Home » Bob Greene, HEADLINES AND FEATURES, Top Stories » MONDAYS WITH BOB GREENE: NADAL AND SCHIAVONE ARE THE WINNERS OF THE FRENCH OPEN 2010




STARS

French Open

Men’s singles: Rafael Nadal beat Robin Soderling 6-4 6-2 6-4

Women’s singles: Francesca Schiavone beat Samantha Stosur 6-4 7-6 (2)

Men’s doubles: Nenad Zimonjic and Daniel Nestor beat Leander Paes and Lukas Dlouhy 7-5 6-2

Women’s doubles: Venus Williams and Serena Williams beat Katarina Srebotnik and Kveta Peschke 6-2 6-3

Mixed doubles: Nenad Zimonjic and Katarina Srebotnik beat Julian Knowle and Yaroslava Shvedova 4-6 7-6 (5) 11-9 (match tiebreak)

Boys singles: Agustin Velotti beat Andrea Collarini 6-4 7-5

Girls singles: Elina Svitolina beat Ons Jabeur 6-2 7-5

Boys doubles: Duilio Beretta and Roberto Quiroz beat Facundo Arguello and Agustin Velotti 6-3 6-2

Girls doubles: Timea Babos and Sloane Stephens beat Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino and Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor 6-2 6-3

Other

Jan Hajek beat Radek Stepanek 6-0 retired to win the Unicredit Czech Open in Prostejov, Czech Republic

SAYINGS

“I love this place with all my heart because it gave me so much joy. Winning here in Paris is ever so special. It’s a huge pleasure. I’m very lucky, and I was very fortunate in life to have had the opportunity of experiencing all this at the age of 24. Never in my wildest dream would I have dreamt of such beautiful presents. Life has been very kind to me.” – Rafael Nadal, after winning his fifth French Open.

“Rafa always plays kind of the same. He has more or less one game, but he does it so well it’s enough to not lose a match on clay for a whole year.” – Robin Soderling, after losing the French Open final to Rafael Nadal.

“I want to go home to Mommy and Daddy. This is my goal for the moment. Usually we do good dinner or good lunch, 10 people, usually. Now I think I have to buy a new house, bigger, for 50 people.” – Francesca Schiavone, explaining her plans after winning Roland Garros.

“Congrats Schiavo! Great to see one of the nicest, funniest, coolest, honest and hard-working girls win the trophy!” – Kim Clijsters, tweeting Francesca Schiavone.

“I am disappointed, not just because I lost, but it has been a big journey and a great two weeks. I guess I wanted the full fairytale, but it didn’t quite happen.” – Samantha Stosur, after losing the final.

“I told her you have to be brave. You have to take risks. You have to go out there and do something special. This is not a little tournament. This is Roland Garros. Something extraordinary is needed.” – Corrado Barazzuti, Italy’s Fed Cup captain who acts as Schiavone’s unofficial coach.

“To be number one in singles and doubles simultaneously is such a great moment, something that I wouldn’t have imagined. It took a lot of hard work and was not easy for us to get to the top, and I hope we can hold onto this accomplishment for a long time.” – Serena Williams.

“It’s really tough when you play one Williams. When you play two, it’s really not an easy win.” – Venus Williams, after she and sister Serena Williams won their fourth consecutive Grand Slam tournament doubles title.

“They all come to an end at some stage. You hope it doesn’t happen, but they do. I mean, it was a great run. Now I’ve got the quarterfinal streak going, I guess.” – Roger Federer, who failed to reach the semifinals of a major for the first time since Roland Garros in 2004.

“We’ve knocked on the door a couple times, semis and final last year. It was a pretty bitter loss to these guys that we beat today, and it was nice to avenge that.” – Daniel Nestor, after he and Nenad Zimonjic won the men’s doubles title.

“I just wanted so much that the adventure could keep going. It’s always difficult to lose, especially in a place I love as much as Roland Garros, without showing your best tennis.” – Justine Henin, after losing to Samantha Stosur.

“I don’t think I played a bad match, so it’s easier to go out this way.” – Roger Federer, after losing to Robin Soderling.

