French Open Recap: The good and the bad

By Craig Filazzola, WSOE Sports

The Winners:
Men’s Singles: Roger Federer
This was his fourth consecutive appearance in the French Open finals.  Unlike the previous times, Federer (pictured right) came home with the title and didn’t face the “King of Clay,” Rafael Nadal.  He has advanced to at least the semi-finals in the last 20 Grand Slam tournaments.  What’s even more impressive is that he has appeared in 15 of the last 16 Grand Slam finals, winning ten of them.  He has won 14 career grand slams and will turn 28 on August 8, only three days after I turn 21.          

Women’s Singles: Svetlana Kuznetsova
In the quarterfinals, she defeat second-seeded Serena Williams in the best match of the tournament, 7-6 (7-3), 5-7, 7-5.  She needed three sets to knock out Samantha Stosur in the semi-finals, but made it look easy winning the finals 6-3, 6-3 over Dinara Safina.  This was Kuznetsova’s first French Open victory and her second career grand slam, taking the U.S. Open in 2004.  She is 2-5 in grand slam finals. 

Surprises:
Men’s Singles: Robin Soderling
Who expected him to beat Nadal in the fourth round?  Who expected him to participate in the men’s finals?  The 24-year-old was one win away from achieving his first career grand slam.  Even though he lost, at least he can say something Federer can’t: he beat Nadal in the French Open.     

Women’s Singles: Maria Sharapova and Dominika Cibulkova 

Sharapova (pictured left) wasn’t supposed to be a threat at all.  Ranked 102nd, she has seen limited action this year after having surgery on her right shoulder last August.  The French Open was designed to prepare her for Wimbledon, but she had a lot more success than anticipated.  The 22-year-old Russian upset 11th-seeded Nadia Petrova in the second round.  In the quarterfinals, the 5’3” Cibulkova defeated the 6’2” Sharapova in straight sets, 6-0, 6-2.    

Cibulkova (pictured right) played very well in every area of the match.  The gritty 20-year-old gave a strong effort in her semi-final loss to Safina, 3-6, 3-6.  She had never advanced that far in her young career in grand slams. 

Disappointments:
Men’s Singles: Rafael Nadal
It would have been too much to ask for a fifth consecutive French Open victory, but nobody thought he would be out as early as the fourth round.  His streak of consecutive matches won at the open was snapped at 31. 

Women’s Singles: Venus Williams
She fell in the third round 0-6, 4-6 to Agnes Szavay.  She didn’t play well in the match.  Williams has won Wimbledon four times, including the last two, but the next one will indicate if age is interfering with her game.  The oldest of the Williams sisters turns 29 on June 17. 

 

Contact Information:
Craig Filazzola
WSOE Sports Director
cfilazzola@elon.edu

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