Monday, June 1, 2015

ROLAND GARROS: Week 1 highlights, quotes, fashion hits and misses, and more

This past week at Roland Garros has been without a doubt one of the most eventful starts we’ve had in Paris in a very long time, be it for on-court reasons or off-court drama. Here are our highlights from week one...

Most Impressive debutant
Thanasi Kokkinakis
 Coming back from two sets down to beat Bernard Tomic and reach the third round of a grand slam for the first time – on his Roland Garros debut – was just one of Kokkinakis’ impressive feats.
The 19-year-old Australian held his own against Novak Djokovic in the last 32, keeping up in the long rallies and was broken just once in each set en route to defeat.
Nick Kyrgios may be the flashier Aussie but Kokkinakis seems to be the one with a greater shot at consistency.

Best match
Francesca Schiavone v Svetlana Kuznetsova
 It’s the longest women’s match of the year so far and it fell just 10 minutes short of four hours.
The two former French Open champions seem to bring out the warrior side in each other and just like their near-five-hour clash at the Australian Open four years ago, their second round in Paris last week was one incredible battle.
Two of the feistiest characters of the game, Schiavone and Kuznetsova gave us a match to remember, filled with slices, spins, chilling backhands and nervy mistakes. As was the case in Melbourne in 2011, Schiavone came out on top.

Least likely fourth-rounder
Teymuraz Gabashvili
 For a Russian power-hitter, it’s surprising that Gabashvili’s best results have come on clay. What’s more surprising was his run to the fourth round this fortnight, beating the likes of Feliciano Lopez (No11 seed), Juan Monaco and Lukas Rosol, all in straight sets to make the second week in Paris for the first time since 2010. Gabashvili, coached by Argentina’s Guillermo Canas, had won just five tour-level matches heading into the French Open. But he won two Challenger titles in the build-up and they clearly paid off.

Craziest moment
The Paris pigeon
During Richard Gasquet’s second round win over Carlos Berlocq, a pigeon tragically got stuck in the aerial camera and died. It interrupted the match on Suzanne Lenglen and Gasquet later said: “I don’t think I have ever seen like this. I remember the feathers all over the place, and the public, they thought it was crazy, too. Sometimes I jog, and I know that sometimes birds will attack you. I thought that’s what was happening. Seriously. This was unbelievable. It’s a tough death.”
Djokovic touching a ball on its way out to concede a point is a close second, while Fabrice Santoro interviewing Andy Murray in a kilt a definite third.
Best cheerleader
Bastian Schweinsteiger
 The German World Cup winner has been the liveliest supporter in a players’ box all week, constantly on his feet cheering for his girlfriend Ana Ivanovic, who is in the quarters for the first time since triumphing in 2008.

Stat of the week
3 – Only three Spanish men have made it to the third round in Paris. The fewest since 1996.

Quotes of the week
 “Are you from Serbia? I don’t talk to Serbians.” -- Toni Nadal jokes as he is approached by a Serbian journalist after a Rafael Nadal practice. The coach of course gave the reporter an interview.

That call was bullshit and everybody knows it.” -- Victoria Azarenka holds nothing back regarding a poor call from umpire Kader Nouni.

We don't have any air to clear. But I gave her a pair of my shorts because she really liked them. True story.” -- Azarenka on whether she needed to clear the air with Serena after their match.

Notable outfits (The good, the bad and the totally unnecessary)

Alize Lim's romper
Sveta's post-match swag 

Sharapova's dress 
She covered it with a marine-like striped top the whole time because of the weather but that dress is just gorgeous!

Federer's candy kit 

Sloane Stephens
Advantage Under Armour!
Victoria Azarenka
Risky business!

Agnieszka Radwanska
Unforced error!

No comments: