- Play Delayed Due to Rain
Today play in Paris was delayed due to rain which meant that Roger didn’t get to finish his match with Monfils on court Chatrier. They were locked up at a set all after Roger won the first set 6-3 and Monfils came back to win the second 6-4 when play was suspended due to bad light. As if it’s not bad enough that the French Open doesn’t have a roof for center court, they don’t even have lights. The French Open definitely seems to be lagging behind the other slams is many ways. First it was the WTA match with some unreal choking in the second set that kept play waiting.
First it was the WTA match with some unreal choking in the second set that kept play waiting.
- Tsonga’s Revival
Then it was Tsonga who choked against Berdych while serving for the match at 6-3, 6-2, and 5-4. He ended up losing the third set 7-5 in the tie-break and went a break down in the fourth as well. But to his credit he came back and won the fourth set 6-3. In the end, you can’t blame Tsonga for the slip-up in the third set because he still beat a top 10 player who’s on a good run in four sets. But hardly surprising given his history in Paris and how much he loves to play there. All of a sudden he is in the mix now as well.
He now plays Nishikori who hammered Gabashvili 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 as expected. With the Paris crowd behind him I’d give him a very decent chance there too.
- Stanimal is Back
In the match I didn’t mention yet Stan smashed Simon 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 which was great to see. The French crowd did their usual circus act to try and unnerve Stan, but he shut them out with a quick victory. Stan seems to be back in Stanimal mode which is always exciting to see. I hope to see a quarterfinal between him and Roger. They have never played in a slam since the arrival of Stan 2.0 other than Wimbledon last year which is Stan’s worst surface. I’d like to see them play on a slower surface, but Roger has loads of work left to do before that becomes a reality.
- Federer Misses Opportunity
Roger got exactly the start he was looking for in this match as he broke Monfils in the second game and raced to a 3-0 lead. Then it was just a matter of holding serve to bag the first set. In the second set, they reversed roles as Monfils broke in the second game and raced to a 3-0 lead. He also got the crowd involved, who up until that time I wasn’t even sure who they supported. Monfils held on until 5-3 when he would serve for the set, but then choked horribly on a volley to go down 0-15.
That choke set the tone for the game as Roger broke to 15 with some great attacking play of his own. It was exactly what he wanted because he didn’t want Monfils and the crowd in the match. But after they changed sides Roger let a big chance slip on his own serve as he played a poor game and allowed Monfils to square things up at a set all before play was suspended. It’s hard to say how the break will affect either player. If you are a Fedfan you might say it will halt Monfils’ momentum.
If you are a Monfils fan you will say it is to his advantage because he gets more rest after all the tennis he’s played and comes back refreshed. But whatever way you choose to look at it there is no doubt that Roger let an opportunity slip in the second set after doing the hard work to break back. Now he has a serious match on his hands. The match will likely go to five sets now. And that is not exactly what Roger wants before a quarterfinal with Stanimal on Tuesday. So if he wins he plays three days in a row.
The rain and lack of roof/lights didn’t help. Where his schedule seemed friendly with two days off before the semis it all of a sudden makes it hard to even get to the semis. But he has to make the best of that now and try to get the momentum back first thing tomorrow. It is now effectively a best of three set match, and it’s now even more important he wins the first set. Best case scenario he wants to be out of there after two sets to shut out the crowd. If it goes to five sets it gets more complicated.
- The Rest of Tomorrow’s Action
Tomorrow is also when the top half play their fourth round matches and probably the most competitive match there will be Cilic against Ferrer. I expect Nadal and Djoker to win in straight sets, but some people seem to think Sock can make the match with Nadal competitive. We will see. The only way I see that happening is if Nadal drops below the level he displayed so far. Finally, Murray will be up against another Frenchman Chardy. Probably Chardy can win a set there at best.
The is in your court.