2006 French Open at Roland Garros WTA Singles Results     Justine Henin-Hardenne, Champion

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  WTA: May 28-June 11 2006 French Open

Roland Garros, FRA Grand Slam
Ladies Prize$: €6,145,760 (euros)
    = $7,888,078.86 in US dollars
128 players - outdoor: red clay
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# 1 Amelie Mauresmo, # 2 Kim Clijsters
# 3 Nadia Petrova, # 4 Maria Sharapova

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Roland Garros:
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#5 Justine Henin-Hardenne
5' 5", 126 lbs
RH, 1H-BH
Roland Garros:
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3rd French Open Title
5th Grand Slam Title
25th WTA Singles Title
    On Saturday at Roland Garros, in the Paris suburb Boulogne-Billancourt, in the final of the 2006 French Open, the 2003 & 2005 champion, 24-years-old-last-Thursday 5th-seeded # 5 Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium (residence: Monte Carlo, Monaco), defeated the 2004 US Open champion, 20-year-old 8th-seeded # 10 Svetlana Kuznetsova from St. Petersburg, Russia (who now lives in Barcelona, Spain, where she trains), 6-4, 6-4 (Justine is shown during the match, and with the hardware afterward).

    Svetlana served to open the 1st set, and after the third deuce her serve was broken when she sent a forehand wide. Things settled down for the next three games, then Svetlana double faulted on break point, giving Justine a 4-1 lead.
    Svetlana broke back immediately, but was still down one break, and both players held serve to the end of the 1st set, Justine winning it 6-4.

    Svetlana had held her serve at love in the 9th game of the match, and she started out the 2nd set the same way. In fact, she won the first ten points of the 2nd set, breaking Justine to take a 2-0 lead, and then going ahead 30-0 on her serve. But Justine won the next 4 points to break back, and then held serve to reach 2-2.
    Both players held serve to 3-3, and then, in the 7th game, Justine broke Svetlana at 15. This would give Justine the match, as both ladies held the final three games, Svetlana hitting a forehand long on Justine's first match point.

    The match was rather sloppy overall, with Justine (16 winners and 30 unforced errors) tending to put the ball into the net unusually often, while Svetlana (17 winners and 38 unforced errors) sending hers long. Justine put only 51% of her first serves in the box, but she won 76% of her first serve points, while Svetlana, who made 71% of her first serves good, won only 60% of those points. match stats

    Justine said: "[Svetlana] tried to put a lot of pressure on my serve. I was playing too short. Physically I did suffer a lot. It was time for me that this Grand Slam would end because I wasn't sleeping well at all for a couple of nights. I was feeling very tired with the heat also.
    "When she came back in the match, just trying to play point after point. There were crucial games. And this game at 4-3 in the first set, I could go to 5-3, was very important. Then in the second set, she gave me some error, 2-0, 30-Love. Then I come back to 2-1. But she did a couple of mistakes at that point, and that was very important for me to come back very early in the set. Then crucial game at 3-all in the second. I played my best tennis. I did return and volley. I took the opportunity.
    "So I probably didn't play my best tennis during the whole match, but at very important games, that's what I did. That's been the same during all my seven matches this week. So I'm very happy about that." interview

    Svetlana said: "I was trying to play the way I wanted to play, but I didn't expect that the ball would come so easy... I had so many chances to go forward and play my forehand that I was just overdoing it. I was not ready for, like, sitter, you know...
    "I was expecting her ball a bit heavier. Today it was not so heavy. But also the court was very slippery today, and the ball was--she hit it flat, it will bounce very fast, and if you hit it with a spin, it's bounce very high. I was playing a lot with the spin and I was not serving that well... I was just thinking the match was going to be different." interview

    Justine now leads Svetlana 11-1 in career matches, and won their last 6 meetings in a row. Their most recent encounter had been in the Berlin quarterfinals 3 weeks ago, where Justine won 6-4, 7-6(2). Svetlana's only win over Justine was on a hardcourt in the Doha final in 2004, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3; on dirt Queen of Clay Justine now leads Svetlana 4-0.
Justine Henin-Hardenne wallpaper - Henin-Hardenne record
Kuznetsova record

    It's the Bat: Justine played in the Fed Cup QFs with her Wilson nCode nTour, then showed up in Berlin wielding a "new" bat: the nTour Two. This racquet is not yet available to the public (it is not even described on Wilson's website yet); they say it will ship in "late June." All of the nTour ladies (Ana Ivanovic, Jie Zheng, Iveta Benesova...) seem to be switching to the new axe, which is very much like the old nTour (and in the same 95" and 105" head sizes), but is said to have increased comfort at ball impact due to the addition of "nFoam" and "Double Hole" technologies.

    Sunday: Men's final: # 2 s2 Rafael Nadal ESP d # 1 s1 Roger Federer SUI 1-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-6(4)

        The Roland Garros singles main draws were held on Friday, May 26. The links are above and the matchups below. For the first time at Roland Garros, the draw was semiautomatic: the unseeded players postions were determined instantaneously by computer, after which the 32 seeded players were be drawn by hand (the Australian Open first used a computer for the draw; the US Open also uses one now).

  Major Skirmishes, Top Half

4th Round:
# 18 Nicole Vaidisova d # 1 Amelie Mauresmo
# 16 Dinara Safina d # 4 Maria Sharapova
# 13 Venus Williams d # 9 Patty Schnyder
# 10 Svetlana Kuznetsova d # 11 Francesca Schiavone
Quarterfinals:
# 18 Nicole Vaidisova d # 13 Venus Williams
# 10 Svetlana Kuznetsova d # 16 Dinara Safina
Semifinal:
# 10 Svetlana Kuznetsova d # 18 Nicole Vaidisova
   

  Major Skirmishes, Bottom Half

4th Round:
# 2 Kim Clijsters d # 17 Daniela Hantuchova
# 5 Justine Henin-H d # 12 Anastasia Myskina
# 14 Martina Hingis d # 33 Shahar Peer ISR
# 15 Anna-Lena Groenefeld d # 34 Gisela Dulko
Quarterfinals:
# 2 Kim Clijsters d # 14 Martina Hingis
# 5 J Henin-Hardenne d # 15 A-L Groenefeld
Semifinal:
# 5 Justine Henin-Hardenne d # 2 Kim Clijsters

    Roland Garros: The main draw for the French Open has 32 seeds, with no 1st-round byes. There are 12 qualifiers and 8 wild cards in the main draw. Qualifying finals are on Friday & Saturday.

    Paris daylight savings time is UCT (GMT, Zulu, Greenwich...) plus 2 hours. That is Eastern Daylight Time in the US + 6 hours, PDT+9 hours.
    Early round play at Roland Garros begins at 11am local time. That is 2am PT, 5am ET in the US.

venue map - Court Phillipe Chatrier panorama
    click for larger interactive version
Roland Garros, Boulogne-Billancourt, France
Stadiums (L to R): Suzanne Lenglen, Philippe Chatrier, and Court No. 1
click for interactive sat pic & street map

    In Sunday's doubles final, top-seeded d# 2 Lisa Raymond (winner of 56 WTA doubles titles) & d# 1 Samantha Stosur (13 doubles titles, 11 with Lisa), defeated the 5th seeds, d# 13 Ai Sugiyama (33 doubles titles) & d# 11 Daniela Hantuchova (8 doubles titles, 3 with Ai), 6-3, 6-2. Surprisingly, these fine doubles players had only faced each other (with these partners) once before, in the semifinals last year in Zurich, where Ai and Daniela won, 7-6(6) 6-3.

    The Roland Garros photo gallery has been degraded this year. They have put it in a Flash interface, so you cannot simply copy and paste the photos to save them (screen grabbers will work). Ridiculous.

WTA SCOREBOARD: French Open, Roland Garros
The Wimbledon Centre Court scoreboard at match point during the 1977 ladies singles semifinal as Virginia Wade defeated Chris Evert, and advanced to defeat Betty Stove in the final, becoming the last British woman to win the singles title at Wimbledon-- a portion of a photo from Virginia's book Courting Triumph, click for book excerpts
s=seed, #=rank, *=upset, LL=lucky loser
ranks are for the previous week
How do players get into the "draw"?
prizes in US $
are at May 11
conversion rate


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Kim Clijsters was photographed practicing at Roland Garros on Thursday, Venus Williams on Wednesday,
and Maria Sharapova on Friday, May 26, the day of the draw--which although now conducted by machine,
left room for 2003 & 2005 French Open champ Justine Henin-Hardenne to keep a hand in.

click for Sharapova news photo search   click for Hantuchova news photo search   click for Hingis news photo search   click for Sugiyama news photo search
On Saturday, May 27, Maria Sharapova could not figure out what happened to her visor, which Daniela Hantuchova said fit just fine, thanks. This led Martina Hingis to offer Maria a nice 3-striped model (hoping to collect a recruiting commission), prompting Ai Sugiyama to say that Maria will leave Nike the day Martina starts giving hula-hoop lessons.

