Things We Learned On Day 9 Of The 2015 French Open


1. Even year theory holds true

Said it once, said it twice, saying it again: Maria Sharapova does not win slams unless the year is an even number. If she’s to break from this tradition in 2015, it will have to be at Wimbledon or the US Open because the defending champion fell in straight sets today to the Czech Republic’s Lucie Safarova. It’s not been the kind of clay season we’ve become used to seeing from Sharapova, the dominance losing a little of its gloss throughout the clay swing (still good, though).

I didn’t expect her to win this tournament, but I at least thought she’d make the quarters- or semi-finals, at the very least. While Safarova is familiar in terms of her capability to cause massive upsets, this was a huge moment for the Czech. Especially when you look at the remaining players in this half of the draw.

The draw has been blown WIDE OPEN. Wide open.

Safarova through, 7-6 6-4

2. Switzerland is having a great tournament

Obviously, my moving to Lake Geneva is having a great effect on Swiss tennis.

The Swiss have got three players through to the quarter-finals of Roland Garros this year, with Timea Bacsinszky taking out reigning Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in three sets to join Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka in her respective part of the draw. While Wawrinka and Federer will compete against each other for a spot in the semi-finals, Bacsinszky has a real chance of making the semi-finals herself.

In the quarter-final she will face Belgium’s Alison Van Uytvanck, who is having a break through tournament of her own. The world no.93 took out Mitu today in straight sets – before this tournament she had only ever won one match at a slam.

It’s exciting, isn’t it!?

Bacsinszky through, 2-6 6-0 6-3

Van Uytvanck through, 6-1 6-3

3. Novak Djokovic has done exactly what he needed to do

Win, and win easily, saving his energy for the upcoming quarter-final with Rafael Nadal. I really think this match could be an epic – it’s been brewing even before the draw was out, thanks to fan theories about what the draw could turn out to be. On wednesday, the match that everyone has been talking about will finally be here and both players look primed for battle.

Nadal was very careful to point out in press that this match isn’t a final, that the winner doesn’t take the trophy – he’s right. Whomever does come through this encounter will have to continue competing, whether it be Murray or Ferrer in the semi-final that follows, it’s not going to be an easy match.

Novak’s progression should be encouraging for his fans though. He’s looked sure of himself for most of the tournament, his legs shouldn’t be too tired, he hasn’t expended too much mental energy…he’s probably still my favourite to come through it.

Djokovic through, 6-1 6-2 6-3

(Over Gasquet. I’m sorry I didn’t mention Gasquet. Now I have.)


1. Jack Sock’s forehand is the real deal.

Look, Jack Sock is not a Nadal beater, and for three sets he was pretty much outclassed, but his play to steal that third set away from Nadal was pretty fantastic, and his forehand really has developed into one of the biggest weapons in tennis.

All in all, it was a great tournament for Sock, who is still alive in the doubles. At the beginning of last year he was ranked No. 100, and now he’s going to likely be No. 31 after Roland Garros, and seeded at Wimbledon.

Now comes the interesting part, where we see how hungry Sock is. He seems to have the tools to get into the top 10, at least in a couple of year when the older guys phase out. But will he pull a Querrey, and to a lesser extent Isner, and merely be content hanging around in the 20s or 30s and making a second week every now and then? Or will he be fueled by the success of his peers and really develop into a great player?

Only time will tell. Right now, I just hope he can survive his Fifa matches.

2. Ugh, Petra Kvitova.

Petra Kvitova looked fit and she looked focussed and then her forehand went away and now she’s out of Roland Garros and GOD she is frustrating.


3. Sloane Stephens! You did good.

How good is it to see Sloane Stephens play competent tennis again? She got swallowed up and spit out by the hype machine, and it’s safe to say she did not handle it well at all, but she’s still only 22, you know?

I’m going to make a prediction: She’s actually going to win a tournament this year.

4. Just going to leave this here.

5. For more info…

Sorry this is short, you guys. I’m beat. Andrew and I discussed the entire week on the podcast we recorded today, take a listen if you want to hear more! Thanks!

One Response

  1. kwando
    kwando June 2, 2015 at 12:46 am |

    Also, hey, your tweet about P3tra got posted on the French Open live blog. So gratz to that, I guess?

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