Tuesday, May 28, 2013

2013 FRENCH OPEN Day 1-2: Monfils Upsets Berdych(5), Venus Loses Marathon

Gael Monfils, affectionately known as Le Monf, and one of the most dramatic and athletic players on tour, was able to "come back from ahead" and upset #5 seed Tomas Berdych 7-6(8) 6-4 6-7(3) 6-7(4) 7-5 in 4 hours and 2 minutes, despite blowing a 2-set lead. This match will almost certainly end up on the list of best matches of the year and is the match of the tournament so far.

Things did not turn out so well for a different black tennis player in another marathon clay court encounter when Venus Williams fell to the less-heralded Radwanska sister, Urszula 7-6(5) 6-7 (4) 6-4 in 200 minutes. Despite blowing a 4-0 lead in the tie-breaker, the younger sister of Agnieska Radwanska was able to eliminate the older sister of Serena Williams from the tournament. Venus is actually seeded, but is playing with an injured back, and at age 32 her best tennis is clearly well behind her. Her sister, however, is playing some of her best tennis and erased all memories of last year's shock first-year defeat with a 6-0 6-1 demolition of Anna Tatshvili.

The first round continues today in Day 3, but so far the expected seeds have made it through, such as #2 seed Roger Federer, #3 seed David Ferrer, #4 seed Rafael Nadal, and #7 seed Richard Gasquet. Onthe women's side 2012 Roland Garros champion Maria Sharapova won easily, as did 2011 Roland Garros champion Li Na, while #5 seed Angelique Kerber and Ana Ivanovic won tough 3-setters against good opponents to advance to the 2nd round.

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