1. The process continues
Ana Ivanovic is through the quarter-final of Roland Garros for the first time since she won back in 2008. First of all, I can’t believe it’s been that long since Ivanovic won…where did those seven years go?! Second – I have to say I’m extremely impressed with Ivanovic, I don’t think anyone picked her to make it this far through the tournament. It’s easy to forget, with all the trauma, how good a tennis player Ivanovic can actually be and certainly was in 2014.
Today she came through in three tough sets versus Ekaterina Makarova, the most underrated of all top 10 players, and her game held up well against tough competition. If we could have the Ivanovic of last year back, the one who has struggled to appear in 2015, that would be a wonderful addition to the tour going forward. Should she make it through another round, there’s a good chance we could see a Sharapova-Ivanovic semi-final.
THAT would be exciting. Their matches last year were often thrillers.
Ivanovic through, 7-5 3-6 6-1
2. Elina Svitolina is finally announcing herself
Svitolina has long been a young player out of the spotlight, despite a talent that could see her growing into an interesting force on the women’s tour. Today, for the first time in her career, Svitolina has progressed through to a grand slam quarter-final where she will have the opportunity to face a former champion in Ana Ivanovic.
IF Ivanovic doesn’t show up, that could be a real opportunity.
The Ukranian looked nervous trying to close out her match against the ever-charismatic Alize Cornet on out Philippe-Chatrier. It’s difficult to blame her: playing on the biggest court at a slam, against the highest ranked home player, to reach her first quarter-final, against a noisy crowd. Svitolina had several opportunities to close the match at 5-4, then again at 6-5 and then several times in an extremely close tiebreak. She’ll need to work on her aggression in high pressure moments – she became extremely passive at the key moments – but she eventually was able to hold her nerve and take the match.
Svitolina through, 6-2 7-6
3. We should never ignore Tsonga in a draw (sorry, I kinda did)
I really thought that Fabio Fognini was going to knock out Tomas Berdych the moment I saw this draw. With Fognini out, I immediately thought that Berdych would progress to the quarter-final to be knocked out by Kei Nishikori. But no, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga is still a name that should always be paid attention to, with the talent to make a deep run in a tournament at any time.
Tsonga’s forehand was really firing this afternoon, causing a great deal of trouble for Berdych who looked distinctly under par. It’s always great to see that shot working well – it’s one of the most wonderful sights in tennis.
As is the Tsonga twirl.
Single Lutz – Single Lutz – Single Lutz combination, transitioning into Fistpump. pic.twitter.com/tFRPeH735I
— René Denfeld (@Renestance) May 31, 2015
Tsonga through, 6-3 6-2 6-7 6-3
4. Cornet will call you on your LIES
This was Cornet telling the umpire that the ball was out, and that she’s knows it.
1. Tomorrow is going to be INSANE.
With the rain today pushing a few matches to tomorrow, we have most of the biggest names in tennis taking the court tomorrow at Roland Garros. It’s going to be FUN.
So, the ATP big 4 and the WTA big 3 will all be in action tomorrow. That is a lot.
— Tumaini Carayol (@tumcarayol) May 31, 2015
By WTA big 3, I obviously meant Serena, Sharapova and Van Uytvanck.
— Tumaini Carayol (@tumcarayol) May 31, 2015
(He meant Kvitova. I hope.)
2. Gael Monfils needed some help warming up.
It was cold out as Federer and Monfils were finishing their second set, and so Monfils requested a blanket to keep him warm during changeovers. Bless him.
Gael Monfils just walked up to FFT prez Jean Gachassin in the box and asked him for a blanket. AMAZING #RG15
— Nick McCarvel (@NickMcCarvel) May 31, 2015
It happened to work–he played a phenomenal game to break to take the second set. He and Fed will play a best-of-three match tomorrow to see who faces Wawrinka.
Gael breaks for the second set pic.twitter.com/UduQRT1j7J
— Jason (@Hurleytennis) May 31, 2015
3. Another bromance blossoms.
Jack Sock and Nicolas Mahut were facing off in doubles. There was a brief rain delay that kept them on court, and they both needed to go to the bathroom.
And so, they went together.
Sock and Mahut going to the toilet together. Can Jack handle that many 'Bromances' at the same time? https://t.co/XaAv5sAWlB
— Ratazana (@Ratazana) May 31, 2015
4. Watch out for Kei Nishikori and Stan Wawrinka.
Both guys are marching quietly through the draw, taking no prisoners along the way. They’re both in the open bottom half of the draw, and therefore both have a great shot at making it to the final.
Tsonga is playing surprisingly well, but he’s rarely showed an ability to keep that level of play up. Federer and Monfils are obviously both dangerous as well, but they’re going to now play two days in a row, and that’s going to give Wawrinka a big advantage in that quarterfinal match.
A bottom half of the draw that could have been busted wide open really has shaped up nicely. Let’s see if the top half can bring it tomorrow.