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So Martina began giving the players hula-hoop lessons immediately, sans hoop. Justine Henin-Hardenne, who perfers caps to visors anyway, ignored this while practicing the psychobelgian ball control techniques that brought her two French titles so far. Meanwhile, Kim Clijsters and Ana Ivanovic were putting their palmprints on an "art object".

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Also on Saturday, top seed Amelie Mauresmo entertained her countryfolk with an exhibition at the Benny-Berthet Day festivities, Swiss Misses Patty Schnyder and Martina Hingis practiced (Martina didn't goof off all day), and Frenchwoman Virginie Pichet celebrated after defeating Kirsten Flipkens in qualifying final-- her 1st round opponent: Kirsten, in the draw as "Lucky Loser".

French Open, 1st Round Sun-Tue May 28-30 11am Tue WTA story
loser's prize: €12,600 =US $16,183.43; points: 2
#1 s1 Amelie Mauresmo FRA d #59 Meghann Shaughnessy USA 6-4, 6-4 Sun

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Amelie serving, Meghann about to swat a forehand, and Amelie following her forehand

    Amelie said: "It's satisfactory for the first round, even if it was not the match of the century. I know everybody is expecting me to do well. I hope to do well, too. I'm going to try and enjoy myself and see where it leads me." AP story

#2 s2 Kim Clijsters BEL d #66 Virginie Razzano FRA 6-0, 7-6(4) Mon

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Kim twisting a serve, belting a backhand, and after winning a point (no pics of Virginie were posted)

    Kim hit 17 winners to Virginie's 8, but Kim had 32 unforced errors (Virginie: 25), 5 of which were double faults (Virginie: 4). match stats
    Kim's inconsistent performance may have been in part due to very heavy winds. Kim said: "At the beginning I was allowed to step in, but in the second set [Virginie] started to play aggressive tennis, and I was making too many unforced errors... This has been the most wind I've ever played in. It was tough conditions out there." AP story - Reuters story

*#67 Akiko Morigami JPN d #3 s3 Nadia Petrova RUS 6-2, 6-2 Tue

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Akiko's forehand, Nadia's backhand, Akiko's backhand, and Akiko after match point

    Nadia was slowed by a left leg injury she incurred in practice on Saturday. Nadia said: "I did want to go out there and play and perform because if I could have played a couple of matches, I would have some time in between to recover and get some more treatments. I was hoping that my leg would get better, but, unfortunately, I started to feel it again in the beginning of the first set.
    "But I must say, Morigami did play her best tennis today. I just have no excuses to losing that match. I wish all the best to Morigami for the matches, because she's quite a good player, and she can really do well this time."

    Akiko said: "I know Nadia was injured, but I tried to focus on my game. I think it worked pretty well".

#4 s4 Maria Sharapova RUS d #97 Mashona Washington USA 6-2, 5-7, 7-5 Sun

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Maria serving, Mashona's backhand, Maria having her injured right ankle retaped after losing the 2nd set,
Maria following her forehand, and after match point

    Mashona, who hit 8 more winners than Maria (40-32) but trailed slightly in most other statistical categories, led 5-2 in the 3rd-set, and held, but could not convert, three match points before Maria climbed back into the lead. match stats

    Maria had twisted an ankle while training in California on Wednesday, April 26. The injury caused a bone bruise, which led to Maria's withdrawal from the May 15 Italian Open. As a result, Maria had not played since the final in Miami 8 weeks ago, and this was her first match on a clay court this year.

    Maria said: "I knew the ankle wouldn't be 100%, but it was my decision to gut it out. The injury was slowly getting better last week, but on Friday I aggravated it and took the MRI. I was surprised to get to three sets and I was even more surprised to win it... I was playing with pain, and I blocked it out somehow and started moving better, and she got a little bit tight... I'm obviously not moving great." BBC story

#5 s5 Justine Henin-Hardenne BEL d #68 Maret Ani EST 6-3, 6-0 Tue

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Justine following her flying forehand, her backhand, and after match point

    Playing conditions were again difficult due to cold weather (57F) and light rain showers. Justine had her racquets' string tension reduced to adjust for the low temperature. Justine said: "Just one kilo less. I tried it at the warm-up. That's something I don't do very often. But in Berlin we lost 10 degrees in two days. I did the mistake of not changing my tension. I was feeling like I couldn't hit the ball as hard as I did the days before. Today I said it's pretty cold out there so I'm going to try something else. I was feeling good with my tension on the court." interview

#8 s6 Elena Dementieva RUS d #63 Martina Sucha SVK 7-6(3), 6-2 Mon

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Elena about to serve, and following her backhand

#9 s7 Patty Schnyder SUI d #54 Michaella Krajicek NED 6-1, 6-2 Mon

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Patty's backhand, Michaella's forehand, and both at net after match point--
Patty has been trying to switch from the Head Liquidmetal Prestige to the newer Flexpoint Prestige model,
but has had difficulty adjusting to the different bat; she used the Liquidmetal against Michaella

#10 s8 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #47 Laura Granville USA 6-4, 6-0 Mon

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Svetlana and Laura firing forehands

#11 s9 Francesca Schiavone ITA d #56 Alona Bondarenko UKR 6-3, 6-4 Mon

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Francesca about to swat a forehand

#12 s10 Anastasia Myskina RUS d #38 Sania Mirza IND 6-4, 6-1 Tue

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Sania's forehand, Anastasia's backhand, and another backhand from Anastasia

#13 s11 Venus Williams USA d #48 Sybille Bammer AUT 6-4, 6-3 Mon

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Venus launching a forehand, and after match point

    Venus scored on 19 of 25 trips to the net. Venus said: "That's always important, to come in on the short balls. I got quite a few of those today. Definitely had even more opportunities to come in... At this point, I feel like I understand how to approach the net. I do have a heavy ball, good volleys, lot of reach. It's hard to get one over my head, too. That's definitely an advantage for me to be moving forward-- for anyone." interview

#14 s12 Martina Hingis SUI d #80 Lisa Raymond USA 6-2, 6-2 Tue

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Martina's service toss, Lisa fielding a forehand, Martina's backhand, and after match point

    Temperatures were in the mid-50s (Fahrenheit), and light rains fell, but did not stop play, as the clay can soak up water without becoming slippery. Martina said: "I saw it's like 11 degrees [Celsius]. I watched the weather forecast, like 13 yesterday. I'm like, 'Oh. Prepare the best you can early in the morning. Stay warm, keep warm.'
    "It doesn't affect you that much once you're running and everything. It's more the warm-up that is really important before going on court, that you're warm so you can start running. But other than that, where I come from, I'm from a cold country, so it shouldn't be such a big factor...
    "I'm just happy that the first round's over, you can just keep practicing, keep playing on these courts. Definitely coming from a victory like in Rome, my confidence is higher..." interview - match stats

#15 s13 Anna-Lena Groenefeld GER d #96 Camille Pin FRA 6-1, 6-1 Tue

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Anna-Lena's backhand

#16 s14 Dinara Safina RUS d #58 Vera Zvonareva RUS 6-3, 7-5 Sun

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Dinara's backhand, Vera electing to punt (sorry, Vera, there were no other photos), and Dinara after match point

#17 s15 Daniela Hantuchova SVK d #44 Lourdes Dominguez Lino ESP 6-1, 6-4 Tue
#18 s16 Nicole Vaidisova CZE d #61 Marta Domachowska POL 6-1, 6-3 Mon
#19 s17 Flavia Pennetta ITA d #101 Bethanie Mattek USA 6-3, 6-1 Mon
*#78 Karolina Sprem CRO d #20 s18 Elena Likhovtseva RUS 6-1, 6-1 Mon
#21 s19 Ana Ivanovic SCG d #43 Samantha Stosur AUS 6-0, 6-3 Tue
#22 s20 Maria Kirilenko RUS d #127 wc Severine Bremond FRA 1-6, 6-2, 8-6 Tue
#23 s21 Nathalie Dechy FRA d #76 Stephanie Foretz FRA 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 Mon

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Nathalie's backhand, and after match point

#24 s22 Ai Sugiyama JPN d #62 Eleni Daniilidou GRE 6(1)-7, 6-0, 6-3 Sun

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Ai delivering a forehand on the run, Eleni's backhand drive, and Ai after match point

*#40 Jie Zheng CHN d #25 s23 Tatiana Golovin FRA 6-3, 7-6(5) Tue

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Jie's forehand, Tatiana charging a forehand, the trainer retaping Tatiana's ankle, and Jie after winning a point

    This was Tatiana's first match since she twisted her left ankle during a close semifinal against Maria Sharapova in Miami in late March, resulting in torn ligaments. About 4 weeks later Maria sprained her right ankle, putting both in a similar postion entering this year's French Open.

