Serving for the championship, Justine went up 30-0, double-faulted, served an ace for 40-15, DF'd again, and then Mary drove the next ball into the net, giving Justine her 4th Grand Slam singles title.
Justine played very cleanly, with only 4 unforced errors in the 1st set, and 11 in the second, while Mary had 29 for the match.
"I have a lot of respect for Mary. I think it wasn't an easy situation for her. She had to deal with a lot of pressure. Being here in the final in France, I think it's not easy for her. And probably she didn't play her best tennis and she didn't play the best match of two weeks. But I think I've pushed her a lot. Especially at the beginning of the match, I did put on her a lot of pressure, and then she started to do a lot of unforced errors.
"I played very well, very aggressive at the beginning. I served very good during the whole match. So for sure the crowd would prefer a closer match than that, but I'm very happy the way I won...
"I'm not at my best. I think I can do better. I want to improve my game all the time. So it's good. Even if you win, you have to know what is not very good in your game so you can improve and you can be better. I think I enjoy probably more my game than before my illness, so that's the biggest key. I enjoy every moment I'm on the court. Every ball I hit, it's with my heart. I really enjoy it."
"I wasn't nervous, which wasn't good I think... I felt like I made a lot of mistakes today. Just wasn't my day. Didn't really feel like it was working my way. Justine played really good. Very solid match from her side. I was just trying to get into it, get into it. Just wasn't happening for me today. It's very disappointing for me because I've had just such great matches over the last two weeks, and I really felt like my game was improving with every match. And then to play today's match and not play so well, it's just a difficult feeling... I'm going to keep continuing the work that I'm doing and see where it takes me."
, born in Liege, now lives in Marloie (in the French-speaking part of Belgium). Justine is now 23-10 in WTA singles finals, including 4 Grand Slams, the first of which was the 2003 French Open. Justine obtained her hyphen by marrying Pierre-Yves Hardenne, she wears
bat. Justine's Wilson is now the "nTour" model, a control racket 27.25" long, available with either a 95 or 105 sq." head, 10.8 or 10.4 ounces strung, balanced 1 point head-heavy, with a stiffness rating of about 61. They run about $180-$200.
At the Family Circle Cup in April, 2004, Justine felt lightheaded and withdrew without playing a match. Hypoglycemia was thought to be the cause. It was found that she had cytomegalovirus, an illness akin to chickenpox and mononucleosis, that causes fever, chills, and fatigue. Justine took time to recover, then missed Wimbledon after being upset by Tathiana Garbin at Roland Garros, still feeling weak. After returning to play to win the Olympic gold medal, she lost to Nadia Petrova in the 4th round of the US Open, still feeling ill, and sat out the rest of the season. Justine was sidelined again at the start of 2005 by a small broken bone in her knee, and did not return to play until the NASDAQ-100 in Miami in March. On April 17, in only her 2nd tourney back, Justine won the 2005 Family Circle Cup title; since then she has won the Warsaw and Berlin titles as well.
Next week the points she has earned will put Justine's rank at # 7. She will begin training for Wimbledon; she is not playing at Birmingham or Eastbourne. A back injury has been troubling Justine for several weeks, but she doesn't think it will affect her play.
, and has also been coached by Pat Etcheberry.
has won 16 WTA singles titles (including the 2000 French Open and the 1995 Australian Open) in 36 finals. Mary whose mother is French, was born in Montreal, Canada, and raised mostly in Florida. Mary's residence is listed as Sarasota, Florida, but her apartment is actually at the Bollettieri Academy in Bradenton, FL, the most successful tennis school in history. She receives some coaching from Nick Bollettieri and staff, and trains in France as well. Her nationality was declared French when she 15, and the USTA seemed more interested in helping other players more than her. Mary used to wear
"Ultimum RD Ti-80" axe. This year she is wearing custom garb, and says she is is testing fabrics to possibly create her own line of tennis togs. Her bat is still a Yonex, although their logo no longer appears on the strings.
, and spent much of the next 5 years in top 10. She won at Roland Garros in 2000, then was injured
of the 2001 French Open, and was out the rest of the year. Mary was then plagued by a series of injuries, which only tapered off last year. At Roland Garros she has had some pain in the left abductors, and her left ankle is also taped, but she says: "The doctor is really taking good care of me with all his team, with the chiropractors, with the physiotherapists."
The ranking points Mary earned (including 200 "quality points" for defeating # 1 Lindsay Davenport) at Roland Garros will put her back in the top 20 again for the first time in over 4 years, at # 13.
(way too high). Mary Pierce has been the only player amongst the women to serve consistently for several matches, averaging 69% good 1st serves for her six matches.
On Friday, Daniela & Fabrice defeated Martina Navratilova & Leander Paes in the mixed doubles final 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. It is
, with 3 different partners; the others were at the Australian Open in 2002 and Wimbledon in 2001. If 48-year-old Martina & Leander had won (as they did in Australia and at Wimbledon in 2003), it would have been Martina's 59th Grand Slam tourney title (she now has 18 singles, 31 doubles, and 9 mixed). Martina is still 4 shy of Margaret Smith Court's record of 62 total Grand Slam titles (24 in singles), but Martina will probably play a few more years...
WTA SCOREBOARD: French Open, Roland Garros
On Friday, May 20, while practicing at Roland Garros,
Lindsay Davenport advised Daniela Hantuchova on how she could avoid her Nike shirts shrinking like that.
Meanwhile, Tatiana Golovin was asking Steffi Graf if she used natural gut or synthetic string to tie her pony tail.
On Saturday, May 21, Kim Clijsters tested her injured right knee, apparently the only way she knows how: at full throttle.
Also on Saturday, 16-year-old Michaella Krajicek finished walloping her way through qualifying,
and earned a 1st round match against Daniela Hantuchova.
Meanwhile, while practicing at Roland Garros, Lindsay was speechless when Anastasia Myskina
(who was tying her pony tail with 18-gauge Luxilon Big Banger TiMO
, a synthetic composite monofilament)
informed her that some girls actually shrink their shirts that way on purpose, or even buy them small to begin with.
On Sunday, May 22, at Roland Garros, Steffi Graf and Justine Henin-Hardenne put on an arm-wrestling exhibition.
The winner was to continue wearing adidas and swinging a Wilson bat, while the loser must forever swing a Pro-Kennex bat
and wear that awful Yonex garb. But they decided to call it a draw...
French Open, 1st Round Mon-Tues May 23-24 11am WTA Mon story
loser's prize: $14,863 US; points: 2
#1 s1 Lindsay Davenport USA d #48 Katarina Srebotnik SLO 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 Mon
Lindsay said: "I knew coming over here with four weeks off, not a tournament, I wasn't going to start off too fast. It was a little bit chilly. Really wasn't ready to go on the first point. That's not ideal preparation, that's not how you want to go into a Grand Slam. Luckily I found my way about the middle of the second set, thought I played pretty well for a stretch of games there, got a little bit better and a little bit better anticipation." interview|
#2 s2 Maria Sharapova RUS d #40 Evgenia Linetskaya RUS 6(3)-7, 6-2, 6-4 Tue
Maria won despite 59 unforced errors (to Evgenia's 38), including 11 double faults, by hitting 50 winners (to Evgenia's 19). match stats|
Evgenia was up a break leading 3-1 in the 3rd set, one point away from a 2-break 4-1 lead. Maria said: "...it was definitely tough. I mean, you know, when you're down a break in the third, you're just begging for mercy [laughter]. But I just tried to fight it out and tried to find a way, just an opening. As the third set went on, I thought the conditions were a little lighter and the ball flew faster. I was able to hit shots that [Evgenia] wasn't able to run down. In the first and second set, I felt like she was running down every single ball. No matter how good my ball was, it was coming back. In the third, I felt like everything seemed lighter and I could hit the ball and I got a good advantage from it." interview - interview video
#3 s3 Amelie Mauresmo FRA d #113 Evie Dominikovic AUS 6-2, 6-1 Tue
#5 s4 Elena Dementieva RUS d #84 Barbora Strycova CZE 6-3, 6-3 Mon
Elena said: "I feel very happy to win first round, especially the way I was playing today. I'm satisfied. I was very aggressive on the court."|
*#111 Maria Antonia Sanchez Lorenzo ESP d #6 s5 Anastasia Myskina RUS 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 Mon
Maria's 2-handed forehand, Anastasia lining up a slice backhand, and Maria's 2-handed backhand
Maria Antonia won despite hitting only 9 winners to Anastasia's 16. Anastasia's, who worked her way to the 2004 title by hitting fewer errors than her opponents, hit a whopping 69 errors to Maria Antonia's 48. Anastasia still showed the skills that make her a great player, but she was unable to focus on the match. match stats|
Anastasia had withdrawn from last week's Italian Open due to a persistent right shoulder injury, which she has said has been bothering her for a couple of years. On Sunday, Anastasia said: "Of course it's not 100 percent. You can't heal that fast. But it's getting better. I've been serving a lot and even though it gets tired. I still need to do it."
