who next faces Dokić's compatriot Samantha Stosur - told reporters.

"I didn't deserve to win this match."
<<<

Tennis-aces Federer, Venus win; French hail fab five (AFP)
>>>
There was a tearful and painful exit for troubled Australian Jelena Dokić, who is steadily trying to rebuild her career.

The 26-year-old, playing here for the first time in five years, was heading for victory over Russian fourth seed Elena Dementieva when she was forced to retire with a crippling lower-back injury when she was 6-2 3-4 ahead.

Dokić slumped in her chair and burst into tears while Dementieva attempted to console her.

"I went for a return, and I just went down and couldn't get back up," said Dokić.

"It's very painful and very disappointing, because I felt as if I had the match in my hands."
<<<

Venus digs deep to make progress (BBC Sport)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8071828.stm
>>>
And there was heartbreak for Australia's Jelena Dokić, who looked on course for a major upset when she led fourth seed Elena Dementieva by a set and a break.

The former world number four - currently ranked 80th - suffered a back-injury, and left the court in floods of tears for treatment at 2-2 in the second set.

She returned some time later and, incredibly, broke serve immediately, despite hobbling between points and remaining visibly emotional.

But it was the briefest of recoveries, and Dokić was forced to retire at 6-2 3-4, Dementieva consoling her opponent as she left the court in tears for the second time in 10 minutes.

"I went for a return, and I just went down and couldn't get back up," said Dokić, who will undergo a scan in Paris on Friday to judge the exact nature of the problem.

"It's very painful. I hope it's not too serious. It's very disappointing, because I felt as if I had the match in my hands."
<<<

-------------------
8. Third-round draw
-------------------

The players on the left are the ones I want to win.

* ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA [27] v DINARA SAFINA [1]
* Aravane Rezaď v Michelle Larcher de Brito [Q] (allez Aravane!)
* VICTORIA AZARENKA [9] v CARLA SUÁREZ NAVARRO [22] (davai Victoria!)
* ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] v IVETA BENEŠOVÁ [32] (my loyalty is to Ana)

* ÁGNES SZÁVAY [29] v VENUS WILLIAMS [3]
* Gisela Dulko [DF] v DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20] (my loyalty is to Gisela)
* Maria Sharapova [EF] v Yaroslava Shvedova [Q] (my loyalty is to MARIA)
* Olga Govortsova v LI,NA [25] (davai Olga!)

* JELENA JANKOVIĆ [5] v Jarmila Groth
* CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [10] v Sorana Cîrstea (my loyalty is to Caroline)
* Tathiana Garbin v Virginie Razzano
* ELENA DEMENTIEVA [4] v SAMANTHA STOSUR [30]

* SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [7] v Melinda Czink
* Kateryna Bondarenko v AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [12]
* ALEKSANDRA WOZNIAK [24] v Lourdes Domínguez Lino
* María José Martínez Sánchez v SERENA WILLIAMS [2]

------------------
9. Andrew's wishes (updated after Thursday)
------------------
9.1 Fourth-round wishes
-----------------------

+ Aravane Rezaď d. ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA [27]
+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] d. VICTORIA AZARENKA [9]
+ Gisela Dulko [DF] d. ÁGNES SZÁVAY [29]
+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. Olga Govortsova

+ CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [10] d. JELENA JANKOVIĆ [5]
+ ELENA DEMENTIEVA [4] d. Tathiana Garbin
+ Kateryna Bondarenko d. SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [7]
+ María José Martínez Sánchez d. ALEKSANDRA WOZNIAK [24]


9.2 Quarter-final wishes
------------------------

+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] d. Aravane Rezaď
+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. Gisela Dulko [DF]
+ CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [10] d. ELENA DEMENTIEVA [4]
+ María José Martínez Sánchez d. Kateryna Bondarenko


9.3 Semi-final wishes
---------------------

+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF]
+ CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [10] d. María José Martínez Sánchez


9.4 Final wish
--------------

+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [10]

---------------------------------
10. Women's Doubles: Second round
---------------------------------
10.1 Second-round results (Thursday 28th May)
-------------------------

What rocked:

+ (DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [EF]/AI SUGIYAMA)[7] d. Arantxa Parra Santonja [S]/Ekaterina Makarova, 6-2 6-2

+ (MARIA KIRILENKO [DF]/FLAVIA PENNETTA [DF])[8] d. Jill Craybas/Carly Gullickson, 6-1 6-1

+ (HSIEH,SU-WEI [S]/PENG,SHUAI [S])[9] d. Olga Savchuk/Sun,Tiantian, 6-3 6-0

+ (YAN,ZI [S]/ZHENG,JIE)[16] d. Klaudia Jans/Alicja Rosolska, 6-2 6-4


What sucked:

- Lucie Šafářová [EF]/Vladimíra Uhlířová lt. Vera Dushevina/Anastasia Rodionova, 2-6 1-6


Scheduled for Friday:

* Jelena Dokić [EF]/Alisa Kleybanova v (CARA BLACK/LIEZEL HUBER)[1]

Jelena is likely to pull out of the doubles because of her back-injury.


10.2 Third-round draw
---------------------

Andrew's selections (desired winners on the left):

* (DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [EF]/AI SUGIYAMA)[7] v (HSIEH,SU-WEI [S]/PENG,SHUAI [S])[9]

* (MARIA KIRILENKO [DF]/FLAVIA PENNETTA [DF])[8] v (ANNA-LENA GRÖNEFELD/PATTY SCHNYDER [11]

* (YAN,ZI [S]/ZHENG,JIE)[16] v ((SAMANTHA STOSUR/RENNAE STUBBS)[4] v Lourdes Domínguez Lino/Sara Errani)

-----------------------------------
11. Vera Zvonarëva and Gaël Monfils
-----------------------------------

During the Monfils v Cravoi match, BBC commentator David Mercer observed that Vera Zvonarëva and Gaël Monfils went to the sushi-shop in Paris together.

David Mercer: "Whether that's a professional relationship, or more, I've no idea."
Sam Smith: "It could just be a 'we love Japanese food' relationship."

----------------------------
12. Order of play for Friday
----------------------------

Court Philippe Chatrier (start 11:00 CEST = 09:00 GMT = 10:00 BST)
WS 3r: Aravane Rezaď v Michelle Larcher de Brito [Q]
MS 3r: FERNANDO GONZÁLEZ [12] v Josselin Ouanna [WC]
MS 3r: RAFAEL NADAL [1] v Lleyton Hewitt
WS 3r: Maria Sharapova [EF] v Yaroslava Shvedova [Q]

Full order of play:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/scores/schedule/

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

andrewbroad
May 30th, 2009, 04:30 AM
=============
ROLAND GARROS (Paris, France; red clay; Major)
============= http://www.rolandgarros.com/
Contents
--------

1. Photos
2. Women's Singles: Third-round results
3. Screecher de Brito: a grunting-controversy
4. Third-round TV-report: Ivanović v Benešová
5. Third-round TV-report: Szávay v V.Williams
6. Third-round TV-report: Pavlyuchenkova v Safina
7. Third-round scoreboard-report: Sharapova v Shvedova
8. Article: Despondent Dokić hoping for the best
9. Third-round draw
10. Fourth-round preview: Sharapova v Li
11. Andrew's wishes
12. Women's Doubles: Second round
13. Order of play for Saturday

---------
1. Photos
---------

Various players including Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanović, Aravane Rezaď, Ágnes Szávay and Michelle Larcher de Brito:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8073753.stm

Search-list for Day 6:

sharapova
ivanovic
dulko
cibulkova
benesova
shvedova
rezai

---------------------------------------
2. Women's Singles: Third-round results (Friday 29th May 2009)
---------------------------------------

Nice winners, nice losers:
+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. Yaroslava Shvedova [Q], 1-6 6-3 6-4
+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] d. IVETA BENEŠOVÁ [32], 6-0 6-2
+ DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20] d. Gisela Dulko [DF], 6-4 6-2

What rocked:
+ ÁGNES SZÁVAY [29] d. VENUS WILLIAMS [3], 6-0 6-4
+ Aravane Rezaď d. Michelle Larcher de Brito [Q], 7-6 (7/3) 6-2

What sucked:
- ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA [27] lt. DINARA SAFINA [1], 2-6 0-6
- Olga Govortsova lt. LI,NA [25], 5-7 1-6

Suspended overnight due to darkness:
* VICTORIA AZARENKA [9] v CARLA SUÁREZ NAVARRO [22], 5-7 7-5 0-0*

---------------------------------------------
3. Screecher de Brito: a grunting-controversy
---------------------------------------------

According to the BBC commentators, Aravane Rezaď complained numerous times about the very loud noise from her opponent: Michelle 'Screecher' de Brito.

The supervisor came onto court and had a quiet word with Screecher de Brito, but Screecher de Brito reportedly said words to the effect of: "I've been doing it for five matches here already, and no one's said anything. Maria Sharapova's been grunting for years, and you've never done anything about that."

But there are rumours that the relevant authorities are considering implementing a rule against grunting, and that would be a great shame, because:

(a) Grunting is music to my ears (though I haven't heard Screecher de Brito yet).

(b) A rule against grunting could ruin the performance of certain players if they had to worry about their grunting. Monica Seles was railroaded into playing the Wimbledon 1992 final without grunting, after her two previous opponents complained about it and she was crucified by the British press.

The bottom line is that grunting should be tolerated, and if you don't like it, wear earplugs.

Sam Smith said Screecher de Brito was even more intense than Monica and Maria, who are the two most famous grunters in tennis-history, and the top two members of my Eternal Fanship.

---------------------------------------------
4. Third-round TV-report: Ivanović v Benešová (Friday 29th May 2009)
---------------------------------------------

+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] d. IVETA BENEŠOVÁ [32], 6-0 6-2

This match was first on Court Suzanne Lenglen, and I saw it on BBC Red Button.

Both girls started the match hitting the ball well, and Ana saved two break-points in the first game. But as the first set progressed, Iveta's form deteriorated: she was making error after unforced error.

However, Iveta suddenly got her act together in her first service-game of the second set, and even broke for *2-1 as Ana took a couple of games to raise her own level in response to Iveta raising hers.

But raise her level Ana did: she broke back immediately, and won every game left in the match as Iveta mixed good and bad points. It was hard fought, though: Ana needed five break-points in a marathon game of six deuces to break for *4-2.

Overall, it was an impressive performance from the defending champion - much better than her first-round match (the BBC didn't televise her second round). She didn't play like she was in a slump, but her problem is that she has a very tough draw: probably Victoria Azarenka in the fourth round and Dinara Safina in the quarter-finals.

Ana had her knee taped again.

Mark Petchey: "Benešová looks like she could do with some of the tape just to fill in some of the gaps in her outfit today!"


First set
---------
IVANOVIĆ *@*@* 6
BENEŠOVÁ _____ 0

The match started at 11:09 CEST.

Ana serving 0-0: Iveta, driven wide, netted a backhand. 15/0. Ana netted a forehand. 15/15. Ana mishit a forehand long. 15/30. Iveta hit a deep forehand down the middle - just inside the baseline - forcing Ana to net a forehand. 15/40 (BP #1). Terrific second serve out wide + pinpoint forehand winner down the line. 30/40 (BP #2). Iveta slapped a forehand into the net. Deuce #1. Body-jamming serve: Iveta hooked a forehand return long. Ad Ana. Iveta hit a pinpoint crosscourt forehand onto the sideline, forcing Ana to hit a crosscourt backhand wide. Deuce #2. Service-winner out wide. Ad Ana. She opened up the court and hit a pinpoint forehand winner down the line.

Both girls are hitting the ball well from the start, and well recovered from 15/40!

Sam Smith: "[Ana's] forehand is a barometer of her confidence."

Iveta serving 0-1: Ana netted a backhand off a short ball. 15/0. Ana off-forehand winner. 15/15. Double fault (second serve into the net). 15/30. A deep backhand return down the middle induced Iveta to spray a backhand wide. 15/40 (BP #1). Ana forehand wide. 30/40 (BP #2). Ana went to the net, hit a backhand drop-volley winner, and said "ajde".

Ana serving 2-0: Iveta netted a backhand. 15/0. Ana went to the net and hit a crosscourt forehand drop-volley winner. 30/0. Ace down the middle. 40/0. Iveta netted a backhand return.

Iveta serving 0-3: Iveta on the third stroke netted a forehand. 0/15. Serve + crosscourt backhand winner. 15/15. Second serve: Ana hit a booming forehand return-winner down the line. 15/30. Forehand return very long. 30/30. Iveta backhand long. 30/40 (BP). Ana crosscourt forehand winner.

Iveta isn't playing badly, but Ana is playing very well - better than I expected, given her post-French-Open-2008 slump.

Ana serving 4-0: Iveta hit a crosscourt backhand halfway up the net. 15/0. Service-winner. 30/0. Ana crosscourt backhand just wide. 30/15. Iveta backhand long. 40/15. Iveta netted a forehand.

Error after error from Iveta now. I think she'll get some games, though - Ana doesn't double-bagel people.

Iveta serving 0-5: Forehand return-winner. 0/15. Ana netted a forehand. 15/15. Ana went to the net behind a crosscourt forehand winner, and hit an off-forehand volley-winner. 15/30. Ana crosscourt forehand wide. 30/30. Ana netted a forehand. 40/30. Ana forced a short ball and hit an off-forehand winner. Deuce #1. Ana on the fourth stroke hit a crosscourt forehand winner. Ad Ana. Iveta's forehand lob floated just long - just as well for Ana, who stumbled setting up for it. Ana won the first set 6-0 at 11:34 CEST (25m).


Second set
----------
IVANOVIĆ *__@*@*@ 6
BENEŠOVÁ *@_____ 2

Ana serving 0-0: Ana went to the net, forcing Iveta to miss a forehand. 15/0. Iveta mishit a crosscourt forehand return wide. 30/0. Iveta backhand long. 40/0. Iveta backhand just long.

Iveta went from bad to worse in that game. Her footwork is poor, and the commentators suggested she's affected by the wind.

Sam Smith: "Start with the basics: first serve in, and get the ball in to a length."

Iveta serving 0-1: Deep service-winner on the service-line. 15/0. Iveta forehand just long. 30/0. Ana, driven wide, slapped a backhand into the bottom of the net. 40/0. Serve out wide + crosscourt backhand winner.

Much, much better from Iveta in that game, and I think it took Ana by surprise. I think she has become a little complacent, as Iveta has been giving her so many free points with unforced errors.

Ana serving 1-1: Double fault (second serve just wide). 0/15. Ana dumped a forehand halfway up the net. 0/30. Iveta spread Ana with a deep backhand down the line + crosscourt backhand + crosscourt forehand; Ana neutered Iveta's initiative with a deep sliced backhand down the line, but followed it up by netting a backhand dropshot. 0/40 (BP). Ana dumped a forehand into the net.

Iveta has dragged Ana down to her level, and raised her own.

Iveta serving 2-1: Iveta backhand long. 0/15. Iveta went to the net behind a crosscourt forehand, and hit a forehand smash-winner into the open court. 15/15. Ana went to the net, and cut off a mildly testing crosscourt backhand pass with a forehand volley-winner. 15/30. Iveta crosscourt forehand just wide. 15/40 (BP #1). Iveta's backhand dropshot forced Ana into error. 30/40 (BP #2). Double fault (second serve clipped the netcord and landed just long).

Ana has raised her level in response to Iveta, who is mixing good and bad points at the moment.

Ana serving 2-2: Iveta backhand long. 15/0. Forehand return very long. 30/0. Ana down-the-line backhand wide. 30/15. Iveta came to the net, but Ana hit an error-forcing crosscourt forehand pass, and said "ajde". 40/15. Iveta's depth forced Ana to hit a forehand long. 40/30. Ana hit a deep forehand, forcing Iveta to hit a defensive forehand lob wide.

With no clear #1 in women's tennis at the moment (Safina is playing the best tennis in the clay-court season, but she's never won a Major), the commentators suggested that Ana could make the position her own. She carries herself like a champion, they said.

Iveta serving 2-3: Iveta's crosscourt backhand forced Ana to net a forehand. 15/0. Service-winner out wide. 15/15. Ana dumped a forehand return into the net. 30/15. Ana netted a backhand. 40/15. Ana went to the net and hit a crosscourt forehand volley-winner. 40/30. Iveta forehand long. Deuce #1. Double fault (second serve into the net). Ad Ana (BP #1). Ana crosscourt backhand wide. Deuce #2. Ana netted a forehand. Ad Iveta. A punishing off-forehand return induced her to net a forehand. Deuce #3. Ana ran down a dropshot, hit a backhand dropshot-winner, and said "ajde". Ad Ana (BP #2). Iveta forced a short ball, and her crosscourt forehand forced Ana to net a backhand. Deuce #4. Ana went to the net and forced a defensive lob, but it fell at an awkward angle and she netted a backhand volley. Ad Ana (BP #3). Iveta crosscourt backhand wide. Deuce #5. Iveta netted an unforced forehand. Ad Ana (BP #4). Ana's off-forehand forced Iveta to hit a defensive half-volley forehand lob, but it landed nice and deep, inducing Ana to net a backhand. Deuce #6. Iveta crosscourt forehand wide. Ad Ana (BP #5). Iveta forced a short ball, but hit a forehand long.

Ana serving 4-2: Forehand return long. 15/0. Ana forced a high-bouncing return, and dispatched it with a forehand winner down Iveta's backhand-sideline. 30/0. Ana went to the net behind a forehand down the line, and her crosscourt forehand volley forced Iveta to miss a running backhand. 40/0. Iveta mishit a crosscourt forehand return wide.

Iveta serving 2-5: Ana netted a forehand. 15/0. Double fault (second serve into the net). 15/15. Ana's crosscourt forehand forced Iveta to net a running backhand. 15/30. Ana hooked an aggressive forehand just wide. 30/30. Ana, driven wide, hit an acute crosscourt backhand dropshot-winner just inside the sideline. 30/40 (MP #1). Ana on the fourth stroke hit a crosscourt forehand virtual winner. Ana won 6-0 6-2 at 12:12 CEST (second set 38m, match 1h03m), and reacted with a big smile and fist-pump.

---------------------------------------------
5. Third-round TV-report: Szávay v V.Williams (Friday 29th May 2009)
---------------------------------------------

+ ÁGNES SZÁVAY [29] d. VENUS WILLIAMS [3], 6-0 6-4

BBC Red Button joined this match after Verdasco v Almagro finished, with Szávay leading 6-0 *2-2.

It was my first time to see Szávay play, since I have not yet got around to watching Anna Chakvetadze beat her in the WTA Paris 2008 final, which I acquired from Tennis Videos International <http://www.users.bigpond.com/tennisvideos1/>.

Szávay looked horribly nervous and played very tentatively, but it didn't matter, because Williams was badly out of sorts, gift-wrapping Szávay's victory with a catalogue of unforced errors. Williams even led *4-3 in the second set, but didn't win a game after that.

I guess Williams's very tough second-round match - in which Lucie Šafářová had match-point - took a lot out of her, especially because it was played over Wednesday and Thursday. It takes a lot out of you physically and mentally to play a match over two days - it's more like two matches in terms of the hours of preparation, and Williams isn't 20 years old anymore (unlike Szávay, who is 20).

Szávay has been growing on me as a woman this year. Her face is not my idea of pretty, but she has other attributes. Today she had a nice smile from time to time, and her reaction to winning was cute.


Second set
----------

Szávay serving 2-2: Williams netted a forehand. 15/0. Three forehand returns long.

Williams serving 2-3: Williams forehand long. 0/15. Szávay backhand long. 15/15. Williams's second serve was woefully short, but she got away with it and hit a forehand smash-winner. 30/15. Williams approached the net, but got caught in no-man's-land as Szávay hit a crosscourt backhand pass-winner. 30/30. Williams on the third stroke dumped a forehand dropshot into the net - a desperation-shot, which suggests she's injured if she's trying to finish points like that. 30/40 (BP). Williams went to the net and cut off a crosscourt backhand volley-winner. Deuce. Szávay forehand long. Ad Williams. Szávay mishit a forehand wide.

Szávay was a bit conservative on the break-point there, and that last error may be a sign of nerves.

Szávay serving 3-3: Deep second serve forced Williams to hit a forehand return wide. 15/0. Szávay backhand just long. 15/15. Szávay forehand long. 15/30. Szávay's crosscourt backhand forced Williams - who is not moving particularly well - to hit a backhand long. 30/30. Double fault (second serve into the net). 30/40 (BP). Szávay dumped a very tentative forehand halfway up the net.

Sam Smith: "There's no doubt there: Szávay blinked."

Williams serving 4-3: A deep ball on the baseline from Szávay forced Williams to hit a backhand long. The umpire checked the mark to confirm it, and Szávay smiled. 0/15. Szávay mishit a forehand return long. 15/15. Szávay went to the net behind a deep forehand down the middle; Williams's forehand clipped the netcord and fell back on her side. 15/30. Szávay forehand just long (the umpire checked the mark and confirmed it). 30/30. Szávay forehand just long. She gave a wry smile. 40/30. Williams backhand long. Deuce. Szávay hit a pinpoint off-forehand winner plumb on the sideline, smiled and pumped her fist. Ad Szávay (BP). There was a big gust of wind: Williams double-faulted (second serve long).

Szávay serving 4-4: Szávay backhand just long. 0/15. A good wide serve forced a short return, which Szávay dispatched with an off-forehand winner. 15/15. Szávay's depth induced Williams to dump a cheap backhand into the net. 30/15. Szávay netted a nervy sliced backhand. 30/30. Williams hit a forehand pretty long. 40/30. Williams netted a cheap forehand return.

Szávay looks horribly nervous, but it probably won't matter, because Williams looks badly out of sorts. I guess it must be the effect of playing for three days in a row and coming through such a tough match against Lucie Šafářová yesterday.

Williams serving 4-5: Szávay forehand return wide. 15/0. Williams forehand long. 15/15. Szávay played a good rally but netted a nervy forehand. 30/15. Szávay went to the net behind a deep crosscourt backhand, and hit a crosscourt forehand volley-winner. 30/30. Williams on the third stroke netted a forehand. 30/40 (MP #1). A nailbiting rally with two forehands on the baseline from Szávay and a forehand on the baseline from Williams, ended with Williams netting a crosscourt backhand. Szávay won 6-0 6-4 at 14:42 CEST (1h21m). She jumped for joy and shook her fist.

-------------------------------------------------
6. Third-round TV-report: Pavlyuchenkova v Safina (Friday 29th May 2009)
-------------------------------------------------

- ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA [27] lt. DINARA SAFINA [1], 2-6 0-6

BBC Red Button joined this Court-1 match after Ágnes Szávay had finished off Venus Williams on Lenglen.

Pavlyuchenkova now hits the ball MUCH harder than when I saw her play as a 15-year-old at Moscow 2006, when she was a competitive counterpuncher with deep groundstrokes (I acquired a video of her loss to Nicole Vaidišová), and of course her newfound power makes her a very dangerous opponent.

Pavlyuchenkova's problem today was that she was just going for a winner on almost every ball, presumably because she thought it was the only way she was going to have a chance of beating Safina. But when she does that on balls that she has no right to go for winners on, it's just suicide.


First set
---------

Pavlyuchenkova serving 1-2: Deuce. Pav netted a crosscourt forehand. Ad Safina (BP #1). She earthed a forehand return. Deuce. Pav on the third stroke hit a backhand long. Ad Safina (BP #2). A meaty rally ended with Pav's crosscourt forehand forcing Safina to chop a forehand long. Deuce. Service-winner. Ad Pavlyuchenkova. Safina hit a big off-forehand winner. Deuce. Safina netted a forehand. Ad Pavlyuchenkova. Double fault (second serve long). Safina ran down a dropshot and, three strokes later, hit a crosscourt forehand volley-winner. Ad Safina. Pav netted a backhand.

Safina serving 3-1: Pav hit a hard backhand winner just inside the baseline. 0/15. Safina backhand winner down the line: just inside the baseline. 15/15. Pav dumped a backhand halfway up the net. 30/15. Pav netted a forehand. 40/15. Safina forehand long. 40/30. Pav backhand long.

Pavlyuchenkova serving 1-4: Pav went to the net and hit a two-handed backhand volley-winner. 15/0. Second serve out wide: Safina hit a big forehand return-winner down the line. 15/30. Service-winner. 30/30. Pav pounced on a high-bouncing ball with a crosscourt backhand winner. 40/30. Pav forced a short ball and hit a forehand winner down Safina's forehand-sideline.

Safina serving 4-2: Safina netted a backhand. 0/15. Service-winner down the line. 15/15. Safina went to the net and cut off an off-forehand volley-winner just inside the sideline. 30/15. Service-winner out wide. 40/15. Safina forced a short return, and dispatched it with a crosscourt backhand winner.

Pavlyuchenkova serving 2-5: Pav backhand dropshot-winner. 15/0. Double fault (big second serve just long). 15/15. Safina hit a big, early backhand return-winner down Pav's backhand-sideline. 15/30. Pav crosscourt backhand wide. 15/40 (SP #1). Pav opened up the court with a big serve out wide, but put a forehand wide. Safina won the first set 6-2 at 15:10 CEST (43m).

Pavlyuchenkova is matching Safina's pace, but there's a big difference in consistency.


Second set
----------
PAVLYU ______ 0
SAFINA *@*@*@ 6

Safina serving 0-0: Pav blasted a down-the-line backhand wide. 15/0. Safina forehand wide. 15/15. Pav crosscourt forehand return just wide. 30/15. Service-winner out wide. 40/15. Pav blasted a big forehand down the line just wide.

Pavlyuchenkova serving 0-1: Safina hit a deep backhand just inside the baseline, forcing Pav to spray a forehand wide. 15/0. Pav off-forehand wide. 0/30. Service-winner down the middle. 15/30. First serve: Safina netted a backhand return. 15/40 (BP #1). Pav hit a forehand wide off a deep ball from Safina. 30/40 (BP #2). Double fault (second serve wide).

Safina serving 2-0: Forehand return wide. 15/0. Serve out wide + forehand winner down Pav's forehand-line. 30/0. Service-winner down the line. Pav screamed. 40/0. Service-winner down the line.

Pavlyuchenkova serving 0-3: Pav forehand return-winner down the line. 0/15. Pav crosscourt backhand just wide. 0/30. Safina drew Pav to the net with a dropshot, and hit a backhand winner down the line. 0/40 (BP). Safina went to the net behind an off-forehand, forcing Pav to net a crosscourt backhand.

Safina serving 4-0: Ace out wide. 15/0. Pav dumped a backhand into the net. 30/0. Off-backhand return wide. 40/0. Pav hit a blazing down-the-line backhand return just wide.

Pavlyuchenkova serving 0-5: Second serve: Safina backhand return-winner. 0/15. Safina opened up the court with an off-forehand to the sideline, but netted a backhand dropshot - good resistance from Pav in that rally. 15/15. Safina crosscourt forehand return-winner. 15/30. Pav on the third stroke blasted a cheap backhand into the net. 15/40 (MP #1). First serve out wide + forehand winner down the line. 30/40 (MP #2). Service-winner. Deuce #1. Pav forehand long. Ad Safina (MP #3). Pav opened up the court with a crosscourt backhand, and hit a backhand winner down the line. Deuce #2. Pav hit a crosscourt backhand winner into the corner. Ad Pav. Double fault (second serve into the net). Deuce #3. Safina netted a backhand return. Ad Pav. A deep backhand return down the middle - just inside the baseline - forced Pav to dump a backhand into the net. Deuce #4. Pav forced a short ball but netted a cheap backhand. Ad Safina (MP #4). A deep backhand return forced Pav to net a backhand return. Safina won 6-2 6-0 at 15:33 CEST (second set 23m, match 1h06m).

