Thursday, 26 May 2011

Second Round's on Me


The competition het up at Roland Garros as the top seeds all muscled their way through to the third round in straight sets. Nadal d. Andujar 75 63 76; Federer d. Teixeira 63 60 62; Murray d. Bolelli 76 64 75; and Djokovic d. Hanescu 64 61 23 r.

Djokovic kept his winning streak alive and well and steamrolled his way into a third set until his opponent was forced to retire with a thigh injury. Rafael Nadal displayed some flashes of brilliance to keep an inspired Andujar at bay. The Spanish underdog took it to Nadal, matching him in winners; refusing to let him run away with the match. He hit his way to a 51 lead in the third set before Nadal showed that fighting spirit that has won him 9 Grand Slams, to level, take it to a tie break and close out the match.

French frontrunners Gael Monfils, Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also made it safely through. However Austria’s Jurgen Melzer who defeated Novak Djokovic in the quarter finals last year was upset by Czech qualifier Lukas Rosol. Hard-hitter Juan Martin del Potro enjoyed a convincing win against Blaz Kavcic of Slovakia to set up a third round showdown against Novak Djokovic, in what has all the ingredients to be the first high-profile match of the tournament.

The big scares and upsets came on the women’s side, with former champion Maria Sharapova battling her way from a 1-5 deficit in the second set to defeat Caroline Garcia 36 64 60; and former two time Roland Garros finalist and 4 time Grand Slam champion Kim Clijsters conceding two match points in a 63 57 16 loss to Dutch player Arantxa Rus.


Ok I’m mostly going to talk about Rafa surprise surprise. I think he played much much worse than yesterday and Andujar was basically wannabe Nole. Andujar played great. But enough about him.

There’s something wrong with Rafa, and I know his fans on the interweb are dying a little on the inside and probably have no nails left. I however believe this is a mental thing. I think the indomitable Novak plus, the injury he sustained in the Aussie Open are responsible. He played great in Oz pre-injury but ever since he got back it’s like he’s afraid he’s going to get injured again. He’s inhibiting himself and not moving freely, which is affecting his strokes and his slide on clay. Then there’s what the big bad wolf a.k.a Nole did to him in the Masters – it’s plaguing his mind man. We all know that – he knows that, he’s admitted that he’s not as confident.

The good news – yes I believe there is – is that these are things he can quickly overcome. Even as quick as during the next match. More hitting = more wins = improved confidence = better mentality. I STILL think Rafa can win here. It’s going to be hard but the matador always relishes a challenge no? So there is still hope for me. But no calm. And I want calm. I want to be able to sleep through the night.

In other news, oh Kimmie why? Two match points? Sigh. I guess it’s all on Sharapova now!

Just an after-thought, Roger has slipped nicely under the radar, how funny would it be if he came through to win?! Hahahaha...   
Not very >: |.

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