Anastasia also told the press on Sunday that the rumored "personal problem" which has been affecting her play is illness in her family. Anastasia said: "...My Mom is sick. She has a problem with her health, a really serious problem... I've had a pretty hard time over the last few months, but I'm a professional tennis player so I have to play no matter what."
After the loss on Monday, Anastasia said: "Tough times... It doesn't seem to take much to beat me these days... I just have no confidence. I hit the ball and it just goes off the court... I have no explanation, really... no. Right now, when the ball comes to me, I just don't know what to do with it." Reuters story
Maria Antonia was about as unhappy anyone could be after earning an additional $10,000 for reaching the 2nd round. Maria Antonia said: "People told me about [Anastasia's] personal problems... It's not about her game. I think it's about her mind. I feel so sorry for her... I hope she will recover soon."
#7 s6 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #249 wc Mathilde Johansson FRA 6-3, 6-3 Tue
#9 s7 Nadia Petrova RUS d #67 Mashona Washington USA 6-4, 6-2 Tue
#10 s8 Patty Schnyder SUI d #85 Yoon Jeong Cho KOR 6-3, 6-4 Mon
#11 s9 Vera Zvonareva RUS d #140 q Yvonne Meusburger AUT 6-3, 6-1 Mon
#12 s10 Justine Henin-Hardenne BEL d #43 Conchita Martinez ESP 6-0, 4-6, 6-4 Tue
Like Maria Sharapova, Justine had service trouble on Tuesday: she had 9 double faults, and only 54% of her 1st serves were good. But Justine hit only 36 unforced errors (to Conchita's 43) while hitting 45 winners (to Conchita's 30). match stats|
Justine said: "...it's been a very strange match. I played extremely well in the first set, probably one of the best sets I've ever played. I don't know if on the baseline I did any unforced errors. So that was very, very good. I was so nervous this morning that probably at the end of the first set I felt better, but maybe I thought too early that things were going good, so I lost a little bit my concentration and came off the match. So I think after that I had to fight a lot... I think [Conchita] played good. She was in the court in the second set. With her big forehand, I had a lot of trouble. It was windy out there also.... it wasn't easy. But I did expect this kind of match... [In the 3rd set] I don't think I did a lot of unforced errors. Probably I was playing short. But she played good at that time. She had nothing to lose, and probably I wasn't aggressive enough... I think Conchita played well at that point." interview - interview video
#13 s11 Venus Williams USA d #117 Marta Marrero ESP 6-3, 6-2 Mon
Venus said: "I think my level is good. I'm just going to keep working hard to be consistent, moving my feet and that kind of thing. I think I just got better today as the match went on. I'm actually quite good as the points go longer, which is great for me because sometimes I get a little wild. But that hasn't been the case, like in Istanbul [where Venus won the title last week] or here."|
#14 s12 Elena Bovina RUS d #51 Maria Vento-Kabchi VEN 6-0, 6-3 Tue
#16 s13 Nathalie Dechy FRA d #105 Michaela Pastikova CZE 6-1, 6-4 Tue
Nathalie leaving the court after the win
#17 s14 Kim Clijsters BEL d #177 q Meilen Tu USA 6-1, 6-0 Mon
Kim strained the medial ligament of her right knee in Berlin on May 5th. Kim said: "[The knee] felt pretty good today. I don't think I really had to test it out there, but this is good to have a match like this in the first round. I haven't had the perfect preparation, but something like this definitely helps to have the match rhythm and to work on a few things during the match, get your mind ready for it to be back playing, and be playing those matches... After the injuries I have suffered, I have to look after my body and do lots of exercises which I will have to keep doing for the rest of my career if I want to keep playing. I have to be very disciplined." AFP story|
*#49 Anna Smashnova ISR d #18 s15 Jelena Jankovic SCG 6-0, 6-3 Tue
#19 s16 Elena Likhovtseva RUS d #79 Yuliana Fedak UKR 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 Mon
#20 s17 Tatiana Golovin FRA d #103 Lilia Osterloh USA 6-0, 6-2 Tue
Tatiana Golovin on Tuesday evening,
winning the last match of the 1st round
#21 s18 Silvia Farina Elia ITA d #88 Anne Kremer LUX 7-5, 6-2 Mon
#22 s19 Shinobu Asagoe JPN d #86 Julia Schruff GER 7-5, 6-2 Mon
#23 s20 Daniela Hantuchova SVK d #115 q Michaella Krajicek NED 6-3, 6-1 Mon
#24 s21 Mary Pierce FRA d #54 Vera Douchevina RUS 6-2, 7-5 Mon
#25 s22 Francesca Schiavone ITA d #56 Jie Zheng CHN 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 Tue
*#44 Nuria Llagostera Vives ESP d #26 s23 Ai Sugiyama JPN 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 Tue
Nuria Llagostera Vives
#27 s24 Magdalena Maleeva BUL d #110 Rika Fujiwara JPN 6-4, 6-2 Tue
*#37 Virginie Razzano FRA d #28 s25 Dinara Safina RUS 6-3, 6-3 Mon
Virginie after match point
*#60 Anna Chakvetadze RUS d #29 s26 Paola Suarez ARG 7-5, 1-6, 6-0 Tue
#30 s27 Amy Frazier USA d #57 Meghann Shaughnessy USA 7-5, 5-7, 7-5 Mon
Though only a wee lass of 32, Amy Frazier is playing in her
65th Grand Slam tournament, dating back to the 1987 US Open
During Lindsay Davenport's post-match interview on Monday, A reporter asked her to comment on Amy Frazier. Lindsay said: "I've known her for a long time. One of the nicest girls there is on the tour. I always consider her more old-fashioned just because she plays the exact same way she did, you know, 10, 15 years ago, and she plays so well at what she does. She is great. My husband played [World] Team Tennis with her for two or three years and they're actually quite good friends. I got to know her a little bit better because of him. But she's great. I really enjoy speaking to her. I think she's one of the few that has a lot of interests outside tennis, constantly reading and doing some other stuff. Really, really sweet girl."|
*#96 Shahar Peer ISR d #31 s28 Marion Bartoli FRA 6-4, 6-3 Tue
#32 s29 Ana Ivanovic SCG d #108 Stephanie Foretz FRA 6-3, 6-3 Tue
#33 s30 Gisela Dulko ARG d #72 Sania Mirza IND 3-1, 3-1 Tue
#34 s31 Karolina Sprem CRO d #62 Maria Elena Camerin ITA 6-4, 6-2 Mon
#35 s32 Flavia Pennetta ITA d #78 Jill Craybas USA 6-3, 6-4 Mon
#38 Fabiola Zuluaga COL d #176 q Libuse Prusova CZE 6-1, 6-0 Mon
#39 Nicole Vaidisova CZE d #109 LL Lucie Safarova CZE 4-6, 6-0, 6-4 Tue
#41 Klara Koukalova CZE d #187 q Mervana Jugic-Salkic BIH 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 Tue
#42 Anabel Medina Garrigues ESP d #255 q Petra Mandula HUN 6-0, 6-1 Tue
*#92 Sanda Mamic CRO d #45 Lisa Raymond USA 6-4, 6-2 Mon
#46 Anna-Lena Groenefeld GER d #91 Roberta Vinci ITA 7-5, 1-6, 6-4 Tue
#47 Shuai Peng CHN d #407 wc Maďlyne Andrieux FRA 6-0, 6-1 Mon
*#138 q Eva Birnerova CZE d #50 Maria Kirilenko RUS 2-6, 7-5, 6-3 Mon
#52 Samantha Stosur AUS d #118 Silvija Talaja CRO 6-1, 6-2 Tue
*#59 Kveta Peschke CZE d #53 Dally Randriantefy MAD 6-1, 6-0 Tue
#55 Jelena Kostanic CRO d #68 Tamarine Tanasugarn THA 6-0, 6-1 Mon
#58 Iveta Benesova CZE d #235 wc Pauline Parmentier FRA 7-5, 6-4 Tue
