Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Roland Garros Day 3 - Tsonga Celebrates 1st French Open Victory in Style

"I'm happy I played my first match. This is my first victory here. I celebrate this victory like this."
-- Number 9 seed, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga celebrated his first ever victory at Roland Garros by wearing a tie to his post match press conference.

The French Ali-look-alike overcame his compatriot Julien Benneteau 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, to book himself a second round meeting with Argentine, Juan Monaco. This will definitely be a tough match since Monaco has been playing exceptionally well on clay recently, while Tsonga is still working on his clay game. The Frenchman however believes his game is improving on this surface and seems adamant to prove it to everyone:

"I was very frustrated sometimes, indeed. But it was because of outside conditions, because of the wind, but not because of my game. I believe my game is getting better and better every time. I play on clay, it's even better. So for those who are blase and think I can't play well on this surface, I can prove to them now I can play well."

Besides Tsonga showing up in a tie to his presser, the day didn't have that many surprises except for James Blake [15], who decided to ruin my almost perfect bracket along with Tomas Berdych [19] yesterday, by losing to a virtually unknown Argentine qualifier, Leonardo Mayer. Normally I wouldn't have picked Blake, but he made the final in Estoril (beat Davydenko en route) and he reached the third round in Madrid, where he beat Ivo Karlovic before he fell to eventual champion, Roger Federer, so I figured picking him to win his first round match against Mayer was a safe bet, but what can I say?! This is tennis, this is life and this is James Blake in Roland Garros (his best performance was 3rd round in 2006).

Okay I lied, there was one more surprise for me today and that was Juan Carlos Ferrero beating Ivan Ljubicic in 5 sets. Am amazed by the 2003 French Open champion, who at 29 (turned pro 11 years ago), can still come out on top in a 5-setter, especially that Ljubicic has been experiencing a bit of a revival recently (made the quarters in Monte Carlo and Madrid). Well am surprised but very happy, por que me gusta mucho Ferrero :)

Who's on tomorrow?

Well Murray, Rafa, Safin, Simon and Verdasco are all in action tomorrow and in an odd scheduling scenario I must add. Both top seeds, Dinara Safina and Rafael Nadal are playing on Suzanne Lenglen instead of Philippe Chatrier, while the lineup for Chatrier is as follows:

Andy Murray (GBR)[3] v. Potito Starace (ITA)
Alize Cornet (FRA)[21] v. Maret Ani (EST)To Finish 6-4 4-4
Tamarine Tanasugarn (THA) v. Ana Ivanovic (SRB)[8]
Josselin Ouanna (FRA) v. Marat Safin (RUS)[20]
Venus Williams (USA)[3] v. Lucie Safarova (CZE)

I say they bump Venus and put Rafa there instead. That dress of hers doesn't deserve center court honor anyways... I'm just saying!


van said...

Hey Reem, what's up? I was kind of shocked by Juan Carlos coming through myself, especially as you mention how Ljubicic had been playing well. I'm glad he did, though!

Reem said...

Dunno how I missed this comment before... Well I was just saying how my respect for Ferrero never stops growing.. he's doing pretty well at Queen's on grass at the moment.. I hope he gets past Malisse today.