Cricketer Of The Year
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Moving the hole in the o-zone layer
Roland Garros II - Men's Singles
GRAND SLAM - Tuesday (Day Four) - Paris, France - Clay (Red)
- Fourth seed Sven Oxenstierna was barely troubled in his second round match as he thumped Denmark's Kasper Buur in straight sets. The Season I finalist was tremendous as he picked apart the Dane with ease - tripling his opponent's winner count with particular aggression off his forehand side. While Oxenstierna barely needed to get out of cruise control, Buur struggled all day with his serve and was unable to get into positions to hit winners as Oxenstierna breezed to a 6-1, 6-2, 6-1 win. His first real test comes against 27th seed Sanchez Emelio in the third round after the Spaniard crushed wildcard David Lebègue 6-0, 6-1, 6-2.
- Joining the Ox in the third round is Brett Read after the unseeded Westerner came from a set down to beat Jason Bradley of the USA. Read's recent form meant he was the favourite, but after a tough five setter on Monday he took a while to get out of the blocks as the American claimed the first set 6-3. But after the rusty start, Read found his range as he frustrated Bradley with some top notch returning and solid serving to claim the next two sets in dominant fashion. A break up in the fourth, Read looked ready to coast to victory before Bradley hit back to take the set to a tiebreaker. It delayed the inevitable, though, as Read took a 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 7-6(3) win to set up a rematch with sixteenth seed Miroslav Brdar. Brdar proved too much for Björn Donaldson in a straight sets win.
- There was no luck for Jason Lawley, but he produced a very game display against 23rd seed Antonio Bachunelli. Despite being ranked in excess of one hundred places below him, Lawley pushed Bachunelli right to the limit consistently thanks to some bad errors from Bachunelli and some consistent tennis from Lawley. The Westerner played much better than his first round win over Pierre Rose earlier in the week, but still couldn't take a set off Bachunelli. Despite the gutsy performance, the Italian had too much in a 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 win.
- Also out in straight sets was Ishan Narang, though he did it far more spectacularly as he was roundly thrashed by Diego Hurtado. Starting to find his feet after a long layoff with injury, Hurtado monstered the young Easterner with a 6-3, 6-1, 6-1 win capped off with a hat trick of forehand winners to close out the match. Narang, who served so well against Rafael Fernando, came up against a far stronger opponent who outhit him with some destructive baseline tennis. The eighteenth seed didn't give up his serve once as he regularly created chances against Narang who struggled with the breezy conditions and failed to ever get going.
- The big surprise, though, is Hurtado's third round opponent as thirteenth seed Rick Henson was taken out in four by Scotland Rivers in the biggest upsets of the tournament. Henson, a former champion, was nearly unbackable against a player who has never managed to produce great tennis on the surface and has willfully avoided it. But it was clear early that something big might be brewing until Henson cut Rivers down to size in the second set 6-2. Rivers kept on plucking away, and began to frustrate Henson with some insanely good forehands that were catching the line - much to the chagrin of Henson. Falling behind 1-5 in the fourth, it seemed likely that Henson might stage a huge comeback as he broke Rivers and held to make it 3-5. But with his second chance to serve for the match, Rivers clung onto victory thanks to a backhand from Henson that found the net to advance to a Hurtado showdown 6-4, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3.
- Other seeds to fall: 30th seed Sergio Joaquin was beaten by highly rated compatriot Javier Villaneuva in Villaneuva's second straight five-set win, while 26th seed Becker Haas crumbled to Janos Varga despite leading by a break for most of the fifth set. Varga making it three Hungarians into the final four of section 4 with a 7-5, 5-7, 3-6, 6-0, 8-6 nailbiter.
- Seeded players out: Becker Haas; Rick Henson; Sergio Joaquin.
Doubles and the draw as it stands to come.