1/2 of Day 5 of Roland Garros

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Roland Garros this year has been a mixture of mainly grey and hardly any blue skys, 14 – 17° and a reasonably strong wind which has left a large number of fans huddled in the stands, wrapped up in their jackets, and hoping for a chance to grab some tea. Luckily for them, the tennis has been spectacular in past couple of days. Today was no exception.

Jelena Jankovic started the fifth day of the tournament with a win against Kurumi Nara with a win on Court Philippe Chatrier. Jankovic didn’t start strong and merely tried to outralley Nara, continously hitting the ball to her opponent and waiing for a mistake to be made. The game stayed on serve until 5-5 when Jankovic finally broke and served out the set for 7-5. She soon realised that she could win the match, broke straight away, then started laughing at her own mistakes. It’s always good to see a player at this level sill having fun on the court.  Narah seemed defeated at this point and soon found herself 4-0. Having saved a few break points, Jankovic eventually triumphed 6-0 to win. The first set was the more impressive and Narah seemed to give up in fight durig the second.

David Ferrer seemed to float around the court, making every ball that Simone Boletti hit, and punishing him for doing so. He took the first two sets 6-2, 6-3 in relatively quick fashion at just under 40 mins. Boletti never managed to break and Ferrer converted most. Ferrer, the 5th seed, will be looking forward to his match on Saturday considering how easily he managed to dispatch today’s victim. The Spaniard then comfortably took the third to drop just 7 games all match.

If Roger Federer is the best player of all time, then Rafael Nadal is the best player at Roland Garros on Court Philippe Chatrier. Having not won in 2009, Nadal will be looking to extend his best run on 4 Grand Slam titles here and claim the elusive 9th. Only 5 single handed players have ever managed to beat Nadal on a clay court and this is what Dominic Thiem would attempt today. With a record of 84-1, people were wondering if Thiem could cause the first uoset of the tournament in the Men’s Draw. He had recently beaten Stanislas Wawrinka, World number 3, in Madrid. Nadal opened the serving, saved a break point, and won the first game in 8 minutes. It’s clear that Thiem will be a top 30 player by this time next year. He moved Nadal around the court, made some beautiful drop shots, wasn’t intimidated, but made some foolish errors. Thiem would be aiming for a match involving power and angles – the former offering too many unforced errors resulting in him being broken on his first serve. Nadal moved ahead 5-1 and looked to serve for the set before Thiem showed what he was made of. Pure hard hitting either side of the court saw him break Nadal but the relief was short lived as Nadal took the set 6-2. The second and third sets went the same way for Thiem. He hit beautiful shots but unforced errors were his undoing and he eventually fell 6-2, 6-2, 6-2.

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