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Old May 23rd, 2011, 02:46 AM   #1
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Andrew's TV-reports (final added: Schiavone v Lǐ)

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


Welcome to the master-thread of my French Open 2011 reports! I will be reporting on each day of the main draw, including TV-reports of any attractive women's matches that the BBC deigns to televise.

From here, you will be able to navigate quickly to the individual posts within this thread (these links open in new windows – or tabs if you prefer):--
Dr. Andrew Broad
__________________
My Eternal Fanship: 1. Monica Seles; 2. Мария Шарапова (‘Maria Sharapova’); 3. Daniela Hantuchová; 4. Jelena Dokić; 5. Iva Majoli; 6. Karina Habšudová; 7. Вера Звонарёва (‘Vera Zvonarëva’); 8. Nicole Vaidišová; 9. Анна Чакветадзе (‘Anna Chakvetadze’); 10. Lucie Šafářová; 11. Ирода Туляганова (‘Iroda Tulyaganova’); 12. Magdaléna Rybáriková; 13. Sabine Lisicki

Last edited by andrewbroad : Jun 5th, 2011 at 02:02 AM. Reason: edit Title; add link for Day 14
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 02:48 AM   #2
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Andrew's TV-reports for Day 1

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

1. Introduction
2. First-round TV-report: Benešová v Stosur
3. First-round TV-report: Johansson v Görges

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1. Introduction
---------------

The French Open 2011 feels like the first Major of a new era in women’s tennis, with no Williams sisters, no Justine Henin, and no clear favourite for the title.

Many people think that Kim Clijsters can win her third Major in a row here, despite having badly injured her ankle dancing barefoot at a wedding in April, and having not played since Miami due to that, a right-shoulder injury and a wrist-injury. I am not one of them. No tournament punishes lack of preparation like the French Open, so Clijsters has no chance here.

This year’s competition is far too strong for that, with Maria Sharapova, Vera Zvonarëva, Victoria Azarenka, Caroline Woźniacki, Julia Görges and Petra Kvitová being the leading contenders. I would love to see Maria finally complete her Career Grand Slam, but equally I would love to see Vera win her first Major (in singles).

My Eternal Fanship went 1:2 on Sunday:
+ Lucie Šafářová [EF] d. Kirsten Flipkens, 6-1 6-1
- Magdaléna Rybáriková [EF] lt. SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [13], 2-6 3-6
- Jelena Dokić [EF] lt. Vera Dushevina, 6-4 3-6 2-6

With Anna Chakvetadze sidelined until she gets to the bottom of what forced her to retire from her last three tournaments after fainting on the court, my Eternal Fanship squad is now down to just Maria, Vera, Lucie, and Daniela Hantuchová.

Archive of point-by-point scores for all women’s matches:
http://www.tennisforum.com/showpost.php?p=19592589

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2. First-round TV-report: Benešová v Stosur (Sunday 22nd May 2011)
-------------------------------------------

+ SAMANTHA STOSUR [8] d. Iveta Benešová, 6-2 6-3

This was the first BBC-televised match of the French Open 2011, and the first set was a fantastic advert for women’s tennis. The red clay was playing wonderfully fast, making for plenty of winners by both girls – in the middle of the first set, almost every point was ending with a winner!

Stosur has a big serve, and a big forehand that works best on clay, where she has plenty of time to set up for it. BBC commentator Sam Smith said that Stosur had played some of the best clay-court tennis of anyone this year at Rome (where she was runner-up to the great Maria Sharapova)

Sam Smith also said that Stosur had wonderful volleys in doubles but not singles. Having reported on several Stosur matches since 2004, I’d say that the quality of her volleys is the barometer of her form (she won 6 of 10 points at the net in this match).

Benešová is a left-handed player who also favours clay. She hit some nice shots in this match, showing much greater power and depth than I remember from the previous Benešová matches that I’ve watched. She also looked very fetching with her Daniela-Hantuchová-esque facial beauty and bright yellow top.


First set
---------
BENEŠO @____*__ 2
STOSUR _@*@*_*@ 6

The match was first on Chatrier, and started at 11:11 CEST.

Stosur serving 0-0: Benešová made a bright start, with a cracking crosscourt forehand return-winner to put Stosur 15/30 down, and a loose forehand from Stosur gave Benešová break-point at 30/40*, which she converted with another huge crosscourt forehand return.

Benešová serving 1-0: Benešová went to the net at 15/15, but Stosur ripped a forehand pass-winner down the line. Benešová saved two break-points at 15/40 – the second with a forehand winner down the line, but Stosur broke anyway after one deuce with a deep, error-forcing forehand approach down the line.

Stosur serving 1-1: Stosur opened with an ace out wide, followed with an off-forehand winner back behind Benešová, a forehand winner down the line for 40/0. Benešová saved the first game-point with a deep, error-forcing forehand return down the line, but a Benešová backhand sailed wide for the hold to 15.

Benešová serving 1-2: Stosur forced a short ball and hit a forehand winner down the line. 15/0. Benešová went to the net and hit an awkward high backhand drop-volley that dropped dead for a winner. 15/15. Stosur hit a crosscourt forehand winner. 15/30. Stosur hit a backhand winner down the line. 15/40 (BP #1). Benešová double-faulted to get broken.

Stosur serving 2-2: Benešová played a lovely spreading rally, finishing with a crosscourt forehand winner. 0/15. Benešová hit a deep forehand winner down the line: right in the corner. 0/30. Stosur hit a forehand winner down the line. 15/30. Stosur backhand winner down the line. 30/30. Ace down the middle. BBC commentator Andrew Castle praised Stosur’s kick-serve. 40/30 (GP #1). Benešová’s deep crosscourt forehand forced Stosur into error. Deuce #1. A huge serve forced a short return, giving Stosur an easy forehand winner down the line. Ad Stosur (GP #2). Benešová mishit a backhand into the net for the hold.

Benešová serving 1-4: Stosur pounced on a netcord to hit a crosscourt forehand winner. 0/15. Benešová went to the net and hit a high crosscourt backhand drive-volley winner with both hands. 15/15. Stosur netted a backhand. 30/15. Stosur hit a deep, error-forcing backhand approach. 30/30. Benešová backhand just long. 30/40 (BP #1). Ace down the middle. Deuce #1. Stosur netted a backhand. Ad Benešová (GP #1). A very short ball from Benešová induced Stosur to net a forehand for the hold.

Stosur serving 4-2: First serve down the middle clipped the service-line and shot through on Benešová for an ace. 15/0. Stosur slugged an off-forehand wide. 15/15. An ace down the middle made Benešová smile. 30/15. Benešová blasted a short-angled backhand winner onto the sideline! 30/30. Stosur hit a crosscourt forehand winner on the third stroke. 40/30 (GP #1). Service-winner. Held.

Sam Smith: “Benešová [is] taking her medicine out here rather well.”

Benešová serving 2-5 (new balls): Service-winner. 15/0. Benešová netted a forehand. 15/15. Benešová double-faulted with an ambitious swinging scond serve down the middle. 15/30. Stosur backhand just long. 30/30. Benešová forced a defensive lob and hit an off-forehand smash-winner. 40/30 (GP #1). Stosur hit a crosscourt forehand winner onto the sideline. Deuce #1. Double fault #4. Ad Stosur (SP #1). Benešová hit a deep, error-forcing off-forehand onto the baseline. Deuce #2. Double fault #5. Ad Stosur (SP #2). Stosur hit a crosscourt backhand just inside the sideline, forcing Benešová into error. Stosur won the first set 6-2 at 11:46 CEST (34m).


Second set
----------
BENEŠO _*_*___*_ 3
STOSUR *_*_*@*_* 6

Stosur serving 0-0: Benešová forced a short, slow ball, and dispatched it with a forehand winner down the line. 0/15. Benešová’s crosscourt backhand dropshot forced Stosur into error. 0/30. Stosur recovered to hold to 30 courtesy of four Benešová errors – two of them horrendous forehands.

Benešová serving 0-1: 40/15 (GP #1). Stosur backhand winner down the line. 40/30 (GP #2). Benešová hit a deep forehand down the line, forcing Stosur to earth a backhand for the hold.

Stosur serving 1-1: Stosur went to the net, but Benešová hit a sneaky short-angled crosscourt backhand pass-winner. 0/15. Stosur won four unremarkable points to hold to 15.

Benešová serving 1-2: An unremarkable hold to 15. The winners of the first set have been replaced by mainly unforced errors.

Stosur serving 2-2: Ace down the middle. 15/0. Three errors. 30/30. Stosur hit a short-angled off-forehand winner just inside the sideline. 40/30 (GP #1). Benešová went to the net, but Stosur cracked a backhand pass-winner down the line to hold to 30.

Benešová serving 2-3: 0/15. Ace down the middle. 15/15. Stosur hit a crosscourt forehand return-winner. 15/30. Benešová hit a down-the-line backhand wide by a whisker, and got the umpire to check the mark. 15/40 (BP #1). Stosur hit a backhand very long. 30/40 (BP #2). Benešová sprayed a crosscourt forehand wide for the break.

Stosur serving 4-2: 15/15. Stosur hit an off-forehand winner. 30/15. Ace out wide: right in the corner. 40/15 (GP #1). Benešová hit a pinpoint forehand winner down the line. 40/30 (GP #2). Stosur hit a crosscourt forehand to the sideline, forcing Benešová to net a backhand for the hold.

Benešová serving 2-5: Stosur hit a forehand approach just long. 15/0. Benešová hit a backhand wide, and emitted a loud groan. 15/15. Stosur hit a short-angled off-backhand return-winner just inside the sideline. 15/30. Benešová hit a deep off-forehand that clipped the baseline for a winner, hardly bouncing at all. 30/30. Stosur went to the net behind a crosscourt backhand to the sideline, forcing Benešová to net a backhand. 30/40 (MP #1 for Stosur). First serve: Stosur netted a forehand return. Deuce #1. Benešová hit an off-backhand just wide, but the umpire checked the mark and ordered them to replay the point. Stosur forehand down the line just long. Ad Benešová (GP #1). Stosur backhand just long. Held.

At match-point there, Andrew Castle was talking about Benešová like she’d already lost, which is the one thing that she professes to hate.

Stosur serving 5-3 (new balls): Stosur’s deep off-backhand forced Benešová to earth a backhand. 15/0. Service-winner out wide. 30/0. Ace down the middle. 40/0 (MP #2 for Stosur). Benešová netted a backhand on the fourth stroke. Stosur won 6-2 6-3 at 12:19 CEST (second set 33m, match 1h08m).

Sam Smith said that Stosur had played with a calm authority, and that she could end up holding the trophy in two weeks’ time. For me, Stosur is not a leading contender but the seventh favourite for the title (behind Sharapova, Zvonarëva, Azarenka, Woźniacki, Görges and Kvitová).

--------------------------------------------
3. First-round TV-report: Johansson v Görges (Sunday 22nd May 2011)
--------------------------------------------

+ JULIA GÖRGES [17,DF] d. Mathilde Johansson, 6-1 6-4

I’ve been a demi-fan of Görges since Wimbledon 2010, but this was my first chance to watch her play since her transformation from talented youngster to one of six leading contenders for the French Open 2011.

Görges showed good power and excellent depth, but put in an up-and-down performance in windy conditions: a bunch of wild errors put her in danger of losing the second set at *1-3 (30/40), but she recovered well, won a tough game to break back for *3-3, failed to serve out the match at *5-3, and ultimately it was Johansson who cracked under the pressure, finishing the match with three double faults in a row from *4-5 (15/15).

Görges’s victory sets up a mouth-watering second-round match with Lucie Šafářová, who is a member of my Eternal Fanship.


First set
---------
JOHANS *______ 1
GÖRGES _*@*@*@ 6

The match was fourth on Chatrier, and started at 16:45 CEST. Johansson won the toss and chose to serve.

Johansson serving 0-0: Service-winner. 15/0. Görges hit an off-forehand return + crosscourt forehand winner. 15/15. A longish crosscourt-forehand drill ended with Johansson netting one. 15/30. Second serve: Görges hit a loose forehand return long. 30/30. Deep first serve: forehand return just long. 40/30 (GP #1). Johansson forced a short ball, and dispatched it with an off-forehand winner. Held.

Görges serving 0-1: Görges’s depth induced Johansson to hit a backhand lob long. 15/0. Görges’s fine dropshot forced Johansson to net a backhand. 30/0. Service-winner. 40/0 (GP #1). Ace down the middle. Held.

Sam Smith: “There’s a lot to Görges’s game. She moves very well, has feel off both sides, volleys well, and she’s getting the ball in court, which is critical! She’s been compared to Ivanović, which is no bad thing.”

Johansson serving 1-1: First serve: forehand return long. 15/0. Görges hit a pinpoint forehand winner down the line from quite a deep position. 30/0. Görges went to the net behind a down-the-line forehand that forced a floater, which she dispatched with a crosscourt forehand smash-winner. 30/15. Görges’s deep forehand return forced Johansson to net a forehand. 30/30. Short second serve, but a weak return from Görges enabled Johansson to hit an easy crosscourt backhand winner. 40/30 (GP #1). Görges hit a big crosscourt forehand return-winner just inside the baseline. Deuce #1. Johansson backhand just long. Ad Görges (BP #1). Johansson backhand wide. Broken.

Görges serving 2-1: Double fault (second serve long). 0/15. Johansson hit a pinpoint backhand winner up the line. 0/30. Johansson went to the net, but her approach was not strong, and Görges hit a crosscourt forehand pass-winner. 15/30. Görges’s backhand approach clipped the netcord and fell wide. 15/40 (BP #1). First serve down the middle forced Johansson to earth a backhand return. 30/40 (BP #2). Johansson slapped a makeable backhand return into the net. Deuce #1. Ace down the middle: 113 mph, just inside the service-line. Ad Görges (BP #3). Görges hit a blazing off-forehand winner. Held.

Excellent recovery from 15/40, notwithstanding Johansson’s cheap error at 30/40.

Johansson serving 1-3: Görges slipped as she went for a forehand return, and sprayed it very long. There was a big gust of wind. 15/0. Johansson blasted a forehand long. 15/15. Johansson backhand long. 15/30. Johansson went to the net behind a crosscourt forehand, forcing Görges into error. Johansson said “allez!” 30/30. Johansson backhand long. 30/40 (BP #1). Double fault (second serve long). Broken.

And it’s just typical for a player who has wasted break-points to throw in a poor service-game. Johansson was actually born in Sweden, but moved to France when she was three months old. Johansson also appeared in the video for the song “Hello” (Martin Solvieg featuring Dragonette), which is set on Court Chatrier.

Görges serving 4-1: Service-winner. 15/0. Johansson backhand long. 30/0. Double fault. 30/15. Görges’s forehand clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner. 40/15 (GP #1). Görges hit a deep crosscourt forehand winner onto the baseline. Held.

Sam Smith: “Görges has not been a top player for long, but she walks around the court like she belongs there. Look at the way she plays! She’s delivering out here on a big stage.”

Johansson serving 1-5: Görges hit a crosscourt forehand + forehand winner down the line. 0/15. Double fault (second serve into the net). 0/30. Görges hit a stunning off-backhand winner just inside the baseline. 0/40 (SP #1 for Görges). Johansson off-backhand wide. Görges won the first set at 17:15 CEST (30m).


Second set
----------
JOHANS _*@*____@_ 4
GÖRGES *___*@*@_@ 6

Görges serving 0-0 (new balls): Görges hit a short-angled crosscourt backhand winner just inside the sideline. Johansson backhand long. 30/0. Görges sprayed a backhand long. 30/15. Görges forced a short ball, took her sweet time and hit a short-angled off-forehand winner just inside the sideline. 40/15 (GP #1). A deep, body-jamming return induced Görges to dump a forehand into the bottom of the net. 40/30 (GP #2). Double fault (second serve clipped the netcord and fell wide). Deuce #1. Görges appeared to hit a second-serve ace out wide, clipping the sideline, but the umpire Louise Engzell checked the mark and overruled it for a double fault. Ad Johansson (BP #1). Görges hit a short-angled backhand just inside the sideline, forcing Johansson to hit a backhand into the umpire’s chair. Deuce #2. Johansson netted an off-backhand return off a body-jamming second serve. Ad Görges (GP #3). Deep first serve forced Johansson to hit a crosscourt forehand wide. Held.

Sam Smith: “Görges has a unique forehand: a very extreme grip. There are many layers to the Görges game.”

Johansson serving 0-1: A deep Görges forehand induced Johansson to net an early forehand. 0/15. Görges forehand return long. 15/15. Görges went to the net behind a deep forehand, forcing Johansson to hit a backhand lob long. 15/30. Johansson’s deep, body-jamming backhand forced Görges to hit a backhand wide. 30/30. First serve out wide + crosscourt forehand winner. 40/30 (GP #1). Görges hit an ambitious crosscourt forehand just wide. Held.

Görges serving 1-1: Görges hit another ambitious crosscourt forehand just wide. 0/15. Johansson’s depth forced Görges to hit a backhand long. 0/30. Görges reached a dropshot easily, but sprayed a wild off-forehand wide. 0/40 (BP #1). Görges hit a crosscourt forehand winner, pumped her fist and shouted “c’mon!” 15/40 (BP #2). Johansson’s deep backhand forced Görges to hit an off-backhand wide. Broken.

And in the twinkling of an eye, the momentum has shifted: Görges got a little too ambitious, then hit a couple of wild shots as Johansson raised her own level. Is Görges choking, or just distracted by the wind? Andrew Castle: “When it gets windy, you can get very tight and start mishitting like that.”

Johansson serving 2-1: Görges forehand long. 15/0. Johansson sprayed a wild off-forehand long and wide. 15/15. Görges’s depth forced Johansson to hit a backhand lob long. 15/30. Görges slapped a wild forehand into the net. 30/30. Johansson’s depth induced Görges to spray a forehand wide. 40/30 (GP #1). Görges hit a crosscourt forehand virtual winner just inside the sideline. Deuce #1. Görges hit a forehand long, and slapped the dead ball into the net in frustration. Ad Johansson (GP #2). Görges’s off-forehand forced Johansson to net a backhand. Deuce #2. Görges crosscourt backhand wide. Ad Johansson (GP #3). Görges hit a crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline – her 11th forehand winner. Deuce #3. Johansson sprayed a forehand long. Ad Görges (BP #1). Johansson crosscourt backhand just wide. Deuce #4. Görges netted a forehand off a mildly deep forehand from Johansson. Ad Johansson (BP #2). Görges forehand long. Held.

Johansson is getting a lot of balls back, and Görges is getting frustrated – despite having crunched through Caroline Wozniacki at both Stuttgart and Madrid.

Görges serving 1-3: Second serve: Johansson dumped a backhand return halfway up the net. 15/0. Görges went to the net, but netted a forehand volley off an awkward dipping ball from Johansson. 15/15. Johansson forced a floater and dispatched it with an off-forehand drive-volley winner. 15/30. Görges dragged Johansson out of court with a wide serve, and hit a crosscourt forehand into the wide-open space. 30/30. Johansson opened up the court and hit a pinpoint forehand winner down the line. 30/40 (BP #1). Görges, pushed deep, hit a moonball, and Johansson hit a backhand long. Görges likes to hit through problems, but she can also be conservative when required. Deuce #1. Görges crosscourt forehand winner. Ad Görges (GP #1). Johansson forced a floater, but tried to hit a crosscourt forehand drive-volley from no-man’s-land and put it wide. Held.

An important game for Görges to have won, as Johansson would have been very close to taking this set had she converted that break-point to go *4-1 up.

During the changeover, the cameras showed Novak Đoković next to Tatiana Golovin, who looked like a really bright prospect when she reached the Birmingham 2004 final as a 16-year-old, but hasn’t played since May 2008 due to a chronic back-injury. The BBC commentators reminisced about her microshorts and bare midriff.

Johansson serving 3-2: First serve: Görges sprayed a forehand return wide and just long. 15/0. Double fault (second serve just long). 15/15. Görges opened up the court with a crosscourt forehand, hit a pinpoint forehand winner up the line, and pumped her fist. 15/30. Johansson opened up the court with a crosscourt backhand, hit an easy backhand winner down the line, and said “allez”. 30/30. Johansson forced a floater, dispatched it with a forehand smash-winner, and celebrated with a yell. 40/30 (GP #1). Görges spanked an off-forehand winner just inside the sideline. Deuce #1. Johansson’s deep serve forced Görges to mishit a crosscourt backhand return wide. Ad Johansson (GP #2). Double fault (second serve long). Deuce #2. Görges hit a big forehand winner up the line, and pumped her fist. Ad Görges (BP #1). Görges’s deep forehand return forced Johansson to hit a wild crosscourt forehand wide. Broken.

The first six games of this set have taken 42m.

Görges serving 3-3: Johansson hit a crosscourt forehand wide. 15/0. Görges’s deep crosscourt forehand forced Johansson into error. 30/0. Görges opened up the court and hit a forehand winner up the line. 40/0 (GP #1). Johansson backhand wide. Held.

The momentum is now firmly back with Görges now that she’s pulled herself out of a hole that had threatened at *1-3 (30/40) to become a double break.

Johansson serving 3-4: Görges forehand long. 15/0. Görges forced a floater, let it bounce, and hit a forehand winner down Johansson’s forehand sideline. 15/15. There was a nice close-up of Görges’s hands as she waited to receive with yellow nail-varnish. Johansson went to the net, forcing Görges to hit a crosscourt forehand pass wide. 30/15. Görges forced a short ball, hit a crosscourt forehand winner, and pumped her fist. 30/30. Double fault (second serve just long). 30/40 (BP #1). Quadruple fault (second serve into the net). Broken.

Görges serving 5-3: Johansson’s off-forehand clipped the sideline but was called wide. Louise Engzell checked the mark but didn’t overrule. 15/0. Görges steered a down-the-line backhand just wide from a deep position. Sam Smith: “Just occasionally she’s not getting it quite right in these [windy] conditions.” 15/15. Double fault. 15/30. Johansson’s deep return induced Görges to dump a forehand low into the net. 15/40 (BP #1). Johansson’s deep, body-jamming forehand return forced Görges to dump another forehand low into the net. Broken.

The wind seems to be bothering Görges again, though I still believe that she’ll find a way to close this set out despite losing her break. She’s that stature of player now, while Johansson seems more liable to crumble under pressure.

Johansson serving 4-5 (new balls): Görges hit a deep crosscourt forehand just inside the baseline, forcing Johansson to earth a forehand. 0/15. Deep first serve induced Görges to hit an off-forehand wide. 15/15. Double fault. 15/30. Quaduple fault. 15/40 (BP #1). Sextuple fault! (horrendous second serve very long). Görges won 6-1 6-4 at (second set 57m, match 1h27m).

Sam Smith: “Had Johansson had a better serve, we’d still be playing now.”

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
__________________
My Eternal Fanship: 1. Monica Seles; 2. Мария Шарапова (‘Maria Sharapova’); 3. Daniela Hantuchová; 4. Jelena Dokić; 5. Iva Majoli; 6. Karina Habšudová; 7. Вера Звонарёва (‘Vera Zvonarëva’); 8. Nicole Vaidišová; 9. Анна Чакветадзе (‘Anna Chakvetadze’); 10. Lucie Šafářová; 11. Ирода Туляганова (‘Iroda Tulyaganova’); 12. Magdaléna Rybáriková; 13. Sabine Lisicki
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Old May 24th, 2011, 02:42 AM   #3
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Andrew's TV-reports for Day 2

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

1. Introduction
2. First-round TV-report: Foretz Gacon v Watson

---------------
1. Introduction
---------------

Monday was poor in terms of BBC-televisation, as the only women’s matches were the uninspiring Schiavone v Oudin (30-year-old defending champion looked much fitter than 19-year-old Oudin in a 6-2 6-0 rout) and Watson v Foretz Gacon, which did just enough to scrape a mini report from me.

I have made up for this by posting another report from my Wimbledon 2010 backlog: the Vera Zvonarëva v Jelena Janković fourth round.

The highlight of the BBC’s Day 2 coverage for me was catching some glimpses of Nicole Vaidišová – the youngest member of my Eternal Fanship – in the stands as she watched her husband Radek Štěpánek play. I hate him so much for taking her away from tennis, and it’s just sickening that he’s still playing at 32 after she retired at 20.

My Eternal Fanship have gone 3:2 so far:
+ DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [28,EF] d. Zhāng,Shuŕi, 6-3 6-3
+ VERA ZVONARËVA [3,EF] d. Lourdes Domínguez Lino, 6-3 6-3

BBC commentator Sam Smith: “It takes almost as long to say that name [Lourdes Domínguez Lino] as Zvonarëva spent on the court! [1h20m]”

Archive of point-by-point scores for all women’s matches:
http://www.tennisforum.com/showpost.php?p=19598384

-----------------------------------------------
2. First-round TV-report: Foretz Gacon v Watson (Monday 23rd May 2011)
-----------------------------------------------

+ Heather Watson [Q] d. Stéphanie Foretz Gacon [WC], 7-6 (8/6) 6-1

It should really have been sweet Stefanie Vögele instead of Watson getting televised by the BBC out on Court 6, as Vögele had been a break up in both sets in her third-round-qualifying match against Watson (4-6 4-6).

Watson was *3-5 down in the first set, but fought back to *5-5 with the help of a big forehand winner down the line at 4-5* (15/15).

Watson saved two set-points at 5-6* (15/40*) – the second with a blazing backhand winner down the line. Foretz Gacon wasted a third set-point in that game by spraying a forehand wide, and Watson eventually broke back with a running forehand winner down the line.

Foretz Gacon had two more set-points at 6-6 (*6/4), but Watson saved SP #4 with a perfectly measured crosscourt backhand lob-winner over Foretz Gacon’s head, and then Foretz Gacon’s lack of faith cost her dear as Watson won the last three points of the tiebreak, converting her own set-point with a crosscourt forehand winner that clipped the outside edge of the sideline.

Watson rode that momentum to a 4-0* lead in the second set for the loss of just four points as Foretz Gacon self-destructed. The fifth game went to two deuces, but a double fault from the deflated Foretz Gacon gave Watson *5-0.

With the court half in shadow, Watson wasted one match-point at *5-0 (40/30) with a double fault, and another at 5-1* (40/30*). Foretz Gacon was on top of the net at Deuce #1, but unbelievably dumped a smash into the net, then saved MP #3 with an ace. Two points later, Watson converted MP #4 when Foretz Gacon put a forehand long.

Watson won the US Open 2009 Girls’ Singles title, but this was her first main-draw win at a Major.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
__________________
My Eternal Fanship: 1. Monica Seles; 2. Мария Шарапова (‘Maria Sharapova’); 3. Daniela Hantuchová; 4. Jelena Dokić; 5. Iva Majoli; 6. Karina Habšudová; 7. Вера Звонарёва (‘Vera Zvonarëva’); 8. Nicole Vaidišová; 9. Анна Чакветадзе (‘Anna Chakvetadze’); 10. Lucie Šafářová; 11. Ирода Туляганова (‘Iroda Tulyaganova’); 12. Magdaléna Rybáriková; 13. Sabine Lisicki

Last edited by andrewbroad : May 24th, 2011 at 02:47 AM.
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Old May 25th, 2011, 02:25 AM   #4
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Andrew's TV-reports for Day 3

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

1. Introduction
2. First-round TV-report: Sharapova v Lučić
3. First-round TV-report: Baltacha v Stephens
4. First-round TV-report: Yakimova v Clijsters

---------------
1. Introduction
---------------

My Eternal Fanship went 4:2 in the first round:
+ MARIA SHARAPOVA [7,EF] d. Mirjana Lučić, 6-3 6-0

One other result that I must comment on is this:
+ Johanna Larsson d. ANA IVANOVIĆ [20,DF], 7-6 (7/3) 0-6 6-2

I feel sad for Ivanović, but at least this makes the cute Larsson a bit more famous.

Archive of point-by-point scores for all women’s matches:
http://www.tennisforum.com/showpost.php?p=19604611

-------------------------------------------
2. First-round TV-report: Sharapova v Lučić (Tuesday 24th May 2011)
-------------------------------------------

+ MARIA SHARAPOVA [7,EF] d. Mirjana Lučić, 6-3 6-0

The BBC joined this match on Court Philippe Chatrier at 0:0 *4-3 after showing Murray v Prodon from Court Suzanne Lenglen.

It was a short but very sweet display of Maria. She looked very sharp (losing just four points in the second set, in which she won 15 points in a row from *0-0 to *4-0), and also very fetching in a yellow and white dress, while Lučić wore a pink dress and a left-ankle support.

It’s so wonderful to see Maria back to her best after her injury-induced slump of the last three years. She showed so much power and determination, and looked every inch the eventual champion here, which would complete her Career Grand Slam.

Lučić is a very powerful hitter herself, but was very erratic as she struggled to cope with the blistering pace from Maria.

Lučić was one of the brightest prospects in women’s tennis when she won the very first WTA tournament she entered (Bol 1997), and reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon 1999. I hated her for beating Monica Seles in the third round there, but have softened my attitude towards her in the light of the Jelena-Dokić-like story of how she had to flee from her abusive father and stop playing for several years.


First set
---------
SHARA _*_*_*@*@ 6
LUČIĆ *_*_*____ 3

The match was second on Chatrier, and started at 12:38 CEST.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sharapova serving 4-3 (new balls): The BBC joined the match at 15/0. Lučić on the fourth stroke hit a forehand long. 30/0. Wide-angled first serve forced Lučić to earth a forehand return. 40/0 (GP #1). Maria forced a short ball that sat up nicely for her to hit a crosscourt forehand winner. Maria celebrated the hold with a “c’mon”. Held.

Lučić serving 3-5: Lučić hit a wild forehand very long. 0/15. Second serve out wide: Maria dumped a backhand return into the net. 15/15. Maria opened up the court with an off-forehand, and hit a lovely swinging crosscourt forehand winner just inside the baseline. 15/30. Double fault (second serve just long). 15/40 (SP #1 for Sharapova). Second serve out wide: Maria ripped a crosscourt forehand return-winner, and celebrated the set with a yell of “c’mon” before she’d even finished her grunt. Maria won the first set 6-3 at 13:12 CEST (34m).


Second set
----------
SHARA *@*@*@ 6
LUČIĆ ______ 0

Sharapova serving 0-0: Ace out wide: on the sideline. 15/0. Lučić hit a down-the-line forehand deep into the corner, forcing Maria to hit a defensive backhand lob that landed on her side of the net. 15/15. Second serve: forehand return long. Lučić spread her arms and looked bewildered. 30/15. First serve: forehand return long. 40/15 (GP #1). Lučić sprayed a forehand long. Held.

Lučić serving 0-1: Maria’s deep forehand forced Lučić to bunt a forehand long. 0/15. Maria’s crosscourt backhand dropshot-return forced Lučić to net a backhand. 0/30. Maria forced a short ball and hit a blazing crosscourt backhand winner. 0/40 (BP #1). Lučić forehand just long. Broken.

Sharapova serving 2-0: First serve out wide: Lučić blasted a forehand return halfway up the net. 15/0. Lučić netted a forehand. 30/0. Lučić dumped a backhand halfway up the net. 40/0 (GP #1). Deep first serve forced Lučić to bunt a forehand return long. Held.

Lučić serving 0-3: Double fault (second serve just long). 0/15. Weak second serve out wide: Maria blasted a forehand winner down Lučić’s forehand sideline. 0/30. Maria’s big, deep forehand return down the line forced Lučić to bunt a backhand into the bottom of the net. 0/40 (BP #1). Maria hit a pinpoint backhand winner down the line. Broken.

Sharapova serving 4-0: Double fault (second serve just long). 0/15. Lučić backhand long. 15/15. Lučić sprayed a wild forehand very long. 30/15. Lučić off-forehand just wide. 40/15 (GP #1). Lučić netted a backhand. Held.

The commentators recapped Maria’s change of coach from Michael Joyce to Thomas Högstedt around the turn of the year, and John Lloyd added that she also worked with Jimmy Connors for a couple of weeks in the off-season.

Lučić serving 0-5: Double fault (second serve into the net). 0/15. Second serve: Maria blasted a huge forehand winner onto the baseline. 0/30. First serve out wide induced Maria to net a forehand return. 15/30. Lučić forehand very long. 15/40 (MP #1 for Sharapova). Deep first serve out wide forced Maria to hit a forehand return wide of the alley. 30/40 (MP #2 for Sharapova). Second serve... Lučić on the ninth stroke hit a crosscourt backhand very wide. Maria celebrated with a scream of “c’mon” and a fist-pump. Maria won 6-3 6-0 at 13:33 CEST (second set 21m, match 55m).