    Tatiana said: "Honestly, I had to play. I decided not to skip it because I'm French, I'm here in Paris, I wanted to try. I tried everything I could find in myself. It's a pity because I had a number of possibilities during the second set. It's difficult to draw any conclusion on a match like that."

#26 s24 Katarina Srebotnik SLO d #50 Anna Smashnova ISR 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 Mon
#27 s25 Marion Bartoli FRA d #261 wc Aurelie Vedy FRA 6-1, 6-0 Sun

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Marion's 2-handed forehand

    Marion is unusual among WTA players who hit 2-handed from both sides, because she keeps her hands in the backhand postion (for a right-handed player): whether hitting backhand or forehand, the left hand is always closer to the head of the racquet-- most 2H-FH&BH (Akiko Morigami, Maria Sanchez Lorenzo...) switch hand positons, as a switch-hitting baseball player would. Shuai Peng of China also hits the ball Marion's way, 2-handed, keeping the backhand grip on both sides.

#28 s24 Anabel Medina Garrigues ESP d #112 q Victoria Azarenka BLR 0-6, 6-3, 9-7 Tue
#29 s25 Anna Chakvetadze RUS d #107 q Eva Birnerova CZE 7-5, 6-4 Mon
*#177 q Anda Perianu ROM d #30 s28 Lucie Safarova CZE 6-1, 7-6(7) Mon
#31 s29 Sofia Arvidsson SWE d #125 Maria Vento-Kabchi VEN 6-4, 6-2 Mon
*#72 Tathiana Garbin ITA d #32 s30 Klara Koukalova CZE 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 Tue
#33 s31 Shahar Peer ISR d #102 Olga Savchuk UKR 6-1, 6-1 Tue
#34 s32 Gisela Dulko ARG d #138 q Yulia Beygelzimer UKR 6-3, 2-6, 11-9 Tue
#35 Jelena Jankovic SCG d #91 Laura Pous Tio ESP 7-5, 6-4 Mon
#36 Catalina Castano COL d #55 Aiko Nakamura JPN 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 Mon

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Catalina's forehand, and Aiko following her 2-handed forehand

#37 Mara Santangelo ITA d #118 Arantxa Parra Santonja ESP 6-4, 6-1 Mon
#39 Na Li CHN d #57 Amy Frazier USA 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-1 Mon

click for Na Li news photo search   click for Amy Frazier news photo search
Na's forehand, and Amy about to launch a backhand

*#74 Kaia Kanepi EST d #41 Kveta Peschke CZE 6-2 6-3 Tue
#42 Vera Dushevina RUS d #109 Anastassia Rodionova RUS 6-3, 6-2 Mon
*#98 Hana Sromova CZE d #45 Roberta Vinci ITA 6-1, 7-5 Mon
#46 Emilie Loit FRA d #168 q Clarisa Fernandez ARG 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 Tue
*#65 Anastasiya Yakimova BLR d #49 Jill Craybas USA 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 Tue
#51 Iveta Benesova CZE d #196 wc Pauline Parmentier FRA 7-5, 6-3 Sun

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Iveta's forehand, and Pauline's backhand

*#77 Ashley Harkleroad USA d #52 Jelena Kostanic CRO 7-5, 2-6, 7-5 Mon

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Ashley's backhand

*#104 Emmanuelle Gagliardi SUI d #53 Maria Elena Camerin ITA 6-4, 6-2 Tue
*#114 Zuzana Ondraskova CZE d #60 Julia Schruff GER 6-4, 6-2 Tue
*#92 Tsvetana Pironkova BUL d #64 Maria Antonia Sanchez Lorenzo ESP 6-3, 6-2 Tue
*#70 Shuai Peng CHN d #69 Elena Vesnina RUS 6-2, 6-2 Mon

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Elena's forehand, and Shuai's backhand

#71 Emma Laine FIN d #267 wc Youlia Fedossova FRA 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-2 Mon
*#81 Jamea Jackson USA d #73 Zi Yan CHN 6-2 6-3 Tue
*#243 wc Alize Cornet FRA d #75 V Ruano Pascual ESP 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 Tue-dark-Wed
*#103 Tiantian Sun CHN d #79 Ekaterina Bychkova RUS 6-2, 7-5 Mon
*#489 wc Alicia Molik AUS d #82 Antonella Serra Zanetti ITA 7-5, 7-6(3) Mon
#83 Martina Muller GER d #106 Nathalie Vierin ITA 4-6, 6-4, 3-0 retired Mon
#84 Yuliana Fedak UKR d #99 Kristina Brandi PUR 6-2, 6-3 Tue
#85 Melinda Czink HUN d #110 q Sandra Kloesel GER 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 Tue
*#94 Conchita Martinez Granados ESP d #87 Mariana Diaz-Oliva ARG 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 Mon
*#90 Shenay Perry USA d #88 Shinobu Asagoe JPN 6-3 6-1 Tue
*#105 Viktoriya Kutuzova UKR d #89 Vania King USA 7-6(11), 6-2 Mon
*#135 q Julia Vakulenko UKR d #93 Meng Yuan CHN 6-1, 6-2 Mon
#100 Jarmila Gajdosova SVK d #159 wc Stephanie Cohen-Aloro FRA 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 Mon
#111 Ivana Lisjak CRO d #130 q Galina Voskoboeva RUS 6-2, 6-3 Tue
*#169 wc Mathilde Johansson FRA d #117 q Su-Wei Hsieh TPE 6-4, 6-4 Tue
#141 q Aravane Rezai FRA d #185 q Alberta Brianti ITA 6-4 7-6(1) Mon
#150 LL Kirsten Flipkens BEL d #203 q Virginie Pichet FRA 6-2, 6-3 Mon

French Open, 2nd Rd Wed-Thu May 31-Jun 1 11am Wed WTA story - Thu WTA story
loser's prize: €20,950 =US $26,908.16; points: 32

    Rain at Roland Garros suspended play for a few hours on Wednesday. Play resumed shortly before 4:30pm, and schedule was completed before darkness (there are no lights at Roland Garros), kind of, with Venus Williams finishing off Emma Laine at about 9:45pm.
    Rain again stopped play at Roland Garros for several hours on Thursday; play resumed around 5:30pm local time. Rather than try to finish the schedule, some matches were rescheduled to Friday, and two matches begun on Thursday were suspended (due to darkness), to finish on Friday.

#1 s1 Amelie Mauresmo FRA d #42 Vera Dushevina RUS 6-1, 7-6(5) Wed

click for Mauresmo news photo search   click for Dushevina news photo search   click for Mauresmo news photo search
Amelie serving, Vera wishing the announcers at Radio Roland Garros would bother to pronounce her name right
after she went to the trouble of changing the English spelling (or possibly wishing the media
would post better photos of her--this was the only one available), and Amelie's backhand

    Amelie said: "I struggled a lot in the second set. I think when I needed to stay a little bit more focused, or to make sure I was not doing so many errors, I was able to control, at least in the key moments. That's what made the difference in that second set. But I have to say the level of the game was not as high as I wish it was for me." interview

#2 s2 Kim Clijsters BEL d #94 Conchita Martinez Granados ESP 6-0, 6-3 ppd-Fri

click for Clijsters news photo search   click for Martinez Granados news photo search   click for Clijsters news photo search
Kim following a light forehand, Conchita's forehand, and Kim after winning a point

    About the streak when Conchita won her three games, Kim said: "I ended well, so that's important. I think I was going for my shots too early in the rally. Just not patient enough. I just wasn't making the right decisions at the right time in those few games. Luckily enough, when I was down, I broke back and got my game back to where it should be." interview

#4 s4 Maria Sharapova RUS d #51 Iveta Benesova CZE 6-4, 6-1 Wed

click for Sharapova news photo search   click for Benesova news photo search   click for Benesova news photo search   click for Sharapova news photo search   click for Sharapova news photo search
Maria serving, Iveta lunging for a backhand, Iveta serving, Maria chasing a forehand, and after match point

    About her injured right ankle, Maria said: "It was a lot better actually than my previous match. I didn't feel like I was moving great still. Just being a little cautious out there naturally with the tape on. But definitely pain-wise, it felt a lot better...
    "At this point, I'm taking it one match at a time. I mean, in my situation, when I haven't had a lot of matches, I don't really know what to expect with injury, with the way I'm playing, confidence basically doesn't exist at the point." WTA story

#5 s5 Justine Henin-Hardenne BEL d #65 Anastasiya Yakimova BLR 6-2, 7-5 Thu

click for Henin-Hardenne news photo search   click for Henin-Hardenne news photo search   click for Henin-Hardenne news photo search
Justine firing a forehand, slicing a backhand at net, and after match point

    Justine said: "When I was under pressure, I played my best tennis. I wasn't in my best day, but it's good to win that way. On the crucial points I played very well. It's disappointing I couldn't do it during the whole match, but it's in this kind of day that you have to win even if you're not playing your best tennis." WTA story

    In the 3rd round on Saturday, Justine will play # 72 Tathiana Garbin of Italy. Few players hold winning records against Justine, Tathiana is one of them; leading Justine 2-1 in career matches. They have not met since the 2nd round at Roland Garros in 2004, when Tathiana defeated the defending champion 7-5, 6-4.

    Justine said: "Garbin, yes, it's true, I've had problems playing her, not only here... I'm going to try and improve what didn't work today. I don't want to get excited about that beforehand."

#8 s6 Elena Dementieva RUS d #105 Viktoriya Kutuzova UKR 3-6, 6-0, 6-4 Thu-dark-Fri

click for Dementieva news photo search   click for Kutuzova news photo search   click for Dementieva news photo search   click for Dementieva news photo search
Elena on Friday about to serve (she trailed 1-5 when darkness fell on Thursday), Viktoriya's forehand,
Elena following her backhand, and Elena with her job well done

#9 s7 Patty Schnyder SUI d #100 Jarmila Gajdosova SVK 6-4, 6-2 Wed
#10 s8 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #37 Mara Santangelo ITA 7-5, 6-2 Wed

click for Safina news photo search
Svetlana's backhand

#11 s9 Francesca Schiavone ITA d #83 Martina Muller GER 6-2, 6-2 Wed
#12 s10 Anastasia Myskina RUS d #85 Melinda Czink HUN 6-2, 6-4 Thu

click for Myskina news photo search   click for Myskina news photo search   click for Czink news photo search   click for Myskina news photo search
Anastasia beginning her service toss, Anastasia serving, Melinda's forehand, and Anastasia belting a backhand

    Anastasia said: "The first set I thought was great. Of course the second set was a little bit shaky, but I just wanted to finish the match. I started rushing maybe. But it was not bad."

#13 s11 Venus Williams USA d #71 Emma Laine FIN 7-6(2), 6-2 Wed

click for Venus Williams news photo search   click for Emma Laine news photo search
Venus reaching for a backhand, and Emma fielding a low ground ball

    Venus said: "I was able to really kind of focus back in, pull in the reins and really realize what I needed to do. I really found my rhythm a lot in that match. By the time I got to the tie-break, I was really hitting them well. In that second set, I still had to hit a lot of balls, but they were solid shots. She kept on coming back with some variety and some pace. For me, it was a nice test, a real opportunity to really find some good rhythm."

#14 s12 Martina Hingis SUI d #114 Zuzana Ondraskova CZE 6-1, 6-3 ppd-Fri

click for Hingis news photo search   click for Hingis news photo search   click for Ondraskova news photo search   click for Hingis news photo search
Martina serving, Martina giving her opinion of the latest Sean Penn movie,
Zuzana's backhand, and Martina after match point

    Martina said: "I think it was a very solid performance. I played pretty well until a set and 4-0. I couldn't even mis-hit a shot or anything without touching a line at the end. I almost felt sorry. But I'm very happy with the performance. It all is coming together again. I hope it's going to continue like that. I want to save the best for last."

#15 s13 Anna-Lena Groenefeld GER d #81 Jamea Jackson USA 6(8)-7, 6-2, 6-1 Thu-dark-Fri

click for Groenefeld news photo search   click for Jamea Jackson news photo search
Anna-Lena's forehand, and Jamea's backhand

#16 s14 Dinara Safina RUS d #98 Hana Sromova CZE 6-0, 6-2 Wed

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Dinara fielding a drop shot

#17 s15 Daniela Hantuchova SVK d #104 Emmanuelle Gagliardi SUI 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 Thu

click for Hantuchova news photo search   click for Gagliardi news photo search
Battle of Monaco: backhands from Monte Carlo residents Daniela and Emmanuelle

#18 s16 Nicole Vaidisova CZE d #103 Tiantian Sun CHN 6-1, 6-3 Wed

click for Tiantian Sun news photo search   click for Vaidisova news photo search   click for Vaidisova news photo search
Tiantian's backhand, Nicole's backhand, and after match point

#19 s17 Flavia Pennetta ITA d #150 LL Kirsten Flipkens BEL 6-1, 6-0 Wed
#21 s19 Ana Ivanovic SCG d #46 Emilie Loit FRA 6-1, 6-1 Thu

click for tourney gallery   click for tourney gallery   click for tourney gallery
Ana ready to swat a serve, and doing so, and Emilie about to connect with a forehand

#22 s20 Maria Kirilenko RUS d #169 wc Mathilde Johansson FRA 6-0, 6-1 Thu

click for tourney gallery   click for tourney gallery   click for tourney gallery
Maria after running down a backhand, Mathilde serving, and Maria following another backhand

#23 s21 Nathalie Dechy FRA d #36 Catalina Castano COL 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 Thu

click for Castano news photo search   click for Dechy news photo search   click for Dechy news photo search
Catalina following her backhand, a reverse angle view of Nathalie fetching a backhand, and Nathalie after match point

    Nathalie said: "Obviously, apart from the second set, this was a very good match. I was really delighted I made it through. Today I was able to free my mind, play and have fun on court. I like to play at Roland Garros. I know I have an opportunity."

*#141 q Aravane Rezai FRA d #24 s22 Ai Sugiyama JPN 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 Wed

click for Rezai Sun news photo search   click for Ai Sugiyama news photo search   click for Rezai Sun news photo search
Aravane's service toss, Ai lining up a backhand, and Aravane's backhand

    Aravane is coached by her father Arsalan. Aravane said: "He's been a tough coach with me because without working, you can't get results. That's normal. It's got to be tough. If it isn't tough, you never make it...
    "It's always a pleasure to see that the French crowd is with me. I'm not used to playing in a grand glam, in particular here in France. It's quite extraordinary. I'm playing for France. I suppose it's a little bit normal that the crowd is on my side. But I do try to give a show for the crowd." Reuters story
    Arvane hasn't been seen much on the WTA Tour because she hasn't been able to afford to travel to tourneys. With her 3rd round (or more) prize money, Arvane said: "I'm going to buy plane tickets so I can go to tournaments." AP story

#26 s24 Katarina Srebotnik SLO d #77 Ashley Harkleroad USA 6-3, 6-2 Wed

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Katarina about to serve, and Ashley's forehand

*#35 Jelena Jankovic SCG d #27 s25 Marion Bartoli FRA 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 Wed

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Prince O Reds counterpoint: Jelena's forehand, and Marion's backhand

#28 s24 Anabel Medina Garrigues ESP d #74 Kaia Kanepi EST 6-3, 4-6, 6-0 ppd-Fri
*#39 Na Li CHN d #29 s25 Anna Chakvetadze RUS 7-5, 6-3 Wed

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Na's forehand, and Anna's backhand

*#135 q Julia Vakulenko UKR d #31 s29 Sofia Arvidsson SWE 6-1, 7-5 Wed
#33 s31 Shahar Peer ISR d #92 Tsvetana Pironkova BUL 6-2, 6-3 Thu
#34 s32 Gisela Dulko ARG d #84 Yuliana Fedak UKR 6-2, 6-4 Thu

click for tourney gallery
Gisela following a backhand

*#111 Ivana Lisjak CRO d #40 Jie Zheng CHN 6-4, 6-4 ppd-Fri

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Ivana and Jie delivering backhand drives

*#90 Shenay Perry USA d #67 Akiko Morigami JPN 6-3, 6-0 Thu
*#78 Karolina Sprem CRO d #70 Shuai Peng CHN 6-4, 4-3 retired Wed
#72 Tathiana Garbin ITA d #243 wc Alize Cornet FRA 6-2, 6-4 Thu

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Tathiana's forehand, and 16-year-old Alize walloping a backhand

*#489 wc Alicia Molik AUS d #177 q Anda Perianu ROM 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-3 Wed

    Former # 8 Alicia is playing in only her 3rd WTA event of the year after recovering from an inner ear infection that affected her balance and vision.
    Alicia said: "I actually felt like I wasn't going to lose no matter what the score was, no matter how my form was out there. That's a great feeling to have because that would be the case in the past, when I was playing some of my better tennis, I would have a lot of not so high quality matches I still felt I could pull through. I came very close to losing the match. But funny, that thought really didn't enter my mind today."

