What a day it was at the French Open.
There were upsets, as has become the norm at Roland Garros this year. There were top stars in action. There was one match that didn't have a break for almost four sets. And did we mention the upsets?
Let's take a look back at Friday's results and run through some of the top storylines from a fun Day 6 of action.
|No. 4 Roger Federer def. No. 31 Dmitry Tursunov||7-5, 6-7(7), 6-2, 6-4|
|No. 8 Milos Raonic def. No. 29 Gilles Simon||4-6, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2, 7-5|
|No. 2 Novak Djokovic def. Marin Cilic||6-3, 6-2, 6-7(2), 6-4|
|No. 13 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga def. No. 22 Jerzy Janowicz||6-4, 6-4, 6-3|
|No. 18 Ernests Gulbis def. Radek Stepanek||6-3, 6-2, 7-5|
|No. 10 John Isner def. No. 17 Tommy Robredo||7-6(13), 7-6(3), 6-7(5), 7-5|
|No. 6 Tomas Berdych def. No. 27 Roberto Bautista Agut||6-1, 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-4|
|Marcel Granollers vs. Martin Klizan||To Finish 6-7(5), 6-2, 7-6(4)|
|Ajla Tomljanovic def. No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska||6-4, 6-4|
|No. 7 Maria Sharapova def. Paula Ormaechea||6-0, 6-0|
|No. 19 Samantha Stosur def. No. 9 Dominika Cibulkova||6-4, 6-4|
|No. 8 Angelique Kerber def. No. 31 Daniela Hantuchova||7-5, 6-3|
|No. 14 Carla Suarez Navarro def. Taylor Townsend||6-2, 6-2|
|Pauline Parmentier def. Mona Barthel||1-6, 6-1, 7-5|
|No. 18 Eugenie Bouchard def. Johanna Larsson||7-5, 6-4|
|Garbine Muguruza def. Anna Schmiedlova||6-2, 6-4|
Another Day, Another Set of Upsets in the Women's Draw
Her undoing came in the form of unseeded Ajla Tomljanovic, who defeated Radwanska in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4. Naila-Jean Meyers of The New York Times has more:
Radwanska, seeking her first Grand Slam title, did not seize it. She has never had much success at the French Open, her best result being a quarterfinal appearance last year. She quickly fell behind by 5-1 in the first set, her normal bag of tricks rendered futile by her own errors and Tomljanovic’s aggressiveness. Radwanska took a bathroom break between sets to regroup, but it did not help. Tomljanovic broke her to open the second set.
Radwanska got three break-point opportunities in the eighth game of the set, wasting them all. More and more of her shots landed lazily into the net as Tomljanovic closed out the match.
Radwanska wasn't alone in being eliminated. No. 9 Dominika Cibulkova was also upset, losing in straight sets to Samantha Stosur. That loss was less surprising, however, as Stosur is now 5-0 all-time against Cibulkova.
Is Maria Sharapova Now the Favorite?
It would certainly appear that way. The 2012 winner of this event and 2013 runner-up has yet to lose a set and didn't lose a single game against Paula Ormaechea, a dominant performance for a third-round matchup. Plus, with her kryptonite eliminated—she hasn't beaten Williams since 2004, a string of 15 straight losses—the path has been cleared in front of her.
Ana Ivanovic is another player to watch. She won this title in 2008 and has been quite good this year, with two singles titles to her name and a series of deep runs in recent tournaments.
There are a number of other contenders as well, including Simona Halep—now the top-seeded player remaining at No. 4—but Sharapova has clearly become the favorite to win at Roland Garros.
The Stars Advance on the Men's Side
While the women's draw has been rife with upsets, the fourth round on the men's side of things—at least on the bottom of the bracket—is full of high-profile matchups, led by Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, who each advanced on Friday.
Neither had it easy, of course. The Djoker needed four sets to dispose of Marin Cilic, while Federer needed the same to defeat No. 31 Dmitry Tursunov.
The bottom of the men's bracket now features three tasty Round 4 matches, as Federer will face No. 18 Ernests Gulbis (more on him below), Djokovic will take on No. 13 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and No. 6 Tomas Berdych will try to deal with No. 10 John Isner and his epic serve.
With No. 1 Rafael Nadal, No. 5 David Ferrer and No. 7 Andy Murray alive at the top of the bracket, it looks as though the stars will again remain supreme at another Grand Slam.
Ernests Gulbis Wins on Tennis Court, Loses in Court of Public Opinion
We should have been singing Gulbis' praises on Friday. After all, he dismissed Radek Stepanek in straight sets, setting up an intriguing matchup with Roger Federer.
But instead, Gulbis had to go and say something, well, disappointing. Here are his comments during the post-match press conference, via Ben Rothenberg of The New York Times:
Those remarks are certainly old-fashioned, and surely offensive to all of the successful, talented professional female players also competing at Roland Garros this week.
Sharapova, when asked about Gulbis' comments, was both gracious and insightful in her remarks, via Rothenberg:
Sharapova summed things up perfectly, so we can pretty much leave it at that. Gulbis would be wise to focus on his next match with Federer and worry less about his antiquated notions of gender roles.
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