So, I'm finally getting over the Safin-Davydenko match, and I'm looking up to see there were other matches played around the French today besides that one! To recap:
• Mixed Fortunes for the French at the French: This is probably the story of the day as far as they're concerned over in Paris: Jeremy Chardy (he of the 145th in the world fame, pictured) rallies to beat David Nalbandian 6-2 in the fifth. Maybe that offsets the loss by Amelie Mauresmo to a qualifier. How do the French fans handle the ups and downs of their players? It drives me crazy and the closest French ties I have is that my family's from Louisiana! Gael Monfils (he of the eternally unfulfilled potential) wins in straights today, but could just as easily have been blown out, just because you never know with him.
• Roger Rolls (kinda): Roger Federer dropped the first set in a breaker, but rebounded quite nicely, thank you very much, particularly in those middle two, taking them 1 and 0. I really like his draw his next few matches. I think playing guys with pretty different styles the first two rounds in Querrey and Montanes should be able to prep him for Mario Ancic and (probably in the 16s) Robin Soderling. Who knows how the quarters will go for him since ...
• Robby Rolled (shockingly!): Robby Ginepri took out another of my quarterfinal picks, Igor Andreev. (Next year, if you're a Russian male and you've been picked by Tennis Talk, Anyone? to make the quarters of the French, start packing your bags: It's not gonna happen for you!) Great, great win for Ginepri. If there's any U.S. guy that should never complain about playing on clay, it's him, unlike his compadres, James Blake and Mardy Fish, who both fell. Blake lost to Ernests Gulbis, who I think is headed for great things, even though he hadn't done much at this point, and Fish lost to Lleyton Hewitt. But back to Ginepri: His game is perfect for clay. A possible quandary: Where does Jose Higueras sit if Robby and R-Fed face off in the quarters?
• A Two-Man Spanish Armada: Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer were like a demolition crew on French players today: You knew Rafa was going to roll, as he's apt to do, but I didn't think Ferrer would crush Fabrice Santoro like he did. One game surrendered in three sets? Wow.
• Plenty of Bagels Served: Many of the winning women today, I guess, were in a hurry with Katarina Srebotnik, Dinara Safina, Francessca Schiavone, Dominka Cibulkova and Olga Govortsova all winning at least one set 6-0. Tennis Talk, Anyone? quarterfinalist pick Victoria Azarenka (pictured) went a little further and dropped double goose-eggs on her opponent.
Looking ahead, here's what I think will be the matches of the day tomorrow:
• Agnieska Radwanska (14) vs. Alize Cornet (19, pictured): These two are in great form. In a few years, this will be a semifinal match, easy. If she wins her next match, Jelena Jankovic will face the winner of this one. The bottom half of the women's tournament is almost like its own entity with all the tough players there. This section really picks up steam with this match right here.
• Eduardo Schwank vs. Paul-Henri Mathieu (18): I've probably spent more time talking about my man Eddie Schwank than his own family has! If he took out one seed already, why not another here? He and Novak Djokovic in the fourth is going to be a sight to see.
• Jarkko Nieminen (26) vs. Rafael Nadal (2): Surprisingly, Nieminen's been playing better so far this tournament than he has in months. He's a pretty big hitter, which is something Rafa really hasn't seen yet. Nadal should still roll, I feel, but it should be entertaining nevertheless.
I think all that writing got the Safin-Davydenko match out of my system!
An old friend of mine and I used to talk tennis for hours, whether it was our own games or what was happening in the pros. I've started Tennis Talk, Anyone? to, well, talk tennis with an even broader crowd! My name is Van Sias and I've been playing for 20 years now, and not only am I player, I'm a huge fan of the game as well: pro, amateur, you name it. I'll post links to news items related to the sport, and offer my own personal opinion, predictions and hopefully get some of yours as well.