Monday, May 24, 2010

Roland Garros Day 1 - It sucks when you peak in Rome, Ernie



The 2010 French Open kicked off today and am happy to say I am actually in Paris working for Eurosport this summer, so I will do my best to try and update G,S,M as often as I can.

Today I randomly bumped into Jelena Jankovic outside her hotel near the Tour Eiffel and she seemed to be in a heated discussion with someone from her team which I certainly didn't interrupt. It was a lucky coincidence though, considering I was only there checking out a flat for my stay in Paris.

The action on day 1 at Roland Garros saw the sad retirement of Ernests Gulbis against local favorite, Julien Benneteau. Gulbis' clay season so far had seen the Latvian reach the quarters at Barcelona and Madrid, and the semis in Rome where he beat Roger Federer before losing to Rafael Nadal in 3 tight sets. Naturally everyone was waiting to see some Ernie magic in Paris, and unfortunately, we won't get to see it, as it seems the 21-year-old had peaked in Rome.

Gulbis, who reached a career-high ranking of 27 last week, will have his hamstring injury checked to ensure he'll be ready for the grass season, now that his clay swing has come to an abrupt end.

French hot shot, Jo Willy Tsonga gave the Parisian crowd a scare when he was stretched to 5 sets by Germany's Daniel Brands. The 8th seed seemed out of sorts during his first round match, despite a decent ratio of 67 winners to 28 unforced errors.

Meanwhile on the women's side, Gisela Dulko crushed 10th seed, Victoria Azarenka, 6-1, 6-2, to book a second round spot. It's not a big surprise considering Dulko certainly has got game while Azarenka has had a somewhat unsuccessful clay swing prior to Roland Garros.

Roger Federer watching Rezai practice

France's new sweetheart, Aravane Rezai (originally Iranian), who arrived to Paris after capturing the Madrid title beating Justine Henin in the opener and Venus Williams in the final, kicked off her French Open campaign with an emphatic 6-1, 6-1, victory over fellow Muslim, Heidi el Tabakh of Canada. Rezai next takes on Germany's Angelique Kerber.

Make sure to catch Andy Murray face freshly crowned Nice champion, Richard Gasquet on Monday (third match from 11:00a.m. start, Paris local time).

World number 1, Roger Federer, is also in action on day 2, as he opens his title defense campaign against Australia's Peter Luczak.

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