Roland Garros – Day 8 + 9 (4R)

The highest ranked player born in the 70’s – Juan Ignacio Chela [34] prevailed in five sets against qualifier Alejandro Falla [120], who was trying to join Thierry Champion, Adrian Voinea, Filip Dewulf and Marcelo Filippini as the fifth player to reach Roland Garros quarter-finals after playing the qualifying tournament. The Colombian was pretty close, leading two-sets-to-one he squandered four break points at 4:4 – Chela saved two of them ripping forehands. The 31-year-old Argentinian won 4-6, 6-2, 1-6, 7-6(5), 6-2 in 3 hours 55 minutes. Chela has won his last 7 five-setters, it’s intriguing that he had lost the first eight five-set meetings  and was one game away from losing another one, when the luck suddenly changed its direction!
The same amount of time on court spent Andy Murray [4] and Viktor Troicki (two-day battle, suspended at 2 sets apiece). Troicki [15] led 5:2 in the 5th set, ’30-0′ serving in the following game, but more patient and clever tactically Brit survived 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5. It was a weird match overall, Murray started it with a 0:5 deficit (three breaks of serve), then had two break points to level at ‘5 all’. In the 3rd set, Serbian player led 3:2 with a break when the momentum shifted. “I was a bit nervous and didn’t go for my shots at those points, and he took advantage of it,” Troicki said, “Definitely one of the toughest losses in my career.”
Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Robin Soderling won their matches without any serious troubles. These three guys presented the best form in the four rounds (Federer as the only one hasn’t even dropped a set). Rafael Nadal doesn’t impress this year, he now faces Soderling in a repeat of last year’s final.  “I have improved since the tournament started. I’m able to play better and I’m going to continue on this path,” said Nadal adding on his next match, “For me it will be a tough match. He’s played two finals here at Roland Garros, so he knows what this means.”
A match between Gael Monfils [9] and David Ferrer [7] on Court Suzanne Lenglen was stretched over two days due to darkness. The match was suspended with Ferrer leading 2:0 in the 4th set. Monfils losing the first game after the resumption, strategically tanked the set, but came back to his his standard attitude at the beginning of the 5th set and got a break to lead 3:1. Serving at 5:3 he had a double match point, another match point at 6:5. Tenacious Ferrer had a moment of hope in the 13th game, but Monfils fought off a break point with a service winner. In the following game he passed the Spaniard twice, broke him to “love” to notch a 6-4, 2-6, 7-5, 1-6, 8-6 victory in 4 hours 7 minutes. Monfils is the second best 5-set specialist (behind Nadal) among players who have played at least 10 five-setters. Ferrer, once the second best, has currently lost 4 five-setters in a row, including two to Monfils #.

Longest match:
4 hours, 22 minutes: Fabio Fognini d. Albert Montanes 4-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 11-9
Most aces:
12 – Andy Murray, defeated Viktor Troicki in five sets
5-set barometer:
13-9 David Ferrer
11-5 Andy Murray
9-2 Gael Monfils
7-8 Juan Ignacio Chela
6-2 Albert Montanes
5-5 Fabio Fognini
5-5 Viktor Troicki
2-4 Alejandro Falla
# Two five-setters between Gael Monfils and David Ferrer in France:
Davis Cup QF, 2010 (Clermont-Ferrand): Monfils d. Ferrer 7-6(3), 6-2, 4-6, 5-7, 6-4 – 3 hours, 57 minutes
Roland Garros 4R, 2011: Monfils d. Ferrer 6-4, 2-6, 7-5, 1-6, 8-6 – 4 hours, 7 minutes
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