Q. It looks as if Gaël Monfils had some very warm words for you at the end of the match. Do you get the sense a lot of people are pulling for you this week, that they'd love to see you finally do it on Sunday?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I feel it since a few years now, to be honest with you. But this year even more extreme. When I walk on the streets or drive in the transportation or I go for dinner, everybody is like, This is your year. You've got todo it.
They're screaming from their scooters and out of the car. They even get out at the red lights and want me to sign an autograph or take a picture. It's quite incredible this last couple of weeks.I'm torn. On some level I want Roger to take it so that EVERYONE CAN STOP TALKING ABOUT IT. But something tells me even if he takes it EVERYONE WILL KEEP TALKING ABOUT IT.
That's Serena's new record against Klara Zakopalova for the '09 clay court season. So... there's that. I can't really say anything about anyone's level of play since I didn't watch very much of it, but I can say that Serena's knee wrap looked oddly high tech. Although I could be making that up in my head.
Posted by Carrie on May 26, 2009 in Aleksandra Wozniak, Caroline Wozniacki, Daniela Hantuchova, Elena Dementieva, Gael Monfils, Guest Blogger, James Blake, Jelena Dokic, Jelena Jankovic, Juan Martin del Potro, Marcos Baghdatis, Nicole Vaidisova, Novak Djokovic, Phillip Kohlschreiber, Roland Garros, Sania Mirza, Serena Williams, Svetlana Kuznetsova | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
Full Serbian contingent
2008 winner Ana Ivanovic had her first practice on Thursday on court No1, while fellow Serbian Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic was out on Philippe Chatrier court late in the afternoon. Scotland's Andy Murray, who recently overtook Djokovic in the rankings to rise to No3 in the world, had a hit-out away from the cameras on court No4, while French veteran Fabrice Santoro practised twice – on centre court in the morning and No1 in the afternoon. This is the 20th French Open for "The Magician" and also his last, as he prepares for retirement. King of Clay Rafael Nadal has still yet to be sighted in Paris, however…
Monfils still uncertain
Gaël Monfils is still hopeful of overcoming the inflamed patella tendons which have kept him off court for the entire European clay season. He came through a light training session on Thursday afternoon on Suzanne Lenglen court accompanied by his coach, Roger Rasheed. The world No11 was moving around very gingerly however, and has yet to decide whether he will be able to defend the points he won here last year when reaching the semi-final. He has asked the tournament organisers for the latest possible start – next Tuesday, therefore – to give himself every chance of being able to play.
Gilly and the Frenchies had a tough day at the office. And we're not talking Jo and Reeshie, two players whose games may not suit clay. We're talking the dirtball dogs, Gilles and Gael. Gilles lost to Andreas Beck 75 61 (6-1? On clay?), and Gael was absolutely trounced by Janko, 63 61 (Really Gael? [Insert disapproving look here]).
So the other seed is out of Fed's quarter. No wonder the dude looks so damn relaxed.
As for the boys the match of the day was Monfils/Marat.
I'm not really sure *how* Marat blew a 5-2 lead in the third set, but he did. I'm not convinced La Monf even knows how he did it. After being down and out and down two breaks, the match somehow landed in his lap.
In other news, Wolverine, aka, the man who cannot be killed, somehow ropped the first set to Old Man Rainer 63, only to revive himself and issue double breadsticks the next two sets. He lives to fight another day. Also, nice wins for Big Byrd over Blah (and for serious, Blah could not have been more Blah (or is it Blahier?) in that boring as match), and Taylor Dent continued his comeback efforts with a win over a tough but probably still injured Disco.
 R Federer (SUI) d  N Kiefer (GER) 64 61
 N Djokovic (SRB) d  P Mathieu (FRA) 64 61
 A Roddick (USA) d  D Tursunov (RUS) 76(9) 62
 G Simon (FRA) d  R Schuettler (GER) 36 61 61
 G Monfils (FRA) d  M Safin (RUS) 57 75 76(3) - saved 2 M.P.
 J Tsonga (FRA) d [Q] R Kendrick (USA) 75 64
 T Berdych (CZE) d  J Blake (USA) 64 67(3) 63
[Q] T Dent (USA) d  T Robredo (ESP) 75 63
Here's the thing. If you were to ask me what my favorite matches were this past week it would actually take some time to even recall what matches I attended. For me, the tournaments aren't really about the tennis that's played in stadium court (though, the Simon/Lu and Rafa/Nalby matches were rad). I can and do watch tennis matches all the time. The real action is around the practice courts and near the player areas.
A rare smile from Nalby on the practice courts.
Old Man Fed holding his back. THAT must be why he lost to Murray.
Sam and his Querrey Hand under the watchful eye of Jose Higueras.
(Pics for Forty Deuce by Love All and C Note)
First Gonzo at AO, now Jo. It seems Rafa's going all Kill Bill on the ATP, taking hard court revenge left and right. Rafa gutted out a tough three set win over Jo, 64 67(5) 64, to reach the semis in Rotterdam. Next up, La Monf and a chance to avenge his loss in Doha earlier this year.
Perhaps avenging his loss to Muzz at the USO is on the agenda too? You might want to put some padding around your heart area, Muzz. Rafa's a comin'.
The other semi sees Better Than Average Mario against Muzz, who has quietly made his way through this tournament. For some reason he was tested today by Gicquel, eventually winning due to the a left groin injury sustained by Gicquel in the third. This was tough one that really could have gone against Andy, but he found his way through, winning 76(2) 46 30.
OOP for Saturday:
1. Mario vs. Muzz (2:00pm)
2. Rafa vs. La Monf (7:30pm)
Three players were forced to retire mid-match today due to injury. Ironically, none of them were related to cramping or the heat. Zheng Jie was trailing 4-1 to Sveta when she fell on her already injured left wrist. Considering she's icing it before she's even walked off the court, I suspect it might be a break of some sort.
The scariest retirement came from Vika Azarenka, who authoritatively took the first set from Serena, 63 and was down a break in the second set when you could see she started to physically labor. It almost looked like she was hyperventilating between points. At the changover she called for the trainer and looked like she was going to blow chunks at any minute. After disappearing into the lockerroom to get treatment, Vika came back out and clearly looked wiped. Watching her attempt to carry on, while fighting to just stay upright, was just scary and sad. ESPN speculates that it's virus related and Lena D apparently confirmed that Vika did bring a virus into the tourney. There are other reports that it was food poisoning.
Hope the kid gets better. I know she'll recover physically. But a retirement while a set up on Serena for a spot in the quarterfinals is going to haunt her for bit.
The weirdest retirement goes to Monfils against Gilles. It was two sets to one when LaMonf called it quits, citing a right wrist injury. This wouldn't be odd except that (1) he has history of retiring mid-match, (2) it's a Grand Slam and you play through pain, and (3) after the match he said at first he thought the injury was in his head.
I don't know. Seeing as how you have on girl who retired because she may have broken her wrist, and another who was trying to play while trying to stay upright and conscious, this seemed kinda weak.