Although we are still getting through the first round of the 2014 French Open, there have been plenty of head-turning results in both the men's and women's draws.
The first two days featured upsets of Stanislas Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori, two top-10 players who have performed extremely well in 2014. While the men's tournament at Roland Garros has been considered a two-person race between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, both Wawrinka and Nishikori had the possibility to knock either out.
That will clearly not happen anymore, and Tuesday's action took out some other top contenders for a 2014 title. Here is a look at some notable results from Day 3 of the French Open followed by a breakdown of the most surprising scores of the day.
|No. 5 David Ferrer||Igor Sijsling||6-4, 6-3, 6-1|
|No. 23 Gael Monfils||Victor Hanescu||6-2, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2|
|No. 12 Richard Gasquet||Bernard Tomic||6-2, 6-1, 7-5|
|No. 7 Andy Murray||Andrey Golubev||6-1, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3|
|Ivo Karlovic||No. 11 Grigor Dimitrov||6-4, 7-5, 7-6(3)|
|Jurgen Zopp||No. 16 Tommy Haas||2-5, ret.|
|Jack Sock||No. 21 Nicolas Almagro||5-0, ret.|
|Carlos Berlocq||Lleyton Hewitt||3-6, 6-2, 6-1, 6-4|
|No. 4 Simona Halep||Alisa Kleybanova||6-0, 6-2|
|No. 11 Ana Ivanovic||Caroline Garcia||6-1, 6-3|
|Kristina Mladenovic||No. 2 Li Na||7-5, 3-6, 6-1|
|No. 15 Sloane Stephens||Shuai Peng||6-4, 7-6(8)|
|Yanina Wickmayer||No. 13 Caroline Wozniacki||7-6(5), 4-6, 6-2|
|No. 6 Jelena Jankovic||Sharon Fichman||5-7, 6-1, 6-3|
A complete list of results is available at RolandGarros.com.
Kristina Mladenovic def. No. 2 Li Na; 7-5, 3-6, 6-1
After Australian Open winner Wawrinka was defeated in the first round, the other winner in Melbourne suffered a similar fate, as Li Na went down in three sets to Kristina Mladenovic.
Li was the 2011 French Open winner and entered this year's event with plenty of confidence. However, she was incredibly sloppy in the match with 37 unforced errors with five double faults.
She explained after the match that her poor play would have led to a loss against anyone, per the Associated Press (via ESPN.com):
Nobody say if you No. 2 in the world you have to win all the matches. I mean, this is tennis. I think doesn't matter who plays today against me; I always lose the match today because I don't think she...put a lot of pressure [on] me. I think today just I gave it away.
Despite this, Mladenovic deserves credit for keeping her composure and really working to get points on her own serve. She was not intimidated by the name and instead went out with confidence to earn the win.
Things will remain tough for the French star, but she has a chance to make a deep run with the support of the home fans.
Ivo Karlovic def. No. 11 Grigor Dimitrov; 6-4, 7-5, 7-6(4)
Grigor Dimitrov has been considered one of the best young players in the sport, climbing to No. 11 in the world at just 23 years old. However, the latest loss notes a disturbing trend for the Bulgarian, via Ben Rothenberg of The New York Times:
For all his legit hype, Grigor Dimitrov has still only made a Slam second week once. He crashes out in shocking straights to Karlovic. #RG14— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) May 27, 2014
Of course, this match had less to do with Dimitrov and more to do with the spectacular play of Ivo Karlovic. The veteran had an incredible 22 aces to only two double faults and was able to win 88 percent of his first serves. He was simply firing the ball in perfect location and could not be stopped.
In fact, Dimitrov failed to earn a single break in the match and only saw a single break point all day.
Karlovic was just good enough defensively to escape each set with a narrow win, finishing off a match that was much closer than a typical straight-set victory.
While Dimitrov still has plenty of potential, he will need to be more consistent at defending the serve in order to succeed in Grand Slams in the future.
Yanina Wickmayer def. No. 13 Caroline Wozniacki; 7-5(5), 4-6, 6-2
Caroline Wozniacki is not having a good week, as noted by ESPN's Rick Reilly:
Poor Caroline Wozniacki. 1) Dumped by Rory McIlroy. 2) Watches him win w/out her. 3) Booted in 1st round of French.— Rick Reilly (@ReillyRick) May 27, 2014
It is unknown how much of an effect the breakup had on her performance, but it is clear that her effort against Yanina Wickmayer was not a good one. While she was hitting accurate shots (76 percent of first serves in play), they were not effective (57 percent of first serves won).
On the other hand, Wickmayer was able to get the important points—especially in the first tiebreaker—to advance past the first round at Roland Garros for the first time since 2011.
The Belgian will now have a chance to keep going against Silvia Soler-Espinosa in the second round and then relatively light competition for the next few rounds. She would not have to face another top-20 competitor until at least the quarterfinals.
If she can play this well in the next few rounds, a deep run is certainly possible.
Jurgen Zopp def. No. 16 Tommy Haas; 2-5, ret./Jack Sock def. No. 21 Nicolas Almagro; 5-0, ret.
It is not surprising that Tommy Haas had to withdraw; it is something fans have become accustomed to in recent years. The 36-year-old veteran has seen his body simply fall apart, preventing him from too many deep runs in tournaments.
Beyond the Baseline provided the latest info on Haas retiring from the match:
Up 5-2, Tommy Haas retires with a shoulder injury. Zopp through to the second round. #RG14— Beyond The Baseline (@SI_BTBaseline) May 27, 2014
The disappointing part is that he was actually leading at the time and seemed to be playing extremely well. If his shoulder held up, there is a chance he could have made a deep run in this tournament.
Meanwhile, Nicolas Almagro also was forced to retire due to injury, as noted by the official Roland Garros Twitter account:
Almagro was down 5-0 at the time, so it was clear that something was wrong. However, this opens the bracket up immensely considering he and Haas were in the same part of the draw. Some unseeded player is going to have a relatively easy run.
Rafael Nadal becomes the big winner of the events, as he will now avoid all seeded players until at least the quarterfinals. He has the talent to beat anyone on tour anyway, but things are now easier than ever for the eight-time French Open champion.
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