------------------------------------------------------
7. Third-round scoreboard-report: Sharapova v Shvedova (Friday 29th May 2009)
------------------------------------------------------

+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. Yaroslava Shvedova [Q], 1-6 6-3 6-4

The match was fourth on Court Philippe Chatrier, and started at 17:47 CEST. Unfortunately, Murray v Tipsarević was starting on Lenglen at the same time, so Maria and Yaroslava had no chance of being televised on BBC Red Button! :mad:

Maria broke in the first game of the match, then lost six games in a row to drop the first set. There were some tough, deucy games in there, but Yaroslava won them all: most disturbingly the one at *1-4, where Maria had 40/15, and the one at 1-5*, where Maria squandered three break-points at 0/40.

Maria broke first in the second set, but was broken back from *3-1 (40/15). The rest of the second set was hard work - in fact all the games in the second set went to deuce except the first and last - but Maria achieved the vital break for *5-3, and served out to 15.

The first six games of the third set went with serve, but Maria was holding easily, while Yaroslava got taken to deuce in two of her service-games. Maria got the first and only break of the third set for *4-3, then after a couple more deuce-games in which the server led 40/15, Maria took a *5-4 lead, and served it out to love.


First set
---------
SHARAPOV @______ 1
SHVEDOVA _@*@*@* 6

Yaroslava serving 0-0: 0/15. 30/15. 30/30. 30/40 (BP). Broken.
Maria serving 1-0: 0/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP #1). Deuce. Ad Yaroslava (BP #2). Broken.

Well, well! I was just about to congratulate Maria on a good recovery from 0/30 and 30/40, but Yaroslava breaks back anyway!

Yaroslava serving 1-1: 40/0. 40/30. Held.
Maria serving 1-2: 0/15. 15/15. 15/40 (BP). Broken.

Maria's lost three games in a row now, including two service-games. What's wrong with her?

Yaroslava serving 3-1: 0/15. 15/15. 15/30. 40/30. Held.
Maria serving 1-4: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15. Deuce #1. Ad Yaroslava (BP #1). Deuce #2. Ad Yaroslava (BP #2). Broken.

Not even from 40/15 up! I expected it to be much closer than this, with only four places between them in the rankings. :o

Yaroslava serving 5-1: 0/40 (BP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Yaroslava (SP #1). Deuce #2. Ad Yaroslava (SP #2). Yaroslava won the first set 6-1 at 18:25 CEST (38m).


Second set
----------
SHARAPOV * *@__*@* 6
SHVEDOVA _*__@*___ 3

Maria serving 0-0: Held to love.
Yaroslava serving 0-1: 15/15. 30/15. 30/40 (BP). Deuce. Ad Yaroslava. Held.

Yet another break-point (and game-point in general) goes begging. I'm beginning to wonder whether the scoreboard hasn't got the players' names the wrong way round, because it's Maria's characteristic to fight through games like Yaroslava's doing today.

Maria serving 1-1: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15. Deuce. Ad Maria. Held.

I thought Maria was going to lose that game too, the way things have been going. :o

Yaroslava serving 1-2: 0/15. 15/15. 15/30. 40/30. Deuce #1. Ad Maria (BP #1). Deuce #2. Ad Maria (BP #2). Held.

At last the abnormal, embarrassing situation is being fixed...

Maria serving 3-1: 30/0. 30/15. 40/15. Deuce #1. Ad Yaroslava (BP #1). Deuce #2. Ad Yaroslava (BP #2). Broken.

Once again, Maria gets broken after 40/15.

Yaroslava serving 2-3: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15. Deuce. Ad Yaroslava. Held.
Maria serving 3-3: 0/15. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30. Deuce. Ad Maria. Held.
Yaroslava serving 3-4: 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 30/40 (BP #1). Deuce. Ad Maria (BP #2). Broken.

Hard work, but at 4-3*, it's always great to break for *5-3!

Maria serving 5-3: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15 (SP #1). Maria won the second set 6-3 at 19:19 CEST (second set 54m, match so far 1h32m).


Third set
---------
SHARAPOV _* * *@* * 6
SHVEDOVA * * *___*_ 4

Yaroslava serving 0-0: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15. Deuce. Ad Yaroslava. Held.
Maria serving 0-1: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15. 40/30. Held.
Yaroslava serving 1-1: 0/15. 15/15. 15/40 (BPx2). Deuce. Ad Yaroslava. Held.

Wow: Tipsarević just retired against Murray, so BBC Red Button might actually show this match after all!

Maria serving 1-2: 40/0. 40/15. Held.
Yaroslava serving 2-2: Held to love.

But BBC Red Button has ended its live transmission early instead of joining this match! :fiery::fiery::fiery:

Maria serving 2-3: 15/15. 40/15. Held.
Yaroslava serving 3-3: 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 30/40 (BP). Broken.
Maria serving 4-3: 30/0. 30/15. 40/15. Deuce. Ad Maria. Held.

Again, Maria gets pegged back from 40/15; the difference now is that she's pulling through these tough games in the end, which Yaroslava was doing earlier.

Yaroslava serving 3-5: 30/0. 30/15. 40/15. Deuce #1. Ad Yaroslava. Deuce #2. Ad Yaroslava. Deuce #3. Ad Yaroslava. Held.

Maria almost gave Yaroslava a taste of her own medicine there: four game-points saved. Now the moment of truth: Maria hasn't been broken since the fifth game of the second set, so can she serve this out?

Maria serving 5-4: 40/0 (MP #1). Maria won 1-6 6-3 6-4 at 20:15 CEST (third set 56m, match 2h28m).


Statistics
----------

Maria had a W:UE ratio of 26:51 to Yaroslava's 18:33. Maria's was a woeful 2:15 in the first set, while Yaroslava's deteriorated from 10:12 in the first set to a combined 8:21 for the second and third. Maria's UE-count actually increased from set to set, but so did her winner-count, while Yaroslava's winner-count decreased from set to set.

Maria got 62% of her first serves in, winning 64% of the points when she did so, and 52% on second serve. Her first-serves-in percentage was pretty constant, but her winning-percentages improved from set to set: from (43%, 22%) in the first set to (62%, 64%) for the second set to (83%, 60%) for the third.

Yaroslava got 64% of her first serves in, winning 59% of the points when she did so, and 50% on second serve. From the first set to the second, she upped her first-serves-in percentage from 50% to 68%, but her first-serve winning-percentage dipped from 64% to 48%.

Maria served a monstrous 11 double faults to just one ace, while Yaroslava served 3 aces and 4 double faults.

Yaroslava had a bigger first serve than Maria: fastest 120-112mph (wow!), average 101-98mph. Maria had the faster average second serve: 89-86 mph.

They broke each other four times each - Maria from 12 BPs, Yaroslava from only 7 BPs, which shows how wasteful Maria was with her opportunities. Yaroslava won the first set by three breaks to one; Maria won the second by two breaks to one, and the third by one break to none.

Maria won 8 of 14 points at the net (57%), Yaroslava 5 of 8 points (63%).

In points, Maria won 95-91 (first set 20-31, second set 39-30, third set 36-30).


Article
-------

Sharapova thrives on underdog-status (Reuters)
By Julien Pretot (editing by Pritha Sarkar)
>>>
* Sharapova fights back to advance to fourth round.
* French crowd love the underdogs, she says.

Being the underdog suits Maria Sharapova at the French Open, where she enjoyed being backed by the fickle Parisian crowd in a 1-6 6-3 6-4 third-round victory over Kazakh Yaroslava Shvedova on Friday.

In recent years, the Russian has endured a torrid relationship with the Roland Garros fans, and was famously booed off court when she was knocked out in 2007 and 2008.

But no longer the world number-one, the 102nd-ranked Russian seems to have become a firm favourite as she is on a comeback-trail following a nine-month layoff with a career-threatening shoulder-injury.

"Allez Maria!" the fans screamed as they cheered her on while she gasped for breath after running down many of her opponent's cunning dropshots.

Summing up the change of attitude towards her, Sharapova quipped: "You're ranked outside the top 100, so people like you."

"When you're number-one in the world, for some reason they don't like you anymore. It's amazing how the society works.

"Especially here in France, I think they always love the underdog, and they always love the one that comes back from behind, or the one that's not expected to win. I'm probably that person," added the three-times Major champion, who will next face China's Li,Na.

A beaming Sharapova blew kisses to all corners of the Centre Court after overcoming a miserable start to down Shvedova.

PERFECT RECIPE

Sharapova found the perfect recipe to strike up her relationship with the French crowd by unleashing winners after falling one set down on a sunbathed Centre Court.

She pocketed the opening game on her opponent's serve, but Shvedova broke straight back when the Russian sent a backhand wide.

She dropped serve again with her third double fault in the fourth game, and then struggled to return Shvedova's heavy first serve.

The Kazakh mixed her game with dropshots, and bagged the first set when Sharapova returned long after 37 minutes.

The former world number-one broke for 3-1 in the second set as the clock ticked past the hour. But she served a double fault at 40/30 in the following game, and instead of going 4-1 up, Shvedova broke back.

Sharapova hung on to break again with a fine backhand down the line, and followed it up on serve to level the contest.

Shvedova then faded, and bowed out with a weak backhand into the net after 2h27m.

"I could not serve at 100%, because a muscle was pulling [in my arm], and because of this, my arms got tired and it was difficult to hit the balls," said the Kazakh, who came to the post-match press-conference with an ice-pack wrapped around her arm.
<<<

------------------------------------------------
8. Article: Despondent Dokić hoping for the best
------------------------------------------------

Despondent Dokić hoping for the best (ABC News, Friday 29th May)
>>>
A tearful Jelena Dokić is hoping the latest painful twist in her life-story of turmoil will not mean another prolonged absence from tennis.

The 26-year-old Australian was poised for a famous French Open victory over Russian fourth seed Elena Dementieva - before she was forced to concede the second-round tie due to crippling back-pain that left her barely able to walk.

Dokić -playing her first Roland Garros in five years after her well-documented personal and professional strife - raced through the first set 6-2 against the 2004 runner-up, and was 2-2 in the second when disaster struck.

Running down a Dementieva service, she pulled up, ramrod straight, holding her lower back and wincing in pain.

As she wept courtside, she was allowed a medical timeout, and when she returned to Court One, she even managed to break to lead 3-2.

But by this stage, she was reduced to walking-pace on the baseline and, after losing the next two games, she shook hands with the Russian.

"It was very painful, and I just hope it's not too serious," said the heartbroken former world number-four.

"I felt like I had the match in my hands. I felt like I probably played the best tennis that I've played this year. It's very disappointing.

"I just hope it will be okay, and it won't take too much time for it to get better."

Dokić won sympathetic applause from the Court One crowd, while even Dementieva attempted to console her stricken opponent.

"Nothing like that has ever happened to me except when I rolled my ankle at the Australian Open, so obviously it's not my time at the Grand Slams," Dokić said.

"But it happens. I'm not 15 anymore, so it's time to take more care now, and I just really, really hope it's nothing serious."

Dokić was taking part in her first French Open since 2004, having made an emotional run to the Australian Open quarter-finals earlier this year, when she was ranked #187, and with her career and life seemingly in a tailspin.

She won her opening-round match, coming back from a set down to defeat Croatia's Karolina Šprem 3-6 6-1 6-2.

Ironically, had she won overnight, she would have faced compatriot Samantha Stosur for a place in the last 16.

The 30th-seeded Stosur beat Belgium's Yanina Wickmayer 6-3 4-6 6-4, while Jarmila Groth saw off Mariana Duque of Colombia 6-2 7-6 (11/9).

However, Australian teenager Olivia Rogowska was knocked out by Ukraine's Kateryna Bondarenko 4-6 7-5 7-5.
<<<

-------------------
9. Third-round draw
-------------------

The players on the left are the ones I want to win.

* DINARA SAFINA [1] won
* Aravane Rezaď won
* VICTORIA AZARENKA [9] v CARLA SUÁREZ NAVARRO [22], 5-7 7-5 0-0*
* ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] won

* ÁGNES SZÁVAY [29] won
* DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20] won
* Maria Sharapova [EF] won
* LI,NA [25] won

* JELENA JANKOVIĆ [5] v Jarmila Groth
* CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [10] v Sorana Cîrstea (my loyalty is to Caroline)
* Tathiana Garbin v Virginie Razzano
* ELENA DEMENTIEVA [4] v SAMANTHA STOSUR [30]

* SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [7] v Melinda Czink
* Kateryna Bondarenko v AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [12]
* ALEKSANDRA WOZNIAK [24] v Lourdes Domínguez Lino
* María José Martínez Sánchez v SERENA WILLIAMS [2]

----------------------------------------
10. Fourth-round preview: Sharapova v Li
----------------------------------------

Maria has a 4:0 head to head against current world #25 Li,Na:
+ 2005 Australian Open 3r: 6-0 6-2
+ 2006 Miami 2r: 6-2 6-4
+ 2006 Birmingham 3r: 6-2 6-4
+ 2006 US Open: 6-4 6-2

But Li can be an extremely dangerous opponent, as she goes for broke, dominating the points with either winners (her forehand is particularly potent) or unforced errors.

And Li has some results to prove it: Gold Coast 2008 was her first tournament back after a six-month injury lay-off, but she won the title. She beat both Williams-sisters last year: Venus at the Beijing Olympics (where she also beat Svetlana Kuznetsova) and Serena at Stuttgart. She has 13 wins over top-ten players in her career.

Li has a respectable 17:8 win/loss record for 2009 (including her three wins here).

After missing January with a right-knee injury, Li came back at WTA Paris and beat #30 Ágnes Szávay 7-6 6-2 before losing 6-0 3-6 6-2 to #3 Jelena Janković. But she crashed out to #75 Elena Vesnina in the first round of Dubai.

Li upset #10 Agnieszka Radwańska 7-6 4-6 6-0 in the first round of Monterrey, and went on to reach the final (albeit without beating another top-30 player), which she lost 6-4 6-3 to #13 Marion Bartoli.

Li reached the fourth round of Indian Wells, beating #18 Patty Schnyder and #20 Amélie Mauresmo both 7-5 6-2, before losing 6-4 6-4 to world #6 and eventual champion Vera Zvonarëva.

Li reached the quarter-finals of Miami, beating #5-ranked Vera Zvonarëva 6-4 3-6 6-2 in the third round. It took world #1 Serena Williams to stop her: 4-6 7-6 6-2.

The clay-court season has been less impressive for Li. At Stuttgart, she beat #33 Peng,Shuai 6-2 6-3, but lost 4-6 6-4 7-5 to #9 Svetlana Kuznetsova. She lost to #27 Sybille Bammer 7-6 4-6 6-3 in the first round of Rome. At Madrid, she beat #23 Carla Suárez Navarro 5-7 6-1 7-5, and lost 6-3 7-6 to #1 Dinara Safina.

Surprisingly for a 27-year-old, Li has only played the French Open twice before: both times losing in the third round. In 2006, she beat #30 Anna Chakvetadze 7-5 6-3 in the second round, then lost 6-3 7-6 to #10 Svetlana Kuznetsova. In 2007, she lost to #25 Sybille Bammer 6-4 6-3 in the third round.

This time, Li has reached the fourth round of the French Open without dropping a set:
1r + Marta Domachowska, 6-4 6-2
2r + Timea Bacsinszky, 6-1 6-4
3r + Olga Govortsova, 7-5 6-1

Maria, in contrast, has dropped a set in all three of her prior matches:
1r + Anastasiya Yakimova, 3-6 6-1 6-2
2r + NADIA PETROVA [11], 6-2 1-6 8-6
3r + Yaroslava Shvedova [Q], 1-6 6-3 6-4

So we have to be prepared for another three-setter (which would favour Maria), or even a loss (which would most likely be in two sets).

-------------------
11. Andrew's wishes (updated after Friday)
-------------------
11.1 Fourth-round wishes
------------------------

+ Aravane Rezaď d. DINARA SAFINA [1]
+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] d. VICTORIA AZARENKA [9]
+ DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20] d. ÁGNES SZÁVAY [29]
+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. LI,NA [25]

+ CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [10] d. JELENA JANKOVIĆ [5]
+ ELENA DEMENTIEVA [4] d. Tathiana Garbin
+ Kateryna Bondarenko d. SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [7]
+ María José Martínez Sánchez d. ALEKSANDRA WOZNIAK [24]


11.2 Quarter-final wishes
-------------------------

+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] d. Aravane Rezaď
+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20]
+ CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [10] d. ELENA DEMENTIEVA [4]
+ María José Martínez Sánchez d. Kateryna Bondarenko


11.3 Semi-final wishes
----------------------

+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF]
+ CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [10] d. María José Martínez Sánchez


11.4 Final wish
---------------

+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [10]

---------------------------------
12. Women's Doubles: Second round
--------------------------------
12.1 Second-round result (Friday 29th May 2009)
------------------------

- Jelena Dokić [EF]/Alisa Kleybanova lt. (CARA BLACK/LIEZEL HUBER)[1], walkover (Jelena's lower-back injury)


12.2 Third-round draw
---------------------

Andrew's selections (desired winners on the left):

* (DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [EF]/AI SUGIYAMA)[7] v (HSIEH,SU-WEI [s]/PENG,SHUAI [s])[9]

* (MARIA KIRILENKO [DF]/FLAVIA PENNETTA [DF])[8] v (ANNA-LENA GRÖNEFELD/PATTY SCHNYDER [11]

* (YAN,ZI [s]/ZHENG,JIE)[16] v (SAMANTHA STOSUR/RENNAE STUBBS)[4]

------------------------------
13. Order of play for Saturday
------------------------------

No members of my Eternal Fanship are scheduled to play singles on Saturday.

Full order of play:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/scores/schedule/

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

andrewbroad
May 31st, 2009, 04:19 AM
=============
ROLAND GARROS (Paris, France; red clay; Major)
============= http://www.rolandgarros.com/
Contents
--------

1. Photos
2. Women's Singles: Third-round results
3. Third-round TV-report: Dementieva v Stosur
4. Third-round TV-report: Martínez Sánchez v S.Williams
5. Fourth-round draw
6. Andrew's wishes
7. Women's Doubles: Third round
8. Girls' Singles: First-round draw
9. Order of play for Sunday

---------
1. Photos
---------

Various players including Maria Sharapova, Klára Zakopalová, Jelena Janković, Michelle Larcher de Brito:
http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/2/photogallery/

Search-list for Day 7:

wozniacki
cirstea

---------------------------------------
2. Women's Singles: Third-round results (Saturday 30th May 2009)
---------------------------------------

Nice winner, nice loser:
+ SAMANTHA STOSUR [30] d. ELENA DEMENTIEVA [4], 6-3 4-6 6-1
- CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [10] lt. Sorana Cîrstea, 6-7 (3/7) 5-7

Caroline led 5-0 in the first set, but had "a very nasty shoulder-injury" according to BBC commentator Sam Smith, while the photos show her getting her lower back looked at.

What rocked:
+ VICTORIA AZARENKA [9] d. CARLA SUÁREZ NAVARRO [22], 5-7 7-5 6-2

What sucked:
- María José Martínez Sánchez lt. SERENA WILLIAMS [2], 6-4 3-6 4-6

All other results:
+ JELENA JANKOVIĆ [5] d. Jarmila Groth, 6-1 6-1
+ SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [7] d. Melinda Czink, 6-1 6-3
+ AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [12] d. Kateryna Bondarenko, 6-2 6-4
+ ALEKSANDRA WOZNIAK [24] d. Lourdes Domínguez Lino, 6-2 3-6 6-3
+ Virginie Razzano d. Tathiana Garbin, 7-5 7-5

Quote of the day comes from Virginie Razzano, who was asked to change her T-shirt because a sponsor-badge was misplaced: "I told her to find one for me, otherwise I would have had to play naked."

---------------------------------------------
3. Third-round TV-report: Dementieva v Stosur (Saturday 30th May 2009)
---------------------------------------------

+ SAMANTHA STOSUR [30] d. ELENA DEMENTIEVA [4], 6-3 4-6 6-1

This match was first on Court Philippe Chatrier, started at 11:11 CEST, and I saw it on BBC Red Button.

This match transformed my opinion of Samantha Stosur. Before today, I respected her as a dangerous opponent ever since she played a brilliant set against Maria Sharapova at Birmingham 2005. I didn't enjoy watching that at the time, because I was worried that Maria might lose if Stosur had kept up that level!

Today, however, I really enjoyed watching Stosur in tennis-terms. She didn't serve and volley (as she does on grass), but she hit some big, sharp forehands, and played some nice points at the net. Her game is much more flairsome than that of Dementieva, whom I like only for her beauty and the compassion she demonstrated when Jelena Dokić retired from their second-round match.

So this match transformed my opinion of Stosur from respect to liking, changed who I wanted to win the match from Dementieva to Stosur, and persuaded me to keep the match for my permanent video-archive.

Stosur played a splendid first set, but got nervous in the second set and went badly off the boil - it was very frustrating to watch.

Dementieva didn't play any better in the second set than in the first, and she played very badly in the third set (after the match, she admitted that her physical condition was poor). Stosur finished the match with a couple of brave forehand winners to seal a richly-deserved victory.

Elena Dementieva: "It's difficult to play against someone who is so fit. Her serve is unusual for the women's game; there's a lot of spin, and she has a very powerful game."


First set
---------
STOSUR _@* * *@* 6
DEMENT @__* *___ 3

Stosur serving 0-0: An erratic start put Stosur 0/40 down, but she recovered to Deuce with the help of a high forehand volley-winner. She wasted a game-point with a forehand long, and Dementieva saved her second game-point with an error-forcing crosscourt forehand. A double fault gave Dementieva break-point, but she squandered it with a forehand wide. Stosur forehand very long. Ad Dementieva (BP #2). Dementieva went to the net, forcing Stosur to hit a crosscourt forehand pass wide.

Dementieva serving 1-0: Quadruple fault. 0/30. Stosur broke to 15 with a forehand winner down the line: just inside the baseline.

Stosur serving 1-1: 15/15. Serve out wide + crosscourt forehand winner. Held to 15.

Dementieva serving 1-2: 15/0. Body-jamming serve + crosscourt forehand winner. 15/0. Service-winner. 30/0. Dementieva off-forehand winner. 40/0. Quadruple fault. 40/30. Dementieva sprayed a forehand very long. Deuce. Dementieva off-forehand winner. Ad Dementieva. Service-winner.

Stosur serving 2-2: Stosur went to the net, but Dementieva hit a crosscourt forehand winner. 0/15. Service-winner out wide: on the sideline. 15/15. Dementieva error. 30/15. Serve out wide + crosscourt forehand winner in the corner. 40/15. Service-winner out wide.

Dementieva is the better-looking of the two players, but I find Stosur's tennis more attractive than Dementieva's.

Dementieva serving 2-3: Stosur forced a short ball and hit a crosscourt forehand winner. 0/15. Stosur netted an off-backhand. 15/15. Dementieva crosscourt forehand winner. 30/15. Stosur netted two shots.

Stosur serving 3-3: Service-winner. 15/0. Stosur hit two off-forehand winners, and held to love.

Dementieva serving 3-4: 30/15. Stosur opened up the court and hit a big forehand winner down Dementieva's forehand-sideline. 30/30. Stosur forehand return-winner down the line. 30/40 (BP #1). Stosur forehand just long. Deuce. Dementieva hit a wild backhand long. Ad Stosur (BP #2). Service-winner. Deuce #2. Stosur crosscourt forehand on the sideline, and hit a crosscourt backhand winner. Ad Stosur (BP #3). Stosur broke with a forehand return-winner down Dementieva's forehand-sideline.

Stosur serving 5-3: Dementieva dead-netcord winner. 0/15. Backhand return long. 15/15. Stosur netted a forehand. 15/30. Stosur crosscourt forehand just wide (the umpire checked the mark). 15/40 (BP #1). Service-winner out wide. 30/40 (BP #2). Ace down the middle. Deuce #1. Off-forehand winner just inside the sideline. Ad Stosur (SP #1). Stosur went to the net, but netted an easy backhand volley. Deuce #2. Stosur netted a backhand. Ad Dementieva (BP #3). Backhand return just long. Deuce #3. Ace down the middle: just inside the centre-line. Ad Stosur (SP #2). Serve down the middle + off-forehand winner. Stosur won the first set 6-3 at 11:51 CEST (40m).


Second set
----------
STOSUR @ @__* *__ 4
DEMENT _@ @* * *@ 6

Dementieva serving 0-0: Dementieva netted a forehand. 0/15. Stosur backhand long. 15/15. Double fault (second serve just long). 15/30. Stosur went to the net, her off-forehand approach inducing Dementieva to hit a backhand wide. 15/40 (BP). Stosur's off-forehand forced Dementieva to hit a backhand wide.

Stosur serving 1-0: Stosur crosscourt backhand wide. 0/15. Dementieva netted a backhand. 15/15. Stosur netted a forehand. 15/30. Backhand return just long. 30/30. Quadruple fault (two second serves long).

Dementieva serving 1-1: Double fault (second serve wide). 0/15. Dementieva on the third stroke dumped a forehand into the net. 0/30. Dementieva forced a short ball and hit an off-forehand winner. 15/30. Stosur error. 30/30. Stosur went to the net, and Dementieva blasted a crosscourt forehand pass just long. 30/40 (BP #1). A deep serve just inside the service-line forced Stosur to mishit a forehand long. Deuce #1. Serve out wide + crosscourt forehand winner. Ad Dementieva. Stosur constructed the point very well, and hit an off-forehand volley-winner just inside the sideline. Deuce #2. Dementieva netted a forehand. Ad Stosur (BP #2). Dementieva forced a short ball and hit an off-forehand winner - accompanied by a high-pitched squeak. Deuce #3. A long rally ended with Dementieva slicing a backhand wide. Ad Stosur (BP #3). Dementieva saved it with a "tremendous" backhand dropshot-winner.Deuce #4. Dementieva forehand long. Ad Stosur (BP #4). Dementieva off-forehand wide - accompanied by a loud, two-tone grunt!

Stosur serving 2-1: Stosur made three unforced groundstroke-errors, including two that were just long. 0/40 (BP #1). Dementieva ran down a dropshot and netted a backhand. 15/40 (BP #2). Stosur mishit a forehand into the net.

Stosur's gone badly off the boil so far this set.

Dementieva serving 2-2: 15/0. Stosur went to the net behind an off-forehand dropshot, and hit an easy forehand volley-winner into the open court. 15/15. Stosur went to the net, but her approach was short and straight down the middle: Dementieva hit a forehand pass-winner. 30/15. Stosur backhand long. 40/15. Incredible rally: Dementieva went to the net and hit a dropshot; Stosur ran it down and hit a crosscourt forehand pass right into Dementieva's body; Dementieva miraculously picked off a two-handed lob-volley (accompanied by a high-pitched yelp), and Stosur hit a backhand pass-winner down the line. 40/30. Stosur forehand just long.

Mark Petchey: "Dementieva is here for the taking, but Stosur can't find her best tennis when she really, really needs it."

Stosur serving 2-3: Stosur on the third stroke slapped a forehand into the net. 0/15. Stosur's depth induced Dementieva to blast a crosscourt backhand wide. 15/15. Dementieva blasted a wild backhand return wide. 30/15. Double fault (second serve into the net). 30/30. The umpire called Stosur's forehand on the baseline long. 30/40 (BP). Ace down the middle. Deuce. Stosur crosscourt backhand winner. Ad Stosur. She hit a big crosscourt forehand winner onto the sideline.

An important hold for Stosur - especially because she played much, much better from 30/40 than she had played earlier in this set.

Dementieva serving 3-3: Dementieva crosscourt backhand winner. 15/0. Stosur dumped a backhand halfway up the net. 30/0. Dementieva's deep crosscourt forehand forced Stosur to hit a forehand long. 40/0. Stosur hit a huge crosscourt forehand into the corner, but Dementieva retrieved it with a chopped forehand that landed just inside the baseline, jamming Stosur and forcing her to earth a forehand.

Stosur serving 3-4: Stosur netted a forehand - didn't move her feet. 0/15. Service-winner out wide. 15/15. Stosur mishit a wild forehand lob very long. 15/30. Serve out wide + off-forehand winner. 30/30. Dementieva off-backhand wide. 40/30. Service-winner out wide.

