2014 French Open

jon abbey

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Just started today, Venus won her first round match and Serena is up a set and a break, which means they're only one match each away from facing each other in the third round.
 
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If it happens, could be the last time we see those two play each other with something on the line.
 
Venus has been healthy for a few months, I expect her to give a good showing out there.
 

jon abbey

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#3 seed Wawrinka out in the first round, which opens up the draw to the semis for #7 Murray if he can return to form. 
 
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Spares Serena the effort of beating her for what would have been the 11th straight time.  In those matches, Li Na has won 2 sets total - though in fairness, in the Miami final, it did look as though she was going to take the first set.  Serena's draw looks like a reasonably rough road, though.  She might face Lisicki (who has one of the best serves on the tour) in R16, Sharapova in the quarters, and Kerber or Radwanska in the semis, all of whom can give Serena a game if the bounces are going funny on the clay.  Thankfully for her, Ana Ivanovic (who beat her in Melbourne of course, but also took a set off her in Rome) is in the other half of the draw.
 
 
I'm very happy about Wawrinka.  I make no secret of my distaste for his antics, and am really looking forward to seeing Murray match his career-best showing at RG by making the semis.  Aside from the blessing of missing Wawrinka, though, he may have to deal with Kohschreiber, Gasquet, and either Monfils or Fognini - any of whom are capable of threatening Murray on clay if they really bring their A game, and two of whom are French and will have enormous crowd support.
 
Meanwhile, Federer has no one of note before the quarters, unless you count Youzhny, while Djokovic faces ahead to a lively Raonic (who almost dropped him in the Rome semis) in the quarters, with Tsonga or Jerzy Janowicz in the round of 16.  Nadal has Ferrer (who only really does well on clay) up for the quarters, but has never really been threatened by him.  So I fully expect relatively smooth sailing into the quarters for the big names, which should make for some epic matches next week.
 

jon abbey

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MentalDisabldLst said:
Serena's draw looks like a reasonably rough road, though.  She might face Lisicki (who has one of the best serves on the tour) in R16, Sharapova in the quarters, and Kerber or Radwanska in the semis, all of whom can give Serena a game if the bounces are going funny on the clay.  
 
Plus Venus in the third round, that is never fun for her.
 

mabrowndog

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jon abbey said:
Plus Venus in the third round, that is never fun for her.
 
Neither is the 2nd round today.
 
Down 6-2, 3-6, 3-5 right now to Schmiedlová
 
EDIT - And that's it. She's done.
 

mabrowndog

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Steve Johnson just won the first 5-setter of his career, over Laurent Lokoli. He'll face Jack Sock in an all-American 2nd round match.
 

jon abbey

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Serena lost her first set 6-2 also, she needs to turn it around quickly. 
 

mabrowndog

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jon abbey said:
Serena lost her first set 6-2 also, she needs to turn it around quickly. 
 
Is ESPN's broadcast really lagging behind reality by 12+ minutes? They just showed that set ending at 8 AM.
 
The Worldwide Leader in Pathetic.
 

BigMike

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MentalDisabldLst said:
Also, I give him some crap for his on-court demeanor, but Novak Djokovic does appear to be a pretty funny, likeable guy.
 
It's funny because before he became the jerk (and ultimately champion), he was the clown prince of tennis as a teen
 
Nice job by Garbine Muguruza today, she blew Serena off the court.  I do believe that is about as complimentary of an opponent after a loss as I have seen Serena
 

jon abbey

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mabrowndog said:
 
Is ESPN's broadcast really lagging behind reality by 12+ minutes? They just showed that set ending at 8 AM.
 
The Worldwide Leader in Pathetic.
 
Heh, actually I went back and edited my post 12 minutes later (I posted initially that she was down two breaks), but it doesn't show as edited because I'm a mod. It occurred to me that that was strange in this case, but I didn't think anyone would notice or care. No reason to blame ESPN this time...
 

jon abbey

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SumnerH said:
According to the WWL, it's the first time in the Open era that the women's #1 and #2 seeds have been knocked out before the 3rd round at any major.
 
Also, this is the second Grand Slam of the year, and both Australian Open champs were knocked out in the first round (Wawrinka/Li Na). You can't have a potential Grand Slam fall through any quicker than that. 
 

Infield Infidel

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in other news, 18 year old Taylor Townsend knocked off #20 Alize Cornet (the top French player) to advance to the 3rd round. This is Townsend's first grand slam tournament. She was the #1 junior last year IIRC. 
 
she's a lefty baseliner with a monster forehand. I think she has a shot to do more damage if she can keep her forehand in the court. Although she as Suarez Navarro, who's a heady clay courter, next
 
 
edit - FYI there were seven American women in round 2. The future may be bright
 

jon abbey

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Now Radwanska is out too, the tournament seems to be opening up for people like Sharapova and Halep and Ivanovic and Errani. 
 
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I might wake up early to watch an Ivanovic-Errani semifinal.  Good tennis, pretty faces, minimal grunting.
 
Sloane Stephens is the last American woman in the draw.  3 American men, too (Jack Sock, Donald Young, and Isner).
 

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Eh, Errani grunts every time she hits a loopy topspin heavy FH but I'll give you Ivanovic. Would love to see Ana breakthrough here after the good performance at the Aussie Open.
 

jon abbey

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46 straight holds in the Isner/Robredo match before Isner breaks to go up 6-5 in the 4th. The first three sets all went to tiebreakers (obviously), Isner is up 2-1 and serving for the match.
 

Infield Infidel

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Donald Young is in a fun match, he was down 2 sets to nil, came back and won the third. He was down a break at 5-4 in the fourth, but broke right back. 
 
it's 5-5 in the fourth right now
 
edit- And Young takes the 4th 7-6
 
On to the fifth
 
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Young has a chance to make the R16 in a major for the first time ever.  He's basically the USA's #2 man behind Isner right now.  A great match on NBC.
 
Also, Kohlschreiber took the first set off Murray... perhaps trouble developing there.  PK has the stamina to give Murray 3 or 4 good sets, though perhaps not 5.
 

jon abbey

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Murray and Kohlschreiber suspended for the day tied at 7-7 in the 5th. 
 

jon abbey

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Yeah, Bouchard looks good, both tennis and otherwise. :)
 
Murray pulled out his two day marathon 12-10 in the 5th, he has Verdasco next.
 
Federer is in some trouble against Gulbis now, they split tiebreakers in the first two sets and Gulbis is up 4-2 in the third.
 
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Federer about to tie it at 2 sets apiece and head to a 5th.  Also, Berdych took out Isner, and he gets the winner of Gulbis-Federer.
 
Gotta love the round of 16, there are no chumps left so every match is a good one... and you get 8 of them.
 
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Up 5-2 and serving to level the match, Fed loses his serve at 15, Gulbis holds at love, and Fed is quickly down 0-30 in his 2nd chance to serve out the set.
 
Yikes.  Why can't I see this live online?  NBC isn't carrying it.  edit: found a link, here you go.
 
edit: Fed rallies, gets to Deuce, and then holds.  Set 4 is his... on to a 5th.
 
edit 3: He's hitting everything into the net.  I mean, routine backhands where his feet are set.  Very un-Fed-like.
 

jon abbey

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Gulbis was impressive in the 5th, got the early break and served it out despite the pressure.
 
Djokovic absolutely obliterating Tsonga right now, 6-1, 6-4, 4-1. 
 
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A couple good matchups in the queue for today, particularly Murray-Verdasco and Sloane Stephens - Halep. 
 
Nadal is in the process of blowing some fool off the court; Sara Errani - Jankovic is going on right now and should be a good one too.
 
