Monday, June 1, 2015

French Open Day 8 recap: Tsonga beats Berdych

No. 14 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, practicing at Indian Wells last year,
beat No. 4 Tomas Berdych in the French Open. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Upset of the day -- In a matchup of past Roland Garros semifinalists, 14th-seeded Jo-Wilfried "Catchy" Tsonga of France eliminated No. 4 Tomas "Larry" Berdych of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-3 in the fourth round on a rainy day.
   Tsonga served for the match at 5-4 in the third set. The 30-year-old has reached one Grand Slam final, falling to Novak "It's No" Djokovic in the 2008 Australian Open. It was the first of Djokovic's eight major singles titles.
   Match of the day -- In a clash between former French Open junior champions, 19th-seeded Elina Svitolina, 20, of Ukraine held off No. 29 Alize Cornet of France 6-2, 7-6 (9) to reach her first major quarterfinal.
   Cornet, playing in the fourth round at Roland Garros for the first time, saved five match points before she sent a backhand long.
   Notable -- Second-seeded Roger Federer "Express," the 2009 champion, and No. 13 Gael Monfils, a 2008 semifinalist, were tied at one set apiece when darkness suspended the match. 
   Fifth-seeded "Special" Kei Nishikori became the first Japanese man in 82 years to reach the French Open quarterfinals, beating Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
   Eighth-seeded Stan "The Man" Wawrinka of Switzerland advanced to the quarters at Roland Garros for the second time, dismissing No. 12 Gilles Simon of France 6-1, 6-4, 6-2.
   Seventh-seeded Ana Ivanovic of Serbia returned to the quarterfinals at Roland Garros for the first time since winning the 2008 title, topping No. 9 Ekaterina "Do The" Makarova of Russia 7-5, 3-6, 6-1.
   Stars and stripes -- Top-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan moved into the men's doubles quarterfinals, as did second-seeded Vasek "Anything Is" Pospisil of Canada and Jack "Lost A" Sock.
   Winning in the first round of junior singles were second-seeded Taylor "On The" Fritz on the boys side, and No. 3 Katerina "Martha" Stewart and No. 7 Usue Maitane Arconada on the girls side.  
   Northern California connection -- The 37-year-old Bryan twins led Stanford to NCAA titles in their two years there (1997-98) and are scheduled to play three matches this summer for the Sacramento-based California Dream of World TeamTennis.
   Spain's Anabel Medina Garrigues, a full-time member of the Dream, and Taiwan's Hao-Ching Chan lost to ninth-seeded Andrea Hlavackova and "I Love" Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic 7-6 (5), 6-2 in the third round of women's doubles. Garrigues won the title in 2008 and 2009 with since-retired countrywoman Virginia Ruano Pascual, and Hlavackova and Hradecka took the 2011 crown.
   Another full-time Dream player, Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan, and Anastasia Rodionova of Australia surprised sixth-seeded Kristina Mladenovic of France and Daniel Nestor, 42, of Canada 6-4, 6-3 in the second round of mixed doubles.
   Scott "Don't Give Me Any" Lipsky, who helped Stanford win its last NCAA men's team crown (2000), and Abigail Spears fell to seventh-seeded Timea Babos of Hungary and Alexander "The Great" Peya of Austria 7-6 (5), 6-3.     
   Fast fact -- Owners of a combined 49 Grand Slam singles titles are scheduled to play today in the fourth round, the Associated Press reported. Dry weather is forecast.
   Quote -- Cornet to the chair umpire after one of her shots late in the match was called out: "You look in my eyes, and you know it (was in)."
   Today on Court Philippe Chatrier (starting at 2 a.m. PDT, ESPN2) -- Defending champion Maria Sharapova (2) vs. "I Love" Lucie Safarova (13), completion of Federer (2) vs. Monfils (13), Serena Williams (1) vs. Sloane "Ranger" Stephens, Djokovic (1) vs. Richard "Blow A" Gasquet (20).
   Today on Court Suzanne Lenglen (starting at 2 a.m. PDT, ESPN2) -- Garbine Muguruza (21) vs. Flavia Pennetta (28), Andy "Bill" Murray (3) vs. Jeremy "Don't Be" Chardy, defending champion "San" Rafael Nadal (6) vs. Sock, Petra Kvitova (4) vs. Timea Bacsinszky (23).

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