French Open 2012: Highlighting the Tournament's Best Moments
The past two weeks at the French Open have been memorable for tennis fans and non-tennis fan enthusiasts alike. Regardless of whether you have ever picked up a tennis racket or not, watching tennis on television should cause a person to appreciate the skill and athleticism it takes to play this fast-paced, exciting game.
I know the opinion I had of the game changed as I watched much of the action this past week. And in so doing I became captivated by the shots, the atmosphere and the exuberance displayed throughout Roland Garros.
Here are the best moments from the past two weeks in Paris.
Sara Errani Defeats No. 6 Samantha Stosur to Advance to Women's Final
Samantha Stosur was the No. 6 seed in this tournament, Sara Errani 21st. It was Errani who won and advanced to the women's final.
Virginnie Razzano Defeats No. 5 Serena Williams in First Round
Unfortunately when a name player loses early in a tournament, the media is going to dissect what is wrong with said player and mostly ignore the triumphant winner.
Virginie Razzano though won an excruciatingly long and painful match against Serena Williams. The match lasted over three hours, thus the winner was unlikely to hold serve in their second-round match anyway.
But Razzano, the 111th player in the world, won a match against the fifth-ranked player in the WTA standings. That's the stuff of legends.
It's not quite Rudy-esque, but Razzano's perseverance to defeat Williams is something she can and will always remember. Many tennis fans will do the same.
Dominika Cibulkova Defeats No. 1 Victoria Azarenka
Dominika Cibulkova didn't just beat the No. 1 player in women's tennis. She clobbered her. She won in straight sets 6-2, 7-6.
Sure, that second set was much closer than the first, but it's not as if Cibulkova was terrible in that set. She did win after all.
Azarenka didn't play her best tennis of course. But Cibulkova was Tony the Tiger GRRREEAAAAT!
Li Na Loses to Yaroslava Shvedova
Never mind how difficult it is to spell Yaroslava Shvedova or that it's also very difficult to remember the order of Li Na's name.
When the two met in the fourth round of the French Open, it was great tennis. And Shvedova escaped with a three-set victory. Though no set was won by more than three games, the very fact the two went to three sets made it one of the better women's matches.
And that Shvedova pulled the upset in comeback fashion made it that much more exciting.
Sara Errani and Robert Vinci Win Women's Doubles for 1st Grand Slam Title
Sara Errani came up just shy of the individual title when Maria Sharapova defeated her on Saturday. But she didn't leave Paris without some hardware, as she and teammate Roberta Vinci won their first career Grand Slam doubles title.
They defeated the Russian team made up of Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. And that was quite the beautiful final moment for Errani, who had a memorable tournament to say the least.
Maria Sharapova Beats Sara Errani for 1st French Open Title and Career Grand Slam
It wasn't only Maria Sharapova's first French Open title, but a career Grand Slam-clinching victory for the 25-year-old Russian-American. And it capped a tournament which catapulted back into the WTA No. 1 ranking.
And as I mentioned earlier this week, she was absolutely dominant. Her 6-3, 6-2 victory over the surprising Sara Errani was among her finest performances of the entire tournament.
For a woman whose image sometimes has overshadowed her game throughout her career, Sharapova's French Open title solidified her spot as one of the best to ever play the women's game. That's a moment she'll certainly never forget.
Nicholas Mahut Defeats No. 26 Andy Roddick in First Round
Andy Roddick was far from the favorite coming into the French Open. But as the No. 26 seed it wouldn't have been unreasonable to think he could win one or two matches.
Instead the unranked Nicholas Mahut defeated Roddick in four sets 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2. It was a dominant performance by Mahut—one he will likely remember for quite a while.
Novak Djokovic Completes Amazing Comeback vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Quarterfinal
Jo Wilfried-Tsonga had Novak Djokovic on the ropes in their quarterfinal match of the French Open. Tsonga won the first two sets and nearly won the third, but Djokovic managed to win the decisive seventh game in the third set and defeated Tsonga in the fourth set after about 1,000 points between them.
Djokovic took care of business in the finale, winning 6-1. It was a memorable match even for those who don't ordinarily watch much tennis.
The Joker's comeback win was probably the most memorable men's victory other than...
Rafael Nadal Defeats Djokovic for Record 7th Straight French Open Title
It may not have been the most memorable match of this tournament, but Monday's delayed final was still its most anticipated matchup.
Either way history would be made. Novak Djokovic had a chance to sweep the Grand Slam tournaments going back to last year's Wimbledon tournament. But that did not happen.
Instead, Rafael Nadal became the first player ever to win seven consecutive French Open titles.
The win surely cements Nadal as one of the finest players the game has ever seen. And he holds one of its most amazing records.