*#82 Catalina Castano COL d #61 Denisa Chladkova CZE 6-1, 6-2 Mon
#63 Marta Domachowska POL d #100 Stephanie Cohen-Aloro FRA 6-3, 6-3 Mon
#64 Tathiana Garbin ITA d #75 Martina Sucha SVK 6(8)-7, 6-1, 6-2 Tue
*#640 wc Alizé Cornet FRA d #65 Alina Jidkova RUS 7-6(4), 6-3 Tue
15-year-old French wild card Alizé Cornet (shown) may
have had a little help;
Alina Jidkova has been hampered by a fatigue disorder
#66 Virginia Ruano Pascual ESP d #134 q Anastasiya Yakimova BLR 6-4, 7-6(7) Tue
*#89 Antonella Serra Zanetti ITA d #69 Marlene Weingartner GER 6-2, 6-4 Tue
*#124 Severine Beltrame FRA d #70 Abigail Spears USA 6-3, 6-1 Tue
#71 Arantxa Parra Santonja ESP d #106 Shenay Perry USA 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 Mon
#73 Mariana Diaz-Oliva ARG d #240 wc Sophie Ferguson AUS 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 Mon
#76 Akiko Morigami JPN d #107 Angela Haynes USA 7-5, 6-4 Mon
*#83 Emilie Loit FRA d #77 Claudine Schaul LUX 6-3, 6-0 Mon
*#112 Emmanuelle Gagliardi SUI d #80 Tatiana Perebiynis UKR 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 Mon
#81 Kristina Brandi PUR d #325 wc Youlia Fedossova FRA 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 Tue
#87 Marissa Irvin USA d #99 Nicole Pratt AUS 5-7, 6-4, 8-6 Tue
*#175 q Sofia Arvidsson SWE d #90 Eleni Daniilidou GRE 6-1, 7-6(1) Tue
*#101 Sesil Karatantcheva BUL d #93 Alyona Bondarenko UKR 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 Mon
#97 Ludmila Cervanova SVK d #95 Aiko Nakamura JPN 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 Mon
*#214 q Clarisa Fernandez ARG d #98 Tatiana Panova RUS 6-3, 6-2 Mon
*#241 wc Aravane Rezai FRA d #120 wc Camille Pin FRA 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 Tue
*#142 q Sandra Kloesel GER d #136 q Mara Santangelo ITA 7-6(5), 6-1 Mon
French Open, 2nd Rd Wed 25-Thu 26 11am WTA Thu story
loser's prize: $24,727.54 US; points: 32
#1 s1 Lindsay Davenport USA d #47 Shuai Peng CHN 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-0 Wed
Lindsay said: "...I just didn't play that well. God, it was funny. Normally, you know, you have one aspect of your game that you don't feel is going that well. I really felt not that great about almost every part. The last two matches I felt have been not at a high standard for me and [at 5-4 down in the second set] I was just not thinking too much actually. [Shuai] made a couple big errors. I finally got a little bit more focused in my game plan and strategy and was able to turn it around... Finally toward the latter stages of the second set I started concentrating more on 'okay, I think her forehand's probably a little weaker; let's go there a little more'. It was just one of those kinds of tough days, a day that I probably shouldn't have ended up winning, but was very lucky to be able to win with the way I was playing." Reuters story|
#2 s2 Maria Sharapova RUS d #241 wc Aravane Rezai FRA 6-3, 6-2 Thu
Maria said: "[In the] third game, I sort of twisted my ankle. My next game I felt it a little bit. So I was a little distracted from it. But it got better after that game. I just tried to find a way. [Aravane] had nothing to lose, and she was just going for her shots. Some balls were just too good. But I finally started feeling a good rhythm out there, began playing better." interview - interview video|
#3 s3 Amelie Mauresmo FRA d #640 wc Alizé Cornet FRA 6-0, 6-2 Thu
About her 15-year-old wild card opponent, Amelie said: "I think the very first thing is her attitude. She really fought for it, whichever the score. It's not very easy when you start with a match like this. I think her attitude was very positive. Even if the result is not very good, you're still fighting for it and you're trying to play your tennis. As far as her tennis is concerned, she hits well, she is full of talent. She doesn't go to the net, that's unfortunate. She has many things that she has to adjust in her game, but she's only 15, do not forget that. I think in the next two or three years it's going to be a turning point in her career and she can put everything in place during those years."|
#5 s4 Elena Dementieva RUS d #92 Sanda Mamic CRO 7-6(7), 6-2 Wed
Elena said: "I think that I gave [Sanda] chances to play well today, especially in the first set when I was 4-1 up. She broke my serve. It was very close, you know, to finish in a tiebreak. She had a set point, as well... I didn't think I played my best today, but it was important to win this kind of match. For me it's never easy to play first or second round because I need some time to get to the game, to get to the tournament... She was playing a lot of spin balls. It was not easy that she's left-handed. She was using her left wrist a lot. I think I was not aggressive enough as I usually do in the court. She just took advantage of the short balls, of my short balls... I was very upset with the way things are going in the first set with my 4-1, then almost losing the first set. I was very negative, especially on my serve. I did couple double faults. I'm glad I could find the rhythm in the second set and finish very strong." interview - interview video|
About her 3rd round opponent, Akiko Morigami, Elena said: "We just play in Tokyo a couple months ago. She's two-handed from both sides. She moves very well. She beat Sprem, which is I think a good win. I have to play my best to beat her next round.
Asked about Maria Sharapova, Elena said: "I think that she has a very good serve. She has a nice technique. Maybe she is not as strong physically as I am. With her game, I think it's good enough to be in the Top 3 and maybe to become No. 1. I think she really deserve to be No. 1 for the moment. I think that she was playing unbelievable tennis last year and this year as well. It's not easy for me to say because I want to be No. 1, as well. But the whole respect to her."
#7 s6 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #175 q Sofia Arvidsson SWE 6-3, 6-4 Thu
#9 s7 Nadia Petrova RUS d #124 Severine Beltrame FRA 6-1, 6-3 Thu
#10 s8 Patty Schnyder SUI d #142 q Sandra Kloesel GER 6-2, 6-3 Wed
#11 s9 Vera Zvonareva RUS d #138 q Eva Birnerova CZE 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 Wed
#12 s10 Justine Henin-Hardenne BEL v #66 Virginia Ruano Pascual ESP 6-1, 6-4 Thu
After taking a 5-0 lead in the 1st set, Justine had the trainer work on her back. Justine said: "I've had an injury in my back for a few weeks, so it's something I'm having to deal with. It is a slight sprain...because it's close to a nerve, it's painful... Probably not now, but I will (eventually) have to take a little rest... It was only bothering me on my serve... it's going to be fine for the next few days. The doctors have told me it's not serious. I just wanted to make sure it wasn't going to be more serious. That's why I asked for the trainer to come on court." Reuters story|
It was Justine's 19th consecutive win. Justine said: "I'm not really worried about how well I'm playing or not, I'm just focused on winning. That's the only thing that is important."