Dementieva serving 4-4: Ace down the middle. 15/0. Stosur forehand very long. 30/0. Stosur forced a short ball, and blasted a big backhand winner down the line into the open court: just inside the baseline. 30/15. Dementieva forehand just long. 30/30. Dementieva went to the net, but her approach was too short, and Stosur hit an excellent down-the-line backhand pass-winner. 30/40 (BP). Dementieva painted the sideline with a short crosscourt forehand winner - but I don't think her previous forehand on the baseline was really in. Deuce #1. Dementieva went to the net, but Stosur showed Federer-like improvisation to hit an amazing crosscourt forehand pass-volley winner! Ad Stosur (BP #2). Stosur backhand just long. Deuce #2. Service-winner. Ad Dementieva. Stosur netted a sliced backhand.

Two break-points go begging.

Stosur serving 4-5: Dementieva went to the net and hit an off-forehand volley-winner into the open court. 0/15. Dementieva hit a wild backhand return very long. 15/15. Dementieva sprayed a crosscourt forehand wide, and shouted "no!" 30/15. Dementieva backhand long. 40/15. Stosur hit a one-handed backhand long. 40/30. Stosur opened up the court with a crosscourt forehand, but hit a down-the-line forehand just long - oh, the agony! Deuce #1. Dementieva hit a crosscourt forehand onto the baseline, forcing Stosur to mishit an early forehand for an error. Ad Dementieva (SP #1). Dementieva forehand long. Deuce #2. Dementieva hit a deep, error-forcing crosscourt forehand just inside the baseline. Ad Dementieva (SP #2). Stosur hit a wild off-forehand wide. Dementieva won the second set 6-4 at 12:49 CEST (second set 58m, match so far 1h38m).


Third set
---------
STOSUR @*@* *@ 6
DEMENT ____*__ 1

Dementieva serving 0-0: Dementieva crosscourt forehand virtual winner. 15/0. Dementieva netted a backhand. 15/15. Stosur went to the net behind a big forehand down the line, and hit a forehand volley-winner. 15/30. Stosur netted a sliced backhand. 30/30. Stosur backhand pass-winner down the line. 30/40 (BP). Double fault (second serve into the net).

Stosur serving 1-0: Stosur went to the net, but hit a crosscourt backhand volley wide. 0/15. Serve out wide + forehand winner on the baseline. Dementieva shouted in Russian. 15/15. Stosur went to the net, and Dementieva pushed a one-handed backhand pass down the line wide. 30/15. Service-winner. 40/15. Service-winner down the middle.

Stosur also broke at the start of the second set, but this time she consolidates.

Dementieva serving 0-2: Service-winner out wide. 15/0. Dementieva netted a forehand. 15/15. Dementieva netted a backhand. 15/30. Dementieva backhand wide. 15/40 (BP). Double fault (second serve just long).

Stosur serving 3-0: Stosur on the third stroke netted a forehand. 0/15. Dementieva's cap fell off, so they played a let. Stosur crosscourt forehand virtual winner. 15/15. Ace out wide. 30/15. Service-winner out wide. 40/15. Dementieva netted a forehand.

John Lloyd: "Stosur has a reputation of getting very tight in big matches, but to be honest, Dementieva's playing so badly. If there was any sign of her playing better..."

Dementieva serving 0-4: She netted a backhand. 0/15. Dementieva played an aggressive point, advancing up the point, forcing Stosur to hit a forehand wide. 15/15. Dementieva went to the net behind a deep forehand just inside the baseline, forcing Stosur to hit a backhand wide. 30/15. Stosur netted a backhand return. 40/15. Ace out wide.

A much better game from Dementieva. With her being such a great fighter, and Stosur being a choker, it does raise the question of whether Stosur can close this out, even with a double-break lead.

Stosur serving 4-1: Stosur backhand just long. 0/15. Stosur hit a big, error-forcing off-forehand. 15/15. Double fault. 15/30. Stosur forced a short ball and hit a crosscourt forehand winner. 30/30. Dementieva forehand just long. 40/30. Dementieva forehand just long.

Dementieva serving 1-5: Dementieva went to the net and hit a crosscourt backhand volley-winner. 15/0. Dementieva forehand wide. 15/15. Stosur forehand return just long - unlucky. 30/15. Stosur forced a short ball and hit an off-forehand winner. 30/30. Stosur forehand long. 40/30. Stosur crosscourt forehand winner. Deuce #1. Stosur backhand just long. Ad Dementieva. She missed a backhand, and muttered in Russian. Deuce #2. Stosur opened up the court with a crosscourt backhand, but netted an easy backhand - a clear sign of choking. Ad Dementieva. She netted a backhand, and muttered in Russian. Deuce #3. A deep ball from Stosur induced Dementieva to hit a backhand very long. Ad Stosur (MP #1). Stosur stood inside the baseline to receive, and a brave, deep second serve just inside the service-line forced her to hit a forehand return long. Deuce #4. Off-forehand return + crosscourt forehand winner. Ad Stosur (MP #2). She hit a crosscourt forehand winner to win 6-3 4-6 6-1 at 13:23 CEST (third set 34m, match 2h12m), and to my surprise - given that I didn't particularly like Stosur two hours ago - I found myself pumping my fist to celebrate her victory.

-------------------------------------------------------
4. Third-round TV-report: Martínez Sánchez v S.Williams (Saturday 30th May 2009)
-------------------------------------------------------

- María José Martínez Sánchez lt. SERENA WILLIAMS [2], 6-4 3-6 4-6

I watched this match casually on BBC Red Button. It was fourth on Court Suzanne Lenglen, and started at 17:06 CEST.

Martínez Sánchez certainly adds variety to women's tennis, as she loves to serve & volley and chip & charge, even on clay. I think this took Williams by surprise, though she certainly adjusted to Martínez Sánchez's net-rushing tactics in the end.

Martínez Sánchez is a left-handed player who also plays with a variety of spins. She plays a lot like Martina Navrátilová, but with a two-handed backhand.

Martínez Sánchez's backhand is her better side: it's more reliable and more penetrating than her forehand.

The first two sets were serve-dominated: each decided by a single break. The break-point that Martínez Sánchez converted in the first set was highly controversial: Williams drilled a passing-shot into Martínez Sánchez's body; she hit an illegal 'volley-winner' with her bare arm, but the umpire thought she hit it with her racket, and awarded her the point and the break.

Needless to say, Martínez Sánchez didn't volunteer an admission, but I don't condemn her for not fixing the mistake in the heat of the moment. Of course it would be a completely different matter in my book if someone asked Martínez Sánchez and she told a barefaced lie, but after studying the incident on video, I can find no evidence that anyone did ask Martínez Sánchez - the conversation was only between Williams and the umpire AFAICT.

In fact, I have studied the shot itself in slow motion, and it wasn't even 100% clear that Martínez Sánchez did hit the ball with her arm rather than her racket.

Serena Williams: "The ball did touch her 100% on her arm, and therefore, she should have lost the point instead of cheating. I'd never do it - I've never sunk so low. I've no respect for anyone who can't play a professional game."

Let she who is without sin cast the first stone.


First set
---------
MARTÍNEZ _* *@* * * 6
WILLIAMS * *___* *_ 4

Williams serving 0-0: A dead netcord from Martínez Sánchez and a backhand halfway up the net from Williams made it 0/30. Williams recovered with a huge crosscourt forehand winner, and an error-forcing off-forehand on the baseline (Martínez Sánchez sportingly conceded that it was in, but was unhappy that they didn't play a let, since the call came just after she hit the ball for an error).

Martínez Sánchez serving 0-1: The left-handed Martínez Sánchez gave Williams some problems with her swinging serve, and even a serve-and-volley point as she held to love.

Williams serving 1-1: She responded with her own hold to love, sealed with an early backhand dropshot-winner.

Martínez Sánchez serving 1-2: A big forehand winner down the line gave Williams 15/30. Martínez Sánchez went to the net, but Williams hit a down-the-line backhand pass virtual winner. 15/40 (BP #1). Service-winner out wide. 30/40 (BP #2). Martínez Sánchez saved it with a deep second serve, and won the next two points to hold.

Williams serving 2-2: A big crosscourt forehand return-winner gave Martínez Sánchez 0/30. A couple of big serves gave Williams 30/30. Double fault. 30/40 (BP). Martínez Sánchez went to the net behind a dropshot; Williams blasted the ball right at Martínez Sánchez, who hit a 'volley-winner' with her bare arm, but the umpire thought she hit it with her racket, and awarded her the break. Williams complained at length to the umpire, and said Martínez Sánchez had better not come to the net again!

Martínez Sánchez serving 3-2: Martínez Sánchez backhand winner down the line. 15/0. Two service-winners. 40/0. Big serve out wide + crosscourt backhand volley-winner.

Williams lost her concentration there, but well played by Martínez Sánchez.

Williams serving 2-4: Held to 30.
Martínez Sánchez serving 4-3: Held to 15.

Williams serving 3-5: Service-winner. 15/0. Martínez Sánchez went to the net, but Williams hit a backhand lob-winner over her head. 30/0. Service-winner. 40/0. Martínez Sánchez ran down a dropshot and hit a crosscourt forehand pass-winner. 40/15. Martínez Sánchez netted a backhand off an awkward low ball.

Martínez Sánchez serving 5-4: Martínez Sánchez rushed a backhand into the net. 0/15. Martínez Sánchez had to run back for a lob, and netted a forehand. 0/30. Williams forehand return just long. 15/30. Williams crosscourt backhand return-winner. 15/40 (BP #1). Williams forehand return long. 30/40 (BP #2). Martínez Sánchez went to the net, forcing Williams to net a backhand. Deuce #1. Service-winner. Ad Martínez Sánchez (SP #1). Martínez Sánchez served and volleyed, but a dipping return forced her into error. Deuce #2. Martínez Sánchez went to the net and hit a "sensational" half-volley forehand dropshot-winner. Ad Martínez Sánchez (SP #2). Ace out wide. Martínez Sánchez won the first set at 17:46 CEST (40m).


Second set
----------
MARTÍNEZ _* *___*_ 3
WILLIAMS * * *@* * 6

Williams serving 0-0: Big serves and an off-forehand winner gave Williams a hold to love.

Martínez Sánchez serving 0-1: Martínez Sánchez served and volleyed, but hit a forehand first volley long. 0/15. Williams crosscourt forehand long. 15/15. Service-winner out wide. 30/15. Martínez Sánchez served and volleyed with a crosscourt backhand volley-winner. 40/15. Ace down the middle.

She's playing like Martina Navrátilová now!

Williams serving 1-1: Williams went to the net, but Martínez Sánchez hit an off-backhand pass-winner. 0/15. Williams went to the net, but Martínez Sánchez sprayed a forehand wide. 15/15. Martínez Sánchez tried to chip and charge, but Williams hit a crosscourt backhand winner. 30/15. Martínez Sánchez netted a backhand. 40/15. A deep forehand return on the baseline forced Williams to hit a forehand wide. 40/30. Williams forced a short ball and hit a forehand winner down the line.

Martínez Sánchez has an amazing W:UE ratio of 14:3 up to this point, Williams 11:7.

Martínez Sánchez serving 1-2: Backhand return wide. 15/0. Good serve out wide, but Williams hit a brilliant crosscourt backhand return-winner. 15/15. Martínez Sánchez hit an error-forcing forehand dropshot into the wind. 30/15. Williams netted a backhand and said "Oh my God!" Don't use that name in vain. 40/15. Martínez Sánchez served and volleyed, and hit a high backhand volley-winner.

Williams serving 2-2: Williams netted a forehand dropshot. 0/15. Williams netted a backhand. 0/30. Williams forced a short ball and hit a backhand winner down the line. 15/30. Martínez Sánchez netted a forehand dropshot. 30/30. Backhand return long. 40/30. Williams crosscourt backhand just wide. Deuce #1. Williams on the third stroke netted a forehand - didn't move her feet, which is especially important when it's as windy as it is now. Ad Martínez Sánchez (BP). Williams saved it with an off-forehand winner. Deuce #2. Service-winner out wide. Ad Williams. She netted a forehand. Deuce #3. Williams went to the net and hit a crosscourt forehand volley-winner. Ad Williams. Martínez Sánchez ran down a dropshot, but Williams hit a forehand pass-winner down the line.

Martínez Sánchez now has some baggage to deal with: a 0/30 opening and a break-point not converted. There has only been one break so far in this match, so whoever breaks first in this set will probably win it.

Martínez Sánchez serving 2-3: Martínez Sánchez netted a forehand. 0/15. Martínez Sánchez, driven wide, hit a down-the-line backhand wide - not the right shot to go for in that position. 0/30. Martínez Sánchez tried to serve and volley, but netted a dreadful forehand first volley. 0/40 (BP). Williams hit a deep, error-forcing off-forehand return onto the baseline (the umpire checked the mark and confirmed it was in).

Typical reaction to missed opportunities in the previous game! :(

Williams serving 4-2: Service-winner out wide. 15/0. Service-winner down the middle. 30/0. Double fault. 30/15. Ace down the middle. 40/15. Williams netted a forehand. 40/30. Ace down the middle.

Martínez Sánchez serving 2-5: Martínez Sánchez hit an incredible sliced forehand winner down the line! 15/0. Service-winner out wide: on the sideline. 30/0. Martínez Sánchez served and volleyed, but mishit a forehand volley long. 30/15. Martínez Sánchez off-backhand winner. 40/15. Forehand return long.

Williams serving 5-3: Martínez Sánchez, driven wide, netted a backhand. 15/0. Martínez Sánchez netted a rather cheap backhand. 30/0. Williams forehand wide. 30/15. Martínez Sánchez opened up the court with a crosscourt backhand, but dumped a down-the-line backhand into the net. 40/15 (SP #1). Crosscourt backhand return just wide. Williams won the second set 6-3 at 18:21 CEST (second set 35m, match so far 1h15m).


Third set
---------
MARTÍNEZ *__@___@*_ 4
WILLIAMS _*@ @*@__* 6

Martínez Sánchez serving 0-0: Martínez Sánchez tried to serve and volley, but a dipping pass forced her to hit a forehand first volley long. 0/15. Service-winner. 15/15. Williams went for a blazing crosscourt forehand return-winner onto the sideline, but it was just wide. 30/15. Martínez Sánchez served and volleyed: a nice, deep forehand first volley down the line forced Williams into error. 40/15. Ace down the middle.

Williams serving 0-1: Martínez Sánchez hit a backhand very long, and yelped. 15/0. Martínez Sánchez went to the net behind a forehand dropshot; Williams hit a laserlike crosscourt backhand pass, but Martínez Sánchez cut it off with a forehand volley-winner down the middle!! 15/15. Service-winner down the middle. 30/15. The wind sent a big cloud of red dust past Williams. Martínez Sánchez went to the net, forcing Williams to hit a backhand pass wide. 30/30. Martínez Sánchez backhand long. 40/30. First serve down the middle induced Martínez Sánchez to mishit a backhand return wide.

Martínez Sánchez serving 1-1: Martínez Sánchez tried to serve and volley, but a dipping crosscourt forehand return forced her into error. 0/15. Martínez Sánchez on the third stroke hit a forehand long. 0/30. Martínez Sánchez tried to serve and volley, but another dipping return forced her to net her first volley. 0/40 (BP #1). Service-winner out wide. 15/40 (BP #2). Martínez Sánchez hit an error-forcing crosscourt backhand onto the sideline, forcing Williams to net a backhand. 30/40 (BP #3). Service-winner down the middle. Deuce #1. Martínez Sánchez tried to serve and volley, but Williams hit a crosscourt backhand return-winner. Ad Martínez Sánchez. Williams went to the net, but Martínez Sánchez hit a forehand pass-winner down the line. Deuce #2. Martínez Sánchez earthed a forehand dropshot from the baseline. Ad Williams (BP #4). Martínez Sánchez hit a good wide serve and went to the net, but hit a down-the-line forehand just long to give Williams the break.

Martínez Sánchez persists with serve and volleying, but Williams has figured it out now, so it would be interesting to see if Martínez Sánchez changed her tactics after this point.

But I didn't get the opportunity to see whether she changed her tactics, because BBC Red Button moved away from this match to show Mathieu v Federer instead! :mad:

Martínez Sánchez broke back immediately for *2-2, but Williams reinstated her break for *3-2, and broke again for *5-2. Martínez Sánchez broke back, but Williams served it out at the second attempt to win 4-6 6-3 6-4 at 19:17 CEST (third set 56m, match 2h11m).

--------------------
5. Fourth-round draw
--------------------

The players on the left are the ones I want to win.

* Aravane Rezaď v DINARA SAFINA [1] (allez Aravane!)
* ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] v VICTORIA AZARENKA [9] (my loyalty is to Ana)
* DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20] v ÁGNES SZÁVAY [29] (poďme Domi!)
* Maria Sharapova [EF] v LI,NA [25] (DAVAI MARIA!!)

* Sorana Cîrstea v JELENA JANKOVIĆ [5] (hai Sorana!)
* SAMANTHA STOSUR [30] v Virginie Razzano (go Sam!)
* AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [12] v SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [7]
* SERENA WILLIAMS [2] v ALEKSANDRA WOZNIAK [24]

------------------
6. Andrew's wishes (updated after Saturday)
------------------
6.1 Quarter-final wishes
------------------------

+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] d. Aravane Rezaď
+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20]
+ SAMANTHA STOSUR [30] d. Sorana Cîrstea
+ SERENA WILLIAMS [2] d. AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [12]

Stosur v Cîrstea would be a difficult decision for me, especially as the winner would be my ideal finalist from the now-decimated bottom half. Cîrstea is much better-looking, but when I watched her play at Birmingham 2008, I was so bored that I left her court after five games. I enjoyed watching Stosur's tennis today, so that just edges it for me.


6.2 Semi-final wishes
---------------------

+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF]
+ SAMANTHA STOSUR [30] d. SERENA WILLIAMS [2]


6.3 Final wish
--------------

+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. SAMANTHA STOSUR [30]

-------------------------------
7. Women's Doubles: Third round
-------------------------------
7.1 Third-round results (Saturday 30th May 2009)
-----------------------

Andrew's selections:

- (DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [EF]/AI SUGIYAMA)[7] lt. (HSIEH,SU-WEI [S]/PENG,SHUAI [S])[9], 3-6 5-7

- (MARIA KIRILENKO [DF]/FLAVIA PENNETTA [DF])[8] lt. (ANNA-LENA GRÖNEFELD/PATTY SCHNYDER [11], 6-7 (4/7) 4-6


To be played on Sunday:

* (YAN,ZI [S]/ZHENG,JIE)[16] v (SAMANTHA STOSUR/RENNAE STUBBS)[4]


7.2 Quarter-final draw
----------------------

Andrew's selections:

* (HSIEH,SU-WEI [S]/PENG,SHUAI [S])[9] v (Agnieszka Radwańska/Urszula Radwańska v (KVETA PESCHKE/LISA RAYMOND)[2])

* ((YAN,ZI [S]/ZHENG,JIE)[16] v (SAMANTHA STOSUR/RENNAE STUBBS)[4]) v (VICTORIA AZARENKA/ELENA VESNINA)[12]

-----------------------------------
8. Girls' Singles: First-round draw
-----------------------------------

Andrew's selections:

* LAURA ROBSON [1] v Karina Pimkina (go Laura!)
* Anna Orlik v Polina Leykina (davai Anna!)
* ELENA BOGDAN [8] v Grace Sari Ysidora (hai Elena!)
* NOPPAWAN LERTCHEEWAKARN [5,S] v Richel Hogenkamp (al-na Noppawan!)
* Valeria Solovieva v CAMILA SILVA [10] (davai Lera!)
* KSENIA PERVAK [3] v Vivien Juhászová (davai Ksenia!)

I don't know half of them half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of them half as well as they deserve.

---------------------------
9. Order of play for Sunday
---------------------------

Court Philippe Chatrier (start 11:00 CEST = 09:00 GMT = 10:00 BST)
MS 4r: FERNANDO GONZÁLEZ [12] v VICTOR HANESCU [30]
WS 4r: Aravane Rezaď v DINARA SAFINA [1]
MS 4r: RAFAEL NADAL [1] v ROBIN SÖDERLING [23]
WS 4r: Maria Sharapova [EF] v LI,NA [25]

Court Suzanne Lenglen (start 11:00 CEST = 09:00 GMT = 10:00 BST)
WS 4r: DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20] v ÁGNES SZÁVAY [29]
MS 4r: ANDY MURRAY [3] v MARIN ČILIĆ [13]
WS 4r: ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] v VICTORIA AZARENKA [9]
MS 4r: NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO [10] v FERNANDO VERDASCO [8]

All other courts have only doubles and juniors. At least the BBC shouldn't have an excuse not to show Maria this time! :)

Full order of play:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/scores/schedule/


UK TV-alert
-----------

With Murray second on Lenglen, the BBC has given analogue viewers an extra opportunity to watch some tennis.

The following times are subject to official confirmation, and to the duration of the first match on Lenglen:
* 11:30 - 13:00 BST on BBC 2
* 13:00 BST onwards on BBC 1

The BBC only intends to show Murray v Čilić in these programmes, but with Cibulková and Szávay playing first, you never know what might happen!

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

andrewbroad
Jun 1st, 2009, 05:12 AM
=============
ROLAND GARROS (Paris, France; red clay; Major)
============= http://www.rolandgarros.com/
Contents
--------

1. Photos
2. Women's Singles: Fourth-round results
3. Fourth-round TV-report: Sharapova v Li
4. Fourth-round draw
5. Quarter-final preview: Sharapova v Cibulková
6. Andrew's wishes
7. Article: Dokić cleared of serious injury
8. Women's Doubles: Third round
9. Girls' Singles: First round
10. Girls' Doubles: First-round draw
11. Order of play for Monday

---------
1. Photos
---------

Various players including Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanović, Dominika Cibulková, Ágnes Szávay:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8075838.stm

Various players including Maria Sharapova:
http://www.tennis.com/features/galleries/FrenchRounds23/

Various players including Ana Ivanović, Dominika Cibulková, Elena Vesnina, Alyona Bondarenko, Yuliana Fedak, Mathilde Johansson, Vitalia Diatchenko, Ioana Raluca Olaru:
http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=379924

Search-list for Day 8:

sharapova
cibulkova
ivanovic
azarenka
rezai

----------------------------------------
2. Women's Singles: Fourth-round results (Sunday 31st May 2009)
----------------------------------------

What rocked:
+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. LI,NA [25], 6-4 0-6 6-4
+ DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20] d. ÁGNES SZÁVAY [29], 6-2 6-4

Nice winner, nice loser:
- ANA IVANOVIĆ [8,DF] lt. VICTORIA AZARENKA [9], 2-6 3-6

What sucked:
- Aravane Rezaï lt. DINARA SAFINA [1], 1-6 0-6

Dominika and Victoria are through to their first Major quarter-finals. I hope that will lead to their first BBC-televisations!

Dominika: "I got so tight because I wanted to win so badly. It's just amazing - I felt like I was going to cry. I play tennis for these moments. I have nothing to lose from now on in. I was injured before Roland Garros [leg-muscle] and didn't play the big tournaments, so I was a bit afraid. But now, it's amazing."

Ana took a medical time-out for a neck-injury, and also: "After the first point of the fourth game, I just suddenly started feeling so dizzy, and I completely lost my balance. Ever since then, it was really hard. I struggled with looking up. I started feeling very dizzy, and I was struggling a little bit to find my balance."

She did well to win any games at all, really! ;-)

Victoria: "I don't know if I can say that I'm surprised that I beat Ana, because I think I deserve to beat her. I played very well. I didn't let her play her game. I was just being, I think, too aggressive."

-----------------------------------------
3. Fourth-round TV-report: Sharapova v Li (Sunday 31st May 2009)
-----------------------------------------

+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. LI,NA [25], 6-4 0-6 6-4

The match was fourth on Court Philippe Chatrier, which was reeling from the seismic shock of Rafael Nadal's first-ever loss at the French Open a few minutes before. I saw the whole match on BBC Red Button.

It was another tough struggle for Maria: her fourth three-setter in a row (mirroring Jelena Dokić's fairy-tale run to the Australian Open quarter-finals), and she won the last four games from 2-4* in the third. As BBC commentator Sam Smith put it, Maria won "by the sheer force of her personality".

Li has the ball-striking ability of a top-five player, but is inconsistent, and can get very nervous, as she did at *4-2 in the third today. Maria enjoys playing Li because the fast pace from Li plays into her hands. Conversely, Li enjoys playing Maria when she's not getting it quite right!

From *1-2 in the first set, Maria won three games in a row for *4-3, as Li went for the lines and missed by narrow margins. Li broke back as errors crept into Maria's game, but Maria's crosscourt backhand winner gave her an opening at 4-4* (0/30), and she pushed home that advantage to break and then serve out the first set 6-4.

In the second set, Maria was broken for 0-2*, and then I realised - from the three forehand-errors she made in the next game - how tired she was: her footwork had deteriorated, and her shots seemed to lack their usual purpose.

Li won the second set 6-0 by playing to a very high level, while Maria made error after unforced error, and wasn't running for Li's winners.

At *0-1 in the third set, all I asked was for Maria to avoid a double bagel. She held serve with Li until 2-2*, but had to work so hard just to do so, while Li kept pushing her deep into the corners, from where Maria invariably tries to blast a winner rather than floating back a deep defensive shot to recover.

A quadruple fault put Maria *2-3 (15/40) down, and Li found tremendous depth on her groundstrokes to break for *4-2.

At *4-2 (30/30), Li netted a nervy crosscourt forehand to give Maria a break-point, which she converted with a down-the-line backhand winner just inside the baseline!

At the *3-4 changeover, Maria took a medical time-out to get her left thigh massaged (I wouldn't mind that job! ;-) ), which she had requested at *2-3 (15/40).

Maria: "The thigh was just a little bit sore. I just needed to put some hot cream on it to forget that anything was wrong. I'm definitely a little bit... little sore, but I'll be fine. That's why the Grand Slams [sic] are great. You have a day in between - day to recover - and that always helps the body."

With the depth of Maria's groundstrokes forcing Li into errors, Maria held for 4-4* after a crosscourt backhand winner, and broke for *5-4 after a blazing backhand return-winner down the line.

An ace and a service-winner helped Maria to match-point at *5-4 (40/30), which she converted when Li hit a backhand long. Maria looked delighted, and it made me the happiest I've been so far this French Open by quite some distance! :D

Li: "She's so strong mentally. She was always fighting - doesn't matter what the score was. She never gave up. She was fighting every point on the court."

The win puts Maria into her first Major quarter-final since she won the Australian Open 2008 - thus ending an abnormal, embarrassing 16-month run at the Majors, considering that in 2005 and 2006, she reached the semi-finals of every Major except the French Open.

I'll post my full TV-report - with a blow-by-blow description of every point - at a future date (most probably in the week before Wimbledon).

--------------------
4. Fourth-round draw
--------------------

The players on the left are the ones I want to win.

* DINARA SAFINA [1] won
* VICTORIA AZARENKA [9] won
* DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20] won
* Maria Sharapova [EF] won

* Sorana Cîrstea v JELENA JANKOVIĆ [5] (hai Sorana!)
* SAMANTHA STOSUR [30] v Virginie Razzano (go Sam!)
* AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [12] v SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [7]
* SERENA WILLIAMS [2] v ALEKSANDRA WOZNIAK [24]

-----------------------------------------------
5. Quarter-final preview: Sharapova v Cibulková
-----------------------------------------------

I am delighted and very excited that Maria and Dominika have set up this mouthwatering quarter-final: Maria's first Major quarter-final since the Australian Open 2008, and Domi's first ever!

When Maria won her fourth-round match, I had never seen Dominika Cibulková play, but I was able to rectify this immediately by pulling the Amelia Island 2008 final out of a pile of unwatched DVDs that I ordered from Tennis Videos International <http://www.users.bigpond.com/tennisvideos1/> last December.

The Amelia Island 2008 final could not have been more appropriate for this preview, as Domi was playing none other than Maria in Domi's first WTA Tour final and Maria's first clay-court final!

Domi is essentially a counterpuncher whose favourite surface is clay. She frustrates Maria on this surface by getting a lot of balls back, so the onus is on Maria to overpower her.