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Stephens about to be taken out by Simona Halep, who has really made huge strides in her game the last 12 months.  Her game is based around making very few errors, which suits the lower speeds on clay very well.
 
Sloane, meanwhile, hasn't really found her range on her forehand all day.  Her inconsistency makes it hard to watch her sometimes... one day she can beat Serena, the next she might lose to a qualifier.
 
edit: and that's all she wrote.  Halep on to the quarters, Stephens on to grass court season.
 
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Bouchard is really fun to watch, and not just because she's hot.  she was going hard for every shot, hitting the lines, driving Suarez-Navarro back.  She and Sharapova are going to have a hell of a semi.
 
I'm watching Gulbis-Berdych right now and ol' Ernest is playing with the same gumption that let him upset Federer.  Pinpoint, 135mph serve placement, some impressively creative drop shots and angles, and breaking every chance he gets.  I think he'd actually have a shot on Djokovic (who, speaking of which, is struggling with Raonic right now - edit, Djok took the first set).
 

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MentalDisabldLst said:
Bouchard is really fun to watch, and not just because she's hot.  she was going hard for every shot, hitting the lines, driving Suarez-Navarro back.  She and Sharapova are going to have a hell of a semi.
 
Genie also looked way better and more confident than when she faced Li Na in the Aussie Open Semis. She looked up to Sharapova when growing up. Let's see what happens:
 
 

jon abbey

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Great pix of those two when Bouchard was much younger, thanks for those. It's looking like a Sharapova/Halep final, have to give the edge to Maria on experience if that's how it plays out. 
 

BigMike

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Infield Infidel said:
Sharapova just lost set 1 to Muguruza 6-1. 
 
 
edit- she pulled it out in 3 sets. 1-6 7-5 6-1
 
Muguruza is a lot of fun to watch as well.
 
Nice to at least see some new faces finally show up in the women's rank. 
 
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BigMike said:
Muguruza is a lot of fun to watch as well.
 
Nice to at least see some new faces finally show up in the women's rank. 
 
She straight-up beat Serena, too.  I didn't watch that match live, but on replay it looked like there were a ton of balls with creative angles that she couldn't get to.  Serena didn't have her best serve that day, but she's won whole tournaments without having her best serve.  Muguruza just had better movement and shot placement.
 
Halep-Kuznetsova and Errani-Petkovic are now underway.  Errani's about to drop the 1st set.  I'll probably watch Murray-Monfils later, they're both tremendously fun to watch.  But the ladies' semis are going to be fun too.
 

jon abbey

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And Nadal takes the second 6-4, this one's not going to be finished today.
 

jon abbey

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jon abbey said:
And Nadal takes the second 6-4, this one's not going to be finished today.
 
I might have spoken too soon, Nadal up 3-0 in the 3rd very quickly.
 
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jon abbey said:
I might have spoken too soon, Nadal up 3-0 in the 3rd very quickly.
 
Just blew him off the court so far in the 3rd.  A second break at 15.  Still not sure it's going to be finished today; it'll be dark on that court within 30-45 mins.
 
Ferrer has beaten Nadal before, including in the 2011 Aussie, and last time they played, on clay at Monaco.  But the overall record is 21-6 for Nadal, and it's 17-2 Nadal on clay.  Prior to Monaco, Ferrer had only ever taken 3 sets from Nadal on clay, and two of them were the first time they ever played each other, back in 2004.  So this isn't auspicious for Ferrer.
 
edit: jesus, now up 5-0 and serving for the set.  Nadal might bagel him here.  I might have to eat my words on them finishing today. (edit 2: and there's the bagel.  26 minutes.  yikes.)
 

jon abbey

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Meanwhile Monfils breaks to take the 3rd from Murray.
 
30 minutes ago, it was looking like Murray would get a bit of a break by closing his match out a day before Nadal, but now they're both in the same position, up two sets to one, and Nadal has much more momentum (plus Monfils has the loud crowd pushing him on).