French Open, 3rd Rd Fri-Sat Jun 2-3 11am WTA stories: Fri 1 - Fri 2 - Sat 1 - Sat 2
loser's prize: €34,740 =US $44,620.04; points: 56
#1 s1 Amelie Mauresmo FRA d #35 Jelena Jankovic SCG 6-3, 6-3 Fri

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Amelie serving, Jelena chasing down a forehand, Amelie about to slice a backhand, and Jelena's flying forehand

    Amelie said: "There were some moments where I could have done better in this match, but overall I'm satisfied. The first two matches, I mentioned a few points I had to solve. I think I'm doing better. There's maybe a few details, like taking the initiative more frequently. Otherwise it's positive. I hope it continues."

#2 s2 Kim Clijsters BEL d #28 s24 Anabel Medina Garrigues ESP 6-3, 6-4 Sat

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Anabel's backhand, Kim's backhand, and Kim after match point

    Kim said: "It was important to go for my shots. I definitely missed a lot, but also made a lot. Luckily, I made some good ones at the right time. It was important for me to try and step in and not let myself get drawn behind the baseline, because once you start going there, [Anabel] can move you from side to side."

    About her 4th round opponent, Daniela Hantuchova, Kim said: "Daniela is a player that if you play into her racquet, she's one of the cleanest ball hitters out there. She strikes the ball so well and clean. I have to try to go for the lines and be aggressive, but also make sure I use the angles well."

#4 s4 Maria Sharapova RUS d #489 wc Alicia Molik AUS 6-0, 7-5 Fri

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Alicia serving, Maria's forehand, Alicia's backhand, Maria after winning a point,
and Maria chatting with the former Moscow Mayor and Russian President Boris Yeltsin (and the Mrs.) after the match

    Maria said: "I thought I was lucky to hold serve and win the set 6-0, then my concentration kind of dropped. Alicia, she's a big server and has a big game. You never know. She can hold her serve, and there you go. With one break the match can go to a third set. I felt I needed to concentrate a little bit better today."

    Former # 8 Alicia reached the 3rd round while playing in her 3rd WTA event since spending months off the Tour recovering from an inner ear infection that affected her balance and vision.
    Alicia said: "It's very disappointing, but at the same time it's pretty encouraging also. There are always matches, matches against people like Maria, players in the Top 10, that I believe I'm always in with a shot. I wasn't playing with my best tennis today and still in with a chance in the second set."

#5 s5 Justine Henin-Hardenne BEL d #72 Tathiana Garbin ITA 6-4, 6-0 Sat

click for Henin-Hardenne news photo search   click for Garbin news photo search   click for Henin-Hardenne news photo search   click for Henin-Hardenne news photo search
Justine following her forehand, Tathiana's backhand, Justine while launching a backhand, and Justine after match point

    Tathiana, who had upset 2003 & 2005 Roland Garros champ Justine in the 2nd round in 2004, led early in the match, but scored only 13 points in the 2nd set. Justine said: "When I was down 4-3 in the first set, I just tried to go to another level. In the first set, I thought a little bit about what happened two years ago, but you need to forget about the past. It happened. You can't do anything about that. I just tried to change the way I was playing and be a little more aggressive. I won a lot of points at the net. That was good for my confidence." interview

    About her 4th round opponent, 2004 French Open champ Anastasia Myskina, Justine said: "We always had tough matches in the past. We had just great fights. She's a real fighter... It's going to be a tough match."

*#33 s31 Shahar Peer ISR d #8 s6 Elena Dementieva RUS 6-4, 7-5 Sat

click for Peer news photo search   click for Dementieva news photo search   click for Peer news photo search

Shahar slicing a backhand, Elena's forehand, and Shahar after match point
    Shahar said: "Whenever I go on the court, I just fight for every ball and every point. I never give up. Both sets were only one break and I could reach these two breaks. I was playing a little bit better today. I was playing a lot of winners. I was just consistent more than [Elena]." interview

    Elena said: "[Shahar] really put a lot of pressure on me. Even with the leads in the both sets, she never gave up. She was playing until the end. She has talent and she was playing really well today, very aggressive. I know she just won a tournament in Istanbul, so she got her confidence."

#9 s7 Patty Schnyder SUI d #135 q Julia Vakulenko UKR 2-6, 7-5, 6-0 Fri

click for Vakulenko news photo search   click for Schnyder news photo search   click for Schnyder news photo search
Julia's right-handed and Patty's left-handed backhands, and Patty after match point

#10 s8 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #39 Na Li CHN 6-3, 7-6(4) Fri

click for Na Li news photo search   click for Kuznetsova news photo search
Na delivering a twist serve, and Svetlana running down a forehand

#11 s9 Francesca Schiavone ITA d #19 s17 Flavia Pennetta ITA 4-6, 6-1, 9-7 Fri

click for Schiavone news photo search   click for Pennetta news photo search
Battle of Milan: Francesca's service toss, and Flavia's backhand

#12 s10 Anastasia Myskina RUS d #21 s19 Ana Ivanovic SCG 6-2, 6-3 Sat

click for Ivanovic news photo search   click for tourney gallery   click for Myskina news photo search   click for Myskina news photo search
Ana firing a forehand, Anastasia following her backhand, after match point,
and getting a hug from her lucky ex-President after the match--Anastasia has never lost when Boris Yeltsin is in the house

    Anastasia said: "I played really solid today, the whole match--not just one set, not three games. It was two-set solid match. It was really close, though. It was really good." interview

#13 s11 Venus Williams USA d #78 Karolina Sprem CRO 7-5, 6-3 Fri

click for Venus Williams news photo search   click for Venus Williams news photo search
Venus belting a backhand, and after match point; at last check, 19 news photos of Venus in this match had been posted--
and zero of Karolina, which isn't very nice, but is typical

    Venus said: "This is an improvement on my second round. My serve and movement were better. Everything was better. Definitely match by match I'm just raising the level of my game." interview

#14 s12 Martina Hingis SUI d #111 Ivana Lisjak CRO 6-1, 6-1 Sat

click for Hingis news photo search   click for Lisjak news photo search   click for Hingis news photo search   click for Hingis news photo search
Martina serving, Ivana's backhand, Martina fielding one, and Martina after match point

    About the 45-minute match, Martina said: "There is really no need to stay out there longer than you have to. I really did well. I did my job. Very focused from the bottom of the game, beginning to the end.
    "I have expectations and hopes but I have nothing to lose. I can only gain from this week, this tournament. I really have nothing to lose." Reuters story

#15 s13 Anna-Lena Groenefeld GER d #22 s20 Maria Kirilenko RUS 6-2, 7-6(2) Sat

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Anna-Lena lining up a forehand, Maria firing one, and Anna-Lena after match point

#16 s14 Dinara Safina RUS d #26 s24 Katarina Srebotnik SLO 6-3, 6-4 Fri

click for Safina news photo search   click for Srebotnik news photo search   click for Safina news photo search
Dinara's forehand, Katarina's forehand, and Dinara after match point

#17 s15 Daniela Hantuchova SVK d #23 s21 Nathalie Dechy FRA 6-3, 3-6, 10-8 Sat

click for Hantuchova news photo search   click for Dechy news photo search   click for Hantuchova news photo search   click for Hantuchova news photo search
Daniela serving, Nathalie's backhand, Daniela's forehand, and after match point

    Daniela said: "It was a great match, especially in the third set. Nathalie was playing unbelievably. She came up with some great shots. I was always expecting a tough match because she's a very experienced player, she knows the game very well, plus she had the support of her home crowd.
    "It was always going to be a tough match for me. That's why it makes it even more special for me, this win." interview

#18 s16 Nicole Vaidisova CZE v #141 q Aravane Rezai FRA 6-1 6-7(6) 6-0 Fri

click for Vaidisova news photo search   click for Rezai news photo search   click for Vaidisova news photo search
Nicole's forehand, Aravane chasing a backhand, and Nicole launching one

#34 s32 Gisela Dulko ARG d #90 Shenay Perry USA 6-1, 6-1 Sat

click for Perry news photo search   click for Dulko news photo search   click for Dulko news photo search
Shenay serving (her fastest of the tourney was 119 mph, 4th fastest WTA serve in the first 4 rounds),
Gisela's gaucha western forehand (mucho topspin), and after match point

French Open, 4th Rd Sun Jun 4 11am WTA story 1 - WTA story 2
loser's prize: €59,625 =US $76,582.32; points: 90
*#18 s16 Nicole Vaidisova CZE d #1 s1 Amelie Mauresmo FRA 6(5)-7, 6-1, 6-2

click for Vaidisova news photo search   click for Mauresmo news photo search   click for Vaidisova news photo search   click for Vaidisova news photo search
Nicole's forehand, Amelie's backhand, Nicole's backhand, and after match point

    Nicole said: "I knew I had to be more aggressive than I was in our first two matches because [Amelie] moves very well. I am definitely happy the way I played. In long rallies she gets tough. I wanted to play a little faster, get the points shorter. It worked for me today."

