2011 French Open Daily Reports [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

2011 French Open Daily Reports

*Jean*
05-17-2011, 07:43 AM
I'm on my way to the French Open for Day 1, Men's Qualifying.

Here is the list of the matches I aim at attending; not gonna be able to watch them all. I will post reports tonight or tomorrow morning, depending on how long it lasts and if it rains or not.
I hope you'll enjoy it; you can request too, in case I don't write a full report of another match involving one of your fave. I'll have a look at as many matches as I possibly can, especially since from some courts, you can watch several matches at the time.

Reynolds/Phau
Niland/Ilhan
Kubot/Polansky
Klec/De Voest
Marchenko/Korolev
Kudryavtsev/Crivoi
Vagnozzi/Bolelli
Donskoy/Alves
Bemelmans/Schwank
Devilder/A.Beck
Eysseric/Falla

Li Ching Yuen
05-17-2011, 07:47 AM
Take a look at Prodon - Ball if you can.

And tell me your thoughts on both players. Also watch out for that Ball backhand and see if it comes close to the tramlines at least.

And Schoorel - Guccione. Both exciting players so that shouldn't be a task.
Thanks a lot. :D

yesh222
05-17-2011, 07:57 AM
See if you can check out Harrison. He's never been great on clay before but should have the game for it and was really intent on doing well through qualifying this year. Ward should be a winnable matchup for him too.

TennisOnWood
05-17-2011, 08:04 AM
See if you can check out Harrison. He's never been great on clay before but should have the game for it and was really intent on doing well through qualifying this year. Ward should be a winnable matchup for him too.

Yeah, I want to see Ryan too

KaiserT
05-19-2011, 07:59 AM
Would have been nice to read some reports :(

*Jean*
05-19-2011, 04:03 PM
didn't look like anyone was much interested.

*Jean*
05-19-2011, 04:08 PM
all right, I'm starting to write reports from Tuesday, Wednesday & today (went back early because none of my faves yet to play + sunburnt already)

*Jean*
05-19-2011, 05:08 PM
Day 1

Reynolds/Phau
Very impressed by Bjorn here; very much in control of all the rallies, mixing well powerful strokes with variety; his sliced backhand was totally on today, driving Reynolds crazy most of the time. The very weak point of Bjorn was his serve though, failing to score easy and quick points with it. Bjorn’s tactics was clearly to push Reynolds far behind the baseline with powerful and deep shots in order to conclude the points with nice dropshots and good volleys too. Reynolds was seemingly not feeling comfortable on clay, failing to slide on it naturally and missing some easy shots because of some suspect ball rebounds. His serve is amazing though, but because this point was irregular, he faced a few break points, which Phau managed to take. In a period of his career where Phau appears to struggle with himself, winning this way against a seeded player is encouraging.

Niland/Ilhan
Conor was his usual self there: unable to move his ass off…that’s disappointing to see such a talented player not giving himself 100% on the court, especially in a Grand Slam match. In the opening games, he appeared quite firy though. He broke back Ilhan’s serve but then went on to lose the first set in a tight tie break. After that, he didn’t feel like fighting to come back it seems. I have to say that Ilhan impressed me today: in the opening stages of the first set, he played horribly, but then improved all the way through. His serve was unbeatable in the end and he seemed quite relieved to defeat the Irish after an hesitating tie break. The backhand down the line of the Turkish player is tremendous as Marsel manages to create incredible speed and power in the balls with that shot. His serve was okay and his forehand was by far his weakest point.

Kubot/Polansky
I arrived there when Lukasz was a set down…I was worried then considering his latest results. But the second and third set were just amazingly good. Everything touched the lines and the corners. His serve was on fire even if one has to admit that he was quite helped by Polansky’s poor baseline game overall. Polansky’s game appears to be average and his poor movement paid for Lukasz who managed to move Polansky around to disturb the Canadian. Hitting quite hard, Polansky seems to like having enough time to get ready, and as soon as he had to move around the court, he was weakened. Lukasz was firy, pumping his fist and celebrating the win big time!

Klec/De Voest
Weird match; Rik played his usual game, which surprisingly seems to work well on clay. Not hesitating to serve and volley, he surprised Klec many times. His sliced backhand worked well too, forcing Klec to make his legs work…which he doesn’t appear to like! Rik tried to choke by missing some easy shots on the match points, but finally made it through with a tense second set tie-break. Not much to say about Klec, he is an average 100-150 player, hitting hard on the forehand but his backhand is a real mess. He has quite a character too, breaking two rackets during the match, receiving a warning for one of them. De Voest celebrated the victory with his coach and looked quite happy to win a match on clay…I’m not he played once on clay this year before!

Marchenko/Korolev
The battle of the mugs, really…even if these two are parts of my favorites, that was an awful match to watch. Korolev choked big time in the first, missing at least 3 set points to give it to Marchenko. The second set never existed, Evgeny turning into an error machine. Illya was better in this set but difficult to evaluate considering Korolev’s giving up. As far as fitness is concerned, Korolev is one of the most impressive athletes in this draw, with a perfectly built body and he didn’t sweat at all under an heavy sun, but you have to wonder what he is doing of his career lately. I understand players not fighting their life in Challengers, but in a Grand Slam match… I had seen Marchenko on Saturday in Nice and thought he had tanked to go to Paris early, but his level of play was not much better…

Kudryavtsev/Crivoi
Very good match by Victor, who seemed very happy to win again here in Paris. His game totally fits clay courts and he confirmed that today. He hardly made any unforced errors and was helped by Kudryavtsev’s horrible performance. Most of Alex’s shots ended in the middle of the net and many double faults helped Victor further more. Alex was definitely one of the numerous players wondering what they were doing here, even taking the clear occasion to get his racket bag ready at the last but one changeover…

Vagnozzi/Bolelli
I arrived there when Simone was 0-4 or 0-5 down in the first set. Nothing worked for him as he was multiplying unforced errors and double faults. And there, I started to regret having come to check on him. And then, in the opening stages of the second set, he suddenly started to hit harder and deeper, forcing his countryman on his backfoot. You have to know that the match was all about Simone’s willing to play or not: Vagnozzi was not creating much and in the first set, he rightly just waited for Simone to beat himself. Once Bolelli had found his way back to winning nice points thanks to superb winners and amazing quantities of convincing rallies, Vagnozzi had no answer as the score of the final set indicates…

Donskoy/Alves
Thiago was visibly injured right away; the warm up was already giving signs of physical weaknesses with his back but also with his ankle. Heavy strap on his lower and back and a huge ankle protection didn’t give positive signs. He tried though but couldn’t serve properly, so he just gave up. His awful season continues.

Bemelmans/Schwank
Great match, even if seen though the fences…horrible Court 18. Eduardo was in control of all the rallies: his weak point was, as usual, about RUNNING. The guy doesn’t run after a dropshot. :lol: His serve was really the key point today, Ruben barely able to return it. The Belgian was much less impressive than when I saw him playing indoors. His serve was definitely off that day, and he didn’t have many answers to Edu’s typical heavy groundstroked. Only saw the end of the match there.

Devilder/A.Beck
Nicolas played solid tennis but his standards are not good enough to worry a former member of the top 100. Andreas doesn’t really seem at ease on clay, and maybe was it just that he hasn’t won many matches lately. That’s a shame because his groundstrokes are quite good, but you can tell that he clearly lacks pure power, so that he has to work hard to move his opponent. Devilder being quick around the court, he struggled to win easy points. I saw the third set here, but had followed the scores on the differents livescores board in the stadium; the end of the match was all about Andreas able to close it and he struggled to do so; Devilder looked tired but Andreas failed to find easy ways to finish him. He finally managed to hit a few good serves in the end to win in a difficult match; he appeared to be quite exhausted on his chair at the end of the match.

+ I saw the battle of the Kuznetsov, with the chair umpire obviousely annoyed to have to say the name AND the last name each time :lol:
+ the Darcis/Lisnard match was creating much noise; in the close courts, you could barely hear the chair umpire because of the noise the Court 6 generated
+ Muller/Witten, the battle of the servers
+ Chiudinelli absolutely dreadful
+ Harrison/Ward, with the British choking big time, but Harrison was by far the best of the two
+ Leo Mayer amazing
+ G.Lapentti about to retire after such a match, I guess…
+ Jouan more and more impressive

Day 2

Crivoi/Muller
Amazing come back from Victor there, he was 2-5 down in the first, and in the blink of an eye, won it 7-5! From 2-5, he just played amazing tennis; I read that gave him the match but Muller really didn’t! Outstanding winners and pure clay rallies allowed the Romanian to quickly come back. Muller was, as you may imagine, pissed off to lose it that way. The game of Gilles is all about his serve, and as soon as he loses the rhythm of it, his whole game suffers from it.
Crivoi was celebrating the win in a big way and that was very nice to see!

