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andrewbroad
May 25th, 2010, 03:58 AM
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FRENCH OPEN (Roland Garros, Paris, France; red clay; Major)
===========
Contents
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1. Photos
2. UK TV-alert
3. First-round draw
4. Maria Sharapova preview
5. Order of play for Tuesday

Master-thread for my French Open 2010 reports:
http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=409618

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

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1. Photos
---------
1.1 General links
-----------------

I will post these links only once.

Where to look at many players:
* http://www.tennis.com/galleries/index.aspx
* http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/gallery
* http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/tennis/photos.html

Where to search for specific players:
* http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/players/rankingsw.html
* http://uk.news.search.yahoo.com/
* http://www.fotosports.com/
* Getty Images

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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 Freeview-channel 301).

* Sunday 23rd May to Friday 4th June, 10:00–19:00 BST, BBC Red Button
* Saturday 5th June, 14:00–16:30 BST, BBC Two
* Sunday 6th June: 14:00–18:00 BST, BBC Two

N.B. The BBC's coverage will NOT be available on Freeview at the following times:
* Sunday 23rd May (all day)
* Friday 28th May (11:30–13:45 BST)
* Sunday 30th May (10:00–13:30 and 15:15–16:20 BST)

The Freeview-outages will not be a problem for me, because I now have access to freesat. :)

Source:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/6102132.stm

-------------------
3. First-round draw (updated after Day 2)
-------------------
3.1 Top quarter: Maria Sharapova
--------------------------------

* SERENA WILLIAMS [1] won
* Julia Görges won
* Katie O'Brien v Jill Craybas (go Katie!)
* Alizé Cornet v ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA [29] (allez Alizé!)

* SHAHAR PE'ER [18] v Nuria Llagostera Vives [Q] (kadima Shahar!)
* Peng,Shuai [s] v Vania King (jia you Shuai!)
* Olivia Sánchez [WC] v Shenay Perry
* MARION BARTOLI [13,DF,S] v Maria Elena Camerin (my Passion says Maria Elena, but my Reason says Marion)

* MARIA SHARAPOVA [12,EF] v Ksenia Pervak [Q] (my loyalty is to MARIA)
* Ayumi Morita [s] v Kirsten Flipkens (my loyalty is to Ayumi)
* Klára Zakopalová v Katarina Srebotnik (my loyalty is to Klára)
* Tsvetana Pironkova [DF] v JUSTINE HENIN [22] (aide Tsvetana!)

* ZHENG,JIE [25] v Ekaterina Bychkova (my loyalty is to Jie)
* Ioana Raluca Olaru v Anastasia Pivovarova [Q] (my loyalty is to Raluca)
* Rossana de los Ríos won
* SAMANTHA STOSUR [7] won


3.2 Second quarter: Rybáriková, Hantuchová, Zvonarëva
-----------------------------------------------------

* JELENA JANKOVIĆ [4] won
* Kaia Kanepi [Q] won
* Magdaléna Rybáriková [EF] won
* ALYONA BONDARENKO [27] won

* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [23,EF] v Tamarine Tanasugarn (POĎME DANIELA!!)
* Olga Govortsova v Carla Suárez Navarro (davai Olga!)
* Mariana Duque Marińo v Sybille Bammer
* YANINA WICKMAYER [16,DF] v Sandra Záhlavová (komaan Yanina!)

* Kimiko Date Krumm v DINARA SAFINA [9]
* Jarmila Groth [WC] v Chan,Yung-Jan
* Ekaterina Makarova v Anastasia Rodionova
* VERA ZVONARËVA [21,EF] v Alberta Brianti (DAVAI VERA!!)

* ALISA KLEYBANOVA [28] won
* Ana Ivanović [DF] won
* Yaroslava Shvedova won
* AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [8] won


3.3 Third quarter: Lucie Šafářová
---------------------------------

* SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [6] won
* Andrea Petković won
* Yvonne Meusburger won
* MARIA KIRILENKO [30,DF] won

* FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [17] won
* Sophie Ferguson [Q] won
* Stéphanie Cohen-Aloro [WC] won
* LI,NA [11] won

* FLAVIA PENNETTA [14,DF] won
* Roberta Vinci won
* Polona Hercog won
* LUCIE ŠAFÁŘOVÁ [24,EF] won

* ALEXANDRA DULGHERU [31] won
* Tímea Bacsinszky won
* Tathiana Garbin won
* CAROLINE WOŹNIACKI [3] won


3.4 Bottom quarter
------------------

* ELENA DEMENTIEVA [5] won
* Anabel Medina Garrigues won
* Aleksandra Woźniak won
* KATARYNA BONDARENKO [32] won

* Akgul Amanmuradova won
* Johanna Larsson won
* Chanelle Scheepers [Q] won
* Gisela Dulko [DF] won

* ARAVANE REZAĎ [15] won
* Angelique Kerber won
* Ágnes Szávay won
* NADIA PETROVA [19] won

* DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [26] won
* Varvara Lepchenko won
* Arantxa Parra Santonja [s] won
* VENUS WILLIAMS [2] won

--------------------------
4. Maria Sharapova preview
--------------------------

Maria Sharapova is a tweenage tennis-phenomenon with the potential to be the best player in the world, as she continues to improve an already brilliant game. Her on-court presence is reminiscent of my all-time favourite player Monica Seles, with her powerful, early groundstrokes, her extreme on-court intensity, passion, focus, determination and fearlessness, and yes – her grunting! ;) At her best, she gets in a zone where the ball seems to come to her in slow motion, enabling her to hit winners at will.

Maria is still struggling after a 9˝-month lay-off from July 2008 to May 2009, during which she had right-shoulder surgery in October 2008. Last year, she reached the quarter-finals of the French Open in only her second tournament back, but has failed to reach a fourth round in the three Majors since.

The French Open may be the only Major that Maria has yet to win, but ironically it's the only Major where she has reached a quarter-final or even a fourth round since winning the Australian Open 2008.

At times in her comeback, Maria looked as impressive as ever, with her ferocious groundstrokes and iron will that had helped her win three Major titles and become world #1 in 2004–2008.

Yet at other times, Maria has really struggled, going through alarming periods of unforced errors, and often serving double faults in double figures for a match.

So far in her comeback, Maria has got her ranking back up to #13, won a Premier title at Tokyo last October, and won two International titles so far in 2010: Memphis and Strasbourg.

But 2010 has been a huge disappointment for Maria outside of those two tournaments, as she has played only three other tournaments – and barely won a match in them – due to a right-elbow injury.

