PostHeaderIcon “Shock or Not?” Honors from the French Open Quarterfinals

© FFT

© FFT

Before the start of the French Open I was expecting few surprises and very little drama.  Oh how wrong I was! This French has been filled with tons of material for my “Shock or Not?” columns, and the past two days of quarterfinal action were no exception. So settle in for today’s column featuring the quarterfinal results (including a couple of twofers), and one Monday leftover from Maria v. Sloane.

*** Standard Fare

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeats Roger Federer – Shock or Not? Shock

At least it’s a shock to me. I picked Roger to make it to the finals, and stick with him even after his rocky win over Simon in R16. My faith in Roger’s ability to come through at the big moments on the big stages blinded me to the vast improvement of Tsonga under the tutelage of Roger Rasheed. Jo was poised, focused, and simply overpowering in this win over the man who was once considered the second best player on clay. The odds of a French champion on the men’s side had never looked better!

Sara Errani defeats Aga Radwanska – Shock or Not? Shock

Again, this is a shock at least to my mind. Sara had a pretty horrible time in her last match against Carla Suarez Navarro because she was feeling sick. That, along with her bad head-to-head against Aga AND her not so great (0-28) record against top 10 players led me to believe she’d go down in defeat to the elder Radwanska. I couldn’t have been more wrong, proving once again to never underestimate the grit and moxie of The Little Italian That Could.

David Ferrer defeats Tommy Robredo – Shock or Not? Not

Tommy’s dramatic comeback against Almagro after two prior dramatic comebacks proved to be WAY too much for his legs.  He had nothing left to give, and it showed. However, I am shocked (and disheartened) that Tommy only won 4 games. It was an inglorious end to what had previously been a glorious tournament. On the other side, Ferrer has cut through his draw like a hot knife through butter. Jo should be wary of their upcoming semifinal.

Novak Djokovic defeats Tommy Haas– Shock or Not? Not

All I can say is that Tommy certainly had his chances, but just couldn’t capitalize. And even though he won, Novak spent way more time on the court needed because he wasn’t executing cleanly. Could it affect his semifinal against Rafa? We’ll find out Friday.

*** One Liners

Victoria Azarenka defeats Maria Kirilenko– Shock or Not? Ditto Not

Rafa Nadal defeats Stan Wawrinka – Shock or Not? So very Not

*** Shock Twofers

Serena Williams defeats Svetlana Kuznetsova – Shock or Not? Not

Serena Williams defeats Svetlana Kuznetsova in 3 tough sets – Shock or Not? Definitely Not

Like I wrote in my quarterfinal preview, Sveta was the only woman in the draw who could/would do likely damage to Serena. Serena has a fairly one-sided record against Svetlana, but many of the matches were close. And the last time they met on clay, coincidentally at the French Open, Sveta won. So “no”, I’m not shocked that Serena won, and “no” I’m also not shocked that she had to sweat out some tense moments before pulling ahead in the third set.

Jelena's tepid handshake with Maria

Maria Sharapova defeats Jelena Jankovic – Shock or Not? Not

Maria Sharapova gets bageled in 1st set – Shock or Not? Big Shock

As expected, this match was long and dramatic with Maria eventually coming out on top. But never in my wildest dreams would I have expected Jelena to hand Maria a bagel set. THAT was definitely the shock of the Day Two quarterfinals for me! Side note to Jelena: Come on girlfriend, shake your opponent’s hand, don’t slap it then walk away. Act like the adult that you are, put on your big girl shoes, and don’t diminish your performance in this manner…because it was a good one!

***Monday Leftover

Maria Sharapova defeats Sloane Stephens – Shock or Not? Not +

Maria won this match handily, as expected.  I like Sloane, but… Well I’ll just let my tweet after the match say it all:

Without those smaller wins, there’s no way that she will be able to sustain (or justify) a top 20 ranking. Moreover, without those wins she won’t even have the confidence to attempt to go higher. Just my opinion…

2 Responses to ““Shock or Not?” Honors from the French Open Quarterfinals”

  • David says:

    Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeats Roger Federer – Shock or Not? Shock SHOCKISH

    Jo didn’t let on in other tournaments that he was so ready for his closeup at the French. His draw didn’t portend of things to come either. But he showed us out of the blue that he’s ready. I thought Fed would get to the semis on experience alone. The Simon match, which he should have won in 3, showed that the Fed’s 31 yrs o-l-d. A step too slow is deadly at this level. He’s in Sampras 2001 territory. No titles since last summer at Cincinnati. Who is this?

    Sara Errani defeats Aga Radwanska – Shock or Not? Shock NOT

    All the stats went against her, but Errani is last year’s finalist. She’s shown no slowdown in her clay prowess. Aga’s worst surface is clay, and has been nursing a shoulder injury (which she very admirably has played through all the way into the quarters).

    David Ferrer defeats Tommy Robredo – Shock or Not? Not TOTALLY NOT

    Yay for “the other Tommy” to have a great French. He’s not Ferrer.

    Novak Djokovic defeats Tommy Haas– Shock or Not? Not NOT

    I thought Haas might have put up a better fight, maybe taken a set. Nope.

    Victoria Azarenka defeats Maria Kirilenko– Shock or Not? Ditto Not NOT

    Yay for Kirilenko to be lucky not to have to face Li Na and get into the quarters.

    Rafa Nadal defeats Stan Wawrinka – Shock or Not? So very Not WE HEART STAN, BUT VERY NOT

    Geaux Stan! First quarters at the French, through a tough draw, after a solid showing in the clay season. Gets his head together to come back from 2-0 sets down to beat Gasquet. Very awesome. He’s not even a shadow of Rafa.

    Serena Williams defeats Svetlana Kuznetsova – Shock or Not? Not NOT

    Serena Williams defeats Svetlana Kuznetsova in 3 tough sets – Shock or Not? Definitely Not NOT

    Sveta showed some great heart and self-belief. She’ll be seeded at Wimbledon as a result. Other players should take note of what rattles Serena.*cough* Vika *cough* Maria Gotta mix great D with great O. Otherwise forget it.

    Maria Sharapova defeats Jelena Jankovic – Shock or Not? Not NOT

    Maria Sharapova gets bageled in 1st set – Shock or Not? Big Shock YOU’RE KIDDING, RIGHT?

    This bad blood dates back to the juniors. It’s almost like Maria said, “ok, here’s a set at love, now let’s go”. The “handshake” said it all.

    Maria Sharapova defeats Sloane Stephens – Shock or Not? Not NOT

    You said it. Personally I think Taylor Townsend has a better chance than Sloane.

  • Shockish – I like that. 😉
    As for Maria and Jelena bad blood, then I implore both of them, not just Jelena, to put on their big girl shoes and get on with it. Or maybe big gurl shoes, depending on the shoe.

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