Phau/Salamanca
Phau really confirmed yesterday’s win by a very convincing match against a pure clay player. His serve was still tremendous and his baseline game is definitely back. I’ve seen Phau playing many many times, and today’s performance was by far the best. He hit many winners, even if also capitalized on Salamanca’s many unforced errors.

Dancevic/Schwank
Horrible display by Edu… complaining and moaning the whole match, he failed to convert all the occasions he had… Missing by little what he was trying to do, he quickly turned to frustration. Dancevic capitalized on that, forcing the Argentinian to always play one shot too many. Relying on his huge serve, the Canadian managed to mix his game very well, forcing Schwank into forcing his talent. Dancevic moves quite well on clay too, but he has to change the attitude of COME ONing after each and every point…compared to the young ladies playing qualifyings that day, he was not much more mature…

Kuznetsov/Marchenko
Expectingly, Illya lost that match and I have to say that the score appears much more tight than the match was. Kuznetsov has not won many matches yet in Grand Slam tournaments and he struggled to confirm his domination. He really should have won that match 6-3 6-3 but was, most of the time, struggling to conclude the rallies, especially at the net where he really needs to work if he aims at improving his game. His serve is okay but far from being impressive, but his groundstrokes from the baseline appear as very powerful and convincing. Marchenko’s attitude was once again disappointing, the Ukrainian looking at his feet more than at the game…

Kubot/Silva
Not a high competitiveness here, as Lukasz was dominating all the compartiments of the game. Even if the first few games were tight, he quickly found his way back on top of the match. His serve was, as yesterday, very very good indeed. His strokes are well in place and often took Silva by surprise. Lukasz’s great presence at the net helped the Pole to conclude most of the rallies quickly. A quick and convincing win there.

Bogomolov/De Voest
Very weird match…I arrived there when Rik had just won 6-0 and I expected the final set to be that way. Rik had many many many chances to dominate but just failed to score the key points. Bogomolov’s serve is very difficult to return and he saved many break points with it. Rik’s volleys were not working well in the final set and he lost a tight match. He looked devastated at the end and was tear-eyed when leaving the court.

I also saw the last few games of Harrison/Munoz de la Nava: just like yesterday, the American appears to be a very mature guy, not expressing any unnecessary feelings on the court: he looks very steady and composed. Even when his opponent hit his final huge unforced errors, Ryan just discretely pumped his fist instead of jumping around, as many do when winning such a long and difficult match.

Day 3

Jouan/Lorenzi
Amazing match by Romain again; in Marseille, he was already very good and he confirms so. Lorenzi is a very good clay court player and Romain, at first, does not look very handy on it. Lorenzi was overpowered most of the times, Jouan able to create incredible pace with his forehand. His serve woks very well too. Lorenzi clearly lacks of power as he was on his backfoot for the whole match, forced to defend and the French ballbasher. Lorenzi was mad at the audience too, as one has to bear in mind that the French crowd confirmed its reputation today, clapping after each and every of Lorenzi’s unforced errors.

Bolelli/Donskoy
Very good match again played by Simone, able to create some very interesting rallies. The most important is that he was very regular and steady for the whole match, not encountering any big downs today. Donskoy was not really impressive, he just hits everything back and waits for something to happen. Bolelli was in control of most of the rallies and never looked worried about the fact that he was on his way to winning.

Mayer/Cabal
Impressive stuff again by Leo, playing amazing tennis. Very motivated, he pumps his fist, jumps around the court, never gives up: in the middle of the second set, he hit an amazing passing shot coming out from nowhere, for which he received huge applauses in a match where no more than 20 persons were watching… I really think he can qualify and win a match or two, depending on who he will play.

See you tomorrow for the last qualifying round.

star
05-19-2011, 05:14 PM
Thank you!! :wavey: :hug:

Hope you are having a ton of fun. These are very nice write ups.

philosophicalarf
05-19-2011, 05:24 PM
Great stuff Jean, very interesting.

Sunset of Age
05-19-2011, 05:37 PM
Very nice, thanks for posting!

Alex999
05-19-2011, 06:10 PM
Jean, great report, thank you. Keep it coming and have fun.

piotrex007
05-19-2011, 06:15 PM
Jean, thanks a lot! Based on what you wrote about Kubots' matches, I'm optimist and I hope Łukasz will manage to beat Greul tommorow and will fight in Main Draw :D

rhinooooo
05-19-2011, 06:39 PM
Thanks for the reports.

Good to hear Mayer and Bolelli playing decent tennis.

