Friday, June 8, 2012

FRENCH OPEN VIDEO: Nadal hits a shot while sitting down during Ferrer rout

Rafael Nadal was once again merciless against one of his closest friends. He only gave Juan Monaco 2 games in the fourth round, so I guess he was slightly more generous on Friday when he allowed world No6 David Ferrer five games in their semi-final.

Ferrer, who had dropped eight games of less in each of his first four rounds in Paris. Ferrer, who took out Andy Murray quite routinely in four sets. That Ferrer fell 2-6, 2-6, 1-6 to Nadal, who is on the brink of winning an unprecedented seventh French Open crown.

The point above is just one of many that stood out today. One second he was on the ground hitting a shot like that, a few moments later, he was flying in the air hitting a backhand smash with his back to the net.

The title is his to take and anyone who thinks otherwise needs a reality check I believe. God bless him!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

FRENCH OPEN VIDEO: Federer looks ahead to his semifinal with Djokovic

Roger Federer is looking to repeat his stunning performance from last year's semifinal win at Roland Garros over Novak Djokovic, in his upcoming last-four rematch with the Serb on Friday.

The Swiss lost quite easily to Djokovic in Rome a few weeks ago, and he says he's hoping to get more into the rallies early on this time around, rather than allow the world No1 to dominate from that start, the way he did in Italy.

Federer leads Djokovic 14-11 head-to-head. He's 3-2 over Djokovic on clay.

FRENCH OPEN VIDEO: Nadal talks to the Tennis Channel after defeating Almagro

Nadal on what is would mean to him if he broke Bjorn Borg's record of six French Open titles: 

"For me it's a dream to have six (laughs). I'm very happy about what... the success I had here the last years. I'm not in a position who asks more things. But I am in the semifinals and for sure it will be something unbelievable for me if I'm able to win on Friday and compete for this seventh on Sunday."

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Who's the guy from the Road to Roland Garros videos? The answer is: Guillaume Dolmans!

Anyone out there wondering who's the guy driving the car in the "Road to Roland Garros" videos?
Well I got curious because he looked familiar and turns out he's the model/actor from the Heineken ad "The Date". His name is Guillaume Dolmans.

Here's my favourite "Road to Roland Garros" video so far. I've watched every single one but keep coming back to this one with Tsonga.

This is his Heineken ad from last year...

And here's the interview they posted with Guillaume Dolmans. For once he was in the backseat of the car giving the answers. Here's what the Belgian had to say...

FRENCH OPEN: Gutted for Tsonga and Del Potro, happy for Djokovic and Federer... I'm confused!

Photo Credit: Christophe Ena / AP

Today was a very conflicting day for me.

Tennis fandom and allegiances aside, I really wanted to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Juan Martin del Potro to pull off the upsets in the Roland Garros quarterfinals. Or at least one of them.

It's not necessarily because I'm a fan of them more than I am of their opponents, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, but because a) I thought they were playing incredibly attractive tennis, especially Tsonga, and b) I figured they deserved a win like that because I feel they're both the kind of players who don't give themselves that much credit, and this kind of win would've boosted their self-worth in a way.

Players thrive on confidence and it's amazing what a win like that can do. It could shape the rest of their seasons, and I really wanted an outsider to spoil the top-3 party this season in at least one of the Slams.

I have nothing against the top-3's dominance. I love me some Nole-Rafa-Roger action but there are some talents as well as characters in the field that really deserve a tiny slice of the cake. For me those are mainly del Potro and Tsonga.

Few players entertain me as much as Tsonga while he's playing, I really feel the adrenaline like it's a motorcycle race or something, and few groundstrokes give me the chills the way a del Potro forehand winner does.

But today, they both were outlasted by mentally-superior and more experienced opponents, who have redefined the meaning of the word class in more ways than one.

Which brings me to the conflict... why was I upset that Tsonga and del Potro lost? I marvel at how Djokovic manages to fight back even on a day where his opponent is the better player on the court. He's an absolute beast when it comes to saving match points and coming back from the brink. It's like he takes it personally somehow.

I also marvel at Federer's ability to stay calm and wait till he senses a weakness from an otherwise monster of an opponent. He may not be as masterful as he used to be in best-of-five matches, with some incidents like his five-set loss to Djokovic in New York last fall, or the one he suffered to Tsonga in Wimbledon a few months earlier, but he still has the art of handling a Grand Slam match in his DNA. And he resorts to it whenever he can.

So why would I be upset that two of the best players I've ever had the privilege to watch are refusing to let anyone shake their monarchy? After all, don't they say "form is temporary but class is permanent?" They're the epitome of that phrase. 

Am I gutted for Tsonga for losing all four match points he had, on a surface that is not his favourite, against an opponent he had beaten five out of ten times, in front of a home crowd? Yes I am.

But am I upset that Djokovic pulled a repeat performance from his US Open fight-from-the-brink act against Federer last year, to show us how massive of a force he really is? No I'm not!

Until the likes of Tsonga and del Potro show us they can fight from the brink too on a regular basis as well as take their chances when they get them against the top-3, I am content with the current class structure in the ATP. Scratch that... I am grateful for the current class structure in the ATP!