Maria lost to #58 Maria Kirilenko in a 3h22m marathon in the first round of the Australian Open: 7-6 3-6 6-4. Little Maria went on to reach her first Major quarter-final.

Maria won Memphis in February, beating #101 Shenay Perry 6-0 6-2, #137 Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-1 6-1, #70 Elena Baltacha 6-2 7-5, #66 Petra Kvitová 6-4 6-3, and #102 Sofia Arvidsson 6-2 6-1 in the final.

In her opening match at Indian Wells, Maria struggled past #43 Vera Dushevina 4-6 7-5 6-2, coming back from the verge of defeat at 4-6 3-5* (15/30*). She then lost 6-3 2-6 6-3 to #23 Zheng,Jie, blowing a *3-2 lead in the third set as her right-elbow injury flared up.

Maria didn't play for eight weeks after that. She came back at Madrid, but had the misfortune to draw the brilliant Lucie Šafářová in the first round. Maria fought from 0-4* to 4-4* in the first set, but Lucie is much better than her then-ranking of #30, and stormed to a 6-4 6-3 victory. Lucie went on to reach the semi-finals.

Maria fared much better at Strasbourg, gaining some much-needed match-play as she beat #67 Regina Kulikova 6-3 3-6 6-1, #267 Dia Evtimova 6-3 6-0, #81 Julia Görges 7-6 6-1, #49 Anabel Medina Garrigues 4-6 6-2 6-2, and #77 Kristina Barrois in the final.

What impressed me about Maria's Strasbourg-campaign was her determination to complete the tournament despite rain-delays that meant she had to complete her quarter-final and play her semi-final on Friday, and then play the final on Saturday.

Maria doesn't usually like to play the week before a Major, so I was half-expecting her to tank after dropping the first set of her semi-final, and I wondered how much was left in her tank when she went *3-5 down in the final.

But she obviously decided that it would better serve her French Open campaign to grind out these tough matches than to save her energy for the French Open, where she has a very tough potential third round against Justine Henin.


4.1 First-round preview
-----------------------

* MARIA SHARAPOVA [12,EF] v Ksenia Pervak [Q]

World #110 Pervak is best known for winning the Australian Open 2009 Girls' Singles title, beating Wimbledon-champion Laura Robson 6-3 6-1 in the final.

Pervak has a 16:11 win/loss record for 2010 so far, although all her wins have come in qualifying or ITF tournaments.

Pervak fell in the first qualifying-round of Brisbane, the second qualifying-round of Hobart, and the third qualifying-round of the Australian Open. She then lost 6-3 6-2 to #14 Vera Zvonarëva in the first round of Pattaya City.

Pervak won two matches to qualify for Kuala Lumpur, but lost 6-1 6-4 to #408 Noppawan Lertcheewakarn – the reigning Wimbledon Girls' Singles champion – in the first round of the main draw.

Pervak reached the quarter-finals of ITF Moscow, but lost 6-2 6-4 to #472 Elena Kulikova (not to be confused with Regina Kulikova).

Pervak reached the semi-finals of ITF Khanty-Mansiysk for the loss of just 7 games in three matches, then lost 7-6 6-1 to Anna Lapushchenkova (who went on to reach the semi-finals of Stuttgart).

Pervak retired in the first round of ITF Torhout, lost to 1-6 6-4 7-6 to #35 Yaroslava Shvedova in the second round of ITF Cagnes-sur-Mer, and 7-6 6-3 to Zuzana Kučová in the quarter-finals of ITF Jounieh.

Most recently, Pervak reached the semi-finals of ITF Prague, beating #238 Carmen Klaschka 7-5 6-3, #493 Sarah-Rebecca Sekulic 6-1 6-2 and #83 Sandra Záhlavová 7-6 6-0, before losing 6-3 2-6 6-3 to #197 Ajla Tomljanović.

Maria has never played Pervak before, but should have too much Tour-level experience and sheer talent for her soon-to-be-19-year-old compatriot. My only concern is that two days off will be enough for Maria to have recovered from having to play seven sets in the last two days of Strasbourg.

----------------------------
5. Order of play for Tuesday
----------------------------

Court Suzanne Lenglen (start 11:00 CEST = 09:00 GMT = 10:00 BST)
1. MS 1r: FERNANDO VERDASCO [7] v Igor Kunitsyn
2. WS 1r: Kimiko Date Krumm v DINARA SAFINA [9]
3. MS 1r: Gianni Mina [WC] v RAFAEL NADAL [2]
4. MS 1r: MARIA SHARAPOVA [12,EF] v Ksenia Pervak [Q]

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

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

andrewbroad
May 27th, 2010, 06:25 PM
Apologies for not posting this earlier, but I thought it highly unlikely that Maria would take to the court on this rainy day. However, the order-of-play committee has blindsided us by switching Maria v Flipkens to Court 2, and the match is already underway!

===========
FRENCH OPEN (Roland Garros, Paris, France; red clay; Major)
===========
Contents
--------

1. Photos
2. First-round TV-report: Sharapova v Pervak
3. Second-round draw
4. Second-round preview: Sharapova v Flipkens

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

Various players including Maria:
* http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/news/photos/

--------------------------------------------
2. First-round TV-report: Sharapova v Pervak (Tuesday 25th May 2010)
--------------------------------------------

+ MARIA SHARAPOVA [12,EF] d. Ksenia Pervak [Q], 6-3 6-2

This was a delightful match: easily the best that the BBC has televised from the French Open 2010 so far. Murray v Gasquet may have been an absolute epic with a couple of amazing rallies, but that pales in comparison to the constant flairsome power that these girls displayed!

It was my first time to see 18-year-old Pervak play, and I was impressed. She's left-handed; she hits the ball very well, and also absorbed the pace from Maria very well.

Pervak is rather one-dimensional, though, whereas Maria, as we know, has lots of variety. A prime example of Maria's variety came at 6-3 *3-0 (15/15), when she drew Pervak to the net with a dropshot, then hit a beautifully-flighted lob-winner over Pervak's head.

I am also impressed by Pervak's beauty. She's very cute, and reminds me a lot of Jelena Dokić in terms of facial features and facial expressions, such as that thing Jelena does with her mouth when she's concentrating. Pervak also has a pleasant, high-pitched grunt, and reacts to losing points with cute little yelps.

When Maria made a *0-2 (30/40) start, I was worried that she might be heading for her second first-round exit in successive Majors. But Pervak let her off the hook: 1-2*.

It started to rain, but fortunately it didn't amount to enough to suspend play on clay. Maria wasted 2 BPs at 1-2* with cheap forehand errors, and Pervak held for 3-1*.

Then Maria won 8 games in a row to lead 6-3 *3-0, although they continued to play breathtaking baseline-rallies in the first set.