    Amelie said: "I went down a little bit physically at the beginning of the second set, and my shots were not so disturbing for [Nicole], and so she could step in and really play better and better. I was also expecting her to make a few more errors. When I played her in Australia, she made a couple errors here and there, which are pretty important. But she didn't today. She has really improved over the past few months."

#2 s2 Kim Clijsters BEL d #17 s15 Daniela Hantuchova SVK 6-1 6-4

click for Clijsters news photo search   click for Hantuchova news photo search   click for Clijsters news photo search   click for Clijsters news photo search
Kim delivering a twist serve, Daniela apparently using wind power, Kim following her forehand
(Kim's feet do touch the ground between shots), and Daniela congratulating Kim after match point

*#16 s14 Dinara Safina RUS d #4 s4 Maria Sharapova RUS 7-5, 2-6, 7-5

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Dinara's forehand, Maria chasing one down, and Maria congratulating Dinara after match point

    214 points were played in the match; Dinara won 108 and Maria 106. Dinara went to net only 3 times in the match. Maria had 63 unforced errors against 44 winners (Dinara 38 errors, 28 winners). match stats

    Maria was up two breaks at 5-1 in the 3rd set, but could not finish Dinara off. Dinara said: "I just didn't want to leave the court. I was enjoying myself. It was nice to play. I just wanted to stay more. I started to take everything in my hands. Before [Maria] was dictating and I had to run corner to corner. So then I tried to make her run. I started to look for the lines and I started to be more aggressive from every point. It finished my way today."

    Maria said: "[Dinara] picked up her game a little bit and mine went down, and that's not a good combination. In that first set, I should have closed it out. Then in the third, that's really what happens when someone's down 5-1. All of a sudden, she's swinging freely. That's just the way it goes. It's tennis. She felt the momentum come back to her, just took the opportunity and went for it."

#5 s5 Justine Henin-Hardenne BEL d #12 s10 Anastasia Myskina RUS 6-1, 6-4

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Justine fielding a forehand, Anastasia's backhand, Justine's backhand, and after match point

*#13 s11 Venus Williams USA d #9 s7 Patty Schnyder SUI 4-6, 6-3, 6-2

click for Schnyder news photo search   click for Venus Williams news photo search   click for Venus Williams news photo search
Patty's backhand, Venus firing a forehand, and after match point

    About her quarterfinal opponent, Nicole Vaidisova, Venus said: "I've only played her once about a year ago. I'm sure she's improved her game since. We have a very similar game. You know, when you match us up together, I probably can inch her out on doing things a little better. I have to rely on doing that." interview

#10 s8 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #11 s9 Francesca Schiavone ITA 1-6 6-4 6-4

click for Schiavone news photo search   click for Schiavone news photo search   click for Kuznetsova news photo search   click for Kuznetsova news photo search
Francesca serving, firing a forehand, Svetlana's backhand, and after match point

    Svetlana said: "It was very tough for me because first set, just all day seemed to be like not my day. I felt it. I couldn't make the ball in. It was just all against me in the first set...
    "[Francesca] got tired in the third set, and I was fitter, I think, what surprised me also [smiling]." interview

#14 s12 Martina Hingis SUI d #33 s31 Shahar Peer ISR 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 Sun-dark-Mon

click for Hingis news photo search   click for Hingis news photo search   click for Peer news photo search   click for Hingis news photo search
Martina serving, Martina firing a forehand, Shahar's backhand, and Martina after match point

    Martina Hingis and Shahar were tied at a set apiece on Sunday afternoon when it was becoming too dark to continue play (there are no lights at Roland Garros), so the 3rd set was played on Monday.

    Martina said: "[Sunday] was under difficult conditions. We waited for a long time [to start] and split sets. But I think for me it was better because [Shahar] had the momentum and I could go out there fresh today. So that probably helped me at the end of the day.
    "I've never played her before, and she's definitely a young, upcoming player. Since last time I saw her, she's improved a lot. I'm happy to be in the quarterfinals again." interview

#15 s13 Anna-Lena Groenefeld GER d #34 s32 Gisela Dulko ARG 6-3, 6-4

click for Groenefeld news photo search   click for Dulko news photo search   click for Groenefeld news photo search
Anna-Lena firing a forehand, Gisela about to serve, and Anna-Lena after match point

French Open, QFs, Tue Jun 6 noon WTA story
loser's prize: €111,625 =US $143,371.09; points: 162
#2 s2 Kim Clijsters BEL d #14 s12 Martina Hingis SUI 7-6(5), 6-1 career matches: Martina leads 4-3

click for Clijsters news photo search   click for Hingis news photo search   click for Clijsters news photo search   click for Clijsters news photo search
Kim and Martina lining up slice backhands, Kim's backhand drive, and after match point

    Kim said: "I was feeling pretty good out there today, it was a lot of fun. [Martina is] a player who anticipates everything out there. It seems like the point is never finished. I let her back into the match a little bit, but I played a good tie-break. I was very focused out there. I did what I had to do."

    Martina said: "It was just the whole game. I was a little flat. I was a little tired. I was just a little late. I didn't have the energy going I had in the first three matches. Even like the last couple days, it was tough coming from a night over, finishing yesterday. You're always intense...
    "[Kim is] not an opponent you can just walk on court and think she's going to give it to you. You just have to be full on. If you're not, you're going to lose. That's what happened today. She was just better...
    "Although I felt like I wasn't playing the greatest tennis, which I had in the first few days and last week, that I was still kind of staying with her in the game... Her game is on a very high level. You have to be ready to be pushing her. Otherwise, if you let her dictate, she's too good." interview

#5 s5 Justine Henin-Hardenne BEL d #15 s13 Anna-Lena Groenefeld GER 7-5, 6-2 career matches: Justine leads 1-0

click for Groenefeld news photo search   click for Henin-Hardenne news photo search   click for Groenefeld news photo search   click for Henin-Hardenne news photo search   click for Henin-Hardenne news photo search
Anna-Lena serving, Justine's forehand, Anna-Lena's backhand, Justine following another forehand, and after match point

    Justine said: "Carlos [Rodriguez, Justine's coach since she was 14] had told me this would be difficult. It would be difficult to be a good match, because for a match to be good, you have to have a good rhythm with both players. [Anna-Lena] was trying to stop the rhythm from coming into the match. She was trying to shorten the rallies. This is what she tried to do, in particular, at the beginning of the match. She wasn't missing anything. I was playing really short.
    "It reminded me of matches against [Lindsay] Davenport, who also likes to shorten the rallies. So this was not easy. After a while, I managed to find my rhythm. She was making a lot of winners, so I had to play well. I served well. That was a very positive point. In the end, I won in two sets, which is good." interview

#10 s8 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #16 s14 Dinara Safina RUS 7-6(5), 6-0 career matches: tied 3-3

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Svetlana's strength, her forehand, Dinara's backhand, Svetlana's backhand, and after winning a point

    Svetlana trailed 1-5 before recovering to win the 1st set in the tiebreaker. Svetlana said: "I guess the nerves. I just couldn't move. It maybe looked like I was not awake. But when you play quarterfinals, you always awake. I just felt I wanted it badly, and I just had to breathe between the point and just to let it go somehow and just start play again. It was very tough...
    "Suddenly I just start to play back. Once I notice [Dinara] does also some easy mistakes, so she also was nervous. I start to play a little bit against Dinara. I started to put the ball back, and suddenly I realize I'm doing all right. I was not that bad. I was 5-2, 5-3, 5-4. Then I was like, 'Oh, I could be still in this set,' because I was just trying to play ball by ball.
    "Finally I get 5-all and I say, 'Okay, here we start the match.' There where I really started to feel myself a little bit in the game." interview

    Dinara said: "It's disappointing but this is tennis. One match you win being 5-1 down, and one match you lose like this. I have to take positive things. I think this loss just makes me stronger and I'll keep working hard to win next time."

