May/19

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Roland Garros 2019

Affiche Roland-Garros 2019 / Poster Jose Maria Sicilia
Ryan Harrison was bombed out 76 in the third in the first round by Pavlasek.
Chris Eubanks lost in the first round also to Spain’s Pedro Fernandez.
Spanish veteran Guillermo Garcia Lopez grinded his way into the main draw vs Oscar Otte. The 35 year old is ranked 123.
Another ancient warrior from Spain, Tommy Robredo didn’t fare so well, losing to German teen Rudolph Molleker in the first round 76 63. Molleker is on court now playing Santiago Giraldo of Colombia to get to the main draw.
Other veterans still in the hunt for main draw are Dustin Brown, Simone Bolelli and Viktor Troicki.
Michael Mmoh played and lost first round to world 429 Corentin Denolly 61 64. Mmoh has been out most of the year presumably with injury.
American Bernarda Pera has won two rounds and will try to get by Juvan for the main draw.
Brit prospect Katie Swan has been quiet lately but she has won two rounds and is one match from the main draw, she must beat Karolina Kucova.
Nobody has had a tougher route to main draw than Japan’s Kurumi Nara. Nara won her first two rounds 75 vs Kawa and 64 in the third vs Bacsinszky and now plays Perrin. If Nara wins I will post her Biofile.
Canada’s Rebecca Marino had the miracle comeback in the first round to win 75 in the third but lost yesterday to Rybakina 64 in the third.
15-year-old American prodigy Coco Gauff lost 63 63 to Juvan in the second round.
16-year-old American prospect Whitney Osuigwe lost  in three sets to veteran Allie Kiick in round two.

Roland Garros poster art by Spanish artist José Maria Sicilia.

 

56 comments

  • catherine · May 23, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    Serena could meet Andreescu 3rd round.

  • Hartt · May 23, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    I hope Bianca gets to the third round. She has a qualifier in the first round, so that is positive.

    Félix beat Steve Johnson in 3 sets to advance to the Lyon SFs. He is now No.24 in the live rankings, just one spot behind Shapo. FAA won the Lyon Challenger as a 16-year-old and then defended his title as a 17-year-old, so he is familiar with the city, and likely has a lot of fans at the 250 tourney. He faces the No.1 seed, Basilashvili, next.

    Alexander Zverev had a tough battle against Hugo Dellien, but finally prevailed in Geneva.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 23, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    The veteran Americans Johnson, Querrey, Sock, Harrison, Young are all struggling. Tiafoe and Fritz are actually winning more than them right now.

  • Hartt · May 24, 2019 at 6:10 am

    Both Tiafoe and Fritz have a lot of potential, and I think they will have more successful careers than any of the other American players that you mentioned.

  • catherine · May 24, 2019 at 9:54 am

    So farewell and adieu to RG from – Nick Kyrgios. Nick withdraws suffering from ‘illness’ – unspecified.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 24, 2019 at 10:08 am

    Usually if you feel sick yuo rest up and feel better the next day or two days. It’s only Friday and he may not play till Tuesday or Weds. Maybe he got an offer to work the circus or WWF or something.

  • catherine · May 24, 2019 at 10:11 am

    Yastremska bts Sabalenka SS in Strasbourg – no surprise to me. When I first saw Dyana last year I thought she was going to be better than Sabalenka, or, at least, they’d have a good rivalry. She’s a couple of years younger and ranked lower but I can see more potential. This match Aryna served 9 dfs which is an improvement on 12. Worst case – Sabalenka will stop developing and get stuck in perpetual second/third rounds as ‘promising…but’. Hope not – she has character as a player – sadly lacking in a lot of the younger women. Maybe Aryna should up her activity on social media 🙂

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 24, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    Sandgre qualifies. Felix beats Basilashvili and will play Paire in Lyon final. Expect Felix to win his first title. And don’t count him out of Roland Garros second week.

  • catherine · May 24, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    Between the ‘like’s, the ‘I mean’s and the ‘yeah’s Kerber admits that she has little chance in Paris – ankle injury in Rome pretty much put a stop to her RG preparation. I don’t know – maybe she should have skipped it altogether and waited for the friendly grass. At 31 you have to think twice about joints.

    Funny – interview on WTA website a few days ago made no mention of her injury and also didn’t sound to me as if she was even in Paris. Turns out she wasn’t.

  • catherine · May 24, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    Injury was in Madrid of course.

  • Hartt · May 24, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    I was thrilled that FAA was able to turn that match around, after losing the first set 6-2 to Basilashvili. He had to win the 2nd set TB, so it was not easy. Then he won the decider with an ace.

    FAA wasn’t at his absolute best in this match, but he showed glimpses of why he is a superstar in the making.

