Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Roland Garros Day 2 Quotes - Nadal, Federer, Roddick all through in straights

Photo via AFP/Getty Images

Four-time defending champion, and Roland Garros top seed, Rafael Nadal, speaks after fighting off a challenging Marcos Daniel 7-5, 6-4, 6-3, in the first round:

"Always tough, you know, beginning here. Roland Garros always is difficult. Yeah. I say, no, I expect a tough match, and it's normal, now. And when I start, normally I didn't start to play my best here the last four years. But the important thing is be with positive mentality and try to win, no? And I win. I won in three sets. That's important."

"The court is big, and at the beginning, I didn't quite get the best feelings, but I won in three sets. That's very positive. I should have won more easily, but at 5‑4,when I had to serve, then I had to serve again ‑‑ sometimes I missed some opportunities to win the set earlier, but it was a difficult match."

"I feel good, and last year, I played a match ‑‑ well, I didn't play well, really, and little by little I felt better. This year ‑‑ well, it's not a very good start. I'm not going to say it's positive. I would have preferred to start with a very positive start, but I hope this tournament is going to be long enough for me to give me time to adapt and to improve and get good feelings all along the tournament."

It's good that Rafa makes statements like these every now and then, because it is necessary for us to remember that he is human after all, and that he allows himself to get nervous during the first round of a Grand Slam where he has never lost a match (29 matches so far). What's more important of course is like he said, winning in three, which he managed to do despite some feisty and smart play from the Brazilian.

Photo via AFP/Getty Images

Roger Federer [2] beat Alberto Martin 6-4, 6-3, 6-2

"I was happy with the way I played. It always takes some time to getting used to the match conditions here on center court, you know, but started maybe a bit slow but reacted, you know, all right... Once I got the upper hand, things were pretty much in control. Yeah, it was good. I served well when I had to, and mixed it up. That's how I want to play. I'm happy to be through without a fright."

"I asked for Sunday, but Monday and Tuesday would have been okay. Wednesday, as well. Well, we can go through the whole week if you want to. You know, what counts is that ‑‑ well, in any case, you have to win seven matches. Never mind who you're going to play against and the type of weather you have, but what you have to do is end this race and win the battle."

Federer is making it sound like a war. It obviously feels that way to him anyway. Well he sure seems determined. His draw, which I believe looks like a relatively simple one, opened up even more today as Simone Bolelli eliminated Tomas Berdych [19], who could have been a tough 4th round opponent for Federer.

Photo via AP

Andy Roddick [6] beat Romain Jouan 6-2, 6-4, 6-2.

"I'm just glad I finally won a match out there."

Sixth seed, Andy Roddick, keeps it simple and honest. The American's record at the French Open since his debut in 2001, is as follows: 3rd round, 1st round, 1st round, 2nd round, 2nd round, 1st round, 1st round and a no show last year. So for those of you who don't understand why he's so psyched for getting past an almost unknown French wildcard; there's your answer.

Last year's runner-up and reigning world number 1, Dinara Safina, beat last week's Warsaw semifinalist, Anne Keothavong, 6-0, 6-0. Here's what she said after her match:

"I'm going to go and hit some balls. Just couple things that my coach was maybe not happy, even the score, 6‑Love, 6‑Love, but there's always things to improve on the next one.

I guess I could serve a little bit better, and I don't know, hitting the balls a little harder, especially in that Love game, 5‑Love, when I pushed a few shots he was angry. He said, What's this at 5‑Love? Hitting the ball. You have to hit it. Just simple things."

That's probably one of the many reasons Safina is now the world number 1, and is one of the top contenders for the French Open title this year. She just served a double bagel to Keothavong, but she's heading off to a practice court to "improve" and work on things. I am certainly rooting for her this tourney!!

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