On the bright side: who can begrudge ol’ Richard – “Baby Fed”/cocaine kiss/perpetually jinxed by French media – Gasquet a world-class win?
Oh come on, Fed fans, did you really think he was going to win Rome? And at least we got this addition to the Tweener Compendium, along with some really great shot making from both sides.
Deep breath. . .now enjoy!
Now you can chuckle at this post-match quote from the “annoyed” TweenMaster (via ATP):
“I had multiple chances [to win],” said Federer. “That is how it goes. Sometimes it is unfortunate because I was playing well and then it didn’t happen at all any more so it was a disappointing end to the match. But it will not affect my preparation and work for the French Open, I will be fine. I definitely think I should not have lost this match and that is kind of annoying.”
Gasquet gets Berdych in the quarterfinals.
Veni, Vidi, Vici. Novak Djokovic walloped Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 6-1 on Thursday night. He gets Robin Soderling in the quarterfinals.
“Et tu, Brute?” The plot thickens as Rafael Nadal reveals that he’s battling a virus during the same week Novak Djokovic may usurp him as World No. 1.
The Djokovic threat likely factored into Rafa’s decision not to pull out of the tournament on Thursday – his third round match vs. Feliciano Lopez was reportedly delayed 20 minutes while the top ranked player considered withdrawing.
“I had a fever last night and this morning I didn’t feel better,” he said via Tennis.com. “I didn’t know if I was going to go on the court for the match. I decided at the last moment.”
Wise choice? Nadal took out Lopez 6-4, 6-2, to reach the quarterfinals vs. Marin Cilic (def. Fish) on Friday.
Also into the quarters Andy Murray versus unseeded Florian Mayer.
On the women’s side, the biggest headlines came from gals who aren’t in Rome. And no, I’m not talking about Serena’s sexy new Twitter photo (And how annoying is this blame-the-victim article?)
Dinara Safina is out of the French Open and taking an “indefinite” break from tennis to deal with what is turning out to be chronic back pain.
“I don’t know how long the break will be,” Safina was quoted in the LATimes. “I don’t want to torture myself and my body any longer. I want to take as much time to recover, so I don’t have any regrets at the end of my career.”
Hmm. . .any regrets, Dinara?
Serena Williams announced on Thursday that she won’t be playing Roland Garros this month:
“While I am making good progress, unfortunately I won’t be able to compete in Roland Garros as I am continuing to rehab my foot and recover from the pulmonary embolism,” Williams said in a statement emailed by her agent (via Tennis.com). “I am grateful for every moment I have and the fact that I have returned to the court. I am hopeful that I will be back competing this summer. Thank you all for your continued prayers.”
Serena Williams dropped out of the top 10 when the new WTA rankings were released this week – joining Andy Roddick outside the top echelon and leaving American tennis without a top-ten player for the first time since the rankings were introduced.
Here’s Roger Federer on the state of American tennis (via AFP):
“It’s a bit disappointing for us to not have any Americans in the top players because it is always great to play against American players and have American players in the game but Roddick remains a former number one in the world and a Grand Slam champion.”
“In the women’s game I think we are all aware that if they wanted to or if they could play physically then (the Williams sisters) would be in the top 10 without any problems.
“It’s worse on the men’s side with just a few outsiders but it’s a fact that it’s the first time in history this has happened.
But despite the disappointing news from the WTA, there are some fabulous women’s quarterfinals in store in Rome, including a rematch of last year’s French Open final. Seven of the top eight seeds are still alive on the women’s side. We should be so lucky to have this line-up in a few weeks time: Wozniacki vs. Jankovic, Azarenka vs. Sharapova, Arn vs. Li and Stosur vs. local heroine Schiavone. Surprisingly (or maybe not, for Italy), it’s blond vs. blond in the night match.