ROLAND GARROS, Paris
[CR74] Teymuraz Gabashvili (RUS) defeated [CR12] Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 6-3, 7-6(9), 6-3. Gabashvili has never taken a set from Lopez; thus, this was a completely unexpected result. Lopez appeared flat, exhaustion was the probable cause. He tried to fight back in the second but it required more than he had in reserve.
[CR110] Jurgen Melzer (AUT) defeated [CR32] Adrian Mannarino (FRA) 7-6(5), 6-3, 7-6(4). Mannarino was the higher ranked player; yet, Melzer is a crafty veteran player who still has the game to compete at a high level. Mannarino found that out today when he failed to consolidate his break in the first set.
[CR83] Annika Beck (GER) defeated [CR14] Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) 6-2, 3-6, 6-1. Radwanska defeated Beck in their only other encounter, 6-0 and 6-0; therefore, despite not playing at her best, her lost today is another indication of how much Radwanska is struggling to find her game.
[CR40] Sloane Stephens defeated [CR15] Venus Williams 7-6(5), 6-1. Change, a fact of life; yet often we resist. As great a player as Venus has been, maybe the time has come for her to move on. She can still win matches, but it is no longer as easy as it once was. The desire to play is there, but Venus can no longer perform consistently at the level she once did and losing more and more matches can only have a detrimental effect.
[CR49] Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) defeated [CR23] Barbora Strycova (CZE) 7-6(5), 6-2. Pironkova leads their head-to-head, 2:1. Strycova needed to win the first set to change the outcome of this match. It’s draining to keep fighting back to stay even and worse when you have lost the last two encounters to your opponent. Strycova had chances, but just could not consolidate.