29-05-2011, 06:55 AM
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 - Thursday (Day Six) - Paris, France - Clay (Red)
- Season I finalist Sven Oxenstierna is out. Those seven words were enough to put the tennis world into a state of shock as the World No. 4 was bundled out in four sets by 27th seed Sanchez Emelio. Less than a month ago, Oxenstierna trounced Emelio 6-2, 6-1 in the third round of Monte Carlo; but he faced a far more determined opponent here in Paris with Emelio coming off back-to-back straight sets victories. While many noted that those victories had come against substandard opposition, it was clear that Emelio was not one of those people as he took the first set off Oxenstierna with some consistent baseline tennis. Oxenstierna was continually frustrated by Emelio's deep ball-striking that left him camped on the baseline against a player in his element, and his attempts to take the ascendancy hurt him as he was passed at the net by a cool cross-court backhand from Emelio to fall a break behind in the second set. There was always a feeling of inevitability as Oxenstierna broke back immediately to level the scores at 3-3, but just four games later he was stunned into submission as Emelio played an extremely brave drop shot to bring up three set points on the Oxenstierna serve. The World No. 4 needed a big first serve and didn't get it; Emelio taking advantage of a nothing second serve to crack a flat winner off the forehand side to seal the second set and to move to the cusp of an extraordinary victory.
But Oxenstierna wasn't done yet as he got the jump on Emelio in the third and this time held on as his usual swagger started to return as he pushed to the net more often for a 5/6 result. Taking the set 6-2, he looked like he could be another player to stage a miraculous recovery. But the gravity of that task against a player of Emelio's class made itself immediately apparent in the fourth set as he was broken in the second game to give Emelio the 2-0 lead. The 27th seed knew all he had to do was to hold serve four more times, but he gave Oxenstierna a glimmer of hope when serving for the match at 5-3 as the World No. 4 got the set back on the service at the last possible opportunity.
It was all for nought. A mistimed forehand caught the frame of Oxenstierna's racquet to give the Spanish No. 2 two match points. He needed just one - after an extended rally the Season I finalist framed a backhand out of picture to hand Sanchez Emelio a monumental 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 victory and perhaps the biggest upset of the clay season.
- There was better news for West CWLand fans as Brett Read advanced to the fourth round in his second five-setter of the week; picking up his second win over Miroslav Brdar in as many weeks to set up a final 16 showdown with Emelio. Ranked outside the top 100 due to the amount of tournaments he's played, Read started like a shot to take a 4-1 lead over the sixteenth seed. While Brdar fought back, Read still took the all-important first set to give him a shot of confidence. Or so you'd think; Brdar dominated the second set with some whipping forehands from deep in the court as he continually overpowered Read whose grafting style relies on a lot of errors from his opponent. Despite the second set result, it is the perfect style against the lanky Croat who struggles for consistency; an issue shown in the third as he wilted to a 2-6 result before rebounding in the fourth 6-3 to take the match to a decider. Both men had taken their first round matches thanks to comfortable fifth sets, and it was a nervous start from both as they gave up a service break each. But the first to crack outright was the sixteenth seed as the relentless returning of Read began to take its toll in a nineteen minute fifth game of the set to hand Read a 3-2 lead. That was something he never gave Brdar the opportunity to get back as he advanced to the fourth round with a 6-4, 1-6, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 win.
- Scotland Rivers, meanwhile, surrendered a useful start to bow out in four to eighteenth seed Diego Hurtado. In a tough first set, it was the unseeded Westerner who claimed the early ascendancy as he fought back from 3-5 down to take the set in a tiebreaker (albeit blowing three set points in the process). Despite the shaky start, Hurtado started to come into his own and show his full fitness with a ground game that Rivers struggled to deal with. It was a recurring issue right throughout the next three sets as Hurtado created a torrent of chances on the Rivers serve and showed off his blistering forehand to the tune of twenty third set winners. Rivers, meanwhile, couldn't match Hurtado's power while camped on his back foot and ultimately hit too many short shots to Hurtado's forehand side as the Colombian advanced to the fourth round 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-2, 6-3. Hurtado meets unseeded local Jean-Christophe Genghini who completed a trio of top five upsets on Court Phillipe Chatrier with an impressive 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 win over an uninspiring fifth seed Darcy Cowan.
- A trio of top five upsets? World No. 1 Jason Hall's chances of a maiden French Open crown will have to wait another year as he was ousted in straight sets by an extremely impressive Javier Villaneuva. The young Spaniard, who struggled through his first two matches in five sets, looked full of youthful freshness as he bounded around the court to crush Hall's hopes. The American's chances looked great early as he took a 5-2 lead before Villaneuva's tactic of shooting for the lines paid off as he claimed five games on the trot to take the set 7-5. Hall could never really recover from that start and despite a brief third set fightback he ultimately bowed out to a shocking 5-7, 3-6, 5-7 defeat to the World No. 50.
- Seeded players out: Miroslav Brdar; Darcy Cowan; Jason Hall; Danijel Micic; Sven Oxenstierna; Zoltán Varga.
That gives us top half fourth round matches of:
Yep, we're getting a finalist from there. fmd this is anyone's game.
Last edited by SirBloody Idiot; 29-05-2011 at 06:56 AM.