*#18 s16 Nicole Vaidisova CZE d #13 s11 Venus Williams USA 6(5)-7, 6-1, 6-3 career matches: tied 1-1

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Nicole's forehand, Venus firing a forehand, Nicole's backhand, and after match point

    Nicole said: "The first set in general was not a great set. I served very badly. Didn't get many serves in. [Venus] took advantage of that. I fell asleep a little bit there, didn't use my chances in the tiebreak and everything. It was definitely not a very good set. But luckily I stayed very calm, tried to be very positive. It worked out...
    "My game is getting better, getting there, I can get to next level. I'm definitely very happy with the stage where I am now...
    "I'm not taking it as there are two matches left. There's the next match, which is incredibly hard. I'm not thinking at the title right now. I'm not thinking about it. I'm thinking about my semifinal on Thursday. This is as far as it goes right now." interview

    Venus said: "I had a decent first set... [Nicole] just played really good tennis. Seems to be on a roll. She was making some great shots. She just was the better player today... She deserved to win...
    "I would say she's a lot more consistent than last year. I would say I definitely faced the same game as last year [in the Istanbul final]; she's just a lot more consistent." interview

French Open, SFs, Thu Jun 8 2pm
loser's prize: €223,250 =US $286,742.17; points: 292
*#5 s5 Justine Henin-Hardenne BEL d #2 s2 Kim Clijsters BEL 6-3, 6-2 career matches: tied 10-10

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Justine serving a cannonball, Kim's backhand, Justine's backhand, and after match point

    The score was tied at 3-3 in the 1st set--then Justine won 9 of the last 11 games. About the 7th game, Kim said: "I felt like [Justine] started to take a lot more risks on her return games and she started to really put me under pressure from the first serve... and from then on she was too good.
    "I felt like a lot of the times, the rallies, I was dominating the points, but I just couldn't finish them off... she's a player who defends incredibly well out there on clay. On a hard court, you can hit a shot and most, like 99% it's a winner. Here on clay, they keep coming back. Twice, three times they come back. I don't think I was consistent enough to keep going for those lines.
    "I think she's by far the best clay court player... the difference is between her and, I think any other player, is that she just moves so well. It's not that she hits the ball harder than any of us, it's just that she moves so well." interview

    Justine said: "I had breakpoints against me, and I served very well on these points, and I've been very aggressive on these points. Then I played very well on the important points when I broke Kim to go to 5-3 in the first set.
    "Then in the second set it was another story. I wasn't that aggressive at the beginning of the second set, but she started to do some mistakes, and I felt that I had to let her play a little bit, because she started to do a lot of mistakes at that time... And then I had a great defense and I went to the net. I served well. So pretty happy the way I played."

#10 s8 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #18 s16 Nicole Vaidisova CZE 7-5, 6(5)-7, 6-2 career matches: Svetlana leads 2-0

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Svetlana serving, Nicole following a flying backhand, Svetlana watching her backhand,
Nicole's backhand, and Svetlana after match point

    Nicole almost had the match won in the 2nd set, but began to make mistakes and let Svetlana back in. At 5-5 in the 2nd set tiebreaker, Nicole hit a forehand error on an easy ball to return, giving Svetlana set point, when she might have had match point herself.
    2004 US Open champion Svetlana played a conservative game and let Nicole make the mistakes. Svetlana hit 26 winners, with 19 unforced errors; Nicole swatted 54 winners, 47 errors. match stats

    Svetlana said: "I played already better than against Dinara [Safina in the quarterfinals] first set, so it's little bit better. I was a a break up, 5-4, serving for the set. Then I wanted to win the point too fast and I did some unforced errors...
    "In the second set, [Nicole] was just playing unbelievable. I could only defend... I just found myself running behind the baseline and putting the balls back. Then 5-4, I knew either I win this game or I'm gonna be in Barcelona tomorrow [laughter].
    "So, I say myself, I got to put the balls in. Finally, she make few mistakes. She got little bit nervous. I know how it feels because I been there, in her position, so many times and I've done it. And I had a little bit more experience than she has. I was just fighting there.
    "And third set... I think I am better physically than she is. I was just playing every point. Suddenly she start to do more mistakes..." interview

    About the 2nd set, Nicole said: "I think [Svetlana] started getting her rhythm back on, and I had a bad serving game. I kind of thought I had a little bit. And in the third she just played better. I have to give her credit. She was fighting for every point, but I knew she's a great fighter always. And, the third set, I don't think I had much chance...
    "Svetlana, definitely on the court she's great fighter, very good player. She definitely has very good chances in the final. Of course, she's a very nice person, very nice girl, very funny. And I have not a bad word to say about her." interview

French Open, Final, Sat Jun 10 3pm
loser's prize: €463,500 =US $595,319.13; points: 456
winner's prize: €940,000 =US $1,207,335.46; points: 650
#5 s5 Justine Henin-Hardenne BEL d #10 s8 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS 6-4, 6-4

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Justine and Svetlana before the match, Svetlana serving, Justine lining up a forehand, Svetlana's backhand...

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Justine following her serve, Svetlana stepping in for a forehand, and two views of Justine after match point

French Open, Qualifying Finals Fri-Sat May 26-27 11am
Q-1st loser's prize: €1,840 =US $2,363.29
Q-2nd loser's prize: €3,450 =US $4,431.18
Q-Final loser's prize: €6,900 =US $8,862.36
*#135 Julia Vakulenko UKR d #95 Romina Oprandi ITA 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 Fri
#107 Eva Birnerova CZE d #137 Lioudmila Skavronskaia RUS 7-5, 6-3 Sat
#110 Sandra Kloesel GER d #145 Kathrin Woerle GER 6-3, 6-3 Sat
#112 Victoria Azarenka BLR d #195 Joanna Sakowicz POL 3-6, 6-3, 6-0 Sat
#117 Su-Wei Hsieh TPE d #184 Hanna Nooni SWE 6-0, 6-1 Fri
#130 Galina Voskoboeva RUS d #183 Natalie Grandin RSA 2-6, 6-1, 6-1 Fri
#138 Yulia Beygelzimer UKR d #219 Barbora Strycova CZE 6-4, 6-2 Sat
#141 Aravane Rezai FRA d #247 Agnes Szavay HUN 6-1, 6-4 Fri
*#203 Virginie Pichet FRA d #150 Kirsten Flipkens BEL 5-7, 6-2, 8-6 Fri-Sat
*#168 Clarisa Fernandez ARG d #155 Lucie Hradecka CZE 6(5)-7, 6-4, 9-7 Sat
*#177 Anda Perianu ROM d #164 Edina Gallovits ROM 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 Fri
#185 Alberta Brianti ITA d #241 Yevgenia Savransky ISR 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 Sat


French Open, Doubles Final, Sun Jun 11
losers' prize: €133,000 =US $170,825.12
winners' prize: €266,000 =US $341,650.25
cdr3 s1 Lisa Raymond & Samantha Stosur d cdr24 s5 Daniela Hantuchova & Ai Sugiyama 6-3, 6-2

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Ai, Daniela, Samantha & Lisa

French Open, Mixed Doubles Final, Fri Jun 9
losers' prize: €34,800 =US $44,697.10
winners' prize: €58,000 =US $74,495.17
s8 Katarina Srebotnik SLO & Nenad Zimonjic SCG d s7 Elena Likhovtseva RUS & Daniel Nestor CAN 6-3, 6-4

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Nenad & Katarina


French Open, Withdrawals
#6 Mary Pierce FRA right foot inflammation
#7 Lindsay Davenport USA bulging disc
#86 Nuria Llagostera Vives ESP wrist injury
#108 Serena Williams USA left knee & ankle
#258 Elena Bovina RUS right shoulder

French Open, Girls Singles Final, Sun Jun 11
*s2 Agnieszka Radwanska POL d s1 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova RUS 6-4, 6-1

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Agnieszka Radwanska

French Open, Girls Doubles Final, Sat Jun 10
*s3 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova RUS & Sharon Fichman CAN d
    s1 Agnieszka Radwanska POL & Caroline Wozniacki DEN 6(4)-7, 6-2, 6-1


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  From the Roland Garros Players' Guide


    Of the €6,145,760 women's share of the prize money, €485,761 is paid directly to the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour.

    15% of players' prize money is witheld from their checks for French taxes. US taxes are also witheld from the checks of players who reside in the US. Racquet stringing and personal match video costs can be deducted from prize money.

