Monday, 28 May 2012

Azarenka fights past Brianti at Roland Garros

Victoria Azarenka was on the edge of one of the biggest ever shocks in French Open history but somehow she found a way back from the brink in a dramatic first round match against Alberta Brianti.  Brianti had break points to serve for the match at 7-5 5-0, but the wayward Azarenka produced her finest tennis when it mattered with a second serve ace that changed the face of the match.  In this kind of form, Azarenka's chances of winning the French Open look to be slim; however winning a match like this can give you a whole deal of confidence and as long as you get through the first week, it really does not matter how you do it!

Highlights from Azarenka's nailbiter with Brianti

In other matches, Agnieszka Radwanska and Li Na both cruised to victories over potentially tricky opponents.  Li defeated Sorana Cirstea with a composed 6-2 6-1 win, meanwhile Radwanska set up a second round clash with Venus Williams as she eased past the brainless ballbashing of Bojana Jovanovski, 6-1 6-0.  There were a number of notable exits from the women's draw on day two; the German duo of Sabine Lisicki and Mona Barthel were both ousted in straight sets.  Lisicki's recent form indicated she could struggle today and she did so in a 6-4 6-3 loss to Bethanie Mattek-Sands.  Barthel's loss was far more surprising and particularly the nature of it as she hit a whopping 44 unforced errors in a 6-1 6-1 loss to Lauren Davis.  Mattek-Sands and Davis were just two of a staggering ten American women to successfully make it into the second round.

Highlights from Li's first match on Philippe Chatrier since claiming the 2011 title

In the men's draw, the most exciting match on paper was the one between Gilles Simon and Ryan Harrison.  Harrison looked to be on his way to the giant killing, but wasted two set points for a two set lead and ultimately never recovered as Simon cranked up the pressure to record a 3-6 7-5 6-4 6-1 victory.  The top seeds all remained unscathed as Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Tomas Berdych, John Isner and Milos Raonic all progressed to the second round in straight sets.

I have now coloured my original draws so you can see how I have fared in the first round so far for the mens and womens draws for Roland Garros... there is quite a bit of red!!!

Tomorrow: Day 3 will see the first round wrap up and I will preview the best of the second round matches for Day 4 of the 2012 Roland Garros.

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