Day Four Overview

French Open 2010
By Hiland Doolittle, May 27th, 2010

The Men

Gael Monfils Vs Fabio Fognini at French Open

Gael Monfils Vs Fabio Fognini at French Open

Gael Monfils thrilled the crowd with his early play against upstart Fabio Fognini but the super-athletic Monfils was unable to closeout the match after jumping to a two set lead. At 4-1 with a double break in the fourth, Monfils began battling himself, his emotions and severe leg cramps.

In the final set at 4-5, Monfils saved three match points before the referee finally halted play. By that time, the once filled Court Philippe Chartier was nearly empty and the court was surrounded in darkness. The match will be completed on Thursday at 5-5 in the fifth.

On a day where form generally held, fifth seeded Robin Soderling put forth the most impressive display. Last year’s runnerup won 20 of the first 22 points against American veteran Taylor Dent and never looked back. Soderling wasted no time in registering a quick 6-0, 6-1, 6-1 entree into the third round. Soderling will face Spaniard Albert Montanes who po0lished off Albert Montanes 6-3, 6-2, 6-1.

Eight seeded Jo Wilfried Tsonga showed the hometown fans flashes of brilliance in another 6-0, 6-1, 6-4 dismissal of his oft time practice partner Josselin Ouanna. Tsonga recorded nine aces and hit 41 winner in the 79 minute match.

Tenth seeded Marin Cilic put away Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-2. Cilic held all six break points he faced in hitting 23 winners. Cilic’s 2010 record known stands at 28-8.

Mikkhail Youzhny had all he could handle with unsung Slovakian 6-7 (8), 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 and will have Serb Viktor Troicki in Round Three. Troicki overcame Aussie Carsten Ball in straight sets.

Winner Poker

Top seed Roger Federer started slowly but finished fast despite two rain delays. The Swiss registered his 699th tour victory and 150th clay court triumph against Alejandro Falla 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-4. Federer’s 700th win could well come against unseeded Julian Reister, who upset Belgian Olivier Rochus.

The Women

Venus Williams celebrates after winning second round match

Venus Williams celebrates after winning second round match

In a city that thrives on high fashion, Venus Williams showed off a revealing low cut outfit of her own and the French fans responded with enthusiasm. The number two seed shoed off her powerful serve against a very game Arrant Para Santana. The Spaniard kept Williams on the court by chasing down every ball and going for winners throughout the match. Williams never lost her serve. Williams will next face Dominika Cibulkova, who took the American out of last year’s event.

Defending champion Svetlana Kuznetsova faced four match points before rallying to defeat hard-hitting Andrea Petkovic in three difficult sets 4-6, 7-5, 6-4. Trailing 6-4, 5-3, Kuznetsova, who is seeded sixth this year, saved the four match points and gained the set. The Russian then jumped out to a 5-2 third set lead before holding on for the win.

Earn Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles...

The surprise of the day came at the hands of Polona Hercog, who blasted 24 seed Lucie Safarova 6-1, 6-2. Safarova has enjoyed a fine 2010 season and was expected to compete for the title. Her erratic serve was her downfall as Hercog relentlessly applied pressure with her returns.

Aravane Rezai, the popular Frenchwoman of Iranian descent, continued her own pressings style of play and despite losing the second set overcame Angelique Kerber 6-2, 2-6, 6-3.

19 seed Nadia Petrova, 30th seed Maria Kirilenko, who will face Kuznetsova in Round Three, three seed Caroline Wozniacki and Flavia Pennetta all advanced on the rain delayed day.


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