French Open Results 2013: Day 7 Scores, Highlights and Recap
Though rainfall hampered first few days of the 2013 French Open at Roland Garros in Paris, France, Day 7 managed to get the ball rolling on what should be an exciting finish the rest of the way.
Both singles draws had eight matches on Saturday, with top seed Novak Djokovic and seven-time French Open champ Rafael Nadal both in action for the men and Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka trying to advance on the women's side.
Saturday was also a big day for Americans at Roland Garros: John Isner was the lone American still alive when the day began for the men, while three women from the U.S. were looking to move on to the fourth round.
Let's take a look at a few of the notable scores from Saturday's action, and recap some of the best play as this Grand Slam inches toward the crucial sections of the draw.
Notable Day 7 Results
|Tommy Haas (12) def. John Isner (19)||7-5, 7-6, 4-6, 6-7, 7-6 (10-8)|
|Mikhail Youzhny (29) def. Janko Tipsarevic (8)||6-4, 6-4, 6-3|
|Rafael Nadal (3) def. Fabio Fognini (27)||7-6, 6-4, 6-4|
Richard Gasquet (7) def. Nikolay Davydenko ||6-4, 6-4, 6-3|
|Stanislas Wawrinka (9) def. Jerzy Janowicz (21)||6-3, 6-7, 6-3, 6-3|
|Philipp Kohlschreiber (16) def. Victor Hanescu||6-0, 7-6, 6-1|
|Novak Djokovic (1) def. Grigor Dimitrov (26)||6-2, 6-2, 6-3|
|Kei Nishikori (13) def. Benoit Paire (24)||6-3, 6-7, 6-4, 6-1|
|Bethanie Mattek-Sands def. Paula Ormeachea||4-6, 6-1, 6-3|
|Jamie Hampton def. Petra Kvitova (7)||6-1, 7-6|
|Francesca Schiavone def. Marion Bartoli (13)||6-2, 6-1|
|Sloane Stephens (17) def. Marina Erakovic||6-4, 6-7, 6-3|
|Maria Kirilenko (12) def. Stefanie Voegele||7-6, 7-5|
|Maria Sharapova (2) def. Jie Zheng||6-1, 7-5|
|Jelena Jankovic (18) def. Samantha Stosur (9)||3-6, 6-3, 6-4|
|Victoria Azarenka (3) def. Alize Cornet (31)||4-6, 6-3, 6-1|
For a complete look at the results from the 2013 French Open, visit RolandGarros.com.
Nadal, Djokovic Get Straight-Set Wins to Advance
No. 1-seeded Novak Djokovic lost to Grigor Dimitrov the last time they met, but Djokovic dispatched his counterpart relatively easily on Saturday. The Serbian star won in straight sets to advance to the fourth round and keep hope alive for his first career win at Roland Garros.
As noted by Live Tennis, revenge had to feel sweet for the world's top player:
Revenge must feel sweet for Djokovic. As for Grigor, he was far short of his best but at least he's got Maria to comfort him tonight...— Live Tennis (@livetennis) June 1, 2013
Seven-time tournament winner Rafael Nadal also advanced by taking care of his opponent without much drama. Fabio Fognini managed to win at least four games in each of his three sets against the king of clay, but Nadal walked away with the three-set victory and a spot in the fourth round.
For Nadal, the win had to be fulfilling in light of his comments on Friday that the tournament scheduling was not fair after rained forced him to the court in back-to-back days.
Roland Garros got this excellent shot of Nadal through the flowers on the side of the stadium during his third-round match:
With Roger Federer sitting comfortably in his hotel room watching his two biggest rivals for the title win in dominating fashion, the next few days of action will reach a fever pitch if two of the men's top three players square off.
Isner Falls in Five-Set Thriller
John Isner made his country proud at the 2013 French Open by refusing to take "no" for an answer when it came to going home early.
Unfortunately, Tommy Haas eventually took Isner down in a match that lasted more than four hours—arguably the match of the day at Roland Garros.
