- Nicolas Mahut reaches R3 of a Grand Slam for the 2nd time in his career. He defeated Tatsuma Ito 1-6 7-6 6-2 6-2 and had a mirthful celebration on court:
- Mahut’s doubles partner Julien Benneteau pulled off an upset over fellow Frenchman Gilles Simon. Gilles came from two sets down to level the match, only to lose in the decider. It’s a great and unexpected win for Benny.
- Portugal’s Frederico Gil defeated Marcel Granollers. Gil now becomes the first Portuguese male to enter the 3rd round at a Grand Slam. Gil once reached the Estoril final, where DelPo is glorious defending champion. Just in case anyone was wondering…
- Stanislas Wawrinka pulled a solid win over Marcos Baghdatis in a tense match. Stan grew very irritated with the Cypriot (or as DelPo would say, chipriota) fans during the match. This led to a minor catfight where Baggy and Stan exchanged words. Thankfully, Stan kept his head and pulled through, 7-6 6-4 5-7 6-1. Baggy was not a happy player during the match, breaking 4 racquets in succession during the changeover. He was eventually fined $1250 for his misbehaving efforts.
My R2 Combativity Award: Daveed Headbandian
Originally, I wanted the winner of the match between Hewitt and Roddick to receive the recognition of combativity. Unfortunately, Roddick injured his right hamstring during the match and retired after losing the 3rd set (he won’t be playing the R1 Davis Cup tie between the U.S.A. and Switzerland).
Even if that match had gone the distance, the best mix of combativity and artistry was shown by Nalby in his cruel R2 loss to The One That Will Not Be Named. For the better portion of the match, Nalby was the superior player. That’s how I see it and my mind cannot be changed! The inaugural R2 Combativity Award goes out to Nalby:
Kei Nishikori gives a nod to Nalby here. Kei is asked who his 3 toughest opponents are, aside from Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Special Kei mentions Nalby, and also names Ferru and Muzz. It looks like Kei finds a certain type of player tough to play:
Special Kei’s response reminded me of Reeshard’s response to the same question in 2009 (only Reeshard didn’t get the memo about not automatically naming Fed & Rafa):
I am so entranced by Reeshard’s English. He has such creative pronunciations that I’d never realized possible. I think he’s in the top 5 of best non-English speaking tennis players’ voices. Also, is it just my imagination or does Feli walk past in shorts at 0:50?
Kei and Reeshard are official masters of good taste.
- In his post-match presser, Roddick raises an interesting point. He says the slower pace of the hard courts is the factor contributing to the growing injury count among players, rather than the total number of HC tournys. Amid the calls from tennis players for a shorter season, one factor that’s remained largely untouched is the slow surfaces. The ATP contends slower courts contributes to longer rallies, which fans enjoy. However, this exacts a heavy toll on the players’ bodies and it also undercuts tradition — the once-quicker surfaces at Wimbledon and the Paris Masters are now noticeably slower, which leads to longer rallies. Reversing this trend could address the actual problem at hand, that of player fatigue and injuries.
- Ahead of Bernie Tomic’s R3 match with Alexandr Dolgopolov, Bernie shared a few words about his opponent. Dolgo must be over the moon, because Bernie doesn’t trash Dolgo’s game. Bernie seems to respect the fellow slicer-and-dicer, crazy shotmaker, and occasional junkballer, Dolgo. Who is the improved mirror image of himse — now I understand why Bernie wasn’t trashing Dolgo 😉
He’s a very difficult player to play. I think he doesn’t like my game. I don’t like his. So it’s very difficult. He is a very good player, and a lot of people struggle with him … he’s very unco(ordinated) and very weird to play, and I’m sure a lot of players say the same thing about him.
- Notable R2 exits: Mardy Fish (in straight sets to Falla), Victor Troicki (to Kukushkin), Gilles Simon (to Benneteau), and Andy Roddick (to Hewitt)