1. Tommy Robredo is not going away quietly. The 31-year-old saved four match points and came back from two sets down to beat Gael Monfils in five sets. It was amazing. I think he was happy (and tired).
— Mark (@silverslam) May 31, 2013
Vaaaaaaaaaaaaa Vaaaaaaaaaaa Vaaaaaaaaaaa Vaaaaaaaaaaa Vaia victoria !!!!!! U ha u ha u ha pic.twitter.com/LUBzSbBhNL
— Tommy Robredo (@TRobredo) May 31, 2013
I don’t know if I ever remember seeing that much emotion from Tommy, and it’s just generally cool to see a tennis player react like that to winning a match at a slam. It’s the reason we watch.
2. Well, you can’t say Rafa’s latest Roland Garros press conference was boring. Per Tennis.com:
“I cannot play third after men’s and girls when our possible opponents plays second after girls,” Nadal said. “That’s not fair. And today I was playing almost three hours on court, and my opponent was watching the TV in the locker room. So if you told me that’s fair, I say that’s not fair. Only thing that I can do is be positive, smile, and try to win my match and try to be ready for tomorrow. But that’s not the right thing. And I hope they accept the mistake, because girls plays best of three. For them is a normal tournament. Even if they play Grand Slam and all the matches of the career and all the tournaments, they play best of three they have to play two days in a row, is not a big deal. For us it’s completely different. That’s the excuse they told me was because [Fognini’s opponent, Lukas] Rosol have to play doubles. I am sorry, but that’s a joke. You have one more week to play doubles if you want to play doubles. Why do you want to protect the player who has to play doubles? So I’m going to write myself on the doubles draw then and I have the priority to play? I don’t want to keep talking, because it seems like I am the bad guy saying that, but that’s the real thing, and everybody here knows that’s not right.”
3. This is hilarious (via @unseededlooming).
— Alizé Lim (@AlizeLim) May 31, 2013
4. Andy Murray’s boredom continues.
My followers live in the U.K. (23.5%), the U.S. (11.8%), India (5.2%) & more. Create your map at http://t.co/26jc9l9Csl
— Andy Murray (@andy_murray) May 31, 2013
1. The first rounds at slams are the fat that needs to be skimmed. Weeks like these make me wonder if slams really need a draw of 128. It seems to me that the draw of 96 used at Indian Wells and Miami is the perfect fit in order to get good matches right away. For the first time since the French Open started, I’m actually excited for matches that will take place … tomorrow (Paire-Nishikori, Djokovic-Dimitrov, Janowicz-Wawrinka, but also Bartoli-Schiavone and Stosur-Jankovic). It’s taken us six days to get here! I should add this paragraph to what I wrote here.
2. Much was made of the fact that Grigor Dimitrov finally made it past the second round of a slam for the first time in his career after his win yesterday. Well, today Jerzy Janowicz made it into the third round as well after defeating Robin Haase in four sets, but this marked the third time the young Pole has made it this far. In fact, Janowicz has made the third round of three of the past four Majors he’s played. The streak started at Wimbledon last year, when Jerzy came out of qualifying to knock out Ernests Gulbis in the second round. Incidentally, that was the first time Janowicz made it into the main draw of a big one: he had tried earlier that year at Rolly G, and played qualies at all four Majors in 2011.
Janowicz is now 6-3 in Grand Slam play, while Dimitrov is 7-10. Both are 22 years old (Janowicz is half a year older). Janowicz is ranked No. 23, while Dimitrov is at No. 28. The main difference between them? Dimitrov has played 132 ATP matches, while Janowicz is only at 61 matches. I find that discrepancy fascinating.
3. I’m really not a fan of Agniezska Radwanska’s Blonde Phase.
4. I can’t wait until Rafael Nadal becomes the President of the Player’s Council. It’s going to be fun! As Amy noted, Nadal laid into the French Open scheduling, among many other things in his post-match presser today. As someone who continually rants about slam scheduling, I agree with all his points, particularly the part about doubles. Still, I appreciate whenever players let The Man know that mistakes won’t go unnoticed. In the end, noting when these things happen inevitably improve the event, and that’s a desirable outcome, no?
5. Kerber and Lepchenko are fun to watch … but I already knew that. I was not thrilled about missing the deciding set of the battle of the lefties, but what I saw was quite enjoyable. Too bad only one of them could advance.
6. Speaking of Kerber, her Round of 16 match against former Rolly G champ Svetlana Kuznetsova will be quite a bit of fun. Sveta has been flying under the radar so far, but since she hasn’t crashed out yet, one has to wonder if we’re in store for one of her crazy, unpredictable runs of excellence. Should Kuznetsova get past Kerber, Serena looms. And that’s when we’ll know if we’re in for a Sveta Experience or not.
1. So here’s something I meant to mention yesterday, but completely forgot (I am going to blame bus-brain, a very serious medical condition). Yesterday Rendy Lu, to use his prefered American nickname because I am painfully American, withdrew before his second round match with Philipp Kohlschreiber due to an ankle injury. Lu only made it to the second round because his opponent in the first round, Simone Bolelli, retired during their match due to an injury. According to sources, Bolelli had his injury before the match, while Lu was injured during their match–but he probably would have retired if Bolelli hadn’t.
(Sidenote: The win via retirement in the first round was Lu’s first EVER victory at Roland Garros.)
Kohlschrieber’s opponent in the third round will be Victor Hanescu, who is through to the third round via two retirements–Tomic in the first round, Tursunov in the second round. Overall that one tiny section of the draw has had three retirements and one walkover. Out of six matches to reach the third round, only two have been completed!
I just found that bizarre. We harp on injuries during the hard court slams and constantly blame the surface, but clay is no cakewalk either. Tennis is a physical game, and there’s a lot of financial incentive to show up even when you’re not at your best.
2. I could not be more thrilled for John Isner, who got a humongous monkey off his back today as he finally won a tight five-setter at a slam. Including Davis Cup, he’d lost six straight five-setters since the Australian Open last year, which is absolutely demoralizing for anyone.
He stayed calm when Ryan Harrison torpedoed through the first two sets (I was very impressed with Harrison today, it must be said) and found a way to get aggressive on big points late in the match, something he has failed to do a lot in the last year.
I’m excited for his match against Tommy Haas in the third round, but mostly I’m just excited that he made it to the third round. Baby steps. Giant, giant baby steps.
3. Tommy Robredo deserves a statue in his honor after his win today over Monfils.
To come back from two sets down against Monfils on clay in front of the French crowd at his age and after all the injuries and time off that he’s had is just absolutely, positively unreal. It was great to see the emotion pour out of him after he won too.
Unfortunately I will confess that I didn’t get to watch much of it because I was at a bridal luncheon drinking sweet tea and eating tiny french toast in a bowl and talking about china patterns and makeup. Seriously. But I did get home in time for match point, and my heart did swell.
For Robredo to be the guy to come out of the section with Monfils, Berdych, and Gulbis is just perfect–he’s a guy who has made the most of his talents and his career, and keeps working hard even at the ripe old age of 31. The other three guys in his section could learn a thing or two from the veteran.
Also, this is a pretty amazing stat:
— Randy Walker (@TennisPublisher) May 31, 2013