Roland Media Day 9: “Just Another Manic Monday…”
Roland Media is TTI’s daily French Open wrap up of all the bizarre, entertaining and best moments from Paris.
The Unheralded Opposition
In the most open section of the women’s draw, Timea Bacsinszky turned around an early deficit to trounce No. 4 seed Petra Kvitova, 6-0 6-3 in the final two sets of their fourth round match. The Swiss had previously defeated the Czech No. 1 in Shenzhen to start the season repeating the feat in one of the biggest matches of her career.
In the quarterfinals she’ll meet unseeded Alison Van Uytvanck, who beat Andreea Mitu in far more straight-forward fashion — but she was at least as happy as Bacsinszky after converting match point.
I’m sure we all picked this one before the tournament…
The Heralded Opposition
Novak Djokovic breezed through his quarterfinal against Richard Gasquet. The Serb didn’t hardly found himself tested throughout the match — with the exception of a short-lived late surge from the Frenchman in the third set.
A few minutes in advance of the top seed’s victory, Rafael Nadal held up his end of the bargain of what has to be one of the most anticipated quarterfinals in years. The Spaniard, however, dropped a set to Jack Sock, who reeled off four straight games in the second set to force the nine-time French Open Champion into a fourth set. The American had his chances from there, but wasn’t able to convert one of his many break points, losing 6-3, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2.
In the post match interview, a very smiley Nadal was pretty happy about making it through his first tougher test this tournament — and his eyebrow was as expressive as always:
Let the hype commence
Kidnapped by Danger
For the third successive match, the World No. 1 found herself in the precarious situation of being closer to the Roland Garros exit door than she’d like. Compatriot Sloane Stephens capitalized on Williams’ very slow start, quickly running away with the opener, 6-1. During the second set the two-time French Open winner began to find her groove, ending up with the final two sets, 7-5, 6-3.
In the quarters Serena will face Sara Errani, an opponent she has enjoyed playing in the past few years — but she struggled against the crafty clay-courter in Fed Cup this April.
We’ll be watching…
GASP! The Defender is Down
Maria Sharapova suffered defeat in straight sets at the hands of Lucie Safarova. The Czech and the two-time French Open champion have had several close encounters in the past, but this time it was the 2014 Wimbledon semifinalist who kept her focus in the impotant moments.
Sharapova has been under the weather for most of the tournament, but didn’t blame the loss on her on-going cold.
For Safarova it’ll be the first Roland Garros quarterfinal of her career.
Safarova will next play last year’s French Open quarterfinalist, Garbiñe Muguruza, who took out Flavia Pennetta in straight sets. The Italian had the lead in both sets, but the Spaniard came blasting back each time.
We’ll be back tomorrow with the best moments from the quarterfinals.
In the meantime, watch out for banana peels:
What was your favorite media moment of Day 9? Sound off in the comments!
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