But Domi can also be aggressive from the baseline - particularly with her returns of serve, which produced a few spectacular winners against Maria in the Amelia Island 2008 final! I remember one backhand return-winner down the line in particular!

Most of Domi's groundstroke-winners seemed to be down the line, although a couple of times when Maria went to the net, Domi passed her with crosscourt forehand winners. Apparently Domi's passing-shots are one of her greatest strengths (as when she beat Amélie Mauresmo in the semi-finals of AI 2008), but she doesn't get to hit that many against Maria, who only tends to go to the net when she's on top of the rally.

My first impression of watching Domi play was that she hits the ball very low over the net - none of those high bouncing balls that other short girls tend to resort to!

Domi will again be looking to spread Maria: make her run from side to side, ideally by hitting into the corners, which are an uncomfortable place on a clay-court for Maria to be.

Domi has a good first serve for one so short (5'3" to Maria's 6'2") - she even hit an ace in her opening service-game of the AI 2008 final! But Maria's aggressive returns put Domi under pressure to hit her second serves very deep, which can result in double faults.

Dropshots can be an effective tactic against Domi, as although her lateral movement is excellent, she doesn't seem quite so quick running forwards - although it has to be a good dropshot or Domi will hit a winner! If Maria can draw Domi to the net and then lob her, Domi has to retreat to the baseline, and that really puts her on the back foot (e.g. *3-4 in the first set of the AI 2008 final).

Domi also had some success with her own dropshots against Maria, who made errors after running down a couple of dropshots, and she actually lost the first point of the first-set tiebreak by running down a dropshot, hitting a winner, and touching the net with her foot before it had bounced twice!

Domi says her favourite shot is the drive-volley, and sure enough, she hit some of those in the AI 2008 final - but she was reluctant to do it more often.

Domi had some problems closing out games against Maria (who loves to fight for every game), but commentator Sam Gore said Domi was mentally strong. Whenever one of Maria's shots just missed a line, Domi had an annoying habit of circling the mark with her racket.

In the AI 2008 final, Domi recovered from *1-3 to 4-3*, and when Maria served for the first set at *5-4, Domi broke back with aggressive play, including a backhand drive-volley winner.

Domi led 4/2 in the tiebreak, saved a set-point at *5/6, but it might have been a much tougher match for Maria, had Domi not missed an easy forehand after running down a dropshot at 6/6. Maria won the tiebreak 9/7.

Domi led *2-1 in the second set, but took an medical time-out, and screamed in pain as the trainer massaged her left thigh (unfortunately this is not on the DVD). She was in tears after netting a forehand smash to get broken for *2-4, and Maria won 7-6 (9/7) 6-3.

Maria and Domi's second (and latest) meeting was in the second round of Rome 2008, which Maria won 6-2 3-6 6-4.

At Amelia Island 2008, Domi was an 18-year-old ranked #34. Now 20, she has pushed on to #19 (after a career-high of #16 in March).

Domi reached her second final at Montréal 2008, beating #6 Elena Dementieva 6-4 6-2 in the second round, #2 Jelena Janković 7-5 6-2 in the quarter-finals and #15 Marion Bartoli 4-6 6-4 6-3 in the semi-finals, before losing 6-2 6-1 to #8 Dinara Safina in the final.

Another highlight that jumps out from Domi's 2008 results is her 3-6 6-2 7-6 (7/4) win over #5 Ana Ivanović in the second round of Moscow.

Domi comes into this match with a 17:9 win/loss record for 2009 (including her four wins here). Not counting towards this record is winning the Hopman Cup for Slovakia (with Dominik Hrbatý): she beat Dinara Safina 6-7 6-1 6-4 in the women's-singles rubber of the final!

Domi reached the fourth round of the Australian Open, beating #186 Channelle Scheepers 6-0 6-0, #75 Chan,Yung-Jan 6-0 6-2 and #56 Virginie Razzano 7-5 7-5, before losing 6-2 6-2 to #4 Elena Dementieva.

Domi reached the third round of Dubai, but retired against #75 Elena Vesnina with heat-illness when trailing 6-4 1-6 0-4. She lost her opening match at Indian Wells 7-6 6-0 to another very short player: #121 Nuria Llagostera Vives. She reached the third round of Miami, but retired against #21 Anabel Medina Garrigues with cramping at 5-5 in the third set.

Domi's clay-court season didn't go very well before the French Open. She reached the quarter-finals of Ponte Vedra Beach, but lost 7-5 6-7 6-3 to #63 Elena Vesnina. She reached the quarter-finals of Charleston, but retired against #3 Elena Dementieva with a left-adductor strain when trailing 4-6 0-1. In Fed Cup play, she lost 4-6 6-2 6-3 to #21 Amélie Mauresmo, but beat Alizé Cornet 6-2 5-7 6-4.

Domi lost 6-1 6-1 to #4 Jelena Janković in the first round of Stuttgart, and pulled out of Rome and Madrid with a left-thigh injury, which did not bode well for her French Open chances.

But Domi has reached the quarter-finals with the following results:
1r + Alyona Bondarenko, 6-4 2-6 6-4
2r + Kirsten Flipkens, 6-1 6-0
3r + Gisela Dulko [DF], 6-4 6-2
4r + ÁGNES SZÁVAY [29], 6-2 6-4

Whereas Maria lost 6-2 6-2 to Alyona at Warsaw, and has struggled much more than Domi to reach this stage:
1r + Anastasiya Yakimova, 3-6 6-1 6-2
2r + NADIA PETROVA [11], 6-2 1-6 8-6
3r + Yaroslava Shvedova [Q], 1-6 6-3 6-4
4r + LI,NA [25], 6-4 0-6 6-4

I'm looking forward to another very tough match.

------------------
6. Andrew's wishes (updated after Sunday)
------------------
6.1 Quarter-final wishes
------------------------

+ VICTORIA AZARENKA [9] d. DINARA SAFINA [1]
+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20]
+ SAMANTHA STOSUR [30] d. Sorana Cîrstea
+ SERENA WILLIAMS [2] d. AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [12]


6.2 Semi-final wishes
---------------------

+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. VICTORIA AZARENKA [9]
+ SAMANTHA STOSUR [30] d. SERENA WILLIAMS [2]


6.3 Final wish
--------------

+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. SAMANTHA STOSUR [30]

-------------------------------------------
7. Article: Dokić cleared of serious injury
-------------------------------------------

Dokić cleared of serious injury (The Sydney Morning Herald)
(Belinda Tasker and Ivo Šćepanović, Sunday 31st May 2009)
>>>
Tennis comeback-queen Jelena Dokić is expected to bounce back from the excruciating back-injury that cruelly forced her out of the French Open.

The Australian saw doctors in Paris on Friday after injuring her lower back the previous day, when she led by a set and was dominating her second-round match against Russian world No.4 Elena Dementieva at Roland Garros.

Dokić, 26, underwent treatment on her back and an MRI-scan to determine whether the injury could spell the end of the former world No.4's comeback-dreams.

But her management said the doctors believed Dokić would suffer no permanent damage.

"It's a day-by-day process at the moment," the spokesman said. "But we don't believe it will be anything long-term."

In Serbia, her estranged father Damir Dokić went on trial after he allegedly threatened to kill the Australian ambassador to Belgrade.

If found guilty of endangering Ambassador Clare Birgin's security and owning illegal weapons, Mr. Dokić could serve up to eight years in jail.

The brief hearing was held behind closed doors in the northern Serbian town of Ruma, the judge explaining he wanted to protect the ambassador's privacy and maintain good relations with Australia. However, Mr. Dokić objected, saying he wanted "everything to be known".

The judge heard from a number of witnesses before adjourning the trial until 11th June.

Mr. Dokić has been ordered to remain in custody, despite pleas from his lawyer that the 50-year-old - who has diabetes - be granted bail.

He was arrested on 6th May at his home in Vrdnik - about 60 kilometres north of Belgrade - after allegedly telephoning the Australian embassy in the Serbian capital and threatening to blow up Birgin's car with a grenade-launcher.

Police also allegedly found a cache of illegal weapons - including two home-made bombs - at his home.

He has said the threats were a joke because he was angry over an interview his daughter gave Sport&Style, which claimed he had physically abused his daughter.

Jelena has refused to discuss the controversy surrounding her father.

Making her first appearance at Roland Garros since 2004 - she reached the quarter-finals in her Major comeback at the Australian Open in January - Dokić was devastated to have to pull out of the tournament.

She had been poised to win an upset against Dementieva and cruise into the third round to face compatriot Samantha Stosur.
<<<

-------------------------------
8. Women's Doubles: Third round
-------------------------------
8.1 Third-round result (Sunday 31st May 2009)
----------------------

+ (YAN,ZI [s]/ZHENG,JIE)[16] d. (SAMANTHA STOSUR/RENNAE STUBBS)[4], 6-4 7-5


8.2 Quarter-final draw
----------------------

Andrew's selections:

* (HSIEH,SU-WEI [s]/PENG,SHUAI [s])[9] v Agnieszka Radwańska/Urszula Radwańska

* (YAN,ZI [s]/ZHENG,JIE)[16] v (VICTORIA AZARENKA/ELENA VESNINA)[12]

------------------------------
9. Girls' Singles: First round
------------------------------
9.1 First-round results (Sunday 31st May 2009)
-----------------------

Andrew's selections:

+ Anna Orlik d. Polina Leykina, 6-3 6-2
+ ELENA BOGDAN [8] d. Grace Sari Ysidora, 6-1 6-1
+ Valeria Solovieva d. CAMILA SILVA [10], 6-0 6-2
+ KSENIA PERVAK [3] d. Vivien Juhászová, 6-2 6-0

To be played on Monday:
* LAURA ROBSON [1] v Karina Pimkina (go Laura!)
* NOPPAWAN LERTCHEEWAKARN [5,S] v Richel Hogenkamp (al-na Noppawan!)

Sam Smith: "I took a little stroll round the ground because the junior boys and girls were playing, and I have to say: I thought I was walking through the land of the giants!

"Some of those junior girls are gigantic: they are so tall and so big and so strong, and they hit the ball so hard. If I didn't know I was watching the girls' competition, apart from occasionally poor choice of shot-selection and maybe just a few more errors, I would have thought I was watching maybe the first round of a Major. The standard in some of those matches - there were a lot of 'ova's and 'ić's and 'eva's out there, a lot of mini-Sharapovas.

"A lot of them are copying the mannerisms of Sharapova: walking to the back of the court, composing themselves.

"When that lot progress onto the women's tour, I think women's tennis is going to make the next jump!"


9.2 Second-round draw
---------------------

To be played on Monday:
* Anna Orlik v ELENA BOGDAN [8] (my Reason says Elena, but my Passion says Anna)
* KSENIA PERVAK [3] v Fatma Al-Nabhani (davai Ksenia!)

To be played on Tuesday:
* Valeria Solovieva v Nathalie Mohn (davai Lera!)

------------------------------------
10. Girls' Doubles: First-round draw
------------------------------------

Andrew's selections (desired winners on the left):

* Anna Orlik/Laura Robson v Alexandra Krunić/Sandra Zaniewska

* (ELENA BOGDAN/NOPPAWAN LERTCHEEWAKARN [s])[2] v Sina Haas/Magda Linette

----------------------------
11. Order of play for Monday
----------------------------

No members of my Eternal Fanship are scheduled for Monday.

Full order of play:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/scores/schedule/

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

andrewbroad
Jun 2nd, 2009, 03:06 AM
=============
ROLAND GARROS (Paris, France; red clay; Major)
============= http://www.rolandgarros.com/
Contents
--------

1. Photos
2. Women's Singles: Fourth-round results
3. Fourth-round TV-report: S.Williams v Wozniak
4. Fourth-round TV-report: Cîrstea v Janković
5. Quarter-final draw
6. Andrew's wishes
7. Women's Doubles: Third round
8. Girls' Singles: First round/Second round
9. Girls' Doubles: First round
10. Order of play for Tuesday

---------
1. Photos
---------

Various players including Sorana Cîrstea and Laura Robson:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8077252.stm

Search-list for Day 9:

cirstea
stosur
robson

Stosur should always be scheduled for the evening, because she looks much better without sunglasses! ;-)

----------------------------------------
2. Women's Singles: Fourth-round results (Monday 1st June 2009)
----------------------------------------

Nice winners:
+ Sorana Cîrstea d. JELENA JANKOVIĆ [5], 3-6 6-0 9-7
+ SAMANTHA STOSUR [30] d. Virginie Razzano, 6-1 6-2

All other results:
+ SERENA WILLIAMS [2] d. ALEKSANDRA WOZNIAK [24], 6-1 6-2
+ SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [7] d. AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [12], 6-4 1-6 6-1

-----------------------------------------------
3. Fourth-round TV-report: S.Williams v Wozniak (Monday 1st June 2009)
-----------------------------------------------

+ SERENA WILLIAMS [2] d. ALEKSANDRA WOZNIAK [24], 6-1 6-2

The match was first on Court Philippe Chatrier, and I saw it all on BBC Red Button.

It was a fast-paced match with lots of brilliant winners from Williams, so I enjoyed watching it much more than I had expected. Women's tennis can still be very entertaining even without close matches or attractive women! ;-) (I've seen plenty of both at this tournament so far).

I am amazed at the level of tennis Williams found in this match, given that she came into this tournament on a 4-match losing-streak and with a knee-injury. She's going to be a handful for Svetlana Kuznetsova in the next round - perhaps even for Dinara Safina in the final! (though I really hope Maria Sharapova will have something to say about the latter).

It was my first time to see Wozniak play. Not a lot to say about her, really, as Williams was striking the ball very well, making it all about herself. Wozniak is the usual baseliner with a two-handed backhand. She hit some good groundstrokes when she was allowed to, but doesn't have a very good serve (at least not today).

David Mercer: "Coaching-report on Wozniak: work to be done - loads of it - on the second serve, and indeed on the first, and perhaps a bit more thought into placement?"
Sam Smith: "It's just purpose, really. She certainly has power, good mover, great ball-striker, otherwise she wouldn't be #24 in the world. But it's a case of a little more accuracy, and just purpose on the ball - power with control and accuracy."

Trivia: Wozniak and Wozniacki are both Polish names, but according to the BBC commentators, Wozniak likes it pronounced "voz-nee-ak", whereas Caroline Wozniacki likes it pronounced "woz-nee-akee" rather than "voz-nee-ats-kee".


First set
---------
WILLIAM *@* *@* 6
WOZNIAK ___*___ 1

Williams made a sharp start, breaking for *2-0 with a backhand winner down the line. Wozniak could barely engage Williams in a rally as Williams powered to 3-0* having lost only one point in the match.

Wozniak served two double faults - including a second serve into the bottom of the net - but managed to hold for 1-3*. Wozniak hit a crosscourt forehand pass-winner back behind Williams for 0/15, and tried to go to the net at 30/30, but netted a sliced-backhand approach, and Williams held to 30 for 4-1*.

Williams broke for *5-1 with a couple of forehand winners and a backhand return-winner - Wozniak won one point in that service-game with a short-angled crosscourt backhand just inside the sideline, forcing Williams into error.

Wozniak got into the rallies much better at 1-5*, saving a set-point (40/30) with a forehand smash-winner (that could have been 30/40, had Wozniak not netted a forehand with the initiative at 30/30). But Williams took the set 6-1 two points later with a forehand smash-winner of her own.


Second set
----------
WILLIAM @*@*__@* 6
WOZNIAK ____*@__ 2

Williams broke for *1-0 with a backhand winner down the line, after one deuce. Wozniak at 30/30 hit a forehand return-winner down - and just inside - Williams's forehand-sideline, but Williams hit a crosscourt backhand winner, and held for 2-0* when a lob from Wozniak landed just long.

Wozniak hit her second ace, but Williams broke to 30 with a forehand smash-winner for *3-0. Williams hit a crosscourt backhand winner, and held to love for 4-0*.

Wozniak responded with a love-hold of her own - including her third ace - for 1-4*.

Wozniak had a 15/30 opening, but netted an aggressive sliced-backhand approach that could easily have given her 15/40. Williams hit a backhand just long for 30/40, and netted a forehand to give Wozniak the break for *2-4.

Williams went to the net and hit a crosscourt backhand volley-winner. She broke to 30 with an off-forehand winner for *5-2.

Williams serving 5-2: Wozniak hit a "super" crosscourt backhand return-winner just inside the sideline. 0/15. Backhand return just long. 15/15. Williams forced a short ball and hit an off-forehand winner. 30/15. Wozniak forehand long. 40/15. A deep return forced Williams to hit a forehand long. 40/30 (MP #2). Wozniak netted a forehand return. Williams won 6-1 6-2 at 12:08 CEST (53m).

---------------------------------------------
4. Fourth-round TV-report: Cîrstea v Janković (Monday 1st June 2009)
---------------------------------------------

+ Sorana Cîrstea d. JELENA JANKOVIĆ [5], 3-6 6-0 9-7

BBC Red Button joined this match late in the third set (after Tsonga v Del Potro had finished), and it was amazing!

The rallies were nailbiting, the atmosphere was electric, and while Cîrstea may not hit the ball very hard on normal rallying shots, she certainly injected the pace to hit some brilliant winners from time to time!

Janković's game appears to have regressed to the level it was at in 2005/2006: just a solid counterpuncher with no injections of pace from what I saw today.

The last game of the match (Cîrstea 8-7*) was a classic. I felt Cîrstea deserved to have two match-points after Janković at 15/30 hit a winner that looked out to me, but what unfolded was even better: a game of four deuces, with Janković having two game-points for 8-8, and Cîrstea needing three match-points. She showed incredible self-belief to save Janković's second game-point with a forehand winner onto the sideline, and converted her third match-point with a crosscourt backhand winner!

I may have been bored watching Cîrstea at Birmingham 2008, but this match (and her contribution to it) was certainly very exciting!


Third set
---------

Before BBC Red Button joined it, Janković served for the match at *5-4.

Janković serving 5-6: Cîrstea on the fourth stroke hit a forehand winner down Janković's forehand-sideline. 0/15. An intriguing rally ended with Janković hitting an error-forcing crosscourt forehand onto the sideline. 15/15. Janković hit a short-angled crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline. 30/15. Service-winner. 40/15. Cîrstead blasted a down-the-line backhand wide.

Cîrstea serving 6-6: Janković went to the net, but Cîrstea hit a crosscourt backhand winner. Janković doubled over and berated herself. 15/0. Cîrstea hit a forehand onto the baseline that was called long, but the umpire overruled it and ordered them to replay the point. Cîrstea ran down a short ball and hit an off-forehand winner. 30/0. Janković forehand just long (the umpire checked the mark to confirm it). 40/0. Backhand return long.

Janković serving 6-7: Cîrstea's deep backhand on the baseline induced Janković to net a forehand. 0/15. Cîrstea forced a short ball, and hit a pinpoint forehand winner down the line. 0/30. Janković went to the net and hit a crosscourt forehand volley-winner to the sideline. 15/30. Cîrstea hit a horrendous forehand dropshot into the bottom of the net. 30/30. A nailbiting rally with excellent retrieval by Cîrstea ended with her running down a dropshot and netting a forehand smash. 40/30. Cîrstea netted a forehand.

Cîrstea serving 7-7: Serve down the middle + crunching forehand winner down the line. 15/0. Janković's penetrating off-forehand return forced Cîrstea to earth a backhand. 15/15. Janković crosscourt forehand just wide. 30/15. After a long, gruelling rally, Cîrstea hit a deep forehand onto the baseline, inducing Janković to hit a forehand long. 40/15. Janković opened up the court with a crosscourt forehand return onto the sideline, and hit a crosscourt backhand winner. 40/30. Cîrstea drilled a deep down-the-line backhand just inside the baseline, forcing Janković to bunt a crosscourt forehand wide.

Janković serving 7-8: A deep return induced Janković to net a backhand return. 0/15. Janković netted a forehand - this time unforced. 0/30. A longish rally ended with Cîrstea hitting a backhand long. 15/30. Janković's off-forehand winner on the sideline looked wide to me, but wasn't called! 30/30. Cîrstea opened up the court and forced a short ball with a fantastic crosscourt forehand return onto the sideline, but netted an easy forehand with the court wide open. 40/30. Janković mishit a forehand lob long. Deuce #1. Cîrstea went for a big forehand down the line, but it was just long. Ad Janković. Cîrstea painted the sideline with a forehand winner down the line. Mark Petchey: "She's believing in herself, and it's not easy to do at this stage." Deuce #2. A long rally ended with Janković hitting a forehand long. Ad Cîrstea (MP #1). Cîrstea forehand wide (earlier in the rally, I thought a Janković forehand was going long, but it just dipped in with topspin). Deuce #3. A nailbiting rally, with both players trying to spread each other, culminated with Cîrstea hitting a penetrating forehand down the line to force a short, high-bouncing ball from Janković, which Cîrstea dispatched with an off-backhand winner. Janković sank to her haunches, while Cîrstea went for a quick drink from her waterbottle. Ad Cîrstea (MP #2). Janković saved it by going to the net and hitting a deep off-forehand drive-volley just inside the baseline, forcing Cîrstea to bunt a defensive backhand lob wide. Deuce #4. Cîrstea's deep forehand down the line forced Janković to net a backhand. Ad Cîrstea (MP #3). Janković hit a deep forehand onto the baseline... a few strokes later, Cîrstea took the initiative and hit a crosscourt backhand winner!! Cîrstea won 3-6 6-0 9-7 at 19:30 CEST (third set 1h29m, match 2h44m).

Sorana Cîrstea: "I love lots of people supporting me. The atmosphere was amazing at the end. I felt the crowd was with me, and that gave me more energy."

Mark Petchey: "She's going to go far in this game. She's got a great game, but more than that, she's got a big heart."

---------------------
5. Quarter-final draw
---------------------

The players on the left are the ones I want to win.

* VICTORIA AZARENKA [9] v DINARA SAFINA [1] (davai Victoria!)
* Maria Sharapova [EF] v DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20] (my loyalty is to MARIA)

* Sorana Cîrstea v SAMANTHA STOSUR [30]
* SERENA WILLIAMS [2] v SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [7]

Yes, I have changed my mind about who I want to win the Cîrstea v Stosur match. Cîrstea is better-looking than Stosur, and a lot more exciting to watch than I thought she was before her win over Janković.

Cîrstea will beat Stosur because of her superior mental strength: she showed incredible self-belief in the closing stages of her win over Janković, while Stosur can get very tight, as she did against Elena Dementieva in the second set before Dementieva faded badly in the third.

------------------
6. Andrew's wishes (updated after Monday)
------------------
6.1 Semi-final wishes
---------------------

+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. VICTORIA AZARENKA [9]
+ Sorana Cîrstea d. SERENA WILLIAMS [2]


6.2 Final wish
--------------

+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. Sorana Cîrstea

-------------------------------
7. Women's Doubles: Third round
-------------------------------
7.1 Quarter-final results (Monday 1st June 2009)
-------------------------

Andrew's selections:

- (YAN,ZI [s]/ZHENG,JIE)[16] lt. (VICTORIA AZARENKA/ELENA VESNINA)[12], 4-6 6-4 2-6


To be played on Tuesday:

* (HSIEH,SU-WEI [s]/PENG,SHUAI [s])[9] v Agnieszka Radwańska/Urszula Radwańska

-------------------------------------------
8. Girls' Singles: First round/Second round
-------------------------------------------
8.1 First-round results (Monday 1st June 2009)
-----------------------

What rocked:
+ LAURA ROBSON [1] d. Karina Pimkina, 2-6 6-3 6-3

What sucked:
- NOPPAWAN LERTCHEEWAKARN [5,S] lt. Richel Hogenkamp, 4-6 3-6

Robson didn't play between the Australian Open and a junior-tournament at Milan two weeks ago (during her absence, she inherited the ITF junior world #1 ranking from Lertcheewakarn), as she has been suffering from shin-splints due to growing too quickly, and is also preparing to take two GCSE English exams (a year early!) either this week or next.

Robson has the genes to be over six feet tall when she's finished growing, and against Pimkina, she recovered from a sluggish start with the help of 11 aces.

Laura Robson: "I do like it [clay], but obviously my game suits a faster surface. I'm trying to change my game to suit clay more, but I don't like what it does to my socks. To be honest, my expectations aren't that high; I'm just going [to take it] match by match and see how it goes."


8.2 Second-round results (Monday 1st June 2009)
------------------------

Nice winner, nice loser:
+ ELENA BOGDAN [8] d. Anna Orlik, 6-2 6-3

Another nice winner:
+ KSENIA PERVAK [3] d. Fatma Al-Nabhani, 5-7 6-1 10-8

18-year-old Pervak continues to cherry-pick junior Majors after her success at the Australian Open, where she schooled Laura Robson 6-3 6-1 in the final.

To be played on Tuesday:
* LAURA ROBSON [1] v Sandra Zaniewska (go Laura!)
* Valeria Solovieva v Nathalie Mohn (davai Lera!)

------------------------------
9. Girls' Doubles: First round
------------------------------
9.1 First-round results (Monday 1st June 2009)
-----------------------

+ Anna Orlik/Laura Robson d. Alexandra Krunić/Sandra Zaniewska, 4-6 7-6 (7/3) [10/2]

+ (ELENA BOGDAN/NOPPAWAN LERTCHEEWAKARN [s])[2] d. Sina Haas/Magda Linette, 6-3 6-3


9.2 Second-round draw
---------------------

Andrew's selections (desired winners on the left):

* Anna Orlik/Laura Robson v (BEATRICE CAPRA/LAUREN EMBREE)[7]

* (ELENA BOGDAN/NOPPAWAN LERTCHEEWAKARN [s])[2] v Irina Khromacheva/An-Sophie Mestach

-----------------------------
10. Order of play for Tuesday
-----------------------------

Court Philippe Chatrier (start 14:00 CEST = 12:00 GMT = 13:00 BST)
WS qf: VICTORIA AZARENKA [9] v DINARA SAFINA [1]
MS qf: ANDY MURRAY [3] v FERNANDO GONZÁLEZ [12]
XD qf: Nathalie Dechy/Andy Ram v (NADIA PETROVA/MAX MIRNYI)[4]

Court Suzanne Lenglen (start 14:00 CEST = 12:00 GMT = 13:00 BST)
MS qf: ROBIN SÖDERLING [23] v NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO [10]
WS qf: Maria Sharapova [EF] v DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20]
WD qf: (HSIEH,SU-WEI [s]/PENG,SHUAI [s])[9] v Agnieszka Radwańska/Urszula Radwańska

I'm very happy that they're splitting the women's fourth round and quarter-finals over two days each this year, because:
(a) Playing just half these rounds a day makes the matches seem much more important.
(b) It should go a long way towards gender-equality (the men have been splitting fourth round and quarter-finals for years, which means they used to share one day with the women and then have the next day all to themselves).
(c) It avoids half the third-round winners having to play their third- and fourth-round matches on consecutive days (it's inevitable that some players have to play two rounds on consecutive days at some point during a Major if the final is to be on Saturday, and as a fan, I prefer this be the quarter- and semi-finals rather than third and fourth round, as fewer players have to play on consecutive days).

However, I'm not happy with this order of play, because it may well mean that the BBC once again use Murray as an excuse not to televise Maria if her match finishes before Murray's! :fiery: Why can't they just start at 11:00 CEST and play all four of the day's Women's and Men's Singles quarter-finals back to back on Chatrier?

I'm looking forward to watching Azarenka play for the first time, though, as the BBC has announced that it will be starting its coverage on Chatrier. I hope she can win quickly to improve the chances of the BBC televising the mouthwatering Sharapova v Cibulková match!

