Things We Learned on Day 6 of the 2015 French Open


1. Lucie Safarova, Miss Consistency. (Really!)

Lucie Safarova had a great third-round victory over Sabine Lisicki, and she’s now into the fourth round where she will face Maria Sharapova. If Lucie wins that match, she will be into the top 10!

It’s pretty impressive that Safarova has had such consistency in Slams over the past year. After only making it past the third round of a Slam *twice* in her career–the quarters of the 2007 Australian Open and the fourth round of the 2007 French Open–Safarova has now made it to at least the fourth round in five out of the last six majors. (She also made the semis at Wimbledon last year, and then lost in the first round of this year’s AO to Shvedova.)

Gives you hope for all of your underperforming faves, doesn’t it? I mean, she lost in the third round or earlier in 26 straight Slams! (And really, only made it to the third round five times in that span.)

She just turned 28 and is playing the best and most consistent tennis of her career. Fantastic to see.

2. Damir Dzumhur has an amazing story.

Dzumhur made it onto the big court to face his idol, Roger Federer, today. The Bosnian lost in three sets, but it was still a tournament to remember.

Ben Rothenberg of The New York Times did a fantastic job reporting on Dzhumur’s harrowing backstory:

The joy was understandable, considering the discord and violence Dzumhur was born into just over two decades ago. Damir was born in Sarajevo in May 1992, a month after the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina began.

“The hospital that he was in was evacuated just one day after he was born,” Nerfid Dzumhur said. “So my brother came to Damir and his mother and took him when he was born, back to my brother’s home.”

Nerfid Dzumhur was stranded in Konjic, about 30 miles away, and did not see Damir, his first child, until the boy was 8 months old.

“I wasn’t thinking about leaving Bosnia — I was just thinking about seeing Damir in the first couple of months,” Nerfid Dzumhur said. “That was the most important thing, just how to come to Sarajevo. Because it was really dangerous.”

Shortly after he returned to Sarajevo, Nerfid Dzumhur and another tennis coach started a club there, braving the threat of death that was a fact of life at that time.

3. The French take things very literally.

Oh France.

4. Maria Sharapova dominates Sam Stosur, the sky is blue.

Sharapova’s dominance over Stosur is one of the weirder things in tennis. She beat Stosur 6-4, 6-3 to advance to the fourth round, despite her cold. This was her fifth win in a row over the Aussie, and she leads the head-to-head 15-2 overall. Basically, Sharapova is Stosur’s Serena.

Looking good, girlfriend.

5. Muguruza marches on.

Garbine Muguruza overcame a rough start to beat Angelique Kerber in three sets in a really entertaining third-round match. She plays Flavia Pennetta in the next round, after Pennetta took out one of my semifinal picks, Carla Suarez Navarro, in straight sets. Ooof.

6. Alize Cornet, take a bow.

Cornet beat Lucic-Baroni 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 on Chatrier today, and as you might imagine, the celebration was just a thing of beauty.

Oh, she also did this towards the end of the match.

7. Gael Monfils did Gael Monfils things.

While the day began with a Cornet saga, it ended with a Monfils comitragedy, as the, um, entertaining and exhausting Frenchman came back from two-sets-to-one down and a double-break down in the fourth to win in five sets.

It was amazing and traumatic and ridiculous and totally expected. It was, well, Monfils.

Elsewhere in French Men, Tsonga beat Andujar in straights, Gasquet wrapped up his second-round win over Berlocq, Simon beat Mahut in five, and Berdych beat Paire in four.

So basically, just another dull day in French tennis.

I don’t know what else to say, so here, have some tweets:

8. Ana Ivanovic is having a much better week than the Roland Garros website.

The Serb, who came into this tournament with little-to-no expectations on her shoulders, is through to the fourth round with little drama–in Ivanovic terms, at least.

Ivanovic is in a fantastic section of the draw. She plays Makarova in the fourth round, in a match that will certainly be tricky, but then her potential quarterfinal opponent would be Svitolina or Cornet. Interesting.

9. Madison loves Lindsay.

Madison Keys wrote about her coaching relationship with Lindsay Davenport for The Player’s Tribune, and it’s wonderful read:

Lindsay’s technical understanding of the game is really good. She knows strengths and weaknesses like no one I’ve ever seen: she can watch tape on someone, or watch me hit for a few minutes, and pick apart what’s going right and wrong. With me, right away she noticed that my backhand crosscourt shot needed improvement. After working together for a few months, she identified another area of improvement: moving forward better to the net. I pride myself in my serve, but Lindsay helped me move to the net faster on returns. A typical training session would be Jon, her husband (and also a former tennis pro), hitting to me while Lindsay stands behind me, talking in my ear and analyzing my game. It’s amazing have something who 100 percent gets what you’re going through and who wants you to succeed.


Let’s end on that happy note. I’ve got a wedding tomorrow, Andrew will be back to take care of Things We Learned, so we’ve got you covered!

Lindsay is an author, a filmmaker, a long-winded blogger, and a huge tennis fan.