Monday, June 2, 2008

RG Day 9 Tidbits

* Now That's What I Call Fighting Back!! 13th seed, Dinara Safina, blasted past her Russian compatriot and world number one, Maria Sharapova, into the quarterfinals. Safina conceded a tight first set 6-7 (6), despite having several set points. Safina then made an incredible recovery, probably the best of her career, when she battled back from 2-5 down in the second set (saving a match point) to go on and win it 7-5 in the tiebreak, where she was also 2-5 down. She then easily sealed her victory 6-2 in the decider. Safina is on a merciless run as she recently beat Henin in her very last match on tour en route to capturing the title in Berlin and today she denied Sharapova a shot at making a career Grand Slam. Next up for Safina is another Russian, 7th-seeded Elena Dementieva, whom she beat in the final in Berlin last month.

* Ferrer Grinds it Out Against Stepanek - Fifth-seeded David Ferrer made it to the quarterfinals after a tough five-setter against Radek Stepanek. Both players alternated sets but the 21st-seeded Czech was the one who took the initiative and when he convincingly bagged the third set 6-1, to go up 2 sets to 1, I thought he might actually cause an upset. But Ferrer hit back, leveling the match before he came through in the decider to complete a 4-6, 6-2, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 win and set up a quarterfinal showdown with another winner today, France's Gael Monfils.

* Federer vs Gonzalez in the Quarters - Fernando Gonzalez beat Robby Ginepri, while Federer beat Julien Benneteau to face each other in the quarters. This quarterfinal should be interesting as Federer was not his best against Benneteau, while Gonzalez remains unbeaten on clay this season (16-0), although he did miss Rome. The 24th-seeded Chilean lost 10 times to Federer before he managed to notch a single victory over the Swiss in the Masters Cup last November. Knowing Federer, he'll probably have that loss burning through his mind during his match against Gonzalez. Am sensing this is gonna be a real hot match.

Day 10 Matches to Watch

** Rafael Nadal [2] vs. Nicolas Almagro [19] **
Novak Djokovic [3] vs. Ernests Gulbis
Ana Ivanovic [2] vs. Patty Schnyder [10]

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