Full order of play:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/scores/schedule/


UK TV-alert
-----------

The tennis starts on BBC Red Button at 13:00 BST, and on BBC 2 from approximately 14:15 BST - depending on when Azarenka v Safina finishes, as they only intend to show Murray on BBC 2.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

andrewbroad
Jun 3rd, 2009, 04:54 AM
=============
ROLAND GARROS (Paris, France; red clay; Major)
============= http://www.rolandgarros.com/
Contents
--------

1. Photos
2. Women's Singles: Quarter-final results
3. Quarter-final TV-report: Azarenka v Safina
4. Quarter-final scoreboard-report: Sharapova v Cibulková
5. Quarter-final draw
6. Andrew's wishes
7. Women's Doubles: Quarter-final
8. Girls' Singles: Second round/Third round
9. Girls' Doubles: Second round
10. Order of play for Wednesday

---------
1. Photos
---------

Various players including Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, Dominika Cibulková, Laura Robson:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/picturegalleries/5430846/French-Open-Day-10-In-pictures.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8079328.stm

Search-list for Day 10:

sharapova
azarenka
cibulkova
robson

-----------------------------------------
2. Women's Singles: Quarter-final results (Tuesday 2nd June 2009)
-----------------------------------------

Nice winner, nice loser:
- Maria Sharapova [EF] lt. DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20], 0-6 2-6

Beauty and the beast:
- VICTORIA AZARENKA [9,DF] lt. DINARA SAFINA [1], 6-1 4-6 2-6

---------------------------------------------
3. Quarter-final TV-report: Azarenka v Safina (Tuesday 2nd June 2009)
---------------------------------------------

- VICTORIA AZARENKA [9,DF] lt. DINARA SAFINA [1], 6-1 4-6 2-6

It was my first time to see Vika play, and I was certainly impressed. She reminds me a lot of Maria Sharapova with her big, sharp groundstrokes, an almost-identical song-grunt, and of course being tall, slim and blonde.

As you can see from the "DF" next to her name, Vika made a demi-fan of me today. I don't have the Passion to induct her into my Eternal Fanship any time soon, but she deserves nothing less than my demi-fanship for the way she played today.

Vika played a brilliant first set, dominating the Majorless world #1, who spent a lot of time running into the gerania at the side of the court, as Vika's short-angled crosscourt backhands to the sideline proved very effective! Vika hit plenty of clean winners, and even a couple of dropshots at 5-1* to show that she has touch as well as power and precision.

Dinara Safina: "She was playing well, and I was not doing anything to complicate it."

Sadly, Vika was unable to sustain this brilliance into the second set, as Safina found much better depth on her groundstrokes, forcing Vika into more and more errors.

Dinara Safina: "I started to fight point by point, just trying to change a little bit. She started to miss much more."

Safina jumped out to a *4-1 lead in the second, and although Vika fought back commendably for *4-4 after an ultra-intense battle of wills, she then threw in a sloppy service-game, allowing Safina to serve out the set.

Victoria Azarenka: "I just didn't take the chances I had. She stepped it up and played some good points at key moments, which I have to give her credit for."

Vika got very emotional when things weren't going her way, throwing her racket and looking distraught - which is exactly what a bully like Safina loves to see. BBC commentator Mark Petchey said Vika was dwelling too much on every single point, whereas Safina saw the big picture.

Inevitably - given Vika's emotional state and Safina's far greater experience - things went from bad to worse in the third set, with Vika only managing two service-holds, and looking close to tears at times.

But I am convinced that Vika has a terrific future. She certainly has the talent to win Majors and become world #1 (hopefully in that order).


First set
---------
AZAREN @* *@*@ 6
SAFINA __*____ 1

The match was first on Court Philippe Chatrier, and started at 14:13 CEST.

Safina serving 0-0: Vika started with an off-backhand winner. 0/15. Safina took the initiative but hit a down-the-line forehand long. 0/30. Safina sprayed a forehand long. 0/40 (BP #1). First serve out wide: Vika's sliced backhand return floated long. 15/40 (BP #2). A deep forehand return just inside the baseline forced Safina to hit an early forehand long.

Vika's song-grunt sounds just like Maria Sharapova's! :)

Vika serving 1-0: Safina's crosscourt forehand return to the sideline forced Vika to miss a forehand. 0/15. Vika opened up the court with a crosscourt backhand to the sideline, and hit a crosscourt forehand winner into the open court. 15/15. Vika hit a short-angled crosscourt backhand, forcing Safina to hit a backhand just long. 30/15. Vika forced a very short ball, and hit an off-forehand winner. 40/15. Safina hit a crosscourt forehand winner onto the sideline. 40/30. First serve out wide forced Safina to hit a backhand return long.

Safina serving 0-2: Vika netted a backhand. 15/0. Vika leant the wrong way as Safina hit an off-forehand winner. 30/0. Safina forehand just long. 30/15. Serve out wide + backhand winner down the line. 40/15. Safina netted a backhand. 40/30. Ace down the middle.

Vika serving 2-1: Forehand return long. 15/0. Safina backhand just long. 30/0. Vika ran down a dropshot and hit a backhand winner down the line. 40/0. Serve out wide + deep backhand winner down the line: on the baseline.

Sam Smith: "What a start for Victoria Azarenka! She's come out hitting the ball so sweetly."

Safina serving 1-3: Vika off-backhand return-winner. 0/15. A body-jamming serve induced Vika to hit a forehand return wide. 15/15. Vika dominated the rally and hit an off-forehand winner. 15/30. Safina forehand long. 15/40 (BP #1). A deep backhand from Safina induced Vika to hit a backhand long. 30/40 (BP #2). Vika's deep crosscourt forehand forced Safina to hit a forehand long, giving Vika the double break!

Vika serving 4-1: A rat-a-tat rally with both at the net ended with Vika hitting an off-forehand volley-winner. 15/0. Safina netted a backhand. 30/0. Service-winner. 40/0. Safina's depth forced Vika to hit a backhand wide. 40/15. Vika hit a deep backhand down the middle, forcing Safina to spray a forehand long.

Sam Smith: "Safina hasn't found that level, and time is running out - at least in this opening set."

The bad news for me is that Söderling is already 5-0* up against Davydenko, greatly reducing the chances of the BBC televising Sharapova v Cibulková! :mad:

Safina serving 1-5: Safina, driven wide and deep, hit a backhand long. 0/15. Vika ran down a short, angled ball and hit a delectable short-angled crosscourt backhand dropshot-winner. 0/30. Safina forced a lob, let it bounce, and drilled a crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline. 15/30. Vika hit a cheeky backhand dropshot-winner from the baseline. 15/40 (SP #1). Safina mishit a down-the-line forehand wide. Vika won the first set 6-1 at 14:36 CEST (23m).

Vika is absolutely in the zone at the moment, and can do no wrong: power, accuracy and even touch. Safina's spending a lot of time running into the gerania at the side of the court! :D


Second set
----------
AZAREN *____@*@__ 4
SAFINA _*@*@___@* 6

Vika serving 0-0: Vika crosscourt forehand virtual winner. 15/0. Safina backhand return wide. 30/0. Vika's depth forced Safina to hit a forehand long. 40/0. A deep return induced Vika to net a backhand. 40/15. Safina netted a backhand.

Safina serving 0-1: Service-winner down the middle: backhand return long. 15/0. Serve out wide induced Vika to hit a backhand long. 30/0. Safina netted a horrendous off-backhand off a deep ball down the middle. 30/15. A deep ball from Safina forced Vika to hit a forehand very long. 40/15. Vika blasted a backhand return-winner down - and onto - Safina's backhand-sideline. 40/30. Double fault (second serve into the net). Deuce. Serve + crosscourt backhand winner. Ad Safina. Ace out wide.

That stops a run of five games for Vika, and worryingly, Safina's playing much better now: her depth is forcing Vika to make more errors.

Vika serving 1-1: Vika backhand long. 0/15. Vika slapped a forehand halfway up the net. 0/30. Safina went to the net, but Vika hit a forehand pass-winner down the line. 15/30. Vika off-forehand winner just inside the sideline. 30/30. Safina ran around her backhand and hit an off-forehand winner. 30/40 (BP #1). Vika crosscourt backhand just inside the sideline + high forehand drive-volley crosscourt winner. Deuce #1. Safina, with an anxious grunt, hit a crosscourt forehand just wide. Ad Vika (BP #2). Double fault (second serve into the net). Deuce #2. Vika netted a forehand, and smiled. Ad Safina (BP #3). Vika on the third stroke dumped a backhand halfway up the net.

Safina's deep returns are forcing Vika to make errors on the third stroke.

Safina serving 2-1: Safina backhand winner down the line. 15/0. Double fault (second serve long). 15/15. Vika crosscourt backhand wide. 30/15. Safina crosscourt forehand wide. 30/30. Vika forehand just long. 40/30. Vika went to the net, but Safina hit a crosscourt forehand pass-winner.

Vika serving 1-3: Vika off-backhand volley-winner. 15/0. Vika backhand just long. 15/15. Safina found the corner with a backhand winner down the line. 15/30. Serve out wide + backhand winner down the line. 30/30. Safina found great depth on a couple of groundstrokes... but hit a down-the-line backhand just long. 40/30. Double fault (second serve just long - the umpire checked the mark). Deuce #1. Safina forehand just long. Ad Vika. She netted a forehand. Deuce #2. Safina played a good spreading rally, her crosscourt backhand to the sideline opening up the court for a crosscourt forehand. Ad Safina (BP). Double fault (second serve into the net).

Vika threw her racket at the end of that game, and I think on the previous point too. The crowd booed her. Sam Smith said she had had problems controlling her emotions in the past. I think "choke" would be a harsh word for Vika, as Safina is now putting her under extreme pressure with her newfound accuracy.

Safina serving 4-1: Vika ran down a short-angled crosscourt forehand dropshot to the sideline, and blasted a crosscourt forehand wide. 15/0. Backhand return long. 30/0. A deep ball from Safina induced Vika to mishit a crosscourt backhand wide. 40/0. Vika went to the net, and picked off an amazing backhand half-volley winner off a dipping ball at her feet. 40/15. Double fault (second serve just wide). 40/30. Double fault (second serve just wide). Deuce #1. Backhand return long. Vika muttered and looked very frustrated. Ad Safina. She netted a forehand. Deuce #2. Vika thumped a crosscourt forehand winner onto the sideline. Ad Vika (BP). Vika neutered Safina's early initiative, went to the net and hit a high forehand drive-volley winner down the line.

Vika serving 2-4: With the grunting from both players rising to new levels, Safina hit a backhand long. 15/0. Safina played a good spreading rally, but sprayed a forehand long. With a disgusted look on her disgusting face, Safina smashed her racket violently to the ground, and had to replace it. 30/0. Vika ran down a dropshot and hit a backhand winner down the line. 40/0. Down-the-line backhand return wide.

That game puts a big smile on my face. Vika has rediscovered the kind of form she showed in the first set, while Safina is losing her temper.

Safina serving 4-3: Safina on the third stroke netted a forehand. 0/15. Vika hit a "breathtaking" crosscourt backhand winner just inside the sideline. 0/30. Safina forehand winner down the line: just inside the sideline. 15/30. Vika backhand just long. 30/30. Safina sprayed a forehand wide. 30/40 (BP). Vika opened up the court with a crosscourt forehand, and painted the sideline with a down-the-line forehand winner. She celebrated the second break back with a "c'mon".

Vika serving 4-4: Vika crosscourt backhand just wide. 0/15. In an ultra-intense rally, Vika's grunt reached a new volume, with two tones like Monica Seles... but she hit a down-the-line forehand just wide. 0/30. Vika forehand just long. 0/40 (BP). Vika hit a down-the-line backhand just wide, and whacked the ground violently with her racket (without breaking it AFAICT).

What a shame, after all the hard work for Vika to come back in this set. She really had the momentum going into that game, and I thought she might actually win 6-1 6-4.

Safina serving 5-4: Safina netted a backhand. 0/15. Safina forehand just long. 0/30. Safina crosscourt backhand virtual winner. 15/30. Vika off-forehand return wide. 30/30. Vika blasted an off-backhand return wide. She doubled over and muttered. 40/30 (SP #1). Forehand return long. Safina won the second set 6-4 at 15:26 CEST (second set 50m, match so far 1h13m).

Vika threw her racket to the ground, caught it as it bounced up and threw it again, and was booed by the crowd. The spin she got on that racket was quite impressive!

The way things are going between Söderling and Davydenko (6-1 6-3), I might have to start following live scores for Sharapova v Cibulková before this match is over. :(


Third set
---------
AZAREN __* *___ 2
SAFINA @* * *@* 6

Vika serving 0-0: Double fault. 0/15. Vika netted a forehand. 0/30. Safina off-forehand winner into the corner. Vika looked upset. 0/40 (BP). Deep first serve out wide forced Safina to miss a backhand return. 15/40 (BP #2). Vika backhand winner down the line. 30/40 (BP #3). Safina's deep forehand forced Vika to net a forehand, and she looked very frustrated.

I'm pleased to see that this match is now being shown to a wider audience on BBC 2, in addition to BBC Red Button! :)

Safina serving 0-1: Vika hit an acute crosscourt forehand return-winner. 0/15. Vika's deep crosscourt backhand return forced Safina to net a backhand. 0/30. Safina forced a very short, high-bouncing ball from Vika, and dispatched it with a laserlike crosscourt backhand winner. 15/30. Vika forehand just long. 30/30. Safina hit a very effective crosscourt sliced backhand - low and fast - forcing Vika to net a backhand. 40/30. Safina crosscourt forehand wide.

Vika serving 2-0: Safina sliced a backhand long. 15/0. Safina hit a forehand long, and emitted a long squeal of dismay. 30/0. Vika crosscourt forehand winner on the line (Safina checked the mark, and rubbed it out with her foot). 40/0. Safina netted a backhand return.

Safina serving 2-1: Double fault (Safina's back foot crossed the imaginary extension of the centre-line). 0/15. Vika, driven wide, netted a backhand. 15/15. Vika forced a short ball, and hit an off-forehand winner onto the sideline. 15/30. Vika hit a short, defensive lob, and Safina dispatched it with a crosscourt forehand winner. 30/30. Backhand return long. 40/30. Vika painted the sideline with a down-the-line backhand winner against the wind. Deuce. Safina hit a hard forehand winner down the line. Ad Safina. She went to the net behind a crosscourt forehand, and hit a forehand volley-winner down the open line.

Sam Smith: "It's like a tug of war between these two - an absolute battle of wills. Both looking for the spaces on the court; both looking to hit winners."

Vika serving 1-3: Vika backhand dropshot-winner. 15/0. Vika opened up the court with a brilliant crosscourt backhand winner, but blasted a wild crosscourt forehand long, and shouted "wooh!" before muttering in Russian. 15/15. Safina backhand just long. 30/15. Vika crosscourt forehand winner. 40/15. Vika hit a backhand long, and muttered some more. 40/30. Vika blasted a backhand wide, and looked very upset. Deuce #1. Vika dumped a backhand dropshot into the bottom of the net, and doubled over in disappointment. Ad Safina (BP). She netted a cheap backhand return. Deuce #2. Serve out wide + off-backhand winner back behind Safina. Ad Vika. Safina forced a very high lob, let it bounce, and hit a forehand smash-winner down Vika's forehand-sideline. Deuce #3. A good crosscourt backhand from Vika forced Safina to net a backhand. Ad Vika. She went to the net behind a dropshot, and hit an easy forehand volley-winner off Safina's weak reply.

Mark Petchey: "Just a little too much emphasis on each single point for Azarenka now - she's sort of wrapped up in every mistake that she makes."

Safina serving 2-3: Double fault (second serve wide). 0/15. Serve out wide + backhand winner down the line. 15/15. Serve out wide + forehand winner down the line. 30/15. Safina netted a backhand, but Vika was still muttering. 30/30. Vika hit a forehand long, and waved her arms in frustration. 40/30. Safina backhand long. Deuce. Vika netted a backhand, and looked close to tears. Ad Safina. Vika hit a backhand long, dropped her racket and slapped her knees - not the right message to send to Safina, who thrives on bullying her opponents.

Vika serving 2-4: Safina hit a backhand return-winner down Vika's backhand-sideline. 0/15. Vika crosscourt forehand + pinpoint forehand down the line forced Safina to hit a backhand long. 15/15. Vika ran down a dropshot, but put a forehand long and wide. 15/30. Safina hit an off-forehand return to the sideline, forcing Vika to hit a backhand lob long. 15/40 (BP). Vika saved it with a crosscourt forehand + high forehand drive-volley winner down the line. 30/40 (BP #2). Safina hit a "piledriver" crosscourt forehand winner back behind Vika.

Sam Smith: "The world number-one really thinking clearly under pressure now."
Mark Petchey: "You have to give Azarenka a little bit of credit, there: she was trying to change things up a little bit: she was trying to change the pace of the ball, the height of the ball, trying to throw Safina out of her rhythm, but she just couldn't keep the length, and that was the biggest problem."

Safina serving 5-2: A deep forehand from Safina forced Vika to hit a forehand half-volley long. 15/0. Safina forced a short ball and hit a backhand winner down the line. Mark Petchey: "Just not quite the versatility on defence for Azarenka to get herself out of trouble - [her defensive sliced backhand] is not a bad-looking shot, but just doesn't get it low enough or short enough." 30/0. Safina forced a short, defensive lob, and hit an off-forehand smash-winner. 40/0 (MP #1). Vika's crosscourt backhand return clipped the netcord and fell wide. Safina won 1-6 6-4 6-2 at 16:05 CEST (third set 39m, match 1h52m).

---------------------------------------------------------
4. Quarter-final scoreboard-report: Sharapova v Cibulková (Tuesday 2nd June 2009)
---------------------------------------------------------

- Maria Sharapova [EF] lt. DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20], 0-6 2-6

Maria was playing only her second singles-tournament back after a 9˝-month injury-layoff. Her reason for not playing singles in March was that she wasn't fit enough to play for more than four days in a row, so it's not surprising that after four tough three-setters to reach the quarter-finals, she had nothing left.

This is what Maria had to say for herself: "I guess you could only ask your body to do so much. Everything fell a little short today. The pace wasn't there on my strokes, and I was five steps slower. She just played really solid and made me hit a lot of balls, and I came up short today."

Maria was on the verge of a humiliating double bagel as Domi had her first match-point 6-0 *5-0, so I felt a lot better after she won two games, and Domi, after another tough service-game at *5-2, converted her fifth match-point to reach her first Major semi-final.

Domi: "I realised I could beat Maria Sharapova 6-0 6-0 and go to the semi-finals in a Grand Slam [sic], and I got shocked. So when it was 5-2, I knew I was serving and had to make this game."

Maria: "I don't really care about numbers. It's either a 'W' or an 'L', and I prefer 'W'. You know, if it's 7-6 in the third and you come out with a loss, what's the difference?"

If Maria had lost 6-0 6-0, I would have had to kill myself, because I have made an unbreakable vow to report on all her French Open matches, and an unbreakable vow NOT to report on any double bagels she may suffer!


First set
---------
SHARAPOVA ______ 0
CIBULKOVÁ @*@*@* 6

The match was second on Court Suzanne Lenglen, and its chances of being televised by the BBC were shot to pieces when Söderling beat Davydenko 6-1 6-3 6-1 in the previous match even before Azarenka v Safina had finished on Court Philippe Chatrier. So instead of showing this match, the BBC showed Murray v González on both BBC 2 and BBC Red Button. :fiery:

The match started at 16:13 CEST.

Maria serving 0-0: 0/15. 15/15. 15/40 (BP #1). 30/40 (BP #2). Broken.
Domi serving 1-0: 15/0. 15/15. 15/40 (BPx2). Deuce #1. Ad Domi. Deuce #2. Ad Domi. Held.

Two break-points go begging.

Maria serving 0-2: 0/15. 15/15. 15/40 (BP). Broken.
Domi serving 3-0: 0/30. 40/30. Held.

A 0/30 opening wasted, and this is starting to get very embarrassing.

Maria serving 0-4: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 30/40 (BP). Broken.
Domi serving 5-0: 30/0. 30/15. 40/15 (SP #1). Domi won the first set 6-0 at 16:43 CEST (30m).

Just checked the live-scores thread at http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=380920&page=25 to find out what's going wrong, and apparently, Maria can hardly move.

franny: "She's just all out of sorts, and looks like she has no energy left. Her shots have no sting, and yet she's still missing almost on every ball."

Perhaps it's just as well that the BBC isn't televising this match! :o


Second set
----------
SHARAPOVA _____@*_ 2
CIBULKOVÁ @*@*@__* 6

Maria serving 0-0: 15/0. 15/40 (BP #1). 30/40 (BP #2). Broken.
Domi serving 1-0: 30/0. 30/30. 40/30. Held.
Maria serving 0-2: 0/15. 30/15. 30/40 (BP). Broken.

Despite 30/15, the horrible humiliation continues. :o

Domi serving 3-0: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15. 40/30. Held.

Apparently, Maria has even resorted to moonballing against the 5'3" Domi! :o

Maria serving 0-4: 0/30. 15/30. 15/40 (BP #1). 30/40 (BP #2). Broken.
Domi serving 5-0: 15/0. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Domi (MP #1). Deuce #2. Ad Maria (BP #2). Broken.

THANK GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It's amazing how hard it is for someone on the verge of a double bagel to actually get it. Anne Keothavong almost did it to Ioana Raluca Olaru at Warsaw, but Olaru came through a deuce-game to avoid complete humiliation, and Keothavong at least took Safina to deuce before Safina did it to her.

Maria serving 1-5: Held to love.

It won't be easy for Domi to serve for the match now, having already failed once and wasted one match-point. Maria certainly has some mental momentum now, though it would still take an unprecedented miracle (has anyone in tennis-history ever recovered from 0-6 0-5 and won?) for her to turn this one around.

Domi serving 5-2: 0/15. 40/15 (MP #2). 40/30 (MP #3). Deuce #1. Ad Domi (MP #4). Deuce #2. Ad Maria (BP). Deuce #3. Ad Domi (MP #5). Domi won 6-0 6-2 at 17:28 CEST (second set 45m, match 1h15m).


Statistics
----------

Maria had a W:UE ratio of 14:27 (first set 4:13, second set 10:14) to Domi's 9:9 (first set 6:1, second set 3:8).

They both got 64% of first serves in (Domi raising hers from 48% for the first set to 74% for the second), but whereas Domi won 69% of the points when she did so, and 45% on second serve, the winning-percentages for Maria were woeful: 44% and 29% (first set: 36% and 17%).

Maria served much faster than Domi: fastest 112-107 mph, average first serve 98-93 mph, average second serve 93-87 mph.

Maria served 2 aces and 5 double faults, Domi one ace and 3 double faults.

Domi broke 6 times from 9 BPs, Maria just once from 3 BPs.

In a baseline-oriented encounter, Domi won 2 of 3 points at the net, Maria 1 of 3.

In points, Domi won 57-37 (first set 26-12, second set 31-25).

---------------------
5. Quarter-final draw
---------------------

The players on the left are the ones I want to win.

* DINARA SAFINA [1] won
* DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20] won

* Sorana Cîrstea v SAMANTHA STOSUR [30]
* SERENA WILLIAMS [2] v SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [7]

------------------
6. Andrew's wishes (updated after Tuesday)
------------------
6.1 Semi-final wishes
---------------------

+ DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20] d. DINARA SAFINA [1]
+ Sorana Cîrstea d. SERENA WILLIAMS [2]


6.2 Final wish
--------------

+ DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20] d. Sorana Cîrstea

---------------------------------
7. Women's Doubles: Quarter-final
---------------------------------
7.1 Quarter-final result (Tuesday 2nd June 2009)
------------------------

+ (HSIEH,SU-WEI [s]/PENG,SHUAI [s])[9] d. Agnieszka Radwańska/Urszula Radwańska, 2-6 6-4 7-5


7.2 Semi-final draw
-------------------

* (ANABEL MEDINA GARRIGUES/VIRGINIA RUANO PASCUAL)[3] v (CARA BLACK/LIEZEL HUBER)[1]

* (HSIEH,SU-WEI [s]/PENG,SHUAI [s])[9] v (VICTORIA AZARENKA [DF]/ELENA VESNINA)[12]

-------------------------------------------
8. Girls' Singles: Second round/Third round
-------------------------------------------
8.1 Second-round results (Tuesday 2nd June 2009)
------------------------

What rocked:
+ Valeria Solovieva d. Nathalie Mohn, 6-3 6-3

What sucked:
- LAURA ROBSON [1] lt. Sandra Zaniewska, 6-7 (10/12) 6-1 3-6

17-year-old Zaniewska has much more experience on clay than Robson, but Robson has lost a lot of ground after her three-month lay-off. It will be intriguing to see whether she can regain it on grass - after all, she won the junior-versions of Eastbourne and Wimbledon last year!

Sam Smith: "I went and watched the first set: an excellent match between the Pole and Laura Robson, so no disgrace in losing to that opponent, whose name I am not even going to try and pronounce."

Come on, Sam - it's not like we're talking about Jan Łukasiewicz! (the inventor of what we English computer-scientists call "Polish notation").


8.2 Third-round result (Tuesday 2nd June 2009)
----------------------

- ELENA BOGDAN [8] lt. SILVIA NJIRIĆ [11], 5-7 0-6

To be played on Wednesday:
* Valeria Solovieva v Beatrice Capra (davai Lera!)
* KSENIA PERVAK [3] v CHRISTINA McHALE [14] (davai Ksenia!)

-------------------------------
9. Girls' Doubles: Second round
-------------------------------
9.1 Second-round results (Tuesday 2nd June 2009)
------------------------

+ (ELENA BOGDAN/NOPPAWAN LERTCHEEWAKARN [s])[2] d. Irina Khromacheva/An-Sophie Mestach, 6-3 5-7 [10/3]

- Anna Orlik/Laura Robson lt. (BEATRICE CAPRA/LAUREN EMBREE)[7], walkover

I am unable to find out who pulled out and why, but at least Robson can give her GCSEs her undivided attention now (presumably it will be this week that she sits her English exams).


9.2 Third-round draw
--------------------

Andrew's selection:

* (ELENA BOGDAN/NOPPAWAN LERTCHEEWAKARN [s])[2] v (BEATRICE CAPRA/LAUREN EMBREE)[7]

-------------------------------
10. Order of play for Wednesday
-------------------------------

Court Philippe Chatrier (start 14:00 CEST = 12:00 GMT = 13:00 BST)
WS qf: Sorana Cîrstea v SAMANTHA STOSUR [30]
MS qf: GAËL MONFILS [11] v ROGER FEDERER [2]
XD sf: (LIEZEL HUBER/BOB BRYAN)[1] v Anna-Lena Grönefeld/Mark Knowles

Court Suzanne Lenglen (start 14:00 CEST = 12:00 GMT = 13:00 BST)
WS qf: SERENA WILLIAMS [2] v SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [7]
MS qf: JUAN MARTÍN DEL POTRO [5] v TOMMY ROBREDO [16]
XD sf: (NADIA PETROVA/MAX MIRNYI)[4] v Vania King/Marcelo Melo

I would much rather watch Cîrstea v Stosur, but BBC Red Button will go against their Chatrier-billing to show Williams v Kuznetsova instead. :mad:

But the BBC definitely plans to show Monfils v Federer, so I hope Williams will win as quickly as she did in the fourth round, so that BBC Red Button might switch to Chatrier in time to catch the end of Cîrstea v Stosur.

Full order of play:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/scores/schedule/

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

andrewbroad
Jun 4th, 2009, 02:34 AM
=============
ROLAND GARROS (Paris, France; red clay; Major)
============= http://www.rolandgarros.com/
Contents
--------

1. Photos
2. Women's Singles: Quarter-final results
3. Quarter-final TV-report: S.Williams v Kuznetsova
4. Semi-final draw
5. Andrew's wishes
6. Women's Doubles: Semi-finals
7. Girls' Singles: Third round
8. Order of play for Thursday

---------
1. Photos
---------

Various players including Sorana Cîrstea and Samantha Stosur:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8081289.stm
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/picturegalleries/5437499/French-Open-2009-Day-11-In-pictures.html

Various players including Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, Dominika Cibulková, Sorana Cîrstea:
http://www.tennis.com/features/galleries/FrenchRounds45/

Search-list for Day 11:

cirstea
stosur

-----------------------------------------
2. Women's Singles: Quarter-final results (Wednesday 3rd June 2009)
-----------------------------------------

Bestie gegen Bestie:
+ SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [7] d. SERENA WILLIAMS [2], 7-6 (7/3) 5-7 7-5

Nice winner, nice loser:
+ SAMANTHA STOSUR [30] d. Sorana Cîrstea, 6-1 6-3

From what I've read about Cîrstea v Stosur (sadly not televised by the BBC), it seems that Cîrstea froze in her first Major quarter-final, while Stosur's big, kicking serve continues to be very effective on the high-bouncing clay.

