Things We Learned on Day 15 of the 2015 French Open


1. Stan really is the man

Holy moly was that a final!

I can’t quite express a) how much I enjoyed the quality of tennis from Wawrinka in that match and b) how shocked I am that Djokovic wasn’t able to finish this tournament as he would have hoped. I’m not particularly shocked that Wawrinka WON necessarily – I’ve always thought he was perfectly capable of winning another slam and he’s been in fairly good form in the clay season, but I’m shocked that Djokovic LOST. Really, about half way through that dominant third set from Wawrinka, you could see in Djokovic’s eyes that the match might be slipping away.

Wawrinka, on the other hand, shows up for grand slam finals. Just like at the Australian Open, where he also won in four sets against Rafael Nadal, Wawrinka took full advantage of his opportunity. He was taking risks and they were paying off most of the time – some of the balls coming off of both wings were just beautiful. One backhand in particular will be remembered as the ultimate display of just how well the Swiss no.2 played:

I was really glad the final of the tournament was such an exciting contest – sometimes slam finals have the tendency to be a little one sided but both the men’s and women’s finals this year were of high quality.

With this victory, Wawrinka will move up to world no.4 – this puts him in a very nice position for Wimbledon.

If you missed the match, find a repeat and enjoy.

Stanislas Wawrinka wins the French Open, 4-6 6-4 6-3 6-4.

2. They like him. They really, really like him!

Poor Novak Djokovic. This will be a bitter pill to swallow for the world no.1 who seemed on the verge of completing his career slam, having already taken out Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray on route to the final. Many of us had selected Novak as the eventual champion of this title and for a while it felt like it was destined to happen.

He definitely looked nervous, he certainly didn’t play at his best, but he didn’t play badly either. Sometimes the man across the net is just better than you on the day, and in the form Wawrinka was in it’s difficult to imagine anyone beating him. If Djokovic can’t…

What was nice was seeing the Philippe Chatrier crowd give Djokovic an extended ovation as the runner-up. Let’s say it how it is: crowds don’t generally like Djokovic. They don’t. They tend to cheer for his opponents match-in, match-out, all year. To stand on that podium clutching what must have felt like a very heavy runner-up trophy and hear the crowd roaring for him must have at least been of some comfort to Novak. I’m glad he was given that appreciation.

As for his chances of completing the career slam? I don’t know. I hope so, one day. He’s good enough.

3. Lucie had her moment

Some you win, some you lose. It’s nice that Lucie Safarova came back from her singles final loss to take the women’s doubles title with partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Coming back from such a big loss is certainly not an easy feat: a few years ago we saw Vera Zvonareva break down in tears at Wimbledon trying to play in the doubles final after losing the singles to Serena Williams.

No such break down from Safarova. It’s been a great week for her and thankfully she was able to make the most of it in the end. She looked pretty happy about it:

Best. Photo. Ever.

Safarova and Mattek-Sands win the French Open, 3-6 6-4 6-2


Thanks Changeover team for letting me contribute a few times to the “TWL” posts this RG. A few thoughts from me today!

1. Stan Wawrinka is a two-time Grand Slam winner

Stan now has the same number of grand slams as Andy Murray – how crazy is this? And Stan is 2/2 in his slam finals – talk about taking advantage of opportunities and playing well in the big matches! I certainly wouldn’t have tagged Stan as my pick to make the final let alone win it. He lost in the first round here last year and I thought he had a pretty mediocre clay season leading into Paris. But today, none of that mattered.

I woke up today just as Stan took the second set and watched him play incredible tennis for the most part to win the next two sets. Novak Djokovic certainly didn’t look at the top of his game from what I saw, but Stan was a worthy champion today. I mean, I know Andrew already shared it, but let’s take another look at this point!

And here is the champion!

