- The level of Burel and Ferro
The 2020 French tournament is clearly not good. But those who are still there provide pleasure. The day after the Hugo Guston candy, and Caroline Garcia’s mental victory, it was Fiona Ferro and Clara Burel who showed off their great qualities. The two players offered different styles to pick up their tickets for the 3rd round.
And in both cases, it was pleasant to see: the power and the winning shots for Ferro, the tactics and the counter for Burel, a calm and serene player. No matter what happens next, their Roland 2020 is already successful. But as long as it lasts a long time!
This Roland-Garros 2020 is a special vintage. So, it’s time for revolt for the galley slaves who live beyond the Top 100! They are exactly nine to have qualified for the round of 16 of the Parisian major and this is a first in Paris since the 1985 edition (9). In the Grand Slam, seeing nine players ranked beyond the top 100 go this far has not happened since the 1994 edition of Wimbledon. In this year when the game was shut down for six months, which had a heavy impact on the income of these players, this is good news.
The name of Attila Savolt will mean nothing to our young readers. Still, he was the last Hungarian player to reach the 3rd Round of the men’s singles at Roland Garros. It was in 2003. He had even reached the 16th twice (2000, and 2003 therefore, with defeats against Hewitt and Coria). Marton Fucsovics became his successor at this stage of the tournament after his victory against Albert Ramos (7-6, 6-3, 7-5). Best player of his nation since Balazs Taroczy and his 13 titles in the 1980s, the 63rd in the world confirmed his victory against Daniil Medvedev in the first round with style. To close the loop: Fucsovics was coached by Savolt in 2016, at a time when his career had to finally take off at almost 25 years old.
- Shapovalov is already packing
We were licking our chops at the idea of seeing him face Grigor Dimitrov in the third round. But Denis Shapovalov will ultimately not be there. The Canadian, whose most regularity at the highest level was recently boasted and who remained on a sumptuous semi-final in Rome, fought but could not avoid going off the road against Roberto Carballes Baena, 101st player in the world. Clearly in a day without and visibly adductor damage, Shapovalov did what he could. He even served for the match in the 5th set, but his 106 unforced errors ended up condemning him after 5 hours of fighting. When he is in automatic watering mode, the Canadian is not pretending.
- Cornet, the rage to win was not enough
Very close to the first Grand Slam quarter-final of his career in New York, Alizé Cornet hoped to confirm on clay. As usual, the Niçoise did not give up against the Chinese Shuai Zhang, 39th in the world. She even dismissed 4 match points at the end of the second set, including one after a memorable defense. But she lacked percussion in her game and ended up surrendering (6-4, 7-6). This is not a poor performance on paper since her opponent was (a little) better classified, but there was room to join Clara Burel in the 3rd round, which would have ensured the presence of a Frenchwoman in the eighth of final.
Daniil Medvedev is no longer there and the torch has returned to Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov. If the two Russians have passed the course of the second round, their very irregular level is cause for concern. The worry is more appropriate for Khachanov who had all the difficulties in the world to beat the unpredictable Jiri Vesely on court n ° 14. Months go by and “KK” is struggling to regain its 2018 level which allowed him to win the Rolex Paris-Masters against Novak Djokovic. His change of racquet operated in early 2019 is still playing tricks on him. And the prospect of a duel with the Serbian in the round of 16 seems to be bad news.
For Rublev, it is less serious. The No.13 seed performed better than against Sam Querrey on Thursday, but it didn’t have continuity. His victory of the day was also the defeat of Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. The Andalusian served for the winning of the set in the first round, before cracking, then he was not able to ride the winning of the third act. It’s a shame because Rublev was not three notches above. He will also have to raise the level against the returning Kevin Anderson if he wants to go to the second week.
The Top … and the Flop
- Ostapenko-Pliskova, crossed destinies
She seems to find the good “vibes” that made her the sensation of the 2017 edition. With Jelena Ostapenko, it’s often all or nothing, and at Roland-Garros more than elsewhere since she had won there. , is always inclined on the 1st lap before this fortnight. So here it is in the 3rd round having released 9 games in all and for all. From there to seeing her go to the end? Maybe not, but the Latvian has regained all her pep, which allowed her to suffocate Karolina Pliskova, swept away in 1:10.
And this is precisely where the shoe pinches. The poster promised a shock or at least a good battle. But the number 2 seed quickly appeared resigned. Very slow in her movements, deprived of her first bullet (49%), yet one of her master weapons, the Czech did not put up fierce resistance. Probably not 100% physically, Pliskova eclipsed very early, as too often in Grand Slam.