French Open 2011: How Upsets Have Impacted Days 1 and 2
Upsets open up a bracket, allowing players to make surprising runs or other seeded players to have an easier path to their ultimate goal. During the French Open I am going to take a look at how each of the upsets of the day impact the rest of the draw and why the seeded player went down.
The first two days have seen just eight upsets, four each on the men's and women's sides. What will day three have in store?
Stephane Robert Defeated No. 6 Tomas Berdych
Men’s No. 6 seed Tomas Berdych lost 3-6, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, 9-7 to French qualifier Stephane Robert
Why he won: Robert hit 62 winners to Berdych’s 40. Berdych was unable to convert a match point up 5-4 in the fifth set. This was only Robert’s second win ever at a Grand Slam. The 31-year-old qualifier was playing in just his fourth ATP event of the season.
Robert rallied from two sets to one down to defeat the 2010 French Open semifinalist Berdych.
Who Benefits: Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Mikhail Youzhny
Garcia-Lopez, the 30th seed, is in the same section of the draw as Berdych. Instead of a potential meeting with Berdych in the third round, Garcia-Lopez will now have a chance to advance through to the fourth round without facing a seeded player.
Youzhny would have originally played Berdych in the second round. He won’t have to worry about a player seeded higher than him until a potential quarterfinal meeting with Novak Djokovic. The only seeded player in his way until then is Garcia-Lopez.
Michael Berrer Defeated No. 26 Seed Milos Raonic
Men’s No. 26 seed Milos Raonic from Canada lost to German veteran Michael Berrer 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. ESPN’s experts sung Raonic’s praises after he advanced to the fourth round at the Australian Open in January.
Why he won: Berrer played a much more conservative match. He only made 26 unforced errors against 27 winners, in contrast to Raonic's 47 unforced errors to 42 winners.
Who Benefits: Berrer and Andy Murray
Berrer will face the winner of Arnaud Clement and Filippo Volandri in the second round. That’s a very winnable match for a chance to advance to the third round.
With Raonic out, Murray won’t have to face a seeded player until the fourth round. The seeded players remaining in that part of the draw are Alexandr Dolgopolov and Viktor Troicki. Eighth-seeded Jurgen Melzer and 11th seed Nicolas Almagro are the highest seeds in Murray’s quarter of the draw.
Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo Defeated No. 19 Marin Cilic
Men's No. 19 Marin Cilic loses 7-6, 6-4, 6-4 to Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo.
Why he won: Ramirez Hidalgo played much steadier. Cilic’s 67 unforced errors, to Ramirez Hidalgo’s 34, were too much for Cilic to overcome.
Who Benefits: Albert Montanes and Mikhail Youzhny
Montanes will play Ramirez Hidalgo in the second round instead of Cilic. Cilic was a threat to make a deep run in the French. He had advanced to the fourth round in eight of his last 16 Grand Slams. The win over Cilic was only Ramirez Hidalgo’s second career Grand Slam victory. The last was in 2006 at the French.
This is now Youzhny’s part of the bracket to control. The losses of Cilic and Berdych mean the highest-ranked player Youzhny will have to beat to advance to the quarterfinal is 30th seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez Defeated No. 19 Shahar Pe'er 7-6, 6-1
Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez defeated women's No. 19 Shahar Pe’er 7-6, 6-1
Pe'er forced a tiebreaker in the first set after trailing 4-1 but never seemed to be on her game. Martinez Sanchez dominated the second set to capture just her 11th career win in a grand slam. She has advanced past the second round in a Grand Slam just three times, all in 2009.
Why she won: Martinez Sanchez won 27 of her 32 points at the net compared to Pe’er’s seven out of 19. She also had a 60 percent to 47 percent advantage on receiving points and committed just 25 unforced errors to Pe’er’s 36.
Who Benefits: Rebecca Marino and Svetlana Kuznetsova
Marino is the next opponent for Martinez Sanchez, and Kuznetsova is the highest-seeded player remaining in that part of the draw.
Pe'er's loss means that Kuznetsova doesn't have to play a ranked player until she would face top seed Caroline Wozniacki until the fourth round.
Vavara Lepchenko Defeated No. 18 Flavia Pennetta 6-2, 3-6, 6-3
In a French Open devoid of American tennis superstars Andy Roddick and the Williams sisters, the USTA needs someone to step up and make a run.
After the win over Pennetta, Lepchenko will face another American, Bethanie Mattek-Sands. The winner becomes the first American woman other than Venus or Serena Williams to advance to the third round in Paris since 2006 (Shenay Perry).
Why she won: Lepchenko held a 72-54 percent advantage on first serves.
Who Benefits: Mattek-Sands and Jelena Jankovic
Mattek-Sands gets a chance to advance past the second round for only the second time in her career. She made it to the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2008.
Former world No. 1 Jankovic has advanced to at least the quarters of a Grand Slam seven times but has yet to win. This makes her path a bit easier, as she won’t have to play a ranked player until the fourth round. Waiting for her there could be a potential matchup with defending champion Francesca Schiavone.
Yung-Jan Chan Defeated No. 31 Klara Zakopalova 7-5, 6-1
Why she won: Chan converted 81 percent of her first serves to 62 percent for Zakopalova and committed just 11 unforced errors to 19.
Who Benefits: Jill Craybas
At age 37, Craybas will get a chance to advance to the third round at a Grand Slam for just the third time in her career. Chan’s run to the third round at the US Open last year was the first time she went that deep in a Slam. A matchup against Maria Sharapova likely awaits the winner in the third round.
Anastasia Rodionova Defeated No. 26 Nadia Petrova 6-7, 6-3, 6-4
Why she won: Rodionova was the beneficiary of seven Petrova double faults while committing just two herself. Rodionova also converted four of her six break points to just two of five for Petrova.
Who Benefits: Edina Gallovits-Hall and Vera Zvonareva
Gallovits-Hall will play Rodionova instead of a former top-10 player.
Third-seeded Zvonareva won’t play a seeded player until the fourth round.