Enough of the ‘rain, rain go away’ rhymes. Now it’s just time for the great big cloud sitting on top of Paris to, well, evaporate (or whatever it is they do). Yesterday was almost a complete Roland Garros washout. Almost, but not quite. Because amidst the downpours that never end, a couple of matches somehow managed to creep towards – and even over – the French Open finishline.
The women’s action:
This was supposed to be Aga’s year – her chance at French Open glory. That chance evaporated in the misty drizzle on Suzanne-Lenglen as the No.2 seed crashed out 2-6 6-3 6-3 to Tsvetana Pironkova. Going into the day leading by a set and 3-0, all signs pointed to a cruisy Radwanska win. But Pironkova is a dogged competitor who dealt with the horrible conditions by far the better, and eased into her first Roland Garros quarterfinals.
If the ousting of the No.2 seed was a shock, Sam Stosur’s stunning comeback win against Simona Halep was nothing short of miraculous.
This was a match that the 2010 runner-up was not supposed to win. Trailing 3-5 after Sunday, Stosur came out firing. In a virtuoso 39 minute display (before rain halted play yet again), Stosur wrestled control of the first set back to take it 7-6(0) and got an early break to lead 3-2.
After a brief rain interruption the Aussie picked up where she left off and wasted no time in finishing the job 7-6(0) 6-3.
“It was impossible to play,” Halep lamented (after playing). “To play tennis matches during the rain is a bit too much. I was close to getting injured with my back… but no one cares.”
The men’s action:
Nobody managed to finish a match, but Roberto Bautista Agut was on court long enough to send a few early shockwaves around the tennis world. On a sodden Philippe-Chatrier the Spanish No.14 seed took the opening set against a distinctly out of sorts Novak Djokovic.
Djokovic was able to regroup during the rain delay, and hit back to leave the quarterfinals firmly in his grasp, leading 3-6 6-4 4-1.
Elsewhere, Dominic Thiem and Marcel Granollers are perfectly poised at a set apiece 6-2 6-7(2); David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych were on serve at 1-2; and Ernests Gulbis took the early break against David Goffin to lead 3-0.
Ones to watch:
Nobody wants to watch the rain anymore, so let’s just assume that it’s going to be a bright, sunny day.
When they get things going, it’s bound to be a busy day across all of the courts. Of the (many) remaining fourth rounds, Djokovic will want to finish things quickly against Bautista Agut, while Serena will feel the same against Svitolina.
Looking ahead to the quarterfinals and Richard Gasquet v Andy Murray should be a tasty affair, while Stan Wawrinka will have to be wary of the in-form Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
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