Things We Learned on Day Nine of the 2014 French Open


1. Remember last year when Andy Murray was out of Roland Garros (aka “Rolly G”), but watched and live-tweeted about his love for Gael Monfils? Next up, we have these two playing in the quarterfinals. It should be fun/horrifying/both.

2. I’m beginning to think Fernando Verdasco doesn’t like Pascal Maria.

3. I’ve been on the Garbine Muguruza bandwagon for a while, and in the wake of her huge upset over Serena Williams, I’m really excited to see what she can do against Maria Sharapova in the quarterfinals. Sharapova has to be considered the Roland Garros favorite, given who’s left in the draw, but maybe this is the tournament where a young up-and-comer will break through. Between Muguruza, Simona Halep, and Genie Bouchard, the WTA’s young talent continues to impress.

4. I’m sure Simona Halep won the match because she was able to win more than 2% of her first serve points with an ace. Thanks for the insight, IBM!

5. Andrea Petkovic is one of my favorite players in press conferences, and here’s another example of why she rules:

Speaking of Petkovic, it’s great to see her take advantage of a great draw to make a run here, after such a ridiculous stretch of bad luck with injuries. Her game may be mechanical and not all that gripping to watch, but it’s amazing that she stuck with tennis through so many serious injuries, and has even clawed her way back to the top 25. Plus, she just seems like a pretty cool person.

6. I enjoyed this Pete Bodo piece on Francis Tiafoe, the ITF World No. 2 junior male tennis player.


1. I must say that for a tournament that saw so many upsets in the first week, the quarterfinals for both draws are pretty awesome, aren’t they? I’m probably the most excited for Murray/Monfils and Kuznetsova/Halep, but I think that all of the matches (except probably Nadal/Ferrer, because lightning doesn’t strike twice) have the potential to be great.

For tomorrow, Bouchard/Suarez-Navarro should be a lot of fun, and Berdych/Gulbis will surely have dramatics. And, like Amy above, I’m very excited to see what Muguruza can do against Sharapova. I have my doubts that Raonic can push Djokovic again, but he’s already surprised me so much this clay season, so I’d love for him to do it again.

And I know it sounds awful, but I might be the most excited for the 8:00 a.m. EST start. Yes please.

2. Simona Halep did everything right in her match against Sloane Stephens. Their first set was one of the best I’ve seen all tournament, and Halep was able to muster her best tennis at the crucial moments–you know, like major champions do.

Meanwhile, I wrote about how this loss is yet another example of how Sloane is not ready for the next level.

3. Good piece from Tom Perrotta on how easy Nadal’s draw has been so far. Of course, there’s no need to knock him for his draw–you can only play the people in front of you–but I guess it does mean that we will need to wait until the Ferrer match to really see how his form is at this tournament. He has mentioned that he has been having back problems.

4. Matt Zemek did a great job breaking down the (awful) American television coverage from the first week of the French Open.

I have to give credit where credit is due, though. Today I was happy that Tennis Channel showed the Kuznetsova/Safarova match live, that ESPN2 stuck with the fantastic Jankovic/Errani first set even when Stephens had already begun her match.

Okay, now that the kudos is out of the way, I want to echo Matt’s sentiments on, well,  everything. I feel like a broken record, but, seriously, the frustration has reached peak level, and I know it will only get worse as embargoes and big matches and simultaneous quarterfinals (ugh) get underway. Deep breaths, you guys. I have to believe that Wimbledon will be better since ESPN has the rights.

5. Nobody move. Svetlana Kuznetsova is playing great tennis.


6. Andeeeeh Murraay played some pretty great clay-court tennis today, didn’t he? His match against Verdasco was tense and cranky and high-powered and physical and fun. I particularly loved when it got unnecessarily complicated in the third set.

I pondered whether it’s time to take Murray more seriously as a clay-court player.

Also, I laughed a whole lot at this:

7. This is a must-read piece by Victoria Chiesa on the sexism problems facing female tennis officials.

3 Responses

  1. q10
    q10 June 3, 2014 at 1:42 am |

    I’d like to see a brand new RG champion, so would like someone to take a challenge to maria or rafa, whats the H2H for halep vs maria if that happens?

  2. Raymond
    Raymond June 3, 2014 at 5:17 am |

    I’m going to just leave this here. Sveta won the U.S Open in ’04 and the French in ’09. It would be time for her to win a slam after five years again.

    Now that I said that watch her lose 6-1 6-1 to Halep.

  3. Chickadee
    Chickadee June 3, 2014 at 7:04 am |

    I am so glad I am not alone regarding the TV coverage. How many times must we watch the Nadal blowout? No doubles, seemingly 5 minutes of other 4th round matches.

    Some interesting matches coming up. Deep breaths., indeed!

    Pova beat Halep in 3 at…Miami? It was an interesting match and Halep stands a good chance on clay, methinks.

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