French Open – some observations, part 1


The French event of the year is approaching its boiling point. The big three have prevailed and are, together with David Ferrer, ready for semifinals. The highest level of entertainment can be expected by all tennis lovers. Before turning our attention to the breathtaking resolution of the drama, I´d like to share some reflections and conclusions as to this year´s version.

First in mind is Tommy Haas – a player with a true passion for tennis. After over a year of injuries the German started out last year with zero ATP points, then 33 years old. A year later and ranked 112 he beats his way through the tough qualifications and proceeds to the third round in the main draw.

Tommy Haas could have chosen retirement and umbrella drinks, but made the opposite – and that in order to experience the feeling of adrenalin and man to man combat on a great court again – respect!

The two last years of Paul-Henri Mathieu are very similar to those of Tommy Haas. Prior to the Paris event the French was ranked 261 and was awarded a WC. The Son of Strasbourg survived until the third round and all his matches went to five sets. The quality of the game was mixed, but his fighter hart on equal level with Nadal.

In the first round Mathieu turned a 0 – 2 set shortage to a match win against Bjorn Phau. In the second round he beat Isner18 -16 in the fifth set. In the third round against Granollers he recovered from 0 – 2 till 2 – 2. At 1 – 5 in the decider the enthusiasm is still shining in Mathieu´s eyes like always during the tournament – hats off!

I cannot neglect to mention the two first sets of del Potro´s match against Federer. As usual, cloudy and heavy conditions on the Suzanne Lenglen court didn´t suit RF. But what an impact and accuracy del Potro showed up! The explanation behind this was a mobility and power in extreme positions not seen since 2009. The tactic of returning far back, thus creating an immediate imprint, and obstructing Federer´s serve penetration, worked excellently on the heavy court.

The tiebreak in the second set featured a hitting power hardly seen by me in a tennis match before.

Not surprisingly none of these exceptional events were recognized by the commentator on Swedish Eurosport. Quite awkwardly it took the same commentator over a set to register the Argentine´s significant troubles with his knee – especially as this altered the match sequence completely.

There is more to be remembered – I will be back soon.