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TTT – French Open Update, Day 4

Just a few interesting angles to cover on day 4, but first, we’ll take a quick look at the matches of note I mentioned in yesterday’s writeup. Pere Riba offered zero resistance to Janko Tipsarevic, winning only 4 games, while Sergiy Stakhovsky was too much for Kei Nishikori, his excellent serving a big factor in the 4 set victory. Tipsy came into the French having missed both the Madrid and Rome Masters events, but has nonetheless looked good in his two matches and plays Federer next, who destroyed his opponent today, French wildcard Maxime Teixeira, a 181st ranked 22 yr old. Three years ago Tipsy lost to Fed 10-8 in the 5th set at the Aussie Open in round 3. Can he push him to the limit again on the clay? This could be interesting come Friday.

Another interesting Friday encounter will be Djoker vs. Del Potro, as both rolled to easy wins today. I watched a good chunk of the Argentine’s match and wow, does he hit a hard, flat ball…from both sides. No one the tour hits a harder, flatter ball than DP. Djoker’s epic defense will be tested, but with his incredible confidence, combined with his top notch return game, I expect his winning streak, now at 39 straight to start the year, to continue.

In other matches today, 3 top 20 Frenchmen all moved on rather easily – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Richard Gasquet, and Gael Monfils. Meanwhile, way out on Court 17, Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, the 30 seed here, took out lucky loser Marcel Ilhan of Turkey 13-11 in the 5th set. Surprisingly, despite going so deep into a 5th set on the clay, the match was still completed in just under 4 hours. Showing how close it was, the final point tally was 174 for the Spaniard, 173 for Ilhan.

In tomorrow’s matches, two Americans have interesting matchups – Sam Querry vs. Ljubicic, and Mardy Fish vs. Robin Haase, a tall, skinny, 24 yr old from the Netherlands with a good deal of talent but not much experience. Ranked 54 in the world, Haase is coming off his best slam showing earlier this year in Australia, where he lost to Roddick in the 3rd round. As for Querry/Ljubicic, the oddsmakers have made the 32 yr old Croatian a favorite, but after seeing Querry handle Kohlschreiber with ease in round 1, I rate this as a tossup. There will be lots of heavy forehands in this battle as the 6′ 4″ Ljubic and 6′ 6″ Querry both crush the ball from that wing.

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