    Main draw players receive €230 per diem for accomodations (starting May 26 for players in singles, later for players only in doubles, ending 2 days after elimination). Coincidentally, the Radisson charges €230/day for a room ("special tournament rate!"), single or double; rates at other official tourney hotels are similar (as of May 22, 1 euro (€) is $1.29 US; €230 is $295.89).

    Players in singles receive a maximum of 3 guest badges for family, coach, or friends (permanent, nominally non-tranferable, if in doubles only, 2 badges). Those playing on Court Philippe Chatrier are entitled to 7 reserved seat invitations for that match; on Court Suzanne Lenglen 6 reserved seat invitations. Invites include access to players lounges and restaurants.

    There are 3 players’ lounges reserved for competitors, their family and coaches. The main players’ lounge at Court Philippe-Chatrier is reserved for players and their family. The lounge upstairs at Court Philippe Chatrier is also accessible to badges with the letter "Y," as is the lounge at Court Suzanne Lenglen.

    Each player has €28 "credited to their badge" for meals each day, from May 26 until 2 days after their elimination from the draw. This can be spent at the restaurants located at Court Philippe Chatrier and Court Suzanne Lenglen.

    For some strange reason, "a large number of towels get lost."
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The 64 doubles teams, arranged in drawsheet order; teams in red have been eliminated:
TOP HALF
s1 Lisa Raymond USA & Samantha Stosur AUS
Marta Domachowska POL & Jasmin Woehr GER
Laura Granville USA & Shenay Perry USA
Emma Laine FIN & Vladimira Uhlirova CZE
Anastassia Rodionova RUS & Andreea Vanc ROM
Jill Craybas USA & Jelena Kostanic CRO
Diana Brunel FRA & Florence Haring FRA
s16 Dinara Safina RUS & Roberta Vinci ITA
s10 Kveta Peschke CZE & Francesca Schiavone ITA
Stephanie Cohen-Aloro FRA & Selima Sfar TUN
Jamea Jackson USA & Mashona Washington USA
Na Li CHN & Shuai Peng CHN
Alize Cornet FRA & Virginie Pichet FRA
Alona Bondarenko UKR & Yuliana Fedak UKR
Gabriela Navratilova CZE & Michaela Pastikova CZE
s7 Liezel Huber RSA & Martina Navratilova USA
s3 Anna-Lena Groenefeld GER & Meghann Shaughnessy USA
Michaella Krajicek NED & Agnes Szavay HUN
Janette Husarova SVK & Sania Mirza IND
Catalina Castano COL & C. Martinez Granados ESP
Sybille Bammer AUT & Julia Schruff GER
Melinda Czink HUN & Kaia Kanepi EST
Virginie Razzano FRA & Anna Smashnova ISR
s15 Eleni Daniilidou GRE & A. Medina Garrigues ESP semis
s9 Elena Dementieva RUS & Flavia Pennetta ITA
Maria Elena Camerin ITA & Tathiana Garbin ITA
Julie Coin FRA & Youlia Fedossova FRA
Maret Ani EST & Meilen Tu USA
Nathalie Dechy FRA & Vera Zvonareva RUS
Akiko Morigami JPN & Aiko Nakamura JPN
Emmanuelle Gagliardi SUI & Mara Santangelo ITA
s6 Shinobu Asagoe JPN & Katarina Srebotnik SLO
BOTTOM HALF
s8 Virginia Ruano Pascual ESP & Paola Suarez ARG
Lucie Hradecka CZE & Martina Sucha SVK
Stephanie Foretz FRA & Antonella Serra Zanetti ITA
Anna Chakvetadze RUS & Elena Vesnina RUS
Lourdes Dominguez Lino ESP & Maria Sanchez Lorenzo ESP
Severine Bremond FRA & Sophie Lefevre FRA
Ashley Harkleroad USA & Bethanie Mattek USA
s11 Gisela Dulko ARG & Maria Kirilenko RUS
s14 Ting Li CHN & Tiantian Sun CHN
Maureen Drake CAN & Nicole Vaidisova CZE
Amy Frazier USA & Vania King USA
Iveta Benesova CZE & Barbora Strycova CZE
Jelena Jankovic SCG & Tina Krizan SLO
Maria-Emilia Salerni ARG & Maria Vento-Kabchi VEN
Carly Gullickson USA & Bryanne Stewart AUS
s4 Zi Yan CHN & Jie Zheng CHN semis
s5 Daniela Hantuchova SVK & Ai Sugiyama JPN final
Caroline Dhenin FRA & Mathilde Johansson FRA
Sofia Arvidsson SWE & Martina Muller GER
Mariana Diaz-Oliva ARG & Alicia Molik AUS
Pauline Parmentier FRA & Camille Pin FRA
Liga Dekmeijere LAT & Patty Schnyder SUI
Marion Bartoli FRA & Shahar Peer ISR
s12 Emilie Loit FRA & Nicole Pratt AUS
s13 Elena Likhovtseva RUS & Anastasia Myskina RUS
Yulia Beygelzimer UKR & Eva Birnerova CZE
Tsvetana Pironkova BUL & Meng Yuan CHN
Tatiana Poutchek BLR & Anastasiya Yakimova BLR
Vera Dushevina RUS & Galina Voskoboeva RUS
Ekaterina Bychkova RUS & Mervana Jugic-Salkic BIH
Klara Koukalova CZE & Lucie Safarova CZE
s2 Cara Black ZIM & Rennae Stubbs AUS

  Withdrawals and Players Playing With Injuries


    (May 26, 2006) Former # 1 Serena Williams has withdrawn from The Championships at Wimbledon. Serena, who has been struggling with left knee and ankle injuries, had already withdrawn from French Open. It seems likely that Serena will miss most, if not all, of the summer hardcourt season. In a statement to the press in early May, Serena said: "...based on what I am being told by my doctors... I should be in a position to be playing again by the end of this summer."

    (May 26, 2006) 2005 Roland Garros finalist and former WTA # 3 Mary Pierce has withdrawn from the French Open. Mary has played in only 2 tourneys this year (Aussie Open & Paris Indoor) due to a persistent right foot injury. On Friday, Mary said: "I made my decision yesterday evening with my doctor and my coach. I'm not competitive yet. I will come back when I have the means to win. I'm still recovering from the foot inflammation and have set neither a date nor a tournament for my return."

    (May 19, 2006) # 7 Lindsay Davenport has withdrawn from the 2006 French Open due to a back injury. A "bulging disc" has kept Lindsay offcourt since her loss to Martina Hingis in the 4th round at Indian Wells in March. Lindsay is not particularly fond of clay courts, but would no doubt like to be ready for Wimbledon and the summer hardcourt season. Lindsay said: "I am working hard to come back as quickly as possible to the circuit."

    Former champion and former WTA # 1 Jennifer Capriati is not on the entry list. Jennifer has not yet recovered from a right shoulder injury she incurred in November, 2004 (and subsequent surgery). Jennifer, now 29, would like to return to WTA play, but is not sure when or if she will be able to.

    Former WTA # 6 Chanda Rubin is not on the entry list. Chanda has been waylaid by injury for many months now.

    Former WTA # 9 (and longtime doubles # 1) Paola Suarez will not play singles (but will play doubles) at the French Open this year due to right hip inflammation. Paola has played very little in the past year due to injuries.

    Former WTA # 14 Elena Bovina has withdrawn from Roland Garros. A prolonged right shoulder injury has prevented Elena from playing for almost a year now, although she keeps entering tourneys. Hopefully Elena will soon be fit to play.

(May 24, 2006) Injuries at Strasbourg & Istanbul
    Strasbourg: # 48 Sybille Bammer of Austria injured her right achilles and retired from her 1st round match; # 96 Camille Pin of France, very unfortunately, was struck in the eye by the ball in a doubles match.
    Istanbul: # 12 Anastasia Myskina aggravated a right forearm muscle strain during the final. # 59 Meghann Shaughnessy of the US, although she played (and lost) her 1st round singles, withdrew from the doubles with a right ankle sprain; # 62 Eleni Daniilidou of Greece retired from singles with a left abdominal strain; # 77 Ashley Harkleroad of the US withdrew from doubles with right shoulder inflammation, and # 85 Melinda Czink of Hungary had gastroenteritis.
    All these young ladies are in the draw at Roland Garros; hopefully they will be healthy enough to play well.

    As a result of the Sunday start, which shifted six women's matches from the top half of the draw from the usual Monday to Sunday, three matches from the bottom half of the draw were shifted from Tuesday to Monday as well.

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