Roland Garros – Day 3 (1R)

The five-time Roland Garros champion – Rafael Nadal [1] – changed colour of his shirt (from yellow to blue) and stepped onto the court in new shoes with a revealing number “5” which has to indicate the number of his triumphs in Paris, however, today only reminded that Nadal is a 5-set master #. Today’s opponent John Isner [39] is tough, but rather out of form lately and we could expect Nadal’s straight set victory. Perhaps the Spaniard has lost a bit of his confidence after two defeats to Djokovic on clay within seven days and played below his normal level – lost the 2nd set despite ‘4:2’ up and the third one despite a set point at 6:5*. Isner couldn’t stand the pace though, and lost the next two sets explicitly. In the crucial 3rd game of the final set, Nadal passed him three times in a row with returns. Credit to Isner for his fighting spirit, he saved a match point at 3:5, and played a great rally from the baseline at 30-30 in the following game. The champion converted his first match point with powerful forehand and prevailed after 4-hour battle – his first 5-setter in Paris! “Always it’s very, very close match against John because with his serve he arrives to the tiebreak and you play under pressure all the time,” Nadal said. “For moments in the tiebreak, I didn’t play very well. I was probably too nervous.”
Theoretically the fourth best clay-court player at the moment (24-6 record in ’11) beside Djokovic, Nadal and Ferrer, Nicolas Almagro [12] was stunned by a qualifier Lukasz Kubot [122], whom had beaten in three previous meetings. The Spaniard, who notched his 10th career title three days ago in Nice, after winning easily the first two sets, led 5:4* (30-15) in the 3rd set – Q-bot won the point with a combination of smash and volley. Almagro led 4:2 and had a double mini-match point in the 7th game of the 4th set, but Kubot escaped again. ‘Cabeza’ was serving at 6:5 and again was two points away from victory at 30-15, although Kubot leveled at two sets apiece. In the decisive set Almagro led 3:0*, but couldn’t maintain his lead also this time and after 3 hours and 50 minutes the Pole celebrated one of the most amazing wins of the season. Only a few players lose a match in career being close to win all losing sets leading 2-0, Almagro has suffered this type of loss for the second time! ##
Two veterans, former Australian Open finalists, and the oldest players of this year’s Roland Garros, Rainer Schuettler (35 years) and Arnaud Clement (33.5 years), maybe this year for the last time appeared in the main draw. Today, Clement [158] won a tight 4-set battle against Filippo Volandri [73] 6-3, 1-6, 7-6(9), 6-4 (the Italian led 4:0 in the 3rd set and had 3 set points in the tie-break) whilst Schuettler [98] was outplayed by Alexandr Dolgopolov [22] in straight sets. The second section of the draw is wide open, I suppose only Dolgopolov can inhibit Andy Murray in the 4th round from advancing for the first time in career to the Parisian semi-finals.

Longest match:
4 hours, 1 minute: Rafael Nadal d. John Isner 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-7(2), 6-2, 6-4
Most aces:
22 – Kevin Anderson, four sets, defeated Nicolas Mahut
5-set barometer:
15-3 Rafael Nadal
12-12 Xavier Malisse
11-6  Dmitry Tursunov
8-8 Nicolas Almagro
7-4  Lukasz Kubot
3-5 John Isner
2-2 Edouard Roger-Vasselin
1-0 Lukas Rosol
# Top 5 in 5-setters in the Open era by percentage (at least 15 matches)
1. (.833) 15-3 Rafael Nadal
2. (.818) 18-4 Johan Kriek
3. (.813) 13-3 Ross Case
4. (.812) 26-6 Bjorn Borg
5. (.762) 16-5 Harold Solomon
## Almagro’s two defeats being close to win all losing sets at 2-0 ahead:
US Open ’08, 3R: G.Muller  7-6(3), 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-7(6), 5-7
Roland Garros ’11, 1R:  L.Kubot  6-3, 6-2, 6-7(3), 6-7(5), 4-6
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2 Responses to Roland Garros – Day 3 (1R)

  1. David says:

    Voy a pedirte otro dato para añadirlo al post

    Jugador con más derrotas en Grand Slam tras ir ganando 2-0 (player with more defeats after leading 2-0); only in Grand Slam
    Jugador con más victorias en Grand Slam tras ir perdiendo 0-2 (player with more wins after trailing 0-2); only in Grand Slam


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