“I made a big mistake. I made him come back into the match with my unforced errors and then he caught the momentum and he was playing really well.” – Novak Djokovic, after losing to Jurgen Melzer in the quarterfinals.

SPANISH GOLD

By recapturing his Roland Garros championship, Rafael Nadal also reclaimed the number one ranking in men’s tennis. The Spaniard crushed Robin Soderling 6-4 6-2 6-4 – it wasn’t as close as the score indicates – in the final of the year’s second Grand Slam tournament. Nadal becomes only the second man in history to win five or more French Opens. Sweden’s Bjorn Borg finished with six Roland Garros titles, but it took him seven tries to win his first five. Nadal’s victory was his fifth in six years as he gained revenge on the man who upset him on the red clay of Paris last year. Nadal’s triumph at Roland Garros completes a 22-match winning streak in which he became the first player to win all three clay-court ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events in the same year. He last held the number one ranking on June 29, 2009, when he was surpassed by Roger Federer. That leaves Federer one week shy of equaling Pete Sampras’ all-time record of 286 weeks as number one.

With his seventh career Grand Slam tournament title – one Wimbledon and one Australian Open to go along with his five French Opens – Nadal is the first player to qualify for the season-ending 2010 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, which will be held in London in late November. Only the top eight players will compete for the singles title in the showpiece event.

SUPER SCHIAVONE

When Francesca Schiavone fell to the court, her white outfit covered with red clay, she started a rush to the record books. She turns 30 years old this month, making her the second-oldest player in the Open Era to win a first Grand Slam tournament title. Great Britain’s Ann Jones was 30 years, 8 months when she won Wimbledon in 1969. Not only was Schiavone the first Italian woman ever to win a major, she was the first to reach a major final and the first in the Open Era to reach a semifinal at a Grand Slam tournament. “I can still improve,” Schiavone told Italian reporters earlier in the week. “I can still be more explosive. I can still put more spin on my shots. I can still hit deeper. I can still improve my serve. I’m just beginning.” Like Schiavone, Samantha “Sam” Stosur was also playing in her first major final. And she agreed with her conqueror. “It doesn’t matter what the age. If you’ve got that desire, anyone can do it,” the 26-year-old Australian said. “It proves you don’t have to be a teen-age wunderkind superstar.”

What a difference a year makes. Last year, Schiavone and Stosur met in the first round of the French Open and Stosur won 6-4 6-2. This year’s meeting between the two was the first time in the Open era that both finalists were appearing in a Grand Slam tournament final for the first time.

STRONG DRAW

This year’s finalists – Italy and the United States – won’t have an easy time of it when they play their first-round Fed Cup World Group ties in 2011. Italy will travel to Australia while the United States will play at Belgium. Other first-round matches in the women’s international team event will have France at Russia and the Czech Republic at Slovakia. The World Group II first-round matches next year will have Spain at Estonia, Germany at Slovenia, Canada at Serbia and Ukraine at Sweden. The United States will play host to Italy on November 6-7 for the 2010 Fed Cup championship. In last year’s final, Italy beat the Americans.

SHOWMANSHIP

When Robby Ginepri sprawled onto the red clay chasing a shot in his French Open match, he surprised the crowd by performing a series of pushups. “I felt a little stupid slipping and falling on my face, so I tried to get the crowd back to my side,” Ginepri said of his impromptu exercises. The crowd loved it, but Ginepri was immediately broken by his opponent, Novak Djokovic, and never regained his momentum. “You know, maybe that took a little bit of my focus away doing that. I’ll probably never do pushups again on court,” Ginepri said. It had been a tight match until that point, but Ginepri won only three more games in the match.

SUPREME EFFORT

Serena Williams has joined an elite group of players who have been ranked number one in the world in both singles and doubles. Serena and her sister Venus clinched the number one doubles ranking when they won their French Open semifinal. The Americans went on to capture their second Roland Garros title, defeating Katarina Srebotnik and Kveta Peschke 6-2 6-3. It was their 12th Grand Slam doubles crown. They became only the third women’s doubles pair to win four major titles in a row. Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver did it in 1983-84, and Gigi Fernandez and Natasha Zvereva did it in 1992-93. By moving atop the rankings in both singles and doubles, Serena becomes the sixth woman to accomplish the feat and the first since Kim Clijsters in 2003. Others in the group are Navratilova, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, Martina Hingis and Lindsay Davenport.

SKINNIEST OF MARGINS

Who knew when they won their first-round match 6-2 6-3 that Nenad Zimonjic and Katarina Srebotnik would have so many close shaves before winning the mixed doubles title at Roland Garros. Seeded sixth, the pair played four consecutive match tiebreaks in the five rounds, besting Julian Knowle and Yaroslava Shvedova in the final 4-6 7-6 (5) 11-9 (match tiebreak). “We saved a lot of match points this week and I don’t even know how we won today, so it’s a great feeling,” Zimonjic said. And in their final three matches, they lost the first set before rallying to victory. Zimonjic later added the men’s doubles title to his growing trophy case, giving him seven Grand Slam tournament titles. Srebotnik has won four major titles, all in mixed doubles.

STILL GRACIOUS, STILL SMILING

Roger Federer, his reign as French Open champion ended in the quarterfinals and his spot as the number one player also gone, took a look at his record stretch of reaching 23 consecutive Grand Slam tournament semifinals. “They all come to an end at some stage,” he said of his first failure to reach the final four of a major since losing in the third round at Roland Garros to Gustavo Kuerten in 2004. “It’s been an amazing run. If I could have signed for all those semis in a row, I would have done it right away.”

STEAMED

When the wheels fell off of his game, even the line calls went against Novak Djokovic. The third-seeded Serbian was cruising along with a two-set lead over Jurgen Melzer in the French Open quarterfinals. Djokovic led 2-0 in the third set when the Austrian became his remarkable comeback. Then, with Melzer serving for the match at 5-4 in the fifth set, he was wrong-footed by a Djokovic crosscourt shot. Melzer asked the umpire to inspect the mark. Carlos Bernardes climbed down from the chair, took a close look and ruled the ball was out. “From my side and my perspective, it was looking good,” Djokovic said. “There was no space between the line and the mark, and that means the ball is good. I don’t know why the chair umpire got that decision wrong.” Melzer then served out the upset victory, leaving Djokovic to wonder about the line call.

STILL SWINGING

Lindsay Davenport hasn’t quite called it quits yet. The former number one player will team with fellow American Liezel Huber and play doubles at the Mercury Insurance Open in Carlsbad, California, USA, later this summer. Huber and Davenport reached the doubles quarterfinals at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Davenport won singles titles at the Carlsbad tournament in 1998 and 2004 and won the doubles in 1998 with Natasha Zvereva and 1999 with Corina Morariu. She has not played in a tournament since 2008 when she reached the third round in singles and doubles at the US Open.

SLIPPERY SLOPE

Olympic skier Bode Miller’s quest to play in the US Open is over. “I had no time to prepare, no time to come have a guy hit 1,000 balls at me like I used to do when I was little,” Miller said. “If you don’t do that, you don’t have any reason to have expectations.” Miller won three Alpine skiing medals at the Vancouver Olympics, bringing his career total to five. When he was in high school, he was a state tennis champion in Maine. Miller was attempting to earn a wild-card spot in the US Open qualifying. The United States Tennis Association (USTA), in an effort to put the “Open” in the US Open, is holding a series of qualifying events during the summer with the 16 sectional winners advancing to Atlanta, Georgia, to play for two spots in the US Open qualifying – one in the women’s draw, the other in the men’s draw. Anyone could enter the competition.

SORE

A right hip injury could sideline Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for the grass-court season. The Frenchman injured his hip in his fourth-round French Open match against Mikhail Youzhny. Tsonga retired from the match and underwent scans that confirmed a muscle lesion in his hip. The former Australian Open runner-up is expected to rest “for about 10 days,” according to his agent. Tsonga then will undergo another checkup to determine where he can resume playing.

STARRING

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) presented honors during the ITF World Champions Dinner, held annually during the French Open. The ITF’s highest accolade, the Philippe Chatrier Award, went to three-time Roland Garros champion Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil. Other award recipients were singles champions Roger Federer and Serena Williams; doubles champions Bob and Mike Bryan, and Serena and Venus Williams; junior champions Daniel Berta of Sweden and Kristina Mladenovic of France, and wheelchair champions Shingo Kunieda of Japan and Esther Vergeer of the Netherlands. Vergeer won her award for a record 10th consecutive year.

SIDELINED

Beijing Olympics singles champion Elena Dementieva could miss Wimbledon because of a calf injury. The Russian retired from her French Open semifinal match against eventual winner Francesca Schiavone after losing the first set 7-6. Dementieva said she first suffered the problem to her left calf in a second-round win over Anabel Medina Garrigues. “It’s very painful to even walk,” the Russian said. “I got it after my second match and I aggravated it. Today it was just a sharp pain. It was a bit too much. I couldn’t really move on the court.”

STRAIGHT IN

Two Great Britain Davis Cup players and three teen-agers have been given wild-card entries into the AEGON Championships being played at The Queen’s Club in London. Great Britain. Two British players – James Ward and Jamie Baker – have been joined by 17-year-old Bernard Tomic of Australia, 18-year-old Ryan Harrison of the United States and 19-year-old Grigor Dimitrov, the 2008 Wimbledon boys champion from Bulgaria. “We always try to use our wild cards to give an opportunity to British players, young international prospects or established players who are returning from illness or injury,” said tournament director Chris Kermode. “We had initially given a wild card to Mario Ancic, who has been out of the game for a long time through illness, but unfortunately he has sustained a back injury and had to pull out.” Others who have had to withdraw from the tournament because of injuries include Fernando Verdasco, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Ernests Gulbis.

SORRY

Former Wimbledon junior girls champion Laura Robson has apologized for calling some of her fellow players “sluts.” In an interview with Vogue magazine, the 16-year-old British player said they needed to be “more discreet.” Now, Robson admits she made a “totally inappropriate, throwaway comment without considering the consequences.” The WTA said Robson did the right thing by apologizing.

SINO HELP

France will help China develop tennis players. According to Jean-Pierre Dartevelle, vice president of the French Tennis Federation (FFT), France will provide training for the Chinese coaches and players, including setting up a training base for Chinese elite players who travel to Europe for practice and competition.

SPONSOR

Oriflame, one of Europe’s fastest growing beauty brands, will become the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour’s official cosmetics partner beginning in 2011. The company, founded in Sweden in 1967, sells directly through more than 3.3 million “consultants” worldwide. Oriflame has a global presence in more than 60 countries. Under the terms of the two-year agreement, Oriflame will become an official partner of the WTA in Europe, Russia, Commonwealth of Independent States, Middle East and Africa, and will enjoy a significant presence at 26 WTA events in those markets, including the season-ending WTA Tour Championships in Istanbul, Turkey.

SHARED PERFORMANCES

Prostejov: Marcel Granollers and Davis Marrero beat Johan Brunstrom and Jean-Julien Rojer 3-6 6-4 10-6 (match tiebreak)

SITES TO SURF

Halle: www.gerryweber-open.com/

Marseille: http://opengdfsuez-marseille.com

Lugano: www.challengerlugano.ch/

Eastbourne: www.lta.org.uk/Watch/AEGON-British-Tennis-Series/AEGON-International/

Den Bosch: www.unicefopen.nl/

Rafael Nadal: www.rafaelnadal.com

Francesca Schiavone: www.schiavonefrancesca.com/

TOURNAMENTS THIS WEEK

(All money in USD)

ATP

$822,000 Gerry Weber Open, Halle, Germany, grass

$777,300 AEGON Championships, London, Great Britain, grass

$105,000 BSI Challenger Lugano, Lugano, Switzerland, clay

WTA

$220,000 AEGON Classic, Birmingham, Great Britain, grass

$100,000 Open GDF Suez de Marseille, Marseille, France, clay

TOURNAMENTS NEXT WEEK

ATP

$405,000 AEGON International, Eastbourne, Great Britain, grass

$398,000 UNICEF Open, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, grass

WTA

$600,000 AEGON International, Eastbourne, Great Britain, grass

$220,000 UNICEF Open, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, grass



World Tennis Magazine on iTunes


About WTM

One Response to “MONDAYS WITH BOB GREENE: NADAL AND SCHIAVONE ARE THE WINNERS OF THE FRENCH OPEN 2010”