Windy Tuesday in Roland Garros

Windy Tuesday in Roland Garros

This is day 1 of my tennis blogging from Roland Garros and it wasn’t a nice welcome. When I arrived to Paris at around 11 am, it was raining and was quite cold.

The rain stopped later but the wind kept blowing and it was quite a difficult day to play tennis.

Many players were struggling with conditions and most of them knew what they had to do in the wind; play high percentage tennis, don’t go for the lines and work for every point.

If the player had the wind in the back, he or she mostly just kept good deep shots in play and the opponent sooner or later played a short ball – against the wind.

Then it was only the matter of not overhitting the short ball.

Here are some thoughts on players and matches I saw today…

Tsonga – Bennetueau : 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4

Both players started the match very cautiosly and played high percentage shots in the windy conditions. Tsonga was the first to start going for more after a few games.

Jo Wilfried Tsonga serving

He also had the power to hit through the wind when he had the wind in the face. Tsonga kept a more attacking game – mostly with his forehand – throughout the match and deserved to win in 4 sets.

Ferrero – Ljubicic: 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3

Ferrero and Ljubicic had a battle royale and I caught the last set from 2:2.

Ferrero seemed fresher and played much more controlled tennis in difficult conditions than Ljubicic. J.C. played with more top spin, away from the lines and seemed to have less problems with the wind than Ljubicic.

When Ivan was broken at 4:3, he missed 3 shots while going for winners. That was not the right play in these conditions…

Monaco – Baghdatis: 6-3, 6-2, 6-4

Baghdatis has no chances on clay courts in the long term if he keeps hitting the ball so flat. His shots have very little spin, fly low above the net and are not best suited to deal with high kicking top spin shots from clay court specialists like Monaco.

Monaco on the other hand looked and played great. His racquet head speed on the forehand is amazing and he plays safe but very penetrating shots.

Monaco also moved very fast and he’ll surely come very far in this Roland Garros 2009…

Dokic – Sprem: 3-6, 6-1, 6-2

One interesting thing about Jelena Dokic is her breathing. I am not sure how well you can hear that on TV, but here you can hear every breath she makes.

You can hear most player exhale when they hit but you rarely hear them inhale. Not with Dokic – you can clearly hear her inhale when her opponent hits the ball and then an exhale when she hits it.

Jelena Dokic forehand

She doesn’t add any sounds like Azarenka or Sharapova, just a quick »pshht«. It gets very interesting when she is in a fast rally and has to keep breathing very fast and you can hear every inhale and every exhale.

I watched Karolina Sprem for the first time live and she hits the ball clean and fast. I didn’t analyze the match in detail but at first glance she didn’t look weaker player than Dokic.

Perhaps there are just a few incorrect tactical decisions that cost her the advantage in most ball exchanges.

I have the ticket for Suzanne Lenglen court tomorrow but I’ll try to get a ticket for the court nr. 1 where Polona Hercog from Slovenia will play her second round…

Thanks for reading and let me know what you’d like me to share while I am at Roland Garros this week!

Related posts:

Tsonga Wins Against Monaco – To The French Delight!
How To Use Wind, Sun, and Heat To Your Advantage In A Tennis Match
Roger Federer’s Biggest Test So Far At The French Open 2009
How You Can Always Finish The Practice In A Positive Way
Polona Hercog Reaching The 2nd Round Of Roland Garros

Essential Tennis Instruction – FREE Video Lessons on How to Improve Your Serve

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