© Ella Ling

John Isner

Notes from Roland Garros - day five

   

Bitesize bits from day five at Roland Garros…

Incroyable
John Isner seems to have a thing for long matches. Almost two years to the day that he and Nicolas Mahut broke all records in the book during their 11 hour and five minute epic at Wimbleon, the American was back at it again, against another Frenchman. Paul-Henri Mathieu, the French wild card who broke his toe four days before Roland Garros began, went two sets to one up over the American, before Isner came roaring back to take it into a fifth. And, as is his wont, they kept on playing. But this time it was the Frenchman who prevailed, 18-16 in the fifth, prompting Isner to say, “I’m going to go home. I don’t even want to think about tennis right now.”

Incroyable part deux
Given the day’s later events, this may now not seem quite so incredible, but, trailing Jarkko Niemenen 0-4 and receiving treatment on his back, it seemed like the last thing Andy Murray would be doing was walking off the court with a win. Confessing that his team had urged him to retire, much like he did against Viktor Troicki a year ago, Murray’s injury forced him to swing freely, and led to purple fruits. Winning in four sets, Murray was practically in tears at the end.

Fabio does it again
It must be something about the French Open. The Italian followed the suit of other five-set-conquering-heroes (such as David Goffin), with an 8-6 final set win over Viktor Troicki. Hope his knee/leg/other appendage is ok.

14 out of 15
That’s Francesca Schiavone’s record at Roland Garros. The Italian, who triumphed in Paris in 2010, has dropped just the one match since, in the final last year, and she’s still going in 2012, winning in three over Tsvetana Pironkova.

Sharing is caring
Richard Gasquet and Grigor Dimitrov decided to show the public a bit more of themselves today. Gasquet left his lunch on the court, while Dimitrov thought he might help his five-set cramp by pulling his shorts down. And they thought tennis was easy.

Paused for the next day
Maria Sharapova, who will have to see if she can continue her scintillating form against Ayumi Morita on Friday morning rather than Thursday night.

Cruising through
Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Julien Benneteau, Janko Tipsarevic, Nicolas Almagro, Milos Raonic, Mikhail Youzhny, Tommy Haas, Juan Monaco, Santiago Giraldo, Leonardo Mayer, Caroline Wozniacki, Li Na, Petra Kvitova, Arantxa Rus, Julia Goerges, Angelique Kerber, Christina McHale, Kaia Kanepi, Yaroslava Shvedova, Peng Shuai won their matches in straight sets.

Come back tomorrow for
Sloane Stephens, Agnieszka Radwanska v Svetlana Kuznetsova, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Nicolas Mahut v Roger Federer on Chatrier; Ana Ivanovic, Maria Sharapova, Gilles Simon v Stanislas Wawrinka, Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka on Lenglen; Tomas Berdych, Samantha Stosur, Juan Martin Del Potro, Anqelique Kerber on Court 1; Fernando Verdasco, Serena Williams & Bob Bryan on Court 2; and lots of doubles.