Friday, May 27, 2011

French Open: Second Round Report

The biggest news during the second round is the lost of 2nd seed Kim Clijsters who was a lot of people's pick, including mine, to win the tournament. A determined opponent, difficult conditions, possibly lingering health issues, and lots and lots of errors brought the 4-time major champion down making her the highest seed to leave the tournament. Another big upset is 8th seed Jurgen Melzer who joins fellow 2010 French Open semi-finalist Tomas Berdych in the sidelines. Other seeds to go down in the second round include Florian Mayer, Sam Querrey, Marcos Baghdatis, Alexandra Dulgheru, Nikolay Davydenko, Kevin Anderson, and Tsvetana Pironkova.

Top seed Rafael Nadal found himself once again in a tough and physical match against fellow Spaniard Pablo Andujar. Andujar was up 5-1 in the third set, but wasted eight set points giving Nadal a straight-set win. Third seed Vera Zvonareva was down and out until her opponent Sabine Lisicki injured herself. Lisicki finished the match, but had to be taken out on a stretcher. Similarly Maria Sharapova was two points away from being upset early against French phenom Caroline Garcia. She reeled off 11 straight games through, bageling her young opponent in the final set. Speaking of the French though, they continue to have a strong presence with the top men and woman still around (Marion Bartoli, Gilles Simon, Gael Monfils, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and Richard Gasquet).

As for the Americans, three are left--Vania King, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, and Mardy Fish--all of them reaching the third round of Roland Garros for the first time. Other than Nadal, most of the men frontrunners are still around and doing well (Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Robin Soderling, and David Ferrer). Djokovic is set for a blockbuster match with Juan Martin Del Potro next round. With Clijsters out, the open women's draw opened up a lot more giving players such as Caroline Wozniacki, Victoria Azarenka, Francesca Schiavone, Sam Stosur, Svetlana Kuznetsova, among others, their best chance to win. Hell, I think an injured Serena Williams or an un-retired Martina Hingis could've done a lot of damage with this draw!

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