---------------------------------------------
3. First-round TV-report: Baltacha v Stephens (Tuesday 24th May 2011)
---------------------------------------------

+ Elena Baltacha d. Sloane Stephens [Q], 7-5 6-2

The BBC joined this match following the conclusion of Nadal v Isner, by which time Baltacha was 7-5 3-1* up, having recovered from 3-5* in the first set.

Stephens held for 2-3*, and she was the one hitting a couple of winners. She saved one game-point with a deep, error-forcing forehand approach, but couldn’t stop Baltacha holding for 4-2* with an error-forcing crosscourt forehand to the sideline.

At *2-4 (15/0), Stephens beautifully ran down a dropshot, but left the court wide open for Baltacha to hit a crosscourt forehand pass-winner. Baltacha then hit a pinpoint forehand winner down the line for 30/15*. Stephens hit a big crosscourt forehand winner from a deep position for 30/30, but two unforced forehand errors gave Baltacha the double break: *5-2.

Baltacha serving 5-2: Forehand return just long. 15/0. Baltacha netted a backhand. 15/15. Baltacha netted a forehand. 15/30. Ace out wide: on the service-line. 30/30. Ace out wide: right in the corner. 40/30 (MP #1 for Baltacha). Baltacha forced a short lob, but snatched at a forehand, putting it halfway up the net. Deuce #1. Baltacha’s dipping crosscourt backhand forced Stephens to catch the ball late and hit a backhand long. Ad Baltacha (MP #2). Baltacha’s crosscourt forehand pushed Stephens deep into her forehand corner; Stephens tried to recover with a stunning forehand winner down the line, but it was just wide. Baltacha won 7-5 6-2 at 18:30 CEST (second set 35m, match 1h23m).

----------------------------------------------
4. First-round TV-report: Yakimova v Clijsters (Tuesday 24th May 2011)
----------------------------------------------

+ KIM CLIJSTERS [2] d. Anastasiya Yakimova, 6-2 6-3

The BBC joined this match with Yakimova serving at *0-3 in the first set. The first thing I noticed was that she had a very high toss.

The second thing I noticed was that Clijsters was hitting the ball very well, but moving somewhat gingerly, and had heavy strapping on her right ankle. Lots of players hit the ball very well these days (Yakimova isn’t one of them), but what sets Clijsters apart is her superior movement, and if that’s gone then she’s just an ordinary WTA-level player.

Yakimova didn’t show much power at all (apart from two pinpoint forehand winners), so Clijsters got to do much more hitting than running. Clijsters hit a mixture of impressive winners and wild unforced errors, no doubt trying to keep the points short to protect her ankle.

That approach is not going to cut it if Clijsters comes up against Maria Kirilenko in the third round, and it will be interesting to see what Arantxa Rus – a promising youngster whom I’ve never seen play – can do against her in the second round.

Clijsters hit three awesome winners at 0:0 4-1*: a dropshot, a deep crosscourt forehand smash, and a forehand return-winner.

Clijsters was cruising at 1:0 *4-0, but played a sloppy game to get broken back, finishing with a netted forehand smash off a short floater – not the kind of shot I’d imagine her missing if her movement was okay.

Clijsters served for the match at 1:0 *5-1, but Yakimova broke back with a pinpoint short-angled off-forehand return-winner to the sideline.

Clijsters squandered her first match-point at 1:0 5-2* 40/30* by dumping a cheap backhand return halfway up the net, and some surprising unforced errors allowed Yakimova to hold for 3-5*.

Yakimova hit a pinpoint forehand winner up the line at 3-5* (0/0), and two wild Clijsters errors made it 0/40. Clijsters saved the break-points, Yakimova saved the first match-point with a nice off-backhand volley-winner, Clijsters squandered MP #2 with a wild forehand wide, and converted MP #3 when Yakimova dumped a forehand return halfway up the net.

The BBC commentators admitted that it was very difficult to judge Clijsters’s true form, given the woeful lack of resistance from Yakimova. Obviously she’s hitting the ball very well, looked rusty and erratic at times, but her movement was hardly tested at all.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
__________________
My Eternal Fanship: 1. Monica Seles; 2. Мария Шарапова (‘Maria Sharapova’); 3. Daniela Hantuchová; 4. Jelena Dokić; 5. Iva Majoli; 6. Karina Habšudová; 7. Вера Звонарёва (‘Vera Zvonarëva’); 8. Nicole Vaidišová; 9. Анна Чакветадзе (‘Anna Chakvetadze’); 10. Lucie Šafářová; 11. Ирода Туляганова (‘Iroda Tulyaganova’); 12. Magdaléna Rybáriková; 13. Sabine Lisicki
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Old May 25th, 2011, 04:02 AM   #5
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Re: Andrew's TV-reports (Tuesday added: Shara. v Lučić; Balta. v Steph.; Yakim. v Cli

Very nice reports. Looking forward to reading some more
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Old May 25th, 2011, 04:16 AM   #6
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Re: Andrew's TV-reports (Tuesday added: Shara. v Lučić; Balta. v Steph.; Yakim. v Cli

nice summaries mate, really useful, thank you!
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Old May 26th, 2011, 02:21 AM   #7
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Andrew's TV-reports for Day 4

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

1. Introduction
2. Second-round TV-report: Woźniacki v Woźniak
3. Second-round TV-report: Dolonts (née Manasieva) v Schiavone

---------------
1. Introduction
---------------

My Eternal Fanship have gone 2:1 in the second round so far (with Maria Sharapova still to play):

+ VERA ZVONARËVA [3,EF] d. Sabine Lisicki [Q,DF], 4-6 7-5 7-5

Vera survived an almighty scare, first having to recover from 4-6 *4-5 (30/30), and then facing match-point at 1:1 *2-5 (30/40). Lisicki, who suffered from cramping and dizziness in the third set, looked absolutely devastated, but it’s great to see that she is getting her /very/ promising career back on track after the terrible ankle-injury that she suffered at Indian Wells 2010.

- Lucie Šafářová [EF] lt. JULIA GÖRGES [17,DF], 6-2 5-7 2-6

Lucie blew a 6-2 4-2* lead. A match-report at TENNIS.com said that she went for broke and didn’t move well. That worries me, as Lucie used to run like the wind back in 2007, but I couldn’t say the same when I saw her play at the Australian Open 2011.

+ DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [28,EF] d. Sara Errani, 6-1 6-2

With this win, Daniela has a golden opportunity against an out-of-sorts Caroline Woźniacki in the third round. BBC commentator Sam Smith said: “Don’t write Daniela off, even in her late 20s. She was wonderful.”

Archive of point-by-point scores for all women’s matches:
http://www.tennisforum.com/showpost.php?p=19611545

----------------------------------------------
2. Second-round TV-report: Woźniacki v Woźniak (Wednesday 25th May 2011)
----------------------------------------------

+ CAROLINE WOŹNIACKI [1,DF] d. Aleksandra Woźniak [Q], 6-3 7-6 (8/6)

It was a far-from-convincing performance from the world #1, who is not at home on clay, is carrying a minor injury to her left thigh, and seems to be feeling the pressure to win her first Major more and more. I believe that Woźniacki will one day win a Major, but not here.

Woźniacki made a bright start to the match, as Woźniak showed more power but Woźniacki had an answer to everything as she surged to a *5-1 lead. Then it got tight, as as Woźniak began to expose Woźniacki’s vulnerability on clay by attacking. Woźniak played much better than in the one previous match I saw her play: her French Open 2009 fourth round against Serena Williams.

At the end of a surprisingly serve-dominated second set, they played a tiebreak that turned into an absolute thriller after Woźniacki riled the crowd by having a protracted argument with the umpire over a line-call that gave Woźniak three set-points at 6/3*. Some have accused Woźniacki of deliberate gamesmanship, but I believe that she was just very upset.

Woźniak choked on the first set-point, Woźniacki saved the second with a good serve, and the third was one of those great sporting moments when the world seems to go into slow motion, as a long, nail-biting baseline-rally ended with a Woźniak backhand floating long by a whisker.

Sam Smith was the sole BBC commentator for this match, as no one else wanted to struggle with “Woźniacki” and “Woźniak”. In 2009, Smith had accidentally called Woźniak “Woźniacki” after the commentators had agreed that whoever said “Woźniacki” first would have to *** *** ***** * *****, so her emphasis on the last syllable of each surname was quite hilarious!


First set
---------
WOŹNIAC *@_@*@__* 6
WOŹNIAK __@___@*_ 3

The match was first on Court Philippe Chatrier, and started at 11:13 CEST.

Woźniacki serving 0-0: Woźniak’s deep return induced Woźniacki to net a forehand. 0/15. Deep first serve: Woźniak hit a makeable forehand return long. 15/15. Woźniak’s return clipped the netcord and fell back on her side. 30/15. Woźniak’s depth induced Woźniacki to hit a forehand half-volley lob just long. 40/15 (GP #1). Woźniak opened up the court and hit a deep crosscourt forehand winner. 40/30 (GP #2). Woźniacki’s depth induced Woźniak to spray a forehand long. Held.

Woźniak serving 0-1: Second serve: Woźniacki hit a big crosscourt forehand virtual return-winner. 0/15. Woźniak sprayed a forehand very long. 0/30. First serve: forehand return just long. 15/30. Woźniak went for a backhand winner up the line, but put it wide. 15/40 (BP #1). Woźniacki broke with an off-backhand winner just inside the sideline.

Woźniacki serving 2-0: Woźniacki hit a short-angled crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline. 15/0. Woźniak hit a down-the-line backhand return-winner. 15/15. Woźniacki forced a floater and dispatched it with an off-forehand drive-volley winner. 30/15. Woźniacki netted a forehand. 30/30. Woźniak ran down a dropshot and hit a dropshot-winner. 30/40 (BP #1). Woźniak punished a short second serve with a big crosscourt forehand return-winner. Broken.

BBC commentator Sam Smith said that clay was Woźniacki’s worst surface because she struggled to “get the ball through the court”, and is not such a good mover on clay as on hard.

Smith also said that Woźniak was getting her career back on track after some injuries (forearm and wrist) and personal problems (what?).

Woźniak serving 1-2: Woźniak ran down a dropshot and hit a big, deep crosscourt backhand, but Woźniacki was there with an early backhand pass-winner down the line. 0/15. Woźniak hit a crosscourt forehand long. 0/30. Woźniak blasted a forehand long. 0/40 (BP #1). Woźniacki went to the net, forcing Woźniak to net a forehand. Broken.

Woźniak is hitting the ball harder than Woźniacki, but Woźniacki has an answer for everything.

Woźniacki serving 3-1: Woźniak went to the net and hit a crosscourt forehand drive-volley winner. 15/0. Woźniak crosscourt backhand return wide. 15/15. Woźniacki forced a floater, and dispatched it with a crosscourt backhand drive-volley winner. 30/15. Woźniak forehand return just long. 40/15 (GP #1). Woźniak hit a big crosscourt forehand winner. 40/30 (GP #2). Woźniacki netted a forehand. Deuce #1. Woźniak netted a backhand. Ad Woźniacki (GP #3). Woźniacki showed more creativity than I thought she possessed, hitting an imaginative backhand dropshot from behind the baseline. Held.

Woźniak serving 1-4: Woźniak hit a backhand long. 0/15. Woźniacki’s deep crosscourt backhand return forced Woźniak to net a backhand. 0/30. Woźniak hit a deep, error-forcing off-backhand. 15/30. Woźniak went to the net and hit a crisp off-backhand volley-winner from below the height of the net. 30/30. Woźniak played a good spreading rally, forced a short ball, but put an off-forehand wide. 30/40 (BP #1). Woźniacki played a good spreading rally, and actually used a moonball approach to force a floater, which she dispatched with a crosscourt forehand volley-winner. Broken.

Woźniacki is showing far more creativity than I thought she possessed [*3-1 (GP #3); 4-1* (40/30*)]. It’s like she’s been studying videos of Martina Hingis, who dominated the gap between the Seles/Graf era and the Williams era with tremendous chess-like guile.

Woźniacki serving 5-1: Woźniak netted a forehand return. 15/0. Double fault (second serve into the net). 15/15. Deep first serve: Woźniak off-backhand return-winner. 15/30. Woźniak hit a deep forehand approach followed by a forehand drive-volley winner. 15/40 (BP #1). First serve out wide forced Woźniak to net a forehand return. 30/40 (BP #2). Woźniak netted a forehand. Deuce #1. Woźniacki hit a down-the-line forehand just wide. Ad Woźniak (BP #3). Woźniak forehand long. Deuce #2. Woźniak went to the net, forcing Woźniacki to hit a forehand wide. Ad Woźniak (BP #4). Woźniak’s dropshot forced Woźniacki to net a backhand. Broken.

Woźniak serving 2-5 (new balls): Woźniak backhand just long. 15/0. Woźniak forced a short ball with a crosscourt forehand to the sideline, and dispatched it with a forehand dropshot-winner down the line. 30/0. Woźniacki hit a forehand return long. 40/0 (GP #1). Woźniacki slugged an off-backhand wide off a deep ball down the middle from Woźniak. Held.

Woźniacki serving 5-3: Woźniak forehand just long. 15/0. Woźniacki off-backhand wide. 15/15. Woźniacki opened up the court for a crosscourt backhand winner. 30/15. Woźniacki netted a backhand. 30/30. Woźniacki netted a backhand. 30/40 (BP #1). Woźniak backhand long. Deuce #1. Woźniak netted a forehand. Ad Woźniacki (SP #1). Woźniacki’s deep backhand forced Woźniak to hit a forehand long. Woźniacki won the first set 6-3 at 11:52 CEST (39m).


Second set
----------
WOŹNIAC _*_*_*_*_*_*T 7(8)
WOŹNIAK *_*_*_*_*_*__ 6(6)

Woźniak serving 0-0: Woźniacki off-backhand just wide. 15/0. Woźniak crosscourt backhand wide by a whisker. 15/15. Woźniak earthed a backhand off a low-bouncing ball. 15/30. Woźniak’s deep crosscourt forehand forced Woźniacki to hit a forehand long. 30/30. Woźniacki forehand long. 40/30 (GP #1). Double fault (second serve long). Deuce #1. Woźniacki forehand just long. Ad Woźniak (GP #2). Woźniak in no-man’s-land left a lob from Woźniacki that appeared to clip the baseline for a winner, but the umpire checked the mark and called it long. Held.

Woźniacki serving 0-1: Woźniak opened up the court with a crosscourt forehand, and hit a sharp forehand winner down the line. 0/15. First serve out wide induced Woźniak to net a backhand return. 15/15. Ace down the middle. 30/15. Woźniacki crosscourt backhand just wide. 30/30. Woźniacki forced a short defensive lob, let it bounce, and dispatched it with a crosscourt forehand smash-winner. 40/30 (GP #1). Woźniak netted a backhand. Held.

Woźniak serving 1-1: Woźniacki forehand long. 15/0. Woźniak forehand just long. 15/15. Woźniak went for a big off-forehand winner to the sideline, but it was wide by a whisker. 15/30. Woźniak netted a backhand. 15/40 (BP #1). Woźniacki backhand just long. 30/40 (BP #2). First serve out wide + crosscourt forehand winner. Deuce #1. Double fault. Ad Woźniacki (BP #2). Woźniak dominated the rally from the baseline, then drew Woźniacki to the net with a dropshot; Woźniacki should have hit a backhand up the line, but instead hit a crosscourt backhand dropshot, enabling Woźniak to drill an error-forcing backhand down the line. Deuce #2. Woźniak went to the net, forcing Woźniacki to hit a backhand lob just long. Ad Woźniak (GP #1). Deep serve out wide induced Woźniacki to hit a crosscourt backhand return wide. Held.

Woźniacki serving 1-2: Woźniacki forehand just long. 0/15. Woźniak netted a backhand. 15/15. Woźniak forehand long. 30/15. Woźniacki hit a deep backhand down the line, forcing Woźniak to earth a forehand. 40/15 (GP #1). Woźniak hit a crosscourt backhand wide. Held.

Woźniak serving 2-2: Short-angled ace out wide: just inside the sideline. 15/0. Woźniacki forehand just long. 30/0. Woźniak forced a floater, and dispatched it with a forehand smash-winner. 40/0 (GP #1). Second serve: a big backhand winner down the line forced Woźniak to earth a forehand. 40/15 (GP #2). Woźniak crosscourt forehand wide. 40/30 (GP #3). Woźniacki’s deep off-forehand forced Woźniak to bunt a defensive backhand lob long. Deuce #1. Woźniacki hit a forehand return long. Ad Woźniak (GP #1). Woźniak opened up the court with an off-forehand, and nailed a crosscourt forehand winner into the space. Held.

The world #1 really took it to the qualifier from 40/0 there, but that was an uncharacteristic error from Woźniacki at Deuce, and Woźniak has the momentum now. But does she have the consistency to maintain it?

Woźniacki serving 2-3: Woźniak forced a short ball, and dispatched it with a crosscourt forehand winner. 0/15. Woźniak sprayed a wild crosscourt backhand return very long and wide. 15/15. Woźniacki backhand long. 15/30. Woźniak netted a forehand return. 30/30. Woźniak forced a short ball and hit a big off-forehand that clipped the netcord and fell back on her side. 40/30 (GP #1). Woźniacki held with a crosscourt backhand winner.

Woźniak is the more aggressive player, and Woźniacki is relying on her errors right now. Sam Smith: “There’s not enough on her rally-ball. She’s not getting enough speed out of the clay court.”

Woźniak serving 3-3: Woźniacki forehand just long. 15/0. Woźniak netted a forehand. 30/0. Woźniak backhand just long. 30/15. Woźniak went to the net, forced a floater, and dispatched it with a forehand smash-winner from an awkward position over her left shoulder. 40/15 (GP #1). Woźniak crosscourt forehand virtual winner. Held.

Woźniacki serving 3-4 (new balls): Woźniak netted a makeable forehand return. 15/0. Woźniacki mishit a forehand long. 15/15. Woźniacki hit a crosscourt backhand just inside the sideline, forcing Woźniak to mishit a crosscourt backhand wide. 30/15. Deep first serve just inside the service-line forced Woźniak to hit a backhand return just long. 40/15 (GP #1). Woźniacki hit a loose forehand long. 40/30 (GP #2). Woźniacki’s down-the-line backhand clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner. She apologised. Held.

Woźniak serving 4-4: Woźniak opened up the court with a crosscourt forehand, and hit a pinpoint forehand winner up the line. 15/0. Woźniacki off-forehand just wide. 30/0. Woźniak netted a forehand. 30/15. Woźniacki backhand long. 40/15 (GP #1). Woźniak forced a short ball, and dispatched it with a crosscourt forehand winner. Held.

Sam Smith observed that Woźniak was getting tired, as she’s not match-fit and Woźniacki was making her work very hard.

Woźniacki serving 4-5: Woźniak backhand long. 15/0. Service-winner out wide. 30/0. Woźniak hit a deep crosscourt forehand return just inside the baseline, which was called long but overruled as good. Woźniacki argued with the umpire. 30/15. Woźniak made her way to the net, forced a floater, and dispatched it with an easy forehand smash-winner. 30/30. Woźniak blasted a crosscourt forehand return just wide. 40/30 (GP #1). Woźniak forehand long. Held.

Woźniak was potentially two points away from winning this set at 30/30, so perhaps she got a little tight on those last two points.

Woźniak serving 5-5: Woźniak played a good spreading rally with a dropshot, but Woźniacki ran it down and hit a crosscourt forehand winner onto the sideline. 0/15. Service-winner down the line. 15/15. Woźniacki went to the net, but a testing pass forced her to bunt a crosscourt backhand volley wide. 30/15. Woźniacki hit a loose backhand long. 40/15 (GP #1). Woźniacki drew Woźniak to the net with a dropshot, and hit a crosscourt backhand pass-winner. 40/30 (GP #2). Woźniacki hit a crunching short-angled crosscourt backhand winner just inside the sideline, and said “c’mon”. Deuce #1. Woźniak off-forehand winner. Ad Woźniak (GP #3). Woźniak ran down a dropshot and hit an off-forehand winner. Held.

Woźniacki serving 5-6: Woźniak forehand long. 15/0. Woźniacki forced a short ball, but mishit a forehand volley long. 15/15. Woźniak hit a crosscourt forehand just wide. 30/15. Woźniacki netted a forehand. 30/30. Woźniacki netted a forehand. 40/30 (GP #1). Woźniak forced a floater, and dispatched it with an off-forehand smash-winner. Deuce #1. Woźniacki went to the net, but Woźniak hit a running backhand pass down the line that appeared to clip the outside edge of the sideline for a winner, which would have given her set-point... but the umpire checked the mark and called it wide. Ad Woźniacki (GP #2). Woźniacki opened up the court and hit a crosscourt forehand winner. Held.

6-6 tiebreak (all scores Woźniacki/Woźniak):
{0/0*} Woźniak off-forehand winner.
{*0/1} Woźniacki backhand just long.
{*0/2} Woźniacki backhand long.
{0/3*} Woźniak crosscourt forehand just wide.
{1/3*} Woźniak crosscourt forehand wide.
{*2/3} Woźniacki forced a defensive lob, but had to run backwards, netted a forehand smash, and emitted a long, high-pitched squeal.
{*2/4} Woźniacki forehand just long.
{2/5*} Woźniak went to the net, but an awkward dipping pass from Woźniacki induced her to hit an off-backhand volley wide.
{3/5*} Woźniak went to the net, and Woźniacki hit a forehand lob just long. The umpire checked the mark and called it long, and Woźniacki looked very upset. Woźniacki induced boos from the crowd by walking to the umpire’s chair for a protracted argument about that call. Sam Smith: “It’s indicative of the inner turmoil that Woźniacki is in now.”
{*3/6: SP #1 for Woźniak} Woźniak hit a wild backhand very long.
{*4/6: SP #2 for Woźniak} First serve out wide forced Woźniak to hit a forehand return halfway up the net.
{5/6*: SP #3 for Woźniak} The longest, most nail-biting rally of the match ended with Woźniak hitting a backhand long by a whisker. It was one of those great sporting moments when the world seemed to go into slow motion.
{6/6*} Woźniak forehand long.
{*7/6: MP #1 for Woźniacki} Woźniacki’s deep forehand forced Woźniak to net a forehand. Woźniacki won 6-3 7-6 (8/6) at 13:07 CEST (second set 1h15m, match 1h54m).

Just four minutes later, Julia Görges beat Lucie Šafářová 2-6 7-5 6-2 after Lucie had led 6-4 4-2*. Görges beat Woźniacki in the Stuttgart final, and again at Madrid, and after that performance from Woźniacki, I can foresee Görges beating her for a third time, should they meet in the quarter-finals here (although Daniela Hantuchová or Svetlana Kuznetsova might have something to say about Woźniacki’s quarter-final berth, and Marion Bartoli or Samantha Stosur might have something to say about Görges’s).

--------------------------------------------------------------
3. Second-round TV-report: Dolonts (née Manasieva) v Schiavone (Wednesday 25th May 2011)
--------------------------------------------------------------

+ FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [5] d. Vesna Dolonts, 6-1 6-2

I had never heard of Vesna Dolonts before this tournament, and couldn’t even find a photo of her on Google Images. So I was intrigued when I learned that the BBC was going to show Schiavone against a complete unknown.

As Dolonts walked onto court, she reminded me of a player of whom I’d seen a few photos but never seen play: Vesna Manasieva. BBC commentator Sam Smith then revealed that Manasieva had married her boyfriend and changed her name.

The BBC commentators claimed that Dolonts had saved match-point in her 3-6 7-6 6-4 first-round match against Anne Keothavong in the first round, however my archive of point-by-point scores not only fails to confirm but actually /proves/ that Keothavong could not have had a match-point, because:
• Dolonts was 5-3* and *6-5 up in the second set.
• Dolonts won the second-set tiebreak 7/5.
• Dolonts won the third set 6-4.


First set
---------
DOLONTS @______ 1
SCHIAVO _@*@*@* 6

With Schiavone serving first, Dolonts got off to a flying start, with a dead-netcord winner on the first point and a break to 15.

But Schiavone quickly worked her out her opponent, broke straight back, and from that point on, the match ceased to be noteworthy for a while, as Schiavone won the next 11 games in a row with a ruthless display of clay-court tennis.


Second set
----------
DOLONTS _____@*_ 2
SCHIAVO @*@*@__* 6

The match got interesting again at 0-5*.

Schiavone serving 5-0: Schiavone hit a cheeky dropshot, but Dolonts ran it down and hit a crosscourt backhand winner. 0/15. Dolonts’s deep crosscourt backhand return forced a short ball, which she dispatched with a big, error-forcing crosscourt backhand. 0/30. Schiavone blasted a down-the-line backhand long and wide. 0/40 (BP #1). Dolonts broke back with a deep crosscourt forehand winner just inside the baseline. Broken.

Dolonts serving 1-5: Dolonts hit a deep backhand down the line, forcing Schiavone to net a forehand. 15/0. Dolonts, driven wide, netted a backhand. 15/15. Schiavone’s deep forehand forced Dolonts to net a forehand. 15/30. In a long baseline-rally, Dolonts found some excellent depth, then Schiavone sprayed a down-the-line forehand wide. 30/30. Schiavone sliced a backhand just long. 40/30 (GP #1). Schiavone exploited Dolonts’s deep position with an excellent dropshot; try as she might, Dolonts couldn’t get there. Deuce #1. Schiavone hit a cheap forehand return long. Ad Dolonts (GP #2). Schiavone went to the net, but Dolonts came up with a superb crosscourt forehand pass-winner. Held.

Schiavone serving 5-2: Schiavone slugged an off-forehand just wide. 0/15. Schiavone hit an off-backhand winner back behind Dolonts. 15/15. Dolonts stayed in a long baseline-rally with the help of a sliced forehand, and Schiavone netted a sliced backhand. 15/30. Dolonts forehand long. 30/30. First serve out wide: Dolonts got hold of it and hit a pinpoint crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline. 30/40 (BP #1). Dolonts forehand long. Deuce #1. Dolonts off-backhand wide. Ad Schiavone (MP #1). Schiavone sprayed a wild forehand wide. Deuce #2. A tremendous baseline-rally ended with Schiavone’s backhand clipping the baseline and shooting through on Dolonts, forcing her to net a forehand. Ad Schiavone (MP #2). Deep first serve out wide – right on the junction of service-line and sideline – forced Dolonts outside the alley to hit a backhand return just long. Schiavone won 6-1 6-2 at 19:38 CEST (second set 44m, match 1h12m).

BBC commentator Andrew Castle said that Schiavone looked very attackable – especially her serve – and didn’t have the weapons to defend her title.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
__________________
My Eternal Fanship: 1. Monica Seles; 2. Мария Шарапова (‘Maria Sharapova’); 3. Daniela Hantuchová; 4. Jelena Dokić; 5. Iva Majoli; 6. Karina Habšudová; 7. Вера Звонарёва (‘Vera Zvonarëva’); 8. Nicole Vaidišová; 9. Анна Чакветадзе (‘Anna Chakvetadze’); 10. Lucie Šafářová; 11. Ирода Туляганова (‘Iroda Tulyaganova’); 12. Magdaléna Rybáriková; 13. Sabine Lisicki
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Andrew's TV-reports for Day 5

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

1. Introduction
2. Second-round TV-report: Rus v Clijsters
3. Second-round TV-report: Sharapova v García
4. Second-round TV-report: Parmentier v Azarenka

---------------
1. Introduction
---------------

My Eternal Fanship went 3:1 in the second round:
+ MARIA SHARAPOVA [7,EF] d. Caroline García [WC], 3-6 6-4 6-0

Archive of point-by-point scores for all women’s matches:
http://www.tennisforum.com/showpost.php?p=19619842

------------------------------------------
2. Second-round TV-report: Rus v Clijsters (Thursday 26th May 2011)
------------------------------------------

+ Arantxa Rus d. KIM CLIJSTERS [2], 3-6 7-5 6-1

This really felt like two different matches. In the first part, Clijsters played scarily well for someone supposedly so badly injured and underprepared, but again it was more a hitting match than a running match for her as she surged to a 6-3 5-2* (Ad) lead against her overawed 20-year-old opponent.

In the second part, Clijsters paid heavily for her injuries and lack of preparation as she started haemorrhaging errors, failed to convert two match-points, and then disintegrated in the third set as she tried desperately to finish points early by going for winners or dropshots. BBC commentator John Lloyd was astounded that she just went for broke all the time, instead of getting more balls back and giving Rus a chance to get nervous.

But credit to Rus, who, after looking out of her depth in the first half of the match, raised her own game on the verge of defeat, and certainly played much better against Clijsters than Anastasia Yakimova had done. She certainly did a lot more to deserve her victory than receiving unforced errors.

It was my first time to see Rus play. She’s tall, slim, left-handed and not unattractive. BBC commentator Sam Smith said early in the match that the look on her face said, “I’m playing my idol”, and she couldn’t get over that until she was 0:0 0-3* down.

Sam Smith said that there were too many contradictions in Rus’s game: between her talent, technique and temperament. That she needed to be more proactive, and move up to the ball instead of letting it come to her – especially in the windy conditions in which this match was played. That she didn’t have “the fire”.

Whereas Clijsters’s talent, technique and temperament were now in perfect harmony (unlike earlier in her career when she lost her first four Major finals).

Rus is not named for Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario. Her parents just liked the name “Arantxa” after a holiday in Spain, and apparently they pronounce it “Arantska” rather than “Arancha”.


First set
---------
RUS ___@*_*__ 3
CLI @*@__*_*@ 6

Rus played her first nice point at *0-2 (0/15), when she ran down a dropshot and hit a forehand winner down the line.

Rus gave Clijsters a tough service-game at 0-3* with some good returns. Clijsters saved break-point after one deuce with a smash-winner, but Rus won her first game when Clijsters knocked an off-backhand just wide: *1-3. Rus consolidated the break to hold for 2-3*.

In a great rally at 2-3* (0/0), Rus showed some excellent long-limbed retrieval until Clijsters finished the point with a forehand smash-winner.

Rus held again for 3-4*, but lost the first set at *3-5 (30/40) when she mishit a forehand wide.


Second set
----------
RUS ___*@__*@*@* 7
CLI *@*__@*_____ 5

After a terrible start to the second set, Rus held for 1-3* with her first ace.

At 1-3* (15/15), Rus opened up the court with a crosscourt forehand winner to the sideline, and hit a pinpoint forehand winner down the line. At Ad Clijsters (GP #3), Rus hit a pinpoint error-forcing crosscourt forehand just inside the sideline. Then two overlength forehands from Clijsters gave Rus the break back: *2-3.

When Clijsters went 5-2* up, the commentators were “assessing her performance” like she’d already won the match.

Clijsters squandered her first match-point at 5-2* (Ad) by hitting a makeable backhand return just long, and Rus held to make it *5-3. Three sloppy points from Clijsters put her 0/40 down. She saved the second break-point with a short-angled crosscourt forehand volley-winner, but Rus converted the third when Clijsters framed a topspin forehand out of my TV-screen.

At 5-4* (15/30*), Clijsters hit an amazingly short dropshot-winner, then Rus dumped a horrendous backhand low into the net to bring up MP #2 at 30/40. Clijsters wasted it by hitting a forehand wide, then dumped a backhand into the net, and put a forehand long for 5-5*.

Sam Smith: “It doesn’t matter who you are; when you haven’t competed for two months, it’s very tough to close out a match. She’s not just making errors; she’s getting tight. Really tight. And the tall orange genie is out of the bottle. It’s very difficult to put it back in once it’s out.”

^(Rus was wearing an orange top.)

A bunch of errors gave Rus *6-5, and she hit a terrific crosscourt forehand winner onto the sideline at 0/15. Rus converted her first set-point at 40/15 when Clijsters sprayed a forehand wide.


Third set
---------
RUS _*@*@*@ 6
CLI *______ 1

Clijsters serving 0-0: Clijsters hit a backhand dropshot-winner. 15/0. Rus’s deep forehand induced Clijsters to hit a forehand long. 15/15. Rus, driven wide, forcedly netted a forehand. 30/15. Rus’s depth induced Clijsters to hit a forehand just long. 30/30. Clijsters’s deep forehand forced Rus to bunt a defensive backhand lob long. 40/30 (GP #1). Rus rushed a forehand halfway up the net. Held.

It’s a very different mental landscape for Rus now. At 0:1 *2-5, she relaxed and played well, but now looks nervous again.

Rus serving 1-0: Clijsters crosscourt forehand virtual winner. 15/0. Clijsters crosscourt forehand volley-winner. 0/30. Clijsters opened up the court and hit a pinpoint forehand winner down the line. 0/40 (BP #1). Clijsters backhand return wide. 15/40 (BP #2). Rus ran down a dropshot and hit an error-forcing crosscourt forehand to Clijsters’s feet in no-man’s-land. 30/40 (BP #3). Clijsters netted a backhand. Deuce #1. Clijsters crosscourt backhand wide. Ad Rus (GP #1). Service-winner. Held.

Clijsters serving 1-1: Double fault #8. 0/15. Clijsters on the third stroke dumped a forehand into the net. 0/30. A tremendous rally ended with Rus, driven wide, forcedly netting a forehand. 15/30. Clijsters backhand long. 15/40 (BP #1). Rus backhand long. 30/40 (BP #2). Double fault #9. Broken.

Two double faults in the game, and Rus now seems to be playing at her best. Clijsters’s poor form is giving her confidence.

Rus serving 2-1: Clijsters went for a backhand up the line, but put it wide. 15/0. Clijsters netted a backhand. 30/0. Deep first serve forced Clijsters to hit an off-backhand return wide. 40/0 (GP #1). Clijsters’s forehand return clipped the netcord, bounced onto the net-post, bounced back into court and dropped dead for a winner! 40/15 (GP #2). Service-winner. Held.

David Mercer: “Arantxa Rus has won 8 of the last 9 games, and Clijsters is in deep, deep trouble.”

Clijsters serving 1-3: Clijsters backhand long. 0/15. Clijsters desperately tried a dropshot and netted it. 0/30. Rus went for an off-backhand return-winner onto the sideline, but it was called wide. 15/30. Rus netted a makeable backhand return off a body-jamming serve. 30/30. Clijsters hit a backhand dropshot halfway up the net. 30/40 (BP #1). Double fault. Broken.

Clijsters is panicking now. Her dropshots had worked every time she played them before that game, but now she’s desperately using them to finish the points quickly – and not in a winning way. She’s not willing to grind this out, which implies that her injuries have worsened during this match.

Sam Smith: “It’s a big deal for Rus to be in this situation, but she’s getting so much help.”

Rus serving 4-1: Clijsters’s depth induced Rus to mishit a backhand wide. 0/15. Clijsters’s short-angled crosscourt backhand to the sideline forced Rus to earth a forehand. 0/30. Clijsters hit a wild forehand return very long. 15/30. Clijsters netted a forehand. 30/30. Rus ran around her backhand to hit a forehand, and paid the price as Clijsters hit a crosscourt backhand virtual winner just inside the sideline. 30/40 (BP #1). Rus, driven wide, hit a huge crosscourt forehand that clipped the outside edge of the sideline, forcing Clijsters to earth a backhand. Deuce #1. Clijsters forced a floater, took her time and hit an off-backhand winner. Ad Clijsters (BP #2). Service-winner. Deuce #2. Rus forced a skyscraper lob from Clijsters, let it bounce and hit an error-forcing crosscourt forehand smash. Ad Rus (GP #1). Clijsters backhand long. Held.

Sam Smith: “I can’t remember a great player like Kim Clijsters just disintegrating in such a fashion on such a big court. Surely it’s all about the lack of preparation – it has to be.”

Clijsters serving 1-5: Clijsters mishit a forehand long. 0/15. A mildly awkward forehand return induced Clijsters to hit a crosscourt forehand wide. 0/30. Rus hit a makeable forehand return long. 15/30. Rus netted a backhand. 30/30. Rus’s deep defensive sliced backhand induced Clijsters to hit a crosscourt forehand long. 30/40 (MP #1 for Rus). Clijsters hit a deep backhand down the middle, forcing Rus to hit an off-forehand wide. Deuce #1. Rus played conservatively, and Clijsters hit a short-angled crosscourt backhand winner just inside the sideline. Ad Clijsters (GP #1). Clijsters forehand long. Deuce #2. Clijsters went to the net and hit an off-forehand volley-winner as Rus went for the wrong pass. Ad Clijsters (GP #2). Rus’s backhand return induced Clijsters to net a forehand. Deuce #3. Rus hit an off-forehand winner. Ad Rus (MP #2). Rus finished with a crosscourt forehand winner, and celebrated with a huge smile. Rus won 3-6 7-5 6-1 at 13:11 (third set 34m, match 2h02m).

Clijsters was limping as she shook hands.

Rus’s win filled me with delight, though I must confess that most of it was Schadenfreude for Clijsters as the nagging doubts about her ultimate elimination from this Major were finally extinguished. She’s my least-favourite active player apart from Dinara Safina, and it would have been an alarming indictment of women’s tennis if she could have just waltzed in here and won the title having not played on clay since April 2010. I didn’t seriously believe that she could do so, with the competition being as strong as it is, but enough people did believe to make me worry.

The only downside of Clijsters’s defeat is that Maria Kirilenko’s third-round match has no chance of being televised by the BBC now that she’s facing Rus.

---------------------------------------------
3. Second-round TV-report: Sharapova v García (Thursday 26th May 2011)
---------------------------------------------

+ MARIA SHARAPOVA [7,EF] d. Caroline García [WC], 3-6 6-4 6-0

It looked as though Maria might suffer the abject embarrassment of losing to a 17-year-old wild card ranked #188 as she went 3-6 1-4* down, but she stormed back to win the next 11 games to book her berth in the third round.

The BBC only showed the last two games of this match, as Nadal v Andújar and Kanepi v Watson both took priority, but commentator Sam Smith said that Maria struggled with her serve in the cold, windy conditions, at one point hitting a first serve over the BASELINE!

Andrew Castle: “García was half-volleying winners from the back of the court, and giving Sharapova all she could handle.”
Sam Smith: “This girl is going to be wonderful – probably top ten.”


First set
---------
SHARAP __@___@*_ 3
GARCÍA *@_@*@__* 6

The match was third on Court Philippe Chatrier, and started at 16:40 CEST.

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

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

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

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

García serving 3-1: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (GP #1). 40/15 (GP #2). 40/30 (GP #3). Deuce #1. Ad García (GP #4). Deuce #2. Ad García (GP #5). Deuce #3. Ad Sharapova (BP #1). Deuce #4. Ad Sharapova (BP #2). Deuce #5. Ad Sharapova (BP #3). Deuce #6. Ad Sharapova (BP #4). Deuce #7. Ad García (GP #6). Deuce #8. Ad García (GP #7). Held.

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

García serving 5-1: 0/15. 0/30. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP #1). Broken.

Sharapova serving 2-5 (new balls): 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). Held.

García serving 5-3: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (SP #1 for García). 40/15 (SP #2 for García). 40/30 (SP #3 for García). García won the first set 6-3 at 17:26 CEST (45m).


Second set
----------
SHARAP __*__@*@*@ 6
GARCÍA @*_*@_____ 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

García serving 4-5: 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 30/40 (SP #1 for Sharapova). Sharapova won the second set 6-4 at 18:10 CEST (second set 43m, match so far 1h29m).


Third set
---------
SHARAP *@*@*@ 6
GARCÍA ______ 0

Sharapova serving 0-0: The scoreboard froze at 18:10 CEST. The scoreboard resumed at 18:14 CEST (3m). 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). 40/30 (GP #2). Deuce #1. Ad Sharapova (GP #3). Deuce #2. Ad Sharapova (GP #4). Held.

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

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

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

Sharapova serving 4-0: First serve out wide: forehand return wide. 15/0. García sprayed a backhand very long. 30/0. Maria hit an attempted off-forehand winner just wide. 30/15. Maria netted a forehand. 30/30. Maria hit a blazing crosscourt backhand winner. 40/30 (GP #1). García nailed a pinpoint off-forehand winner just inside the sideline. Deuce #1. Ace out wide. Ad Sharapova (GP #2). First serve out wide: García netted a makeable backhand return.

García serving 0-5: García netted a backhand off a low-bouncing ball from Maria. 0/15. Double fault #6 (second serve long). 0/30. Double fault #7 (second serve into the net). 0/40 (MP #1 for Sharapova). García saved the first match-point with a first serve out wide + crosscourt forehand winner that clipped the netcord. 15/40 (MP #2 for Sharapova). García hit a backhand very long. Sharapova won 3-6 6-4 6-0 at 18:41 CEST (third set 30m, match 2h00m).

Maria celebrated with a long, Lleyton-Hewitt-esque yell of “c’mon”, then waved to the crowd as they booed her. Andrew Castle suggested that she should instead have acknowledged the applause and then pointed to her opponent.


Maria’s on-court interview
--------------------------

Cédric Pioline: “Maria, well done. It hasn’t been easy today. You’ve been down one set and 4-1, and then the match turned.”

Maria: “Well, my opponent played really well throughout the whole match. I was just trying to stay in it. The conditions were tough, and she was playing well, and I just had to adjust and do something different, and yeah, I turned things around.”

Pioline: “She’s only 17. Maybe you can say a few words about her game. Have you been surprised [by] the way she played?”

Maria: “Well, she played unbelievable the first set and a half. There wasn’t much I could do. She was controlling most of the points, and I just tried to be steady.”

Pioline: “And it’s not easy to play with this wind.”

Maria: “No, the conditions are tough, and she’s young, and she was tough from the beginning, so I really had to adjust and try many little things, but I’m glad I got through today.”

Pioline: “Alright. So now, next round, you’re gonna play Miss Chan. Your draw looks pretty open now Clijsters lost.”

Maria: “<Giggle> Well, you can’t look at those things, because you have to take it one match at a time. It’s a boring answer – I’m sorry – but I still have many rounds to go until then.”

Pioline: “Thank you very much, Maria, and good luck for your next round.”

------------------------------------------------
4. Second-round TV-report: Parmentier v Azarenka (Thursday 26th May 2011)
------------------------------------------------

+ VICTORIA AZARENKA [4,DF] d. Pauline Parmentier [WC], 6-0 6-1

It was a highly impressive and ruthless performance by Azarenka, and certainly confirmed her as one of the leading contenders for the French Open title. As well as big groundstrokes, she showed plenty of variety, often going to the net, and mixing it up with dropshots.

It was my first time to see Parmentier play, and her performance was certainly disappointing, given that she won Bad Gastein 2008 on this surface. She failed to cope with the pace and depth of Azarenka’s groundstrokes, served a quadruple fault from 0:0 *0-2 (30/30), had to wait until 0:1 *0-2 to avoid the double bagel, and finished four minutes shy of the one-hour mark.


First set
---------
PARMENTI ______ 0
AZARENKA @*@*@* 6

The match was fourth on Court Suzanna Lenglen, and started at 19:22 CEST. Conditions were cold and windy, with Azarenka warming up in a tracksuit and Parmentier in a jumper. Azarenka left her tracksuit-top on when the match started. Parmentier took hers off to reveal a black ribbon in memory of Stéphane Vidal (Virginie Razzano’s fiancé, who died last week).

The stands were sparsely populated, which was probably good for Azarenka as the French Open crowds always tend to get on her back because they don’t like her grunting.

Parmentier serving 0-0: A long opening rally ended with Parmentier netting a backhand. 0/15. Azarenka slugged an off-forehand wide. 15/15. Parmentier forehand just long. 15/30. Azarenka netted a forehand. 30/30. Double fault (second serve long). 30/40 (BP #1). Azarenka crosscourt backhand just wide. Deuce #1. Azarenka went to the net, inducing Parmentier to net a forehand. Ad Azarenka (BP #2). Azarenka nailed a pinpoint off-forehand winner to the sideline. Broken.

Azarenka serving 1-0: Parmentier crosscourt backhand wide. 15/0. Parmentier off-forehand winner back behind Azarenka. 15/15. Parmentier’s crosscourt forehand induced Azarenka to net a forehand. 15/30. Service-winner out wide. 30/30. Parmentier forehand long. 40/30 (GP #1). Azarenka went to the net and hit a high backhand volley-winner crosscourt. Held.

John Lloyd: “She’s an awesome striker of the ball. She takes the ball so early.”
Sam Smith: “She’s the best returner in the world – No.1 in every statistic.”

Parmentier serving 0-2: Azarenka hit a crosscourt forehand winner on the fourth stroke. 0/15. Parmentier crosscourt forehand winner deep in the corner. 15/15. Forehand return long. 30/15. Azarenka pounced on a short, high ball with a crosscourt forehand winner. 30/30. Double fault (second serve clipped the netcord and landed close to the baseline). 30/40 (BP #1). Quadruple fault (second serve into the net). Broken.

A terrible start for Parmentier. She’s going to get double-bagelled if she continues like this against one of the leading contenders for the title. Sam Smith: “Azarenka could start her own bakery, to be honest with you. She’s very good at going through these sets.”

Azarenka serving 3-0: Parmentier forehand long. 15/0. Parmentier netted a backhand. 30/0. Parmentier netted a backhand return. 40/0 (GP #1). Azarenka forehand just long. 40/15 (GP #2). Azarenka backhand just long. 40/30 (GP #3). Parmentier forehand long. Held.

Parmentier serving 0-4: Parmentier netted a backhand off a mildly awkward deep crosscourt backhand from Azarenka. 0/15. Azarenka forced a floater, but got caught in no-man’s-land and blasted an off-forehand drive-volley wide. 15/15. Azarenka’s deep forehand just inside the baseline forced Parmentier to hit a forehand long. 15/30. Parmentier went to the net, forcing Azarenka to hit a crosscourt forehand pass wide. 30/30. Parmentier hit a backhand long, and shrugged her shoulders. 30/40 (BP #1). Deep first serve down the middle forced Azarenka to earth a forehand return. Deuce #1. Parmentier forehand long. Ad Azarenka (BP #2). Azarenka backhand long. Deuce #2. Azarenka crosscourt forehand just wide. Ad Parmentier (GP #1). Azarenka’s deep forehand forced Parmentier to mishit a crosscourt forehand wide. Deuce #3. Second serve: Azarenka crosscourt forehand return-winner onto the sideline. Ad Azarenka (BP #3). Azarenka hit a fierce backhand down the line, forcing Parmentier to net a forehand. Broken.

More resistance there, but it probably serves only to galvanise Azarenka not to drop a game today.

Azarenka serving 5-0: Parmentier went to the net and hit an off-forehand drop-volley winner. 0/15. Azarenka went to the net, hitting a down-the-line forehand + crosscourt forehand volley-winner. 15/15. Double fault #1 (second serve long). 15/30. Azarenka crosscourt backhand volley-winner. 30/30. Service-winner out wide. 40/30 (SP #1 for Azarenka). Azarenka’s deep forehand induced Parmentier to hit a forehand long. Azarenka won the first set 6-0 at 19:50 CEST (26m).

Sam Smith: “It’s good to see that Azarenka’s not allergic to the service-line. Her groundstrokes take her forward. She’s becoming the complete player that we’ve been looking for in women’s tennis.”


Second set
----------
PARMENTI __*____ 1
AZARENKA @*_*@*@ 6

Parmentier serving 0-0: Double fault (second serve into the net). 0/15. Azarenka’s deep crosscourt backhand induced Parmentier to net a sliced backhand. 0/30. Azarenka went to the net and hit a beautiful forehand drop-volley winner. 0/40 (BP #1). Ace down the middle. 15/40 (BP #2). Parmentier hit a crosscourt backhand just inside the baseline, forcing Azarenka to net a backhand. 30/40 (BP #3). Parmentier’s deep forehand forced Azarenka to bunt a defensive forehand lob long. Deuce #1. Azarenka hit a crosscourt forehand winner onto the sideline. Ad Azarenka (BP #4). Parmentier dumped a backhand halfway up the net. Broken.

A better effort by Parmentier, but Azarenka is ruthless, and Parmentier is now facing every player’s worst tennis-nightmare: losing game after game and just praying to avoid the double bagel.

Azarenka serving 1-0 (new balls): First serve out wide forced Parmentier to hit a crosscourt forehand return wide. 15/0. Parmentier netted a backhand. 30/0. Azarenka netted a forehand. 30/15. Double fault. 30/30. First serve out wide forced Parmentier to earth a forehand return. 40/30 (GP #1). Azarenka hit an error-forcing forehand down the line. Held.

Parmentier serving 0-2: Parmentier’s backhand clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner. 15/0. Azarenka’s deep crosscourt backhand forced Parmentier to mishit a crosscourt backhand wide. 15/15. Azarenka off-forehand wide. 30/15. Azarenka forehand just long. 40/15 (GP #1). Parmentier avoided the double bagel with a wicked body-jamming first serve onto the service-line, forcing Azarenka to earth a backhand return. Held.

Parmentier gave a big sigh of relief after that one!

Azarenka serving 2-1: Azarenka, driven wide, hit a forehand halfway up the net. 0/15. Parmentier forced a short ball and hit an off-forehand winner. 0/30. Service-winner. 15/30. Parmentier backhand long. 30/30. Azarenka hit a backhand dropshot-winner down the line. 40/30 (GP #1). Service-winner. Held.

Parmentier serving 1-3: Azarenka hit another backhand dropshot-winner. 0/15. Parmentier framed a forehand long. 0/30. Parmentier forced a short ball and hit an off-forehand winner. 15/30. Parmentier hit a big forehand down the line, forcing Azarenka to earth a backhand. 30/30. Parmentier backhand long. 30/40 (BP #1). Parmentier netted a backhand. Broken.

Azarenka serving 4-1: Parmentier backhand long. 15/0. Parmentier forehand long. 30/0. Azarenka’s deep, body-jamming backhand forced Parmentier to net a backhand. 40/0 (GP #1). Azarenka forehand just long. 40/15 (GP #2). Azarenka netted a forehand. 40/30 (GP #3). Azarenka went to the net and hit an off-forehand drive-volley winner. Held.

Parmentier serving 1-5: Parmentier netted a forehand. 0/15. First serve: Azarenka netted a backhand return. 15/15. Azarenka’s low-bouncing crosscourt backhand forced Parmentier to net a sliced backhand. 15/30. Parmentier’s deep backhand down the line forced Azarenka to net a forehand from way behind the baseline. 30/30. Azarenka forced a short ball, and hit a very early crosscourt backhand winner. 30/40 (MP #1 for Azarenka). Azarenka crosscourt backhand wide. Deuce #1. Azarenka’s low-bouncing forehand return forced Parmentier to earth a forehand. Ad Azarenka (MP #2). Azarenka hit a deep backhand return just inside the baseline, forcing Parmentier to mishit a forehand long. Azarenka won 6-0 6-1 at 20:19 CEST (second set 29m, match 56m). She celebrated with a fist-pump and a cute little jig.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
__________________
My Eternal Fanship: 1. Monica Seles; 2. Мария Шарапова (‘Maria Sharapova’); 3. Daniela Hantuchová; 4. Jelena Dokić; 5. Iva Majoli; 6. Karina Habšudová; 7. Вера Звонарёва (‘Vera Zvonarëva’); 8. Nicole Vaidišová; 9. Анна Чакветадзе (‘Anna Chakvetadze’); 10. Lucie Šafářová; 11. Ирода Туляганова (‘Iroda Tulyaganova’); 12. Magdaléna Rybáriková; 13. Sabine Lisicki

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Andrew's TV-reports for Day 6

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

1. Introduction
2. Third-round TV-report: Dulko v Stosur
3. Third-round TV-report: Hantuchová v Woźniacki

---------------
1. Introduction
---------------

My Eternal Fanship have gone 2:0 in the third round so far (with Maria Sharapova still to play):
+ DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [28,EF] d. CAROLINE WOŹNIACKI [1,DF], 6-1 6-3
+ VERA ZVONARËVA [3,EF] d. Anastasia Rodionova, 6-2 6-3

For Vera, it was sweet revenge for her second-round exit from the French Open 2010.

Archive of point-by-point scores for all women’s matches:
http://www.tennisforum.com/showpost.php?p=19626737

----------------------------------------
2. Third-round TV-report: Dulko v Stosur (Friday 27th May 2011)
----------------------------------------

+ Gisela Dulko [DF] d. SAMANTHA STOSUR [8], 6-4 1-6 6-3

BBC commentator Sam Smith had said that Stosur was playing the best clay-court tennis of every woman at the French Open 2011, but once again, Dulko showed that the big names don’t get away with playing her at a Major when they’re not on top form.

And once again, a big name whom I had written off as a title-contender has lost before any of those whom I have proclaimed from the start to be the real title-contenders: Maria Sharapova, Vera Zvonarëva, Victoria Azarenka, Caroline Woźniacki, Julia Görges and Petra Kvitová (Woźniacki and Görges lost later in the day).

In a nutshell:
• Dulko played an excellent first set, although Stosur didn’t get going until she was *0-4 down.
• Dulko continued to play well after 4-0*, but Stosur was playing better than her by the end of the first set.
• After getting cross about a couple of line-calls early in the second set, Dulko played a poor set with only 50% of her first serves in.
• Dulko played a terrible service-game of unforced errors as Stosur broke for 1:1 *2-1.
• Stosur led 1:1 *2-1 (30/0), then self-destructed in two tough service-games, giving Dulko all the confidence she needed to win the match.

Dulko has great hands at the net. She used to have poor technique on her volleys when she was a young player, but all that doubles with Flavia Pennetta has paid off, as she hit some beautiful volleys in this match (and her volleys weren’t all that was beautiful about her, it has to be said).


First set
---------
DULKO @*@*__@__* 6
STOSU ____*@_@*_ 4

Sam Smith: “There’s nothing of Gisela Dulko, is there? We might have to weigh her down to stop her blowing away in this wind!”

The match was first on Court Philippe Chatrier, and started at 11:11 CEST.

Stosur serving 0-0: Stosur forehand just long. 0/15. Dulko mishit a crosscourt backhand wide. 15/15. Stosur forehand just long. 30/15. Stosur’s deep, low-bouncing down-the-line backhand approach forced Dulko to net a backhand. 40/15 (GP #1). Stosur went to the net, but Dulko hit a crosscourt forehand virtual pass-winner. 40/30 (GP #2). First serve out wide: Dulko hit a sweet backhand return-winner down the line. Deuce #1. Stosur went to the net and hit an off-backhand wide. Ad Dulko (BP #1). Stosur crosscourt forehand forced Dulko to earth a forehand. Deuce #2. Stosur went to the net and hit an off-forehand smash-winner. Ad Stosur (GP #1). First serve out wide: Dulko hit another backhand return-winner down the line. Deuce #3. Stosur hit an off-backhand winner. Ad Stosur (GP #2). Dulko’s off-forehand forced Stosur to hit a backhand long. Deuce #4. Dulko crosscourt forehand return-winner. Ad Dulko (BP #2). Dulko’s crosscourt forehand forced Stosur to net a forehand. Broken.

BBC commentator Louise Pleming said that Stosur’s second-round thrashing of Simona Halep might work against her by raising her expectations (after a lacklustre 2011 for her so far).

Dulko serving 1-0: Stosur’s crosscourt backhand forced Dulko to net a defensive sliced backhand. 0/15. Ace down the middle: just inside the service-line. 15/15. Service-winner out wide. 30/15. Stosur forehand return long. 40/15 (GP #1). Ace down the middle. Held.

Stosur serving 0-2: Double fault (second serve clipped the netcord and fell long). 0/15. Deep second serve out wide induced Dulko to mishit a forehand return long. 15/15. Stosur went to the net and hit a high forehand volley-winner. 30/15. Dulko opened up the court with a crosscourt forehand to the sideline and hit a crosscourt backhand winner just inside the other sideline. 30/30. Stosur on the third stroke snatched at a forehand and dumped it into the net. 30/40 (BP #1). Dulko slapped a wild backhand into the net. Deuce #1. Stosur netted a backhand. Ad Dulko (BP #2). Stosur forehand long.

Dulko’s amazing success in doubles seems to be translating to the singles-court for this match. She’s going for her shots, making a few wild errors, but dominating last year’s runner-up so far.

Dulko went out with Fernando González for many years, but is now engaged to a football-player called Fernando Gago.

Dulko serving 3-0: Stosur went to the net, but Dulko’s dipping crosscourt forehand forced her to net a forehand volley. 15/0. Stosur hit a backhand return halfway up the net. 30/0. Dulko hit a pinpoint forehand winner down the line. 40/0 (GP #1). Deep service-winner down the middle. Held.

Stosur serving 0-4: Dulko’s forehand clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner. She apologised. 15/0. Dulko hit a down-the-line backhand return into the alley – perhaps a negative effect of her doubles-success. 15/15. Stosur’s deep forehand approach forced Dulko to earth a backhand lob. 30/15. First serve out wide + crosscourt forehand wide. 40/15 (GP #1). Stosur avoided the double bagel with a first serve out wide that induced Dulko to hit a crosscourt forehand return wide.

Dulko serving 4-1: First serve out wide forced Stosur to hit a crosscourt forehand return wide. 15/0. Dulko forced a ball that sat up nicely for her to... dump a forehand into the net. 15/15. Stosur apologised for an off-forehand dropshot-winner on the 16th stroke. 15/30. Stosur’s big forehand return forced Dulko to net a forehand. 15/40 (BP #1). First serve down the middle: Stosur earthed a mishit backhand return. 30/40 (BP #2). Dulko sliced a crosscourt backhand just wide. Broken.

Stosur played much better in that game, and Dulko’s struggling to keep up her level, now making plenty of errors of varying degrees of forcedness.

Stosur serving 2-4: Dulko netted a backhand off a deep ball from Stosur. 15/0. Dulko’s deep backhand forced Stosur to hit a crosscourt backhand wide, much to her annoyance. 15/15. Stosur forehand just long. 15/30. Dulko got away with volleying a Stosur lob that was clearly going wide, as Stosur hit another just long three strokes later. 15/40 (BP #1). Dulko went to the net and hit a delectable crosscourt backhand volley-winner. Broken.

Wow: Dulko’s certainly turned the momentum back in her favour with those last two points! She’s looking good for the first set now, but the second set could be tough with Stosur playing much better than she did for the first four games.

Dulko serving 5-2 (new balls): Second serve: Stosur netted a forehand return. 15/0. Stosur forehand just long. 30/0. Stosur hit a huge forehand return-winner down the line. 30/15. Double fault (second serve into the net). 30/30. Stosur mishit a forehand into the net off a deep ball from Dulko. 40/30 (SP #1 for Dulko). Double fault (second serve into the net). Deuce #1. Dulko hit a down-the-line forehand into the alley off a low-bouncing ball. Ad Stosur (BP #1). Stosur netted a forehand. Deuce #2. Stosur’s deep off-forehand forced Dulko to hit a backhand long. Ad Stosur (BP #2). Dulko went to the net and hit a crosscourt forehand drop-volley winner from below the height of the net – that comes from doubles. Deuce #3. Stosur’s deep forehand down the line forced Dulko to net a backhand. Ad Stosur (BP #3). Stosur forehand long. Deuce #4. Dulko netted a sliced backhand. Ad Stosur (BP #4). Dulko netted a backhand. Broken.

Louise Pleming: “Cracks are starting to appear in Dulko’s service-games.”

Stosur serving 3-5: Dulko went to the net and hit a gorgeous crosscourt forehand drop-volley winner. 0/15. Dulko hit a huge off-forehand winner just inside the sideline. 0/30. Dulko’s crosscourt forehand forced Stosur to hit a forehand long. Dulko said “c’mon”. 0/40 (SP #2 for Dulko). First serve out wide: backhand return long. 15/40 (SP #3 for Dulko). Stosur’s off-forehand forced Dulko to net a backhand. Dulko looked annoyed. 30/40 (SP #4). Stosur’s big off-forehand forced Dulko to bunt a backhand just long. Deuce #1. Virtual ace out wide. Ad Stosur (GP #1). Service-winner out wide. Held.

Dulko’s still on form, but Stosur is now playing better than her. Dulko needs a good service-game here to avoid losing something like 7-5 6-2.

Dulko serving 5-4: Stosur backhand long. 15/0. Stosur sprayed a forehand long. 30/0. Deep second serve induced Stosur to mishit a forehand long. 40/0 (SP #5 for Dulko). Stosur crosscourt backhand wide. Dulko won the first set 6-4 at 11:59 CEST (48m).


Second set
----------
DULKO ___*___ 1
STOSU *@*_*@* 6

Stosur serving 0-0: Dulko went to the net and hit a backhand winner down the line. 0/15. Kick serve out wide forced Dulko to hit a backhand return wide. 15/15. Dulko backhand just long. 30/15. Stosur netted a forehand. 30/30. Dulko forehand long. 40/30 (GP #1). Stosur went to the net and hit a high backhand crosscourt volley-winner. Held.

Dulko serving 0-1: Stosur crosscourt forehand wide. 15/0. Stosur netted a forehand. 30/0. Stosur forehand winner down the line. 30/15. Stosur’s crosscourt forehand induced Dulko to net a forehand. 30/30. Stosur hit an off-forehand winner just inside the sideline. 30/40 (BP #1). Dulko decided that a crosscourt backhand lob was going long, and hit a backhand wide. She got the umpire to check the mark, and spoke crossly to him. Broken.

Sam Smith: “Now we’re starting to see the /real/ Sam Stosur... and Dulko’s Latin [South American] temper.”

Stosur serving 2-0: Dulko forehand long. 15/0. First serve out wide on the sideline + crosscourt forehand winner. Dulko angrily circled the mark and got the umpire to check it. 15/15. Dulko netted a forehand. 30/15. Dulko hit a forehand long. 40/15 (GP #1). Stosur forehand long. 40/30 (GP #2). First serve out wide: Dulko backhand long. Held.

There are some nasty grey clouds in the sky. It looks like the first rain-delay of the French Open 2011 may be coming.

Dulko serving 0-3: Stosur hit a deep forehand return down the middle, forcing Dulko to mishit a forehand long. 0/15. Dulko hit a short-angled crosscourt forehand winner onto the sideline. 15/15. Stosur’s deep forehand induced Dulko to dump a backhand low into the net. 15/30. Service-winner. 30/30. Dulko off-backhand dropshot-winner just inside the sideline. 40/30 (GP #1). First serve down the middle forced Stosur to net a forehand long.

Stosur serving 3-1: Stosur forehand pass-volley winner down the line. 15/0. Stosur hit a huge down-the-line forehand would-be winner just wide. 15/15. Dulko off-backhand just wide. 30/15. Dulko went to the net behind a crosscourt backhand to the sideline, and hit a crosscourt forehand volley-winner. 30/30. Stosur on the third stroke netted a forehand. 30/40 (BP #1). Dulko netted a forehand. Deuce #1. Stosur hit a crazy off-forehand just wide. Ad Dulko (BP #2). First serve out wide forced Dulko to hit a down-the-line backhand return into the alley. Deuce #2. Kick serve out wide forced Dulko to hit a crosscourt forehand return wide. Ad Stosur (GP #1). Stosur forehand long. Deuce #3. Dulko went to the net, but netted a high forehand volley. Ad Stosur (GP #2). Stosur off-forehand winner. Held.

Dulko could have got back into the match with a break there, but Stosur is firmly back in charge of this second set.

Sam Smith: “Dulko [is] starting to need a step-ladder for some of these kick serves. There’s a feisty Latin temperament under that white headband.”

Dulko serving 1-4: First serve out wide forced Stosur to net a backhand. 15/0. Stosur’s heavy off-forehand induced Dulko to net a backhand. 15/15. Dulko, driven wide, netted a forehand. 15/30. First serve out wide forced Stosur to earth a backhand. 30/30. Double fault #4 (second serve into the net). 30/40 (BP #1). Stosur forehand return-winner. Broken.

Dulko is serving much worse in this set (50% of first serves in) than in the first set (61%).

Stosur serving 5-1 (new balls): Stosur forehand long. 0/15. Service-winner out wide. 15/15. Stosur crosscourt forehand. 30/15. Service-winner. 40/15 (SP #1 for Stosur). Stosur slapped a forehand into the net. 40/30 (SP #2 for Stosur). Service-winner out wide. Stosur won the second set 6-1 at 12:31 CEST (second set 31m, match so far 1h19m).


Third set
---------
DULKO *__@*@*_* 6
STOSU _*@____*_ 3

Dulko serving 0-0: Service-winner. 15/0. Dulko netted a forehand, and muttered. 15/15. Double fault (second serve long). 15/30. Stosur netted a backhand. 30/30. Dulko hit an error-forcing backhand down the line. 40/30 (GP #1). Service-winner. Held.

Stosur serving 0-1: Service-winner. 15/0. Stosur crosscourt forehand winner. 30/0. And again. 40/0 (GP #1). Dulko’s crosscourt forehand forced Stosur to earth a forehand. 40/15 (GP #2). Dulko netted a backhand. Held.

Dulko serving 1-1: Stosur backhand long. 15/0. Stosur crosscourt backhand wide. 30/0. Stosur forehand winner down the line. 30/15. Dulko netted a forehand smash. 30/30. Dulko netted a backhand. 30/40 (BP #1). Dulko netted a forehand. Broken.

Terrible unforced errors by Dulko from 30/15, and she looked pretty upset after each of them.

Stosur serving 2-1: Dulko netted a forehand, and emitted a little yell. 15/0. Dulko netted a backhand. 30/0. Dulko cleaned the sideline with an off-forehand winner. 30/15. Stosur netted a forehand, and looked very annoyed. 30/30. Dulko hit a backhand winner down the line. 30/40 (BP #1). Stosur off-forehand winner just inside the sideline. Deuce #1. Double fault (second serve long). Ad Dulko (BP #2). Dulko backhand just long. Deuce #2. Dulko netted a forehand. Ad Stosur (GP #1). Stosur went for a forehand winner down Dulko’s forehand sideline, but it was just wide. Deuce #3. Stosur forehand just long. Ad Dulko (BP #3). Double fault (ambitious second serve just wide). Broken.

Dulko hit a couple of winners in that game, but Stosur really handed the break – and the momentum – back to her with two double faults and other unforced errors. The last two games have seen both girls broken from 30/0 up.

Dulko serving 2-2: Dulko’s deep off-forehand forced Stosur to hit a backhand long. 15/0. Stosur backhand long. 30/0. Stosur netted a forehand. 40/0 (GP #1). Dulko’s depth forced Stosur to earth a forehand lob. Held.

Stosur serving 2-3: A kick serve induced Dulko to mishit a backhand return wide. 15/0. Stosur off-forehand winner just inside the sideline. 30/0. Stosur backhand just long. 30/15. Stosur netted a backhand. 30/30. Stosur’s crosscourt forehand forced Dulko to run right and chop a forehand into the net. 40/30 (GP #1). Stosur off-forehand long. Deuce #1. Dulko hit a deep crosscourt forehand just inside the baseline, forcing Stosur to earth a forehand. Ad Dulko (BP #1). Service-winner. Deuce #2. First serve: Dulko hit a makeable forehand return very long. Ad Stosur (GP #2). Stosur forced a defensive lob, let it bounce, and dumped an off-forehand smash into the net. Deuce #3. Stosur on the third stroke sprayed a forehand long. Ad Dulko (BP #2). Dulko’s deep off-forehand return forced Stosur to hit a backhand long. Broken.

Sam Smith: “That was Self-Destruction 101 from Samantha Stosur.”

Dulko serving 4-2: Service-winner. 15/0. Dulko went to the net and hit a crosscourt backhand volley-winner just inside the sideline. 30/0. Stosur crosscourt backhand just wide. 40/0 (GP #1). Dulko netted a forehand. 40/15 (GP #2). Ace down the middle. Held.

A much more confident game by Dulko – and credit to Stosur for boosting her confidence with her own poor play.

Stosur serving 2-5: Dulko, driven wide, hit a forehand into the bottom of the net. 15/0. Dulko lashed a huge forehand return-winner into the alley. Why go for so much when Stosur has been so erratic of late? 30/0. Dulko’s deep crosscourt backhand pushed Stosur back on her heels, forcing her to hit a very short backhand down the line, but Dulko’s feet seemed to be superglued to the baseline as she let the ball come to her, caught it late and netted a forehand. 40/0 (GP #1). Stosur forehand long. 40/15 (GP #2). Stosur’s backhand from a deep, defensive position clipped the netcord and fell back on her side. 40/30 (GP #2). Stosur sprayed a forehand long. Deuce #1. Dulko netted a defensive crosscourt backhand. Ad Stosur (GP #3). Dulko went to the net, but a fast Stosur crosscourt forehand into her body forced her to hit a backhand volley wide. Held.

Dulko seems very nervous at the moment.

Dulko serving 5-3 (new balls): Dulko’s sharp crosscourt forehand forced Stosur to hit a forehand long. 15/0. Dulko’s deep crosscourt forehand forced Stosur to hit a forehand long. 30/0. Stosur off-backhand return wide. 40/0 (MP #1 for Dulko). Dulko’s crosscourt forehand forced Stosur to earth a forehand. Dulko won 6-4 1-6 6-3 at 13:13 CEST (third set 41m, match 2h01m).

Dulko dropped her racket and looked very emotional.

------------------------------------------------
3. Third-round TV-report: Hantuchová v Woźniacki (Friday 27th May 2011)
------------------------------------------------

+ DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [28,EF] d. CAROLINE WOŹNIACKI [1,DF], 6-1 6-3

This was a brilliant performance by Daniela – the kind that would have persuaded me to induct Daniela into my Eternal Fanship if I hadn’t already been her eternal fan since Wimbledon 2001. She made the world #1 look like a weak little girl. If she can keep up this spectacular form, she might just do a Schiavone!

Daniela is not only rediscovering past form (those pinpoint backhands down the line and delectable backhand drop-volleys), but playing smarter than I’ve ever seen her play: clever chess-like placements, mixing up the pace, and moving much better than she used to. For example, at 0:0 2-1* (15/0*), she hit a crosscourt forehand volley-winner when she was actually retreating from the net, gliding into it beautifully.

Daniela seemed so calm – unlike in the past, when she wanted to win so badly that she would hyperventilate her way through matches, squandering break-points and blowing big leads. I got very tense when Daniela went off the boil at 1:0 4-0*, allowing Woźniacki to play some Woźniacki rallies and close to 3-4*, but while I must admit that Woźniacki gave her some help in closing out the match from *4-3, Daniela did hit three more winners in the last two games to deserve her victory most thoroughly.

Daniela is now being coached by Matej Lipták, who is also the Slovak Fed Cup captain.


First set
---------
WOŹNIACKI _*_____ 1
HANTUCHOV *_*@*@* 6

The match was third on Court Suzanne Lenglen, and started at 14:54 CEST. Daniela won the toss and elected to serve.

Both girls looked very fetching: Daniela in a magenta dress and orange shoulder-straps with a matching magenta visor, and Woźniacki in a blue dress with a ruffle around her neck and matching blue nail-varnish. Daniela still has the most beautiful long, smooth legs.

There were ominous grey clouds in the sky as they came onto court, although there have been for a couple of hours now without a rain-delay, so I hope that it will stay that way.

Hantuchová serving 0-0: First serve out wide + low-bouncing off-forehand induced Woźniacki to net a sliced backhand. 15/0. Woźniacki unforcedly netted a forehand. 30/0. Daniela went for an off-forehand winner to the sideline, but it was just wide. 30/15. Daniela forced a short ball, but sprayed a forehand long. 30/30. Daniela from behind the baseline dug out a pinpoint backhand winner down the line: right in the corner. 40/30 (GP #1). First serve out wide forced Woźniacki to net a backhand. Held.

Woźniacki serving 0-1: Woźniacki’s deep, low-bouncing off-backhand forced Daniela to net a forehand. 15/0. First serve out wide forced Daniela to hit a backhand return wide. 30/0. Daniela forced a short ball, and dispatched it with a pinpoint off-backhand winner just inside the sideline. Andrew Castle: “That’s a Hantuchová point. Once you start rallying with Woźniacki, you come off second-best.” 30/15. Daniela went to the net behind a deep crosscourt forehand, and hit an error-forcing off-forehand volley. 30/30. Daniela forehand just long. 40/30 (GP #1). Daniela backhand return long. Broken.

A threatening game by Daniela, without reward. I hope this isn’t going to turn out like her fourth round here last year, when she had plenty of early opportunities against Jelena Janković but ended up losing 6-4 6-2.

Hantuchová serving 1-1: Daniela on the third stroke surprised Woźniacki with a backhand dropshot-winner. 15/0. Woźniacki dumped a backhand return into the net. 30/0. First serve down the middle forced Woźniacki to earth a backhand return. 40/0 (GP #1). Double fault (second serve into the net). 40/15 (GP #2). Woźniacki crosscourt forehand just wide. Held.

Woźniacki serving 1-2: Daniela, driven wide, hit a pinpoint forehand winner up the line: plumb on the sideline. 0/15. Daniela went to the net, and hit a superb crosscourt forehand volley-winner even though she was running backwards! 0/30. Daniela netted an off-backhand. 15/30. Daniela hit a pinpoint down-the-line backhand winner that clipped the outside edge of the sideline. 15/40 (BP #1). Daniela hit an off-backhand winner back behind Woźniacki. Broken.

A brilliant game by Daniela! Amazing backhands, and her movement at the net at 0/15 was so natural. She’s always wanted to play at the net, but her movement didn’t use to be that good!

Hantuchová serving 3-1: Daniela went to the net, forced a floater, and dispatched it with a crosscourt forehand drive-volley winner. 15/0. Daniela’s short-angled crosscourt forehand clipped the netcord, which exaggerated the angle to help make it a winner. 30/0. Daniela snuck into the net and hit a backhand drop-volley winner. 40/0 (GP #1). First serve out wide + crosscourt backhand winner back behind Woźniacki: just inside the sideline. Held.

If Daniela can keep up this spectacular form, she might just do a Schiavone! She’s making the world #1 look like a junior.

Woźniacki serving 1-4: Woźniacki netted a forehand. 0/15. Daniela blasted a down-the-line backhand would-be winner just wide. 15/15. Daniela forced a short ball, and dispatched it with a forehand winner down Woźniacki’s forehand sideline. 15/30. Daniela pounced on an underlength ball from Woźniacki to hit a stunning off-forehand winner. 15/40 (BP #1). Daniela’s forehand bounced short and low on Woźniacki, forcing her to hit a crosscourt forehand wide. Broken.

Andrew Castle: “As long as Hantuchová avoids conscious thought about her position, I don’t see what Woźniacki can do about this.”

Hantuchová serving 5-1: Daniela went to the net, but didn’t close in properly, and dumped a forehand volley-winner into the net. 0/15. Daniela hit a slow crosscourt backhand to the sideline, inducing Woźniacki to hit a crosscourt backhand wide. 15/15. First serve out wide + off-forehand winner into the corner. 30/15. Daniela drew Woźniacki to the net with a dropshot, and hit an easy crosscourt backhand pass-winner into the wide-open court. 40/15 (SP #1 for Hantuchová). Woźniacki forehand just long. Daniela won the first set 6-1 at 15:21 CEST (27m).


Second set
----------
WOŹNIACKI ____*@*__ 3
HANTUCHOV @*@*___*@ 6

Woźniacki serving 0-0 (new balls): Daniela hit a deep crosscourt backhand just wide. 15/0. Woźniacki dominated the rally, got on top of the net... and sprayed a wild forehand smash long and wide! 15/15. Woźniacki backhand just long. 15/30. Woźniacki backhand long. 15/40 (BP #1). Woźniacki opened up the court, forced a short ball, and hit a crosscourt backhand winner. 30/40 (BP #2). Woźniacki crosscourt backhand wide. Broken.

Woźniacki’s taking the initiative more now than in the first set.

Hantuchová serving 1-0: Woźniacki hit a crosscourt backhand winner back behind Daniela. 0/15. Daniela hit a big forehand down the line, forcing Woźniacki to earth a backhand. 15/15. Woźniacki netted a backhand. 30/15. Daniela hit a pinpoint down-the-line backhand winner just inside the baseline. 40/15 (GP #1). Daniela netted a backhand. 40/30 (GP #2). Daniela hit a huge crosscourt forehand winner onto the baseline. Held.

The draw has just opened up for the winner of this match, with Julia Görges losing to Marion Bartoli.

Sam Smith: “Woźniacki is a wonderful mover on all other surfaces, but still struggling on the clay. This surface takes away Woźniacki’s two strengths. She needs more on her ball, which she gets on a hard court because the surface helps her. She moves so well on a hard court when she has the traction, but her movement on clay is still a long way off from what they’d like [Caroline and Piotr Woźniacki].”

Woźniacki serving 0-2: Daniela’s down-the-line backhand induced Woźniacki to spray a forehand long. 0/15. Woźniacki sprayed a forehand very long. 30/0. Daniela backhand just wide. 30/15. Woźniacki hit a short-angled crosscourt backhand to the sideline. 30/30. Service-winner down the middle: just inside the service-line. 40/30 (GP #1). Woźniacki forced a short ball, reached it easily... and sprayed a wild crosscourt forehand wide. Deuce #1. Daniela’s crosscourt forehand forced Woźniacki to hit a forehand long. Ad Daniela (BP #1). Daniela’s deep forehand return forced Woźniacki to earth a forehand. Broken.

Andrew Castle: “This is one-way traffic – and not in the way that most people expected.”
Sam Smith: “This isn’t over until they have shaken hands, because Woźniacki is the best mentally since Monica Seles.”

I don’t agree with that. I’d be far more worried for Daniela if she were up 6-1 *3-0 against Maria Sharapova, a Williams sister or Justine Henin. Woźniacki may be the most consistent player on the WTA Tour, but she just doesn’t have the game to hurt Daniela on this form, so it’s hard to see how she can outbelieve Daniela today.

Hantuchová serving 3-0: Daniela’s deep forehand forced Woźniacki to hit a forehand long. 15/0. Service-winner. 30/0. Daniela forced a short ball, but blasted a crosscourt forehand would-be winner just wide. 30/15. Double fault (second serve into the net). 30/30. Daniela forced a short ball, and hit a safer crosscourt forehand winner than the one she attempted two points ago. 40/30 (GP #1). Daniela hit a superb backhand dropshot-winner. Held.

Woźniacki serving 0-4: Woźniacki hit a short-angled crosscourt forehand to the sideline, forcing Daniela to hit a defensive forehand lob just wide. 15/0. Daniela went to the net, her deep approach inducing Woźniacki to hit a forehand lob long. 15/15. Woźniacki hit a pinpoint crosscourt backhand winner just inside the sideline. 30/15. Daniela netted a backhand. 40/15 (GP #1). Daniela crosscourt forehand just wide. Held.

A few worrying signs that Woźniacki is beginning to rally on her own terms a bit more, but two breaks should surely be enough to see Daniela through.

Hantuchová serving 4-1: Daniela’s depth induced Woźniacki to net a forehand. 15/0. Woźniacki’s short-angled crosscourt forehand induced Daniela to net a forehand. 15/15. Woźniacki ran down a dropshot and hit a crosscourt forehand winner. 15/30. Woźniacki’s deep crosscourt forehand forced Daniela to blast a crosscourt forehand wide. 15/40 (BP #1). Ace down the middle. 30/40 (BP #2). Ace out wide: on the sideline. Deuce #1. Woźniacki hit a deep, hard backhand just inside the baseline, forcing Daniela to net a forehand. Ad Woźniacki (BP #3). Daniela hit an amazing short-angled crosscourt backhand dropshot, but Woźniacki responded by running outside the alley to hit an even more amazing crosscourt backhand dropshot-winner just milliseconds before Daniela’s dropshot would have bounced twice. Broken.

Daniela’s level dropped a fraction, and as soon as that happened, Woźniacki was able to start playing Woźniacki rallies.

Woźniacki serving 2-4: Daniela backhand just long. 15/0. Daniela hit a backhand drop-volley off a Woźniacki backhand that was going wide; Woźniacki ran it down and hit a forehand down the line, forcing Daniela to net a backhand volley. 30/0. Daniela backhand just long. 40/0 (GP #1). Double fault (second serve just long). 40/15 (GP #2). Second serve: Daniela hit a stunning short-angled crosscourt forehand winner onto the sideline. 40/30 (GP #3). Daniela’s deep forehand down the line forced Woźniacki to net a backhand. Deuce #1. First serve down the middle: Daniela mishit a backhand return that just disappeared. Ad Woźniacki (GP #4). First serve: Daniela’s backhand return clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner. Deuce #2. Woźniacki went to the net and hit an off-forehand volley-winner. Ad Woźniacki (GP #5). Daniela slapped a forehand into the net. Held.

Daniela’s lost three games in a row, but only one was a break. She desperately needs to hold serve now, or Woźniacki will be riding a tidal wave of momentum. I just hope that Daniela’s not feeling as tense as me!

Hantuchová serving 4-3: Daniela ran down a dropshot and pushed a pinpoint forehand winner down the line: just inside the sideline. 15/0. Woźniacki backhand just long. 30/0. Daniela hit a pinpoint backhand winner down the line: just inside the sideline. 40/0 (GP #1). Woźniacki netted a backhand return. Held.

Woźniacki serving 3-5: Woźniacki went to the net, but Daniela cracked a crosscourt backhand pass-winner. 0/15. Daniela mishit a forehand out of my TV-screen after a long baseline-rally in which Woźniacki sank to her haunches but recovered. 15/15. Daniela forehand just long. 30/15. Woźniacki crosscourt forehand just wide. 30/30. Woźniacki went to the net, but hit a crosscourt forehand just long – what a gift! 30/40 (MP #1 for Hantuchová). Woźniacki netted a backhand, and Daniela threw her arms up in triumph. Daniela won 6-1 6-3 at 16:07 CEST (second set 46m, match 1h13m).

Sam Smith: “Daniela has had some ups and downs in her career, but she’s never stopped fighting, and she’s never stopped working. She’s one of the hardest workers in women’s tennis.”

Daniela’s victory makes history in that it’s the first time in the Open Era that the top two seeds in the Women’s Singles of a Major have lost before the fourth round.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
__________________
My Eternal Fanship: 1. Monica Seles; 2. Мария Шарапова (‘Maria Sharapova’); 3. Daniela Hantuchová; 4. Jelena Dokić; 5. Iva Majoli; 6. Karina Habšudová; 7. Вера Звонарёва (‘Vera Zvonarëva’); 8. Nicole Vaidišová; 9. Анна Чакветадзе (‘Anna Chakvetadze’); 10. Lucie Šafářová; 11. Ирода Туляганова (‘Iroda Tulyaganova’); 12. Magdaléna Rybáriková; 13. Sabine Lisicki

Last edited by andrewbroad : May 28th, 2011 at 09:13 AM. Reason: correct the mistake in Section 1
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Andrew’s TV-reports for Day 7

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

1. Introduction
2. Third-round TV-report: Lǐ v Cîrstea
3. Third-round TV-report: Sharapova v Chan

---------------
1. Introduction
---------------

My Eternal Fanship went 3:0 in the third round:
+ MARIA SHARAPOVA [7,EF] d. Chan,Yung-Jan [Q], 6-2 6-3

Archive of point-by-point scores for all women’s matches:
http://www.tennisforum.com/showpost.php?p=19632825

--------------------------------------
2. Third-round TV-report: Lǐ v Cîrstea (Saturday 28th May 2011)
--------------------------------------

- Sorana Cîrstea lt. LǏ,NŔ [6], 2-6 2-6

Cîrstea is one of the more aggressive players on the Tour, and also one of the more attractive, especially as she looks slimmer now than she sometimes has in the past. She hit some spectacular winners today, but struggled to win games as she was too erratic in the first set, and Lǐ played better in the second.

BBC commentator Louise Pleming: “Cîrstea has one of the flattest, fastest forehands on the Tour.”


First set
---------
LǏ @*@*_*_* 6
CÎ ____*_*_ 2

The match was first on Court Suzanne Lenglen, and started at 11:09 CEST.

Cîrstea got broken in the first game. She saved game-point at 0-1* (30/40*) with a crosscourt forehand winner, but couldn’t prevent Lǐ holding for 2-0*.

Cîrstea serving 0-2: Lǐ punished a weak serve with a forehand return-winner down the line. 0/15. Cîrstea went to the net, forced a short ball, and dispatched it with a huge off-forehand winner. 15/15. Double fault (second serve just long). 15/30. Cîrstea dumped a backhand into the net. 15/40 (BP #1). Cîrstea on the third stroke netted a forehand. Broken.

At 0-3* (15/15), Cîrstea cleaned the sideline with an off-backhand winner.

Cîrstea saved break-point at *0-4 (30/40), then hit an ace down the middle for Ad (it was the first time that the umpire got to say her name, which he pronounced “sirst-ey-ah”). Unfortunately she couldn’t convert it, as Lǐ forced a floater and dispatched it with an off-forehand smash. A few deuces later, Cîrstea avoided the double bagel when Lǐ put a forehand long: 1-4*.

After being taken to Deuce at *1-5, Cîrstea held for 2-5* with a blistering forehand winner down the line.

Lǐ serving 5-2 (new balls): Lǐ’s crosscourt forehand forced Cîrstea to stretch and net a forehand. 15/0. Lǐ hit a crosscourt forehand virtual winner. 30/0. Lǐ’s short-angled crosscourt forehand forced Cîrstea to blast a running forehand very long. 40/0 (SP #1 for Lǐ). Double fault (second serve long by a whisker). 40/15 (SP #2 for Lǐ). Deep first serve on the service-line induced Cîrstea to hit a backhand return long. Lǐ won the first set 6-2 at 11:40 CEST (31m).


Second set
----------
LǏ @_@*@*_* 6
CÎ _@____*_ 2

Cîrstea at *0-0 (15/40) cleaned the sideline with a crosscourt forehand winner, but got broken to 30 with a wayward forehand. However, Lǐ threw in a poor service-game of her own, as Cîrstea broke for *1-1.

At this stage, the official statistic was that the players had made 10 unforced errors each. My impression was that Cîrstea had been by far the more erratic, but apparently the UE judges are very generous this year.

Cîrstea serving 1-1: Cîrstea’s down-the-line backhand forced Lǐ to hit a crosscourt forehand wide. 15/0. Lǐ hit a deep, error-forcing forehand up the line. 15/15. Lǐ’s deep forehand induced Cîrstea to blast an off-backhand wide. 15/30. Cîrstea on the third stroke hit a forehand long. 30/30. Second serve: forehand return long. 40/30 (GP #1). Lǐ dominated the rally, forcing a short ball and dispatching it with a crosscourt forehand winner. Deuce #1. Lǐ’s deep forehand induced Cîrstea to hit a forehand wide on the 16th stroke. Ad Lǐ (BP #1). Lǐ’s deep return induced Cîrstea to hit a forehand long. Broken.

Lǐ won the next three games (from *2-1 to 5-1*) in an error-strewn passage of play.

Cîrstea serving 1-5: Cîrstea hit a down-the-line backhand winner. 15/0. Lǐ backhand wide. 30/0. Lǐ netted a backhand. 40/0 (GP #1). One of the longer rallies of the match ended with Cîrstea netting a backhand. 40/15 (GP #2). Lǐ crosscourt forehand return-winner. 40/30 (GP #2). Cîrstea cleaned the sideline with an off-backhand winner. Held.

Lǐ serving 5-2: Lǐ’s deep backhand induced Cîrstea to net a forehand. 15/0. Cîrstea defended well until Lǐ hit a short-angled crosscourt forehand back behind her, forcing her to stretch wide and earth a forehand with a cute little squeak. 30/0. A meaty baseline-rally culminated with Lǐ opening up the court with a crosscourt forehand, and hitting a forehand winner down the line. 40/0 (MP #1 for Lǐ). Deep first serve on the service-line: Cîrstea hit an off-forehand return just wide. Lǐ won 6-2 6-2 at 12:10 CEST (second set 30m, match 1h01m).

------------------------------------------
3. Third-round TV-report: Sharapova v Chan (Saturday 28th May 2011)
------------------------------------------

+ MARIA SHARAPOVA [7,EF] d. Chan,Yung-Jan [Q], 6-2 6-3

It was a routine victory for Maria, if less spectacular than her first-round performance against Mirjana Lučić. Chan fought really hard, putting up more resistance than 6-2 6-3 implies, but Maria was ruthless for the first four games (to 0:0 4-0*), and just too strong for Chan thereafter. Chan hit the ball quite hard, but didn’t have the variety to really trouble Maria.

BBC commentator Sam Smith: “Sharapova still hits the ball as hard as anyone on the Tour: unbelievably hard, unbelievably heavy, and that’s what so many of the players can’t deal with.”

Maria’s returns (especially off Chan’s second serve) were superb, and she lost her serve only once – when Chan broke back for 0:1 *3-3. Maria responded by winning the next eight points to lead 5-3*, and pegged Chan back from 40/0 to avoid having to serve for the match.

Back in 2007, Maria professed to “feel like a cow on ice” on clay, but her movement has much improved. With her long limbs and the way the ball sits up on clay, Chan was finding it very difficult to hit winners past her laterally. Clay used to be Maria’s worst surface, but now, strangely enough, it’s looking like her best. She has a Nadal-like appetite for winning every single point, and has a golden opportunity to complete her Career Grand Slam by winning this French Open.

Maria once again looked very fetching in her Eiffel-Tower-inspired yellow and white dress and matching visor. Chan, whose English name is Leticia, beat Maria only in the fingernail-department with an impressive white and black diagonal manicure.


First set
---------
SHAR @*@*_*_* 6
CHAN ____*_*_ 2

The match was fourth on Court Philippe Chatrier, and started at 17:06 CEST.

Chan serving 0-0: Maria on the fourth stroke hit a backhand long. 15/0. Double fault (second serve just wide). 15/15. Chan sprayed a wild forehand very long. 15/30. First serve: Maria netted a very makeable forehand return. 30/30. Maria went to the net and hit a crosscourt backhand drive-volley winner. 40/30 (GP #1). Maria hit a crosscourt forehand onto the baseline, forcing Chan to hit a forehand wide.

Sharapova serving 1-0: Service-winner down the middle. 15/0. Ace down the middle. 30/0. Maria crosscourt forehand just wide. 30/15. Maria backhand just long. 40/15 (GP #1). Chan hit a crosscourt backhand deep into the corner, forcing Maria to hit a down-the-line backhand wide. 40/30 (GP #2). Chan crosscourt forehand wide and just long. Held.

Chan serving 0-2: Maria crosscourt backhand just wide. 15/0. Chan backhand long (the umpire checked the mark). 15/15. First serve out wide forced Maria to net a forehand. 30/15. Chan crosscourt backhand wide. 30/30. Maria netted a forehand. 40/30 (GP #1). Maria’s deep forehand forced Chan to hit a forehand long. Deuce #1. Maria backhand long. Ad Chan (GP #2). Double fault (both serves long). Deuce #2. Chan’s off-forehand forced a short ball, which she dispatched with a crosscourt forehand winner. Ad Chan (GP #3). Chan backhand just long. Deuce #3. Maria’s deep crosscourt forehand forced Chan to bunt a forehand lob long. Ad Sharapova (BP #1). Maria hit a loose forehand just long. Deuce #4. Double fault (second serve just long). Ad Sharapova (BP #2). Maria’s backhand clipped the netcord and fell back on her side. Deuce #5. Ace down the middle. Ad Chan (GP #4). Chan forehand just long. Deuce #6. Double fault. Ad Sharapova (BP #3). Maria broke with a backhand winner down the line.

Three double faults in that game.
Sam Smith: “It’s a lot of pressure, that second serve against Sharapova, because you know that she’s coming at you. She has a great physical presence on the court.”

Sharapova serving 3-0: Chan sprayed a crosscourt forehand wide. 15/0. Maria sprayed a forehand wide and very long. 15/15. Maria hit a loose forehand long. 15/30. Maria hit a crosscourt forehand winner onto the sideline. It was called wide, but the umpire checked the mark, overruled it and didn’t order a replay. 30/30. First serve out wide + crosscourt backhand winner just inside the sideline. 40/30 (GP #1). Chan backhand winner down the line. Deuce #1. Maria netted a forehand. Ad Chan (BP #1). Deep first serve out wide – on the service-line – forced Chan to bunt a backhand return long. Deuce #2. Chan hit a deep forehand return-winner down the line. Ad Chan (BP #2). Chan, driven wide by Maria’s crosscourt forehand, netted a forehand. Maria shouted “c’mon”. Deuce #3. Maria forced a short ball and hit a crosscourt backhand winner. Ad Sharapova (GP #2). Maria ran down a weak forehand drop-volley from Chan, but put a forehand pass long. Deuce #4. Maria opened up the court with a pinpoint crosscourt backhand to the sideline, and hit a crosscourt forehand winner into the space. Ad Sharapova (GP #3). Chan forehand return just long. Held.

Chan has been fighting really hard for the first 29m of this match, but Maria is ruthless so far.

There was a nice close-up of Alizé Cornet in the stands.

Chan serving 0-4: Maria netted a forehand return. 15/0. Double fault #5 (second serve long). 15/15. Chan hit a forehand halfway up the net, and looked upset. It’s a dreadful feeling when you’re playing this well and still haven’t avoided the double bagel. 15/30. Maria backhand long. 30/30. Maria netted a forehand. 40/30 (GP #1). Maria’s deep, hard off-forehand return forced Chan to hit a defensive backhand lob wide. Deuce #1. Chan ran down a dropshot and hit a down-the-line forehand that forced Maria in no-man’s-land to net a forehand volley. Ad Chan (GP #1). Maria blasted a crosscourt forehand return wide, and Chan celebrated the avoidance of the double bagel with an emphatic shout of “c’mon”. Held.

Sharapova serving 4-1: Service-winner out wide. 15/0. Maria netted a backhand. 15/15. Maria went to the net, forced a floater, and dispatched it with an off-forehand drive-volley winner. 30/15. Chan crosscourt forehand wide. 40/15 (GP #1). Maria forced a floater, went to the net and hit a high forehand crosscourt drive-volley winner. Held.

Sam Smith: “Chan is just playing someone who does what she does about ten times better. There just isn’t any variety in her game.”

Chan serving 1-5: Maria forced a short, high-bouncing ball, and dispatched it with a high forehand crosscourt winner. 0/15. Double fault (second serve wide)... but the umpire checked the mark and ordered them to replay the point. Chan took full advantage of the silly rule that if your second-serve fault is overruled then you get another first serve, as Maria hit a crosscourt backhand return wide. 15/15. Sharapova crosscourt backhandwide. 30/15. Maria crosscourt forehand just wide. 40/15 (GP #1). Chan forehand long. 40/30 (GP #2). Chan held with a crosscourt backhand winner.

Sharapova serving 5-2 (new balls): Maria hit a short-angled off-backhand winner. 15/0. Chan off-forehand wide. 30/0. Maria hit a pinpoint off-forehand winner just inside the sideline. 40/0 (SP #1 for Sharapova). Chan mishit a forehand long. Maria won the first set 6-2 at 17:52 CEST (46m).


Second set
----------
SHAR _*_*@_@*@ 6
CHAN *_*__@___ 3

Chan serving 0-0: Maria forced a short, defensive lob, let it bounce and hit an off-forehand drive-volley winner. BBC commentator Andrew Castle criticised her for not taking it on the full. 0/15. Chan off-backhand winner onto the sideline. 15/15. Chan crosscourt forehand wide. 15/30. Maria crosscourt forehand return wide. 30/30. Maria forehand return long. 40/30 (GP #1). Maria played a great spreading rally, Chan fell over, and Maria kept her concentration to hit a backhand winner down the line. Chan /invited/ a ballboy to wipe the red dust off her bottom. Deuce #1. Maria went to the net, but Chan hit a testing pass, and ran down Maria’s backhand drop-volley to hit a backhand pass-winner down the line. Ad Chan (GP #2). Maria hit a crosscourt backhand winner onto the sideline, but the umpire checked the mark and called it wide. Held.

Sharapova serving 0-1: Maria hit a deep, error-forcing backhand down the line. 15/0. Chan backhand just long (the umpire checked the mark). 30/0. First serve: forehand return very long. 40/0 (GP #1). Second serve: Chan hit a crosscourt backhand return-winner. 40/15 (GP #2). First serve out wide: Chan hit a crosscourt forehand return-winner. 40/30 (GP #3). Maria hit an off-forehand would-be winner wide by a whisker. Deuce #1. Service-winner out wide. Ad Sharapova (GP #4). Chan sprayed a forehand long. Held.

An amazing statistic flashed up on the screen at 40/0: Maria has won 100% of her second-serve points (obviously that changed on the very next point), Chan just 35% of hers.

Chan serving 1-1: Sharapova backhand long. 15/0. Service-winner down the middle. 30/0. Maria crosscourt backhand winner back behind Chan. 30/15. Maria’s deep crosscourt backhand return forced Chan to hit an off-backhand wide. 30/30. Maria netted an off-backhand. 40/30 (GP #1). Sharapova off-forehand wide. Held.

Sam Smith: “When she was injured and off with the shoulder in ’08 and early ’09, she told her agent Max Eisenbud to ‘get all the endorsement-contacts and people that I work for, and just tell them I’ll do whatever they want if they have me for five days a year.’ She just completely cranked up the whole operation. That came from her – not from her agent or the companies themselves. She’s got her head screwed on.”
Andrew Castle: “Girl from Siberia.”

Sharapova serving 1-2: Chan forehand long. 15/0. Chan backhand return long. 30/0. First serve out wide + forehand winner down the line. 40/0 (GP #1). First serve out wide forced a short return; Maria dispatched it with a short-angled crosscourt backhand winner back behind Chan. Held.

Chan serving 2-2: Chan hit an off-forehand just long and just wide. 0/15. Maria forehand pass-winner down the line. 0/30. Maria netted a forehand return. 15/30. Chan hit a pinpoint forehand winner down the line. Sam Smith: “It’s got to be that good to get past Sharapova on a clay court.” 30/30. Chan backhand long. 30/40 (BP #1). Chan netted a forehand. Broken.

Sharapova serving 3-2: Service-winner. 15/0. Maria ran around her backhand and hit an off-forehand winner onto the sideline. 30/0. First serve out wide: Chan connected with a crosscourt forehand return-winner. 30/15. Maria hit a loose forehand just long. 30/30. Chan pounced on a short ball with a forehand winner down the line. 30/40 (BP #1). Chan ran down an inadequate dropshot and hit a crosscourt forehand pass-winner. Broken.

Chan serving 3-3: Second serve out wide: Maria blasted a forehand return-winner down the line. 0/15. Chan went to the net, but Maria’s backhand down the line forced her to lunge and net a forehand volley. 0/30. Chan on the third stroke dumped an easy forehand into the net. 0/40 (BP #1). Maria’s sharp crosscourt backhand return forced Chan to net a backhand. Broken.

Sharapova serving 4-3: Maria hit an off-forehand winner back behind Chan. 15/0. Maria crosscourt backhand + backhand winner down the line. 30/0. First serve forced a short return, which Maria dispatched with a crosscourt forehand winner. 40/0 (GP #1). Deep first serve down the middle forced Chan to hit a forehand return long. Held.

Chan serving 3-5 (new balls): Chan forced a short ball, giving herself an easy crosscourt forehand winner. 15/0. Body-jamming first serve forced Maria to net a backhand return. 30/0. Second serve: Maria netted a cheap backhand return. 40/0 (GP #1). Maria hit a deep off-forehand winner back behind Chan: just inside the baseline. 40/15 (GP #2). First serve forced a short return, but Chan dumped a backhand into the net. 40/30 (GP #3). Maria’s body-jamming forehand down the middle forced Chan to net a forehand. Deuce #1. First serve out wide + pinpoint crosscourt backhand winner onto the sideline. Ad Chan (GP #4). Maria’s deep forehand return down the middle forced Chan to net a forehand. Deuce #2. Maria punished a woefully short second serve with a blazing crosscourt forehand return-winner. Ad Sharapova (MP #1). In a meaty rally, Chan went to the net behind a crosscourt backhand onto the sideline, forcing Maria to hoist a defensive backhand lob, but Chan hit a high off-forehand drive-volley right back to her; Maria hit a backhand skyscraper lob, forcing Chan to backstep and hit an awkward high forehand smash just long. Sharapova won 6-2 6-3 at 18:36 CEST (second set 44m, match 1h29m).

Andrew Castle: “Top defensive work from Maria Sharapova to go with all the aggression and the fire that we saw today.”

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
__________________
My Eternal Fanship: 1. Monica Seles; 2. Мария Шарапова (‘Maria Sharapova’); 3. Daniela Hantuchová; 4. Jelena Dokić; 5. Iva Majoli; 6. Karina Habšudová; 7. Вера Звонарёва (‘Vera Zvonarëva’); 8. Nicole Vaidišová; 9. Анна Чакветадзе (‘Anna Chakvetadze’); 10. Lucie Šafářová; 11. Ирода Туляганова (‘Iroda Tulyaganova’); 12. Magdaléna Rybáriková; 13. Sabine Lisicki
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Andrew's TV-reports for Day 8

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

1. Introduction
2. Fourth-round TV-report: Zvonarëva v Pavlyuchenkova
3. Fourth-round TV-report: Bartoli v Dulko

---------------
1. Introduction
---------------

My Eternal Fanship have gone 0:2 in the fourth round so far:
- VERA ZVONARËVA [3,EF] lt. ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA [14], 6-7 (4/7) 6-2 2-6
- DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [28,EF] lt. SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [13], 7-6 (8/6) 3-6 2-6

It’s a shame that Daniela couldn’t capitalise on a terrific fightback in the first set, in which she broke back from 3-4* and saved two set-points at 6-6 (4/6*).

Archive of point-by-point scores for all women’s matches:
http://www.tennisforum.com/showpost.php?p=19640210

-----------------------------------------------------
2. Fourth-round TV-report: Zvonarëva v Pavlyuchenkova (Sunday 29th May 2011)
-----------------------------------------------------

- VERA ZVONARËVA [3,EF] lt. ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA [14], 6-7 (4/7) 6-2 2-6

This is a bitterly disappointing loss for me, as Vera led 0:0 5-2*, had a set-point at 0:0 6-5* (40/30*), and led 1:1 *2-1 with five game-points. Perhaps feeling the pressure of being the top seed left in a wide open draw whilst still seeking her first Major singles-title, Vera seemed really inhibited today, and lacked the aggression that I’ve come to expect since I induced her into my Eternal Fanship six years ago.

Vera said: “There is no mental problem. I think every time I was taking the risk, I wasn’t so consistent. That’s why I was playing a little bit too passive. When you play less than 50% of your potential, it’s very tough to win the fourth round of a Grand Slam [sic].”

While disappointing from a Vera fan’s perspective, at least this was yet another enthralling women’s encounter to capture the public’s imagination, being full of both power and finesse (there were eight dropshots in the match). There are so many wonderful players to watch in women’s tennis these days.

Pavlyuchenkova is a great shotmaker, whose huge crosscourt forehands frequently found the sidelines, but she doesn’t move well, is still carrying some puppy-fat, and is certainly not renowned for her mental strength, so I’m really surprised that Vera’s superior physical condition and experience didn’t win out in the end.

Pavlyuchenkova said: “I think maybe in the past, or last year, I wouldn’t have believed I can win this match against that top player. I remember last year against Serena Williams, it was the third set and she broke me once, and then I didn’t really believe that I could come back. It was 6-1 in the third for her. This time, I think that was the main key.”

Vera has had a disappointing clay-court season overall, perhaps because she’s been distracted by preparing her thesis (“Sport as an instrument to raise Russia’s competitiveness in the world”) for her master’s degree from the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at Moscow. After her second-round win at Brussels on 18th May 2011, she said: “After Miami, I went home and practised indoors on a fast surface. That kind of threw me off, as I had to travel to Stuttgart and Madrid right away, and never got used to it.”

Vera also lost Sergey Demekhin, who coached her from April 2010 to April 2011, because she wanted to work with other coaches but he didn’t. Vera said, “The team should be a single entity rather than a group of individuals with their own ambitions,” but Demekhin said, “I have my own vision of her tennis, so when a new person [Karen Krotov] joined our team, I didn’t want to take responsibility for his actions. That is why I decided to leave this team, because I don’t want to harm Vera.”


First set
---------
ZVONARËVA __*@*@*___*__ 6(4)
PAVLYUCHE @*_____*@*_*T 7(7)

The match was first on Court Philippe Chatrier, and started at 11:13 CEST.

Zvonarëva serving 0-0: Vera unforcedly dumped a forehand halfway up the net. 0/15. Pavlyuchenkova hit a crosscourt forehand winner. 0/30. Pavlyuchenkova went to the net, but Vera hit a down-the-line backhand pass-winner onto the baseline. 15/30. Pavlyuchenkova forced a floater, and dispatched it with a crosscourt forehand winner onto the sideline. 15/40 (BP #1). Pavlyuchenkova hit a short-angled crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline. Broken.

Sam Smith said that Pavlyuchenkova started aggressively like this against Vera at Stuttgart, but Vera turned things round by achieving greater depth. She’s not achieving that yet today.

Pavlyuchenkova serving 1-0: Pavlyuchenkova forced a short ball and hit a crosscourt forehand dropshot-winner. 15/0. Vera dumped a backhand into the net off a loopy crosscourt backhand from Pavlyuchenkova. 30/0. Pavlyuchenkova hit a forehand long off a short, weak ball from Vera. 30/15. Vera’s deep off-forehand return forced Pavlyuchenkova to hit a backhand long. 30/30. First serve out wide forced Vera outside the alley to net a forehand return. 40/30 (GP #1). Pavlyuchenkova’s backhand clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner. Held.

Though it didn’t pay off there, the 30/15 point looks like a good formula against Pavlyuchenkova’s serve: deep returns will take that big follow-up groundstroke away from her.

Zvonarëva serving 0-2: Vera’s crosscourt forehand induced Pavlyuchenkova to hit a forehand long. 15/0. Pavlyuchenkova up-the-line backhand wide. 30/0. Deep first serve down the middle forced Pavlyuchenkova to earth a forehand long. 40/0 (GP #1). Pavlyuchenkova dumped a cheap forehand into the net. Held.

Pavlyuchenkova serving 2-1: First serve down the middle forced Vera to bunt a backhand lob-return wide. 15/0. Pavlyuchenkova blasted a wild forehand long. 15/15. Pavlyuchenkova on the third stroke netted a backhand. 15/30. Vera hit a deep forehand just inside the baseline, forcing Pavlyuchenkova to net an early backhand. 15/40 (BP #1). Vera went to the net behind a deep approach, forcing Pavlyuchenkova to bunt a forehand long. Broken.

Sam Smith compared Vera with Novak Đoković: “She’s an unbelievable athlete. She’s a great mover. She’s got this wonderful mix of offence and defence. She’s got a very good backhand.”

Zvonarëva serving 2-2: Vera on the third stroke netted a forehand. 0/15. Vera’s searing crosscourt backhand forced Pavlyuchenkova to hit a left-handed forehand lob that sat up nicely for Vera to hit an off-forehand winner. 15/15. Pavlyuchenkova netted a forehand. 30/15. Ace down the middle. 40/15 (GP #1). Pavlyuchenkova hit a backhand long off another deep ball from Vera. Held.

Pavlyuchenkova isn’t a great defender like Vera, so she has to rely on aggression, and she’s all too erratic at the moment. For Vera, the key is to keep a good depth on her groundstrokes.

Pavlyuchenkova serving 2-3: Pavlyuchenkova netted a forehand. 0/15. Pavlyuchenkova netted a backhand off a mildly awkward deep, body-jamming crosscourt backhand return. 0/30. Vera forced a short ball, and hit a down-the-line backhand winner onto the baseline. 0/40 (BP #1). Pavlyuchenkova’s deep crosscourt forehand forced Vera to earth a forehand. 15/40 (BP #2). Pavlyuchenkova netted a backhand after a good spreading rally by Vera. Broken.

Sam Smith: “She’s a great girl, Zvonarëva: so intelligent, academic, really thinks about the world. We’ve never really got to know her, because she’s been so long in the shadow of Sharapova, Myskina and Kuznetsova, but she could bring so much to the women’s tour. She’s just a little guarded in interviews: she doesn’t talk too much about her life or anything.”

Zvonarëva serving 4-2: First serve down the middle + short-angled off-backhand winner just inside the sideline. 15/0. Vera off-forehand winner just inside the sideline. 30/0. Pavlyuchenkova dominated the rally and hit a crosscourt forehand just inside the sideline, forcing Vera to hit a forehand wide. 30/15. Pavlyuchenkova crosscourt forehand winner. 30/30. Pavlyuchenkova forehand long. 40/30 (GP #1). Pavlyuchenkova forced a slow if rather deep ball, and dumped a horrendous backhand into the net. Held.

Pavlyuchenkova serving 2-5 (new balls): Ace down the middle: on the centre-line. 15/0. Pavlyuchenkova hit a pinpoint crosscourt forehand winner onto the sideline. 30/0. Vera ran down a dropshot and hit a crosscourt forehand dropshot-winner – fantastic movement and racket-control. 30/15. Pavlyuchenkova netted a backhand off a deep forehand up the line from Vera. 30/30. Vera backhand just long. 40/30 (GP #1). Vera forced a short ball, hit a backhand winner down the line, and pumped her fist. Deuce #1. Vera hit a backhand long off a hard, deep ball from Pavlyuchenkova. Ad Pavlyuchenkova (GP #2). First serve out wide + crosscourt forehand winner. Held.

Zvonarëva serving 5-3: Double fault #1 (second serve long). 0/15. Pavlyuchenkova forced a short lob, let it bounce and hit an easy crosscourt forehand smash-winner. 0/30. Vera on the third stroke netted a forehand. 0/40 (BP #1). Pavlyuchenkova sprayed a backhand long and wide. 15/40 (BP #2). Vera’s crosscourt backhand forced Pavlyuchenkova to net a defensive sliced backhand. 30/40 (BP #3). Pavlyuchenkova hit an off-forehand winner onto the sideline, and celebrated with a cute little yell of “c’mon”. Broken.

A poor service-game by Vera, and Pavlyuchenkova connected with some winners.

Sam Smith: “They’re very aware of each other out there: two Russians. There in each other’s heads.”

Pavlyuchenkova serving 4-5: Pavlyuchenkova mishit a backhand into the net. 0/15. Pavlyuchenkova hit an off-forehand deep into the corner, forcing Vera to net a defensive sliced backhand. 15/15. First serve forced a short return; Pavlyuchenkova dispatched it with a huge crosscourt forehand winner. 30/15. Backhand return long. 40/15 (GP #1). Pavlyuchenkova’s deep crosscourt backhand forced Vera to net a backhand. Held.

A worrying change of momentum, as Pavlyuchenkova is finding easy power now, and finding the lines.

Zvonarëva serving 5-5: Pavlyuchenkova’s crosscourt forehand to the sideline forced Vera to chop a forehand into the net. 0/15. Pavlyuchenkova crosscourt backhand winner. 0/30. Pavlyuchenkova hit an off-forehand winner just wide. 15/30. Pavlyuchenkova forced a defensive lob, but hit a wild crosscourt forehand smash wide. 30/30. Vera’s depth forced Pavlyuchenkova to bunt a backhand long. 40/30 (GP #1). Vera, driven wide, hit a superb backhand winner down the line: just inside the sideline. Held.

Pavlyuchenkova serving 5-6: Pavlyuchenkova forced a floater, and dispatched it with a crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline. 15/0. Pavlyuchenkova’s backhand clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner. 30/0. Pavlyuchenkova crosscourt backhand long and wide. 30/15. Vera hit a deep backhand down the line, forcing Pavlyuchenkova to hit a crosscourt forehand wide. 30/30. Pavlyuchenkova hit a huge crosscourt forehand would-be winner just wide. 30/40 (SP #1 for Zvonarëva). Pavlyuchenkova saved it with a deep crosscourt forehand onto the baseline, forcing Vera to hit a defensive forehand lob that landed long by a whisker. Deuce #1. Pavlyuchenkova hit a crosscourt backhand just inside the sideline, forcing Vera to earth a backhand. Ad Pavlyuchenkova (GP #1). Pavlyuchenkova hit a crosscourt forehand winner, and emitted another cute, high-pitched yell of “c’mon”. Held.

6-6 tiebreak (all scores Zvonarëva/Pavlyuchenkova):
{*0/0} In a long baseline-rally, Vera kept good depth, but then dropped one short, and Pavlyuchenkova’s crosscourt backhand forced Vera to net a backhand.
{0/1*} Pavlyuchenkova punished another underlength ball with a huge off-forehand, forcing Vera to bunt a backhand long.
{0/2*} A low-bouncing serve from Pavlyuchenkova forced Vera to net a late forehand.
{*0/3} First serve out wide: Pavlyuchenkova netted a makeable backhand return.
{*1/3} Pavlyuchenkova crosscourt backhand winner just inside the sideline.
{1/4*} Pavlyuchenkova hit a down-the-line backhand just wide.
{2/4*} Pavlyuchenkova off-forehand winner.
{*2/5} Vera, driven wide, hit a pinpoint forehand down the line, forcing Pavlyuchenkova to earth a backhand.
{*3/5} Vera netted a forehand, rolled her eyes and sank to her knees.
{3/6*: SP #1 for Pavlyuchenkova} Vera’s deep crosscourt backhand induced Pavlyuchenkova to spray a backhand wide.
{4/6*: SP #2 for Pavlyuchenkova} Pavlyuchenkova went to the net and hit a crosscourt forehand volley-winner. Pavlyuchenkova won the first set 7-6 (7/4) at 12:11 CEST (58m).

Vera got really tight there. Her aggression was only at Woźniacki level until *2/5, and after that, it was too little, too late. And credit to Pavlyuchenkova for being a great ball-striker.


Second set
----------
ZVONARËVA @*@*_*_* 6
PAVLYUCHE ____*_*_ 2

Pavlyuchenkova serving 0-0: Pavlyuchenkova’s crosscourt forehand forced Vera to earth a forehand. 15/0. Vera off-backhand forced Pavlyuchenkova to hit a forehand long. 15/15. Pavlyuchenkova hit a crosscourt forehand winner deep into the corner and back behind Vera, who swang her racket but couldn’t connect. 30/15. Pavlyuchenkova netted a backhand. 30/30. Vera hit a defensive lob over Pavlyuchenkova’s left shoulder, inducing her to hit an awkward off-forehand smash wide. 30/40 (BP #1). Double fault #1 (second serve into the net). Broken.

Zvonarëva serving 1-0: Vera went to the net, and though she didn’t close in well, she hit a lovely crosscourt forehand drop-volley winner. 15/0. Double fault (second serve into the net). 15/15. Pavlyuchenkova netted a forehand. 30/15. Pavlyuchenkova unforcedly netted a backhand. 40/15 (GP #1). Pavlyuchenkova crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline. 40/30 (GP #2). Service-winner out wide: just inside the sideline. Held.

Sam Smith: “If it becomes a mental battle, Zvonarëva will probably win. If it becomes a physical battle, deep in the third, Zvonarëva will probably win. Pavlyuchenkova has to turn this into a hitting match.”

Pavlyuchenkova serving 0-2: First serve out wide forced Vera to hit a forehand long. 15/0. Vera forced a floater, and dispatched it with an off-forehand winner. 15/15. Vera netted a forehand. 30/15. Vera hit a deep backhand down the line, forcing Pavlyuchenkova to stretch and hit a forehand long. 30/30. Vera hit a down-the-line forehand just wide. 40/30 (GP #1). Vera’s dropshot forced Pavlyuchenkova to net a forehand – not a great mover. Deuce #1. Pavlyuchenkova sprayed a forehand very long off a testing crosscourt forehand from Vera. Ad Zvonarëva (BP #1). A nail-biting rally, in which a Vera lob seemed to go into slow motion before it landed on the baseline, ended with Pavlyuchenkova hitting a backhand lob long. Broken.

Sam Smith said that that could be the match for Vera, as she’s firmly in control of this set now, and in much better physical condition than Pavlyuchenkova for the third.

Zvonarëva serving 3-0 (new balls): Vera forced a short ball, and hit an error-forcing off-forehand. 15/0. Pavlyuchenkova backhand long. 30/0. Vera’s deep forehand forced Pavlyuchenkova to bunt a backhand lob long. 40/0 (GP #1). Pavlyuchenkova hit a cheeky crosscourt backhand dropshot-winner that clipped the outside edge of the sideline. 40/15 (GP #2). Pavlyuchenkova hit a big crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline. 40/30 (GP #3). Pavlyuchenkova’s short-angled crosscourt backhand to the sideline forced Vera to hit a defensive sliced backhand just long. Deuce #1. Service-winner down the middle. Ad Zvonarëva (GP #4). Pavlyuchenkova went for a huge off-forehand to the sideline, but it was just wide. Held.

Pavlyuchenkova serving 0-4: Vera backhand long. 15/0. Pavlyuchenkova, driven wide, hit a short-angled crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline. 30/0. Pavlyuchenkova netted a forehand. 30/15. Pavlyuchenkova went to the net, and though she had to retreat to no-man’s-land, she hit a high backhand crosscourt drive-volley winner. 40/15 (GP #1). Pavlyuchenkova forced a floater, let it bounce (having missed a smash at 0:0 5-5* 30/15*) and hit a crosscourt forehand winner. Held.

Zvonarëva serving 4-1: Pavlyuchenkova netted a backhand return. 15/0. Vera’s pinpoint backhand down the line forced Pavlyuchenkova to net a forehand. 30/0. Vera forced a short, weak lob, and hit a pinpoint backhand winner down the line. 40/0 (GP #1). Pavlyuchenkova crosscourt backhand wide. Held.

Pavlyuchenkova serving 1-5: Vera ran down a poor dropshot and hit a crosscourt forehand winner. 0/15. First serve out wide + backhand winner up the line. 15/15. Vera forced a floater, but sprayed an off-backhand drive-volley wide. 30/15. Vera’s deep crosscourt backhand forced Pavlyuchenkova to hit a down-the-line backhand wide. 30/30. Pavlyuchenkova forced a short ball and hit a crosscourt forehand winner. 40/30 (GP #1). Double fault (second serve wide). Deuce #1. Pavlyuchenkova crosscourt forehand winne. Ad Pavlyuchenkova (GP #1). Pavlyuchenkova forced a short ball, hit it straight back to Vera, but Vera hit a crosscourt backhand, and sank to her knees again. Held.

Zvonarëva serving 5-2: Vera crosscourt backhand wide. 0/15. And again. 0/30. Vera caught Pavlyuchenkova in no-man’s-land with a forehand pass-winner down the line. 15/30. Vera’s deep forehand forced Pavlyuchenkova to hit one long. 30/30. Vera’s crosscourt backhand kicked up on Pavlyuchenkova like a Nadal forehand, inducing her to net a backhand. 40/30 (GP #1). Pavlyuchenkova crosscourt backhand wide. Zvonarëva won the second set at 12:48 CEST (second set 36m, match so far 1h34m).


Third set
---------
ZVONARËVA _*@_____ 2
PAVLYUCHE *__@*@*@ 6

Pavlyuchenkova took a bathroom-break, thus the third set didn’t start until 12:53 CEST.

Pavlyuchenkova serving 0-0: Pavlyuchenkova hit a short-angled off-forehand winner just inside the sideline. 15/0. Vera crosscourt backhand wide. 30/0. Vera’s deep forehand return forced Pavlyuchenkova to hit a crosscourt forehand wide. 30/15. Vera hit a deep, low-bouncing backhand down the line, forcing Pavlyuchenkova to net a forehand. 30/30. Pavlyuchenkova sprayed an off-backhand very long and wide. 30/40 (BP #1). Pavlyuchenkova’s deep backhand forced Vera to hit a forehand long. Deuce #1. Pavlyuchenkova hit an “unbelievable” down-the-line backhand winner onto the sideline. Ad Pavlyuchenkova (GP #1). Vera pushed Pavlyuchenkova way behind the baseline with a topspin backhand, and hit an off-backhand winner off the resulting short ball. Deuce #2. Vera hit a deep backhand onto the baseline to force a short ball, which she dispatched with another off-backhand winner. Ad Zvonarëva (BP #2). Pavlyuchenkova hit a crosscourt backhand virtual winner just inside the sideline. Deuce #3. Pavlyuchenkova hit a down-the-line backhand winner back behind Vera. Ad Pavlyuchenkova (GP #2). Pavlyuchenkova forced a short ball, hit a forehand smash-winner down the middle, pumped her fist and emitted another cute, high-pitched yell of “c’mon”. Held.

Two break-points go begging, but at least we’re now seeing what BBC commentator David Mercer had been missing: both girls playing well at the same time.

Zvonarëva serving 0-1: First serve forced a short return, which Vera dispatched with a backhand winner down the line. 15/0. Vera crosscourt backhand winner. 30/0. Vera forehand winner down the line. 40/0 (GP #1). Ace #2 down the middle. Held.

Pavlyuchenkova serving 1-1: Pavlyuchenkova forehand long. 0/15. Pavlyuchenkova hit a crosscourt forehand would-be winner almost on the junction of sideline and baseline, but a late call, confirmed by the umpire checking the mark, indicated that it was wide. 0/30. Vera went to the net, Pavlyuchenkova hit a dipping crosscourt forehand, but Vera picked it off superbly with a crosscourt forehand dropshot-winner. 0/40 (BP #1). Pavlyuchenkova crosscourt backhand winner. 15/40 (BP #2). Vera forced a short lob, let it bounce and hit an off-forehand winner. Broken.

David Mercer: “We all know what talent Pavlyuchenkova’s got, but I’m not sure she’s going to win the Majors.”
Sam Smith: “It’s the mind. She’s not top ten between the ears. Zvonarëva hasn’t played well in terms of her level, but she’s putting together a very good match.”

Zvonarëva serving 2-1: Pavlyuchenkova blasted an off-backhand wide. 15/0. Vera hit a backhand long off a pretty hard, deep ball from Pavlyuchenkova. 15/15. Pavlyuchenkova crosscourt backhand just wide. 30/15. Pavlyuchenkova crosscourt backhand winner just inside the sideline. 30/30. Service-winner down the middle. 40/30 (GP #1). Pavlyuchenkova’s deep backhand forced Vera to hit a crosscourt forehand wide. Deuce #1. Vera hit a crosscourt forehand deep into the corner, forcing Pavlyuchenkova to hit a crosscourt forehand long and wide. Ad Zvonarëva (GP #2). Pavlyuchenkova forced a short lob, let it bounce and hit a forehand smash-winner down the line. Deuce #2. Pavlyuchenkova’s deep backhand forced Vera to hit a backhand long. Ad Pavlyuchenkova (BP #1). Vera hit a deep, body-jamming first serve onto the service-line, forcing Pavlyuchenkova to hit a backhand return long. Deuce #3. Vera hit a big off-backhand, forcing Pavlyuchenkova to earth a forehand. Ad Zvonarëva (GP #3). Vera went to the net, but caught Pavlyuchenkova’s backhand below the height of the net, forcing her to net a forehand volley. Deuce #4. First serve down the middle induced Pavlyuchenkova to hit an off-backhand return wide. Ad Zvonarëva (GP #4). Vera played a good spreading rally to force a short ball, but didn’t do enough with a crosscourt forehand; three strokes later, Pavlyuchenkova hit a short-angled crosscourt forehand just inside the sideline, forcing Vera to run outside the alley and chop a forehand long. Deuce #5. Ace #3: first serve down the middle. Ad Zvonarëva (GP #5). Pavlyuchenkova forced a short ball and hit an off-backhand winner. Deuce #6. Pavlyuchenkova’s deep crosscourt forehand forced Vera to hit a forehand long. Ad Pavlyuchenkova (BP #2). Second serve on the service-line: Pavlyuchenkova hit a huge crosscourt backhand return-winner onto the sideline. Broken.

Five game-points go begging, the momentum’s in Pavlyuchenkova’s favour now, but I have faith that Vera’s superior physical condition and experience will win out in the end.

Pavlyuchenkova serving 2-2 (new balls): Pavlyuchenkova netted a forehand. 0/15. Pavlyuchenkova forced a short ball and hit an off-forehand winner. 15/15. First serve out wide forced Vera to hit a forehand return wide. 30/15. Vera backhand just long. 40/15 (GP #1). Pavlyuchenkova’s depth forced Vera to hit a backhand very long. Held.

Vera may be behind now, but the way Pavlyuchenkova is stretching her legs during the changeover is an encouraging sign for Vera fans.

Zvonarëva serving 2-3: Vera crosscourt forehand wide. 0/15. Pavlyuchenkova hit a deep, error-forcing backhand down the line. 0/30. Pavlyuchenkova’s deep crosscourt forehand forced Vera to bunt a forehand long. 0/40 (BP #1). First serve out wide + pinpoint backhand winner down the line: right in the corner. 15/40 (BP #2). Pavlyuchenkova’s deep forehand forced Vera to hit a backhand long. Broken.

Pavlyuchenkova went for her shots and made them, but can she keep this up in a third set against Vera?

Pavlyuchenkova serving 4-2: Vera backhand long. 15/0. Vera hit a down-the-line forehand just wide. 30/0. Vera chopped a crosscourt forehand wide. She’s now lost 11 of the last 12 points. 40/0 (GP #1). Pavlyuchenkova hit a crosscourt backhand just wide. 40/15 (GP #2). Pavlyuchenkova opened up the court but netted a backhand. Her nerves are beginning to jangle. 40/30 (GP #3). Pavlyuchenkova hit a pinpoint backhand winner onto the baseline. Held.

Pavlyuchenkova is in the ascendancy, but she started to look nervous at the end of that game, and has choked before, so it’s not over till the fat lady sings.

Zvonarëva serving 2-5: Vera hit a deep crosscourt forehand just inside the baseline, forcing Pavlyuchenkova to net a forehand. 15/0. Double fault #3 (second serve into the net). 15/15. Kicking serve forced Pavlyuchenkova to mishit a crosscourt forehand return wide. 30/15. Pavlyuchenkova nailed a huge crosscourt forehand winner into the corner from a pretty deep position. 30/30. Pavlyuchenkova hit a crosscourt forehand winner that clipped the outside edge of the sideline. 30/40 (MP #1 for Pavlyuchenkova). First serve into the net. Vera hit a deep backhand onto the baseline; Pavlyuchenkova hit an off-forehand just wide. Deuce #1. Low-bouncing first serve down the middle forced Pavlyuchenkova to earth a backhand return. Ad Vera (GP #1). Vera netted a forehand. Deuce #2. Pavlyuchenkova pounced on a short ball to hit a crosscourt forehand winner. Ad Pavlyuchenkova (MP #2). First serve into the net. Pavlyuchenkova hit a big backhand return down the line... just long. Deuce #3. Vera netted a forehand off a low-bouncing crosscourt forehand from Pavlyuchenkova. Ad Pavlyuchenkova (MP #3). A nail-biting rally ended with Vera hitting a forehand moonball long and wide. Pavlyuchenkova won 7-6 (7/4) 2-6 6-2 at 13:41 CEST (third set 52m, match 2h27m).

David Mercer: “Now Seeds 1, 2 and 3 are out, and this tournament is even more wide open.”

------------------------------------------
3. Fourth-round TV-report: Bartoli v Dulko (Sunday 29th May 2011)
------------------------------------------

+ MARION BARTOLI [11,DF,S] d. Gisela Dulko, 7-5 1-0 retired (left-thigh-adductor strain)

After the bitter disappointment of Vera Zvonarëva’s loss earlier, it was nice to watch a match between two members of my demi-fanship whom I like more or less equally (my Reason says Marion because I always appreciate an unorthodox Selesian game, but my Passion says Gisela).

Dulko took a medical time-out at *2-5, then fought back to 5-5* as Bartoli suffered from wounded-tiger syndrome.

Sadly, Dulko’s condition then deteriorated rapidly: she was grimacing in pain at the *5-6 changeover; after that, she couldn’t run, lost the next 8 points, and indicated her retirement by hugging Bartoli.


First set
---------
BARTO *@__*@*___*@ 7
DULKO __@*___*@*__ 5

The match was fourth on Court Philippe Chatrier, and started at 18:19 CEST.

Bartoli serving 0-0: Bartoli’s crosscourt forehand just inside the sideline, forcing Dulko to net a forehand. 15/0. Bartoli off-forehand wide. 30/0. Dulko netted a forehand. 30/15. Dulko crosscourt forehand winner. 30/30. Deep first serve induced Dulko to bunt a backhand long. 40/30 (GP #1). Dulko sprayed a down-the-line backhand wide. Held.

Bartoli has dropped a set in each of her first three matches (though her win over Julia Görges was very impressive, as Görges had looked like one of the leading title-contenders going into this French Open), but BBC commentator Sam Smith said she got better with court-time.

Dulko serving 0-1: Dulko went to the net, but Bartoli hit a backhand lob-winner over her head. 0/15. Dulko ran down a dropshot and hit a crosscourt backhand dropshot-winner – she’s so graceful. 15/15. Double fault (second serve into the net). 15/30. Bartoli crosscourt forehand winner. 15/40 (BP #1). Bartoli netted a backhand. 30/40 (BP #2). Dulko forced a short ball, but dumped a cheap forehand into the net. Broken.

Bartoli serving 2-0: Double fault (second serve into the net). 0/15. Dulko netted a forehand return. 15/15. Bartoli went to the net, but Dulko hit a backhand lob-winner just inside the baseline. 15/30. Bartoli went to the net, but Dulko bunted an early backhand pass-winner down the line. 15/40 (BP #1). Ace down the middle. 30/40 (BP #2). Double fault (second serve long). Broken.

Andrew Castle: “Bartoli was rushing, especially on her backhand.”

Dulko serving 1-2: Bartoli spread Dulko with a crosscourt backhand + crosscourt forehand just inside the sideline, forcing Dulko to stretch and net a forehand. 0/15. Bartoli pounced on a short ball with a crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline. 0/30. Second serve: Bartoli hit a forehand return-winner down the line. 0/40 (BP #1). Bartoli netted a backhand. 15/40 (BP #2). Dulko backhand dropshot-winner. 30/40 (BP #3). Bartoli crosscourt forehand return just long. Deuce #1. Ace down the middle. Ad Dulko (GP #1). Dulko forehand virtual winner down the line. Held.

Three break-points saved, and the commentators suggested that Bartoli’s swishing of her racket as she prepares to receive may be distracting Dulko, but stopped short of accusing Bartoli of gamesmanship.

Bartoli serving 2-2: Bartoli pounced on a short ball with a crosscourt backhand winner. 15/0. Bartoli forced a short ball but netted a backhand. 15/15. Bartoli’s depth induced Dulko to bunt a forehand long. Bartoli shouted “allez!” 30/15. Dulko forehand return just long. 40/15 (GP #1). Bartoli went to the net, but Dulko hit a forehand lob-winner over her head. 40/30 (GP #2). First serve out wide + off-forehand winner. Held.

Dulko serving 2-3: Bartoli crosscourt forehand wide. 15/0. Bartoli’s searing short-angled crosscourt backhand return forced Dulko to bunt a backhand wide. 15/15. Bartoli forehand return long. 30/15. Dulko netted a sliced backhand. 30/30. Second serve: Bartoli hit an off-backhand return-winner just inside the sideline, and shouted “allez”. 30/40 (BP #1). Bartoli’s backhand clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner. Broken.

Sam Smith recalled seeing a 14-year-old Bartoli training with her father, crunching balls on the half-volley (just as our idol Monica Seles used to do).

Bartoli serving 4-2: Dulko sprayed a backhand very long. 15/0. Bartoli netted a backhand. 15/15. Bartoli netted a backhand. 15/30. Dulko opened up the court with a crosscourt forehand, and hit a pinpoint forehand winner down the line. 15/40 (BP #1). Dulko sprayed a forehand long off a mildly awkward deep ball from Bartoli. 30/40 (BP #2). Bartoli forced a short lob, and dispatched it with a forehand bounce-smash winner. Deuce #1. Bartoli forced another short lob, and dispatched it with a high backhand crosscourt winner. Ad Bartoli (GP #1). Bartoli forced another floater, and dispatched it with a backhand drive-volley winner down the line. Held.

Dulko took a medical time-out. It was hard to tell what was going on with the cameras mainly ignoring her in favour of celebrities in the crowd, but it involved her lying face down on a towel with the trainer apparently working on the back of her left leg. Then she stood up and got her left upper leg strapped.

Dulko serving 2-5 (new balls): First serve out wide + pinpoint off-forehand winner onto the sideline. 15/0. First serve out wide: Bartoli backhand long. 30/0. Bartoli hit a down-the-line forehand winner deep into the corner: just inside the baseline and the sideline. 30/15. Bartoli crosscourt forehand wide. 40/15 (GP #1). Ace out wide. Held.

Bartoli serving 5-3: Double fault (second serve into the net). 0/15. Dulko forehand long. 15/15. Dulko forced a short ball and hit an off-forehand virtual winner. 15/30. Dulko hit an off-forehand winner back behind Bartoli. 15/40 (BP #1). Bartoli slugged an off-forehand just wide. Broken.

Andrew Castle said that Bartoli was rushing. Perhaps she’s suffering from wounded-tiger syndrome, as Dulko doesn’t seem badly affected by her injury.

Dulko serving 4-5: Bartoli went to the net, but Dulko hit a crosscourt forehand pass-winner. 15/0. Dulko hit a crosscourt backhand dropshot-winner from behind the baseline. 30/0. Second-serve ace out wide: on the sideline. 40/0 (GP #1). Service-winner down the middle. Held.

Bartoli serving 5-5: Ace down the middle. 15/0. Bartoli went to the net and hit a crosscourt backhand winner, but Dulko exploited the large gap with a backhand pass-winner down the line. 15/15. Try as she did, Bartoli couldn’t reach Dulko’s backhand dropshot-winner. 15/30. Service-winner out wide. 30/30. Dulko crosscourt forehand wide. 40/30 (GP #1). Dulko opened up the court with a crosscourt forehand, and hit a forehand winner down the line. Deuce #1. Service-winner. Ad Bartoli (GP #2). Ace down the middle. Held.

No break there, but Dulko’s really exploiting Bartoli’s lack of mobility with dropshots and spreading rallies. Bartoli’s like a bumblebee: you wouldn’t think it could fly, but it can.

Dulko might not have looked affected between the medical time-out and now, but she was really grimacing during the changeover. She’s obviously in pain, and I’m not sure that she’s going to be able to play on for much longer.

Dulko serving 5-6: Dulko backhand long. She muttered. 0/15. Bartoli hit an early crosscourt forehand return-winner, and Dulko couldn’t run. 0/30. Dulko hit a crosscourt forehand to the sideline, but Bartoli hit a blazing forehand winner down the line. Dulko looked really upset. 0/40 (SP #1). Dulko, driven wide, netted a forehand – her movement does look really impeded now. Bartoli won the first set 7-5 at 19:15 CEST (56m).


Second set
----------
BARTO * 1
DULKO _ 0 retired

Dulko sat with her head in a towel at the set-break. She had a discussion with the trainers, and looked unsure of whether to play on. Her condition is deteriorating rapidly, and she might want to save herself for the Women’s Doubles, where she is one of the leading contenders with Flavia Pennetta.

Bartoli serving 0-0: Dulko sprayed a forehand long. 15/0. Ace out wide: just inside the sideline. 30/0. Bartoli hit an off-forehand winner – Dulko didn’t run. 40/0 (GP #1). Ace down the middle. Held.

Dulko serving 0-1: Dulko looked sad as Bartoli changed ends; they hugged, and then Dulko shook the umpire’s hand. Bartoli won 7-5 1-0 (Dulko retired with a left-thigh-adductor strain) at 19:20 CEST (second set 5m, match 1h01m).

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
__________________
My Eternal Fanship: 1. Monica Seles; 2. Мария Шарапова (‘Maria Sharapova’); 3. Daniela Hantuchová; 4. Jelena Dokić; 5. Iva Majoli; 6. Karina Habšudová; 7. Вера Звонарёва (‘Vera Zvonarëva’); 8. Nicole Vaidišová; 9. Анна Чакветадзе (‘Anna Chakvetadze’); 10. Lucie Šafářová; 11. Ирода Туляганова (‘Iroda Tulyaganova’); 12. Magdaléna Rybáriková; 13. Sabine Lisicki
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Andrew's TV-reports for Day 9

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

1. Introduction
2. Fourth-round TV-report: Lǐ v Kvitová
3. Fourth-round TV-report: Azarenka v Makarova

---------------
1. Introduction
---------------

My Eternal Fanship went 1:2 in the fourth round:
+ MARIA SHARAPOVA [7,EF] d. AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [12], 7-6 (7/4) 7-5

Unfortunately the BBC didn’t televise this match, as its duration was completely contained within that of Murray v Troicki. Maria was in big trouble in both sets, as she made a dreadful *1-4 (15/40) start in the first set, and saved five set-points in the second: *3-5 (15/40) and 4-5* (0/40*). She really is the ultimate competitor in women’s tennis now.

The match that determined Maria’s quarter-final opponent was this:
- MARIA KIRILENKO [25,DF] lt. ANDREA PETKOVIĆ [15], 2-6 6-2 4-6

I was hoping for a mouth-watering quarter-final between the Super Maria Sisters, but instead, I can only hope that Petković does not become:
• a double Maria-killer (by beating Big Maria both at the Australian Open and here);
• a double-Maria killer (by beating Little Maria and Big Maria back to back).

Archive of point-by-point scores for all women’s matches:
http://www.tennisforum.com/showpost.php?p=19646697

---------------------------------------
2. Fourth-round TV-report: Lǐ v Kvitová (Monday 30th May 2011)
---------------------------------------

- PETRA KVITOVÁ [9] lt. LǏ,NŔ [6], 6-2 1-6 3-6

While it would be technically incorrect and disrespectful to call this an upset, it does eliminate another of the leading contenders for the title, as Kvitová had established herself as such by winning WTA Paris over Kim Clijsters and Madrid over Victoria Azarenka, while Lǐ hadn’t done much since reaching the Australian Open final – until now.

Kvitová is an intriguing prospect, as she has a powerful left-handed game that can destroy any level of opposition when she’s on. She has struggled with inconsistency in the past (she reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon 2010, then lost in the first rounds of her next five tournaments), but seems to be improving in that department this year. I wouldn’t be surprised to see her win Wimbledon in five weeks’ time.

Today, Kvitová was mainly solid and only occasionally spectacular, and it was Lǐ’s ups and downs that determined the course of the match. Kvitová led 6-2 1-6 3-0* but lost the last 6 games – though not without a fight, especially in a game of three deuces at 1:1 3-2* in which Kvitová had a break-point that would have given her *4-2.

The third set was the best in terms of both women playing well at the same time. It was also the best in terms of sound-effects, as Kvitová started barking like a cute little dog whenever she won an important point.

Kvitová is definitely going to be one of the WTA’s marquee names of the 2010s, and might grow on me as well (I like her already, but I’m not sure where to rank her among the many players that I like, most of whom are more beautiful, but less spectacular in tennis-terms).


First set
---------
LǏ *___*___ 2
KV _*@*_*@* 6

The match was first on Court Philippe Chatrier, and started at 11:09 CEST.

An unsettled start put Kvitová break-point down at *0-1 (30/40), but she saved it with a crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline, and a few deuces later, held for 1-1* with an ace down the middle.

Lǐ serving 1-1: Kvitová on the fourth stroke hit a crosscourt forehand winner. 0/15. Deep first serve down the middle forced Kvitová to stretch and hit a backhand return very long. 15/15. Lǐ wasted a great first serve out wide by pushing a forehand just wide on the third stroke. 15/30. Second serve: Kvitová hit a pinpoint forehand return-winner down the line. 15/40 (BP #1). Lǐ hit an off-backhand long. Broken.

Kvitová serving 2-1: Kvitová on the third stroke hit a forehand just long. 0/15. Kick second serve down the middle forced Lǐ to hit a forehand return long. 15/15. Lǐ’s crosscourt forehand forced a floater, and she dispatched it with a backhand drive-volley winner down the line. 15/30. Lǐ’s deep crosscourt forehand forced Kvitová to net a backhand. 15/40 (BP #1). Ace down the middle. 30/40 (BP #2). Service-winner down the middle. Deuce #1. Deep, body-jamming first serve down the middle forced Lǐ to hit an off-backhand wide. Ad Kvitová (GP #1). Body-jamming first serve forced Lǐ to hit a forehand return just long. Held.

At 3-1* (30/30), my favourite umpire Eva Asderaki got to check the mark from a shot to the baseline by Kvitová. Asderaki is the cutest and also the fastest umpire in tennis. She called it long, Lǐ held to 30 for 2-3*, and there was a nice close-up of Lucie Hradecká: the Selesian player who is much more telegenic than photogenic.

Kvitová saved break-back points at *3-2 (15/40) with a service-winner and Lǐ hitting a backhand long, and held for 4-2*. Lǐ played a sloppy service-game to get double-broken for 2-5*.

Kvitová serving 5-2 (new balls): Kvitová forehand long. 0/15. Deep first serve out wide induced Lǐ to hit a backhand return long. 15/15. Deep first serve induced Lǐ to hit a forehand return long. 30/15. Deep first serve out wide forced Lǐ to hit a backhand return long. Kvitová went to the net and hit a deep crosscourt forehand volley, forcing Lǐ to hit a forehand long. Kvitová won the first set 6-2 at 11:42 CEST (32m).

So far, Kvitová is playing solidly, but not as spectacularly as when she thrashed Victoria Azarenka 7-5 6-0 and Caroline Woźniacki 6-2 6-0 to reach the semi-finals of Wimbledon 2010. Lǐ is playing very poorly for a player who beat Maria Sharapova 7-5 6-1 in the Birmingham 2010 final and was runner-up at the Australian Open 2011.


Second set
----------
LǏ *_*@*@* 6
KV _*_____ 1

Lǐ serving 0-0: Lǐ ran down a netcord-dropshot and hit a forehand winner down the line. 15/0. Deep first serve down the middle induced Kvitová to hit a backhand long. 30/0. Lǐ hit a crosscourt backhand to the sideline + crosscourt forehand winner. 40/0 (GP #1). Ace down the middle: on the service-line. Held.

The next two games went with serve.

Kvitová serving 1-2: Kvitová hit a backhand very long off a deep ball from Lǐ. 0/15. Lǐ’s deep crosscourt backhand forced Kvitová to hit a down-the-line forehand wide. 0/30. Kvitová’s deep forehand induced Lǐ to hit a backhand long. 15/30. Service-winner out wide. 30/30. Kvitová on the third stroke hit a backhand long. 30/40 (BP #1). Great first serve down the middle forced Lǐ to earth a forehand return. Kvitová reacted with a cute little bark. Deuce #1. Lǐ forced Kvitová to hit a running forehand long. Ad Lǐ (BP #2). Kvitová’s depth forced Lǐ to spray a crosscourt forehand wide. Deuce #2. Ace #4: first serve out wide. Ad Kvitová (GP #1). Double fault (second serve long). Deuce #3. Deep first serve forced Lǐ to hit a backhand return just long. Ad Kvitová (GP #2). Kvitová on the third stroke netted a backhand. Deuce #4. Kvitová on the fifth stroke sprayed a forehand long. Ad Lǐ (BP #3). First serve out wide induced Lǐ to bunt a down-the-line backhand return wide. Deuce #4. Lǐ opened up the court with a crosscourt forehand return, and hit a down-the-line forehand winner into the open space. Ad Lǐ (BP #4). Having converted 0 of 8 break-points up to this point, Lǐ forced a floater, and dispatched it with a crosscourt forehand bounce-smash winner. Broken.

Kvitová at *1-4 let 30/0, but two sloppy points and an error-forcing Lǐ crosscourt forehand made it 30/40. Kvitová saved it with a service-winner, but netted a forehand, and Lǐ converted the second break-point with a great spreading rally culminating with an off-backhand winner back behind Kvitová.

Sam Smith: “The is elder woman starting to look like the head girl against a first year.”

Lǐ serving 5-1: Lǐ hit a stunning crosscourt backhand winner. 15/0. Service-winner. 30/0. Eva Asderaki sprinted out to check the mark when Lǐ’s first serve was called wide, and confirmed the call. Lǐ hit a deep forehand just inside the baseline, forcing Kvitová to mishit a backhand very long. 40/0 (SP #1 for Lǐ). First serve out wide: Kvitová hit a stunning crosscourt forehand return-winner just inside the sideline. 40/15 (SP #2 for Lǐ). Lǐ hit a stunning off-backhand winner on the third stroke. Lǐ won the second set 6-1 at 12:11 CEST (second set 28m, match so far 1h01m).

Lǐ played much better in the second set than in the first, and Kvitová has not raised her level in response, which is disappointing when I know how high her level can be.


Third set
---------
LǏ ___*@*@*@ 6
KV *@*______ 3

Kvitová serving 0-0: Kvitová forehand just long. 0/15. Lǐ dumped an off-forehand into the net. 15/15. Kvitová played a great spreading rally; Lǐ tried to recover with a deep lob into Kvitová’s forehand corner, but Kvitová ran it down beautifully and hit a fantastic angled crosscourt forehand, forcing Lǐ into the alley to net a backhand. 30/15. Lǐ netted a backhand. 40/15 (GP #1). Kvitová off-forehand return just wide. 40/30 (GP #2). Ace out wide: fantastic angle, on the sideline. Held.

Lǐ serving 0-1 (new balls): Kvitová forehand long. 15/0. Virtual ace down the middle. 30/0. Double fault (second serve wide). 30/15. Lǐ crosscourt forehand wide. 30/30. Lǐ forehand long. 30/40 (BP #1). Double fault (second serve long). Eva Asderaki sprinted out of the high chair to confirm it. Broken.

Kvitová serving 2-0: Lǐ mishit a crosscourt backhand wide. 15/0. First serve out wide: Lǐ blasted a backhand return long. 30/0. First serve: Lǐ hit a forehand return just long. 40/0 (GP #1). Kvitová went to the net, forcing Lǐ to net a forehand. 40/15 (GP #2). Lǐ on the fourth stroke dumped a forehand into the net. Held.

This set so far, like the two before it, has been all about Lǐ’s level: she’s very erratic at the moment.

Lǐ serving 0-3: Lǐ went to the net, but Kvitová hit a fabulous running forehand pass-winner down the line. 0/15. Lǐ hit a pinpoint crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline, forcing Kvitová to hit a forehand long. 15/15. Kvitová netted a cheap forehand. 30/15. Service-winner down the middle. 40/15 (GP #1). First serve out wide: Kvitová connected with a sweet backhand winner down the line, and reacted with one of her trademark cute barks. 40/30 (GP #2). Kvitová hit a crosscourt backhand winner, and barked again. Deuce #1. Deep serve on the service-line induced Kvitová to net a forehand return. Ad Lǐ (GP #2). Second serve: Kvitová blasted a wild backhand return long. Held.

Kvitová serving 3-1: Double fault #2 (second serve into the net). 0/15. Kvitová’s acute crosscourt forehand forced Lǐ to net a backhand. Kvitová barked again. 15/15. Lǐ hit a pinpoint off-forehand winner deep into the corner. 15/30. Kvitová hit an off-forehand just wide. 15/40 (BP #1). A good baseline-rally ended with Lǐ’s depth forcing Kvitová to bunt a backhand just long. Broken.

Lǐ serving 2-3: Kvitová backhand long. 15/0. Kvitová sprayed a forehand long. 30/0. Kvitová’s stinging off-forehand return forced Lǐ to chop a defensive crosscourt forehand wide. 30/15. Lǐ hit a down-the-line backhand wide. 30/30. In a fantastic rally, Kvitová spread Lǐ and went to the net, but by retreating, she gave Lǐ the initiative; Lǐ hit a down-the-line backhand just inside the baseline, forcing Kvitová to bunt a backhand lob long. Lǐ shouted “c’mon”. 40/30 (GP #1). Lǐ sprayed a forehand long, and Kvitová emitted her loudest bark yet. Deuce #1. Kvitová hit a superb off-forehand return-winner deep into the corner: just inside both lines. Ad Kvitová (BP #1). Virtual ace out wide. Deuce #2. Lǐ opened up the court and hit a crosscourt forehand winner. Kvitová looks very tense at the moment. Ad Lǐ (GP #2). Kvitová hit a pinpoint crosscourt backhand winner into the corner – just inside both lines again – and emitted another cute bark. Deuce #3. Kvitová dumped a cheap backhand into the net, and muttered. Ad Lǐ (GP #3). Kvitová backhand long. Held.

Sam Smith said that Kvitová was “starting to look 21 at the moment”, meaning that she was losing emotional control, and looking at her coach David Kotyza for support. 21 used to be middle-aged in women’s tennis, but now that the age of teenage phenomena has been replaced by one of women in their late 20s as the game has become more physical, a 21-year-old in 2011 is about as experienced as a 17-year-old in 1991 (Monica Seles won all three Majors that she played as a 17-year-old in 1991).

With both women now playing well at the same time for the first time in the match, the intriguing question is: whose hands is this match in now?

Kvitová serving 3-3: Lǐ’s deepish off-backhand return forced Kvitová to mishit an early backhand long. 0/15. Kvitová hit a crosscourt forehand winner back behind Lǐ, and barked. 15/15. Double fault. 15/30. Service-winner out wide. 30/30. Lǐ’s deep return forced Kvitová to net a backhand. 30/40 (BP #1). Kvitová went to the net, but an awkward dipping dropshot from Lǐ forced her to net a forehand. Broken.

Lǐ serving 4-3: Kvitová netted a forehand. 15/0. Service-winner down the middle. 30/0. Kvitová hit a stunning crosscourt forehand winner that clipped the outside edge of the sideline, and barked again. 30/15. Ace down the middle. 40/15 (GP #1). Double fault (second serve just long). 40/30 (GP #2). Kvitová backhand long. Held.

Kvitová serving 3-5: Lǐ off-backhand wide. 15/0. First serve out wide + off-forehand winner. 30/0. Lǐ forehand long. 40/0 (GP #1). Kvitová forehand long. 40/15 (GP #2). Lǐ’s depth forced Kvitová to hit a forehand long. 40/30 (GP #3). Second serve clipped the netcord and the service-line! Lǐ forced a short, high-bouncing ball, and dispatched it with a clean crosscourt forehand winner. Deuce #1. Lǐ’s deep return forced Kvitová to hit a forehand long. Ad Lǐ (MP #1). First serve out wide + forehand winner down the line. Deuce #2. Lǐ hit a short-angled crosscourt forehand onto the sideline, forcing Kvitová into the alley to bunt a backhand wide. Ad Lǐ (MP #2). A nail-biting final rally ended with Lǐ hitting a short-angled crosscourt forehand just inside the sideline, forcing Kvitová to hit a down-the-line backhand into the alley. Lǐ won 2-6 6-1 6-3 at 12:53 CEST (third set 41m, match 1h43m).

Sam Smith: “Kvitová is not just a tall woman with a big game. She’s got a strong mind as well, and she’s competing hard here. She’s going to be a very good player, but the unforced errors... [33]”

----------------------------------------------
3. Fourth-round TV-report: Azarenka v Makarova (Monday 30th May 2011)
----------------------------------------------

+ VICTORIA AZARENKA [4,DF] d. Ekaterina Makarova, 6-2 6-3

It was another highly impressive performance by Azarenka. Her serve is much better than it used to be, her returns are among the best in the world, and, at times, she made tennis look easy in a way that very few players can.

At other times, she did struggle a bit against the left-handed Makarova, but was far too strong for her in the end. Makarova may have the body of a champion whippet, but Azarenka actually moves much better than her.

BBC commentator Sam Smith said that Makarova and Ksenia Pervak were the only left-handed Russians that she could think of. Apparently they didn’t use to be allowed to play left-handed in Russia.

In accordance with my predetermined logic, I now consider Azarenka and Maria Sharapova to be the two leading contenders for this title. It’s a shame that they would meet in the semi-finals instead of the final.


First set
---------
AZARENKA *@__*@*@ 6
MAKAROVA __@*____ 2

The match was third on Court Suzanne Lenglen, and started at 17:15 CEST.

Azarenka serving 0-0: Service-winner. 15/0. Ace out wide: right in the corner. 30/0. First serve + off-forehand deep in the corner forced Makarova to net a forehand. 40/0 (GP #1). Service-winner out wide. Held.

Wow: Azarenka’s serve is much better than it used to be!

Makarova serving 0-1: Makarova opened up the court with a crosscourt forehand, and hit a forehand winner down the line. 15/0. Azarenka forehand just long. 30/0. First serve out wide but crosscourt forehand just wide. 30/15. Azarenka’s deepish crosscourt forehand return induced Makarova to hit a crosscourt forehand wide. 30/30. Makarova off-forehand just wide. 30/40 (BP #1). Azarenka forced a floater, and dispatched it with an off-forehand drive-volley winner. Broken.

A wonderful start by Azarenka. She’s making tennis look easy in a way that very few players can.

Azarenka serving 2-0: Makarova’s deep, low-bouncing forehand down the line forced Azarenka to earth a forehand. 0/15. Makarova backhand long. 15/15. Makarova blasted an off-forehand wide off a mildly deep ball from Azarenka. 30/15. Double fault (second serve just long). 30/30. Azarenka hit a loose crosscourt backhand wide. 30/40 (BP #1). Double fault (second serve just long).

Makarova serving 1-2: Makarova on the third stroke hit a crosscourt backhand winner. 15/0. Makarova crosscourt backhand winner. 30/0. Makarova’s off-backhand forced Azarenka to net a backhand. 40/0 (GP #1). Azarenka netted a cheap backhand return. Held.

Azarenka serving 2-2: Makarova hit an error-forcing backhand down the line. 0/15. Azarenka off-forehand wide. 0/30. Makarova sprayed a forehand long. 15/30. Azarenka crosscourt forehand winner. 30/30. Makarova backhand long. 40/30 (GP #1). Azarenka backhand long. Deuce #1. Deep serve out wide forced Makarova to net a backhand return. Ad Azarenka (GP #2). Azarenka hit a deep crosscourt backhand just inside the baseline, forcing Makarova to earth a forehand. Held.

Makarova serving 2-3: Deep first serve forced Azarenka to hit a forehand return long. 15/0. Makarova sprayed a crosscourt forehand wide off a deep ball from Azarenka. 15/15. First serve out wide: forehand return long. 30/15. First serve out wide forced Azarenka to net a backhand return. 30/30. Makarova, driven wide, netted a backhand. 30/40 (BP #1). Makarova mishit a crosscourt forehand wide. Broken.

Azarenka serving 4-2: Makarova backhand long. 15/0. Azarenka crosscourt forehand winner. 30/0. Makarova off-forehand just wide. 40/0 (GP #1). Makarova’s crosscourt forehand forced Azarenka to net a backhand. 40/15 (GP #2). Makarova netted a forehand. Held.

Makarova serving 2-5 (new balls): Makarova on the third stroke netted a backhand. 0/15. Azarenka hit a deep forehand down the line, forcing Makarova to net a forehand. 0/30. Makarova hit a dropshot, but Azarenka ran it down and hit a forehand up the line, forcing Makarova to net a forehand volley. 0/40 (SP #1 for Azarenka). Backhand return long. 15/40 (SP #2 for Azarenka). Azarenka netted a backhand. 30/40 (SP #3 for Azarenka). Azarenka hit a backhand winner down the line. Azarenka won the first set 6-2 at 17:44 CEST (28m).


Second set
----------
AZARENKA _@_@*_*@* 6
MAKAROVA @_@__*___ 3

Azarenka serving 0-0: Azarenka backhand long. 0/15. Makarova, driven wide, chopped a forehand into the net. 15/15. Makarova hit a backhand winner down the line. 15/30. Makarova’s deep return forced Azarenka to spray a forehand long. 15/40 (BP #1). Deep first serve down the middle forced Makarova to hit a forehand return long. 30/40 (BP #2). Double fault #3 (second serve just long). Broken.

Makarova serving 1-0: Azarenka’s deep crosscourt forehand forced Makarova to net a forehand. 0/15. Makarova netted a backhand. 0/30. Azarenka hit an off-forehand just wide, and asked the umpire to check the mark. 15/30. In an unbelievable rally, Makarova ran down a dropshot and hit a deep forehand; Azarenka hit a forehand volley from just inside the baseline(!); Makarova hit a crosscourt backhand drop-volley, but Azarenka ran it down and squeezed a forehand pass-winner down the line: on the baseline! 15/40 (BP #1). Azarenka’s deep crosscourt forehand return forced Makarova to net a forehand. Broken.

Azarenka serving 1-1: Double fault (second serve long). 0/15. Makarova backhand just long. 15/15. Makarova hit a big off-forehand winner. 15/30. Makarova forehand long. 30/30. Makarova’s depth induced Azarenka to hit a forehand long. 30/40 (BP #1). Azarenka netted a forehand. Broken.

Makarova serving 2-1: Azarenka’s deep off-backhand forced Makarova to hit a forehand long. 0/15. Makarova off-backhand winner. 15/15. Service-winner down the middle. 30/15. Makarova forehand long. 30/30. Azarenka crosscourt backhand winner deep into the corner. 30/40 (BP #1). Azarenka hit a down-the-line forehand winner onto the baseline. Broken.

Azarenka serving 2-2: Double fault #5 (second serve). 0/15. Azarenka forced a short ball, and dispatched it with an off-forehand winner. 15/15. Makarova forehand just long. 30/15. Makarova backhand return long. 40/15 (GP #1). Azarenka hit a deep body-jamming forehand down the middle, inducing Makarova to hit an off-forehand wide. Held.

Makarova serving 2-3: Azarenka’s return forced a short ball, which she dispatched with a crosscourt backhand winner. 0/15. Makarova forehand long. 0/30. Deep first serve induced Azarenka to net a backhand return. 15/30. Makarova’s off-forehand forced Azarenka to net a forehand. 30/30. Azarenka hit a crosscourt forehand deep into the corner, forcing Makarova to net a backhand. 30/40 (BP #1). Azarenka backhand long. Deuce #1. Makarova, driven wide, netted a backhand. Ad Azarenka (BP #2). Azarenka’s forehand (off a deep ball from Makarova) clipped the netcord and fell back on her side. Deuce #2. Deep first serve out wide forced Azarenka to net a forehand return. Ad Makarova (GP #1). Ace #1: first serve down the middle: on the sideline, just inside the centre-line. Held.

Two break-points go begging.

Azarenka serving 3-3: Azarenka on the third stroke hit a huge backhand winner down the line. 15/0. Makarova painted the sideline with a crosscourt backhand winner. 15/15. Makarova forehand long. 30/15. First serve down the middle forced Makarova to stretch wide and net a backhand return. 40/15 (GP #1). First serve: Makarova hit a makeable forehand return just wide. Held.

Makarova serving 3-4: Azarenka’s depth induced Makarova to hit a forehand halfway up the net. 0/15. Makarova crosscourt forehand wide. 0/30. Azarenka sprayed a crosscourt backhand wide off a netcord from Makarova. 15/30. Azarenka netted a backhand dropshot. 30/30. Azarenka hit a huge crosscourt forehand back behind Makarova. 30/40 (BP #1). Makarova forehand long. Broken.

Sam Smith said during that game that it wouldn’t take much to turn this match, but at the end of it, she said that Makarova’s challenge was fading into the red dust.

Azarenka serving 5-3 (new balls): Service-winner. 15/0. Azarenka ran down a dropshot, hit a backhand very long, and emitted a high-pitched scream. 15/15. Makarova netted a backhand. 30/15. Azarenka netted a forehand. 30/30. Makarova dumped a forehand into the net off a pretty weak ball from Azarenka. 40/30 (MP #1 for Azarenka). Makarova played a good rally, seeming to take the initiative with a short-angled forehand just inside the sideline, but Azarenka hit a deep defensive sliced backhand onto the baseline, inducing Makarova to net a forehand. Azarenka emitted a cute little shriek of delight. Azarenka won 6-2 6-3 at 18:21 CEST (second set 37m, match 1h05m).

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
__________________
My Eternal Fanship: 1. Monica Seles; 2. Мария Шарапова (‘Maria Sharapova’); 3. Daniela Hantuchová; 4. Jelena Dokić; 5. Iva Majoli; 6. Karina Habšudová; 7. Вера Звонарёва (‘Vera Zvonarëva’); 8. Nicole Vaidišová; 9. Анна Чакветадзе (‘Anna Chakvetadze’); 10. Lucie Šafářová; 11. Ирода Туляганова (‘Iroda Tulyaganova’); 12. Magdaléna Rybáriková; 13. Sabine Lisicki
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Andrew's TV-reports for Day 10

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

1. Introduction
2. Quarter-final TV-report: Pavlyuchenkova v Schiavone

---------------
1. Introduction
---------------

It’s nice to see my favourite active Selesian in the semi-finals of a Major once again:
+ MARION BARTOLI [11,DF,S] d. SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [13], 7-6 (7/4) 6-4

Archive of point-by-point scores for all women’s matches:
http://www.tennisforum.com/showpost.php?p=19652052

------------------------------------------------------
2. Quarter-final TV-report: Pavlyuchenkova v Schiavone (Tuesday 31st May 2011)
------------------------------------------------------

+ FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [5] d. ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA [14], 1-6 7-5 7-5

This match was first on Court Philippe Chatrier. Pavlyuchenkova led 6-1 4-1*, but the BBC didn’t join it until 6-1 *4-4, as the fifth set of Murray v Troicki started on Court Suzanne Lenglen at the same time.

It was a much better match than I expected from two players who aren’t even on my list of 142 all-time favourite WTA players, although I do have a mild liking for Pavlyuchenkova, who looks and sounds quite cute without Vera Zvonarëva making her look like chopped liver! ;-)

BBC commentator Sam Smith, who watched the match from the start, said that Pavlyuchenkova had played brilliantly up to 6-1 4-1*. Indeed, she hit two forehand winners in the first BBC-televised game, which she held to 30; she was two points from victory at 5-4* (30/30).

Pavlyuchenkova began to unravel at *5-5 with a horrendous netted dropshot and a double fault at break-point, and lost control of her emotions along with the second set. Her backhand-technique is prone to breaking down, and did so several times between 1:0 *6-5 and the end of the match.

Pavlyuchenkova played donation-tennis to give Schiavone a 1:1 5-1* lead, but then the defending champion became as tight as a drum, making a series of wild unforced errors as Pavlyuchenkova played wide-margin tennis to reach 1:1 *5-5.

Pavlyuchenkova played a sloppy service-game for 1:1 5-6*, but the last game featured both women playing well at the same time, Schiavone converting her third match-point after as many deuces with a down-the-line backhand pass.


Second set
----------
PAVLYUCHE *_*@*___*___ 5
SCHIAVONE _*___*@*_*@* 7

Pavlyuchenkova serving 4-4: The BBC joined the match at 15/0. Schiavone opened up the court and hit a backhand winner down the line. 15/15. Pavlyuchenkova hit a crosscourt forehand winner + off-forehand winner. 30/15. First serve forced a short return; Pavlyuchenkova hit a pinpoint off-forehand winner onto the sideline. 40/15 (GP #1). Schiavone cleaned the sideline with a pinpoint forehand winner up the line. 40/30 (GP #2). Schiavone netted a backhand dropshot off a deep ball from Pavlyuchenkova. Held.

I like Pavlyuchenkova’s grunt: a cute little squeak, in contrast to Schiavone’s deeper tone.

Schiavone serving 4-5 (new balls): Service-winner. 15/0. Schiavone hit a crosscourt backhand wide by a whisker. 15/15. Pavlyuchenkova played a good spreading rally, but gradually lost the initiative and ended up unforcedly netting a forehand. That’s what Schiavone does to so many of her opponents on clay: just keeps probing until they make an error. 30/15. Schiavone crosscourt backhand wide. 30/30. Ace down the middle: on the centre-line. Pavlyuchenkova riled the crowd by asking the umpire to check the wrong mark. 40/30 (GP #1). Schiavone’s off-forehand forced Pavlyuchenkova to earth a backhand. Held.

Sam Smith: “That’s what we call in the trade a great dig by Schiavone. She’s playing like a champion now.”

Pavlyuchenkova serving 5-5: Schiavone hit an off-backhand winner onto the sideline. 0/15. Pavlyuchenkova went to the net, but Schiavone threaded the needle with an early backhand pass-winner onto the sideline. Andrew Castle: “That was a massive mistake by Pavlyuchenkova – anything the other way was a clean winner.” 0/30. Pavlyuchenkova dumped a horrendous backhand dropshot into the net. 0/40 (BP #1). Service-winner down the middle. 15/40 (BP #2). Pavlyuchenkova went to the net and hit a crosscourt forehand drive-volley winner. 30/40 (BP #3). Double fault #3 (second serve into the net). Broken.

Pavlyuchenkova is choking big time after leading 6-1 4-1* against the defending champion, but I didn’t think she would come through in the third set against Vera Zvonarëva and she did.

Schiavone serving 6-5: Schiavone drew Pavlyuchenkova to the net with a short sliced backhand of wicked sidespin; Pavlyuchenkova came in behind a deep sliced backhand down the middle, but Schiavone’s dipping off-forehand forced Pavlyuchenkova to net a backhand volley. 15/0. Pavlyuchenkova hit a down-the-line backhand back behind Schiavone, inducing Schiavone to hit a forehand just long – but the umpire checked the mark, overruled the call and ordered them to replay the point. Pavlyuchenkova hit a wild backhand very long. 30/0. Pavlyuchenkova hit a short-angled crosscourt forehand onto the sideline, forcing Schiavone to stretch wide and net a backhand. 30/15. Schiavone went to the net and hit a high forehand drive-volley winner down the line. 40/15 (SP #1 for Schiavone). Pavlyuchenkova dumped a backhand into the net. Schiavone won the second set at 15:38 CEST (second set 1h00m, match so far 1h27m).

Pavlyuchenkova took a bathroom-break, and came back looking quite upset.


Third set
---------
PAVLYUCHE ___@__*@*@__ 5
SCHIAVONE @*@_@*____@* 7

Pavlyuchenkova serving 0-0: Ace down the middle: on the service-line. 15/0. Pavlyuchenkova’s deep forehand just inside the baseline forced Schiavone to net a forehand. 30/0. Pavlyuchenkova, pushed deep, hit an off-forehand just wide. 30/15. Schiavone’s deep backhand return induced Pavlyuchenkova to net a forehand – she’s not moving her feet properly after the disappointment of losing the second set. 30/30. Pavlyuchenkova dumped a forehand into the net. 30/40 (BP #1). Pavlyuchenkova went to the net, but Schiavone hit a roaring crosscourt backhand pass-winner onto the sideline. Broken.

Sam Smith: “Pavlyuchenkova can beat Schiavone from the back of the court, but she’s vulnerable when she goes to the net. You don’t want to give Schiavone a target.”

Schiavone serving 1-0: Pavlyuchenkova’s deep forehand return forced Schiavone to mishit a topspin backhand out of my TV-screen. 0/15. Schiavone hit a deep down-the-line backhand that clipped the edge of the sideline for a winner – Pavlyuchenkova seemed to let it go deliberately. 15/15. Schiavone went to the net; Pavlyuchenkova hit a down-the-line backhand pass just wide. 30/15. Pavlyuchenkova hit a short-angled crosscourt backhand low over the net and just inside the sideline, forcing Schiavone to hit a crosscourt backhand wide. 30/30. Schiavone forced a floater and dispatched it with an off-forehand winner. 40/30 (GP #1). Pavlyuchenkova went to the net behind a crosscourt backhand, forcing Schiavone to net a backhand pass – which was just as well, as Pavlyuchenkova didn’t close in well. Deuce #1. Pavlyuchenkova hit a deep forehand just inside the baseline, forcing Schiavone to bunt a forehand lob long. Ad Pavlyuchenkova (BP #1). Deep first serve down the middle forced Pavlyuchenkova to net a forehand. Deuce #2. Pavlyuchenkova went to the net, but her crosscourt forehand drop-volley sat up just enough for Schiavone to catch it two inches above the ground and rip a forehand pass-winner down the line. Ad Schiavone (GP #2). Pavlyuchenkova sprayed a down-the-line forehand into the alley, and looked upset. Held.

Andrew Castle was sympathetic to Pavlyuchenkova, but said that ever since the BBC joined this match, she had been donating this match to Schiavone with her errors and lack of imagination.

Pavlyuchenkova serving 0-2: Pavlyuchenkova hit a crosscourt backhand wide. 0/15. Pavlyuchenkova on the third stroke hit a crosscourt forehand wide by a whisker. 0/30. Pavlyuchenkova sprayed an off-forehand wide. 0/40 (BP #1). Deep first serve out wide induced Schiavone to hit a crosscourt backhand return just wide. 15/40 (BP #2). Schiavone crosscourt forehand winner. Broken.

Schiavone serving 3-0: Pavlyuchenkova netted a backhand. 15/0. Ace #3: first serve out wide. 30/0. Pavlyuchenkova hit a huge down-the-line forehand winner that clipped the outside edge of the sideline. 30/15. Pavlyuchenkova hit a backhand dropshot-winner that clipped the netcord but would have been a winner anyway. 30/30. Double fault (second serve clipped the netcord and fell wide). 30/40 (BP #1). Pavlyuchenkova hit a big backhand winner down the line. Broken.

That might just turn the momentum back in Pavlyuchenkova’s favour, but it’s still an awfully long way back against Schiavone, who is so fit even at 30, and has the type of personality to embrace these occasions rather than be inhibited by them as Pavlyuchenkova has been since blowing her second-set lead.

Pavlyuchenkova serving 1-3: Short second serve: Schiavone’s deep forehand return forced Pavlyuchenkova to mishit a crosscourt backhand wide. 0/15. Schiavone hit an off-forehand winner deep into the corner. 0/30. Pavlyuchenkova hit a crosscourt forehand winner onto the sideline. 15/30. Pavlyuchenkova crosscourt backhand winner. 30/30. Pavlyuchenkova hit a down-the-line backhand just wide. 30/40 (BP #1). Pavlyuchenkova hit an impressive crosscourt backhand half-volley from the baseline off Schiavone’s deep return, and won a long baseline-rally when Schiavone hit an off-forehand long. Deuce #1. Pavlyuchenkova forehand just long. Ad Schiavone (BP #2). Pavlyuchenkova’s crosscourt backhand clipped the netcord and fell wide. Broken.

Schiavone serving 4-1: Double fault (second serve long). 0/15. Pavlyuchenkova netted a forehand. 15/15. Schiavone ran down a dropshot and netted a forehand. 15/30. Pavlyuchenkova took an exaggerated swing on a crosscourt backhand, putting it wide. 30/30. Pavlyuchenkova drew Schiavone to the net with a dropshot, but put a crosscourt forehand pass wide. At least she’s trying different things. 40/30 (GP #1). Schiavone opened up the court with an off-forehand to the sideline, and hit a crosscourt forehand winner into the space. Held.

Andrew Castle: “Looking at this, I’m /amazed/ that she beat Zvonarëva: one of the most tigerish players, great retrievers and athletes.”

Pavlyuchenkova serving 1-5 (new balls): Schiavone hit an early off-backhand winner onto the sideline from the centre of her baseline! 0/15. Service-winner out wide. 15/15. Schiavone hit a pinpoint off-forehand winner just inside the sideline. 15/30. Schiavone’s backhand clipped the netcord and fell back on her side. 30/30. Pavlyuchenkova’s deep crosscourt backhand forced Schiavone to net a backhand. 40/30 (GP #1). Schiavone netted a backhand. Held.

Sam Smith: “Pavlyuchenkova always gets down on herself when it’s not going her way. She needs a heads-up performance here.”

Schiavone serving 5-2: Schiavone sprayed a forehand long. 0/15. Schiavone chopped a crosscourt backhand wide. 0/30. Pavlyuchenkova’s deep backhand return induced Schiavone to hit a sliced backhand halfway up the net. 0/40 (BP #1). Schiavone went to the net; Pavlyuchenkova steered a curling forehand pass-winner down the line. Broken.

Sam Smith: “I’ve seen Schiavone get very tight trying to close out matches – particularly at the French Open this year.”

Pavlyuchenkova serving 3-5: Pavlyuchenkova hit a crosscourt forehand just wide. 0/15. Schiavone mishit a topspin crosscourt backhand wide. 15/15. Pavlyuchenkova went to the net behind a crosscourt backhand, and hit a crosscourt forehand volley-winner. 30/15. First serve induced Schiavone to hit a backhand long; Pavlyuchenkova reacted with a cute little “c’mon”. 40/15 (GP #1). Schiavone sprayed a forehand wide off a down-the-line backhand from Pavlyuchenkova that wasn’t even deep. Held.

The boot’s on the other foot now. Schiavone is choking, and Pavlyuchenkova is playing with wide margins for error as the unforced errors come thick and fast from Schiavone.

Schiavone serving 5-4: Schiavone forced a short ball and hit an off-forehand winner. 15/0. Schiavone backhand just long. 15/15. Pavlyuchenkova hit a crosscourt forehand deep into the corner, forcing Schiavone to stretch wide and net a forehand. 15/30. Schiavone’s first serve was called long; the umpire checked the mark; Pavlyuchenkova riled the crowd by arguing with the umpire over the mark; the umpire gave Schiavone another first serve. Pavlyuchenkova hit a crosscourt backhand just inside the sideline, forcing Schiavone to net a backhand. Pavlyuchenkova erased the mark from the court and her memory. 15/40 (BP #1). Ace down the middle. 30/40 (BP #2). Schiavone tried to serve and volley, but left a backhand lob-return that landed on the baseline for a winner. Pavlyuchenkova raised her right arm and shook her fist. Broken.

Pavlyuchenkova serving 5-5: Double fault (second serve just long). 0/15. Pavlyuchenkova, driven wide, netted a forehand. 0/30. Pavlyuchenkova went to the net behind a deep sliced backhand onto the baseline, forcing Schiavone to net a backhand. 15/30. Pavlyuchenkova hit an off-forehand wide. 15/40 (BP #1). Schiavone netted an off-forehand. 30/40 (BP #2). Schiavone hit a short-angled crosscourt forehand just inside the sideline, forcing Pavlyuchenkova to stretch wide and net a forehand. Broken.

Schiavone serving 6-5: Pavlyuchenkova netted a forehand. 15/0. Schiavone dominated the rally, her crosscourt forehand back behind Pavlyuchenkova forcing her to net a forehand. 30/0. Schiavone went to the net behind a dropshot, but Pavlyuchenkova hit a stinging crosscourt backhand to her feet, forcing her to earth a backhand. 30/15. Schiavone broke a string in her racket and went to the net behind a down-the-line forehand that was too short, giving Pavlyuchenkova a crosscourt backhand pass-winner. 30/30. First serve out wide – just inside the sideline – forcing Pavlyuchenkova to stretch wide and net a forehand return. 40/30 (MP #1 for Schiavone). First serve out wide... Pavlyuchenkova saved the match-point bravely with an off-forehand winner on the fourth stroke. Deuce #1. A fantastic rally ended with Pavlyuchenkova hitting a crosscourt forehand just inside the sideline, forcing Schiavone to hit a crosscourt forehand wide. Ad Pavlyuchenkova (BP #1). Pavlyuchenkova opened up the court with a crosscourt forehand, and hit a forehand virtual winner down the line (Pavlyuchenkova clipped it with a left-handed forehand). Deuce #2. A mildly awkward deep forehand from Schiavone induced Pavlyuchenkova to mishit an off-backhand wide. Ad Schiavone (MP #2). Pavlyuchenkova hit a crosscourt forehand return-winner into the corner. Deuce #3. Schiavone hit a cheeky off-backhand dropshot-winner from behind the baseline. Ad Schiavone (MP #3). Pavlyuchenkova went to the net, but a dipping ball from Schiavone forced her to hit a forehand half-volley that sat up nicely for Schiavone to rip a backhand pass-winner down the line. Schiavone won 1-6 7-5 7-5 at 16:45 CEST (third set 1h07m, match 2h34m).

Pavlyuchenkova hurried off the court looking like she was about to burst into tears.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
__________________
My Eternal Fanship: 1. Monica Seles; 2. Мария Шарапова (‘Maria Sharapova’); 3. Daniela Hantuchová; 4. Jelena Dokić; 5. Iva Majoli; 6. Karina Habšudová; 7. Вера Звонарёва (‘Vera Zvonarëva’); 8. Nicole Vaidišová; 9. Анна Чакветадзе (‘Anna Chakvetadze’); 10. Lucie Šafářová; 11. Ирода Туляганова (‘Iroda Tulyaganova’); 12. Magdaléna Rybáriková; 13. Sabine Lisicki
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Old Jun 2nd, 2011, 01:27 AM   #14
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Andrew's TV-report for Day 11

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

1. Introduction
2. Quarter-final TV-report: Sharapova v Petković

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1. Introduction
---------------

What rocked:
+ MARIA SHARAPOVA [7,EF] d. ANDREA PETKOVIĆ [15], 6-0 6-3

What sucked:
- VICTORIA AZARENKA [4] lt. LǏ,NŔ [6], 5-7 2-6

Archive of point-by-point scores for all women’s matches:
http://www.tennisforum.com/showpost.php?p=19657689

------------------------------------------------
2. Quarter-final TV-report: Sharapova v Petković (Wednesday 1st June 2011)
------------------------------------------------

+ MARIA SHARAPOVA [7,EF] d. ANDREA PETKOVIĆ [15], 6-0 6-3

This was a delightful match to watch, as Maria was at her brilliant, ruthless best as she stormed to a 6-0 2-0* lead. It got tough after that as Petković closed to *2-2, Maria got tight and then struggled against the wind for a couple of games, but for me, she’s hitting the ball better than anyone else that I’ve seen at the French Open 2011 – and that includes the men.

BBC commentator Sam Smith: “Look at the discipline that Maria Sharapova brings to every single moment that she’s on court. And just look at the way she presents herself: every time she comes on court, she is immaculate. She never swears; she doesn’t throw her racket; her press-conferences are superb. If you ask her an interesting question, she responds; she engages. She’s every inch the modern sports-star.”

It was such a contrast to the Australian Open 2011, where Maria lost 2-6 3-6 to Petković in the fourth round. Maria looked a pale shadow of her normal self back then, but now her serve is functioning properly again, she’s making many fewer errors, and her returns are the greatest I’ve seen since Monica Seles.

Sam Smith: “Sharapova in January didn’t even look top 30. She was hitting the ball so badly, with so many errors. She has really pulled it together. Her serve is the best it’s been since the shoulder-surgery.”

John Lloyd: “We always talk about weapons – big forehand, big serve, whatever – but one of the things we don’t talk about a lot is the mental side. I think that is a /huge/ weapon, and I think she’s in a league of her own in that regard. She always believes. It doesn’t matter if she’s down a set and 0-5 – you look in her eyes, and it looks that she still thinks she can come back from that position. I don’t believe you can teach that – to be /that/ tough, I think that’s within you. Maria Sharapova is the best competitor in the game. I’d put her above Serena Williams in that department.”

^(If we’re including former players in that comparison, I’d have to say Monica first, Maria second, and Serena joint third with Justine Henin.)

Sam Smith: “Can a ‘cow on ice’ win in Paris?”
John Lloyd: “Not in past years, but this year, the conditions are different and it’s much more open. Yes she can!”

^(“Cow on ice” refers to a throwaway comment that Maria made about her movement on clay in a press-conference at the French Open 2007.)


First set
---------
SHARAPOV @*@*@* 6
PETKOVIĆ ______ 0

The match was first on Court Suzanne Lenglen. Maria won the toss, and presumably chose to receive, although we couldn’t hear her because of background noise. The match started at 14:12 CEST.

John Lloyd: “When you consider how many injuries Maria Sharapova has had, she’s a young 24 in terms of playing.”

Sam Smith: “We’re going to see a lot of variety from this very /thoughtful/ young German.”

Petković serving 0-0: Petković played a good opening point, opening up the court for an off-forehand winner. 15/0. Maria went to the net, but Petković hit a short crosscourt backhand lob-winner over her head. 30/0. Maria netted a forehand. 40/0 (GP #1). Maria’s deep crosscourt backhand return induced Petković to net a backhand. 40/15 (GP #2). Petković netted a normal rallying forehand. 40/30 (GP #2). Petković seemed to have the initiative, but hit a forehand long. Deuce #1. Petković sprayed a wild backhand long and wide. Ad Sharapova (BP #1). Second serve: Maria netted a cheap backhand return. Deuce #2. Maria went to the net, her deep off-forehand approach forcing Petković to hit a backhand pass long. Ad Sharapova (BP #2). Petković saved it with an off-backhand winner onto the sideline. Deuce #3. Maria’s deep crosscourt forehand return induced Petković to mishit a forehand wide. Ad Sharapova (BP #3). Petković netted a forehand, and Maria celebrated the break with “c’mon”. Broken.

Sharapova serving 1-0: Petković netted a forehand. 15/0. Petković netted another forehand. 30/0. Maria’s acute-angled crosscourt forehand forced Petković to net a forehand. 40/0 (GP #1). Petković hit an off-forehand winner. 40/15 (GP #2). Petković on the fourth stroke netted a cheap backhand. Held.

Petković serving 0-2: Maria hit a pinpoint crosscourt backhand winner just inside the sideline. 0/15. Petković hit a forehand long. 0/30. Petković hit a down-the-line backhand wide. 0/40 (BP #1). Petković forced a short ball, but hit a wild crosscourt forehand wide. Broken.

Sam Smith: “She’s not settling here, Petković.”
John Lloyd: “She’s trying to force the pace too much. She’s trying to go pace for pace with Sharapova rather than mixing it up.”

Sharapova serving 3-0: Maria on the third stroke hit a crosscourt backhand just wide – a healthy error if ever there was one. 0/15. Maria went to the net, her deep approach forcing Petković to net a backhand. 15/15. Maria forehand long. 15/30. Petković netted a forehand. 30/30. Maria forehand long. 30/40 (BP #1). Petković forehand just long. Deuce #1. Petković netted a forehand off a mildly awkward deep ball from Maria. Ad Sharapova (GP #1). Service-winner out wide. Held.

John Lloyd: “I did not expect to see this score.”

Petković serving 0-4: Petković forced a short floater, let it bounce and hit an easy forehand smash-winner. 15/0. Second serve: Maria hit a huge off-forehand virtual return-winner. 15/15. Second serve: Maria hit a forehand return that looked long but must have clipped the baseline, forcing Petković to hit a forehand long. 15/30. First serve out wide forced Maria to hit a crosscourt backhand wide. 30/30. Petković’s backhand clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner. 40/30 (GP #1). Maria hit a crosscourt forehand + pinpoint forehand winner down the line. Deuce #1. Petković crosscourt backhand wide. Ad Sharapova (BP #1). Maria scored the triple break with a crosscourt forehand return-winner. Broken.

Sam Smith: “Petković is very extroverted, but looks very muted here.”
John Lloyd: “Too much pace from Sharapova.”
Sam Smith: “Petković is historically a slow starter. She compares herself to a diesel engine.”
John Lloyd: “It’s not a good idea to make a slow start against Sharapova!”

Sharapova serving 5-0: Maria hit a forehand halfway up the net off a deepish ball from Petković. 0/15. Petković hit a deep return just inside the baseline, forcing Maria to net a forehand. 0/30. First serve out wide: forehand return long. 15/30. Maria forced a short ball that sat up nicely for Maria to nail an off-forehand winner. 30/30. Double fault #1 (second serve into the net). 30/40 (BP #1). Maria forced a short ball that sat up nicely for her to hit a crosscourt forehand winner. Deuce #1. First serve out wide forced Petković to hit a forehand return low into the net. Ad Sharapova (SP #1). Petković forehand just long. Sharapova won the first set 6-0 at 14:44 CEST (32m).

Sam Smith: “Sharapova could open a pâtisserie [bakery] with her bagels here: second set against Mirjana Lučić in the first round, third set against Caroline García in the second round, and now this.”


Second set
----------
SHARAPOV @*__@_@*@ 6
PETKOVIĆ __*@_@___ 3

Petković took a bathroom-break after the first set, thus the second set did not begin until 14:49 CEST. She must have a really small bladder to have to do that after only 32 minutes of play!

Petković serving 0-0: Petković crosscourt backhand wide. 0/15. Maria tried to hit a down-the-line backhand off a crosscourt backhand from Petković, and put it just wide. 15/15. Deep first serve out wide: Maria ate it up with a huge forehand return-winner down the line. Andrew Castle: “That is /the/ best part of Sharapova’s game.” 15/30. Maria forehand long. 30/30. Petković off-forehand winner into the corner. 40/30 (GP #1). Maria’s deep crosscourt backhand induced Petković to hit a backhand long. Deuce #1. Maria hit a deep backhand just inside the baseline, forcing Petković to net a backhand. Ad Sharapova (BP #1). Maria hit a loose off-forehand long and wide, and Petković said: “Komm jetzt! Come on! Come on!” Deuce #2. Petković on the third stroke hit a “horrible” backhand just wide off a pretty big return down the middle. Ad Sharapova (GP #2). Petković pounced on a short ball to nail an off-forehand winner. She gave a determined fist-pump. Deuce #3. Maria played a fantastic spreading rally, moving Petković from side to side like a puppet on a string until she forcedly earthed a forehand. Ad Sharapova (BP #2). Petković nailed a forehand winner down the line. Deuce #4. Petković’s backhand clipped the netcord and fell back on her side. Ad Sharapova (BP #3). Petković forehand just long. Broken.

I have to feel a little bit sorry for Petković here, because she played well and very determinedly in that game, but Maria is absolutely ruthless, and is also getting all the providence, as we saw at Deuce #4.

Sharapova serving 1-0: Petković forehand long. 15/0. Petković netted a cheap forehand return. 30/0. Maria’s acute-angled crosscourt forehand to the sideline forced Petković outside the alley to net a forehand. 40/0 (GP #1). Deep first forced Petković to net a forehand return. Held.

Not quite the same determination from Petković as in the previous game. It’s an awful feeling when you’re two thirds of the way to a 0-6 0-6 loss.

Petković serving 0-2: Petković hit an off-forehand winner that clipped the outside edge of the sideline. 15/0. Ace down the middle. 30/0. Maria netted a forehand. 40/0 (GP #1). Maria forehand long. Broken.

Sharapova serving 2-1: Petković netted a forehand. 15/0. Sharapova mishit a forehand long off a deep ball from Petković. 15/15. Double fault (second serve into the net). 15/30. Maria went to the net, but her approach was sufficiently weak to allow Petković to hit a crosscourt backhand pass-winner. 15/40 (BP #1). Petković went to the net, her deep forehand forcing Maria to hit a backhand lob long. Maria frowned. Broken.

Petković serving 2-2: Maria went to the net, forced a floater, and hit an error-forcing off-forehand drive-volley. 0/15. Maria off-forehand winner right in the corner: on the baseline and just inside the sideline. 0/30. Maria hit a loose forehand just long. 15/30. Maria crosscourt backhand just long. 30/30. Petković hit a loose forehand long. 30/40 (BP #1). Maria crosscourt backhand long and wide. Deuce #1. With poor depth on her groundstrokes, Maria netted a forehand. Ad Petković (GP #1). Maria mishit a forehand short, but Petković netted a forehand. Deuce #2. Petković off-forehand just wide. Ad Sharapova (BP #2). Maria hit a pinpoint off-forehand winner just inside the sideline. Held.

An important break for Maria, as she actually seemed to be getting very tight (particularly at Deuce #1). It’s a nasty feeling when a routine win suddenly turns into a contest, as this did, however briefly, when Petković broke back for *2-2.

Sam Smith: “Didn’t see this in the first set from Sharapova – she was immaculate. She’s just started to give away a few points here.”

Sharapova serving 3-2: Petković hit a deep return, but Maria half-volleyed a deep down-the-line forehand just inside the baseline, forcing Petković to hit a backhand wide. 15/0. Maria ran down a dropshot and hit a forehand winner onto the baseline – Petković was right there but whiffed a forehand. 30/0. Double fault (second serve into the net). 30/15. Maria forehand long by a whisker (umpire Mariana Alves checked the mark). 30/30. Petković hit a crosscourt backhand onto the sideline, forcing Maria to hit a crosscourt backhand long and wide. Sam Smith: “Sharapova said that the French Open would be the most challenging one for her to win, and that’s why: when she gets pulled out of court, it’s tough for her to come back.” 30/40 (BP #1). Maria on the third stroke hit a crosscourt backhand winner onto the sideline, and shouted “c’mon”. Deuce #1. Maria’s off-forehand forced Petković to net a forehand, and Maria shouted “c’mon” again. Ad Sharapova (GP #1). Petković hit a pinpoint off-forehand winner just inside the sideline. Deuce #2. Maria didn’t play very confidently in a long baseline-rally, but Petković dumped a forehand into the net. Ad Sharapova (GP #2). Petković’s deep, body-jamming crosscourt backhand return forced Maria to net a forehand. Deuce #3. Maria netted a forehand off a deep ball from Petković on the 18th stroke – the longest rally of the match so far. Ad Petković (BP #2). Maria on the third round sprayed a wild forehand long. Broken.

A tough service-game for Maria. The wind is blowing from Petković’s end of the court to hers.

Andrew Castle: “Petković is a brilliant all-rounder athletically. She can stay here with Sharapova in a physical sense. Just getting the ball back deep and showing this defensive prowess is bringing its reward now, because Sharapova is making errors.”

Petković serving 3-3: Petković hit a very short forehand; Maria hit a sliced forehand that bounced to Petković’s left with wicked sidespin; Petković went to the net behind a deep lob, forcing Maria to retreat and hit a short, defensive lob; Petković hit two forehand smashes – the second a winner. 15/0. Maria hit a crunching crosscourt backhand return of amazing power, forcing Petković to hit a backhand lob-return wide. 15/15. Petković netted a cheap forehand. 15/30. Maria hit a deep crosscourt forehand winner just inside the baseline. 15/40 (BP #1). Maria broke with a pinpoint off-forehand winner onto the sideline, and celebrated the break with a lingering fist-pump but no “c’mon”.

Petković will have to play into the wind for the next two games, so I fancy Maria’s chances of a 6-0 6-3 victory.

Sharapova serving 4-3: Petković hit a crosscourt backhand deep into the corner, forcing Maria to net a backhand. 0/15. Double fault #4 (second serve long). 0/30. Petković backhand just long. 15/30. Petković had almost too long to play a backhand, and dumped it into the net. 30/30. Maria hit a crosscourt backhand onto the sideline to force a floater, and dispatched it with a crosscourt forehand winner. She screamed “c’mon”. 40/30 (GP #1). Maria backhand just long. Deuce #1. First serve out wide: Petković bunted a forehand long. Ad Sharapova (GP #2). Petković drew Maria to the net with a dropshot, but hit an off-backhand pass wide. Held.

Petković serving 3-5: Maria’s off-forehand clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner. 0/15. Petković hit a deep forehand winner down the line: on the baseline. 15/15. Petković crosscourt forehand wide. 15/30. Maria hit a deep crosscourt forehand return + blazing forehand winner down the line. 15/40 (MP #1 for Sharapova). Petković saved it with a courageous crosscourt backhand winner into the corner. 30/40 (MP #2 for Sharapova). Petković netted a forehand. Sharapova won 6-0 6-3 at 15:42 CEST (second set 58m, match 1h30m).

Sam Smith: “That was as good a performance as she could have wished for in these types of conditions, against an opponent she’d lost to at the Australian Open. The first set was a cakewalk, but the second was tough.”

There was a nice close up of Maria’s face as she signed the camera-lens and kissed the air.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
__________________
My Eternal Fanship: 1. Monica Seles; 2. Мария Шарапова (‘Maria Sharapova’); 3. Daniela Hantuchová; 4. Jelena Dokić; 5. Iva Majoli; 6. Karina Habšudová; 7. Вера Звонарёва (‘Vera Zvonarëva’); 8. Nicole Vaidišová; 9. Анна Чакветадзе (‘Anna Chakvetadze’); 10. Lucie Šafářová; 11. Ирода Туляганова (‘Iroda Tulyaganova’); 12. Magdaléna Rybáriková; 13. Sabine Lisicki
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Old Jun 3rd, 2011, 03:34 AM   #15
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Andrew's semi-final TV-reports

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FRENCH OPEN (Roland Garros, Paris, France; red clay; Major)
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Contents
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1. Introduction
2. Semi-final TV-report: Sharapova v Lǐ
3. Semi-final TV-report: Bartoli v Schiavone

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1. Introduction
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Both Women’s Singles semi-finals went the wrong way for me:
- MARIA SHARAPOVA [7,EF] lt. LǏ,NŔ [6], 4-6 5-7
- MARION BARTOLI [11,DF,S] lt. FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [5], 3-6 3-6

As did a certain Women’s Legends match:
- Iva Majoli [EF]/Conchita Martínez lt. Martina Navrátilová/Jana Novotná, 5-7 1-6

Archive of point-by-point scores for all women’s matches:
http://www.tennisforum.com/showpost.php?p=19665054

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2. Semi-final TV-report: Sharapova v Lǐ (Thursday 2nd June 2011)
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- MARIA SHARAPOVA [7,EF] lt. LǏ,NŔ [6], 4-6 5-7

Ten double faults, including one at match-point. Maria’s hopes of completing the Career Grand Slam this year blew away in a wind that kept moving the ball unpredictably as she prepared to hit it, and blowing tall clouds of red dust into her beautiful hazel-green eyes.

I certainly didn’t expect to see Lǐ doing this well at the French Open after her post-Australian-Open-final slump. She’s a great athlete, a great ball-striker, who knows how to put Maria into the positions that she doesn’t like. She made Maria work extremely hard to win points, especially in the first set, and never allowed Maria to settle.

An interesting backstory to this match is that Maria’s new coach Thomas Högstedt used to be Lǐ’s coach until late 2010, when he told her that he didn’t want to travel anymore because he wanted to spend more time with his family. Apparently, Lǐ is so angry that he’s now coaching Maria that she refuses to speak to him.

Lǐ made a great start to go up 0:0 3-0* and 4-1*, her athleticism inducing Maria to go for the lines too much. A horrendous double fault left Maria facing a break-point that would gave given Lǐ *5-1, but a couple of missed returns and Maria’s fantastic acute-angled crosscourt backhand winner onto the sideline gave Maria 2-4*.

The momentum seemed to be turning in Maria’s favour as she broke back for 0:0 *3-4, but sadly she threw it away with three double faults in a game for 3-5*. Lǐ failed to serve out the first set as she played a sloppy service-game; however, Maria soon found herself triple set-point down at *4-5 (0/40), and succumbed at 15/40 with a wind-forced error.

Lǐ led 1:0 *0-0 (40/0), but it turned into an epic game of four deuces, and Maria broke with the help of three winners and a double fault at break-point. Lǐ then fell away mentally to go *1-3 down mainly due to her own errors.

Maria had break-point at 0:1 3-1* (40/30*), but Lǐ saved it with a short-angled crosscourt forehand winner just inside the baseline, and Lǐ held for 2-3* with the help of three unforced return-errors from Maria.

Maria held to 15 for 0:1 4-2*, but Lǐ rediscovered her form and broke back for *4-4 with the help of two double faults in a game. Maria at *4-5 played her best game of the match to hold to 15, but at *5-6, she served one agonising double fault at 15/15, and another at 15/40 to put her Career Grand Slam on hold for another year.

Maria said: “She played a very good match. She certainly played a lot better than I did and a lot more solid[ly], and she played the crucial points better. At times, I didn’t serve well, and was rushing more than maybe I had to, and considering the conditions, maybe I was just trying to go for too big a second serve especially.”

A common misconception is that if Lǐ were to win the final, she would become the first Asian to win a Major Women’s Singles title. But Siberia is in Asia, so Maria became the first Asian to win a Major Women’s Singles title when she won Wimbledon 2004.


First set
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LǏ *@*_*__@_@ 6
SH ___*_*@_@_ 4

The match was first on Court Philippe Chatrier. Maria won the toss and elected to receive. The match started at 14:10 CEST.

John Lloyd said that the windy conditions might work in Lǐ’s favour, as she handled the wind well in her quarter-final, while Maria can struggle in the wind.

Lǐ serving 0-0: Lǐ had the upper hand in the opening rally, and Maria hit a crosscourt forehand just long. 15/0. Maria hit a pinpoint forehand winner down the line: right in the corner. 15/15. Lǐ picked off a deep return with a pinpoint forehand winner down the line. 30/15. Maria netted a forehand return. 40/15 (GP #1). Lǐ forced a short return, and dispatched it with an off-forehand winner. Held.

Lǐ’s playing very well if that opening game is anything to go by, so Maria’s going to have to play one of the 25% best matches of her career today.

Sharapova serving 0-1: Lǐ hit a crosscourt backhand just wide. 15/0. Lǐ hit a crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline. 15/15. Lǐ hit a forehand long. 30/15. Maria went to the net, but Lǐ hit a backhand lob-winner. 30/30. Lǐ hit a crosscourt forehand winner. John Lloyd: “Sharapova good pace but not directed well.” 30/40 (BP #1). Lǐ hit a forehand just long. Deuce #1. Lǐ hit a crosscourt backhand winner just inside the sideline. Ad Lǐ (BP #2). Maria netted a backhand off a deep crosscourt backhand return. Broken.

Lǐ serving 2-0: Lǐ crosscourt forehand just wide. 0/15. Lǐ off-forehand winner. 15/15. Maria’s deep crosscourt backhand forced Lǐ to net a backhand. 15/30. Lǐ netted a backhand. 15/40 (BP #1). Maria netted a backhand. 30/40 (BP #2). Maria sprayed a forehand long off a ball that bounced shorter than she’d anticipated due to the wind. Deuce #1. Maria’s deep forehand return clipped the back edge of the baseline, forcing Lǐ to hit a forehand long. Ad Sharapova (BP #3). Maria netted a forehand. Deuce #2. Lǐ forced a short ball and hit a crosscourt forehand winner. Ad Lǐ (GP #1). Lǐ hit a crosscourt forehand winner that clipped the outside edge of the sideline (if Hawk-Eye were available at the French Open, I’m sure that Maria would have challenged it). Held.

The commentators said that Lǐ was the better athlete, and was handling the wind better than Maria.

Sharapova serving 0-3: Lǐ netted a forehand. 15/0. First serve out wide + pinpoint off-backhand winner down the line: on the sideline. 30/0. Lǐ netted a makeable backhand return. 40/0 (GP #1). Maria hit an ambitious down-the-line backhand wide by a whisker. 40/15 (GP #2). Service-winner. Held.

Always a relief to win your first game when you’ve lost the first three (or in the case of Andrea Petković yesterday, the first eight).

Lǐ serving 3-1: Lǐ on the third stroke hit a crosscourt forehand winner back behind Maria. John Lloyd: “Sharapova’s off-balance all the time.” 15/0. Maria off-forehand just wide. 30/0. Maria’s deep return induced Lǐ to earth an off-backhand. 30/15. Second serve: Maria forehand return-winner just inside the baseline. 30/30. Lǐ’s body-jamming serve forced Maria to hit an off-backhand wide. 40/30 (GP #1). Maria’s forehand caught the back edge of the baseline, forcing Lǐ to earth a forehand. Deuce #1. Maria netted a disappointing forehand off a mildly awkward deep ball from Lǐ. Ad Lǐ (GP #2). Lǐ’s crosscourt forehand drove Maria wide, inducing her to net a forehand. Held.

The commentators think that Maria’s going for the lines too much because Lǐ’s such a great athlete. Sam Smith: “There are no safe zones to go to.”

Sharapova serving 1-4: Lǐ’s deep ball forced Maria to hit a backhand wide. 0/15. Maria forehand long. 0/30. Maria played a very precise and deliberate rally, hitting ball after ball inside the lines, working her opening until her crosscourt forehand forced Lǐ into error. Frankly, if that’s what it’s going to take to win a point against Lǐ today, I don’t fancy Maria’s chances. 15/30. Lǐ forehand long. 30/30. Maria waited for the wind to die down a bit, and hit a service-winner down the middle. 40/30 (GP #1). Lǐ’s crosscourt forehand forced Maria to earth a forehand. Deuce #1. Double fault #1 (horrendous second serve into the bottom of the net). Ad Lǐ (BP #1). Lǐ netted a backhand return. Deuce #2. Second serve: forehand return long. Maria pumped her fist and said “c’mon”. Ad Maria (GP #2). Maria, driven wide, hit a fantastic acute-angled crosscourt backhand winner onto the sideline, pumped her fist and screamed “c’mon”. Held.

Lǐ serving 4-2: Maria’s depth induced Lǐ to hit a forehand long. 0/15. First serve down the middle forced a short return; Lǐ hit a pinpoint down-the-line forehand winner onto the baseline. 15/15. Maria on the fourth stroke hit an off-forehand winner. 15/30. Lǐ hit a crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline. 30/30. Lǐ played a good spreading rally, but then gave Maria the initiative by dropping a ball short, and ended up netting a forehand. 30/40 (BP #1). Maria’s deep, hard off-forehand forced Lǐ to hit a defensive backhand lob long. Broken.

The momentum is turning in Maria’s favour since she saved that break-point that would have given Lǐ *5-1. She’s not yet the favourite for this set, but she soon could be.

Sharapova serving 3-4 (new balls): Lǐ forehand return long. 15/0. Double fault #2 (second serve long). 15/15. Double fault #3 (second serve long). 15/30. Lǐ opened up the court and hit a fantastic deep off-backhand winner just inside the baseline. 15/40 (BP #1). Double fault #4 (second serve just long). Broken.

Just when Maria had got right back into this set, she goes and throws in three double faults.

John Lloyd: “I think the wind is having an effect on her big time. She’s not adjusted, while Lǐ has been solid throughout. The wind is changing direction all the time, and Sharapova can’t get a read on it.”

Sam Smith: “Arguably, Lǐ’s first strike has been better than Sharapova’s today – and I can’t remember too many times that I’ve said that in a Maria Sharapova match.”

Lǐ serving 5-3: Lǐ forehand long. 0/15. Lǐ hit a big backhand up the line, forcing Maria to bunt a defensive forehand lob wide. 15/15. Lǐ sprayed a wild forehand very long. 15/30. Lǐ sprayed a crosscourt forehand wide. 15/40 (BP #1). Lǐ opened up the court with a crosscourt forehand, and nailed a sweet forehand winner down the line. 30/40 (BP #2). Lǐ crosscourt forehand wide. Broken.

Sharapova serving 4-5: Maria backhand just long. 0/15. Double fault #5 (second serve long). 0/30. Lǐ’s depth forced Maria to hit a forehand long. 0/40 (SP #1 for Lǐ). First serve: backhand return long. 15/40 (SP #2 for Lǐ). Maria forced a short ball, but the wind moved the ball just before she hit it: her crosscourt forehand clipped the netcord and fell wide. Lǐ won the first set 6-4 at 15:00 CEST (50m).


Second set
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LǏ __*_*_*@*_*@ 7
SH @*_*_*___*__ 5

Lǐ serving 0-0: First serve: forehand return long. 15/0. First serve out wide + crosscourt forehand winner. 30/0. Maria netted a forehand. 40/0 (GP #1). Maria stopped the rally to circle a mark on the baseline, and Lǐ hit a crosscourt forehand winner. The umpire checked the mark and called it long. 40/15 (GP #2). Lǐ netted a forehand off a deep ball from Maria. 40/30 (GP #3). Maria hit an off-forehand winner. Deuce #1. Lǐ forehand long. Ad Sharapova (BP #1). Lǐ crosscourt forehand winner. Deuce #2. Maria forced a short ball, and dispatched it with a crosscourt forehand winner. Ad Sharapova (BP #2). Lǐ hit a crosscourt forehand deep into the corner, forcing Maria to hit a forehand long. Deuce #3. Lǐ forced a short ball, but the wind induced her to hit a forehand long. Ad Sharapova (BP #3). Lǐ paused as the wind blew red dust into her eyes. Maria netted a backhand return. Deuce #4. Second serve: Maria hit a roaring off-backhand return-winner right in the corner. Ad Sharapova (BP #4). Double fault #1 (second serve wide of the centre-line). Broken.

How important will that game prove to be? Lǐ led 40/0, but the wind actually helped Maria (at Deuce #3) for once! Sam Smith doesn’t trust Lǐ to win this match after that setback, because she has a history of getting down on herself and losing matches after losing the momentum.

Sharapova serving 1-0: First serve: Lǐ sprayed a forehand return very long. 15/0. Lǐ forced a short ball, but again the wind induced her to spray a forehand long and wide. 30/0. Maria’s deep forehand induced Lǐ to mishit a crosscourt forehand wide. 40/0 (GP #1). Lǐ backhand long. Held.

Lǐ serving 0-2: Maria’s deep return forced Lǐ to net a backhand. 0/15. Ace down the middle. 15/15. Maria backhand long. 30/15. Forehand return long. 40/15 (GP #1). Lǐ hit a pinpoint off-forehand winner just inside the sideline – sometimes she hits the ball incredibly cleanly. Held.

Sharapova serving 2-1: Lǐ forehand long. 15/0. Maria’s deep forehand forced Lǐ to hit a backhand long. 30/0. Lǐ off-forehand just wide. 40/0 (GP #1). Lǐ’s deep return induced Maria to hit a forehand long. 40/15 (GP #2). Lǐ forehand long. Held.

Sam Smith: “Lǐ is just falling away mentally. Just a lack of intensity relative to what is at the other side of the net. Sharapova still hasn’t found any rhythm and timing at all. It’s a complete donation by Lǐ,Nŕ.”

Lǐ serving 1-3: Double fault #2 (second serve long). 0/15. Maria hit a blazing backhand return-winner down the line. 0/30. Maria netted a forehand. 15/30. Lǐ’s deep backhand down the line forced Maria to lunge right and bunt a forehand lob wide. 30/30. Double fault #3 (second serve long). 30/40 (BP #1). Lǐ hit a short-angled crosscourt forehand winner just inside the baseline. Deuce #1. Maria crosscourt backhand return just wide, and smacked her racket in frustration. Ad Lǐ (GP #1). Maria’s deep return induced Lǐ to hit a crosscourt backhand wide. Deuce #2. Forehand return long. Ad Lǐ (GP #2). Backhand return long. Held.

Break-point wasted, and Maria missed so many returns in that game. So far, all five of Maria’s double faults have come in the first set, all three of Lǐ’s in the second.

Sharapova serving 3-2: Lǐ’s backhand clipped the netcord and fell back on her side. 15/0. Lǐ’s deep backhand return was just long but not called, so Maria stopped the point to challenge it: umpire Emmanuel Joseph checked the mark and called it long. 30/0. Lǐ netted an off-backhand that would have been a winner in the first set. 40/0 (GP #1). Lǐ pounced on a short ball with a crosscourt backhand winner. 40/15 (GP #2). Maria’s deep forehand forced Lǐ to net a forehand. Held.

Lǐ serving 2-4 (new balls): Lǐ’s crosscourt forehand induced Maria to net a forehand. 15/0. Lǐ’s deep crosscourt forehand forced Maria to bunt a forehand lob long. 30/0. Lǐ’s deep crosscourt backhand forced Maria to hit a backhand lob long. 40/0 (GP #1). Lǐ forehand just long. 40/15 (GP #2). Maria hit a wild backhand return very long. Held.

Lǐ is finally back to her game-plan of the first set: using width to force Maria into error. During the changeover, the host broadcaster showed a slow-motion close-up of Maria running to her left and hitting a left-handed forehand.

Sharapova serving 4-3: Maria’s deep forehand forced Lǐ to net a backhand dropshot. 15/0. Double fault #6 (horrendous second serve into the net). 15/15. First serve down the middle forced Lǐ to net a backhand. 30/15. Lǐ netted a backhand. 30/30. Lǐ’s deep forehand forced Maria to net a backhand. 30/40 (BP #1). Double fault #7 (second serve into the net). Broken.

Maria looked in control of this set at 3-1*, but Lǐ has raised her game, and Maria has started double-faulting again – two in that game. Maria’s been erratic throughout the entire match, but Lǐ was more erratic in the first half of this set. Not any more.

Lǐ serving 4-4: Lǐ’s crosscourt forehand induced Maria to hit a down-the-line forehand just wide. 15/0. Maria crosscourt forehand wide. 30/0. Maria’s deep crosscourt forehand return forced Lǐ to hit a forehand that clipped the netcord and fell back on her side. 30/15. Lǐ hit a down-the-line backhand long. 30/30. Lǐ, driven wide, hit a pinpoint forehand winner down the line. 40/30 (GP #1). Maria’s deep crosscourt forehand forced Lǐ to net a forehand. Deuce #1. Maria forehand just long. Ad Lǐ (GP #2). Maria’s forehand return clipped the netcord and sat up nicely for Lǐ to hit a crosscourt forehand winner. Held.

John Lloyd: “Sharapova has such a strong mind, but she’s fighting a battle with herself about her serve.”

Sharapova serving 4-5: Double fault #8 (second serve wide of the centre-line). 0/15. Maria went to the net; Lǐ’s dipping crosscourt forehand forced her to hit a half-volley drop-volley; Lǐ ran it down and hit a backhand, but Maria was there to hit a forehand smash-winner. 15/15. Maria hit a brilliant off-forehand winner back behind Lǐ. 30/15. Maria hit an off-backhand winner back behind Lǐ. 40/15 (GP #1). Maria’s depth induced Lǐ to hit a crosscourt forehand wide. Held.

Probably Maria’s best game of the match so far, and the best in terms of both women playing well at the same time.

Lǐ serving 5-5: Lǐ’s crosscourt forehand drove Maria into the alley, forcing her to net a forehand. 15/0. Lǐ threaded the needle with a pinpoint down-the-line off-backhand winner that clipped the outside edge of the sideline. 30/0. Lǐ’s deep off-forehand forced Maria to hit a backhand lob long as red dust blew into her eyes. Perhaps she should have worn goggles. 40/0 (GP #1). Lǐ hit a crosscourt forehand winner back behind Maria. Held.

Sharapova serving 5-6: Maria’s deep backhand down the line induced Lǐ to hit a down-the-line forehand wide. 15/0. Lǐ hit a deep forehand down the middle, forcing Maria to hit a crosscourt forehand wide. 15/15. Double fault #9 (second serve into the net). Of all the double faults I’ve ever seen Maria serve, that was the most painful to watch. It would not remain so for long. 15/30. Lǐ’s crosscourt forehand forced Maria to run to her right and hit a forehand long. 15/40 (MP #1). Double fault #10 (first serve long; second serve into the net). Lǐ won 6-4 7-5 at 15:58 CEST (second set 58m, match 1h48m).


Lǐ’s on-court interview
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Cédric Pioline: “It was a tight finish. What made the difference at the end?”

Lǐ: “She had a huge serve, so I was like, ‘Please double-fault, and then I can win the match.’”

Pioline: “After many mornings, your second Major final. It’s really special. Do you think the experience you had there will help you for Saturday?”

Lǐ: “Er... yes! I never believed myself I can be in the final in French Open, and today I can, so I wish I can do even better on Saturday.”

Pioline: “You deserve it, to be in the final. You won today. You beat Maria Sharapova!”

Lǐ: “Yeah, I know! I mean: it was a tough match. I’m still happy in the end that I can win the match.”

Pioline: “You’re gonna follow, I’m sure, the other semi-final. Do you have any preference to play Marion or Francesca?”

Lǐ put her hand over her mouth and laughed, knowing what the crowd wanted to hear. “Don’t try to kid me now! I mean: the both players [are] tough, so I will watch them play a little bit later. I just enjoy the day, and [get] ready for Saturday.”

Pioline: “You’re the one in [a] good position: you’re gonna be in the lockers-room, having [a] massage and resting while they’re fighting on court.”

Lǐ: “Yeah, I will take a massage. I like to do that. I’ll take a massage, and see the opponents still fighting on the court.”

Pioline: “Okay. Thank you very much, and good luck for Saturday.”

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3. Semi-final TV-report: Bartoli v Schiavone (Thursday 2nd June 2011)
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- MARION BARTOLI [11,DF,S] lt. FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [5], 3-6 3-6

Bartoli had a great tournament, and provided all my entertainment in this match with her powerful Selesian groundstrokes and quirky habits, such as jumping up and down before she serves, but she couldn’t cope with the clay-court expertise of the defending champion, nor with the wind, which was even worse than in the first semi-final.

Schiavone kept drawing Bartoli to the net with dropshots and passing her, and her heavy topspin meant that Bartoli kept having to hit the ball at shoulder-height, as she doesn’t quite have Monica Seles’s ability to step in and nail it on the rise.

The BBC commentators (Sam Smith and John Lloyd) said that Schiavone was an old-style Italian, slicing and chopping her opponent around the court.
Sam Smith said: “It really is a clay-court masterclass.”

Like all the Frenchwomen that I’ve seen this fortnight, Marion was wearing a black bow in memory of Stéphane Vidal (Virginie Razzano’s fiancé, who died on 16th May 2011).


Prematch interview
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Nelson Montfort: “Francesca, good afternoon. This is a big match for you. Won last year the final. This semi-final against a French[woman] Marion Bartoli. The heart must be beating.”

Francesca Schiavone: “Of course. French people out there, I can understand whom they support, so we will do a tough match together.”

Nelson Montfort: “Best wishes. Best wishes to you, Francesca.”

Francesca Schiavone: “Thanks.”

Nelson Montfort: “Alors, Marion Bartoli, qui... [incomprehensible French] ce demi-finale en Roland Garros. Marion, bonjour, merci de la repondre. Comment ça va? [Incomprehensible French] ce tournoi?”

Marion Bartoli: “Oui, trčs bien. Je joue trčs bien encore aujourd’hui, donc... [incomprehensible French] match.”

Nelson Montfort: “[Incomprehensible French]”

Marion Bartoli: “Merci.”


First set
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BARTOLI _*_*_*___ 3
SCHIAVO *_*_*_*@* 6

The match was second on Court Philippe Chatrier, and started at 16:21 CEST. The wind was even worse than in the first semi-final.

Sam Smith: “The equation out here for Schiavone is: can she get enough width? Can she move Bartoli around so that Bartoli cannot get on these Seles-like double-fisted groundstrokes, which are very deadly with this very quick ball. And for Bartoli: can she hit through the ball enough? Can she hit enough winners without making too many unforced errors? Bartoli, no doubt, will look to take everything on that she can, keep the points short. Schiavone the opposite: she’ll try to work the ball, keep the points long, frustrate Bartoli.”

Schiavone serving 0-0: Schiavone’s deep crosscourt forehand forced Bartoli to earth a forehand. 15/0. Schiavone off-forehand winner. 30/0. Ace out wide. 40/0 (GP #1). Schiavone forehand long. 40/15 (GP #2). Schiavone hit a crosscourt forehand winner onto the sideline that bounced quite high, but Bartoli looked really slow trying to run it down. Held.

Bartoli serving 0-1: Bartoli ran down a dropshot and hit a dipping forehand up the line, forcing Schiavone to net a backhand volley from below the height of the net. 15/0. Service-winner out wide. 30/0. Forehand return just long. 40/0 (GP #1). Ace down the middle. Bartoli did a little dance at the back of the court. Held.

Schiavone serving 1-1: Bartoli netted a backhand. 15/0. Bartoli’s crosscourt forehand just inside the sideline forced Schiavone to hit a forehand long. 15/15. Bartoli crosscourt backhand just wide. 30/15. Schiavone went to the net, and, off a dipping pass from Bartoli, hit a backhand volley that clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner. 40/15 (GP #1). Bartoli hit a deep backhand down the line, forcing Schiavone to hit a forehand long. 40/30 (GP #2). Schiavone drew Bartoli to the net with a dropshot, and hit an acute-angled crosscourt backhand that forced Bartoli to net an awkward low backhand volley. Held.

Bartoli serving 1-2: Bartoli’s depth induced Schiavone to net a backhand dropshot. Schiavone riled the crowd by arguing with the umpire (apparently about spectators calling out during rallies). 15/0. Schiavone off-forehand just wide. 30/0. Schiavone forced a short ball, and hit a pinpoint forehand winner up the line: on the sideline. 30/15. Bartoli jumped up and down before she served, and hit an off-backhand winner down the line. 40/15 (GP #1). Bartoli’s crosscourt forehand approach forced Schiavone to net a forehand. Held.

Schiavone serving 2-2: Bartoli hit a crosscourt backhand return-winner just inside the sideline. 0/15. Schiavone drew Bartoli to the net with a dropshot, and hit a crosscourt forehand pass-winner. 15/15. Deep first serve out wide: forehand return long. 30/15. Bartoli forehand long. 40/15 (GP #1). Double fault (second serve long). 40/30 (GP #2). Bartoli slapped a cheap backhand return into the net. Held.

Bartoli serving 2-3: Ace down the middle. 15/0. Bartoli’s crosscourt forehand forced Schiavone to hit a down-the-line backhand wide. 30/0. Bartoli hit an off-backhand onto the sideline, forcing Schiavone to net a forehand. 40/0 (GP #1). Bartoli’s deep backhand forced Schiavone to net another forehand. Held.

Sam Smith: “I’ve never seen Bartoli quite so pumped up, so aggressive in a match. That was a look down the other end to Francesca.”

Schiavone serving 3-3: Double fault #2 (second serve long). 0/15. Bartoli went to the net, but her down-the-line forehand approach was too short and too weak, giving Schiavone a backhand pass-winner down the line. 15/15. Bartoli dumped a forehand halfway up the net. 30/15. Schiavone’s second serve pushed Bartoli outside the alley, giving Schiavone an easy crosscourt forehand winner into the wide open court. 40/15 (GP #1). Bartoli crosscourt forehand just wide. Held.

There have been no break-points so far...

Bartoli serving 3-4 (new balls): Schiavone forehand long. 15/0. Bartoli off-backhand winner on the sideline... but umpire Allison Lang checked the mark and called it wide, to boos from the crowd. 15/15. A deep ball from Bartoli forced Schiavone to bunt a backhand wide. 30/15. Bartoli waited for the wind to die down before she served... Schiavone hit a forehand just long, and wiped the red dust out of her eyes. 40/15 (GP #1). Double fault #1 (second serve into the net). Held. 40/30 (GP #2). Schiavone opened up the court and hit a crosscourt forehand winner. Deuce #1. Schiavone forced a short ball and hit an off-forehand winner. Ad Schiavone (BP #1). Bartoli won a great baseline-rally with a crosscourt forehand winner deep into the corner. Deuce #2. Schiavone hit a deep forehand up the line, forcing Bartoli to net a backhand. Ad Schiavone (BP #2). Schiavone broke with an off-forehand return-winner just inside the sideline.

Sam Smith: “These topspin balls from Schiavone are really getting up on Bartoli.”

Schiavone serving 5-3: Bartoli hit a dropshot that would have been a winner against many players, but Schiavone ran it down and hit a backhand winner down the line. 15/0. Schiavone, driven wide, sliced a backhand long. 15/15. Schiavone forehand winner down the line. 30/15. Schiavone forehand winner up the line. 40/15 (SP #1 for Schiavone). Bartoli backhand long. Schiavone won the first set 6-3 at 17:01 CEST (40m).

Sam Smith: “Schiavone is playing like a female version of Rafael Nadal with the amount of kick and leap that she’s getting on her ball. Bartoli at the moment can’t live with it.”


Second set
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BARTOLI *@__*____ 3
SCHIAVO __@*_*@*@ 6

Bartoli serving 0-0: Schiavone mishit a topspin backhand out of my TV-screen. 15/0. Schiavone’s crosscourt forehand to the sideline forced Bartoli to net a forehand. 15/15. Schiavone netted a backhand dropshot. 30/15. Bartoli forced a short return, but dumped a forehand halfway up the net. 30/30. Bartoli hit a crosscourt backhand low over the net, forcing Schiavone to hit a backhand long. 40/30 (GP #1). Bartoli struggled to keep her skirt down in the wind, then hit an ace down the middle. Held.

Schiavone serving 0-1: Schiavone netted an off-backhand that really should have been a forehand. 0/15. Bartoli hit a loose off-forehand wide. 15/15. Schiavone forehand long. 15/30. Schiavone spread Bartoli with an off-forehand + crosscourt forehand, inducing her to dump a forehand halfway up the net. Movement certainly isn’t Bartoli’s strengths. 30/30. Bartoli’s searing crosscourt backhand forced Schiavone to net a backhand. 30/40 (BP #1). Schiavone off-forehand just wide. Broken.

Sam Smith: “It’s been Marion and her father against the world, and against the French Tennis Federation in particular. It would be the coup of all coups if she could reach a French Open final.”

Bartoli serving 2-0: Big second serve out wide forced Schiavone to earth a forehand return. 15/0. Bartoli netted a forehand, and smacked her thigh with her racket, and threatened to throw her racket. 15/15. Schiavone dumped a crazy off-backhand dropshot into the net – it would also have been wide. 30/15. Schiavone’s deep return forced Bartoli to net a backhand. 30/30. Schiavone opened up the court with a short-angled crosscourt forehand, and hit an off-forehand winner. 30/40 (BP #1). Bartoli’s forehand clipped the netcord, hung in the air for a mini-eternity, and dropped dead on Schiavone’s side of the net for a winner. Deuce #1. Schiavone drew Bartoli to the net with a dropshot, but hit a backhand lob long. Ad Bartoli (GP #1). Schiavone went to the net and hit a crosscourt forehand volley-winner from below the height of the net. Deuce #2. Schiavone forced a short ball, but mishit a wild off-forehand wide. Ad Bartoli (GP #2). Bartoli got a time-violation. Schiavone’s deep return forced Bartoli to mishit a backhand wide. Deuce #3. Bartoli went to the net, but a dipping forehand pass low to her forehand forced her to net a forehand volley. Ad Schiavone (BP #2). A long, nail-biting rally ended with Bartoli hitting a backhand just long.

Sam Smith: “Bartoli has a Frankenstein serve: lots of body-parts bolted together.”

Schiavone serving 1-2: Schiavone went to the net and hit a high forehand drop-volley winner. 15/0. Schiavone hit a backhand halfway up the net. 15/15. Bartoli forehand just long. 30/15. Bartoli had the initiative and went to the net, but Schiavone forced her to retreat and hit an off-forehand half-volley wide. 40/15 (GP #1). Schiavone sprayed a down-the-line forehand just wide. 40/30 (GP #2). Bartoli backhand just long. Held.

Bartoli serving 2-2: Bartoli’s crosscourt forehand induced Schiavone to net a forehand. 15/0. Bartoli’s backhand clipped the netcord and fell back on her side. 15/15. Schiavone went to the net, pushing Bartoli beyond her right sideline, and hit an easy forehand smash-winner. The umpire checked the mark from Schiavone’s approach, and confirmed that it was in. 15/30. Schiavone sliced a backhand wide. 30/30. Bartoli went to the net, but Schiavone ripped a crosscourt forehand pass-winner onto the sideline – except that it was just wide. 40/30 (GP #1). Bartoli hit a backhand just long, and looked quite upset. Deuce #1. Bartoli, driven wide, hit a gorgeous short-angled crosscourt forehand winner. Ad Bartoli (GP #2). Schiavone forehand long. Held.

Sam Smith: “That’s a good hold by Bartoli, because she’s being outplayed here. But somehow she’s holding on.”

Schiavone serving 2-3: Schiavone dumped a “yippish” forehand into the net. 0/15. Bartoli off-backhand wide. 15/15. Bartoli dumped a forehand halfway up the net. 30/15. Ace out wide: on the sideline. But the umpire checked the mark and called it wide. Second serve... Bartoli hit a crosscourt forehand just wide. The umpire checked the mark and confirmed the call. 40/15 (GP #1). Schiavone hit an off-forehand winner just inside the sideline. Held.

Bartoli serving 3-3: Schiavone went to the net, but didn’t close in properly, and netted a backhand volley. 15/0. Bartoli hit a short-angled crosscourt backhand just wide. 15/15. Bartoli netted a backhand. 15/30. Schiavone hit a forehand winner up the line: right in the corner. 15/40 (BP #1). Bartoli went to the net and hit a high forehand crosscourt volley-winner, but Schiavone hit a forehand pass-winner into the big gap up the line. Broken.

Sam Smith: “Bartoli’s huffed and she’s puffed out here, but she can’t seem to blow Schiavone’s house down.”

Schiavone serving 4-3 (new balls): Bartoli hit a short-angled crosscourt forehand return-winner just inside the sideline. 15/0. Bartoli forced Schiavone to retreat from the net with a forehand lob, but Schiavone, running backwards, hit an off-forehand smash-winner. 15/15. Schiavone went to the net, and Bartoli hit a laser-like crosscourt backhand pass wide. 30/15. Deep first serve out wide forced Bartoli to net a backhand. 40/15 (GP #1). Bartoli went to the net and hit a high backhand crosscourt drive-volley winner. 40/30 (GP #2). Bartoli ran down a dropshot but hit a forehand long. Held.

Sam Smith: “Schiavone is an expert on clay, and an expert in the wind.”

Bartoli serving 3-5: Bartoli netted a backhand, and gave a look of despair. 0/15. Schiavone hit a cheeky backhand dropshot-winner from the baseline. 0/30. Double fault (second serve long). 0/40 (MP #1 for Schiavone). There was a big cheer from the crowd as Bartoli prepared to serve. Schiavone hit a wicked sliced backhand down the line: it bounced very low, forcing Bartoli to net a forehand. Schiavone won 6-3 6-3 at 17:51 CEST (second set 50m, match 1h30m).

Andrew Castle: “She does not have the power of Lǐ,Nŕ in the final, but she has the know-how.”


Schiavone’s on-court interview
------------------------------

Cédric Pioline: “Very well done today. The match was more difficult than the score says.”

Schiavone: “Yeah, absolutely. I want to say that the crowd helped a lot. You are fantastic for French, and that’s amazing, because I know what that means to play in Italy and to have all the crowd. It means that you enjoy a great player like Bartoli.”

Pioline: “Marion is a great player and a great fighter. She gave everything today.”

Schiavone: “Yeah. I think with the wind, it was a little bit more an advantage, but it’s not easy because she is a great talent here, and every time she take the timing for me, I had to run a lot. A lot.”

Pioline: “Yeah, really? <laughing> So now you’ve qualified for another final, against Lǐ,Nŕ. What do you think about this match? You think your experience from last year will help you?”

Schiavone: “Of course. The experience to be here a time in final for me is a dream come true. So, I think she played an amazing year, starting from Australia that she played in the final against Kim [Clijsters]. And she is a great person, so it will be really tough, but this is tennis: one has to win.”

Pioline: “Cool. And you have all your fans and your friends from Italy here.”

Schiavone: “Yeah. I know that you are here to be pleased for today, because there was... a French player was playing, but maybe, you can understand, some support for me, yeah?”

Pioline: “Well done anyway, and good luck for the final, Francesca. Thank you.”

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
__________________
My Eternal Fanship: 1. Monica Seles; 2. Мария Шарапова (‘Maria Sharapova’); 3. Daniela Hantuchová; 4. Jelena Dokić; 5. Iva Majoli; 6. Karina Habšudová; 7. Вера Звонарёва (‘Vera Zvonarëva’); 8. Nicole Vaidišová; 9. Анна Чакветадзе (‘Anna Chakvetadze’); 10. Lucie Šafářová; 11. Ирода Туляганова (‘Iroda Tulyaganova’); 12. Magdaléna Rybáriková; 13. Sabine Lisicki
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