2. Will we see a women’s doubles calendar slam?

Lucie Safarova got over her disappointment (at least some of it!) of losing yesterday’s final to Serena Williams by taking the doubles title with partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands today over Casey Dellacqua and Yaroslava Shvedova in three sets. The two only paired up to play the Australian Open this year and they’ve now won two slams in a row! These two are such a fun team and I only wish the match would have been on live in the US this morning – I’ll have to catch the replay on Tennis Channel. How amazing would it be for Lucie and Bethanie to keep their slam streak alive on the grass? And look at these pics – such joy!

3. It’s OVER

Four times a year, we tennis fans live and breathe the grand slams. We analyze the crap out of the draws, complain about the websites, apps and TV coverage and we throw our body clocks into disarray trying to stay up/wake up for all the matches in this two-week stretch. We go through an emotional roller coaster.

And then it’s over and we have amazing reactions and emotions by the champs and runners-up and fans and people who don’t even really follow our sport and I forget all the angst. AND I JUST LOVE EVERYTHING. I mean, Wawrinka was the top trending topic on Twitter during the match. Not after he’d won. During!


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Congratulations to all winners of the 2015 French Open! I can’t wait to do it all again next year.

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5 Responses

  1. Katie
    Katie June 7, 2015 at 3:54 pm |

    Thing I learned: Win the French Open, and even the most poker-faced of coaches will lose their shit:

  2. qthetennisfan (@qthetennisfan)
    qthetennisfan (@qthetennisfan) June 7, 2015 at 8:30 pm |

    Stan played too good for Novak. Well done well done. Yes I agree it is unsure whether Novak will ever win RG, this was a good opportunity.

  3. JosipHR
    JosipHR June 8, 2015 at 7:08 am |

    Just one fact…
    Ivan Dodig plays for Croatia.

    It is true that him and Marin Čilić are born in Medjugorje, B&H, but they play for Croatian Davis Cup team.

    Dzumhur is best bosnian player. Played very well this year in RG.

    On the other hand… Ajla Tomljanovic now represents Australia, but was born and played for Croatia

  4. Mark
    Mark June 8, 2015 at 11:27 am |

    I have to take issue with your #2, Andrew.

    First of all, Novak did play badly. He played very badly. 30 winners / 45 errors after he head been leading the tournament in most statistical categories. Every single part of his game went off after the first set. His serve which had been so dependable, looked terrible against one of the weakest returners in the top 10. His trademark return of serve was nowhere to be found. Failed drop shot after drop shot shows that his head was not in the right place. He did not land a single lob in the court. Not one. This was not even his C-game, and it’s his worst performance since losing to Nishikori at last year’s US Open. Yes, Stan has a lot to do with it. His performance in sets three and four were especially great. But Djokovic did not play well and did not deserve to win. Stan was comprehensively better.

    Second, you say crowds don’t like Djokovic and always root for his opponents “match-in, match-out.” That is absolutely not true. Djokovic isn’t as popular as Federer or Nadal, but few will ever be. That doesn’t mean he is unliked or unpopular. He isn’t only the favorite of his home country of Serbia Just a few examples: Rome has adopted him as their favorite, calling him “Giocovic.” He is absolutely adored in Asia, especially China, where he has many, many fans. I think you have bought into the false narrative that just isn’t true.

  5. Nelly
    Nelly June 8, 2015 at 3:26 pm |

    Echoing all your sentiments above, I was really shocked that Novak didn’t end up winning the French Open. Stan did play out of his mind today, has to be his best match of his life. Nadal seemed somewhat injured when Stan won the Aussie title, so I definitely put this one above that match. Maybe I didn’t notice the Novak mistakes as much as you guys did – mainly I noticed that Novak attempted to outhit Stan on the court, and that simply wasn’t going to be a winning strategy. Could Novak have sliced the ball way more often to try to limit Stan’s pace and throw him off his game? Seems like simply hammering the ball back at Stan simply played right into Stan’s hands. Novak tried some drop shots and lobs, but they never seemed to work – or they were done at bad times. I don’t think Novak didn’t play poorly, Stan just simply played the match of his life.

    I hope that Novak eventually wins the French Open, though this year (and 2013 when he lost it mentally against Nadal late in the semifinal to lose 9-7), were his best chances to win.

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