Stosur: "The first four or five games: she had game-points in every single one, but I was 4-1 up. If she was gonna win the game, she had to earn it from me. I wasn't going to give anything away today."

---------------------------------------------------
3. Quarter-final TV-report: S.Williams v Kuznetsova (Wednesday 3rd June 2009)
---------------------------------------------------

+ SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [7] d. SERENA WILLIAMS [2], 7-6 (7/3) 5-7 7-5

This match was first on Court Suzanne Lenglen, and was televised on BBC Red Button.

Williams was her usual gracious self in defeat: "In the third set, I had an opportunity and I got really tight, and I pretty much gave it to her. It was like, 'Here, do you want to go to the semis? Because I don't.' She was like, 'Okay.' I haven't gotten tight since 2007 in Australia. Maybe I put some expectations on myself that I didn't put on myself initially. Honestly, I think I lost because of me, and not because of anything she did."


First set
---------
WILLIAMS ___@* * *@*__ 6(3)
KUZNETSO @*@__* *___*T 7(7)

The match started at 14:13 CEST.

An error-strewn start saw Williams broken immediately for 0-1*. Her errors continued as Kuznetsova held for 2-0*.

Kuznetsova hit a crosscourt forehand pass-winner as Williams's terrible start continued. At 0/40, Williams played a good point and went to the net, but Kuznetsova hit a brilliant, pinpoint backhand pass-winner down the line for *3-0.

Kuznetsova hit a crosscourt backhand winner back behind Williams, but Williams broke back for *1-3 as Kuznetsova double-faulted.

Now it was Kuznetsova making errors (though she did hit a backhand return-winner down the line) as Williams held for 2-3*.

Kuznetsova serving 3-2: 40/30. Williams hit a "gorgeous" short-angled crosscourt backhand winner. Deuce #1. Kuznetsova went to the net, forcing Williams to hit a forehand pass wide - and do the splits. Ad Kuznetsova. She earthed a sliced backhand that would have embarrassed a club-player. Deuce #2. Kuznetsova went to the net behind a forehand dropshot, forcing Williams into error. Ad Kuznetsova. Williams crosscourt forehand winner. Deuce #3. Kuznetsova forehand winner down the line. Ad Kuznetsova. Crosscourt backhand return wide: Kuznetsova held for 4-2*.

Williams serving 2-4: held to 15 with an error-strewn game.

Kuznetsova serving 4-3: 0/15. Ace. 15/15. Williams forehand dropshot-winner. 15/30. Williams netted a forehand return. 30/30. Kuznetsova crosscourt forehand + forehand virtual winner down the line. 40/30. Service-winner.

Meanwhile, Sorana Cîrstea has dropped the first set 1-6 to Samantha Stosur, so she'll need to stage a huge fightback if the BBC is to televise her again this tournament! :mad:

Williams serving 3-5: Kuznetsova hit a forehand halfway up the net, doubled over and yelled. 15/0. Williams hit a stunning forehand winner down Kuznetsova's forehand-sideline. 30/0. Double fault. 30/15. Williams played a great point, featuring an acute crosscourt backhand onto the sidelien, and finishing with a crosscourt backhand volley-winner. 40/15. Ace out wide.

Kuznetsova serving 5-4: Williams off-forehand dropshot-winner. 0/15. Williams netted a forehand return 15/15. Kuznetsova on the third stroke dumped a cheap backhand into the net. 15/30. Williams forced a floater, and dispatched it with a high forehand drive-volley winner. 15/40 (BP). Williams broke back with an off-backhand winner.

Williams serving 5-5: Double fault #3. 0/15. Kuznetsova netted a backhand return. 15/15. Kuznetsova's pace and depth forced Williams to hit a backhand just long. 15/30. Deep serve down the middle forced Kuznetsova to hit a forehand return wide. 30/30. Williams off-forehand winner just inside the sideline. 40/30. Williams held with a crosscourt forehand winner.

Kuznetsova serving 5-6: Williams netted a forehand. 15/0. Serve out wide + forehand winner down the line - Williams didn't move. 30/0. Kuznetsova went to the net behind a weak crosscourt forehand, and Williams blasted a crosscourt forehand pass-winner. 30/15. Weak serve out wide: backhand return-winner down the line. Kuznetsova threw her racket. 30/30. Kuznetsova on the third stroke hit a forehand just long. 30/40 (Williams SP #1). Kuznetsova forced a floater, and dispatched it with a crosscourt forehand smash-winner. Deuce. First serve out wide forced Williams to net a forehand return. Ad Kuznetsova. She held with a forehand winner down the line.

Today, Williams really isn't moving as well as usual.

6-6 tiebreak (all scores Williams/Kuznetsova):
{*0/0} Williams's crosscourt forehand forced Kuznetsova to net a forehand.
{1/0*} Williams sprayed a forehand long.
{1/1*} Kuznetsova's depth induced Williams to net a forehand.
{*1/2} Williams second serve: Kuznetsova off-forehand return-winner.
{*1/3} Kuznetsova's down-the-line backhand looked like it was going wide, but just dropped in for a winner.
{1/4*} Williams forehand return very long.
{1/5*} Service-winner down the middle: on the centre-line.
{*1/6: Kuznetsova SP #1} Kuznetsova netted a forehand return.
{*2/6: Kuznetsova SP #2} Williams's forehand on the baseline looked long to me, but wasn't called, and forced Kuznetsova into error.
{3/6*: Kuznetsova SP #3} Kuznetsova hit a forehand winner down the line, back behind Williams. Kuznetsova won the first set 7-6 (7/3) at 15:05 CEST (52m).

It's not too often that Williams loses a set after having had set-point! (6/5* (40/30*)).

Meanwhile, Sorana Cîrstea is going fast at 1-6 1-2*. :(


Second set
----------
WILLIAMS ___* *@ @*@* 7
KUZNETSO *@* *__@____ 5

Kuznetsova serving 0-0: 30/0. Kuznetsova hit a perfect forehand lob-winner over Williams's head and onto the baseline. 40/0. Williams crosscourt forehand winner. 40/15. Williams hit a thunderous crosscourt forehand winner. 40/30. Williams blasted a backhand return just wide.

Williams serving 0-1: 15/15. Ace out wide. 30/15. Williams ran down a dropshot but dumped a backhand into the bottom of the net. 30/30. Kuznetsova's big off-forehand forced Williams to hit a backhand lob just long. 30/40 (BP). Williams on the third stroke netted a forehand, and screamed.

Kuznetsova serving 2-0: Williams's down-the-line forehand forced Kuznetsova to net a backhand. 0/15. Williams went to the net; Kuznetsova hit a forehand lob-winner. 15/15. Williams forehand long. 30/15. Williams netted a forehand volley. 40/15. Double fault. 40/30. Kuznetsova's backhand clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner.

Williams serving 0-3: Williams dumped a feeble forehand halfway up the net. 0/15. First serve out wide: backhand return long. 15/15. Kuznetsova dumped a backhand halfway up the net. 30/15. Williams's deep crosscourt backhand induced Kuznetsova to hit a backhand very long. 40/15. Service-winner out wide.

Kuznetsova serving 3-1: Williams backhand just long. 15/0. Williams hit a crosscourt backhand long, and thought about throwing her racket. 30/0. Williams's deep off-backhand forced Kuznetsova to hit a forehand long. 30/15. Ace down the middle: on the centre-line. 40/15. Service-winner down the middle.

Williams serving 1-4: Kuznetsova went to the net, but mishit a crosscourt forehand volley wide (sun or nerves?). 15/0. Williams crosscourt forehand winner. 30/0. Kuznetsova hit a big forehand winner down Williams's forehand-sideline. 30/15. Williams went to the net, but was left leaden-footed as Kuznetsova pushed a forehand pass-winner down the line. 30/30. Kuznetsova hit a forehand return into the bottom of the net. 40/30. A body-jamming serve forced Kuznetsova to net a forehand return.

Kuznetsova is moving much better than Williams today. While it's always dangerous to count Williams out, I'd be very surprised to see her turn this around.

Kuznetsova serving 2-4: Williams forehand winner down the line. 15/0. Service-winner out wide. 15/15. Kuznetsova hit a down-the-line backhand just wide (the umpire checked the mark). 15/30. Virtual ace down the middle. 30/30. Service-winner. 40/30. Kuznetsova had a nasty-looking fall on the baseline, her right ankle turning slightly as she fell over. Deuce #1. Williams crosscourt forehand return wide. Ad Kuznetsova. Williams went to the net behind a backhand onto the baseline, forcing Kuznetsova to miss a forehand. Deuce #2. Kuznetsova hit a wild forehand very long, and groaned. Ad Williams (BP). Williams's deep crosscourt backhand return forced Kuznetsova to float a sliced backhand just long.

Stosur just beat Cîrstea 6-3 6-1 - no more BBC-televisation for her this tournament. :(

Williams serving 3-4: Kuznetsova backhand wide. 15/0. Kuznetsova's deep backhand forced Williams to hit a forehand just long. 15/15. Kuznetsova blasted a huge forehand return-winner down the line. 15/30. Serve out wide + backhand winner down the line. 30/30. Williams netted a forehand. 30/40 (BP #1). Williams drew Kuznetsova to the net with a dropshot, and hit a forehand pass-winner down the line. Deuce. Kuznetsova's deep off-forehand forced Williams to net an uncontrollable backhand lob. Ad Kuznetsova (BP #2). She broke with a backhand return-winner down the line.

Kuznetsova serving 5-3: Kuznetsova netted a forehand. 0/15. Williams went to the net, but Kuznetsova hit a forehand half-volley lob-winner just inside the baseline. 15/15. Kuznetsova retrieved very well, but hit a sliced forehand just long, and the next point is HUGE. 15/30. Kuznetsova on the third stroke netted a forehand. 15/40 (BP). Kuznetsova on the third stroke hit a backhand long.

The last three games have gone against serve. If Williams doesn't hold here, she's out!

Williams serving 4-5: Serve out wide + off-forehand winner. 15/0. Williams crosscourt backhand just wide. 15/15. Williams hit an off-forehand dropshot, forcing Kuznetsova to net a backhand. 30/15. Kuznetsova whipped a huge forehand would-be return-winner down Williams's forehand-sideline, but it was just wide. 40/15. Double fault (second serve into the net). 40/30. Second serve: Kuznetsova dumped a forehand return into the net.

Kuznetsova serving 5-5: Kuznetsova on the third stroke hit a forehand just long. 0/15. Kuznetsova went to the net, but an awkward dipping pass forced her to net a backhand volley. 0/30. Kuznetsova sprayed a wild crosscourt forehand wide. 0/40 (BP #1). Williams backhand just long. 15/40 (BP #2). Williams netted a forehand return, and jumped up and down in frustration. 30/40 (BP #1). Williams's crosscourt backhand return induced Kuznetsova to net a backhand.

Kuznetsova seems very tight at the moment, judging by how she played in that last game.

Williams serving 6-5: Kuznetsova ran down a dropshot and hit an extraordinary acute-angled crosscourt backhand dropshot-winner onto the sideline. 0/15. Kuznetsova hit a chopped forehand long. 15/15. Williams backhand winner down the line. 30/15. Kuznetsova's depth forced Williams to net a forehand. 30/30. Kuznetsova blasted a wild down-the-line backhand wide. 40/30 (SP #1). Kuznetsova's deep off-forehand induced Williams to hit a backhand long. Deuce. Williams hit a crosscourt backhand moonball, inducing Kuznetsova to net an off-forehand. Ad Williams (SP #2). Ace out wide. Williams won the second set 7-5 at 16:00 CEST (second set 55m, match so far 1h47m).


Third set
---------
WILLIAMS @* *___* *__ 5
KUZNETSO __* *@* * *@ 7

Kuznetsova serving 0-0: Kuznetsova netted a backhand after a longish baseline-rally. 0/15. Service-winner. 15/15. Williams hit a down-the-line forehand winner back behind Kuznetsova. 15/30. Double fault (second serve wide). 15/40 (BP). Williams hit a pinpoint backhand winner down the line.

Williams serving 1-0: Williams forehand just long. 0/15. Ace down the middle. 15/15. Williams forehand just long. 15/30. Kuznetsova forehand long. 30/30. A body-jamming forehand return down the middle forced Williams to net a forehand. 30/40 (BP). Williams forced a short ball, and hit a crosscourt backhand winner. Deuce. Williams held with two service-winners out wide.

Kuznetsova serving 0-2: Williams netted a forehand, and reacted with a cute jump. 15/0. Kuznetsova's depth forced Williams to hit a forehand long. 30/0. Williams blasted a forehand return into the net. 40/0. Serve out wide + crosscourt backhand winner back behind Williams.

Williams serving 2-1: Kuznetsova hit a forehand return long, and muttered. 15/0. Williams forehand long. 15/15. Ace down the middle. 30/15. Ace out wide. 40/15. Williams crosscourt forehand wide. 40/30. Kuznetsova forehand long.

Kuznetsova serving 1-3: Williams sprayed a crosscourt backhand wide. 15/0. Kuznetsova's deep off-forehand forced Williams to net a backhand. 30/0. Kuznetsova netted a forehand. 30/15. Kuznetsova's off-forehand clipped the outside edge of the sideline for a winner. 40/15. Williams's off-backhand return clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner. 40/30. Kuznetsova crosscourt forehand winner.

Williams serving 3-2: Williams forced a very short ball, and hit a crosscourt forehand winner. 15/0. Kuznetsova netted a backhand return. 30/0. Ace down the middle. 40/0. Kuznetsova backhand return-winner down the line. 40/15. Kuznetsova hit a deep off-forehand onto the baseline, forcing Williams to net a backhand. 40/30. Williams on the third stroke netted a backhand. Deuce #1. Kuznetsova went to the net, but her approach was too short, giving Williams an easy backhand pass-winner down the line. Ad Williams. Kuznetsova's deep return induced Williams to spray a backhand long. Deuce #2. Kuznetsova's depth induced Williams to hit a forehand just long. Ad Kuznetsova (BP). Williams hit a crosscourt backhand dropshot wide.

Unbelievable how badly Williams played from 40/0 up there! She's the one who looks tight at the moment, not moving her feet properly to handle the depth from Kuznetsova.

Samantha Stosur will be loving this long match, seeing as she plays the winner in the semi-finals tomorrow!

Kuznetsova serving 3-3: Kuznetsova hit a down-the-line forehand wide. 0/15. Williams backhand return just long. 15/15. Kuznetsova went to the net behind a sliced backhand down the line, but it didn't have much on it, and Williams hit a forehand pass-winner down the line. 15/30. First serve: Williams mishit a forehand lob-return wide. 30/30. Kuznetsova dumped a cheap forehand into the net. 30/40 (BP). Kuznetsova's deep crosscourt forehand on the baseline forced Williams to net a forehand. Deuce #1. Kuznetsova went to the net and hit a forehand volley-winner. Ad Kuznetsova. She sprayed a wild off-forehand wide. Deuce #2. Williams forehand just long. Ad Kuznetsova. Her deep off-forehand forced Williams to net a backhand.

John Lloyd said Williams looks tired. I hope she beats Kuznetsova, and then has nothing left for the semi-finals tomorrow, so that Stosur beats her 6-0 6-0!

Williams serving 3-4: Williams painted the sideline with a crosscourt forehand winner. 15/0. Kuznetsova's deep backhand forced Williams to net a forehand. 15/15. Double fault (second serve just long). 15/30. Kuznetsova hit a nervy off-forehand wide, and shouted. 30/30. Ace down the middle. 40/30. Kuznetsova's crosscourt backhand forced Williams to net a backhand. Deuce. Williams forced a short ball, and hit a crosscourt forehand winner. Ad Williams. Ace out wide.

Kuznetsova serving 4-4: Williams forced a short ball, and hit a backhand winner down the line. 0/15. Kuznetsova off-forehand winner. 15/15. Williams netted a backhand dropshot - a sign of mental tiredness - and screamed. 30/15. Kuznetsova crosscourt backhand just wide. 30/30. Service-winner out wide. 40/30. Kuznetsova hit a forehand drive-volley winner down the line, back behind Williams.

Williams serving 4-5: First serve out wide: crosscourt forehand return wide. 15/0. Williams went to the net, but hit a crosscourt forehand volley wide. 15/15. Ace out wide: right in the corner... but the umpire checked the mark and called it wide. Kuznetsova's off-forehand induced Williams to hit a backhand long. 15/30. Kuznetsova hit a crosscourt forehand winner onto the sideline, forcing Williams to hit a forehand long. 15/40 (MP #1). Kuznetsova's forehand return landed long by a whisker. 30/40 (MP #2). Good first serve out wide... but the umpire called let. Kuznetsova found excellent depth on a couple of groundstrokes, then hit a forehand just long. Deuce. Big serve down the middle + off-forehand drive-volley winner. Ad Williams. Ace out wide.

Wow - what a game, and what a recovery by Williams! Stosur will be licking her lips if Williams wins this 6-7 7-5 7-5 - not so much if Kuznetsova wins, for she looks much fitter than Williams.

Kuznetsova serving 5-5: Williams crosscourt forehand long. 15/0. Williams netted a forehand return. 30/0. Williams netted a forehand return. 40/0. Service-winner.

Williams serving 5-6: Williams hit a very tired-looking crosscourt backhand just wide. 0/15. Deep service-winner out wide. 15/15. A deep ball down the middle forced Williams to hit an off-forehand wide. 15/30. Kuznetsova forced a short ball and hit a crosscourt forehand winner. 15/40 (MP #3). Kuznetsova's deep backhand forced Williams to mishit a down-the-line backhand wide. Kuznetsova won 7-6 (7/3) 5-7 7-5 at 16:58 CEST (third set 58m, match 2h45m).

------------------
4. Semi-final draw
------------------

* DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20] v DINARA SAFINA [1] (poďme Domi!)
* SAMANTHA STOSUR [30] v SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [7] (go Sam!)

Kuznetsova: "I give her the advantage as she had short match today [Stosur d. Cîrstea 6-1 6-3]. I'm looking forward to playing Sam. She plays good. She wouldn't have any ressure tomorrow, because she has nothing to lose. But I don't want to put myself as the favourite."

------------------
5. Andrew's wishes (updated after Wednesday)
------------------
5.1 Final wish
--------------

+ DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20] d. SAMANTHA STOSUR [30]

-------------------------------
6. Women's Doubles: Semi-finals
-------------------------------
6.1 Semi-final results (Wednesday 3rd June 2009)
----------------------

+ (ANABEL MEDINA GARRIGUES/VIRGINIA RUANO PASCUAL)[3] d. (CARA BLACK/LIEZEL HUBER)[1], 7-5 5-7 6-2

+ (VICTORIA AZARENKA [DF]/ELENA VESNINA)[12] d. (HSIEH,SU-WEI [s]/PENG,SHUAI [s])[9], 6-3 7-5


6.2 Final draw
--------------

* (VICTORIA AZARENKA [DF]/ELENA VESNINA)[12] v (ANABEL MEDINA GARRIGUES/VIRGINIA RUANO PASCUAL)[3]

------------------------------
7. Girls' Singles: Third round
------------------------------
7.1 Third-round results (Wednesday 3rd June 2009)
-----------------------

+ Valeria Solovieva d. Beatrice Capra, 6-2 6-4
+ KSENIA PERVAK [3] d. CHRISTINA McHALE [14], 6-4 4-6 6-2


7.2 Quarter-final draw
----------------------

* Valeria Solovieva v KSENIA PERVAK [3] (my loyalty is to Lera)

-----------------------------
8. Order of play for Thursday
-----------------------------

Court Philippe Chatrier (start 14:00 CEST = 12:00 GMT = 13:00 BST)
WS sf: DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20] v DINARA SAFINA [1]
WS sf: SAMANTHA STOSUR [30] v SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [7]
XD final: (LIEZEL HUBER/BOB BRYAN)[1] v Vania King/Marcelo Melo

While I don't condone what Domi did in the quarter-finals, I'm really looking forward to her first BBC-televisation! :)

Full order of play:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/scores/schedule/

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

andrewbroad
Jun 5th, 2009, 03:44 AM
=============
ROLAND GARROS (Paris, France; red clay; Major)
============= http://www.rolandgarros.com/
Contents
--------

1. Photos
2. Semi-final TV-report: Cibulková v Safina
3. Semi-final TV-report: Stosur v Kuznetsova
4. Final-preview
5. Girls' Singles: Quarter-final
6. Girls' Doubles: Quarter-final

---------
1. Photos
---------

All four semi-finalists:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8083451.stm

Dominika Cibulková and Dinara Safina:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/picturegalleries/5444797/French-Open-Day-12-In-pictures.html

Search-list for Day 12:

cibulkova
stosur

-------------------------------------------
2. Semi-final TV-report: Cibulková v Safina (Thursday 4th June 2009)
-------------------------------------------

- DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [20] lt. DINARA SAFINA [1], 3-6 3-6

This match was first on Court Philippe Chatrier, and televised on BBC Red Button, but it was a very, very disappointing match after Domi made a 2-0* start.

Domi looked competitive against the much taller, stronger Safina, and the match was closer than the scoreline implies, but sadly, Domi undermined her own performance with a catalogue of unforced errors (she finished with a W:UE ratio of 11:21 to Safina's 24:24).

Domi: "I didn't handle the situation. I think I got nervous, I made a couple [of] mistakes, and then I got in a panic. I would say that from my side, it was really nervous tennis. It was really tough to play today out there. I felt fresh and I wanted to play good tennis, but I didn't make it mentally or tactically."

Safina ruined my enjoyment of the second set with her disgusting on-court behaviour. Even when she was up a set and a break, she was muttering, shouting, swearing, and throwing her racket. I can tolerate these behaviours from a player when she's losing (except the swearing, which is unacceptable in tennis), but when she's winning comfortably, it's just plain disrespectful. I'm disappointed that the umpire didn't give Safina so much as a warning, and I can't stand the thought of her winning her first Major in this fashion on Saturday.


Prematch
--------

Sam Smith said Domi might suffer stage-fright, as she got very tight at the end of both her fourth round (Ágnes Szávay 6-2 6-4) and quarter-final (Maria Sharapova 6-0 6-2).

She certainly wouldn't get away with that against Safina, who won two matches from a set and 2-5 down here last year!


First set
---------
CIBULK @*_____*_ 3
SAFINA __*@*@* * 6

The match started at 14:13 CEST.

Safina serving 0-0: A longish rally ended with Safina netting a forehand. 0/15. Serve + off-forehand winner. 15/15. Domi hit a marvellous short-angled crosscourt backhand winner onto the sideline! 15/30. Backhand return very long. 30/30. Domi showed good footwork around some awkward deep groundstrokes from Safina, Safina went to the net, and Domi hit a crosscourt backhand pass-winner. 30/40 (BP). Safina on the third stroke hit a backhand long.

Not too many nerves there.

Sam Smith: "The young Slovak is only 5'3" (1.61m). In terms of women's tennis, that's absolutely tiny. What she does to compensate for that: she gets herself very tight up to the baseline, and she takes the ball very early to beat the height of the bounce.

"I feel that she's come out with a plan: like Azarenka, she really has targeted the Safina-backhand: going crosscourt into that corner, pushing the Russian and trapping her in that corner, and then coming up very early with the dropshot, so it looks like she's gonna play with some variety, which personlly I believe is the right way when you're playing such a powerhouse from the back of the court."

Domi serving 1-0: Safina opened up the court, but hit a down-the-line backhand just long. 15/0. Safina on the fourth stroke netted a forehand. 30/0. A longish rally ended with Domi netting a forehand. 30/15. Another long rally ended with Domi netting a forehand. 30/30. Second serve: forehand return just long. 40/30. Domi off-backhand dropshot + crosscourt backhand pass-winner - YES!!

Safina played two awful points, then Domi netted a couple of forehands, so I'm pretty relieved that she got that game under her belt.

Safina serving 0-2: Forehand return just long. 15/0. Domi's deep backhand on the baseline forced Safina to net a backhand. 15/15. Safina hit a pinpoint forehand winner down the line: right in the corner. 30/15. Safina forehand just long. 30/30. Domi crosscourt forehand just wide. She looked disappointed. 40/30. Ace out wide: on the sideline.

Domi has started grunting now: a cute grunt with a Golovinesque twang to it.

Domi serving 2-1: Safina hit a cheeky crosscourt backhand dropshot return - Domi doesn't move so well forwards as she does laterally. 0/15. Safina crosscourt backhand return + backhand winner down the line. 0/30. Domi on the third stroke hit a forehand long. 0/40. Safina's backhand clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner.

Safina serving 2-2: Safina netted a backhand. 0/15. Safina on the third stroke hit a forehand long. 0/30. A wide serve took Domi way outside the tramlines, and Safina exploited the gap with a crosscourt backhand winner. 15/30. Safina's backhand clipped the netcord and sat up nicely for Domi to hit a forehand winner down the line (with both feet off the ground!). 15/40 (BP #1). Backhand return long. 30/40 (BP #2). Domi backhand long. Deuce. A deep ball from Safina forced Domi to net a one-handed backhand. Ad Safina. Domi forehand long.

The bad news for Domi is that Safina's depth is pushing her behind the baseline. Domi likes to dictate play from inside the baseline, but when she has to play behind it, she's more exposed to wide angles, and to dropshots.

Domi serving 2-3: Deep serve induced Safina to hit a forehand return long. 15/0. Safina hit a wild off-forehand long and wide. 0/30. Domi netted a forehand. 30/15. Domi hit a sliding forehand winner down the line. 40/15. Safina crosscourt forehand to the sideline + crosscourt backhand winner into the open court. 40/30. Domi netted a forehand. Deuce. Domi netted a backhand. Ad Safina (BP). Safina deep crosscourt forehand + backhand dropshot-winner.

Safina serving 4-2: Safina hit a short-angled crosscourt forehand winner halfway up the sideline. 15/0. Domi on the fourth stroke hit a backhand just long. 30/0. Safina's depth induced Domi to hit a crosscourt backhand wide. 40/0. Safina off-forehand just wide. 40/15. Domi hit a deep crosscourt forehand into the corner, forcing Safina to hit a forehand long/wide. 40/30. Domi's depth induced Safina to hit a forehand long. Deuce #1. Forehand return just long. Ad Safina. Double fault (second serve into the net). Deuce #2. Domi hit a wasteful backhand return just long. Ad Safina. Domi netted a cheap backhand return.

Sadly, Domi isn't finding her best when it matters. Some very disappointing errors in that game.

This is only Domi's eighth Major, whereas Safina had to wait until her 23rd Major to reach a semi-final!

Domi serving 2-5: Safina pounced on a netcord from Domi to hit an off-backhand winner. 0/15. Safina backhand long. 15/15. Domi blasted a wild forehand wide and very long. 15/30. Safina crosscourt backhand return-winner. 15/40 (SP #1). Safina forehand just long. 30/40 (SP #2). Service-winner down the middle. Deuce #1. Domi played a nice spreading rally, went to the net, but netted an awkward low forehand volley. Ad Safina (SP #3). Forehand return just long. Deuce #2. Domi pushed Safina to one side with a series of crosscourt forehands, then hit a forehand winner down the line. Ad Domi. She netted a forehand. Deuce #3. Domi went to the net, forcing Safina to hit a forehand long. Ad Domi. She mishit a backhand very long, and moaned. Deuce #4. Safina forehand just long. Ad Domi. Her depth induced Safina to spray a forehand long.

Now Safina has to serve for the set with the baggage of three missed set-points.

