Day 6 Overview

French Open 2010
By Hiland Doolittle, May 29th, 2010

The Women

Maria Kirilenko after defeating Svetlana Kuznetsova

Maria Kirilenko after defeating Svetlana Kuznetsova

Two time Grand Slam Champion and defending champion at Roland Garros, Svetlana Kuznetsova fell to improving Russian pretty girl Maria Kirilenko. The crowd favorite and six seed could not withstand the Kirilenko forehand and young legs as she succumbed in a tough three set 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 decision.

When the pressure was on, Kirilenko’s perseverance was the key. In 2010, Svetlana has had a difficult time finishing off opponents. That inability came back to haunt her as Kirilenko saw a weakness and was relentless in applying baseline pressure to the 2009 champ.

12th seeded Maria Sharapova is playing better and looking good as she cruised past Belgian Kirsten Flipkens 6-3, 6-3. Maria will face another Belgian, the tournament favorite Justine Henin in the third round. Sharapova is mounting a comeback and her match with Henin will tell how far she has progressed. Henin, who advanced via an efficient 6-3, 6-3 win against Klara Zakopalova, holds a 6-3 career edge over Sharapova. Remarkably the four time Roland Garros Champion is ranked 22nd.

Top seed Serena Williams did not waste any time advancing to round three with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Julia Goerges. Goerges had decided to let it all hang out. She came out firing big shots and that is the way she went down against the tenacious Williams.

Williams will next meet the 29th seed Anasatasia Paylyuchenko a 6-4, 6-1 winner over Jill Craybas. It will be the first meeting between the two players.

13th seed Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli is playing as well as anyone. The clay court expert closed out country woman Olivia Sanchez 7-5, 6-2. Bartoli is very comfortable with the court, the crowd support and her strong baseline play.

Winner Poker

Venus Williams, the 2nd seed, never faltered against Dominka Cibulkova, who had knocked out Venus last year. This time, Williams rode her big serve to a convincing third round win with a 6-3, 6-4 win over the patient Slovakian.

The American will face the winner of the Nadia Petrova – Aravane Rezai match, which was suspended at 5-5 in the third set. Rezai dominated Williams in the finals at Madrid two weeks ago. The hard-hitting Petrova is no bargain for anyone.

Number three seed Caroline Wozniacki looked sharp once again. The stylish Dane rallied from 1-3 in the first set and 1-4 in the second to squash an upset bid from 31st seed Alexandra Dulgheru 6-3, 6-4. Lately, Wozniacki has had difficulty getting out of the blocks. As this tourney goes on, that is a definite liability.

Fifth seeded Elena Dementieva had to rally from down 4-2 in the third set to seal the win over Aleksandra Wozniack. The elegant Russian crafted a delicate 6-7 (2), 6-3, 6-4 triumph but will need to improve her serve to continue forward.

Italian Francesca Schiavone, the 17 seed, ousted Chinese 11 seed Li Na in another upset. Li was expected to be ion contention on the red clay, but Schiavone had her big baseline game in high gear.

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The Men

Roger Federer at French Open

Roger Federer at French Open

Roger Federer recorded his 700th tour victory launching a discussion about his ability to gain 1000 wins. At this time, the Swiss would probably be happy with one more Grand Slam title. Federer swept past German Julian Resister 6-4, 6-0, 6-4. The defending champion will meet countryman Stanislaus Wawrinka, a 6-3, 6-4, 6-1 winner over Fabulous Fabio Fognino.

Number two seed Rafa Nadal was impressive against Argentine Horacio Zeballos with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 triumph. Nadal only had 12 unforced errors in the match and converted six of ten break opportunities.

Nadal will next play Australian veteran Lleyton Hewitt who won a tough five set match against Denis Isotrim 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, 2-2, 6-2. Hewitt seems to like to come from behind and that is a likely scenario against the Spaniard, a four-time champion on the red clay.

The day’s biggest upset was notched by Alexander Dolgopolov, who dismissed 12th seeded Fernando Gonzalez, a 2009 semifinalist and dangerous clay court player, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3. Dolgopolov is the 56th ranked tour player.

Spaniards Nicolas Almagro and David Ferrer showed the French why Spain is the leading clay court nation by joining Nadal in the third round.

Serb Novak Djokovic looks like a contender. The lanky number three seed made quick work of Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 in less than two hours. 31st seed Victor Hanescu awaits Djokovic in the third round.

Fourth seeded Andy Murray got off to a fast start but gave up the third set before closing out Marcos Baghdatis 6-2, 6-3, 0-6, 6-2. Murray will next face Czech star Tomas Berdych who eliminated American John Isner with surprising ease 6-2, 6-2, 6-1. Murray will need to stay focused against the smooth playing Berdych.


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