Wednesday, June 13, 2012

2012 FRENCH OPEN: Final Thoughts and Review

The 2012 French Open at Roland Garros is now complete, with champions Maria Sharapova and Rafael Nadal revelling in their titles. This French Open concluded with historic wins on both the men's and women's sides. Sharapova completed the career grand slam, and Nadal won his record 7th French Open. Sharapova became the 6th female player to reach the career slam and Nadal is the only player to ever win 7 French Open titles.

As we end the clay court slam in Paris and focus our attention to the grass court slam in London I want to review the tournament and post some final thoughts.

Most Surprising Result
In 46 1st round matches at a major tournament, Serena Williams had never lost. But, in her 47th appearance, on her weakest surface, playing a hometown favorite in Virginia Razzano Serena lost a dramatic 3-set match which will reverberate through women's tennis for quite awhile. Even though she does not have the top ranking because she generally doesn't focus in the non-slam tour events, when Serena is fit and entered into a slam, it is hard t bet against her. So the 1st round loss shows that as she reaches the twilight of her career at age 30, Serena will have some unpleasant surprise results.

Best Match of the Tournament
The quarterfinal encounter between Novak Djokovic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will go down as the match of the tournament. Djokovic saved 4 match points, and came back from the literal brink of defeat to win in 5-sets, just 1 round after he had played some of his worst tennis in a year to survive another 5-set match against calm journeyman Andrea Seppi.

Dark Horse Breakthrough
Sara Errani of Italy had been playing some inspired tennis all year long, winning 5 doubles and 3 singles titles before Roland Garros, 2 of which were on clay. But no one (probably not even Errani herself!) expected her to match the feat of her countrywoman Francesco Shiavone and reach the final of Roland Garros. With her appearance, Errani becomes only the 3rd Italian player ever to reach the Top 10 of the WTA rankings (after Schiavone and Flavia Penneta). And she picked up another title by winning the doubles!

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