French Open Day 7: Big Three All Comfortably Into Fourth Round

  • Top Half

Howdy, folks  <):) Today Murray, Nadal, and the Djoker were all in action again and they all had comfortable straight set wins. Murray was quite impressive in his 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 drubbing of Kyrgios. The Djoker was equally impressive in a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 victory over a promising new youngster Kokkinakis. As for Nadal, he got the weakest opponent of the three as usual and won 6-1, 6-3, 6-2. The other match that involved youngsters was Coric against Sock and Sock won that one surprisingly easily, 6-2, 6-1, 6-4.

I watched some of Murray’s match and although Kyrgios is a big time player, it struck me that he is still too wild and needs to mature. He was making some ridiculous shots and then missing some sitters. But yeah, Murray doesn’t make it easy the way he chases down everything. It was the first time I saw much of Kokkinakis and he has a pretty big game that has potential. Kuznetsov was hopeless and Sock kept impressing. He has the big serve and forehand but won’t bother Nadal.

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In the rest of the matches, Gasquet had a four-set win over Anderson, Cilic a straight-set win over Mayer, Ferrer a five-set win over Bolelli, and Chardy a straight-set win over Goffin. I like that Cilic seems to be playing well again. He plays Ferrer now though who is always a tough nut to crack. The winner there will probably play Murray who plays Chardy next. I kind of hope it is Cilic. I want to see Cilic start hitting people off the court again. Just to prove it wasn’t juts a one-time thing in New York.

In the top quarter, the Djoker plays Gasquet and I’d be surprised if he drops a set. Same for Nadal who plays Sock. It will be interesting to see what their respective form is like before the big quarterfinal anyway. I would have preferred Coric played Nadal because he already beat Nadal once, and Sock’s backhand and athleticism are not good enough to trouble Nadal. But let Nadal run over Sock and his mediocre backhand. It’s not exactly going to be great preparation for the greatest backhand in the sport in the next round.

  • Bottom Half

Tomorrow things start getting interesting in the bottom half. The big one is Roger against Monfils on Chatrier. One of the big problems for Roger in that match, other than the French crowd and Monfils’ ability to create effortless power, is Monfils’ athleticism and defensive abilities. Roger doesn’t like when the ball keeps coming back. Hence his poor head-to-head with Nadal. He likes short points and domination. I think patience and mental composure will be key. He has to be ready for a war basically.

It’s still hard to know what physical condition Monfils will be in, but like I said he will feed off the energy of the crowd so it probably won’t be a problem at all for him. He loves to entertain and more so in Paris than anywhere else. To win Roger just has to keep his recent form up and do the usual things well. But the main thing will be to not fall apart mentally and get impatient. That is something he has struggled with his whole career so tomorrow will be another good test of whether he can keep it together.

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What Federer is up against tomorrow

Then Stan plays Simon and like I said I hope to see another good performance from him. He will be in a similar situation with the crowd as Roger, but I guess the fact that he plays on Lenglen will make things slightly easier. They are 2-2 in the head-to-head and in 2012 they played a five-set thriller at the French which Stan won after trailing 1-2 in sets. So that could turn into another thriller. Simon is also a good retriever and same as Roger Stan can become impatient once the French crowd starts rallying behind Simon.

Then Berdych plays yet another French player in Tsonga on Chatrier. Tsonga is another guy who loves to entertain and feeds off the energy of the Parisian crowd. So although Berdych is probably the slight favorite I can see him losing this. The winner of that match will face Nishikori who plays Gabashvili, and that is the only match tomorrow where the outcome is hardly in doubt. I’m kind of liking Nishikori’s chances to make semis because he is the freshest of the bunch, but we will see.

Highlights:

Enough security for Federer you think?

The is in your court.

Posted in French Open, Grand Slams.

20 Comments

  1. Novak is surely going to thrash Gasquet. I was kind of hoping it will be Gasquet because it will be good practice for Djokovic since Gasquet basically plays like a leftie with a huge backhand and also because the crowd will be supporting him like they will surely support Nadal. All in all a good match for Djokovic to win to really get a feel for playing Nadal. As for Nadal himself hard to say if he is back to any sort of level that can beat Djokovic. I think Sock is actually playing very well and if he thrashes Sock as well, then Djokovic will know its going to be a war. I am personally hoping Sock pushes Nadal at least to a TB. Murray I am almost certain makes the semis.

    In Roger’s half right now I actually hope Simon and Wawrinka tire themselves out with a long match because I don’t have a good feeling about the Monfils match. I actually think it may go 5 sets and if it does then Roger really doesn’t want to be playing a fresh Stan in the next round. Like you said Nishikori is a lock for the quarters. The Berdych -Tsonga looks too close to call. I am actually going with Berdych there. I think the semis will be Djokovic-Murray and Fed-Nishi. Still a long way to go though but right now that would be my pick. Also hoping Federer realizes he has 2 days off after the quarters and leaves it all out there in the next two matches.

    [Reply]

    Andrew Reply:

    also because the crowd will be supporting him like they will surely support Nadal.

    I think French crowds are more likely to be pro-Djokovic than in most other countries. When they played each other in the semi-final two years ago I thought they were definitely on Djokovic’s side. Or maybe they were just bored with Nadal winning. At Bercy last year the fans again struck me as being sympathetic to Djokovic especially when he tried out his French on them.

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  2. Yeah, tomorrow we will find out what’s going in with Roger Ajay. So far, his matches have been too easy to really say. It should be a good test. As for predicting the semis the FO is more open this year than usual and I’m not gonna dare make any predictions myself. I think you’re in for a disappointment about Sock vs Nadal. Nadal is gonna molest Sock’s mediocre backhand. (:|

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyCEuenWU28

    [Reply]

    Ajay Reply:

    Actually as Rosol and Darcis have shown there are quite a few ways to trouble Nadal. If Sock does serve big tomorrow, there are gonna be short balls from Nadal which he can take on with his forehand. Its mostly a question of protecting the backhand as much as possible and trying to rip it with the forehand and serving well. Like I said I just feel Sock can test him if Nadal is slightly off and Sock himself finds his range. Otherwise I am still quite happy with a confident Nadal facing a confident Djokovic because right now Djokovic still has the edge, As for Roger like I said in a previous comment Roger should definitely try to take the first set because I think Monfils might be a little heavy initially especially before the crowd get really involved.

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    Joe Reply:

    Hi Ajay,

    I agree that the first set is key for Roger tomorrow. If he wins that battle, then he’ll win the war in 3 or 4 sets (I hope).

    If Monfils takes the first set, I could see Roger winning in 4 or 5 (hoping again).

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    Veronica Reply:

    Joe! :-?? What da ya mean?!!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Of course, there are a lot of ways to trouble Nadal on grass! But it doesn’t really matter for Sock on which surface he faces Nadal. If Nadal plays anything close to his normal level(which granted have not been the case of quite a few occasions of late) then Sock will get hammered. Especially on clay, you need a great bh to stand any chance against Nadal. I’m afraid Sock does not have that.

    And yes it would be a good idea for Roger to win the first set against Parisfils.

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    Veronica Reply:

    Yes, Ru-an, when Roger plays well against opponents that don’t trouble him much, you can’t really tell what’s going on with him. It’s only when he gets tougher opponents, when he is under some pressure, that he can still play well, then you know he is truly playing well. Therefore this match against Monfils is vitally important he wins it, to sort of validate his improving form. If he loses, then he is just not good enough.

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  3. “What Federer is up against tomorrow” =)) “let Nadal run over Sock and his mediocre bh….not exactly great preparation against the greatest bh in the next round..” :-bd “….”molest Sock’s bh….” :)) one of your most quotable posts, Ru-an!! :-) and spot on about Roger staying mentally composed and patient. Also spot on about Kyrgios being too wild. I was trying to come up with a word to describe Kyrgios. You nailed it. you are too fast with your post. I wanna say I loved your last post’s title, ” The djokodal plot thickens” =D> Cannot agree with you more that Djokodal will just bulldoze their next opponents to the ground. They are mere formalities before the “real” final begins!! Can’t wait!!! Meanwhile Roger needs to take the first set and try win straights or 4 sets. If Roger get to semis, I think Stan would be tougher than Simon and for the first time, I actually prefer Birdshit to play Roger! Kei would be very tough for Roger. But I think Kei makes it semis and even finals.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thank you, Veronica! Just to correct you there, Roger can’t meet Stan or Simon in the semis. It will be quarters if he beats Monfils.

