Connect with us

Phuket

French Open: Powerful pair

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET: When Serena Williams powered down three aces in the final game to beat Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-4 at Stade Roland Garros, she cemented her already legendary status in the game. The oldest winner – at 31 – of a Grand Slam in the modern era, the victory was, coincidentally, her 31st straight success. She has now won every Major at least twice, and is not only the current world number one, but arguably the greatest female player of all time.

And this despite a career-threatening injury to her foot, a rare blood disease, a game better suited to the faster surfaces of other major tournaments and a fragile temperament. After her win she confessed: “At that point [the final game] I was just so nervous [thinking] I’m not going to be able to hit ground strokes.”

Maria Sharapova will have taken scant consolation from that post-match confession, as she wondered how she could stem the incessant stream of winners.

The twenty-six-year-old Russian hits her ground strokes with almost equivalent ferocity, but her own serve, which cracks under pressure, lacks penetration, and her lack of mobility around the court was ruthlessly exposed by the panther-like Williams. Afterwards, she mused: “You know she’s going to be able to hit a big serve. If I was built like Serena, I hope I’d be able to serve like that too.”

The French Open usually produces its share of upsets, and this year, with blustery conditions and shifts of temperature, proved no exception. In the men’s draw, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga beat Roger Federer to raise Gallic hopes of a first French winner in the Open Era, but he then succumbed meekly to Spain’s David Ferrer, whose consistency off the ground and terrier-like ability to retrieve, have propelled him into the top echelons of the sport.

But the final was in many people’s minds played out in the first semi – between the two best players in the world. Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic would have almost certainly have contested an epic final, but were denied by a quirk of seeding: instead they contested the match of the tournament two days earlier. Nadal, eventually triumphed after four hours and 37 minutes of fluctuating drama, taking the fifth set 9-7. Nadal has lost just once in 60 matches on the red clay of Roland Garros, a feat unlikely ever to be matched.

That left Ferrer to confront his nemesis in his first ever Grand Slam final (his record against Nadal is 4 wins from 23 matches). He played with great heart and was, as always, remarkably consistent off the ground. But Nadal was in imperious mood, seemingly hitting the lines at will, and ignoring the rainy conditions and interruptions from protesters. He duly completed a straight sets win (6-3, 6-2, 6-3). His eighth French Open title. Yet another record. Like Serena Williams, his claims to sporting greatness are indisputable.

Ferrer was philosophical in defeat, admitting: “He has more power than me with his shots”, adding, “I need to play more aggressive … to finish more points at the net.” Easier said than done.

Wimbledon now awaits – with only Novak Djokovic likely to stand in the way of the rampant Rafael Nadal.

— Patrick Campbell

 

Want more from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Leave a comment below or join the discussion on Thaiger Talk Forums.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)34 mins ago

Bangkok parks, salons, tattoo, massage reopen Monday

Tourism1 hour ago

TAT declares Phuket “is ready” to reopen for tourism on July 1

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Covid UPDATE Sunday: 2,804 new infections and 18 Covid-related deaths

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

With nearly 60% of their population vaccinated, why is Chile’s Covid rate surging?

Tourism16 hours ago

Pattaya October reopening hampered by obstacles

Coronavirus (Covid-19)16 hours ago

Thong Lor again: 31 arrested in club violating Covid-19 rules

Coronavirus (Covid-19)17 hours ago

Pfizer vaccine application received, review process begun

Visa20 hours ago

Covid-19 prevention leads to 14 arrests of longterm overstays

Coronavirus (Covid-19)21 hours ago

Covid UPDATE: 3,277 new infections and 29 deaths, provincial totals

Thailand21 hours ago

Red tape and restrictions suggest a slow Phuket reopening

Phuket21 hours ago

UPDATE: Tourism Minister reportedly says July 1 ‘sandbox’ won’t happen

Tourism22 hours ago

Koh Samui eyes August 1 reopening, “Samui Sealed Route”

Weather23 hours ago

Village need rain? Have you considered a giant penis?

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Covid UPDATE Saturday: 3,277 new infections and 29 deaths

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 days ago

8.3% of Thailand’s 50 million vaccine target reached so far

Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism3 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending