Tuesday, June 1, 2010

French Open: Fourth Round Report

Top seeds Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal moved swiftly to the quarterfinals in straight sets losing only 11 games each, beating Stanislas Wawrinka and Thomaz Bellucci respectively. Their wins this year are far removed from what their experienced last year in the same round. Last year, Federer had to come back two sets to love down against Tommy Haas while Nadal was defeated for the first time in Roland Garros by last year's finalist Robin Soderling. Speaking of, 5th seed Soderling is moving through the draw with fierce efficiency as well, defeating 10th seed Marin Cilic in straights.

3rd seed and former semifinalist Novak Djokovic defeated Robby Ginepri, the last American man standing, in four sets while 22nd seed Jurgen Melzer made his first Grand Slam quarterfinal by beating Teimuraz Gabashvili. 4th seed Andy Murray lost to 15th seed Tomas Berdych, 7th seed Fernando Verdasco was beaten by 19th seed Nicolas Almagro, and 8th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga retired with a bad back in his match against 11th seed Mikhail Youzhny. This is only the second time that Berdych, Almagro, and Youzhny have reached the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam event.

Factoid: Roger Federer is one win away from reaching 24 consecutive Grand Slam semifinals. If he does this, he also guarantees his #1 ranking after the tournament and will tie Pete Sampras' record of overall weeks at #1. With his win against Belluci, Rafael Nadal has notched an impressive 200 wins in clay.

Three of the top four seeds moved through the fourth round as Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, and Jelena Jankovic survive with Wozniacki being pushed to three grueling sets by 14th seed Flavia Pennetta. 2nd seed Venus Williams was defeated by 19th seed Nadia Petrova in straight sets. Venus is still alive in doubles with her sister Serena and they are the favorites to win.

Serena's next opponent was set to be four-time champion Justine Henin, but 7th seed Samantha Stosur showed it's just not THAT easy to return after being away from the tour. Stosur defeated Henin 2-6, 6-1, 6-4. 5th seed Elena Dementieva, 17th seed Francesca Schiavone, and surprise quarterfinalist Yaroslava Shvedova for Kazakhstan round out the fourth round winners.

Factoid: Serena Williams is the last American woman standing and she is also the last Grand Slam champion left in the draw. Jelena Jankovic, Caroline Wozniacki, and Elena Dementieva have all been Grand Slam finalists, but have yet to get their maiden slam title.

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