FRENCH OPEN 2015: Day 11 Preview

Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland displayed a dazzling array of power tennis to end the hopes of fellow Swiss Roger Federer as he won their quarter-final showdown on court Suzanne Lenglen on a blustery Day 10 of the French Open at the Roland Garros in Paris. The 2014 Australian Open champion seeded 8th here, emerged from the shadow of his more illustrious opponent who is the all time leader among men with 17 major titles, hit breath-taking winners on either flank in his 6-4,6-3,7-6(4) win which puts him into his first semi-final in the French Capital.

Wawrinka forged ahead with a service break in the third game of the match and he never relinquished the momentum despite saving break points while serving for the set at 5-4. In the second set he broke broke in the seventh and ninth game to win it 6-3. Games went with serve in the third set and in the tie-break Wawrinka broke the deadlock with a shot that clipped the baseline and was over-ruled by the chair umpire. Much to Federer’s disbelief the point was not replayed and Wawrinka won both his points on serve and finally clinched the match on his second match point 6-4,6-3,7-6(4).

The 33 year old Federer who was bidding to reach his 37th grand slam semi-final was 4-0 in major tournaments and 16-2 in head to head against the 30 year Wawrinka who reached his fourth career grand slam semi-final. Federer won his only title in Paris in 2009 (d. Soderling) was also bidding to complete a second career slam having won 7 Wimbledon, 5 US Open and Four Australian titles. It marked the first time in 291 grand slam matches that Federer was unable to break the opponent’s serve in the entire match. For the record, he had four break point opportunities.

Three years after squandering five match points to Novak Djokovic and two years after his best showing at Roland Garros Jo Wilfred Tsonga once again reached the semi-final as he survived a forty minute delay in the second set and a dogged fightback from Kei Nishikori of Japan. The 14th seeded Tsonga delighted the Partisan crowd on court Phillipe Chatrier as he recovered after squandering two set lead before winning the 3 hour 45 minute match 6-1,6-4,4-6,3-6,6-3. Play was held up in the second set as stands were damaged injuring an old spectator and the break clearly seem to unsettle Tsonga.

He dropped serve at 5-2 but managed to hold on in the tenth game to win the second set 6-4. He missed break point opportunities at 4-4 in the third set and promptly dropped serve and lost the third set 4-6. Nishikori broke serve in the fourth game of the fourth set but Tsonga broke in the second game of the decider and won the fifth set 6-3 and will now play Wawrinka on Friday. The pair have split their six career meetings and stand 3-3 but Wawrinka defeated Tsonga in the opening rubber of the Davis Cup final 2014 in Lille, France where Switzerland clinched their maiden Davis Cup win.

The quarter-final line up to be played on Day 11 in the men’s section with my pick mentioned first :- ( seed in parenthesis with 2015 record)

Novak Djokovic (1) (39-2) v. Rafael Nadal (6) (29-9) ; Nadal leads 23-20
Andy Murray (3) (35-5) v. David Ferrer (7) (36-7) ; Murray leads 9-6

In the women’s singles the 2008 champion Ana Ivanovic of Serbia stormed into the semi-finals with a comprehensive 6-3,6-2 win over the 19th seeded Ukrainian Elina Svitolina and now goes on to meet the 13th seeded Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic; the conqueror of the defending champion Maria Sharapova yesterday. Today she beat the 21st seeded Spaniard Garbine Muruguza 7-6(3), 6-2. Both matches were played in windy conditions and the higher ranked players handled them better.

The line-up for the other women’s singles matches to be played on Day 11 is as under :-

Serena Williams (1) v. Sara Errani (17)
Timea Bacsinszky (23) v. Allison Van Uytvanck

– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy.You can reach him at the email: sportzcosmos@gmail.com]

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