Two best friends they played with each other, and then had a discussion about the game before leaving the court. Teenagers have stolen scenes; but so have the players about to turn 40. A cancer survivor makes a triumphant return. Last year’s finalistRecently separated from her father, she is proving to herself that she can win alone. All of which is to say that tennis is not brutalist hell.
You could think otherwise by reading, listening and watching tennis this week. “The whole Naomi Osaka thing,” as one American television bookmaker characterized it, nullified (too much) much of real tennis. The whole sport went through the social media spanking machine last week, which is justified. We’ll give the subject a break, just to say that one hopes Osaka will return, healthy and soon (in that order) and one hopes that the remaining matches at Roland Garros will help tennis undo some of the problems. damage to reputation.
Then after six days, your Roland Garros week one grades….
The leyends: Despite all the tumult and storm clouds surrounding it, Serena, Federer, Nadal and Djokovic are still shining bright.
Iga Swiatek: Picking up where you left off, you are not winning games; she is dominating them.
Coco gauff: Continue to age gracefully. All that effort this spring, winning a lot of games in the ocean from home in front of a few fans, is paying off.
Italy: The boot has been kicking butt. Led by Mussetti and Sinner, Italy will have 10 men in the top 100 by the end of the tournament.
The weather: You know the rules: spend nine figures on building a roof and stop raining.
Spain: And it’s not just Rafa. In an underrated upset, 21-year-old Alejandro Davidovich Fokina edged out Casper Ruud.
Sloane Stephens and Sofia Kenin: Two players who need victories to get them.
Carla Suarez Navarro: What a way to close a career. And if “the affection of her colleagues” were titles, she would be a member of the Hall of Fame.
The United States: Even with some misfortune (see: Taylor Fritz) and heartthrob (Mackie McDonald), a dozen Americans made it to the third round; This makes it America’s best performance in two decades. There are no men left, but women, again, carry the flag.
Czech balance: Petra Kvitova and Karolina Pliskova leave (the first due to a chance injury; the second with another reluctant performance) but many remain, among them the sleeper (and semifinalist in the previous Major) Karolina Muchova.
Alexander Zverev: He is still alive, with a real chance of reaching the final. But man the guy makes his fans work for it.
Night games: You can’t envy Roland Garros for the extra sessions (especially not after the financial shocks absorbed during COVID-19). But there’s something unfortunate about top players stepping out for a primetime session … in front of zero fans.
Aslan Karasev: He won a match and then fell to the eternal Philipp Kohlschreiber. However, it does say something when you were a qualifier in a Major; and his loss in the subsequent Major is considered a “significant upset”.
Gael Monfils: He won an exciting match against the home crowd. And then he fell to Mikael Ymer for the uniquely Monfils-ian score of 0–6, 6–2, 4–6, 3–6.
Own goal: L’affaire Naomi released a thousand hot takes, some comically off base. Players have the right! Boo the media! Country club sport is out of reach! The real shame: with more common sense and communication, all of this was so avoidable.
Injury mania: We have heard all the arguments. Injuries are inherent to sport. Staying in shape is a skill. Now there is more healthcare than ever. We keep saying that there are too many injured players. The retirement of Ash Barty from his second round match (hip), Garbine Muguruza (a back injury that led to her losing in the first round) and Grigor Dimitrov (whose back forced him to retire after holding match points) are three examples among (too many).
Ay, Canada: It has been a difficult year for what would otherwise be a rising tennis nation. Denis Shapovalov and Milos Raonic do not publish. Felix Auger-Aliassime and Bianca Andreescu lost in the first round. Leylah Fernandez wins a round and then loses to Madison, evaluating his performance as a “zero” on a scale of 1 to 10.
Dominic Thiem: Out in the first round and this has become a Faust legend.
Diablo: Good news Dominic, you will finally win that last elusive first Major!
Dominic: What is the bad news?
Devil: You’ll find out soon.
The guests: There is no youth squad left. On the men’s side, the 18 players won three matches against each other.
Aryna Sabalenka: A player in the top five who has not yet been to the second week of a Major. In her 6-0 third set against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Sabalenka, the tallest remaining seed in the women’s draw at the time, made 17 (!) Unforced errors.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.