Simona Halep’s three set win over Alison Riske wrapped up first round action at the 2018 French Open on Wednesday. The bottom half of the draw was also completed for the second round with the final match of the day just finishing in time before the darkness. I didn’t get to watch as much tennis today with the schedule being so lopsided. More on that below… read on for six stories.
Svitolina d. Kuzmova (RG, R2)
Wednesday’s schedule at Roland Garros was a tad baffling. There were eight women’s matches starting at 11am local time and then during the early afternoon it was all mens matches. I’m totally in the camp for best of three set matches on both tours – I don’t have time for these drawn out five setters 😴😴😴😴. I was out in the morning so watched back one of the early morning matches this afternoon between Elina Svitolina and Viktoria Kuzmova. I’d been intrigued by this match-up as Kuzmova has put in some impressive displays on the tour.
Svitolina won through in two sets, 6-3 6-4 in one hour and 21 minutes. There wasn’t much to separate the pair with Svitolina’s experience ultimately prevailing as she stepped up at the ends of both sets with Kuzmova just throwing in a few too many errors. Kuzmova is definitely one to watch for the future. Svitolina advances to the third round where she will face the in-form, Mihaela Buzarnescu.
Keys d. Dolehide (RG, R2)
Madison Keys scored her second straight sets win of the tournament with a 6-4 6-1 victory over Caroline Dolehide. I really thought Dolehide had a good shot at the upset here! For a time the pair were trading service holds with the score tied at 4-4. Dolehide played a poor service game with a double fault to surrender her serve. Keys ran away with the match from there, winning eight of the last nine games.
Coming up in the third round – Madison Keys vs. Naomi Osaka 🔥🔥🔥
Wang Qiang d. Martic (RG, R2)
The WTF scoreline of the day came on Court 8 where Wang Qiang beat Petra Martic, 6-1 6-1 in just 52 minutes! I watched the end when I noted the scoreline midway through the second set. Wang was aggressive and precise, while Martic didn’t seem at the races and threw in a tame drop shot attempt on the final point. Martic was sluggish in her movement and I guess she was carrying an injury? After the opening day decimation of seeds I had Martic making QFs. Back to the drawing board…
Kasatkina d. Flipkens (RG, R2)
Daria Kasatkina needed six match points to beat Kirsten Flipkens before the darkness to win, 6-3 6-3. Kasatkina wasted a load of opportunities on the Flipkens serve in the second set but was secure on her own serve, dropping just seven points behind it in the second set. Kasatkina advances to an enticing third rounder against Maria Sakkari 😍. I went one out of two on my upset picks after Sakkari scored another excellent win on tour, beating Carla Suárez Navarro in straight sets.
The top half of the draw play on Thursday with the likes of Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber, Caroline Garcia, Garbiñe Muguruza, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Karlina Pliskova all in action. Polls for a trio of matches linked below. More polls are up on the match thoughts page for an already amazing line-up of third rounders for Friday and Saturday.
Tennis battles vs. the bro
We were out this morning so played just a set of tennis before lunch. The weather was again perfect for tennis. No sun and no wind. The set went with serve for a time and I started surprisingly well. The bro had told me before the tactic to play against him (😂) and I actually stuck to it this time, focusing most balls towards his backhand. Still, it was the bro who forced the first break point when I was serving at *2-3 *30-40. An epic point ensued and I was able to finish it off up at the net. I somehow managed to hold and used the positive energy to then go and break in the next game!
My best game came next on serve as I consolidated the break with a hold to 15 to lead 5-3. I was striking the ball nicely, particularly deep into the bro’s backhand corner so he wasn’t able to attack. I was two points from the win (!) with the bro serving at *30-30 in the next game but didn’t put enough on a regulation forehand which flopped into the net.
Me serving at *5-4… yeah you can guess how that went 😂. Broken to love as the bro attacked all my short serves and hit four winners all up at the net. I tried to get the serve deep into his backhand corner but they were all short to his more potent forehand. The set was slipping away as the bro started with another aggressive point at 5-5 and me flailing. I knew I had to be more aggressive and managed to stop the rot with a decent return and passing shot winner on the next point. A few errors from the bro including a sitter of a volley into the net (his words, not mine!) and another break for me.
So here we go again. Serving for the set at *6-5. The serve was still too short but I was hanging in a bit better. A double fault at *15-15 was not ideal! I somehow scrapped my way to deuce and then hit my best serve of the game, deep into the backhand which the bro could only hit the net. I smiled as it was the first time in ages i’d hit the serve I was trying to do! A great point ensued on match point with us both on the move. I managed to get up the court and had an overhead (Note – i’m terrible overhead 😂). I managed to find the court and the bro could only find the net.
I won, 7-5! I was chuffed. Whenever I had negative thoughts come into my mind I said “stop” and it actually helped to focus. Hopefully we’ll get another three setter in tomorrow.