Roland Garros – Day 6, 7 (3R)
Just like during last year’s Wimbledon, five 30+ year-olds reached the last 16 of a major tournament (Haas, Youzhny, Robredo, Ferrer & Federer). The oldest among them, Tommy Haas survived one of the most amazing matches in the Grand Slam history. The German wasted 12 match points (Open era record!) in the 4th set against John Isner on Court No. 1, then trailed *0:3 (30-all) in the deciding set, and saved a match point at 4:5 (30/40) with a quite long rally during which he hit one of his shots uncleanly close to the sideline. Isner fought off nine match points serving at 5:6, including 15/40, and another three match points in the tie-break (6:7, 7:8*, 8:9). Haas committed a double fault having the only match point on serve, Isner delivered 5 aces saving other match points! “It’s obviously a great match to be a part of, especially at such a big event against somebody that is very used to those kinds of matches,” said Haas. “Unfortunately one has to lose, and I think it would have been more upsetting for me in this case, after having many chances in the fourth set there.” The German joins Ivan Lendl, Boris Becker & Greg Rusedski as the fourth Open era player to survive six five-setters facing a match point, he also becomes the first 35 year-old player to reach the fourth round of a major since Jonas Bjorkman advanced to the fourth round of the French Open 2007. Rafael Nadal, after two first rounds in which had lost opening sets, was close to repeat it when Fabio Fognini was serving at 6:5. The Italian couldn’t consolidate the break and lost the match 6-7(5) 4-6 4-6. Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer for the third time won their matches in straight sets, Djokovic avenged a Madrid loss to Grigor Dimitrov outplaying the Bulgarian 6-2 6-2 6-3. The Serbian became the 40th player in Open era history to win 500 main-level matches. Federer dismissed Julien Benneteau 6-3 6-4 7-5 – in very similar fashion like five years before in the fourth round. Gael Monfils, despite his two entertaining matches on Philippe Chatrier, was subsided to Suzanne Lenglen and perhaps it didn’t help him. The Frenchman, playing his 13th match in 18 days, wasted four match points, two consecutive on serve leading 5:4 in the 4th set, and lost to Tommy Robredo 6-2 7-6(5) 2-6 6-7(3) 2-6 in 3 hours 46 minutes. “Maybe today he was physically fitter than me,” Monfils said, “Already during the match I started feeling some problems. I tried to hide it, but there comes a stage when whatever you do to hide your physical problems you can no longer hide them, and he became stronger and stronger. It is frustrating, because I don’t like to lose matches for physical or fitness [reasons]. But today I have to admit he was stronger.” Robredo’s second straight five-set win coming back from two sets down (in the second round he won easily three sets after dropping the first two to Igor Sijsling).
Longest match: 4 hours, 37 minutes. Tommy Haas d. John Isner 7-5, 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-7(10), 10-8
Most aces: 27 – Isner against Haas
5-set barometer: 21-20 Tommy Haas, 12-4 Tommy Robredo, 12-6 Gilles Simon, 11-6 Geal Monfils, 5-12 John Isner, 2-6 Sam Querrey
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