Safina serving 5-3: Double fault #2 (second serve wide of the centre-line). 0/15. Backhand return long. Safina muttered. 15/15. Ace down the middle (called wide but overruled as good). 30/15. Domi backhand just long (the umpire checked the mark). 40/15 (SP #4). Safina netted a backhand off a deep return. 40/30 (SP #5). Safina crosscourt forehand winner. Safina won the first set 6-3 at 15:02 CEST (49m).


Second set
----------
CIBULK * *__@___ 3
SAFINA _* *@ @*@ 6

Domi serving 0-0: Safina's return forced a floater, which she dispatched with a backhand winner down the line. 0/15. Domi crosscourt forehand + forehand winner down the line. 15/15. Safina hit a crosscourt forehand wide - after having hit a crosscourt forehand smash straight to Domi's forehand earlier in the rally! 30/15. Off-forehand return-winner. 30/30. Safina netted a forehand. 40/30. Domi crosscourt backhand + pinpoint backhand winner down the line: on the sideline.

A much, much better game by Domi than those in the first set after 2-0.

Safina serving 0-1: Safina forehand long. 0/15. Domi netted a crosscourt backhand return, and shouted in frustration. 15/15. Safina backhand wide. 15/30. Double fault (second serve just long and just wide). Safina muttered at length. 15/40 (BP #1). Domi forehand long. 30/40 (BP #2). Bl**dy transmission-error! Deuce #1. Ad Safina. Double fault (second serve just long). Deuce #2. Domi backhand just long (the umpire checked the mark and ordered a replay; Safina argued at some length with him, and got booed and whistled by the crowd; she further antagonised them by throwing her racket). Deuce #3. Domi forehand just long. She swished her racket in frustration. Ad Safina. Domi blasted a wild crosscourt forehand very wide.

Mark Petchey: "She's within touching-distance all the time in this match, Cibulková, but she's just been that one shot worse than Safina. If she couldn't just tighten it up on the big points... very much /in/ this match."
Sam Smith: "I have a feeling that Safina probably thought she was just going to come out here and /crush/ Cibulková, but Cibulková is too good a player, too good a mover, too thoughtful out on the court, and too good a ball-striker for that to happen on this particular surface. The clay just gives her a bit more time."

Domi serving 1-1: Domi backhand long. 0/15. Domi netted a backhand dropshot from the baseline. 0/30. A meaty baseline-rally ended with Safina hitting a backhand just long. 15/30. Safina forehand return just long. 30/30. Safina netted a forehand, and appeared to blurt out the 'F' word. 40/30. Safina crosscourt forehand wide.

Safina's getting very agitated. Domi's still very much in this if she can cut out the errors that have undermined her performance so far.

Safina serving 1-2: Safina forehand just long. 0/15. A long rally ended with Domi's crosscourt backhand forcing Safina to stretch wide and net a one-handed backhand. 0/30. Serve out wide: Domi dumped a cheap forehand return into the net. 15/30. Domi backhand return just long. 30/30. Serve out wide: crosscourt forehand return wide. Domi muttered. 40/30. Safina hit a sloppy backhand long, and Domi pumped her fist. Deuce #1. Domi hit a crosscourt forehand return wide, and stood with her hands on her hips. Ad Safina. Domi mishit a backhand long, and hit her head with her racket softly and repeatedly.

Mark Petchey: "Perhaps feeling, Cibulková, at certain stages of this match, when it's been close, that she needs to play better than she actually does."

Domi serving 2-2: Domi forehand just long. 0/15. Domi ran around her backhand and hit an off-forehand winner. 15/15. Safina netted a sloppy backhand. 30/15. Safina wide crosscourt backhand + backhand winner down the line. 30/30. Domi went to the net but hit a weak forehand volley, and Safina hit a low lob-winner over the 5'3" Domi. 30/40 (BP). Domi netted a forehand to put Safina a set and a break up.

Safina serving 3-2: Safina netted a forehand. 0/15. Double fault (second serve into the net). Mark Petchey had to apologise for Safina again, as she bemoaned her "f***ing serve". 0/30. Safina crosscourt forehand + forehand winner down the line. 15/30. Safina forehand just long. 15/40 (BP #1). Safina forehand long. 30/40 (BP #2). Safina forced a short ball, and hit a crosscourt foerhand winner. Deuce #1. Domi's deep forehand return down the line induced Safina to net a backhand. Ad Domi (BP #3). Ace out wide. Deuce #2. Safina off-forehand winner. Ad Safina. Domi's deep forehand forced Safina to net a backhand. Deuce #3. Forehand return just long. Ad Safina. Her first serve bounced before the net! And her second went just long for a double fault. Deuce #4. Domi backhand long. Ad Safina. Domi netted a forehand off a deep ball on the baseline from Safina.

What a shame Domi didn't make Safina pay for that game.

Domi serving 2-4: Safina hit a backhand long, and swore loudly again (I can't believe the umpire hasn't given her a code-violation yet - he should be docking points off her by now). 15/0. Safina hit a down-the-line backhand winner right in the corner. 15/15. Safina netted a backhand, and shouted at some length. 30/15. Domi hit a backhand long, and Safina still looked disgusted and disgusting. 30/30. Safina crosscourt forehand just wide, and threw her racket. 40/30. Domi opened up the court and hit an off-forehand winner.

Sam Smith: "Cibulková has kept a remarkably even temperament. She does see the world sunny-side up: a very easy-going, fun girl off the court."

Safina serving 4-3: Double fault (second serve just long). 0/15. Safina hit an off-forehand winner back behind Domi. 15/15. Safina crosscourt backhand wide. 15/30. Domi netted a forehand. 30/30. Domi forehand just long. 40/30. Domi netted a backhand.

Domi serving 3-5: Double fault (second serve into the net). 0/15. Domi netted a cheap forehand. 0/30. Domi crosscourt forehand + crosscourt backhand winner. 15/30. Safina forehand winner on the baseline - back behind Domi. 15/40 (MP #1). Forehand return long. 30/40 (MP #2). Domi dumped a backhand halfway up the net. Safina won 6-3 6-3 at 15:54 CEST (second set 52m, match 1h41m).

Safina declined to give an on-court interview, saying she wasn't feeling well.

--------------------------------------------
3. Semi-final TV-report: Stosur v Kuznetsova (Thursday 4th June 2009)
--------------------------------------------

- SAMANTHA STOSUR [30] lt. SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [7], 4-6 7-6 (7/5) 3-6

The match was second on Court Philippe Chatrier, and I watched it on BBC Red Button.

For the first set and a half, it was shaping up to be as disappointing as the first semi-final, if not worse than that. The first set was of poor quality: memorable more for the wild unforced errors from both players than for their winners (which is a little unfair, as Kuznetsova did have a 10:9 W:UE ratio to Stosur's 7:12 for the first set).

Kuznetsova looked to be cruising to a straight-sets win as she led 6-4 4-2*, but she played two really choky games, and then found herself serving to stay in the second set at *4-5 and *5-6.

Kuznetsova led 5/2* in the tiebreak, but Stosur won the last five points of the second set with three winners and two Kuznetsova-errors: one forced, one not.

The first five games of the third set went with serve; Stosur had the first break-point at 2-2* (40/30*). But she missed a makeable return, and was broken herself to 15 in the next game, giving Kuznetsova *4-2.

This time, Kuznetsova did not relinquish her break. At *5-3 (30/30), she ripped a huge crosscourt forehand winner to set up match-point, and converted it with a heavy one-two punch that forced Stosur to net a forehand.


First set
---------
STOSUR *__@ @__*_ 4
KUZNET _*@ @ @* * 6

The match started at 16:14 CEST.

Stosur serving 0-0: Stosur forehand wide. 0/15. Stosur went to the net, forcing Kuznetsova to net a backhand. 15/15. Stosur went to the net behind a deep backhand, and hit a forehand smash-winner. 30/15. Serve out wide + off-forehand winner back behind Kuznetsova. 40/15. Kuznetsova forehand long.

Kuznetsova serving 0-1: Kuznetsova netted a forehand. 0/15. Stosur backhand long. 15/15. Forehand return wide. 30/15. Kuznetsova crosscourt forehand wide. 30/30. Stosur netted a backhand return. 40/30. Off-forehand return wide.

Stosur serving 1-1: Kuznetsova netted a forehand. 15/0. Kuznetsova's depth forced Stosur to hit a forehand very long. 15/15. Double fault (second serve long). 15/30. Kuznetsova crosscourt forehand winner deep into the corner. 15/40 (BP). Kuznetsova broke with an off-forehand winner.

Kuznetsova serving 2-1: Stosur backhand just long. 15/0. Kuznetsova sprayed a mishit forehand long and wide. 15/15. Kuznetsova netted a forehand. 15/30. Kuznetsova dumped a sliced backhand not halfway up the net. 15/40 (BP). Stosur broke back with a crosscourt forehand return that induced Kuznetsova to stretch wide and net a forehand.

Stosur serving 2-2: Stosur ran around her backhand to hit an off-forehand winner. 15/0. Kuznetsova's crosscourt forehand induced Stosur to hit a forehand long. 15/15. Kuznetsova off-forehand wide. 30/15. Stosur forehand long. 30/30. Kuznetsova backhand winner down the line. 30/40 (BP). Stosur netted a backhand.

Kuznetsova serving 3-2: Kuznetsova ran around her backhand but got badly jammed, and hit an off-forehand wide. 0/15. Kuznetsova crosscourt forehand just wide. 0/30. Stosur netted a backhand. 15/30. Stosur crosscourt forehand virtual winner. 15/40 (BP #1). Ace down the middle. 30/40 (BP #2). Stosur's deep return forced Kuznetsova to hit a forehand long.

Stosur serving 3-3: Double fault (second serve just long). 0/15. Kuznetsova slapped a backhand return into the net. 15/15. Kuznetsova went to the net, but Stosur hit a backhand pass-winner down the line. 30/15. Kuznetsova off-forehand winner. 30/30. Kuznetsova's backhand clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner. 30/40 (BP #1). A big serve forced a short return, and Stosur hit an off-forehand winner. Deuce #1. Forehand return just long. Ad Stosur (BP #2). Stosur off-forehand just long. Deuce #2. Stosur backhand long. Ad Kuznetsova (BP #3). Stosur forehand long.

Kuznetsova seems bothered by her right ankle, which she turned during her quarter-final win over Serena Williams.

Kuznetsova serving 4-3: Second serve: Stosur crosscourt forehand winner. 15/0. Kuznetsova backhand just long. 0/30. Stosur dumped a backhand halfway up the net. 15/30. Stosur opened up the court nicely, but dumped an off-forehand into the net. 30/30. Kuznetsova crosscourt forehand winner. 40/30. Kuznetsova dumped a down-the-line forehand into the net. Deuce. Stosur netted a forehand. Ad Kuznetsova. Stosur mishit a forehand long.

Poor-quality tennis so far: wild unforced errors from both.

Stosur serving 3-5: Double fault (second serve into the net). 0/15. Good second serve out wide forced Kuznetsova to hit a down-the-line backhand just long. 15/15. Kuznetsova forehand long. 30/15. Kuznetsova down-the-line backhand just wide. 40/15. Service-winner.

Kuznetsova had the trainer on to retape her right ankle.

Kuznetsova serving 5-4: Kuznetsova on the third stroke hit a forehand long. 0/15. Kuznetsova went to the net, and hit a down-the-line backhand winner back behind Stosur. 15/15. Stosur backhand return just wide. 30/15. Kuznetsova off-forehand just wide. 30/30. Kuznetsova forehand long. 30/40 (BP). Kuznetsova hit a big, deep crosscourt forehand winner. Deuce #1. Ace down the middle: on the junction of service-line and centre-line. Ad Kuznetsova (SP #1). Stosur hit a big, deep forehand down the middle, forcing Kuznetsova to dump a forehand into the net. Deuce #2. Kuznetsova crosscourt forehand winner. Ad Kuznetsova (SP #2). She hit a deep crosscourt backhand, forcing Stosur to stretch wide and hit a one-handed backhand lob wide. Kuznetsova won the first set 6-4 at 16:57 CEST (43m).


Second set
----------
STOSUR *___* *@* * T 7(7)
KUZNET _*@* *___* *_ 6(5)

Stosur serving 0-0: Stosur off-forehand wide. 0/15. Stosur's backhand dropshot forced Kuznetsova to net a backhand. 15/15. Stosur backhand winner down the line. 30/15. Kuznetsova forehand long. 40/15. Ace down the middle.

Kuznetsova serving 0-1: First serve out wide: Stosur netted a forehand return. 15/0. Stosur netted a forehand. 30/0. Stosur's deep forehand forced Kuznetsova to hit a forehand long. 30/15. Kuznetsova's wide crosscourt backhand forced Stosur to slice a backhand wide. 40/15. Stosur netted a backhand.

Stosur serving 1-1: Stosur forehand just long. She whacked a ball in frustration. 0/15. Kuznetsova netted a forehand. 15/15. Service-winner out wide. 30/15. Ace out wide. 40/15. Stosur netted a backhand. 40/30. Stosur ran around her backhand and netted a forehand. Deuce. Stosur forehand long. Ad Kuznetsova (BP). Stosur dumped a forehand into the net - she's missing so many forehands.

Kuznetsova serving 2-1: Double fault (second serve wide). 15/0. Kuznetsova's forehand dropshot forced Stosur to run hard and hit a late forehand long. 30/0. Stosur slapped a cheap forehand return into the net. 40/0. Stosur forehand very long.

Stosur serving 1-3: Kuznetsova netted a backhand. 15/0. Stosur hit a deep sliced forehand down Kuznetsova's forehand-sideline + forehand dropshot-winner. 30/0. Serve out wide induced Kuznetsova to hit a forehand long. 40/0. Stosur backhand very long. 40/15. Stosur hit an off-forehand deep into the corner + forehand winner down Kuznetsova's open forehand-sideline.

Kuznetsova serving 2-3: Stosur off-forehand winner just inside the sideline. 0/15. Kuznetsova hit a short-angled crosscourt backhand winner just inside the sideline. 15/15. Stosur got away with a terrible dropshot as she followed it to the net and hit a forehand volley-winner. 15/30. Ace out wide. 30/30. Kuznetsova went to the net and hit a crosscourt backhand volley-winner. 40/30. Service-winner down the middle.

Stosur serving 2-4: Kuznetsova tried to half-volley a short-angled crosscourt forehand return from Stosur, hitting it into the net. 0/15. Kuznetsova went to the net, but Stosur's wrong-footing pass forced her to drop her racket after hitting a forehand volley! 15/15. Service-winner. 30/15. Kuznetsova off-forehand winner. 30/30. Kuznetsova dumped a backhand halfway up the net, and said, "Nyet, nyet!" 40/30. Double fault (brave second serve just long and just wide). Deuce. Stosur off-forehand winner. Ad Stosur. She hit a deep forehand winner down Kuznetsova's forehand-sideline: just inside the baseline.

Kuznetsova serving 4-3: Stosur chopped a forehand return just long. 15/0. Stosur backhand down the line just long. 30/0. Double fault (second serve wide). 30/15. Kuznetsova netted a forehand. 30/30. Stosur crosscourt forehand return-winner. 30/40 (BP). Stosur hit a short-angled crosscourt forehand just wide. Deuce. Double fault (second serve just long). Ad Stosur (BP). Kuznetsova went to the net, inducing Stosur to hit a backhand pass long. Deuce #2. Stosur outmanoeuvred Kuznetsova, and painted the sideline with a short-angled crosscourt forehand winner. Ad Stosur (BP). Kuznetsova netted an off-forehand.

John Lloyd: "If Stosur now can control her emotions here, she can win this set. There's no question: Kuznetsova absolutely as tight as a drum in that last game."

Stosur serving 4-4: Stosur forehand long. 0/15. Kuznetsova, driven wide by a Stosur backhand down the line, netted a chopped forehand. 15/15. Kuznetsova hit a deep crosscourt forehand into the corner, forcing Stosur to net a forehand. 15/30. Kuznetsova off-forehand wide. 30/30. Stosur crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline. 40/30. Kuznetsova netted a forehand.

Kuznetsova serving 4-5: Stosur crosscourt forehand return just wide... but the umpire overruled it as good, and it was a winner! 15/0. Stosur netted a forehand return. 15/15. Stosur netted a backhand off a deep ball down the middle from Kuznetsova. 30/15. Stosur ran down a crosscourt backhand dropshot, but hit a crosscourt backhand that left the whole court open for Stosur to hit a backhand winner down the line. 40/15. First serve out wide: forehand return long.

Both women are struggling when in sight of the finishing-line (Kuznetsova of the match when she led 4-2*, Stosur of the set when she led 5-4*).

Stosur serving 5-5: Service-winner down the middle. 15/0. 116mph ace down the middle. 30/0. Kuznetsova forehand long. 40/0. Kuznetsova forehand winner down Stosur's forehand-sideline. 40/15. Kuznetsova crosscourt forehand winner. 40/30. Kuznetsova off-forehand wide.

Kuznetsova serving 5-6: Stosur chopped a forehand into the net. 15/0. Kuznetsova forced a short ball and hit a crosscourt forehand winner. 15/15. Kuznetsova forehand long. 30/15. Kuznetsova backhand long. 30/30. Kuznetsova's deep, low-bouncing backhand forced Stosur to earth a forehand. 40/30. Stosur hit a beautiful short-angled crosscourt backhand winner just inside the sideline. Deuce. Kuznetsova crosscourt forehand winner. Ad Kuznetsova. She painted the sideline with a crosscourt backhand winner.

6-6 tiebreak (all scores Stosur/Kuznetsova):
{*0/0} Stosur double fault (second serve long).
{0/1*} Stosur opened up the court nicely with a short-angled crosscourt forehand, and hit a forehand winner down the line.
{1/1*} Kuznetsova service-winner out wide.
{*1/2} An amazing rally with both players at the net featured excellent reflexes from Stosur, but ended with Kuznetsova hitting a crosscourt backhand volley-pass winner.
{*1/3} Stosur forced a floater, but running backwards, dumped a forehand smash into the net.
{1/4*} Stosur hit a wrong-footing off-forehand winner; Kuznetsova slipped over.
{2/4*} Kuznetsova forehand winner down the line: just inside the sideline.
{*2/5} Stosur ran around her backhand and cracked a big off-forehand winner onto the sideline.
{*3/5} Kuznetsova forehand return just wide.
{4/5*} Stosur's crosscourt forehand forced Kuznetsova to net a forehand.
{5/5*} Kuznetsova went to the net, but Stosur hit a crosscourt forehand pass-winner.
{*6/5: SP #1} Serve out wide + off-forehand winner back behind Kuznetsova. Stosur won the second set 7-6 (7/5) at 17:58 CEST (second set 1h01m, match so far 1h44m).

Well recovered from 2/5!

Kuznetsova took a bathroom-break, and boy did I need it! ;)


Third set
---------
STOSUR _* *___*_ 3
KUZNET * * *@* * 6

Kuznetsova serving 0-0: Kuznetsova played a good spreading rally, went to the net and hit a crosscourt forehand volley-winner. 15/0. Stosur hit a huge forehand return-winner down Kuznetsova's forehand-sideline. 15/15. Kuznetsova on the third stroke hit a crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline. 30/15. Stosur netted a forehand. 40/15. Kuznetsova hit a huge forehand down the line, forcing Stosur to earth a backhand.

Stosur serving 0-1: Ace out wide. 15/0. Serve out wide: backhand return long. 30/0. Kuznetsova netted a backhand. 40/0. Kuznetsova crosscourt backhand return just long.

Kuznetsova serving 1-1: Kuznetsova netted a forehand. 0/15. Kuznetsova off-forehand + crosscourt forehand winner. 15/15. Serve out wide + forehand winner down the line. 30/15. Kuznetsova forced a short ball, and hit a pinpoint forehand winner down the line. 40/15. Kuznetsova's forehand clipped the netcord and fell wide. 40/30. Serve out wide + forehand winner into the gap.

Stosur serving 1-2: Service-winner out wide. 15/0. Deep serve out wide forced Kuznetsova to net a backhand. 30/0. Stosur netted a backhand. 30/15. A deep ball from Kuznetsova forced Stosur to net a forehand. 30/30. Kuznetsova crosscourt forehand long/wide. 40/30. Kuznetsova crosscourt backhand wide.

Kuznetsova serving 2-2: Stosur's crosscourt backhand + big forehand forced Kuznetsova to earth a running forehand. 0/15. Kuznetsova went to the net, and Stosur hit a forehand lob long. 15/15. Ace #5: down the middle: on the service-line. 30/15. Kuznetsova backhand long. 30/30. Kuznetsova hit a wild forehand long - off a netcord from Stosur. 30/40 (BP). Stosur hit a makeable backhand return long. Deuce. Ace out wide. Ad Kuznetsova. Stosur backhand return wide.

Stosur missed a real opportunity at 30/40 to go a break up in this final set. Who would have thought she could be a French Open finalist?

Stosur serving 2-3: Kuznetsova's deep forehand forced Stosur to hit one long. 0/15. Kuznetsova went to the net behind a sliced backhand down the line, forcing Stosur to net a forehand pass. 0/30. Stosur went to the net, forcing Kuznetsova to spray a forehand very wide. 15/30. Stosur ran down a short ball but netted a forehand. 15/40 (BP). Kuznetsova's crosscourt forehand return induced Stosur to hit a down-the-line forehand wide.

Kuznetsova serving 4-2: Stosur forehand just long. 15/0. Stosur's deep return induced Kuznetsova to net a forehand. 15/15. Kuznetsova blasted an off-forehand just long. 15/30. Stosur forehand long. 30/30. Stosur crosscourt backhand wide. 40/30. Kuznetsova held with a short-angled crosscourt backhand winner.

Stosur serving 2-5: Serve out wide + off-forehand virtual winner. 15/0. Serve out wide induced Kuznetsova to net a backhand return. 30/0. Kuznetsova hit a "ferocious" crosscourt forehand winner just inside the baseline. 30/15. Kuznetsova netted a backhand. 40/15. Stosur forehand long. 40/30. Backhand return long.

The moment of truth: will Kuznetsova choke again?

Kuznetsova serving 5-3: Stosur thumped a deep backhand down the line, forcing Kuznetsova to hit a forehand long. 0/15. Kuznetsova's wide off-forehand forced Stosur to net a backhand. 15/15. Kuznetsova's deep off-forehand forced Stosur to bunt a backhand wide. 30/15. Kuznetsova crosscourt backhand wide. 30/30. Kuznetsova ripped a huge crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline. 40/30 (MP #1). Big serve + heavy backhand forced Stosur to net a forehand. Kuznetsova won 6-4 6-7 (5/7) 6-3 at 18:38 CEST (third set 40m, match 2h24m).

----------------
4. Final-preview
----------------

* SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [7] v DINARA SAFINA [1]

Welcome to the dark side of Russian tennis.

Russia has produced numerous beautiful tennis-ladies, including three of the most flairsomely talented players of all time: Maria Sharapova, Vera Zvonarëva and Anna Chakvetadze. And the list of beauties goes on and on: Maria Kirilenko, Elena Vesnina, Vitalia Diatchenko... need I say more?

But these are not two of them. Safina and Kuznetsova are ugly, hulking specimens, whose power is not the sharp, flairsome power of Maria, Vera and Anna, but power that comes from huge muscles rather than immaculate timing.

We have already had to endure two Safina v Kuznetsova finals this clay-court season: Stuttgart (Kuznetsova 6-4 6-3) and Rome (Safina 6-3 6-2). All I wanted for the French Open final was anything but Safina v Kuznetsova.

At least Safina's disgusting behaviour in her semi-final has crystallised my clear preference for Kuznetsova to win her second Major (her first was the US Open 2004; she was also a losing finalist at the French Open 2006), rather than having to put up with Safina swearing, shouting, muttering and racket-smashing her way to what would be her first Major title (after losing the French Open 2008 and Australian Open 2009 finals, just as Ana Ivanović did a year before).

I can't say I fancy Kuznetsova's chances of stopping Safina. She had a 2h45m quarter-final on Wednesday (Serena Williams 7-6 5-7 7-5) and a 2h24m semi-final on Thursday (Samantha Stosur 6-4 6-7 6-3), is carrying a minor ankle-injury, and has a 5:8 record against Safina (winning only one of their six meetings in the last two years).

And it gets worse for Kuznetsova, as she choked away the second sets of both her quarter-final (she led Serena Williams 7-6 4-1*) and semi-final (she led Samantha Stosur 6-4 4-2*).

She certainly wouldn't get away with that against Safina, who, at the French Open 2008, recovered from a set and 2-5 down in both her fourth round (Maria Sharapova) and quarter-final (Elena Dementieva) - saving match-points in both. Oh - and she followed up those wins with a 6-3 6-2 thrashing of a listless Kuznetsova in the semis.

Safina is extremely determined to win her first Major, to show that she merits the honour of being ranked #1 - which she certainly doesn't without a Major. She dropped only five games in her first four matches here, before surviving a huge test against Victoria Azarenka (1-6 6-4 6-2) and a lesser test against Dominika Cibulková (who led 2-0* before capitulating 6-3 6-3).

Common to both those turnarounds was Safina finding greater depth on her groundstrokes to draw more errors from her young opponents. But Kuznetsova has the experience and the physique not to succumb to such a trivial game-plan - I can certainly imagine her ripping huge forehands past Safina from five feet behind the baseline.

My only real hope, though, is that Safina wants to win too much; that the emotions she showed in her semi-final will once again boil over, and that Kuznetsova will have the experience to keep the lid on the pan, rather than keeping up the unforced errors as Cibulková did.

Let Safina's defeat be a particularly unpleasant and humiliating one.

--------------------------------
5. Girls' Singles: Quarter-final
--------------------------------
5.1 Quarter-final result (Thursday 4th June 2009)
------------------------

Nice winner, nice loser:
+ KSENIA PERVAK [3] d. Valeria Solovieva, 6-2 7-5


5.2 Semi-final draw
-------------------

* KRISTINA MLADENOVIĆ v SLOANE STEPHENS [15] (allez Kristina!)
* KSENIA PERVAK [3] v Daria Gavrilova (davai Ksenia!)

--------------------------------
6. Girls' Doubles: Quarter-final
--------------------------------
6.1 Quarter-final result (Thursday 4th June 2009)
------------------------

+ (ELENA BOGDAN/NOPPAWAN LERTCHEEWAKARN [s])[2] d. (BEATRICE CAPRA/LAUREN EMBREE)[7], 6-1 6-4


6.2 Semi-final draw
-------------------

* Ksenia Kirillova/Martina Trevisan v (TÍMEA BABOS/HEATHER WATSON)[3]
* (ELENA BOGDAN/NOPPAWAN LERTCHEEWAKARN [s])[2] v (YANA BUCHINA/KSENIA PERVAK)[6]

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

andrewbroad
Jun 6th, 2009, 03:43 AM
=============
ROLAND GARROS (Paris, France; red clay; Major)
============= http://www.rolandgarros.com/
Contents
--------

1. Photos
2. Women's Doubles: Final
3. Girls' Singles: Semi-finals
4. Girls' Doubles: Semi-finals
5. Order of play for Saturday

---------
1. Photos (in alphabetical order of surname)
---------

Maret Ani:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta010278.html
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=ani

Victoria Azarenka [DF]:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta312001.html
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=azarenka

Marion Bartoli [DF,S]:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta020631.html
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=bartoli

Iveta Benešová:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta020576.html
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=benesova

Petra Cetkovská:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta030562.html
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=cetkovska

Dominika Cibulková:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta312894.html
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=cibulkova

Sorana Cîrstea:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta312469.html
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=cirstea

Alizé Cornet:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta312121.html
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=cornet

Elena Dementieva:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta040289.html
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=dementieva

Vitalia Diatchenko [S]:
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=diatchenko

Jelena Dokić [EF]:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta040344.html
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=dokic

Gisela Dulko [DF]:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta040388.html
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=dulko

Olga Govortsova:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta311243.html
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=govortsova

Daniela Hantuchová [EF]:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta080394.html
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=hantuchova

Polona Hercog:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta313968.html
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=hercog

Lucie Hradecká [S]:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta310849.html

Ana Ivanović [DF]:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta311710.html
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=ivanovic

Mathilde Johansson:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta100162.html
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=mathilde+johansson

Michelle Larcher de Brito:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta314929.html
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=larcher

Sania Mirza [DF]:
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=mirza

Kristina Mladenović:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta315616.html
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=mladenovic

Irena Pavlović [S]:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta312738.html

Flavia Pennetta [DF]:
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=pennetta

Ioana Raluca Olaru:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta311766.html
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=olaru

Pauline Parmentier:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta160515.html
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=parmentier

Aravane Rezaď:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta311791.html
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=rezai

Magdaléna Rybáriková [DF]:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta312580.html
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=rybarikova

Lucie Šafářová [EF]:
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=safarova

Maria Sharapova [EF]:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta310137.html
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=sharapova

Yaroslava Shvedova:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta311137.html
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=shvedova

Samantha Stosur:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta190787.html
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=stosur

Ágnes Szávay:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta311872.html
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=szavay

Elena Vesnina:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta311220.html
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=vesnina

Caroline Wozniacki:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta313402.html
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=wozniacki

Klára Zakopalová:
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=zakopalova

-------------------------
2. Women's Doubles: Final (Friday 5th June 2009)
-------------------------

+ (ANABEL MEDINA GARRIGUES/VIRGINIA RUANO PASCUAL)[3] d. (VICTORIA AZARENKA [DF]/ELENA VESNINA)[12], 6-1 6-1

I would have preferred the brilliant Azarenka and beautiful Vesnina to win, but the two Spaniards are quite nice too.

