Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Tursunov to meet Federer in French Open

Dmitry Tursunov will face Roger Federer
in a Grand Slam tournament and on clay
anywhere for the first time. 2013 photo
by Paul Bauman
   Dmitry Tursunov will break new ground in his series against Roger Federer on Friday.
   The 31st-seeded Tursunov, a Russian based in the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay, will meet the Swiss star in a Grand Slam tournament and on clay anywhere for the first time.
   The question is whether Tursunov can pick up his first victory over Federer.
   Tursunov advanced to the third round of the French Open for the first time since 2008, equaling his best result there, with an impressive 6-4, 7-5, 6-1 victory today over Sam Querrey, a San Francisco native and former Sacramento Capital in World TeamTennis.
   Querrey, 6-foot-6 (1.98 meters),  advanced to the third round of the French Open last year for his best result at Roland Garros.
   Federer, the No. 4 seed and 2009 champion, topped qualifier Diego Sebastian Schwartzman of Argentina 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 to become the first man to record at least 60 singles match wins at all four Grand Slam tournaments. Schwartzman, 21, was playing in the main draw of a Slam for the first time.
   Federer is 4-0 against Tursunov, all on hardcourts, including a 6-4, 6-2 victory in the first round of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Tursunov has won one set in the series, in the third round at Toronto in 2006.
   The 31-year-old Tursunov, however, could give Federer, 32, trouble in the French Open:
   --Tursunov is playing well. He beat clay-court specialist Potito Starace of Italy for the first time in four career matches in the first round and has not lost a set in the tournament.
   --Tursunov has nothing to lose against the 17-time Grand Slam singles champion.
   --Tursunov extended Federer to 7-6 (7), 7-6 (2) in the third round at Indian Wells in March in their last meeting. If Tursunov had pulled out the first set, the match could have gone his way.
   --Federer could lack focus -- not to mention sleep -- after the recent birth of his twin sons.
   On the other hand, the three-out-of-five-set format in the French Open reduces the chances of an upset.
   In the first round of doubles, Tursunov and Matthew Ebden of Australia lost to No. 3 seeds and 2010 champions Daniel Nestor of Canada and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in the first round. Ebden reached the singles finals at the Napa and Tiburon Challengers last fall.
   Top seeds and defending champions Bob and Mike Bryan dismissed Martin Emmrich and Christopher Kas of Germany 6-2, 6-1. The 36-year-old Bryan twins, former NCAA doubles champions from Stanford, are seeking their third French Open title, 16th Grand Slam men's doubles crown and 99th overall championship.

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