JolánGagó
05-19-2011, 06:44 PM
Great reports, thank you very much.

Sham Kay
05-19-2011, 06:50 PM
Ah the rollercoaster ride of the qualies. Very detailed stuff, impressed at a few choice players, will watch more closely for them come round 1 (if they get there). Thank you!

Filo V.
05-19-2011, 06:52 PM
Thank you for the reports :)

And I'm especially happy to know that Bjorn is playing well again. Maybe he could actually beat Minar..........

Alex999
05-19-2011, 06:53 PM
By the way, this is the only legit intelligent tennis thread on MTF right now ... kinda sad - especially when you look at the other threads (page 1 and 2) on MTF.

Say Hey Kid
05-19-2011, 07:00 PM
Thanks for report jean! enjoyed reading it!

TennisOnWood
05-19-2011, 08:16 PM
Thanks.. hope yoo will watch battle of the teens tomorrow

JayR
05-19-2011, 08:24 PM
Thank you for giving us such detailed reports Jean. Continue to enjoy your time in Paris.:D

barbadosan
05-19-2011, 08:35 PM
Let me add my two cents (or sous) of appreciation for the reports.

Henry Chinaski
05-19-2011, 09:17 PM
merci jean

oranges
05-19-2011, 09:23 PM
didn't look like anyone was much interested.

Always interested in live reports from matches, esp. those we can't see. Keep em coming ;)

fast_clay
05-19-2011, 10:17 PM
very good

Sunset of Age
05-19-2011, 10:24 PM
didn't look like anyone was much interested.

Well, I think it looks rather differently right now! :D
Please keep us informed, and enjoy the matches!

Li Ching Yuen
05-19-2011, 10:27 PM
Good stuff, thanks.

You didn't stay for Schoorel - Guccione.
Don't think I won't be remembering this, Jean, don't you even second guess me.

*Jean*
05-20-2011, 04:32 AM
^ couldn't watch it, sorry :( too many matches at the same time in Qualy 1... but many Dutch fans there, as always very very noisy!

*Jean*
05-20-2011, 04:38 AM
the matches I will watch today

Bjorn Phau (GER) v. Ivo Minar (CZE)[28]
Frank Dancevic (CAN) v. Victor Crivoi (ROU)
Lukasz Kubot (POL)[11] v. Simon Greul (GER)[27]
Antonio Veic (CRO) v. Simone Bolelli (ITA)[23]
Jan Hernych (CZE) v. Leonardo Mayer (ARG)
Denis Gremelmayr (GER)[5] v. Romain Jouan (FRA)

straitup
05-20-2011, 05:13 AM
Very nice reports, thanks! Looking forward to more

Eddy DoubleD
05-20-2011, 07:09 AM
the matches I will watch today

Bjorn Phau (GER) v. Ivo Minar (CZE)[28]
Frank Dancevic (CAN) v. Victor Crivoi (ROU)
Lukasz Kubot (POL)[11] v. Simon Greul (GER)[27]
Antonio Veic (CRO) v. Simone Bolelli (ITA)[23]
Jan Hernych (CZE) v. Leonardo Mayer (ARG)
Denis Gremelmayr (GER)[5] v. Romain Jouan (FRA)

So you can't watch Marti vs Harrison? Too bad:sad:

Waiting for the report from Victor's match.:wavey:

PS: Nice work!:worship:

Li Ching Yuen
05-20-2011, 08:03 AM
the matches I will watch today

Bjorn Phau (GER) v. Ivo Minar (CZE)[28]
Frank Dancevic (CAN) v. Victor Crivoi (ROU)
Lukasz Kubot (POL)[11] v. Simon Greul (GER)[27]
Antonio Veic (CRO) v. Simone Bolelli (ITA)[23]
Jan Hernych (CZE) v. Leonardo Mayer (ARG)
Denis Gremelmayr (GER)[5] v. Romain Jouan (FRA)

It's alright man.

You're going to see Schoorel in the main draw anyway. ;)

RonaldGomez
05-20-2011, 10:21 PM
I was in Roland Garros today, here is my report, *Jean* I hope you don't mind if I use this interesting thread ! Sorry for my english not totally fluent :D

- Marti 6/2 7/6 (5) Harrison.
I saw the second set only. Harrison had the momentum and was leading 3/0*. But Marti is a fighter and broke back soon. His tactic was simple : to defend and to make Harrison play another shot until an unforced error. And he managed thanks to his forehand topspin which bothered a lot Ryan, who was complaining and threw his racket some times (and broke one violently :D). Obviously Ryan wasn't used to play such a spanish style and didn't manage to deal with it, including when returning Marti topsin serve. However after one break for each player, Ryan had three set points ŕ 5/4 on Marti serve (which isn't powerful btw) but didn't manage to get it, two unforced errors and a backhand winner from Marti. In the tie-break, Marti was up 3/0, then Ryan managed to lead 5/4** but Marti converted his first match points thanks to another great defense which forced Ryan to play a difficult volley and allowed Marti to make an easy passing shot.
Harrison developed his usual complete game, from backand winners down the line to some serve&volley but made too many UE as I said, especially on his forehand. He has to be more patient on clay to beat such players like Marti, who wasn't the better player today imo. He also has to learn to "kill" points, sometimes he just "put" some volleys who allowed Marti to stay alive and to make some passing. After the matchpoint Ryan threw a racquet in the trees behind the court, funny :D : I think he was really motivated but frustrated to not finding an answer today against a weaker opponent.
I would define Marti as a pure claycourter, with a defensive game. Very few UE but also very few winners. However the boy has a nice hand, with some great volleys. His force was the mental today, when saving set points and keeping his nerves in the tie-break contrary to Ryan. I don't see him as a future great though, he lacks power and with his game he won't beat experienced players.

- Rosol 7/5 6/1 Gicquel.
I saw only the end of the match. Gicquel was injured (leg ? obviously due to fatigue to his long matchs these last days...) and Rosol had only to wait for Gicquel error. However Rosol managed to make many unforced errors in few games, except his serve he wasn't really impressive from what I saw...average player I would rate, and seemed to struggled to move well on clay. Just after the matchpoint Rosol was cheering the public to mock Gicquel after their episode last week, and Gicquel didn't want to shake his hand...not a goog atmosphere between them :D

- Schoorel 6/4 7/6 Aguilar.
Entertaining match between the giant dutch and the little chilean ^^. Schoorel mostly outpowered his opponent during the whole match, but many games were close due to Schoorel lack of perspicacity. His game is too risky imo, he can make 3/4 astonishing winners in a row, either from FH or BH, then 5 unforced errors...he has to play with a higher margin of security, especially with his backhand (too many UE today). Btw I didn't notice him making ONE slice backhand...the same when coming to the net, he often rushed too late, and missed some easy vollyes. In the second set he was up a break but because of his errors Aguilar stayed in the match until the tiebreak, where Schoorel made 6 amazing winners...
Schoorel stayed calm all the match, it was a very positive attitude and allowed him to play well on some crucial points. Aguilar was complaining a lot of times. The chilean didn't play badly but was simply not as strong as the dutch. I noticed that Haase was here during the 1st set.

Schoorel was the player who impressed me most today : when his game is on he's a threat to anyone.

Sonja1989
05-20-2011, 10:26 PM
Thank you very very much *Jean* and RonaldGomez. :hug: :kiss:

I'm glad Kubot was good in his first two matches. :D

Action Jackson
05-21-2011, 02:11 AM
Excellent work and Schoorel has improved so much in the past few months.

*Jean*
05-21-2011, 05:45 AM
I don't mind Ronald since our schedule of matches was obviousely very different.
I'll start typing my reports in a moment and will post them soon. :)

DanaKz
05-21-2011, 06:52 AM
Did you take pics Jean?

*Jean*
05-21-2011, 07:19 AM
^ nope :sad:

*Jean*
05-21-2011, 07:20 AM
Last round of qualy here. I guess the boys hadn’t heard that there had been 4 withdrawals because no tanking there.

Phau/Minar
Bjorn is lucky to escape this one. This is what happens when the guy is not focused, he lets his opponent win a set 6-1 because Bjorn couldn’t hit two shots in a row. The second set was tight, with Phau finally starting to find back his usual good game, made of powerful and deep shots, forcing Minar into playing shorter, and therefore attacking these balls. He was in danger of having his serve broken, but held it but his survival was hanging by a thread. Once the second set won, Minar really lost concentration and was too damaged mentally speaking to keep on fighting. The 6-4 of the final set has to be explained by the fact that Phau returned to his error-machine mode, complaining about everything he could. What saved him is his serve which was the steadiest part of his game today. In the dying moments of the match, he finally got pumped and concluded the match with a tremendous running back hand down the line.

Kubot/Greul
I was going back and forth between that match and that of Phau. From what I saw of the livescore, that was a good piece of choke by the German. Kubot was playing very well though, but Greul was in one of these days where everything goes the right way: saving break points thanks to shots landing on the lines, helped by the net cord… Greul’s serve is not good at all, and Lukasz was hitting many winners on returns of serve. Kubot’s serve was not working well either, but he prevailed in the second set thanks to his net game, as often. The third set did not exist, Greul calling the trainer before the third set started. He never found back his steady and composed game of the first set, and Kubot was now undoubtedly marching to victory. He celebrated big time, almost dancing as he did in the Australian Open, but quickly realizing that all this work was just worth a spot in the MD, where he really belongs. He was the best player I’ve seen in this Q-tournament, but lacks of confidence and his game is in a rollercoaster mode, which could cost him dearly in the MD.

Dancevic/Crivoi
Not much to say, Victor appeared to be very tired after his match yesterday against Muller. He couldn’t move properly and was just destroyed in pure power by the Canadian, whose serve helped him much to win many free points.

Veic/Bolelli
The best match of the day, with Simone once again – and as many of my faves today – rollercoastering his game. He can play very well, and all of a sudden, playing crap. His forehand didn’t work AT ALL today and he had to rely on his backhand which was on a good mood today! Mentally speaking, Veic is a little thing that jumps around and pumps his fist at each occasion, running to his chair at the end of every game. He won thanks to this asset which Simone no longer seems to have – has he ever fought hard? Hmm, not quite sure. I see now that Bolelli is a LL and plays Dancevic, and he honestly played much better tennis through these qualifying rounds than the Canadian, but can he play 100% during a whole match, that is the question.

+ saw Leo Mayer winning again! He looked so happy and he has a good draw in the MD now, he should be able to do some damage
+ saw Jouan losing. The guy is a clear ballbasher, hitting stunningly flat on clay, but too many errors literally giving the match to the German in the last two games, searching for tremendous winners all the time
+ saw a few practise sessions and some MD players – including Murray, Del Potro, Simon & Monfils, all running from the locker room to the big courts to avoid the kids who chase autographs. Saw some guys practising that I didn’t know, so I assume some doubles players since they were all practising doubles sequences. Saw Roger-Vasselin practising with Rufin and Mannarino, Stakhovsky was there too, went past Gulbis eating an ice-cream, Istomin has more and more issues with his skin, Devvarman, Malisse, Haase, Brown with huge green and yellow headphones, Becker, Tomic…

Filo V.
05-21-2011, 12:42 PM
Thank you for the reports Jean and Ronald :)

No, Jean, Simone has never been a fighter and he's never been consistent. It's just gotten worse as he's lost confidence.

Also, good to hear Schoorel playing well. Dude is on a real pathway to potential big things.

*Jean*
05-23-2011, 05:28 AM
Horrible display by Gulbis as you may imagine : framing, trying to hit the lines but failing by a few centimeters, serving horribly...such was the mood of Ernests yesterday, and of course, he didn't move to a possible Plan B. His attitude was firy as always, throwing racket, death stares at his coach... Kavcic was very solid though, not hitting many unforced errors and benefiting from Ernests's gifts most of the time. Kavcic's serve was really on today, preventing Ernests from returning well, even if Blaz got his serve broken a couple of times, he always found a way to break back just after. Really not much more to say, the match was all about the Gulbis show to destroy himself.

Lu/Nishikori was not a bad match but Lu is just too bad on clay. He can't move properly on it and he hits so hard and so flat that it can't work well on this surface, especially since Kei was in a good day, showing great variety and good efficiency on serve. He got his serve broken in the early stages of the third set, but could break back and break again in the final game of the match to make it 6-4 in the third.

Dodig/Riba was boring as hell...moonballs, slice backhands, dropshots, lobs...grunting at its peak was the funniest part of the match, with ridiculous gruntings and VAMOOOOOS after each and every point. It was a typical clay match between two players who don't hit hard. I stayed there for a set and almost died.

Fognini/Istomin was a good match from Fabio. He was his usual self, walking slowly, laughing...but he still played very well indeed, hitting a little bit harder than usually and finding nice ways to drive that ballbasher of Istomin crazy. On a bad day, Istomin helped the Italian with a high number of unforced errors, often ugly huge errors, such as a very easy overhead on a game point that he missed. He quickly appeared to be ready to lose as he never sought to fight that hard and he let Fognini dictating the points most of the time. Good win for Fabio though.

I watched many training sessions too since not many matches involving my favorites were scheduled.