While I would never say no to kicking back in a Heineken Garden or Grey Goose Lounge, watching tennis from an outer court and feeling grass between my toes in front of a big screen, I’ve got to admit there are some benefits I’ve noticed from sitting this Slam out (first since USO ’09, excepting Wimby last year which doesn’t count as I was embarking on a road trip of the universe and didn’t even find out that Australia had a new Prime Minister, let alone the crazy story that is Isner-Mahut). It gives me a chance to keep up with the off-court side of the slams, the stories, the interviews, the photos – oh wait, what did you say about interviews? Never mind then – and cool stuff the tourney websites like to post (aside from interview transcripts, what?) like Road to Roland Garros and the awesome new Name A Player video interview.
So based on the day I’ve had, here’s my little recap of Day 4 on the dirt in Paris, as seen through the lens of the Interwebz:
Woz and Woz: If the umpire wasn’t challenged enough by CWoz and AWoz of Wozniacki and Wozniak name, further dramz were presented when Ms Woz – niacki, to be precise, decided to argue a line call which was determined by many to be “unsportsmanlike” as it was set to distract AWoz, who promptly lost the TB, the set, and the match. I’ve always said Caro is good for the sport and we should embrace her, but like any 20-year-old engaged in high stakes to prove their worth, emotions can take over – talk to your average college kid re. SATs, cheerleading or internship dramz and you’ll know she’s not alone. Nuff said.
So Frenchie, So Chic: Showman Gael Monfils decided to provide the folks on Phllippe Chatrier with some bang for his buck, ably assisted by FFT wildcard recipient Guillerme Rufin, a man I am only aware of due to his first-round exit at the hands of Tomic in a rain-delayed match in Melbourne last year. They battled it out in four sets, but it’s the crowd favourite La Monf who’ll jump-and-fake-tweener on into the next round.
Viktor Hanescu was on the verge of making this clay season all the more memorable, following an impressive run last week in Nice, challenging the undefeated Novak Djokovic in the first set before falling behind and ultimately retiring due to injury. He scored the consolation prize that all Rafole opponents get these days, though – a worldwide Twitter trend. #tennisgoingmainstream, woo!
My Sam maintained her “attitude and composure” with a cool win over Simona Halep, love and 2. Oh yes.
David Ferrer continued his badass awesomeness of the last year or so but still failed to remind half the world he exists when posting his TWO HUNDREDTH win on clay today. For the record, ladies and gents, that’s huge.
Hearts surged, melted and finally broke in an incredible roller-coaster match from the lovely yet sadly stricken Sabine Lisicki against a kinda-slumping-without-her-model-coach Vera Zvonareva. Heart, guts and pretty play weren’t enough for the German who gave up matchpoints as her body gave out, leaving her writhing on the ground and sobbing her guts out before a stretcher carried her off court along with the tears of half the tennis universe.
Julia Goerges didn’t disappoint those who’ve picked her as this year’s breakout despite losing the first set to Lucie “Miz Berdych” Safarova; Richard Gasquet was pretty much the same against Marcel Granola Bar, another Court Thirteen favourite.’Twas a sad day for family Berdych-Safarova as the Tomas-Slayer of Round One, Stephane Robert, failed to back up his birdslaughter and fell to Fabio Fognini. Whatevs.
Badass Bethanie Mattek-Sands emerged from the All-American match against Court Thirteen favourite “Girl in the Pink Skirt” Varvara Lepchenko with her black grease paint still intact – only to tell us all on Roland Garros radio, that actually, kids, it ain’t greasepaint after all – the traditional eye black is actually stickers, which don’t smudge the same in the heat. Also, they serve a purpose beyond mere badassery – despite matching oh-so-well with BMK’s fabulous on-court ensembles of long socks and Gaga-esque outfits, the eyeblack removes glare from the sun. American fans of football and basketball may have been aware, but from this Aussie girl – who woulda thunk it?
It was a good day for our loved ones, come to think of it, with Aussie neighbour Anastasia Rodionova, Canadian sweetheart Rebecca Marino, sexy Russian favourite Mikhail Youzhny and beauty-brains-and-beats maestro Janko Tipsarevic all making it through to the next round, even before breakfast, New York time.
Last mention must go to the match of the day that left my livescoring self hanging at the edge of my desktop as tennis history showed us a brief open page in its books before slamming shut again – refer, of course, to the epic five setter between GEE GEE EL aka Guillermo Garcia Gomez aka Guillerme Garcia-Lopez of Spain, and Marsel Ilhan, the Uzbek-turned-Turkish player who’s already been the first Turkish player into R2 of a Slam and looked close to making history a second time round in the third. They finished 13-11 in the third, not that anyone would know, being on a non-TV court that even RG radio didn’t deign to switch to due to the “lack of ball sound” on court. And that, my dears, is the joy of the interwebz. Lots of stories unfolded – oh yes, not that I will blog about them now – but nothing beats pulling up a chair, grabbing a beer and basking in the sunshine out at Court Number Thirteen.
Bonsoir, mes amies. See you tomorrow for another belle journee of joue de tennis!