#13 s11 Venus Williams USA d #38 Fabiola Zuluaga COL 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 Wed
Venus said: "It was a challenging match, but I think the best part was [Fabiola is] a player with variety, so sometimes she's hitting harder and sometimes she's hitting with more spin. So I got to see everything which I'll see throughout the rest of the tournament... I feel really good in the long rallies. I feel like my return is also good. Just in general I'm pretty comfortable on the clay." interview - interview video|
#14 s12 Elena Bovina RUS d #64 Tathiana Garbin ITA 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 Thu
#16 s13 Nathalie Dechy FRA d #52 Samantha Stosur AUS 6-3, 6-3 Thu
#17 s14 Kim Clijsters BEL d #97 Ludmila Cervanova SVK 6-2, 6-1 Wed
The strained medial collateral ligament in Kim's right knee is doing well. Kim said: "So far everything feels good. I'm still wearing the tape around my knee just to protect myself. I still need that. But I feel good. I feel like I can do as much as I have to out there on the court. Especially in the first few rounds, I didn't really get tested yet, which is okay to just get some match rhythm." interview - interview video|
About her 3rd round opponent, Daniela Hantuchova, Kim said: "She's a great friend of mine. She's a very nice girl. She's a great player. She always fights, she always works hard, and she's a very professional girl. I look forward to playing against her... I grew up with her as well in Juniors, so I know her pretty well. She's a great girl."
#19 s16 Elena Likhovtseva RUS d #73 Mariana Diaz-Oliva ARG 6-1, 7-6(3) Wed
#20 s17 Tatiana Golovin FRA d #89 Antonella Serra Zanetti ITA 6-0, 6-1 Thu
Tatiana is coping with a bit of an ankle sprain incurred in practice before the tourney began. Tatiana said: "I haven't played that well on clay since the beginning of the year so I definitely think I learned a lot from my other matches. And my ankle has been bothering me a little bit so I've been trying not to lose any extra energy. I've really been trying to focus on my game and getting the points finished quicker... It was pretty bad a few days ago, but now it's getting better. I've had easy matches, so I'm just really happy. And I have a day off tomorrow, so I'm just really excited to still be in the tournament."|
#21 s18 Silvia Farina Elia ITA d #71 Arantxa Parra Santonja ESP 7-5, 6-2 Wed
Silvia Farina Elia
*#101 Sesil Karatantcheva BUL d #22 s19 Shinobu Asagoe JPN 7-5, 6-2 Wed
#23 s20 Daniela Hantuchova SVK d #82 Catalina Castano COL 6-4, 6-3 Wed
#24 s21 Mary Pierce FRA d #55 Jelena Kostanic CRO 6-1, 6-0 Wed
Mary after match point
#25 s22 Francesca Schiavone ITA d #39 Nicole Vaidisova CZE 6-2, 7-6(5) Thu
*#42 Anabel Medina Garrigues ESP d #27 s24 Magdalena Maleeva BUL 6-3, 6-4 Thu
*#83 Emilie Loit FRA d #30 s27 Amy Frazier USA 6-4, 6-4 Wed
Emilie after match point
#32 s29 Ana Ivanovic SCG d #58 Iveta Benesova CZE 6-3, 6-1 Thu
*#87 Marissa Irvin USA d #33 s30 Gisela Dulko ARG 6-4, 7-5 Thu
*#76 Akiko Morigami JPN d #34 s31 Karolina Sprem CRO 7-5, 6-3 Wed
#35 s32 Flavia Pennetta ITA d #63 Marta Domachowska POL 6-4, 6-3 Wed
#37 Virginie Razzano FRA d #214 q Clarisa Fernandez ARG 6-1, 6-1 Wed
*#60 Anna Chakvetadze RUS d #41 Klara Koukalova CZE 6-4, 6-3 Thu
#44 Nuria Llagostera Vives ESP d #81 Kristina Brandi PUR 7-6(2), 6-0 Thu
#46 Anna-Lena Groenefeld GER d #49 Anna Smashnova ISR 6-1, 6-0 Thu
*#96 Shahar Peer ISR d #59 Kveta Peschke CZE 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 Thu
*#112 Emmanuelle Gagliardi SUI d #111 Maria Antonia Sanchez Lorenzo ESP 6-3, 6-3 Wed
French Open, 3rd Rd Fri 27-Sat 28 11am WTA stories: Fri - Sat
loser's prize: $41,002.46 US; points: 56
#1 s1 Lindsay Davenport USA d #37 Virginie Razzano FRA 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 Fri
Lindsay said: "...every match has gone three sets. I've struggled in all of them... I feel like I've done a really good job, even though I feel like I'm not playing well, of hanging in there and winning these matches, even though it's not coming very easily... I'm pretty amazed I'm still in given how I feel I've been playing. Gives me a laugh, I guess. Gets me happy." interview - interview video|
About her 4th round opponent, Kim Clijsters, Lindsay said: "I have a tough time playing her on my favorite surface let alone my less favorite, on clay. Hopefully things start to click at some point and I feel a little bit better about my ball control. Who knows? I mean, she is a great player. She gives me all sorts of trouble with how she plays. I'm going to have to try and play a lot better and do some things differently... If you look at our past match-ups, I would say she would be the favorite, regardless of the rankings... I'm going to do my best to try and play well and be aggressive. She's obviously a great player and has had a great comeback so far... [I'll try] not to let her dictate. She does such a great job of moving the ball around. She can get balls to go off the court, mixing shots up all the time, gets me out of my rhythm. So I'm going to have to try and not give her much time, pretty much do almost everything well. I'm going have to serve well, move well, keep balls deep. I'm going to have to play at a very high standard."
#2 s2 Maria Sharapova RUS d #60 Anna Chakvetadze RUS 6-1, 6-4 Sat
Maria said: "I thought I got to a really good start, and I was in control from the first game. I felt like it was a pretty tough first game, but after that I was pretty much in control... I think as the rounds go on, it's going to be a lot tougher than it is right now. So I know that as the matches go on, I have to raise my level another notch. But I guess when you play a tougher opponent, that naturally comes and you naturally raise your level higher." interview - interview video|
Maria is now playing with her left ankle taped. Maria said: "I sprained my ankle in my previous match at the beginning of the match. It was all right. But yesterday it was really sore. So it's still sore. I felt it was okay with the tape today, but it's something that I have to tape every match now I think."
Asked about 15-year-old Sesil Karatantcheva's prospects after her win over Venus Williams, Maria said: "I think Sesil can be very dangerous at times. When I played her in the first round of the Australian, I knew it was not going to be an easy match... I think she still has a lot of things to improve in her game, but she's already got big weapons and she has big ground strokes. She can work a lot on her serve. But at 15 years old, when you have weapons already..."
*#32 s29 Ana Ivanovic SCG d #3 s3 Amelie Mauresmo FRA 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 Sat
Ana Ivanovic firing a forehand, and after match point
Ana won by hitting 42 winners (to 21 for Amelie) and "only" 6 double faults (while Amelie hit 10 DFs). Ana, too, went to the net to win, winning the point on 23 of 35 trips forward. match stats|
Ana said: "I was a little nervous at first but the atmosphere was great, I knew to expect it as [Amelie] is a home player, but I just tried to stay calm... It was one of the best matches I've played. Maybe not the best but still I'm really happy that I took my opportunities and I look forward to the next matches." Reuters story
Amelie said: "I know what sort of a player [Ana] is. I know that she likes to play very short rallies, to take control of the rally as soon as possible on her return or immediately after her serve. So I knew that that would be her tactic. That is what she does best. That's her game. I had always said this would be a tough opponent. She has improved a lot in the past months, and it's true that I played her three times since the beginning of the year with a month's interval each time, and I could see the evolution in her game. I knew that she was making fast progress, so I wasn't surprised by her game... The beginning was very difficult. I had a lot of pressure. As I said, she was playing very deep. She had a lot of power. She put a lot of power into her shots. That's, of course, her strong point. So it's true that I didn't start very well. I started a bit slow. But I stayed in that first set throughout. After that, in the middle of the second set, I tried to come back into the match bit by bit to try to counter her game, her shots, to try to take the initiative and dominate the game. It was difficult for me to go forward because she was playing very deep, and my first serve wasn't working too well, so I couldn't really take an opportunity immediately after my serve." interview - interview video
Asked if Ana could become a top-10 player, Amelie said: "When she's playing such as she played today, when she has that level of tennis, yes, absolutely. But the way you get into the Top 10 is to be consistent match after match throughout a season. She can play at that level. She's proven it by beating excellent players in the previous weeks. So obviously she can do it at times. Now, is she consistent? Maybe she's not so consistent in some matches. Unfortunately, it wasn't to be today."
#5 s4 Elena Dementieva RUS d #76 Akiko Morigami JPN 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 Fri
Elena had to overcome 17 double faults to win
Elena said: "When [Akiko] got her confidence after the second set, she started to play very well. I was missing a lot today. My concentration was up and down... She just took advantage of it. I was lucky to win this close one."|
#7 s6 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #87 Marissa Irvin USA 6-1, 2-6, 6-0 Sat
Svetlana after match point
#9 s7 Nadia Petrova RUS d #96 Shahar Peer ISR 6-3, 6-1 Sat
#10 s8 Patty Schnyder SUI d #35 s32 Flavia Pennetta ITA 4-6, 6-0, 6-1 Fri
*#24 s21 Mary Pierce FRA d #11 s9 Vera Zvonareva RUS 7-6(2), 7-5 Fri
Mary after match point
Vera led 5-2 in the 1st set, but was unable to convert a set point. Mary is 41-13 at Roland Garros. Mary said: "After I was able to settle down, get into it, relax, and start enjoying being out there, I started to play better. I'm just enjoying every moment... It's my favorite tournament and that's my favorite court in the whole world to play on, especially when it's packed with fans. I just love it. It brings the best out of me."|
#12 s10 Justine Henin-Hardenne BEL d #42 A. Medina Garrigues ESP 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 Sat
Justine said: "I don't think I've played really badly at the beginning. I think [Anabel] was playing good, and I was a little bit surprised by the way she was playing. She was really consistent and she wasn't doing any mistakes. I just needed a little bit of time to get used to the rhythm of the match and also to the heat and everything. But I think it was a very good tennis match. Very high level. She pushed me a lot, and I'm very happy that I won this one...|
"I don't think I can destabilize my opponents on my backhand. I think it's my forehand that is my strong point. Obviously, my backhand isn't exactly a weak point; it enables me to open up the court and play a winner. But it's really on my forehand that I need to base my hand because that is, at the moment, my best weapon." interview - interview video
*#101 Sesil Karatantcheva BUL d #13 s11 Venus Williams USA 6-3, 1-6, 6-1 Fri
Sesil's service, her backhand, and Sesil after match point
Sesil won despite getting only 50% of her 1st serves in (to 60% for Venus) and by hitting only 27 unforced errors (to 52 for Venus). match stats|
Venus said: "I'd never heard of her or seen [Sesil] before this match. I think played well, definitely. But I also felt like if I just played 10% better, I'm going to win this match easy. It's obviously great for her. But at the same time, I felt like, 'Wow, I kind of beat myself.'" interview - interview video
Sesil said: "She really didn't play her best tennis. I definitely don't think it was the Venus Williams I watch on TV and I see when I started out. But for me, I did give what I could give. I like that I won, no matter what." AP story
#14 s12 Elena Bovina RUS d #20 s17 Tatiana Golovin FRA 6-3, 7-5 Sat
Tatiana Golovin, Elena Bovina, and Elena after match point
Tatiana was able to convert only 1 of 7 break points against Elena, while Elena scored on 15 of 19 trips to the net, and had only 2 double faults (Tatiana: 7). match stats|
Elena said: "I think Tatiana was a little bit nervous as she had some pressure on her. She's been in the spotlights, being French, here in Paris. It's normal because she is a good player and she is young. It's good for her if she learns to deal with that, because it will not stop. I thought she played pretty good, but maybe missed a couple of balls on important points. As far as I am concerned, I kept my focus and just played pretty patient as those important moments." story
Tatiana said: "I think [Elena] played a really good match. She's really strong, and she's improved her game since I played her last in Miami... she was really, really good out there; she was better than me. I made the mistakes at the wrong time, and that's how the match was played... I knew that she wasn't so good on her forehand. Her serve is quite special because it has a very high rebound because she's so tall. But I was trying to concentrate on my own game rather than on my opponent, rather than on Bovina. I think our games were comparable levels, it's just that I made some mistakes, some errors."
Tatiana has been slowed by an ankle sprain this week, but made no excuses. Tatiana said: "...that's very important, to be able to move. When you begin to be a bit afraid of sliding, it's a problem. [But] I've had easy matches. Until that point, I never had a real test. This was the test and I made unforced errors when I shouldn't." interview - interview video
*#44 Nuria Llagostera Vives ESP d #16 s13 Nathalie Dechy FRA 7-6(1), 6-3 Sat
Nuria after match point
#17 s14 Kim Clijsters BEL d #23 s20 Daniela Hantuchova SVK 6-4, 6-2 Fri
Kim after match point
Kim had 29 unforced errors (to 37 for Daniela), and though she only got 53% of her 1st serves in, Daniela got only 45% of hers in the box. match stats|
Kim said: "I was a little bit more aggressive and made a little bit less unforced errors than [Daniela]." interview - interview video
About her 4th round match against # 1 Lindsay Davenport, Kim said: "...it's going to be a tough match. She serves really well. That's going to be probably her strongest point on clay, the way she hits her serve. She places it so well. That's always going to be a little bit of a disadvantage for me. But if I play her like I do on a hard courts, make her move and try to mix it up really well, which is always a little bit tougher I think for me on clay."
About the strained medial ligament in her right knee, Kim said: "I think it's good. It's holding up during my matches. But it's still not good enough to play without the tape, especially not on this surface yet. But it's getting better. I'm doing all my exercises. I'm making sure that all my muscles around it are strong so that I don't have to worry about anything like that any more, if I slide or if I fall here. It's good. It's getting better. Maybe 85%, 90% [smiling]."