    Félix often gets off to a slow start, as though it takes him a while to find his rhythm. I have seen him come back in many matches, so it is no longer a surprise. But Paire has been unusually composed and focused in this tourney. He could be very tough to beat.

    FAA is now No.22 in the live rankings, so it won’t be long before he makes it to the top 20.

  • Hartt · May 24, 2019 at 1:17 pm

    Maybe Nick’s “illness” is an allergy to talking to the press after his recent controversies.

  • catherine · May 24, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    Great chance for Felix – and even if he doesn’t win he should go into RG feeling confident. Zverev has reached the final in Geneva so he may be climbing out of his slump.

    I just re-read my comment on Kerber and I can hear Scoop starting to type ‘fake injury’ – of course I didn’t mean to suggest that at all. It’s the earlier WTA interview I thought sounded a bit weird – by Mark Hodgkinson, a British writer – he said Angie speaks ‘excellent English’ – she gets by but I doubt her closest friends would claim that for her. So I wondered if he actually spoke to her or if it was cut ‘n paste. Trivial point, but not good journalism.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 24, 2019 at 3:52 pm

    Clever approach by Kerber, downplaying her own chances. If Serena and Maria could win Roland Garros, so too can Kerber.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 24, 2019 at 3:55 pm

    Paire will be tough, he’s already won a clay title this year and he has shown he can be a French Open darkhorse, at his best he can play major tennis. At his worst, Cal Markowitz might beat him. I see greatness in Paire and have seen him play incredible. I even wrote about it here once during Garros. I will dig it up and hope not to cringe.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 24, 2019 at 4:00 pm

  • Anonymous · May 24, 2019 at 10:03 pm

    Tim Mayotte with some interesting comments regarding the ATP Tour and his feud with Djokovic. He seems bitter he was not considered for Weller Evans’ position. What he doesn’t seem to understand is that players like Novak do not want someone like Mayotte or Brad Gilbert who may come with outside ideas and not support their agenda. That generation of players let tournaments have their way and the players are seeking as much power as possible.

    This collaboration between the Laver Cup and ATP should not come as a surprise. What may surprise you is the extent of Novak’s involvement in it. Yes, Roger/Godsick/Tiley created this event but Novak is the one who has pushed it as an example of how the players do not need the ATP to have a successful event – and how the stars drive the sport and how profitable they are.

    Outsiders have long mischaracterized the rivalry between Novak and Roger, which is fierce on the court but has changed in recent years off of it. They became closer in last year’s event in Chicago and Novak realized immediately that the event’s success could be used as a threat to the ATP of how powerful the players really are. Thus the need for the ATP to get on board sooner than later. Novak also knows that Roger is beloved and will never be criticized for creating an event honoring Laver.

    The press release was laughable saying now that the event has “access to ATP services, including marketing and social media, along with operational personnel such as officials and physios.” This can be seen as fealty to the ATP since the Laver Cup didn’t need any of this with a number of worldwide sponsors and partners on board and on the waiting list. It is just a statement made to prop up the ATP Tour when in reality the players have the power. You can be sure Roger/Godsick/Tiley retain their powers in the event.

  • catherine · May 25, 2019 at 2:26 am

    Kiki Bertens says the Babolat ball used in Paris is right for her – lighter and bouncing higher. This is good for players who like that but possibly bad for those who prefer a heavier ball and a lower bounce. Some aren’t bothered either way but it’s not best news for Kerber, eg, who has a weakness against high bouncing balls to her b/hand. ‘I can’t deal with it’ she recently grizzled to Scheuttler during occ.

    Different makes of ball are a talking point in sports like cricket, where they can change how a match is played, but I haven’t hear much about it in tennis. Who gets to choose the ball ? Sponsors ? Tournament organisers ? And what about women using a different type of ball to men ? (I don’t think this applies in GS tournaments.)

  • catherine · May 25, 2019 at 2:45 am

    No – Bertens says the ball is ‘bouncing a little bit more’ and that’s better for her. Does this mean the ball is heavy or light ? Someone please explain the aerodynamics of ball bounce because I’m reading contradictory statements.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 25, 2019 at 7:37 am

    Thanks for clearing up the Laver Cup situation Anonymous. Yes the players do have the power and tennis is a star driven sport but how do these star players forget what platforms allowed them to become the stars they are in the first place – the ATP and the tournaments along with their lifetime of hard work and dedication. Guess it was Kermode’s decision to join forces of ATP with Laver Cup?

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 25, 2019 at 7:39 am

    Back to player griping about balls and ball bounces. I will pass on this whinery. A ball is a ball, zip it and just rip it.

  • catherine · May 25, 2019 at 8:11 am

    Well thanks Scoop – now I understand perfectly 🙂

    Someone must have asked Kiki about the balls – maybe a Babolat rep. No one else has mentioned them.

    I don’t want to dip my toes in tennis politics except to note that this player/tournament stuff has come up before over the years and gone away again when the players realise they can’t run the tour. Odd events like the Laver Cup yes – and the presence of Federer and co to attract money, publicity etc but outside that player power just isn’t realistic. Players play, stars come and go but the work of keeping the world-wide tournament circuit going is year after year, day in day out.

  • Hartt · May 25, 2019 at 10:27 am

    FAA just lost to Paire in the Lyon final. Félix was not at his best, some folks are wondering if the adductor issue he had in the SF affected him today. But in any case, Paire played very well. He was consistent, made good decisions, and made some terrific shots.

    The volatile Paire we see so often was not in evidence this week. If he can continue to keep his focus and composure in matches he could make the most of his talent. But I have been fooled before when he “behaved” himself for a while, and then went back to his bad old ways.

    There was a nice exchange at the net, with Benoit putting his arm around Félix’s shoulder. I suspect he appreciates the youngster.

  • Hartt · May 25, 2019 at 11:21 am

    In his press conference, FAA acknowledged his injury got worse during today’s match. (Tom Tebbutt tweet)

    “LYON ATP 250: Felix Auger-Aliassime loses 6-3, 6-4 to Benoit Paire in the final. In p.c. after said his groin injury got worse after 1st set. He thought about stopping but didn’t want to ruin Paire’s win. He said they will decide in next few days if he can play Roland Garros.”

    It would be such a shame if he does have to withdraw from RG.

  • catherine · May 25, 2019 at 11:52 am

    At least Felix got it over with fairly quickly – but better he withdraws than plays RG and makes his injury worse.

    In Strasbourg Garcia and Yastremska battled for around 3 hours and Dayana won in t/b 3rd set. Good effort but not the best Paris preparation for either – not sure when they both play – hope it’s Monday.

  • catherine · May 25, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    Katie Boulter withdrew after the draw was made, earning £20,000 and ensuring Stefanie Voegole lost her own place as a replacement and loser’s money of £40,000.

    Boulter chose to tweet her decision as she made a hasty exit from the grounds.

  • Anonymous · May 25, 2019 at 3:48 pm

    I am not sure you understand. Kermode didn’t “decide” anything and wasn’t involved except to rubber stamp this. The ATP couldn’t risk yet another example of its irrelevance being on display for sponsors and whatnot and the continued diminishing of its brand at the worldwide level.

    Simply put, there’s a new sheriff in town and you can expect more change in the future.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 25, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    $40,000 is just too much for some young players to pass on. When the prize money is that high, this is going to happen. A lot of players need the money. Some players have big debts from not winning and paying back loans.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 25, 2019 at 5:21 pm

    We all know Evans is going to get the board position not Lapentti, the Djokovic Gimelstob secret agenda will push forward. Anonymous thanks for sharing your intriguing insights.

  • catherine · May 26, 2019 at 1:12 am

    Scoop – I think the point is that Boulter’s action made Voegele lose that money – at least that’s what I gathered from the story I read in the Guardian. Boulter knew she was injured and should have withdrawn earlier. She made money but Voegele was done out of what would have come to her. Hence Katie’s choice to tweet her decision rather than meet the press.

  • catherine · May 26, 2019 at 1:20 am

    Fashion note – I hate the designs I’ve seen so far – fiddly and unflattering. Nike’s are worse that Adidas, which is usual. The time’s come to bring back simplicity.

    Can’t wait for Wimbledon and whites.

  • catherine · May 26, 2019 at 1:42 am

    Going back to Strasbourg – my guess is that neither Yastremska nor Garcia will last the first week at RG. Dayana has a bad blister. The decision to play these pre-GS events can turn out badly for the better players.

  • catherine · May 26, 2019 at 6:28 am

    Sorry Angie – fate said no clay this year. 4-6 2-6 in just over an hour. She should never have come to Paris and I hope she didn’t listen to all those foolish social media fans who said she could win. I’m glad it was over quickly. So have a rest and fix your ankle and start on the grass.

  • catherine · May 26, 2019 at 9:57 am

    FAA and Sam Querry make the right decision and withdraw.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 26, 2019 at 5:53 pm

    bad luck for Felix to be injured, it reminds of Rafa missing his first French Open because of that foot injury and then he came back next year and won his postponed debut French Open. I think Felix can repeat that feat in 2020.

  • catherine · May 27, 2019 at 1:18 am

    There’s a suggestion that Kerber may not play at Wimbledon. Either her injury is worse than we’ve been told or there’s something else going on. Just the absolute worst situation.

    At the beginning of the year Barbara Rittner told Angie to forget about RG, forget about the clay, just play where she’s best. That was good advice.

  • catherine · May 27, 2019 at 5:42 am

    Kvitova has also withdrawn – she has a tear in her left arm. Shame.

  • Hartt · May 27, 2019 at 6:58 am

    It was such a shame that FAA had to withdraw. He said he should be back for the grass season. If he could repeat Rafa’s exploits and win RG next year it would be amazing. 🙂

    Also, terrible that Petra had to withdraw. Hopefully she will be OK for Wimbledon.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 27, 2019 at 11:15 am

    Courier said today during Rafa match on Tennis Channel that he thinks Felix is the best hope to be the next teenager to win a major. Thinks he can win a major within the next two years. Courier clearly very high on Felix potential.

  • Hartt · May 27, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    I heard about Courier’s comments concerning FAA. As you know, I am huge Félix fan, and think he is a future superstar. But I worry about predictions for him to win big titles within the next couple years. Maybe he will, maybe he won’t. I hope the expectations don’t get to him. Probably not, he seems like a level-headed youngster and has an experienced team.

    Tennis Canada was able to shield him to a degree, even when he started breaking records as a 14-year-old. For a while only fans who followed tennis closely, and some experts (like you, Scoop), knew how much potential he had.

    But, with his great season so far, reaching No.22 in the rankings, the cat is out of the bag. The pressure on him to do great things right away will be enormous.

    Félix skipped the grass season last year to play on clay. It will be interesting to see how he does on grass this year.

  • catherine · May 27, 2019 at 4:06 pm

    Denis lost I noticed – and Bianca split sets before the rain came down.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 27, 2019 at 5:58 pm

    Another worrying loss by Shapovalov. Thiem survived Tommy Paul who has resurrected his career and is making Ann Grossman look like a savant for saying Paul is the most talented of the young Americans. Tiafoe and Kudla both lost 5 setters to Krajinovic and Kecmanovic, Tiafoe bageled in fifth. Maybe working harder instead of hanging around Kyrgios could have been the difference.

  • Hartt · May 27, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    I expected Struff to win against Shapo, he is a better clay court player, and already beat Denis during this clay season. Shapo has a win against Struff on hard courts.

    Denis, quite rightly, said he has had tough draws during the clay season. But I wonder if he will ever have the patience to play well on clay.

    The Bianca vs Bouzkova match was wild. Both women were hitting hard, and making some terrific shots as well as many UFEs. Bianca had a lot of BPs that she could not convert, tending to go for too much too soon. The second set was one break of serve after another, until Bianca finally held to win the set.

    Bianca showed rust, especially in her decision-making. I hope she will play better tomorrow.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 27, 2019 at 8:19 pm

    Any hint of drama from the alleged by Kerber “drama queen”?

  • catherine · May 28, 2019 at 1:58 am

    Bianca’s probably suffering from the lay-off, rust as Hartt says, and big expectations. Wouldn’t be surprised if she doesn’t stay around long at RG this year.

    I think Bianca will always have a bit of the DQ about her. You should like that Scoop. I don’t suppose she’ll ever live down the Miami incident. Of course Roumanians are Latins really so their emotions are on display. Kerber is actually a DQ as we know but she comes from the cold North and does things in a more subdued way.

    Serena has ‘mother, champion, queen, goddess,’ inscribed on her dress in French. She’s certainly not down on herself…..

  • catherine · May 28, 2019 at 5:09 am

    I caught Serena’s match on decent highlights (RG are absolutely the worst)and she seemed to be faster and fitter but in this match she didn’t really have much competition. She can be caught off balance and isn’t so fast running for dropshots but she’s got some power and if players keep hitting to it I don’t see why she shouldn’t continue to be a threat, injuries allowing.

  • catherine · May 28, 2019 at 8:01 am

    Bianca wins in 3 hrs + – longest match so far in WTA this year I think. Sounds a whacky contest – tons of UEs on both sides but Bianca hit more winners. Not sure who she plays next – Hartt will know. Certainly hope her shoulder stood up to it all.

  • catherine · May 28, 2019 at 8:07 am

    Bianca plays Kenin. Could be tricky. Maybe it’s the tv but Bianca seems to have put on weight – she’s got a similar build to Kasatkina.

  • catherine · May 28, 2019 at 8:33 am

    Sascha Z involved in 4 set t/b v Millman and no Lendl in Paris. Pourquoi ?

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 28, 2019 at 8:46 am

    McEnroe proved that creating drama helps you win tennis matches and distract opponents concentration. Subtle sophisticated gamesmanship helps win matches. Andreescu is smart.

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