Pervak just isn't used to competing at Maria's intensity, and began to unravel at the start of the second set, with loose errors – particularly when she had the chance to go for a winner.

The second set might well have been 6-0, as Maria led *3-0 (40/15), but served three double faults in the next four points: 3-1*.

Maria had her first MPs at 5-1* (40/15*), but Pervak rallied for all she was worth to save the first, then bravely hit a pinpoint backhand winner down the line – right in the corner – to save the second. A forehand smash-winner and a service-winner completed a very impressive hold by Pervak.

Maria hit two crosscourt forehand winners en route to her third MP at *5-2 (40/15), and sealed victory when Pervak sprayed a forehand wide.

I want to extract a lot more detail from this match than I could manage in a single take, so I'll post my full TV-report at a later date. I don't have an ETA at this time, as I'm extremely busy for the foreseeable future, and my website has been offline since March due to Sqweebs having its server disabled, which is why I haven't posted my Sharapova v Shvedova third-round TV-report from the French Open 2009 yet.


First set
---------
SHARAP __*_*@*@* 6
PERVAK @*_*_____ 3

The match started at 19:06 CEST.

Maria serving 0-0: 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 30/40 (BP #1). Broken.

Pervak serving 1-0: 15/0. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 40/30 (GP #1). Held.

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

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

Maria serving 1-3: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (GP #1). Held.

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

Maria serving 3-3: 0/15. 0/30. 15/30. 30/30. 40/30 (GP #1). Held.

Pervak serving 3-4 (new balls): 15/0. 30/0. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). 40/30 (GP #2). Deuce #1. Ad Pervak (GP #3). Deuce #2. Ad Maria (BP #1). Broken.

Maria serving 5-3: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (SP #1 for Maria). Maria won the first set 6-3 at 19:48 CEST (42m).


Second set
----------
SHARAP @*@_@*_* 6
PERVAK ___@__*_ 2

Pervak serving 0-0: 0/15. 0/30. 15/30. 15/40 (BP #1). Broken.

Maria serving 1-0: 15/0. 30/0. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). Held.

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

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

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

Maria serving 4-1: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (GP #1). Held.

Pervak serving 1-5: 15/0. 15/15. 15/30. 15/40 (MP #1 for Maria). 30/40 (MP #2 for Maria). Deuce #1. Ad Pervak (GP #1). Held.

Maria serving 5-2 (new balls): 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (MP #3 for Maria). Maria won 6-3 6-2 at 20:26 CEST (second set 37m, match 1h20m).

--------------------
3. Second-round draw
--------------------
3.1 Top half: Sharapova, Rybáriková, Hantuchová, Zvonarëva
----------------------------------------------------------

* Julia Görges v SERENA WILLIAMS [1] (komm jetzt Julia!)
* ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA [29] v Jill Craybas
* SHAHAR PE'ER [18] v Bethanie Mattek-Sands [LL] (kadima Shahar!)
* MARION BARTOLI [13,DF,S] v Olivia Sánchez [WC] (allez Marion!)

* MARIA SHARAPOVA [12,EF] v Kirsten Flipkens (DAVAI MARIA!!)
* Klára Zakopalová v JUSTINE HENIN [22] (pojďme Klára!)
* ZHENG,JIE [25] v Anastasia Pivovarova [Q] (my loyalty is to Jie)
* SAMANTHA STOSUR [7] v Rossana de los Ríos

* JELENA JANKOVIĆ [4] v Kaia Kanepi [Q]
* Magdaléna Rybáriková [EF] v ALYONA BONDARENKO [27] (my loyalty is to MAGDA)
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [23,EF] v Olga Govortsova (my loyalty is to DANIELA)
* YANINA WICKMAYER [16,DF] v Sybille Bammer (komaan Yanina!)

* Jarmila Groth [WC] v Kimiko Date Krumm
* VERA ZVONARËVA [21,EF] v Anastasia Rodionova (DAVAI VERA!!)
* Ana Ivanović [DF] v ALISA KLEYBANOVA [28] (ajde Ana!)
* Yaroslava Shvedova v AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [8] (davai Yaroslava!)


3.2 Bottom half
---------------

* SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [6] won
* MARIA KIRILENKO [30,DF] won
* Sophie Ferguson [Q] v FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [17]
* LI,NA [11] v Stéphanie Cohen-Aloro [WC]

* FLAVIA PENNETTA [14,DF] won
* Polona Hercog won
* ALEXANDRA DULGHERU [31] won
* CAROLINE WOŹNIACKI [3] won

* ELENA DEMENTIEVA [5] v Anabel Medina Garrigues (davai Elena!)
* KATARYNA BONDARENKO [32] v Aleksandra Woźniak
* Akgul Amanmuradova won
* Chanelle Scheepers [Q] won

* ARAVANE REZAĎ [15] won
* NADIA PETROVA [19] won
* DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [26] won
* VENUS WILLIAMS [2] won

---------------------------------------------
4. Second-round preview: Sharapova v Flipkens
---------------------------------------------

* MARIA SHARAPOVA [12,EF] v Kirsten Flipkens

Maria won her only meeting with Flipkens back at Luxembourg 2003, when the 16-year-old Maria won their first-round match 6-2 7-6 (9/7).

Flipkens is currently ranked #71, with a win/loss record of 16:10 for 2010 so far (including her first-round win here).

Flipkens started the year by winning five matches to reach the quarter-finals of Hobart as a qualifier, beating defending champion Petra Kvitová in the third round of qualifying(!), #34 Aleksandra Woźniak 7-5 6-2 in the second round of the main draw, and losing 6-3 6-4 to #50 Sara Errani.

Flipkens lost 6-4 6-3 to unranked Justine Henin in the first round of the Australian Open, then beat #135 Marta Domachowska 6-3 7-6 but lost to #9 Agnieszka Radwańska 6-2 7-6 in Belgium's Fed Cup tie against Poland.

Flipkens won three matches to reach the second round of Dubai as a qualifier, beating #51 Tímea Bacsinszky 6-3 6-4 in the first round of he main draw, but losing 6-0 6-0 to #14 Vera Zvonarëva.

Flipkens reached the third round of Indian Wells, beating Bacsinszky again 7-6 6-7 6-1, Woźniak again 6-1 6-2, and losing 6-4 6-2 to #7 Elena Dementieva.

Flipkens lost 6-3 6-1 to #107 Mariya Koryttseva in the second round of qualifying for Miami, 6-1 6-3 to #248 Laura Pous Tío in the first round of Marbella, and 7-5 6-2 to #87 Kristina Barrois in the first round of Barcelona.

At Estoril, Flipkens thrashed #55 Sybille Bammer 6-1 6-3, but lost 7-6 6-1 to #120 Arantxa Rus.

Flipkens qualified for Madrid by beating #91 Jill Craybas 7-5 6-3 and #108 Karolina Šprem 6-3 6-2, but lost 6-2 6-1 to Vera Dushevina in the first round proper.

Flipkens beat #100 Ayumi Morita 6-1 6-4 in the first round here.

Conclusion: Flipkens is a tricky little opponent for a lot of players, but I don't think she has anything to hurt Maria. It's more a question of how many games she can win against Maria, who might be keen to emulate Vera Zvonarëva's double bagel from Dubai.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

Apologies for not posting this earlier, but I thought it highly unlikely that Maria would take to the court on this rainy day. However, the order-of-play committee has blindsided us by switching Maria v Flipkens to Court 2, and the match is already underway!

andrewbroad
May 28th, 2010, 05:11 AM
===========
FRENCH OPEN (Roland Garros, Paris, France; red clay; Major)
===========
Contents
--------

1. Second-round scoreboard-report: Sharapova v Flipkens (Part 1)
2. Second-round draw
3. Order of play for Friday

-------------------------------------------------------
1. Second-round scoreboard-report: Sharapova v Flipkens (Part 1: Thursday 27th May 2010)
-------------------------------------------------------

* MARIA SHARAPOVA [12,EF] v Kirsten Flipkens, 6-3 *2-2 suspended

Maria has got off to a good start, dominating the first set, although she was broken back twice: first from *2-1, and then from *5-2 after wasting her first SP.

The second set has been very serve-dominated so far: four holds, no BPs.

Maria has a very good chance to win this match if she comes back out on Friday and replicates her first-set performance. So far, she has overpowered Flipkens in terms of winners and service-speeds, but Friday is a new day, which will reset the momentum for both players.

A word of warning: Maria was in almost this exact situation in her second round of the French Open 2008. She led Bethanie Mattek 6-2 *2-3 on Thursday night, but came out on Friday and dropped the second set, before finally winning 6-2 3-6 6-2. So she'll want to make a fast start on the resumption this time.

Flipkens is still in this match, but her chances are lower than they were at the beginning.


First set
---------
SHARAPOV @*__@*@_@ 6
FLIPKENS __*@___@_ 3

The match was originally scheduled fourth on Court 1, but due to a series of long rain-delays, it was moved to Court 2 (where just one match had been completed), and started at 20:18 CEST.

Flipkens serving 0-0: 0/15. 0/30. 15/40 (BP #1). Broken.

Sharapova serving 1-0: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (GP #1). Held.

Flipkens serving 0-2: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (GP #1). 40/15 (GP #2). 40/30 (GP #3). Deuce #1. Ad Flipkens (GP #4). Held.

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

Flipkens serving 2-2: 0/15. 0/30. 15/30. 30/30. 40/30 (GP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Sharapova (BP #1). Broken.

Sharapova serving 3-2: 0/15. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 40/30 (GP #1). Held.

Flipkens serving 2-4: 0/15. 0/30. 0/40 (BP #1). Broken.

Sharapova serving 5-2 (new balls): 0/15. 15/15. 15/30. 15/40 (BP #1). 30/40 (BP #2). Deuce #1. Ad Sharapova (SP #1). Deuce #2. Ad Flipkens (BP #3). Deuce #3. Ad Flipkens (BP #4). Broken.

The scoreboard actually said that Maria won the first set 6-2 at 20:49 CEST (31m), then reverted to *5-2 (Deuce #2).

Flipkens serving 3-5: 0/15. 0/30. 15/30. 15/40 (SP #2 for Sharapova). Sharapova won the first set 6-3 at 20:57 CEST (38m).


Second set
----------
SHARAPOV *_*_ 2
FLIPKENS _*_* 2

Sharapova serving 0-0: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (GP #1). Held.

Flipkens serving 0-1: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (GP #1). 40/15 (GP #2). Held.

Sharapova serving 1-1: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (GP #1). Held.

Flipkens serving 1-2: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (GP #1). Held.

Sharapova serving 2-2: The match was suspended due to darkness at 21:08 CEST (second set so far 11m, match so far 49m).


Statistics
----------

So far, Maria has served 4 aces and one double fault, Flipkens one ace and 2 double faults.

Maria has a W:UE ratio of 18:6 (first set 13:6, second set 5:0), while Flipkens's is 9:9 (first set 7:8, second set 2:1).

Maria has been serving much faster than Flipkens: fastest 116-108 mph, average first serve 105-101 mph, average second serve 98-82 mph.

Maria has been winning 69% of her service-points (first set 61%, second set 100%). She has got 67% of her first serves in, winning 75% of the points when she has done so, and 42% on second serve.

Flipkens has been winning 46% of her service-points (first set 37%, second set 89%). She has got 54% of her first serves in, winning 57% of the points when she has done so, and 33% on second serve.

Maria has converted 4 of 5 BPs (all in the first set).

Flipkens has converted 2 of 5 BPs (all in the first set).

Maria has won 7 of 13 points at the net (54%), Flipkens 5 of 8 (63%).

In points, Maria is leading 44-31 (first set 35-23, second set 9-8).

--------------------
2. Second-round draw
--------------------
2.1 Top half: Maria Sharapova, Daniela Hantuchová
-------------------------------------------------

* Julia Görges v SERENA WILLIAMS [1] (komm jetzt Julia!)
* ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA [29] v Jill Craybas
* SHAHAR PE'ER [18] won
* MARION BARTOLI [13,DF,S] v Olivia Sánchez [WC], *4-5 suspended

* MARIA SHARAPOVA [12,EF] v Kirsten Flipkens, 6-3 *2-2 suspended
* Klára Zakopalová v JUSTINE HENIN [22], 3-6 *2-3 suspended
* ZHENG,JIE [25] v Anastasia Pivovarova [Q] (my loyalty is to Jie)
* SAMANTHA STOSUR [7] v Rossana de los Ríos

* JELENA JANKOVIĆ [4] won
* ALYONA BONDARENKO [27] won
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [23,EF] v Olga Govortsova (my loyalty is to DANIELA)
* YANINA WICKMAYER [16,DF] v Sybille Bammer (komaan Yanina!)

* Jarmila Groth [WC] won
* Anastasia Rodionova won
* ALISA KLEYBANOVA [28] won
* Yaroslava Shvedova won


2.2 Bottom half
---------------

* SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [6] won
* MARIA KIRILENKO [30,DF] won
* FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [17] won
* LI,NA [11] won

* FLAVIA PENNETTA [14,DF] won
* Polona Hercog won
* ALEXANDRA DULGHERU [31] won
* CAROLINE WOŹNIACKI [3] won

* ELENA DEMENTIEVA [5] won
* Aleksandra Woźniak won
* Akgul Amanmuradova won
* Chanelle Scheepers [Q] won

* ARAVANE REZAĎ [15] won
* NADIA PETROVA [19] won
* DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [26] won
* VENUS WILLIAMS [2] won

---------------------------
3. Order of play for Friday
---------------------------

Court 2 (start 11:00 CEST = 09:00 GMT = 10:00 BST)
1. MS 2r: JÜRGEN MELZER [22] v Nicolas Mahut
Not before 12:00 CEST:
2. WS 2r: MARIA SHARAPOVA [12,EF] v Kirsten Flipkens, 6-3 *2-2 to finish
3. WS 2r: SAMANTHA STOSUR [7] v Rossana de los Ríos
4. MS 3r: ALBERT MONTAŃÉS [29] v ROBIN SÖDERLING [5]
5. MD 1r: James Cerretani/Adil Shamasdin v Gaël Monfils/Josselin Ouanna

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

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

andrewbroad
May 29th, 2010, 01:00 PM
===========
FRENCH OPEN (Roland Garros, Paris, France; red clay; Major)
===========
Contents
--------

1. Photos
2. Second-round scoreboard-report: Sharapova v Flipkens (Part 2)
3. Third-round draw
4. Third-round preview: Sharapova v Henin
5. Order of play for Saturday

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

Day 3: various players including Maria:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8704598.stm

-------------------------------------------------------
2. Second-round scoreboard-report: Sharapova v Flipkens (Part 2: Friday 28th May 2010)
-------------------------------------------------------

+ MARIA SHARAPOVA [12,EF] d. Kirsten Flipkens, 6-3 6-3

Maria came back out on Friday leading 6-3 *2-2, and promptly dropped her opening service-game of the day to 15.

But she reeled off the last four games of the match, winning 5 of 6 points at the net on Friday, and upping her fastest serve to 117mph.


Second set
----------
SHARAPOV *_*__@*@* 6
FLIPKENS _*_*@____ 3

The match was suspended due to darkness at 21:08 CEST on Thursday. The match resumed, second on Court 2, at 14:09 CEST on Friday (17h01m).

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

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

Maria serving 3-3: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). Held.

Flipkens serving 3-4 (new balls): 15/0. 30/0. 30/15. 30/30. 30/40 (BP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Maria (BP #2). Broken.

Maria serving 5-3: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (MP #1 for Maria). Maria won 6-3 6-3 at 14:26 CEST (Friday's play 17m; second set 17h29m gross, 28m net; match 18h08m gross, 1h06m net).


Statistics
----------

Maria served 5 aces and one double fault, Flipkens one ace and 3 double faults.

Maria had a W:UE ratio of 19:8 (first set 11:6, second set 8:2), while Flipkens's was 9:12 (first set 6:9, second set 3:3).

Maria served much faster than Flipkens in all categories: fastest 117-108 mph (Maria hit her fastest on Friday), average first serve 106-101 mph, average second serve 98-83 mph.

Maria won 64% of her service-points (first set 54%, second set 77%). She got 70% of her first serves in, winning 71% of the points when she did so, and 50% on second serve. These percentages improved from (68% in, 68% won, 25% won) for the first set to (73% in, 75% won, 83% won) for the second.

Flipkens won 42% of her service-points (first set 33%, second set 55%). She got 58% of her first serves in, winning 53% of the points when she did so, and 32% on second serve. These percentages improved from (53% in, 44% won, 25% won) for the first set to (64% in, 64% won, 43% won) for the second.

Maria converted 6 of 8 BPs (first set 4 of 5, second set 2 of 3).

Flipkens converted 3 of 6 BPs (first set 2 of 5, second set 1 of 1).

Maria won 12 of 19 points at the net (63%), Flipkens 6 of 11 (55%).

In points, Maria won 62-40 (first set 35-23, second set 27-17).

-------------------
3. Third-round draw
-------------------

* ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA [29] v SERENA WILLIAMS [1]
* MARION BARTOLI [13,DF,S] v SHAHAR PE'ER [18] (my loyalty is to Marion)
* MARIA SHARAPOVA [12,EF] v JUSTINE HENIN [22] (DAVAI MARIA!!)
* Anastasia Pivovarova [Q] v SAMANTHA STOSUR [7] (davai Anastasia!)

* ALYONA BONDARENKO [27] v JELENA JANKOVIĆ [4] (davai Alyona!)
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [23,EF] v YANINA WICKMAYER [16,DF] (my loyalty is to DANIELA)
* Jarmila Groth [WC] v Anastasia Rodionova
* Yaroslava Shvedova v ALISA KLEYBANOVA [28] (davai Yaroslava!)

* MARIA KIRILENKO [30,DF] won
* FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [17] won
* FLAVIA PENNETTA [14,DF] won
* CAROLINE WOŹNIACKI [3] won

* ELENA DEMENTIEVA [5] won
* Chanelle Scheepers [Q] won
* ARAVANE REZAĎ [15] v NADIA PETROVA [19], 7-6 (7/2) 4-6 *7-7 suspended
* VENUS WILLIAMS [2] won

-----------------------------------------
4. Third-round preview: Sharapova v Henin
-----------------------------------------

* MARIA SHARAPOVA [12,EF] v JUSTINE HENIN [22]

When I first looked at the draw, I thought, "What has Maria done to deserve Henin in the third round?"

Of all the minor seeds, Henin is certainly the most dangerous (with the possible exception of Alisa Kleybanova [28]). She won the French Open in 2003 and 2005–2007 before her abrupt "retirement" in 2008, has won seven Majors overall, and leads Maria 6:3 head-to-head:
+ 2005 Miami qf: Maria won 6-1 6-7 6-2
- 2005 Berlin qf: Henin won 6-2 6-4
- 2005 French Open qf: Henin won 6-4 6-2
- 2006 Australian Open sf: Henin won 4-6 6-1 6-4
- 2006 Dubai final: Henin won 7-5 6-2
+ 2006 US Open final: Maria won 6-4 6-4
- 2006 WTA Tour Championships sf: Henin won 6-2 7-6
- 2007 WTA Tour Championships final: Henin won 5-7 7-5 6-3
+ 2008 Australian Open qf: Maria won 6-4 6-0

Henin was resoundingly defeated in their last meeting, and here's what she has to say about it now:

"It seems so far away. I mean: it even seems like it never existed, that moment. I didn't want to be on the court anymore at that time, and now I have a lot of motivation to be out there, and to fight, and try to keep winning.

"She remains someone very, very strong. Because she has fighting-spirit, it's gonna be a question of attitude, and just try to be aggressive.

"I want to win the match tomorrow. It's going to be an interesting match. Comes very early, of course - third round - but I expect a big fight, as we always had in the past. It's going to be very exciting to play her again in the second career. The motivation is going to be really high just to keep going in this tournament."

Maria said: "You really have to be patient against her. I look forward to it. Like I said, I've had really tough losses against her here, but in many of those matches, I learned so much."

Henin has a formidable 23:6 win/loss record for 2010 so far (including her two wins here so far), although Maria actually has a better ratio of wins to losses: 13:3.

Henin began her comeback from her May 2008 "retirement" in January 2010, and immediately posted impressive results, starting with a run to the final of Brisbane: she beat #20 Nadia Petrova 7-5 7-5, #132 Sesil Karatantcheva 6-4 6-3, #37 Melinda Czink 6-2 3-6 7-6 (7/5), and #21 Ana Ivanović 6-3 6-2, before losing a very tight final 6-3 4-6 7-6 (8/6) to #18 Kim Clijsters.

Even more impressive was Henin's run to the Australian Open final: #71 Kirsten Flipkens 6-4 6-3, #5 Elena Dementieva 7-5 7-6, #31 Alisa Kleybanova 3-6 6-4 6-2, #16 Yanina Wickmayer 7-6 1-6 6-3, #19 Nadia Petrova 7-6 7-5, and #35 Zheng,Jie 6-1 6-0! She lost a high-quality final 6-4 3-6 6-2 to #1 Serena Williams.

Not so impressive was Henin's failure to upset #37 Gisela Dulko in the second round of Indian Wells: Gisela won 6-2 1-6 6-4. Nevertheless, Henin reentered the rankings at #33, having "retired" at #1.

Henin had an impressive run to the Miami semi-finals: #90 Jill Craybas 6-2 6-2, #6 Elena Dementieva 6-3 6-2, #28 Dominika Cibulková 6-4 6-4, Vera Zvonarëva 6-1 6-4, and #2 Caroline Woźniacki 6-7 6-3 6-4. She lost another down-to-the-wire match to #16 Kim Clijsters, just like the Brisbane final: 6-2 6-7 7-6 (8/6).

Henin lost 6-7 6-4 6-3 to #126 Kaia Kanepi in Fed Cup, having broken her left little finger earlier in the week. This injury doesn't really impede her tennis, as she doesn't have a two-handed backhand, but she was in a lot of pain.

Henin won the first title of her comeback at Stuttgart - back on her beloved clay - beating #73 Julia Görges 7-6 6-1, #12 Yanina Wickmayer 6-3 7-5, #7 Jelena Janković 3-6 7-6 6-3, #20 Shahar Pe'er 6-3 6-2, and #10 Samantha Stosur 6-4 2-6 6-1.

Henin then lost 4-6 7-5 6-0 to eventual champion Aravane Rezaď in the first round of Madrid, after which she claimed that an illness had drained her energy.

Maria has reached the third round with the following results:
1r + #110 Ksenia Pervak [Q], 6-3 6-2
2r + #71 Kirsten Flipkens, 6-3 6-3

Henin has reached the third round with the following results:
1r + #81 Tsvetana Pironkova, 6-4 6-3
2r + #79 Klára Zakopalová, 6-3 6-3

I watched all of Henin's first-round match and the last 4 games of her second-round match on BBC Red Button. She doesn't look to be on particularly ominous form - she took advantage of Pironkova's weak forehand and second serve, while Zakopalová pretty much self-destructed - but what's notable is how much Henin was going to the net.

So Maria will either have to hit a lot of passing-shots, or take the net away from Henin by getting there first. Maria does tend to go to the net on clay more than other surfaces, knowing that the clay-court specialists aren't used to it, and she'd rather keep the points short than get bogged down in gruelling clay-court rallies from way behind the baseline.

It could be a huge battle between two of the mentally strongest players on the WTA Tour. Maria will be super-motivated to prove that her comeback is stronger than Henin's, to extend her seven-match winning-streak on clay, and to remain on course to complete her Career Grand Slam by fulfilling the prophecy that she would win a different Major in every even-numbered year since 2004.


Article
-------

Henin faces Sharapova battle [skytext 446]
>>>
Maria Sharapova will take on Justine Henin in a mouth-watering third-round showdown at the French Open.

Both women cruised to victory in their second-round matches, with 6-3 6-3 victories - Henin beating Klára Zakopalová, and Sharapova easing past Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium.

Henin resumed her rain-hit match with Zakopalová at 6-3 3-2* up, and she broke her opponent in the first game.

She served out from there to set up a clash with 12th seed Sharapova, who finished off a 6-3 6-3 win over Belgian Flipkens in another match held over from Thursday.

"Playing again in front of the Paris crowd and all the Belgian supporters warms my heart," said Henin, whose last visit to Roland Garros - in 2007 - saw her claim her fourth title. "The sensations are coming back."

She will start as favourite against fit-again Sharapova, who usually struggles on clay.

"It's going to be an interesting match. It comes very early, of course - in the third round - but I expect a big fight, as we always had in the past.

"It's going to be very exciting to play her again in the second career. I think there's one thing we share, a quality we share: we are fighters."
<<<

-----------------------------
5. Order of play for Saturday
-----------------------------

Court Philippe Chatrier (start 11:00 CEST = 09:00 GMT = 10:00 BST)
1. WS 3r: ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA [29] v SERENA WILLIAMS [1]
Not before 12:00 CEST:
2. WS 3r: ARAVANE REZAĎ [15] v NADIA PETROVA [19], 7-6 (7/2) 4-6 *7-7 to finish
3. MS 3r: VICTOR HANESCU [31] v NOVAK ĐOKOVIĆ [3]
4. MS 3r: LLEYTON HEWITT [12] v RAFAEL NADAL [2]
5. WS 3r: MARIA SHARAPOVA [12,EF] v JUSTINE HENIN [22]

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

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

andrewbroad
May 30th, 2010, 05:02 AM
===========
FRENCH OPEN (Roland Garros, Paris, France; red clay; Major)
===========
Contents
--------

1. Photos
2. Third-round TV-report: Sharapova v Henin (Part 1)
3. Third-round draw
4. Order of play for Sunday

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

Various players including Maria:
* http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/news/photos/
* http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8712807.stm

-------------------------------------------
2. Third-round TV-report: Sharapova v Henin (Part 1: Saturday 29th May 2010)
-------------------------------------------

* MARIA SHARAPOVA [12,EF] v JUSTINE HENIN [22], 2-6 6-3 0-0* suspended

It was raining and dark - miserable conditions for tennis. Maria is much more effective in sunny weather, where the ball flies through the air much faster. Cold, damp clay is her kryptonite, as it makes the balls slow and heavy.

Maria made a terrible start, going *0-4 down (although she had 4 BPs at 0-3*). At that stage, I was just praying for her to avoid the double bagel. She did, and lost the first set 2-6.

Maria was error-strewn in the first set, and moved like the "cow on ice" as which she once described herself on clay, allowing Henin to hit easy winners.

But Maria was much better in the second set, as she started to overpower Henin with her groundstrokes, and also made several successful forays to the net, hitting some beautiful punch-volleys.

At 2-6 1-0*, Maria had 2 BPs, but Henin saved one with a service-winner, Maria netted a cheap backhand return on the other, and Henin held.

Maria also had a BP at 2-6 2-1* (40/30*): she opened up the court with a crosscourt backhand, but hit a down-the-line backhand just wide - the kind of shot she never used to miss in the good old days.

Maria looked to be on her way out of the tournament as she faced 3 BPs at 2-6 *3-3 (15/40 + Ad), but saved the first with a perfect backhand dropshot-winner - who says she doesn't have variety? - and held for 4-3*.

Maria broke to 15 in the next game - thanks to some uncharacteristic errors from Henin, as well as a crosscourt forehand winner by Maria, who thus served for the set at *5-3. And she served it out to love to snap Henin's French Open set-winning streak at 40 - the last time Henin lost a set at the French Open was to Svetlana Kuznetsova in the fourth round in 2005.

The referee came onto court in the set-break and asked both players if they wanted to stop. Apparently Maria was keen to stop, despite having the momentum and younger eyes, so play was suspended for the day.


First set
---------
SHARA ____*_*_ 2
HENIN @*@*_*_* 6

The match started at 19:44 CEST.

Maria serving 0-0: 0/15. 15/15. 15/30. 15/40 (BP #1). Broken.

Henin serving 1-0: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (GP #1). 40/15 (GP #2). Held.

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

Henin serving 3-0: 0/15. 0/30. 15/30. 15/40 (BP #1). 30/40 (BP #2). Deuce #1. Ad Maria (BP #3). Deuce #2. Ad Maria (BP #4). Deuce #3. Ad Henin (GP #1). Held.

Maria serving 0-4: 15/0. 30/0. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). Held.

Henin serving 4-1: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). 40/30 (GP #2). Deuce #1. Ad Henin (GP #1). Held.

Maria serving 1-5: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (GP #1). Held.

Henin serving 5-2 (new balls): 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (SP #1 for Henin). 40/30 (SP #2 for Henin). Henin won the first set 6-2 at 20:19 CEST (35m).


Second set
----------
SHARA *_*_*_*@* 6
HENIN _*_*_*___ 3

Maria serving 0-0: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (GP #1). Held.

Henin serving 0-1: 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30 (GP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Henin (GP #2). Deuce #2. Ad Maria (BP #1). Deuce #3. Ad Maria (BP #2). Deuce #4. Ad Henin (GP #3). Held.

Maria serving 1-1: 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). Held.

Henin serving 1-2: 15/0. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Henin (GP #1). Held.

Maria serving 2-2: 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30 (GP #1). Held.

Henin serving 2-3: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (GP #1). 40/15 (GP #2). Held.

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

Henin serving 3-4: 15/0. 15/15. 15/30. 15/40 (BP #1). Broken.

Maria serving 5-3 (new balls): 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (SP #1 for Maria). Maria won the second set 6-3 at 21:07 CEST (second set 48m, match so far 1h23m).


Third set
---------
SHARA 0
HENIN 0

Henin serving 0-0: The match was suspended due to darkness at 21:08 CEST.

-------------------
3. Third-round draw
-------------------

* SERENA WILLIAMS [1] won
* SHAHAR PE'ER [18] won
* MARIA SHARAPOVA [12,EF] v JUSTINE HENIN [22], 2-6 6-3 0-0* suspended
* SAMANTHA STOSUR [7] won

* JELENA JANKOVIĆ [4] won
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [23,EF] won
* Jarmila Groth [WC] won
* Yaroslava Shvedova won

* MARIA KIRILENKO [30,DF] won
* FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [17] won
* FLAVIA PENNETTA [14,DF] won
* CAROLINE WOŹNIACKI [3] won

* ELENA DEMENTIEVA [5] won
* Chanelle Scheepers [Q] won
* NADIA PETROVA [19] won
* VENUS WILLIAMS [2] won

---------------------------
4. Order of play for Sunday
---------------------------

Court Philippe Chatrier (start 11:00 CEST = 09:00 GMT = 10:00 BST)
1. WS 4r: ELENA DEMENTIEVA [5] v Chanelle Scheepers
Not before 12:00 CEST:
2. WS 3r: MARIA SHARAPOVA [12,EF] v JUSTINE HENIN [22], 2-6 6-3 0-0* to finish
3. WS 4r: VENUS WILLIAMS [2] v NADIA PETROVA [19]
4. MS 4r: ROGER FEDERER [1] v STANISLAS WAWRINKA [20]
5. MS 4r: MIKHAIL YOUZHNY v JO-WILFRIED TSONGA [8]

I hope that the BBC will televise the resumption, although it has already announced plans to camp out on Court Lenglen until Murray plays.

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

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

andrewbroad
Jun 7th, 2010, 01:28 AM
===========
FRENCH OPEN (Roland Garros, Paris, France; red clay; Major)
===========
Contents
--------

1. Photos
2. Third-round TV-report: Sharapova v Henin (Part 2)

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

Various players from Sunday 30th May, including Maria:
* http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/news/photos/

Second week: various players including Maria:
* http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/gallery/20100603/memories-from-week-2_2256674_2064462

-------------------------------------------
2. Third-round TV-report: Sharapova v Henin (Part 2: Sunday 30th May 2010)
-------------------------------------------

- MARIA SHARAPOVA [12,EF] lt. JUSTINE HENIN [22], 2-6 6-3 3-6

"I gave the French fans what they wanted: a win for Justine. Merry Christmas."

This match resumed on Friday with Henin serving at 6-2 3-6 *0-0. It was still cold and windy.

Maria made a fast start, breaking Henin in the opening game of the third, and holding for 2-0* with a down-the-line forehand winner.

The heart of the match was a two-deuce game on Henin's serve at 2-0*. Maria had triple break-point at 40/0*, but agonisingly netted a backhand after a long rally on the first BP, and Henin saved the next two with a service-winner and a forehand drop-volley winner. Maria had a fourth BP, but Henin saved it with a backhand volley-winner, and held to make it 1-2*.

But then errors started creeping into Maria's game, and she was broken back for 2-2*. She led 30/15 in that game, but two unforced forehand errors saw her broken for 2-4*.

Henin led *4-2 (40/15), but then threw in some unbelievable errors, and Maria hit an amazing off-forehand return-winner just inside the sideline to make it Deuce! Henin double-faulted to give Maria the break back: *3-4.

It was so strange to see one of the mentally strongest players choking like that, whereas Maria's errors I felt were a combination of her high-risk game and Henin's precision.

Maria's service-game at *3-4 was huge: she led 40/30, saved one BP with an off-backhand winner onto the sideline, but then netted a backhand to give Henin another BP, which she converted with a stunning backhand winner down the line.

Thus Henin served for the match at *5-3. She double-faulted on her first MP at 40/0, but converted the next when Maria hit a fierce crosscourt backhand just wide.

This consigned Maria to a fourth consecutive pre-fourth-round loss at the Majors, and violated the pattern of Maria winning a different Major every even-numbered year (Wimbledon 2004, US Open 2006, Australian Open 2008, but sadly not the French Open 2010).

But we have to put this loss into context: Maria's just coming back from a two-month lay-off with an elbow-injury, and went into the French Open desperately short of match-play... until she won Strasbourg, where she had to finish her quarter-final and play her semi-final on the same day, followed by the final. I was worried that she might not have enough left in the tank for the French Open.

The French Open scheduling certainly worked against Maria, as both her second- and third-round matches were scheduled late in the day, so she had to play them spread over four days, which is almost like playing four matches in four days, in terms of the preparation.

When someone tried to extract a complaint from her at the press-conference, pointing out that she was scheduled after two men's matches that were always likely to give her a late start, she said: "I'm going to be politically correct on this answer. Wouldn't you love that little drama for your English papers?"

I can't think of many less favourable conditions for Maria to play in than playing Henin on a cold, damp clay-court, and yet she still played an excellent second set, and played her part in a titanic third-set struggle.

As usual when I report on Maria's matches, I want to extract a lot more detail than I could manage in a single take, so I'll post my full TV-report at a later date (pessimistic estimate 9th August, after my full first-round TV-report on 19th July 2010).


Third set
---------
SHARA @*____@__ 3
HENIN __*@*@_@* 6

The match was suspended due to darkness at 21:08 CEST on Saturday. The match resumed second on Court Philippe Chatrier at 12:43 CEST on Sunday (15h35m delay).

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

Maria serving 1-0: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30 (GP #1). Held.

Henin serving 0-2: 0/15. 0/30. 0/40 (BP #1). 15/40 (BP #2). 30/40 (BP #3). Deuce #1. Ad Maria (BP #4). Deuce #2. Ad Henin (GP #1). Held.

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

Henin serving 2-2: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). 40/30 (GP #2). Held.

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

Henin serving 4-2: 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). 40/30 (GP #2). Deuce #1. Ad Maria (BP #1). Broken.

Maria serving 3-4: 15/0. 30/0. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30 (GP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Henin (BP #1). Deuce #2. Ad Henin (BP #2). Broken.

Henin serving 5-3 (new balls): 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (MP #1 for Henin). 40/15 (MP #2 for Henin). Henin won 6-2 3-6 6-3 at 13:28 CEST (third set 46m; match 17h44m gross, 2h09m net).

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

P.S. Maria tired Henin out for her loss to Stosur in the next round, as Henin made a lot of unforced errors in that match.

P.P.S. The last player to overpower Serena Williams like Stosur did in the quarter-finals was Maria in the Wimbledon 2004 final!

xan
Jun 7th, 2010, 11:49 PM
Thanks for the research and detail.

Very annoying that the bad sceduling probably helped cost Maria that match.

denny5576
Jun 8th, 2010, 10:36 PM
Thank you!

andrewbroad
Aug 23rd, 2010, 05:33 AM
===========
FRENCH OPEN (Roland Garros, Paris, France; red clay; Major)
===========
First round (Tuesday 25th May 2010)
-----------

+ MARIA SHARAPOVA [12,EF] d. Ksenia Pervak [Q], 6-3 6-2

I saw this match on the BBC Red Button, and have just uploaded my full TV-report – including a detailed point-by-point description, and transcriptions of selected commentary – to my website:

http://abroad.sqweebs.org/tennis/shara/french_open2010.html

I've also uploaded a slightly extended version of my second-round scoreboard-report for Maria v Kirsten Flipkens.

I apologise for posting this report much later than I said I would. First my TV died, and then my Internet-connection. While I was offline, I pretty much finished my French Open reports, and made a start on my Wimbledon reports. I have a bit of online work to do to finish them completely; the revised ETAs are as follows:

* French Open 3r: Maria v Justine Henin (30th August 2010);
* Wimbledon 1r: Maria v Anastasia Pivovarova (13th September 2010);
* Wimbledon 2r: Maria v Ioana Raluca Olaru (4th October 2010);
* Wimbledon 3r: Maria v Barbora Záhlavová Strýcová (14th February 2011);
* Wimbledon 4r: Maria v Serena Williams (7th March 2011).

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

andrewbroad
Sep 16th, 2010, 01:24 AM
===========
FRENCH OPEN (Roland Garros, Paris, France; red clay; Major)
===========
Third round (Saturday 29th/Sunday 30th May 2010)
-----------

- MARIA SHARAPOVA [12,EF] lt. JUSTINE HENIN [22], 2-6 6-3 3-6

I saw this match on the BBC Red Button, and have just uploaded my full TV-report – including a detailed point-by-point description, and transcriptions of selected commentary – to my website:

http://abroad.sqweebs.org/tennis/shara/french_open2010.html

I apologise for posting this report much later than I said I would. I had so much other stuff to deal with that I couldn't finish it before the US Open (a major distraction for me, despite not being shown on free-to-air UK TV).

The first of my forthcoming Wimbledon reports has also suffered a delay, while the ETAs for the others are unaffected for now:

* Wimbledon 1r: Maria v Anastasia Pivovarova (27th September 2010);
* Wimbledon 2r: Maria v Ioana Raluca Olaru (4th October 2010);
* Wimbledon 3r: Maria v Barbora Záhlavová Strýcová (14th February 2011);
* Wimbledon 4r: Maria v Serena Williams (7th March 2011).

--
Dr. Andrew Broad