#19 s16 Elena Likhovtseva RUS d #21 s18 Silvia Farina Elia ITA 7-5, 7-6 Fri
Elena after match point
#25 s22 Francesca Schiavone ITA d #46 Anna-Lena Groenefeld GER 7-6(3), 7-5 Sat
*#112 Emmanuelle Gagliardi SUI d #83 Emilie Loit FRA 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 Fri-dark-Sat
Emmanuelle Gagliardi follows her toss
with the brightest blue eyes in Paris
French Open, 4th Rd May 29 11am-rain-Mon WTA Sun story
loser's prize: $70,381.79 US; points: 90
#1 s1 Lindsay Davenport USA d #17 s14 Kim Clijsters BEL 1-6, 7-5, 6-3
Lindsay's backhand, Lindsay after match point, and Kim after match point,
thinking about a few things in her game she'd like to straighten out
This was one of several very close matches on Sunday; both players scored 87 points, and each broke the other's serve 5 times. Kim hit 1 less unforced error than Lindsay, while hitting 7 more winners than the # 1. Although Kim dominated the 1st set, Lindsay was able to spread her best play over the last two to win the match. match stats|
Former # 1 Kim had defeated Lindsay six straight times before Sunday, and had been favored to win this time. Lindsay said: "It's been a completely different experience here this year with all the three-set matches, being down in almost all of them, still coming through to win. But I know I hadn't been in the quarters since '99. So I'm pretty happy about that. Just really a little bit amazed I was able to pull that match out today, considering how bad I was losing and the previous records against [Kim] and it being on clay... there's obviously a lot of things stacked against me going into this match... being on clay, playing against somebody that you don't have a great record against, struggling the previous matches here. And being down 6-1, 3-1. All of those are not easy obstacles to overcome. Despite all of it, I was able to kind of push through and still come out on top." interview - interview video
Kim's right knee, which is heavily taped due to a strained medial collateral ligament incurred in Berlin earlier this month, did not hurt during the match, and Kim did not blame it for the loss, although the tape restricts some movements. Kim said: "[Lindsay] started hitting the ball really well at the end of the second set. She started to hit her shots really clean. I think I didn't [move her around] well enough any more, just because I didn't have any confidence in my own strokes... halfway of that second set and the third set. I started really well. Up until 3-1 [in the 2nd set], I felt I was hitting the ball well. And that's something I need. That's the feeling that I'm going to try to take with me onto the grass court season. But I definitely still have a lot of work ahead." interview - interview video
#2 s2 Maria Sharapova RUS d #44 Nuria Llagostera Vives ESP 6-2, 6-3 Sun-rain-Mon
Maria serving and Nuria returning on Sunday, and Maria after match point on Monday
Maria was ahead in the 2nd set on Sunday, but Nuria closed the gap before the match was suspended due to rain. On Monday, Maria won 3 straight games in 10 minutes to close out the match. Maria said: "It's never easy coming back after beinging a set up and then being up 3-1 and all of a sudden it becomes 3-all. You know it's going to be a different match from there. I was playing the right way yesterday. When the rain started coming down, the conditions got a lot heavier. I was rushing it a little bit."|
Maria did not know yet whether she would face Justine Henin-Hardenne or Svetlana Kuznetsova in the quarterfinals on Tuesday (it will be Justine). Maria said: "I think I've been playing a lot better in my last two rounds than I did in my first two. I've actually been feeling a lot better. I know it's definitely going to be a tough match either way... I think it's going to depend on the conditions. If the conditions are going to be heavier [due to the rain], I think a lot of the points are going to be long with both opponents, because they play pretty similar games. Both move pretty well around the court, have heavy balls, good serves as well... Sometimes I can go for a little bit more if the conditions are lighter and the shot will be a winner or if it's going to be an easy put-away. If the conditions are going to be heavier, I think I have to be patient on extra balls, keep grinding. Hopefully, I'm fit enough to be able to do that. It's just a matter of mentally going out there and doing it." interview - interview video
*#19 s16 Elena Likhovtseva RUS d #5 s4 Elena Dementieva RUS 7-6(3), 5-7, 7-5
Elena L's backhand, and Elena D thinking things over after match point
*#12 s10 Justine Henin-Hardenne BEL d #7 s6 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS 7-6(6), 4-6, 7-5 Mon
Justine's forehand, Svetlana's backhand
(showing that she has set aside her new--still in development--Head Flexpoint Instinct
and returned, for the time being anyway, to her older Liquidmetal Instinct
and Justine after match point
Svetlana was unable to convert 2 match points while leading 5-3 in the 3rd set, and also had been unable to score on a set point she held in the 1st set. Justine said: "I didn't play a great match today. But I think I've been mentally very strong when I had to, and that made a big difference during the match... [Svetlana] was very nervous to win the match... I still believed that I could win the match. So that helped me. Even if I didn't play a great match, it's very good because I stayed really positive and I never stopped fighting. So this kind of win makes me very, very happy... I was seeing her very nervous. She was afraid to win the match; that was very clear. And when you can see that in the eyes of your opponent, that is very good for myself... I think on the first match point I played very aggressive, very good. But on the second one, she played a slice in the net, and that wasn't a very tough shot. So I understood at that point I could win the match. I was very calm at that point because what can happen? I can lose the match; it's not the end of the world. And I said that to myself at the end, 'It's not the end, so just try to keep fighting.'"|
"I have a few injuries, and that is bothering me. For sure I couldn't move really well today. So I'm probably not 100%, but I'm sure that the treatments are going to help, and I'll be ready for tomorrow."
About playing Maria Sharapova in the quarterfinals on Tuesday, Justine said: "It's gonna be another tough match. Right now I really believe in it. Even if it was a tough match today, even if I didn't play very well, I think tomorrow is gonna be another day, another match, another kind of player. You know, Kuznetsova is playing very, very heavy. The ball is coming very, very strong. Sharapova is probably playing faster, but not as heavy. So it's gonna be a very different match, and we will see tomorrow. But I will try to forget what happened in Berlin [where Justine defeated Maria 6-2, 6-4, to even their record at 1 match apiece]. I played very good match. But here it's the French Open and it's different kind of pressure. But I believe I can win." interview - interview video
#9 s7 Nadia Petrova RUS d #14 s12 Elena Bovina RUS 7-5, 3-6, 6-4
Nadia's backhand, Elena's backhand, and Nadia after match point
*#24 s21 Mary Pierce FRA d #10 s8 Patty Schnyder SUI 6-1, 1-6, 6-4
Mary chasing down a backhand, Mary after match point, and Patty congratulating-Mary consoling
Mary won on her 11th match point. Mary said: "Felt like I had more than that, actually, more than 11. But strange, you know. I just went for it, you know, like every other point. I don't have any regrets on the ones that I lost. Definitely it would have been a tough match to lose after having so many match points. But, gosh, all credit to Patty. She never gave up. She always kept putting the ball back. Made me play. Made me win it, you know.."|
Patty said: "I gave it all I could. At the beginning of the match, the first game of the first set, the first game of the third set, those are two games that I didn't really play well. I wasn't there. Mary has served wonderfully..."
About playing Lindsay Davenport in the QFs on Tuesday, Mary said: "...great girl, first of all. I really like her a lot off the court. You know, she's No. 1 in the world, No. 1 seed. On paper I shouldn't win. On paper I shouldn't have won the last two matches. I'm playing my favorite tournament. Hopefully, playing on my favorite court. Nothing to lose. I'm just enjoying every moment. Going out there, giving everything I have. I look forward to a good match. Definitely not gonna be easy. Lindsay's definitely the greatest player right now playing. So I'm just gonna give it my best." interview - interview video
*#32 s29 Ana Ivanovic SCG d #25 s22 Francesca Schiavone ITA 6-4, 6(3)-7, 6-3 Mon
Ana's 2-handed backhand, Francesca's 1-handed backhand, and Ana after match point
#101 Sesil Karatantcheva BUL d #112 Emmanuelle Gagliardi SUI 7-5, 6-3
Sesil's forehand, Sesil laying in the red dirt after match point, and Emmanuelle congratulating Sesil
Although Emmanuelle got 70% of her 1st serves in (unusual this year at Roland Garros), and made good on 10 of 12 trips to the net, she hit 42 unforced errors (to Sesil's 27) and was able to convert only 2 of 8 break points (Sesil: 5 of 12). match stats|
Sesil won despite being very nervous about the match. Sesil said: "I was basically scared to win. Just the thought of me being in the quarterfinals in Paris was just too scary for me. I guess the pressure really is getting to me. I hope for the quarters I'll be more relaxed... I do believe I can play a lot better. I don't know where that is going to take me but wherever it is, I'm already happy enough... I'm not even answering my phone. I had 20 missed calls yesterday. A lot of people are very happy for me, a lot of kids, a lot of adults." AP story
Emmanuelle has 301 career match victories, but it was the first time she had reached the 4th round in the 33 Grand Slam tourneys she has played in (she has reached the 3rd round 3 times, including at Wimbledon last year). About Sesil, Emmanuelle said: "There are a number of very young players emerging and [Sesil is] one of the best ... very, very promising. She hits very strongly, it's so difficult to beat her for speed. I tried as much as possible but I couldn't manage. You have to run so much to put her in a difficult position."
French Open, QFs, Tues May 31
loser's prize: $139,137.34 US; points: 162
*#24 s21 Mary Pierce FRA d #1 s1 Lindsay Davenport USA 6-3, 6-2
career matches: Lindsay leads 8-3
Mary serving, Lindsay's backhand, and Mary after match point
Mary played aggressively, which is not usually a particularly successful tactic on clay. But it is probably the best way to defeat Lindsay. Mary hit 28 winners (to Lindsay's 19) with 19 unforced errors (to Lindsay's 23). Mary also got 64% of her 1st serves in, to only 53% for Lindsay. match stats|
Mary said: "It is crazy... I have just beaten the world number one in straight sets ... I need a bit of time to realise what I have done... It's different [compared to 2000, when Mary won the title] but my feelings are similar to the ones I had when I won. I would love to experience such great moments again. It would be even better this time, after all I've been through." Reuters story - interview - interview video
Lindsay said: "I beat my expectations [by reaching the quarter-finals] but at the moment I'm kind of down with the tennis that I played."
Mary reached a career-high rank of # 3 in 1995, and spent much of the next 5 years in top 10. She won at Roland Garros in 2000, then was injured just before the start of the 2001 French Open, and was out the rest of the year. She continued to struggle with injuries until recently.
Mary has already earned over 400 ranking points (including 200 "quality points" for defeating # 1 Lindsay) at Roland Garros, and next week she will be back in the top 20 again for the first time in over 4 years.
Mary has had some pain in the left abductors, and her left ankle is taped, but said "The doctor is really taking good care of me with all his team, with the chiropractors, with the physiotherapists." Mary will play 29-year-old 16th-seeded # 19 Elena Likhovtseva in the other SF on Thursday. Mary leads Elena 6-4 in career matches but Elena has won 3 matches of their last 4 matches. Mary won the last time they played, 3 weeks ago in Berlin, 6-2, 6-2. Mary said: "I beat [Elena] easily a few weeks ago in Berlin, and I will be the favourite on paper, but that will perhaps make it even more difficult."
*#12 s10 Justine Henin-Hardenne BEL d #2 s2 Maria Sharapova RUS 6-4, 6-2
career matches: Justine leads 2-1
Justine serving, Maria ready to return serve, and Justine after match point
Justine said: "I was feeling great on the court. I felt I had a lot of time, and I was in the good rhythm, and I served very good. So that was the big difference from the last few matches. My served help me so much to win easy points. So everything was really positive. I've played really consistent. I was very focused on every point, and I had a lot of determination to win the match in two sets... I think I was playing great at the beginning of the second set. And when I broke her for the second time in the second set, I felt [Maria] didn't know anymore what to do. So that was very good for me. But we had a very close game at 4-1. I was very focused on every point, because this kind of match can turn the other way in a point. So I had to stay focused, and that's what I did very well at the end." interview - interview video|
Maria said: "I think it had nothing to do with movement today. I think [Justine] served a lot better than I did and she got a lot more free points than I did. And it was really close in the first set, and then I just went for too much at the wrong times. But there were a lot of positive things from today's match: I came in a lot more than I did in the match in Berlin, and I felt like I had more confidence as the match was going on. And in the second set... she was putting a little more pressure on my second serve, and I went for too much on my serve and didn't have a good percentage in the second set... She's played a lot of matches on clay. She feels the ball, she sees the ball well. And it's also a matter of seeing the ball and how she reacts to the ball... You hit a big shot, and she can come up with a heavier shot, with a tougher shot, closer to the line. She made great dropshots at very important points, and that just comes with confidence, having played a lot of matches. And she's on a big winning streak. I think that is giving her more and more confidence." interview
#9 s7 Nadia Petrova RUS d #32 s29 Ana Ivanovic SCG 6-2, 6-2
career matches: tied 1-1
Nadia's slice (thus 1-handed) backhand, Ana watching a shot go wrong, and Nadia after match point--
Nadia's string vibration dampener on her racket (left center of photo) is a yin-yang symbol;
you can get one from Wilson's "VibraFun" series of dampeners for about 2 or 3 dollars
(sold as pair with a peace symbol, called "Wilson VibraFun Chi/Peace")
Nadia said: "It was a mentally tough match for both of us, because you haven't seen the long rallies, and you've seen quite a few unforced errors and double-faults there and here. I think the key for this match was to take the lead in the first set, and the person who would do that would have the match maybe in the hands...|
"On the clay court it's really difficult to play the fast points. You really have to work to get a shorter ball. So to start going for the winners, it's not so effective on clay. So you have to be more patient...
"I would definitely say [Ana] has quality to be in Top 10. Looking at her now at her age, she's really build very strong. You know, she's a head taller than most of the tennis players. That gives her more power, more speed on her serve. She is a good mover. She likes to really have a control of the game. The only thing is she just need more experience and a little bit more consistency, and it will come." interview - interview video
Ana said: "[Nadia] played very well. But I think I was also a little bit emotionally empty from yesterday. I just knew I had to go for some shots because she's very good player and I had to put her under pressure. But sometimes I really wanted too much. So that caused much more unforced errors... It's really great. It was my first professional Roland Garros. It was just amazing. I really enjoy my time..." interview - interview video
Nadia has a 1-6 record against her semifinal opponent, Justine Henin-Hardenne. But Nadia's only win over Justine was in the 4th round of last year's US Open, and their only match since then, 3 weeks ago in the Berlin final, was very close. Nadia said: "It was a very good week for me. Was the first time I beat Amelie [# 3 Mauresmo], as well, there. And I was a bit worn out playing Justine. I had two difficult days before. I was a little bit tired. But the way I've been competing against her in the finals, still not playing best game, bringing the match to a three-setter, I feel like I'm pretty much on the same level that I can compete with anyone at the moment."
#19 s16 Elena Likhovtseva RUS d #101 Sesil Karatantcheva BUL 2-6, 6-4, 6-4
career matches: tied 1-1
Elena's forehand, Sesil's serve, and Elena after match point
Elena reported that nervousness caused her to lose the 1st set. Elena said: "This was my first singles match on [Chatrier, the "center"] court. Especially first set I wasn't there, I was not on the court. I lost to [Sesil] in Australia in Gold Coast, and I know that she played the same tactics. She was hitting the first set really hard, missing a lot, and then she just backed up and started just to hit everything back and was waiting for me to make mistakes. I tried to beat her with her own game. I can't really tell when I turned it around. I think it just got better in the second set. It got me into the game. I started to run down more balls. I started to hit more balls over the net... It seemed like it was in slow motion, but it helped me to get into the game, to help me get less unforced errors. I know it was ugly maybe, but, you know, I still won the match [laughter]."|
Sesil was up a set and a break at 4-3 in the 2nd set. Elena said: "[In] women's tennis, that's nothing. Serve doesn't mean anything in women's tennis... I wish I could go more forward with any match I play. But I was tight. But I still tried to go forward. And she was running down every ball and just giving me back every ball... The goal was to go more forward and to finish, because I knew how she plays, to go forward and try to finish it with the volley. That was the tactics... I thought the worst thing that can happen to me is that I lose. And it's not the end of the world."
Elena's left hip is hurting, but she didn't seem to think it presents a problem for her semifinal against Mary Pierce. Elena said: "I will definitely feel less pressure than the next match because I really, really wanted to win this match. [Now] I have nothing to lose... I had some wins against Mary, though I lost against her last time. But I know how I'm going to play." interview - interview video
Sesil said: "It was a very long match. It was a lot of up and downs. I was leading, I was losing, I was up again, I was losing again. There was a lot of mental conditions I went through in this match. I really got tired. I mean, [Elena] was very consistent, so I really couldn't do anything. And then again, I don't really think I believe in myself. I think things just happened to fast for me. I don't think I'm really prepared for this. So I just need more time... She stayed in the match better than I did. That's the better thing to do apparently. She won and, again, she played a great match from my opinion." interview - interview video
French Open, SFs, Thurs Jun 2 2pm
loser's prize: $263,474.71 US; points: 292
*#12 s10 Justine Henin-Hardenne BEL d #9 s7 Nadia Petrova RUS 6-2, 6-3
career matches: Justine leads 7-1 Petrova career record
Nadia looking for a safe place to serve, Justine running the ball down anyway,
and Justine after match point
Nadia lost despite putting a fairly respectable 73% of her 1st serves in, while Justine got only 46% of hers into the box. But Nadia won only 53% of her 1st serve points (Justine: 76%), and 20% of her 2nd serve points (Justine: 45%). Justine also hit 16 winners to Nadia's 7. match stats|
Justine said: "The conditions were almost perfect. Just a little bit of wind... I've been very patient today and just tried to take every opportunity that I had, so I could open the court more easily today than I did in Berlin [where Justine defeated Nadia in a close final]. And I think [Nadia] did a lot of mistakes because she could feel the pressure. I've been very consistent from the first point to the end. So very, very good match...
"I don't think I've played a perfect tennis. I think I've played my tennis. I think I did some mistakes, but I did a lot of winners, and I've been aggressive and patient when I had to. So I was in the good rhythm. I was feeling very good, very calm on the court. In the second set, it was getting tight a little bit, at the beginning of the second set, and I was waiting for any opportunity. I got it at 3-All. I played very good at 3-All in the second.
"Very happy the way I played in the last two matches, and I hope I can keep going for my last match on clay court." interview - interview video
Nadia said: "[Justine] really played well today. She started very aggressive. She was really going for her shots, and she was keeping me in the trouble all the time. She'd been hitting balls very deep and close to the lines. It's just one of those days when everything works in your favor, and she had one of those days today... She won already three tournaments on clay after her injury. She's came out of injury very strong, very mentally strong as well, playing very good tennis.
"I had a very good first-serve percentage. Even these didn't change anything in my favor. I must say she just didn't give me a time maybe to adjust or change some things. She was just swinging and making winners and making me run. She made it difficult today for me...
"I saw Kuze [Svetlana Kuznetsova] having couple match points [against Justine in the 4th round], and it was a bit disappointing for her. But I find Justine from each match, she was getting more confidence in herself. And today she just felt like at home on the center court. You know, the whole crowd was behind her. Everything just work her way." interview - interview video
*#24 s21 Mary Pierce FRA d #19 s16 Elena Likhovtseva RUS 6-1, 6-1
career matches: Mary leads 7-4 Likhovtseva career record
Mary's forehand, Elena's backhand, and Mary after match point
Mary again played aggressively, hitting 26 winners (to Elena's 10) with 11 unforced errors (to Elena's 15). Mary also got 67% of her 1st serves in, to 57% for Elena. match stats|
Mary said: "I was very strong mentally from the first to the last point. I played exactly like I had to... I know it will be very hard, but I don't want to think about the final yet." Reuters story
Elena said: "[Mary] didn't give me any rhythm. Like I fell apart. I was really struggling to get back to my game. She had good tactics, and it worked... [It] was a bit tough because she took a lot of time in between points when she was serving. And she was dictating. I mean, I played Mary quite a few times and I know she does that. Definitely she was trying to dictate the game, and that's what she did. I think she did it well. She moves better than she used to... I couldn't put myself into the game. I didn't dictate it. So I think I didn't put her in defense, and that was the key..." interview - interview video
About the final, Mary said: "Justine is a girl I have still not defeated. She plays very well. It's going to be a very tough match. She's very aggressive. She's got everything. She goes up to the net; she's got a good serve. She's got a good forehand, backhand. I will just have to play my own game, as usual. Be focused. Be concentrated on what I have to do. And we'll see for the rest." interview - interview video
French Open, Final, Sat Jun 4 3pm WTA story
loser's prize: $546,489.41 US; points: 456
winner's prize: $1,092,978.8 US; points: 650
#12 s10 Justine Henin-Hardenne BEL d #24 s21 Mary Pierce FRA 6-1, 6-1
career matches: Justine leads 4-0 - Henin-Hardenne career record - Pierce career record
Mary serving, Justine after match point,
and Mary admiring Justine's fine rendition of The Theme from Star Wars
at the awards ceremony,
as Justine sings it with the complex Bill Murray lyrics translated into French on the spot
French Open, Qualifying Finals Fri-Sat May 20-21 11am|
loser's prize: $8,320.25 US
*#142 Sandra Kloesel GER d #109 Lucie Safarova CZE 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 Fri
#115 Michaella Krajicek NED d #162 Henrieta Nagyova SVK 7-5, 6-3 Sat
*#138 Eva Birnerova CZE d #116 Lindsay Lee-Waters 6-2, 7-6(2) Sat
*#134 Anastasiya Yakimova BLR d #123 Lourdes Dominguez Lino ESP 6-2, 6-0 Sat
*#187 Mervana Jugic-Salkic BIH d #132 Galina Voskoboeva RUS 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 Fri
#136 Mara Santangelo ITA d #169 Lenka Nemeckova CZE 6-1, 6-3 Sat
#140 Yvonne Meusburger AUT d #206 Alice Canepa ITA 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 Fri
*#214 Clarisa Fernandez ARG d #145 Emma Laine FIN 6(4)-7, 7-6(5), 6-1 Fri
*#177 Meilen Tu USA d #154 Maria Fernanda Alves BRA 6-3, 6-1 Fri
*#176 Libuse Prusova CZE d #158 Elise Tamaela NED 6-0, 6-0 Sat
*#175 Sofia Arvidsson SWE d #174 Tiantian Sun CHN 6-4, 6-1 Fri
*#255 Petra Mandula HUN d #190 Els Callens BEL 6-2, 7-6(2) Sat
French Open, Doubles Final, Sun Jun 5 WTA story
losers' prize: $164,671.69 US
winners' prize: $329,343.39 US
cdr3 s1 Virginia Ruano Pascual & Paola Suarez d
cdr12 s2 Cara Black & Liezel Huber 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
Virginia & Paola during the match, after match point, and with the hardware
Paola said: "In the second set, [Cara & Liezel] made errors they were not doing before. They were serving very well, both of them. At that moment, I think they became a bit nervous. It was 3-2. We were breaking. It was 3-3, I won my serve. The matched turned for us. They started losing their precision, they had trouble returning our serves and they were seeing the match was escaping them."|
Paola & "Vivi" were playing in their 13th Grand Slam doubles final together (winning 8 of them); Cara & Liezel in their first. Virginia said: "I believe we've been playing together for a very long time, that's the key. In fact, we are a very particular pair. We know each other very well. We know exactly what the other one is going to do at each moment."
French Open, Mixed Doubles Final, Fri Jun 3 WTA story
losers' prize: $43,870.43 US
winners' prize: $73,117.38 US
Daniela Hantuchova & Fabrice Santoro d s6
Martina Navratilova & Leander Paes 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
Daniela Hantuchova & Fabrice Santoro
Daniela & Fabrice trailed 0-2 in the 3rd set, then won 6 straight games to take the match. Daniela said: "It was tough match today. I think in the first set actually it was the first time we really wanted to win badly, and maybe that's why we were a little tired. But then we just relaxed and tried to enjoy it. We needed to play well to beat them, for sure."|
French Open, Withdrawals/Non-entries
#4 Serena Williams USA left ankle sprain
#8 Alicia Molik AUS ear infection
#15 Jennifer Capriati USA r shoulder
#36 Na Li CHN r ankle sprain
#94 Laura Granville USA played doubles only
French Open, Girls Singles Final, Sun Jun 5
#279 s8 Agnes Szavay HUN d #798 s14 Raluca-Ioana Olaru ROM 6-2, 6-1
Agnes launching a backhand, flanked by photos of the ladies with their pizza pans after the match
French Open, Girls Doubles Final, Sat Jun 4
s3 Agnes Szavay HUN & Victoria Azarenka BLR d
s8 Raluca-Ioana Olaru ROM & Amina Rakhim KAZ 4-6, 6-4, 6-0
Victoria Azarenka & Agnes Szavay
Like all recent Grand Slam tourneys, the Roland Garros singles main draw had 128 players, with 32 seeds, and NO 1st round byes. The draw included
, plus 1 "Lucky Loser" (the highest ranked player to lose in the qualifying finals), who was added to replace # 4 Serena Williams after her late withdrawal.
is GMT (UCT, ZULU) + 2 hours (US Pacific Daylight Time +9, EDT +6).
Early round play began at 11am local time (2am PT, 5am ET in the US).
The Roland Garros website has the very nice IBM live scoring by points, with statistics.