Tuesday, June 05, 2012

2012 FRENCH OPEN Day 10: Two 5-set Thrillers!

Day 10 at Roland Garros was the first of two days of the men's and women's quarterfinals and featured the marquee match-up of World #1 Novak Djokovic versus World #5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. I had previoulsy predicted that it would be the best match of the 8 quarterfinals, and we will know if that prediction comes true after tomorrow, but it will be hard to meet this instant classic for sheer drama, brilliance and excitement. After saving 4 match points (on breakpoints) in the 4th set, the 5-time major champion kept his Grand Slam winning streak alive at 26 by defeating the Frenchman 6-1 5-7 5-7 7-6(6) 6-1 in just over 4 hours, as I expected. On the 4 match points, 3 were erased with Djokovic winners, while the one that will haunt Tsonga for weeks (if not months) was the 3rd one, where he attempted to blast a forehand down-the-line winner after pulling Djokovic wide but the ball was rejected by the net, negating the match point.

The other men's quarterfinal played today was between World #3 Roger Federer and Juan Martin del Potro. I honestly did not think this would be much of a match, despite the fact that the 2009 Roland Garros semifinal between these two had been a 5-set affair (won by Federer on his way to completing his career slam). However, Juan Martin had other ideas and came out smoking hot, absolutely crushing the ball on both wings, and won the first two sets. Unfortunately, the 6'6" man's left knee injury started to plague him and Federer was able to win the next two set in 55 minutes and continue his momentum to an insurmountable 5-2 lead in the deciding set. The match ended with Federer calmly serving it out for a 3-6 6-7(4) 6-2 6-0 6-3 victory, only the 7th time in his illustrious career that he had come from 2-sets down to win the match.

The women's quarterfinals paled in comparison to the riveting men's matches, as Samantha Stosur dismissed Dominika Cibulkova in straight sets as I predicted, but there was a minor upset when Sara Errani beat Angelique Kerber to reach her very first major semifinal. Stosur should be the heavy favorite to reach her 3rd major final in as many years (2010 French Open, 2011 U.S. Open).

Day 11 will feature the other half of the men's and women's quarterfinals, where I expect Petra Kvitova and Maria Sharapova will come through, as well as David Ferrer and Rafael Nadal.

No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin