Roland Garros Crisis Center, Day 5
By TW Contributing Editor, Rosangel Valenti
Good morning. This is today's gathering-place for discussing what's happening in Paris. Today's planned schedule of play can be found here.
Pushing this up today's agenda: I had been making plans to be in Paris today, but decided last night to call off the trip, after looking through various weather forecasts. The consensus from all sources is that rain is expected, predominantly of the heavy variety. I can't say that no play will take place, but the risk/reward ratio for a visitor seems unacceptably high. Tomorrow could be a better day.
On the men's side, it's an easy choice for me: Marat Safin versus Nikolay Davydenko, on Court 1. The head-to-head is 3-2 in Davydenko's favour - however, some of the matches between these two have been tight, including the most recent, on clay, in Rome last year .
The Marin Cilic-Stanislas Wawrinka matchup planned for Court 16 might also be interesting, if it were likely to be televised. James Blake's encounter with Latvia's Ernests Gulbis, first on Court 1, also has potential, as does Gael Monfils' clash with Luis Horna on Lenglen. Today, Lenglen would have been my court of choice, as the programme also includes Alize Cornet up against Gisela Dulko, and Rafael Nadal's second-round match aganst Nicolas Devilder. Roger Federer is due to appear at roughly the same time as Nadal, on Court Chatrier, for his match with Albert Montanes.
One interesting tidbit I picked up today when looking through the women's matches is that Marina Erakovic, New Zealand's number one player, ranked 80 in the world, was for some time coached by a former contributor to TW, 1983 Wimbledon finalist Chris Lewis. Erakovic is due to play Jelena Jankovic first on Lenglen today, and I found these comments that Chris himself wrote earlier this year about his former charge.
From yesterday on the men's side, Andy Murray. In his clinical three-set dismantling of an experienced claycourter in Jose Acasuso (who has played roughly ten times as many matches on the surface as Murray), he was near-perfect, breaking the Argentinian in the opening game, and looking the likelier winner ever after. It's the best performance I've seen from him all year - and I've seen many, including his win over Roger Federer. His serve, return, defence and shotmaking were all sparkling. It was totally unexpected, given his recent form and demeanour. A mention must surely also go to Paul-Henri Mathieu, who for the first time in his career came from two sets behind to win a five-setter against Oscar Hernandez.
On the women's side, many of us saw Russia's Evgeniya Rodina come within two points of a first-round upset of world number one Maria Sharapova, in a match that was decided 8-6 in the final set. From now on, we'll know who she is. Elsewhere, Casey Dellacqua pulled off a three-set win over Marion Bartoli, beating the Frenchwoman for the first time.
As always, enjoy today's events in Paris.
[Note: I took very few pictures in Paris on Tuesday, due to the weather, but a few of Rafael Nadal's fleeting appearance are on this link (click any picture to enlarge), and I'll have some of other players available later today. The smaller picture above, of Simone Bolelli, was taken by MarieJ, on one of the outside courts earlier in the week.]