Roland Garros – Day 6 + 7 (3R)

Just like during an adequate stage of the Australian Open ’11, the third round at Roland Garros disappointed. There weren’t any upsets, only one 5-set match was played, in which the final outcome was predictable in the last two sets…
Rafael Nadal [1] after awkward first two matches, came back on the right track trashing Antonio Veic [227] 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 in 101 minutes to improve his sensational Roland Garros record to 41-1! Similarly easy passage had Roger Federer, Robin Soderling and Andy Murray (twisted his right ankle in the 2nd set) – all guys dropped just 7-8 games during their straight set victories.
Novak Djokovic [2] made a new record # of the most successive wins in a season – 40 – overcoming Juan Martin del Potro [26] in the first match of this year’s Roland Garros which lasted two days – the match was suspended due to darkness at one set apiece. Djokovic drew conclusions after the first two sets and changed his tactics on Day two, playing consequently on Del Potro’s weaker backhand. The Serb won in four sets (6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2) and said: “I knew before the match he was going to be a difficult opponent to beat. I went into the match a bit more nervous than usual and we both made a lot of unforced errors at the start. I think I was managing to control my game a little bit better today and I think that resulted in the win.”
In the most interesting third round battle between two 26-year-old players, Stanislas Wawrinka [14] came back from the brink against 20 days younger Jo-Wilfried Tsonga [17]. Wawrinka trailed 0-2 in sets and *1:4 in the 3rd set. Tsonga leading 6:5 was only two points away from victory, also at 5:4* in the tie-break. The high quality tennis disappeared after the tie-break in a consequence of Tsonga’s physical problems. Admittedly he began the 4th set with a break, but since then, Wawrinka took control on the occurrences and converted his third match point in a shaky last game to win the second time in his career escaping from a tie-break at a 0-2 deficit in sets ##.
Alejandro Falla with Juan Ignacio Chela and Fabio Fognini with Albert Montanes found themselves in the same section of the draw in the last 16, and it means that at least two unseeded players (Ivan Ljubicic may be the third one) will appear in the quarter-finals. One first-time quarter-finalist in majors is guaranteed from a Fognini-Montanes pair. The only qualifier in the last 16, Falla says: “I was having a lot of trouble; I was almost beaten by a German in the second round of the qualifiers. I managed to get through it, and that was the turning point.” The Colombian was a break down in the 2nd set and a point from a *1:5 deficit in the 3rd set of his match against Sebastian Rieschick (Falla won 1-6, 6-4, 7-5).

Longest match:
4 hours, 3 minutes: Stanislas Wawrinka d. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 4-6, 6-7(3), 7-6(5), 6-2, 6-3
Most aces:
12 – Alexandr Dolgopolov and Viktor Troicki in a 4-setter against each other
5-set barometer:
15-9 Stanislas Wawrinka
5-2 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
# The five longest streaks to open a season (season! not year):
40 – Novak Djokovic (2011)
39 – John McEnroe (1984)
25 – Ivan Lendl (1986)
19 – John McEnroe (1985)
18 – Bjorn Borg (1980)
## Wawrinka’s two similar 5-set wins (won tie-break at 0-2):
US Open 2006, 2R: Robin Soderling 6-7(4), 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-0, 6-1
Roland Garros 2011, 3R: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 4-6, 6-7(3), 7-6(5), 6-2, 6-3
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