Virginia Ruano Pascual: "We complete each other. She gives me the power I lack in my shots, and I give my strategic view. This is emotional for me, because I don't plan on coming back next year. I'm going to stop here."

------------------------------
3. Girls' Singles: Semi-finals
------------------------------
3.1 Semi-final results (Friday 5th June 2009)
----------------------

What rocked:
+ KRISTINA MLADENOVIĆ [9] d. SLOANE STEPHENS [15], 7-5 6-3

What sucked:
- KSENIA PERVAK [3] lt. Daria Gavrilova, 6-4 6-7 (3/7) 2-6


3.2 Final-draw
--------------

* KRISTINA MLADENOVIĆ [9] v Daria Gavrilova (allez Kristina!)

------------------------------
4. Girls' Doubles: Semi-finals
------------------------------
4.1 Semi-final results (Friday 5th June 2009
----------------------

Very nice:
+ (ELENA BOGDAN/NOPPAWAN LERTCHEEWAKARN [S])[2] d. (YANA BUCHINA/KSENIA PERVAK)[6], 6-1 4-6 [10/4]

Meh:
+ (TÍMEA BABOS/HEATHER WATSON)[3] d. Ksenia Kirillova/Martina Trevisan, 6-2 5-7 [10/8]


4.2 Final-draw
--------------

* (ELENA BOGDAN/NOPPAWAN LERTCHEEWAKARN [S])[2] v (TÍMEA BABOS/HEATHER WATSON)[3]

-----------------------------
5. Order of play for Saturday
-----------------------------

Court Philippe Chatrier (start 15:00 CEST = 13:00 GMT = 14:00 BST)
WS final: SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [7] v DINARA SAFINA [1]
MD final: (LUKÁŠ DLOUHÝ/LEANDER PAES)[3] v Wesley Moodie/Dick Norman

UK TV-reminder: the Women's Singles final will be on BBC 2 from 14:00 BST.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

andrewbroad
Jun 7th, 2009, 02:29 AM
=============
ROLAND GARROS (Paris, France; red clay; Major)
============= http://www.rolandgarros.com/
Contents
--------

1. Photos
2. Women's Singles: Final
3. Girls' Doubles: Final
4. Order of play for Sunday

---------
1. Photos
---------

Elena Bogdan:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta314318.html

Search Getty Images for "bogdan"

-------------------------
2. Women's Singles: Final (Saturday 6th June 2009)
-------------------------

+ SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [7] d. DINARA SAFINA [1], 6-4 6-2

This match gave me a wonderful feeling of Schadenfreude. I could not stand to see Safina ever win a Major, so it warmed my heart to witness her latest abject failure in a Major final (she played very poorly, and finished with a double fault), and then to see her sitting in her chair all devastated.

Teardrops come again
I can almost feel your pain
I never ever thought the day would come
When I would be the lucky one
To see you hurt
To see you cry
Gives my soul a natural high
Think about the times you walked on me
Your teardrops came to set me free
[411, "Teardrops"]

Safina may be ranked #1 by the WTA, she may have won 11 WTA singles-titles, she may have dominated the early rounds of the French Open, and she may have pulled off some unbelievable wins from the brink of defeat in previous French Opens, but she has a mental block (and frankly a lack of talent) when it comes to Major finals, in which she is now 0:3 without even winning a set.

Safina: "I put pressure on myself, because I really wanted to win. I just didn't handle it. I was a little bit desperate on the court, and didn't do the things that I had to do. Didn't stay tough mentally. She gave me chances and I had chances. She was not so aggressive as she usually is. I just didn't do anything."

Those last two sentences are unfair to Kuznetsova, who played the best tennis I've ever seen her play - not just power, but mixing up the play with some excellent dropshots - as she won her long-awaited second Major (her first was the US Open 2004) and her first to be televised by the BBC.

Kuznetsova: "She plays with too much pressure; I play to enjoy it."

There's also an embarrassing reason why I didn't want Safina to win: it would have made Anna Chakvetadze the wooden-spoonist of this French Open! :o Instead, that dubious distinction goes to French wild card Irena Pavlović, who lost to Akgul Amanmuradova, who lost to Olga Govortsova, who lost to Li,Na, who lost to Maria Sharapova, who lost to Dominika Cibulková, who lost to Safina, who lost to Kuznetsova.


Prematch
--------

The match was first on Court Philippe Chatrier, and I saw it on BBC 2.

Safina looked by far the more nervous of the two coming onto court, and the match started at 15:12 CEST.


First set
---------
KUZNET _@* * *@ @ 6
SAFINA @__* *__@_ 4

Kuznetsova serving 0-0: Safina ran down a pathetic short ball and hit a crosscourt forehand winner. 0/15. Kuznetsova on the third stroke hit a forehand just wide of Safina's forehand-sideline. 0/30. Safina backhand dead-netcord winner. 0/40 (BP #1). Kuznetsova on the third stroke hit an off-forehand winner. 15/40 (BP #2). Safina's crosscourt forehand forced Kuznetsova to net one, giving Safina an immediate break.

David Mercer: "Don't set too much store by Kuznetsova being broken at the start. She's been broken 13 times already this tournament."

Safina serving 1-0: On the third stroke, Safina's forehand clipped the netcord and fell wide. 0/15. A longish baseline-rally ended with Safina netting a forehand. 0/30. Double fault #1. 0/40 (BP). Safina hit a crosscourt forehand wide.

Kuznetsova serving 1-1: Kuznetsova cleaned the sideline with a down-the-line backhand, forcing Safina to net a forehand. 15/0. Kuznetsova played a fantastic domineering rally, finishing with a crosscourt backhand drop-volley winner. 30/0. Safina on the third stroke hit a forehand just long (the umpire Kader Nooni checked the mark). 40/0. Kuznetsova hit an off-forehand winner just inside the sideline.

Kuznetsova is now playing with terrific confidence and verve, and has won the last eight points against the Majorless #1.

Safina serving 1-2: With both players keeping a good length, Kuznetsova slugged a crosscourt forehand just wide. 15/0. A deep forehand return down the middle induced Safina to spray a forehand wide. 15/15. Double fault #2 (second serve long). 15/30. Kuznetsova netted a forehand. 30/30. A good serve down the middle forced Kuznetsova to net a one-handed backhand return. 40/30. A good serve out wide forced Kuznetsova to net a backhand return.

Kuznetsova serving 2-2: Kuznetsova netted a backhand. 0/15. Kuznetsova's strong off-forehand induced Safina to hit a backhand just long. 15/15. Safina forced a short ball, but netted an easy-looking forehand. 30/15. Kuznetsova on the third stroke hit a delectable crosscourt backhand dropshot-winner. 40/15. Double fault #1 (second serve wide). 40/30. Kuznetsova on the fifth stroke netted a forehand. Deuce #1. Second serve: off-backhand return-winner. Ad Safina (BP). Kuznetsova went to the net and hit a crosscourt forehand volley for a virtual winner. Deuce #2. Forehand return just long. Ad Kuznetsova. Her depth forced Safina to net a backhand.

I must admit that so far, I'm enjoying this final much more than I expected, given the ugly players involved. I never thought I'd one day find myself rooting for Kuznetsova so strongly! ;)

Safina serving 2-3: Double fault (second serve long). 0/15. Kuznetsova's crosscourt forehand dropshot forced Safina to miss a running forehand. 0/30. Second serve out wide. 15/30. Kuznetsova netted a forehand. 30/30. Safina's deep crosscourt backhand forced Kuznetsova to hit a backhand long and wide. 40/30. Safina on the third stroke hit an off-forehand winner.

It's not all muscular power from Kuznetsova; she's also mixing up the play with dropshots. Safina looks rather one-dimensional in comparison.

Kuznetsova serving 3-3: Safina crosscourt forehand just wide. 15/0. Kuznetsova went for a forehand down the line, but it was just wide. 15/15. Backhand return just long. 30/15. Off-forehand return just wide. 40/15. Safina backhand long.

Safina serving 3-4: Double fault #4 (second serve just long). 0/15. Safina blasted a crosscourt forehand not even halfway up the net. 0/30. Safina dumped another horrendous forehand into the bottom of the net. 0/40 (BP #1). Kuznetsova forehand just long. 15/40 (BP #2). Safina on the third stroke hit an off-forehand winner. 30/40 (BP #3). Kuznetsova's low-bouncing crosscourt backhand forced Safina to earth a one-handed backhand.

Clear signs on the first three points of that game that Safina is very nervous!

Kuznetsova serving 5-3: Kuznetsova backhand long. 0/15. Safina's deep return induced Kuznetsova to spray a forehand wide. 0/30. Kuznetsova netted a down-the-line forehand. 0/40 (BP). Kuznetsova on the third stroke sliced a backhand wide.

Sloppy game there by Kuznetsova. It's almost like she lost her concentration - I realise that's an extraordinary suggestion when serving for the first set of a Major final!

Safina serving 4-5: Kuznetsova opened up the court and hit an off-forehand winner down the line. 0/15. Kuznetsova ran down a dropshot and hit a crosscourt backhand dropshot-winner. 0/30. Kuznetsova's crosscourt forehand missed the sideline by a whisker. 15/30. Kuznetsova punished a slow second serve with an off-forehand winner. 15/40 (SP #1). Kuznetsova hit a down-the-line backhand back behind Safina, forcing her to stretch wide and net a forehand. Kuznetsova won the first set 6-4 at 15:51 CEST (39m).


Second set
----------
KUZNET * * *@*@ 6
SAFINA _* *____ 2

Kuznetsova serving 0-0: Kuznetsova's deep crosscourt forehand forced Safina to hit a forehand long. 15/0. Kuznetsova on the third stroke bunted an attempted off-forehand dropshot into the net - wrong choice of shot. 15/15. Safina sprayed a forehand very long. 30/15. Safina backhand long. 40/15. Safina crosscourt forehand + down-the-line forehand forced Kuznetsova to net a backhand. 40/30. Kuznetsova's off-forehand forced Safina to turn and net a sliced backhand.

David Mercer: "This game coming up is a very important one for Safina. Kuznetsova's threatening to move away here."

Safina serving 0-1: Serve out wide + crosscourt forehand winner back behind Kuznetsova. 15/0. First serve out wide: Kuznetsova mishit a crosscourt backhand return wide. 30/0. Safina off-forehand just wide. 30/15. Kuznetsova ran around her backhand to hit an off-forehand, and followed it up with a gigantic crosscourt forehand just inside the sideline, forcing Safina to stretch wide and earth a forehand. 30/30. First serve: Kuznetsova netted a makeable forehand return. 40/30. Kuznetsova netted a forehand.

Kuznetsova's causing all sorts of problems with her forehand stretching Safina into awkward positions to force errors. It's just a shame she couldn't get the break there.

Kuznetsova serving 1-1: Safina hit a crosscourt forehand long, and petulantly slapped the dead ball itno the net. 15/0. Kuznetsova hit an off-forehand onto the sideline to force a floater from Safina, and dispatched it with a crosscourt forehand volley-winner. 30/0. Kuznetsova netted a crosscourt backhand dropshot from the baseline - wrong choice of shot, especially when she had the kind of initiative she did! (the initiative to hit a big crosscourt backhand into the open court, rather than a dropshot). 30/15. Forehand return long. 40/15. Kuznetsova backhand long. 40/30. Safina got a short ball, but hit a down-the-line forehand just wide.

Safina serving 1-2: Kuznetsova on the fourth stroke netted a backhand. 15/0. Double fault #5 (slow second serve into the net). 15/15. Safina took the initiative, forced a floater, and dispatched it with a crosscourt forehand smash-winner. 30/15. Safina spread Kuznetsova, her wide crosscourt forehand forcing Kuznetsova to net a forehand. 40/15. Kuznetsova blasted a down-the-line backhand just wide.

Ominous signs of improvement from Safina from 15/15 in that game, and that Kuznetsova is starting to rush.

Kuznetsova serving 2-2: Kuznetsova netted a backhand, and muttered. 0/15. Kuznetsova on the third stroke slapped an off-forehand into the net. 0/30. Safina crosscourt forehand wide. 15/30. Safina forehand just long. 30/30. First serve: crosscourt forehand return wide. 40/30. Crosscourt forehand return + off-forehand winner down the line. Deuce. Kuznetsova on the third stroke hit a crosscourt backhand winner onto the sideline. Kuznetsova yelled, even though she won the point. Ad Kuznetsova. First serve out wide: Safina netted a backhand return.

Safina serving 2-3: Safina crosscourt forehand winner. 15/0. Double fault #6 (second serve clipped the netcord and fell wide). 15/15. Safina crosscourt backhand wide. 15/30. Kuznetsova's depth forced Safina to net a forehand. 15/40 (BP #1). Kuznetsova broke with a deep crosscourt forehand return just inside the baseline, forcing Safina to hit a forehand long.

Safina looks pretty upset, standing at the baseline at a set and a break down. She wants to win a Major so badly, but I hope she never will.

Kuznetsova serving 4-2: Safina off-forehand winner on the sideline. 0/15. Safina hit a forehand just long, and hit the dead ball in frustration. 15/15. Safina backhand long. 30/15. Kuznetsova went to the net, and Safina hit a would-be lob-winner just long. She looks close to tears now. 40/15. Kuznetsova netted a forehand that would also have been wide. 40/30. Safina hit an off-forehand would-be return-winner just wide.

A set and 5-2, but Safina recovered from this position twice here last year, while Kuznetsova blew such leads in both her previous matches. Somehow, given the dismayed look on Safina's face at the changeover, I don't think it's going to happen today.

Safina serving 2-5: Kuznetsova dominated the point with hard groundstrokes, her down-the-line backhand forcing Safina to hit a defensive forehand wide, and now she actually is crying! 0/15. Safina ran down a dropshot, hit a crosscourt backhand to force a floater, and dispatched it with a backhand volley-winner. 15/15. Kuznetsova went for a crosscourt backhand winner onto the sideline, but it was just wide. 30/15. Kuznetsova forehand winner down the line. 30/30. Safina netted a cheap backhand down the line. 30/40 (CP #1). Slow first serve into the net. Second serve clipped the netcord and fell wide of the doubles-sideline! Kuznetsova won 6-4 6-2 at 16:27 CEST (second set 36m, match 1h15m).

I clapped my hands with malicious glee when I realised that that second serve was going wide. Safina's loss gives me the most wonderful feeling of Schadenfreude, especially for Safina to end on a double fault! And now to see her sitting in her chair, feeling the agony of defeat as she is now 0:3 in Major finals.

Safina said all the usual stuff in her speech, but sounded considerably more upset than in her two previous runner's-up speeches at the Majors.

In an unemotional champion's speech, Kuznetsova told Safina she would "get more" one day (eight games in a Major final, perhaps?), and apologised for playing better than her today.

------------------------
3. Girls' Doubles: Final (Saturday 6th June 2009)
------------------------

+ (ELENA BOGDAN/NOPPAWAN LERTCHEEWAKARN [S])[2] d. (TÍMEA BABOS/HEATHER WATSON)[3], 3-6 6-3 [10/8]

It's always nice to see someone win with two hands on both sides (Noppawan Lertcheewakarn is a Selesian), but it's even nicer to see the tall, blonde, slim, beautiful Elena Bogdan - whom I saw in the flesh at Eastbourne last year - holding a Major trophy!

---------------------------
4. Order of play for Sunday
---------------------------

Court Philippe Chatrier (start 15:00 CEST = 13:00 GMT = 14:00 BST)
MS final: ROBIN SÖDERLING [23] v ROGER FEDERER [2]

Court Suzanne Lenglen (start 11:00 CEST = 09:00 GMT = 10:00 BST)
BS final: Daniel Berta v GIANNI MINA [11]
GS final: KRISTINA MLADENOVIĆ [9] v Daria Gavrilova

UK TV-reminder: the Men's Singles final will be on BBC 2 from 14:00 BST.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

andrewbroad
Jun 8th, 2009, 01:56 AM
=============
ROLAND GARROS (Paris, France; red clay; Major)
============= http://www.rolandgarros.com/
Contents
--------

1. Photos
2. Girls' Singles: Final
3. Men's Singles: Final
4. More reports to come!

---------
1. Photos
---------

Dominika Cibulková and other players:
http://www.tennis.com/features/galleries/FrenchSemisFinals/

Kristina Mladenović:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta315616.html
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=mladenovic

Search Getty Images for "mladenovic"

------------------------
2. Girls' Singles: Final (Sunday 7th June 2009)
------------------------

+ KRISTINA MLADENOVIĆ [9] d. Daria Gavrilova, 6-3 6-2

Kristina is quite good-looking - tall and well-built, with long, blonde hair - but what is it with French people and missing front teeth? First Yannick Noah, then Fabrice Santoro, and now Kristina! ;)


Articles
--------

Mladenović wins French junior-title (AP)
>>>
No.9-seeded Kristina Mladenović of France won the girls' title by beating Daria Gavrilova of Russia 6-3 6-2.

The 5'11" Mladenović won every set in six rounds, and hit serves at up to 124 mph, matching the fastest serve in the women's draw: by Venus Williams.

"I spent a wonderful week here," said Mladenović, 16. "I have the trophy in my hands; it's just happiness for me."

Mladenović won the juniors' title after losing in the first round of the women's draw. She plans to play juniors at Wimbledon.
<<<

Mladenović sweeps to girls' title (Eric Frosio, www.rolandgarros.com (http://www.rolandgarros.com))
>>>
France's Kristina Mladenović cruised to victory in the Girls' Singles final, dominating Daria Gavrilova of Russia 6-3 6-2.

16-year-old Mladenović became the 14th French player to win the juniors' title at the French Open, as she dispatched her opponent in a little over an hour on Suzanne Lenglen court in front of a sizeable crowd. The French girl won the tournament with flair, not dropping a single set along the way, and the former European under-14 champion plays an exciting brand of aggressive game.

The match was a contrast in styles, with Mladenović leaning on her strong serve and forehand, while Gavrilova played more defensively, varying the height and angles of the ball. The 15-year-old Russian - coached by Patrick Mouratoglou - was too passive, however, and let her opponent dictate too many points.

'Kiki' - as Mladenović is known - did not have it all her own way in the final, however, and found herself two games down before she was barely out of the locker-room. Boosted by the enthusiastic support of her fan-club - mostly made up of members of her brother's football-team - Mladenović got her focus back to break twice and take the first set 6-3 in 33 minutes.

Mladenović was 2-1 up in the second set when Gavrilova fumbled a smash and crashed to her knees. The trainer strapped up her painful knee, but the Russian could not drag herself back into contention – Mladenović controlled play, and again broke twice to sail to victory, bagging the second set 6-2.

The French girl celebrated her first big win by blowing kisses to her friends and family in the stands, and then climbed up to kiss Georges Goven her coach, and Dragan her father. After lifting her trophy, she kept on top of her emotions just long enough to thank her loved ones. "Thank you to everyone who supported me!" she smiled, "and special thanks to the person in navy blue with his head down [Goven]. I'm so happy to have won this tournament!"

Already ranked No.338 in the world, Mladenović is hoping to follow in her the footsteps of her idols Elena Dementieva and Mario Ančić by breaking into the top 100 by the end of the season.

Her attacking game and powerful serve (clocked at 200 km/h in her first-round match in the main draw against Magdaléna Rybáriková) will play integral parts in helping her dream come true, and perhaps she will even follow in the footsteps of Amélie Mauresmo or Alizé Cornet, both of whom won the juniors here at Roland Garros.
<<<

-----------------------
3. Men's Singles: Final (Sunday 7th June 2009)
-----------------------

+ ROGER FEDERER [2] d. ROBIN SÖDERLING [23], 6-1 7-6 (7/1) 6-4

This win completes Federer's Career Grand Slam, and proves that the greatest male tennis-player of all time is... Rafael Nadal.

Before today, Pete Sampras was the greatest male: he won 14 Majors (but never the French Open), and was utterly dominant in his era: one that included Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, and a succession of anonymous French Open champions who did well to make a quarter-final in any other Major.

Federer joins Sampras on 14 Majors, but has a greater variety of Majors than Sampras. One could also argue that Federer has kept the likes of Lleyton Hewitt and Andy Roddick from becoming much greater Major champions than they've been.

But as great as Federer has been, Nadal is mightier still. He may only have won 6 Majors so far, but he has beaten Federer in EACH AND EVERY ONE of those Majors, whereas Federer has only ever beaten Nadal in two Majors, winning his other 12 when Nadal was either very young or lost before Federer had to face him. Nadal has proved time and again that he is better than Federer: he leads their overall head to head 13:7.

Nadal needs only a US Open title to complete his own Career /Golden/ Grand Slam, and only his bad knees will stop him winning 8 more Majors to catch up with Federer.


Alarming breach of security
---------------------------

There was an alarming incident with Söderling at 1-6 *1-2 (15/0), when Jimmy Jump burst onto court carrying a hat and a flag. He went right up to Federer and tried to put the hat on his head for about ten seconds before the security-guards arrived.

Have they learned nothing from 30th April 1993, when Monica Seles was stabbed on court at Hamburg? :fiery:

------------------------
4. More reports to come!
------------------------

I'll be posting my full TV-reports for members of my Eternal Fanship the week before Wimbledon:
* 2r: Maria Sharapova v Nadia Petrova (ETA 16th June 2009)
* 2r: Lucie Šafářová v Venus Williams (ETA 18th June 2009)
* 4r: Maria Sharapova v Li,Na (ETA 20th June 2009)

So don't forget to check back here!

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

andrewbroad
Jun 17th, 2009, 01:53 AM
Having just inducted Magdaléna Rybáriková into my Eternal Fanship, I have uploaded an extended version of my reports on her French Open matches to her section of my website:
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/rybar/french_open2009.html

andrewbroad
Jun 19th, 2009, 03:10 AM
=============
ROLAND GARROS (Paris, France; red clay; Major)
============= http://www.rolandgarros.com/
Second round (Wednesday 27th May 2009)
------------

+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. NADIA PETROVA [11], 6-2 1-6 8-6

I saw this match on the BBC Red Button, and have just uploaded my full TV-report - including a point-by-point description - to my website:
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/french_open2009.html

I've also uploaded slightly extended versions of my first- and third-round scoreboard-reports for Maria. I plan to upload the fourth-round and quarter-final reports before Wimbledon starts.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

andrewbroad
Jun 20th, 2009, 01:44 AM
=============
ROLAND GARROS (Paris, France; red clay; Major)
============= http://www.rolandgarros.com/
Second round (Wednesday 27th/Thursday 28th May 2009)
------------

- Lucie Šafářová [EF] lt. VENUS WILLIAMS [3], 7-6 (7/5) 2-6 5-7

I saw this match on the BBC Red Button, and have just uploaded my full TV-report - including a point-by-point description - to my website:
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/safar/french_open2009.html

I've also uploaded a slightly extended version of my first-round scoreboard-report for Lucie.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

andrewbroad
Jun 21st, 2009, 03:56 AM
=============
ROLAND GARROS (Paris, France; red clay; Major)
============= http://www.rolandgarros.com/
Photos
------

Maria Sharapova [EF]:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/overview/wta310137.html
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=sharapova

------------
Fourth round (Sunday 31st May 2009)
------------

+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. LI,NA [25], 6-4 0-6 6-4

I saw this match on the BBC Red Button, and have just uploaded my full TV-report - including a point-by-point description - to my website:
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/french_open2009.html

I've also uploaded a slightly extended version of my quarter-final scoreboard-report for Maria.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

andrewbroad
Mar 8th, 2010, 02:38 AM
=============
ROLAND GARROS (Paris, France; red clay; Major)
=============
First round (Monday 25th May 2009)
-----------

+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. Anastasiya Yakimova, 3-6 6-1 6-2

I acquired Fox Sports' (Australia) coverage of this match from Tennis Videos International last month. This coverage starts at 3-1* in the third set, and I have updated my report accordingly.

My main observations are that Maria's right shoulder was taped, she hit the ball extremely hard (especially her serve), grunted very loudly, and was always looking to move towards the net, as she clearly doesn't want to get bogged down in long baseline-rallies on clay. The clay did neuter her power to some extent, allowing Yakimova to put back in play several balls that would have been irretrievable on faster surfaces than clay.

My full TV-report – which includes a point-by-point description, and transcriptions of selected commentary – is now available on my new website (along with my existing TV-reports on Maria's second- and fourth-round matches, which were televised by the BBC):

http://abroad.sqweebs.com/tennis/shara/french_open2009.html

====================
More reports to come
====================

I also acquired Maria's French Open 2009 third-round match (against Yaroslava Shvedova, from *1-2 in the third set), which I plan to write up by 15th March 2010.

The other match I acquired is the Australian Open 2010 (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=399696) first round between Maria Sharapova and Maria Kirilenko: it's the full match, which lasted 3h22m, so writing it up will be an absolute marathon! I make no promises as to when I might finish it, but ideally I'd like to complete it before the next French Open (i.e. by 21st May 2010).

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

andrewbroad
Mar 22nd, 2010, 02:01 AM
I have finished my TV-report for Sharapova v Shvedova, but I cannot post it until my website comes back online. My host Sqweebs's server went down circa 11th March 2010, and I understand that Sqweebs is planning to transfer all its data to a new server, but I don't have an ETA for when my website will be back online.

I'll upload my report within 24 hours of my website coming back online, and until then, I'll continue to update the ETA for my report in the Title of this thread on a weekly basis. I'll only consider posting my report elsewhere if it looks like Sqweebs won't be back online by the next French Open – let's say 21st May 2010.

andrewbroad
Jun 17th, 2010, 03:54 AM
===========
FRENCH OPEN (Roland Garros, Paris, France; red clay; Major)
===========
Third round (Friday 29th May 2009)
-----------

+ Maria Sharapova [EF] d. Yaroslava Shvedova [Q], 1-6 6-3 6-4

I acquired Fox Sports' (Australia) coverage of the match from Tennis Videos International in December 2009. This coverage starts at *1-2 (40/15) in the third, and I have updated my report accordingly.

My full TV-report – which includes a point-by-point description, and transcriptions of selected commentary – is now available on my new website (along with my existing TV-reports on Maria's first-, second- and fourth-round matches):

http://abroad.sqweebs.org/tennis/shara/french_open2009.html

I am well aware that I am posting my report more than a year after the match was played. I actually had my report finished and ready to upload three months ago, but due to Sqweebs having its server disabled in March, and only coming back at the start of the French Open 2010, I didn't have a chance to post it before now.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad