Monfils Strikes Again- Two days after pulling the major upset over #5 seed Tomas Berdych, Gael Monfils was the underdog once again on Wednesday. Ernests Gulbis mine and many others’ sleeper pick to make a run at this year. His 21-9 record this season came out of nowhere. He was ranked outside the top 100, and after drastically changing his forehand, Gulbis is up to number 40 in the rankings. He played a quick first round match and most thought that he would take out the over-played Monfils. Gael, however, had different plans. After losing a tight first set tiebreak, Monfils dug in. Everything Gulbis hit he got to and returned. Ernie was crushing the ball, but simply could not hit through the athletic Monfils. His speed and defensive skills were at the forefront of his 6-7(5) 6-4 7-6(4) 6-2. He looked fatigued, but if he can recover, he has a great shot to make a deep run in the tournament.
Tsonga Passes First Test- Jo Wilfried Tsonga has the weight of a nation on his shoulders, and thus far he has looked impressive. He played an in-form Jarko Niemenen, who was recently a finalist in Dusseldorf. Tsonga won 85% of his first serve points en route to a 7-6(6) 6-4 6-3 victory. He will play a fellow frenchman, Jeremy Chardonay Chardy in the next round.
Simon sets Querrey Clash- Another French man was victorious wednesday. Gilles Simon came out flat losing the first set to Pablo Cuevas in a tiebreak, before waking up and serving up some breadsticks, 6-1 6-1 6-1 in the next three sets. Sam Querrey continued to take advantage of his weak draw by taking out Jan Hajek 6-4 7-5 6-4. It should be an interesting match between these two, with Querrey attacking and Simon counter-punching. The French crowd will be rowdy for that one.
Roger Takes A Walk in the Park
Roger Federer had no trouble at all today, breezing through his match with Somdev Devvarman in under 90 minutes. Devvarman had absolutely nothing to hurt Federer. After breaking to open the match, Roger cruised through games with some jaw-dropping shot making. He had the Suzanne Lenglen crowd entertained for the whole match. Devvarman grinded, but that simply does not work against Federer. Final scoreline was 6-2 6-1 6-1.
Match of the Day- I have a very strong opinion about this one. Julien Bennetaeu and Tobias Kamke win the award, and I will write a post on just that match shortly.
Shot of the Day- Not much doubt today. Tobias Kamke chased down a lob from Bennetaeu and hit an incredible turn around one-handed backhand cross court for the winner. It clinched the game for him, and even had the French crowd on their feet.
Coming up: I talk about the Benny and Kamke match.