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    Veronica Reply:

    Oh, I didn’t realise I typed semis instead of quarters! Thanks Ru-an! Yeah, quarters Stan/Simon, semis Kei. Sharks! Rain delay. I could have watched the whole match, timing was perfect. But gotta hit the sack now, night2! And dreaming of burnt French toast with Swiss cheese on top!!!! Happy watching all you lucky guys who are staying up,or have better time zones!! :-h i-)

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    Vily Reply:

    Wow. I like how Tsonga and Nishikori are trying to get off the court as quick as possible – possibly in straights. Tsonga is a pleasant (or potentially) un unpleasant surprise. But I doubt he’ll get through Kei.

    I just hope that Roger follows their example and cruise quickly to a victory because there is more rain on the horizon around 9:00pm local time.. I doubt that Stan and Simon will have that luck. That match might end up being finished tomorrow.

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  4. Just checkin before I sleep and what do ya know, Tsonga’s having a great comeback, first set in the bag and broke Berdych already in second! There is a possibility Roger getting Frenchies all in a row ……. Monfils, Simon, Tsonga!

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  5. Well that was pretty disheartening. Good first set, and great mental strength for Fed to break back and even things up in the 2nd. But then Monfils pulls out some artistic genius shots at 40-30 and then breaks Federer just like that, couldn’t find a first serve . Looks like it has been postponed until tomorrow now.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes not a good ending for Roger Bharata. Set all and welcome rest for Monfils.

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    steve Reply:

    I think it’s also good for Federer that it’s been postponed till tomorrow, because a) being an offensive player, his game is affected in darkness because he needs to be more conservative with his shots and b) it gives him a chance to hit the reset button mentally and checks Monfils’ momentum. If they’d kept playing, Monfils would’ve probably ridden the momentum to get the early break in the third and that would’ve made things really tough for Federer.

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  6. Well, he had the start we were all hoping for, but then he got distracted early in the second set and dropped serve. Had he kept the momentum going he’d have surely got that second set under his belt, but once Monfils got into it you knew his confidence was just going to go up. Then after Federer played brilliantly to break back, he played a very average service game and allowed Monfils to surge back and steal the set. So we end as we began–with absolutely nothing decided and the potential for three sets of tennis tomorrow.

    I hope he won’t get distracted again tomorrow, and can just keep up his high level of play without too much fuss.

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    Dolores Reply:

    Hope you are right, Steve, referring to your last sentence. Personally, I think Roger will benefit from this postponement of the match. Tomorrow is a new day may the Glueckstern be with Roger.
    Kindly,
    Dolores

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  7. I think that in the end I am glad the match play got suspended. I was obsessed with Roger winning in straights that when it got to 4:5 and 40:30 for Roger I could see him pulling it off. But to be honest, his serving was just not up to par and he got broken to give away the 2nd set.

    If they continued to play, the momentum was clearing going in Monfils’ favor. So all in all, it’s good that Roger will take the rest of the day off in order to gather his thoughts.

    Tomorrow he can start fresh and hopefully finish the match with a win in 4 sets.

    That being sad, the fact that Nishikori cruised, and even more importantly, that Wawrinka cruised is simply bad for Roger.

    I am tempted to say that now Wawrinka has the upper hand. So, all in all the road to the final looks very difficult. Tsonga and Nishikori may tire themselves out (hopefully) but with Wawrinka coming in fresh, I see him beating Roger now, if he even makes it to the QFs.

    If Roger somehow gets through Wawrinka, then I actually will be less worried for the SF. Although that will be very difficult to as well.

    Oh, well… Whatever happens happens. We all knew that Roger will need help from the draw and also a bit of luck. And he needs to play better. Simple as that…

    [Reply]

    Charlie Reply:

    To be honest I think both Roger and Gael will be happy with coming off at 1 set all. If they had played on, one of them would come off 2-1 down, so it made a lot of sense to stop, though it does mean I can’t watch the match tomorrow.

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