Day Two Preview

Andy Murray after winning against Frenchman Richard Gasquet

Andy Murray after winning against Frenchman Richard Gasquet

On Monday, challenges came from unlikely sources on the men’s side but heat management may have saved Andy Murray and helped Novak Djokovic as the 3 and 4 seeds lived to see another day. Murray faced the biggest hurdle as Frenchman Richard Gasquet rode a wave of fan support to take the first two sets from the four seed.

With two clay court ATP titles this year, Gasguet had his serve working and was up 3-2 in the third set before Murray broke through to square the set at 3-3. Murray then held and went up 5-3 before Gasquet broke back. At 4-5, Murray registered the devastating break before running off four more breaks en route to a four hour 4-6, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 win.

It was Murray’s second five-set Grand Slam comeback against the former number seven player. After the pivotal break at 3-2 in the third, Gasquet seemed to have expended all his energy. Murray has won seven of his last eight five set matches. Matches like these are not what top players want in early round at Roland Garros.

Australian Carsten Ball and Japan’s Kei Nishikori also rallied for five set wins. In the longest match of the tourney Lukas Lacko of Latvia edged American Michael Yani, a qualifier. The four hour 56 minute 4-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4), 6-7 (5), 12-10 match was continued from Monday. The American had 15 break points but was only able to convert one time.

Djokovic, the number one South African Airways ATP Ranked player lost the second set to Evgeny Korolev but bounced back nicely to register the 6-1, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 win. Djokovic, a strong clay court player, has developed a 2010 habit of losing unexpected sets. In the past, those losses set the Serb off but not any more. Djokovic has had a good year and should contend in a semifinal bracket that contains Americans Andy Roddick, Sam Querrey and Austrian Jurgen Melzer.

The biggest upset of the day came at the hands of Djokovic’s oft-time doubles partner Viktor Troicki, who upset 21st seed Tommy Robredo in straight sets 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 . The loss marked the first time the Spaniard was eliminated before the third round at Roland Garros.

Winner Poker

To the delight of the boisterous home-standing fans, Gael Monfils struggled but won against lucky qualifier loser, Dieter Kindmann 6-3, 7-5, 6-7 (5), 6-2 on Court Philippe Chartier. Monfils never makes it look easy with his high- risk shotmaking.

One player who usually makes it look easy is the top seed, Roger Federer, who expends as little early round energy as possible. Federer cruised to a 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 win over Austrian Pieter Luczak.

The Women

Serena Williams held off Stefanie Voegel

Serena Williams held off Stefanie Voegel

Serena Williams held off Stefanie Voegel in the first set and then let the dogs out in a 7-6, (2), 6-2 opening round win. Williams beat the heat and got some of the rust out after a lackluster performance in Madrid. Williams hit 28 winners but also had 22 unforced errors.

Seven seed Samantha Stosur, who has peaked for the French Open, worked her way past young Samantha Halep 7-5, 6-1. The fast court conditions helped Stosur who may have the best serve on the women’s tour.

Number three seed Caroline Wozniacki, who has been erratic of late, settled into the second round with a convincing 6-0, 6-3 win over Alla Kudryavseva. Fourth seeded Jalena Jankovic is taking no prisoners and registered another easy 6-0,. 6-4 win over Alicia Molik.

Elena Dementieva, the best player top have never won a major executed to perfection in her 6-1, 6-1 triumph over Petta Martic as the eighth seeded Agnieszka Raswanska brushed aside top ranked Brit Elena Baltacha 6-0, 7-5. Former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic defeated Chang Kai-Chen 6-3, 6-3 in a predictable day for top players.

Today, bookmaker favorites, Nadal and Henin make their 2010 Paris debuts.


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