It was an awesome beginning to the most anticipated match of the day at Roland Garros; del Potro and Djokovic split the first two sets 6-3, 3-6, and play has been postponed until the start of the day tomorrow. It promises to be a wicked conclusion!
Here's a decent article from the folks at RolandGarros.com about the first part of the match this evening: http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/news/articles/2011-05-27/201105271306526570881.html
Raonic and Dancevic lose their first round matches
Milos Raonic's first main-draw French Open journey was cut short today, when Michael Berrer (GER) defeated him in four sets, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. Canadian Frank Dancevic suffered a similar fate; he was also defeated in four sets ( 6-1, 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2 ) by Simone Bolelli of Italy. (read more)
Wozniak and Marino advance to second round
Rebecca Marino defeated Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) yesterday in her first round match up in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3. She will play Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez (ESP) (view head-to-head) in her second round match. (read more)
Qualifier and fellow Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak achieved even better results this afternoon, winning her first round match versus Junri Namigata of Japan with a sizzling 6-1, 6-1 score. Aleksandra will face World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki (view head-to-head) in the second round. Caro ousted her first-round opponent, Kimiko Date-Krumm, also of Japan, with similar ease at 6-0, 6-2 today. (read more)
Schedule of Play
According to the schedule, Wozniak and Marino will not be playing their next singles matches tomorrow, although Marino will be first up on Court 11 in doubles action. Television coverage is being provided by TSN and TSN2 in Canada.
Canadians Frank Dancevic and Aleksandra Wozniak qualified for the main singles draws at Roland-Garros today.
Two Canadian women began the day hoping to qualify for the main draw. Wozniak was able to get it done in straight sets over Jamie Hampton (USA), 7-5 6-3. Stephanie Dubois easily won the first set of her match against Nuria Llagostera Vives (ESP), but things turned around for the Spaniard when she won the second set in a tiebreak. Dubois would lose in three sets and thus will not be joining Wozniak in the main the draw.
On the men's side, Dancevic won in convincing fashion over his Romanian opponent, Victor Crivoi, 6-1 6-3. Dancevic will face Simone Bolelli (ITA) who also advanced through the qualifying rounds to earn a spot in the main draw. Their career head-to-head is even at one match a piece, but they haven't played each other since 2008.
Milos Raonic, who has been seeded No.26 in the tournament, will play Michael Berrer of Germany in the first round at the French Open.
Berrer is currently ranked 94 in the world, and reached a career high ranking of 42 last year. Raonic and Berrer are separated in age by 10 years, and they have never faced each other at the ATP tour level or in a Grand Slam. Berrer is a tall lefty who has had some success playing doubles on clay, so he may prove to be a tough opponent for Milos in the first round.
Looking ahead, Raonic is in (4) Andy Murray's section of the draw. Raonic could meet Murray (GBR) in the third round, which would be a huge match to say the least. Other names of note in this section of the draw are (21) Alexandr Dolgopolov, (8) Jurgen Melzer, and (11) Nicolas Almagro.
As it turns out, Rebecca Marino and Aleksandra Wozniak have been placed in the same section of the women's singles draw. Marino is set to play Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) and Wozniak will face Junri Namigata (JPN) in the first round.
The tournament itself gets underway this Sunday, May 22. TSN and TSN2 will have coverage throughout the 2-week event at Roland-Garros beginning on the main network at 1PM ET on Sunday. There is also a French Open preview show scheduled for 11AM ET on Saturday on TSN.
Both Aleksandra Wozniak and Stephanie Dubois earned a chance to play for a spot in the main draw in the French Open with wins today.
Wozniak was dominant on serve as she took out No.22 seed Kathrin Woerle (GER) in less than an hour, 6-2 6-3. Dubois defeated Oksana Kalashnikova (GEO) in straight sets as well, needing a tiebreak in the second set to close out the match 6-4 7-6(5).
The final round of qualifying for both the Men and Women is on Friday, May 20. Wozniak will face the No.9 seed Jamie Hampton (USA), and Dubois will play the No.4 seed Nuria Llagostera Vives (ESP). On the men's side, Dancevic will take on Victor Crivoi (ROU) who is unseeded in the qualifying draw.
It was another promising day for Canadians looking to qualify at Roland-Garros. The women's qualifying rounds started today, and Frank Dancevic was looking to advance to the third round in the men's qualifying draw.
In what proved to be a very tight match, Frank Dancevic defeated Eduardo Schwank of Argentina, 7-6(3) 7-6(5). His opponent in the next round will be Victor Crivoi (ROU) -- again, the two have yet to meet at the tour level so there is no head-to-head record to speak of. For what it's worth (probably not much, if at all), Dancevic has a slightly higher ranking than the Romanian. Presumably, their third round match will take place tomorrow.
As for the women, both Aleksandra Wozniak and Stephanie Dubois advanced to the second round of qualifying with wins today. Wozniak defeated Jing-Jing Lu (CHN), 6-0 7-5, and Dubois pulled out a win in three sets over Alexandra Panova (RUS), 7-5 4-6 6-2. Heidi El Tabakh was elimanted in the first round by Australian Sally Peers in straight sets.
There are just a few more days of qualifying before the main draws are finalized and announced, which is when we'll see where Milos Raonic and Rebecca Marino end up in their respective draws. Let's hope a few more Canadians can make it through qualifying to join them there.
Qualifying for the men's singles got underway at Roland-Garros this morning. Two Canadians, Peter Polansky and Frank Dancevic, were in action today and achieved mixed results.
After taking the first set in a tiebreak against Lukasz Kubot (POL), Polansky would end up losing the match in three sets, 7-6(3) 1-6 0-6. Dancevic closed out his first round match in straight sets against his Slovakian opponent, Lukas Lacko, 6-2 6-2. Dancevic will face Eduardo Schwank (ARG) in the second round of qualifying. The two have never met at the ATP World Tour level, or at a major or in Davis Cup play.
The the qualifying draw for the women's singles won't be released until later today.
Of course, Milos Raonic will be entered directly into the main draw since he is currently No.28 in the ATP Rankings. This means Milos should be seeded in the tournament as well. Being seeded at a Major is obviously a huge deal in its own right but it's also an advantage when it comes to early round opponents, which was a problem recently in Madrid and Rome. The main draw won't be available until Friday, when the qualifying rounds have been completed.
Until then, why not check out Part 2 of the Globe & Mail's 3-part series on The Tennis Project?
Here's a great article by Rachel Brady from the Globe & Mail. It's another "Brief History of Milos" detailing the early days when Raonic used to get up early in the morning to get some training in before school started. It's a very Canadian story, except in this case it's tennis practice instead of hockey practice.
And I think we have a new nickname for Milos:
In jest, Mr. Raonic calls his son “The Tennis Project” because this journey has been no one-man endeavour.
If that nickname doesn't catch on, I may use it for the name of my progressive rock band. Expect the debut double-album, entitled "The Canadian Missile", to hit shelves sometime in late 2024.
Fernando Verdasco defeated Milos Raonic at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, 6-4 6-4.
Milos wasn't serving well to start the match. The first serve % was low and he was having a tough time winning points off his second serve. Raonic faced 4 break points against him in the first game alone before he was able to hold. The opposite was true for Verdasco, who was serving lights out. With Milos serving at 1-1, Verdasco earned two more break chances and converted on the second one to take the early lead. Toward the end of the set, Raonic settled down and was having an easier time holding his serve. But he was still down a break when Verdasco was serving for the set at 5-4. Verdasco didn't give Raonic any chance of getting back on serve and held comfortably to take the set. Milos hit only 3 aces during the set.
The serve was looking much better for Milos to open the second set, but Verdasco was still contesting every point. But Raonic's serve would drop off again in his next game, resulting in Verdasco getting the break and a 2-1 lead. Things weren't looking good for Milos at this point. Raonic had an opportunity to turn things around with Verdasco serving at 3-2, but was unable to convert on break point. Verdasco continued to serve well throughout the set and never allowed Raonic to have an easy service game.
The single break of serve in Verdasco's favour proved to be the difference in the second set, just as it was in the first. It just wasn't Raonic's day. With the win, Verdasco levels his head-to-head record against Raonic at 2-2. The Saga continues...
That's two weeks in a row that Milos has had tough opening round matches in ATP 1000 events. Despite going out in the first round in Madrid and Rome, he's had an impressive clay court season. As far as I'm concerned, he's exceeded expectations. Let's not forget, Roland-Garros is just around the corner.
Now time to focus my attention on the rest of the Nadal / Djokovic final in Madrid...
The draw is out and Milos Raonic will play Fernando Verdasco (ESP) in the first round at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome this week.
And so the Raonic / Verdasco Saga continues... Until Raonic had retired during their last meeting at the Estoril Open, Milos had a perfect 2-0 head to head record against Verdasco. But those two matches didn't count according to Verdasco since they were played on hardcourt and, as we all know by now, it's only real tennis if it's played on the red clay.
All joking aside, it isn't an easy draw looking ahead for Milos. Awaiting Raonic should he advance to the second round is No.5 seed Robin Söderling (SWE), who isn't exactly a lightweight. There's also a possible third round match with Nicolas Almagro (ESP), but let's not get ahead of ourselves. Full disclosure: Raonic is situated in Novak Djokovic's (SRB) quarter of the draw. Djokovic came back from a set down to defeat a red-hot Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) in Madrid today, who left players such as Andy Murray (GBR) and Tomas Berdych (CZE) in his wake as he reached his first semi-final at an ATP 1000 Masters event.
The Raonic / Verdasco re-re-rematch will be last to go on Centrale on Sunday, May 8. The schedule for Rogers Sportsnet lists Monday (May 9) as the start of their TV coverage of the tournament in Rome. The finals in Madrid will be on Sportsnet One starting at 12:30PM ET on Sunday, so it is unclear if they'll be showing the Raonic match online or on TV. Who knows, they may pick it up at the last minute or show it on tape delay. If not, just surf on over to your favourite sports streaming website and watch it that way. And if all else fails, there's always the live scores ticker.
Since I don't know how to cheer someone on in Italian, I'll just keep it simple: Go Milos!
Feliciano Lopez defeated Milos Raonic in the first round of the Mutua Madrid Open, 4-6 7-6(2) 6-3.
Milos Raonic came into Madrid ranked #25 in the world, coming off his semi-final run at the Estoril Open. But his ranking didn't prevent him from being dealt a less than favourable draw, having to face Feliciano Lopez (ESP) in the first round in front of a Spanish audience. And let's not forget who looms largely in the second round... some guy named Roger Federer.
It was clear early on that Raonic's serve was going to make a huge difference in the match. The first serve percentage was very high (in the 70s range), which was much better than we've seen in matches over the last couple of weeks. On top of that, Milos racked up a whopping 11 aces in the first set alone. Those are indoor hardcourt numbers, reminiscent of San Jose and Memphis! Raonic didn't face any break points in the opening set, and only needed to convert one point to break Lopez and take the set in just 30 minutes.
It was the same story in the second. Raonic was serving phenomenally. The aces kept coming, and the first serves were making it difficult for Lopez to work his way into Milos' service games. Lopez won the majority of the points off Raonic's second serve. But there wasn't a break point to be seen throughout most of the set. Serving at 4-5, Raonic hit a benchmark with his 20th ace of the match. On the hardcourts earlier this year, this usually meant that Raonic would end up winning the match behind his dominating serve.
At 5-6, Raonic held at love to forec a tiebreak to decide the second set. Lopez earned a mini-break on Milos' first point, but Raonic recovered nicely and followed that up by hitting an ace. But Lopez rallied, and won the tiebreak 7-2. This one was going the distance.
Lopez kept on rolling, breaking Raonic to open the third set. Raonic got all of his first serves in that game, but Lopez was apparently not phased by this. In his next service game, Raonic was again flawless on his first serves and would hold easily this time around. Milos was unable to get back on serve, however, failing to convert the only break chance he earned against Lopez in the third set. Lopez picked up his game and raised his first serve percentage, riding the single break to a 6-4 win.
The back injury that forced Raonic to retire from his semi-final match at the Estoril Open didn't seem to be bothering him today, as evidenced by the soaring ace count and accurate first serves. Perhaps this had something to do with playing at altitude in Madrid. This was a tight, high quality match from both players who each dropped serve only once. The tiebreak in the second proved to be the difference, and it was a surprise that Milos lost it considering how well he was serving.
I guess we will have to wait a little longer for a Raonic / Federer match. Perhaps they'll meet in a major this year...
But if it's any consolation, Verdasco is out of Madrid as well. He lost to Yen-Hsun Lu (TPE) in straight sets by a narrow margin. Now we're looking forward to see Raonic play doubles with Almagro against Verdasco / Lopez.