Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Day 4: Personal History

He'd never won a five-set match. Which means he'd never come back from two sets to love down. But Paul-Henri Mathieu, the Frenchman who ended Gustavo Kuerten's love affair with Paris, moved into the third round today with a gallant 2-6, 1-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 comeback against Spain's Oscar Hernandez in a match that lasted more than four hours.


Serena Williams fought off a feisty effort from France's Mathilde Johansson to advance 6-2, 7-5. How she managed to lose seven games is beyond me. No it's not. She was gagging like a strangle victim in the second set. She better close out these early-round matches with less drama if she intends to make a run at the title here.

Maria Sharapova got all she could handle from the teenage backboard named Evgeniya Rodina. In the deciding set, the Russian upstart didn't face a break point through the first 12 games, while Maria saved three. Too bad the youngster didn't know about injury timeouts. Clearly inhibited by some physical ailments late in the third set, she never called for the trainer even though one was "on-call" at courtside. Showing incredible poise in her first Slam match, I'd venture a guess that she pulls off this upset if she'd gotten the rubdown she so desperately needed. Or maybe that's just my bias talking. The way Mary Jo Fernandez and Pam Shriver and Mary Carillo and Dick Endberg were licking Maria's nether regions throughout the ESPN re-broadcast, some balance is required. Justine Henin's retirement leaves this one at the top of the rankings.


Rafael Nadal must be pissed. He had to wait yet again for his first-round match to be completed while the women's matches scheduled in front of him went on and on and on, including the one I just mentioned. But he was calm and focused and relentless, as usual. He has to play a talented Frenchman tomorrow. Could be a fun time in front of all those French fans.

Speaking of which, where the hell are the fans? There are a lot of empty seats on all the show courts, even when the Frenchies are on the court. What's up with that?

Oh, yeah. American Wayne Odesnik won that winnable match I spoke of day before yesterday. He's the first American male into the third round since...James Blake.

Go figure.


rabbit said...

Thanks for the reviews, Craig! I've been missing all the matches as of yet. Hope to catch some of the action soon :)

oddman said...

Nice win for PMH, and to come back from 2 sets down too. Saw that match, and Hernandez was no slouch. I'd like to see PMH do better than he has, got a nice game.
Rafa looked focused and determined too, not playing all out, just enough to get the win. Lotta short balls, had that been Djoker or Fed, he'd have been toast.
No matter how much the ESPN lackies drool and lick, it ain't gonna happen for Sharapova this tourney. Sorry. Long ago I rather liked her, before I had her stuffed down my throat at every opportunity. Uck. Pass.
Vamos, Rafa!

Karen said...

Oddman and Craig, if you think those are bad, you should hear Ted Robinson. The man sounds like he is making love to her the way he drools. I have to say that I have not seen anything of the FO that makes me really want to stay up late and watch re-runs. Some compelling stories and such, but I guess I have been a bit tied up at work, so have not been able to enjoy it. One more reason not to like JJ, too many injury timeouts during matches.

boxeur said...

"He'd never won a five-set match."
No. His W-L record in 5set match is 2-5 (including Davis Cup, 3-7).

5set match loss.
2002 Australian Open R128 vs Schuettler, Rainer (GER): 6-2 1-6 6-4 1-6 4-6
2002 Roland Garros R16 vs Agassi, Andre (USA): 6-4 6-3 3-6 3-6 3-6
2002 US Open R128 vs Gonzalez, Fernando (CHI): 6-2 6-7(1) 6-3 4-6 4-6
2002 FRA v. RUS DC Final RR vs Youzhny, Mikhail (RUS): 6-3 6-2 3-6 5-7 4-6
2004 US Open R32 vs Sargsian, Sargis (ARM): 6-4 6-4 4-6 2-6 6-7(4)
2005 Roland Garros R32 vs Canas, Guillermo (ARG): 3-6 6-7(4) 6-2 7-6(5) 6-8
2008 USA v. FRA WG Qtrs RR vs Blake, James (USA): 6-7(5) 7-6(3) 3-6 6-3 5-7

5set match win.
2002 Roland Garros R128 vs Ferreira, Wayne (RSA): 6-4 6-7(1) 5-7 6-2 6-0
2004 ESP v. FRA WG SF RR vs Moya, Carlos (ESP) 6-3 3-6 2-6 6-3 6-3
2008 Australian Open R32 vs Koubek, Stefan (AUT): 4-6 7-6(4) 2-6 7-5 8-6

"He'd never come back from two sets to love down to clench victory either."
This is true. His 5 set match won is 1-2 down only.

Craig Hickman said...

boxeur, thanks for the stats. I was repeating the talking heads and didn't bother to verify what they said.

boxeur said...

It might be a trifling mistake.
Keep bloging good articles.

thank you.