Isner dropped the first two sets only to come back and win the third set to grab some momentum for a potential comeback. The veteran Haas was not an easy draw, and he had Isner against the wall several times during the fourth set (as noted by Ben Rothenberg of the New York Times):
John Isner has now saved a dozen Tommy Haas match points in fourth set, all without a sitdown. Thoroughly ridiculous stuff here. #rg13— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) June 1, 2013
The American did take Haas to a fifth set, but in another tiebreak, the German managed to reign victorious after this marathon on Saturday afternoon (via Times writer Judy Battista):
Isner-Haas match lasted 4 hours, 37 mins. At the end, Haas still had enough left in his legs to hop around the court in celebration.— Judy Battista (@judybattista) June 1, 2013
Isner's exit ends any chance of an American upset on the men's side of the draw. However, that's not the case on the women's side, where Serena Williams, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Jamie Hampton and Sloane Stephens all still remain.
Victoria Azarenka is one of the best women's singles players on the planet, but she yet again struggled to find her comfort zone on the clay on Saturday.
As noted by Greg Garber of ESPN.com, her patience and dedication to the long point are coming into question at the 2013 French Open—a reason she dropped the first set against Alize Cornet:
To begin with, Azarenka is not the most patient person, and clay requires enormous reserves. Delicate point construction is essential, and, on other surfaces, Azarenka's big game—and perhaps the finest backhand on the women's side—carries her swiftly through the points.
She managed to rally, though, pulling it together over the final two sets to oust Cornet and move on to the fourth round at the Open for the fourth time in her career. With Maria Sharapova and Williams lurking the rest of the way, Azarenka will have to dig deep to make it to the finals of this event.
Gasquet Lone French Star to Advance
It's been 30 years since Yannick Noah won the 1983 French Open—the last time a tennis pro from the home country took home the title on the men's side.
Bruce Jenkins of Sports Illustrated had a great look at what the drought means to France earlier in the week, and why waiting for a champ year after year has been so hard.
The Frenchmen left certainly won't be favored in matches against the tournament's top stars, but they will have home-court advantage in their favor when taking on these highly-ranked opponents.
Richard Gasquet is one of the Frenchmen (along with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gilles Simon) to survive the third round, after he defeated Nikolay Davydenko in straight sets on Saturday. Another Frenchman, Benoit Paire, lost his third-round match to leave France with a three-in-16 shot to win the Grand Slam.
On the women's side, no home country representative remains after Marion Bartoli and Cornet both lost their Saturday matches.
Other Notes from Day 7 Action
As noted above in the Isner section, it was a big day for American women at the French Open.
Williams was already in the fourth round after her last win, but Stephens, Hampton and Mattek-Sands all had a chance to give the U.S. its first foursome in the fourth round at the French Open since 2004 (via Matt Cronin):
4 US women in R16 of RG: Serena, Beth, Jaime & Sloane, 1st time at a Slam since 04 USO, when Serena, Venus, Davenport and Capriaiti made it.— Matt Cronin (@TennisReporters) June 1, 2013
One of those women, Mattek-Sands, isn't short on confidence, as she displayed in her interview with reporters regarding her chances of winning the entire thing (via Roland Garros):
Jim Caple of ESPN wrote an expose on the American women thriving at the French Open. That includes the emergence of 20-year-old Stephens, who has had an up-and-down year on Tour but has managed to work her way into the final 16 at Roland Garros this year.
Stephens will have the biggest test of the remaining Americans, as Sharapova will be her next opponent (via Roland Garros):
Coming back from behind in the 2nd set, Sharapova prevailed over Zheng Jie 6-1 7-5. She will face Sloane Stephens next. #RG13— Roland Garros (@rolandgarros) June 1, 2013
Hampton has also had a nice run at the Grand Slam so far, beating Petra Kvitova in stunning straight-set fashion to advance to the next round. Here's a shot at her serving against the No. 7 player in the women's draw (via Roland Garros):
With a few more days of action left and the real meat of the tournament still to come, the highest-level of play is still ahead. All the top-three seeds are still alive on the men's and women's sides of the draw as both sides fight for a title in Paris.
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