US Women go 10 for 10 in First Two Days of French Open

Who says Americans can’t play on clay? In the first two days of the French Open, the ladies from the United States are a perfect 10 for 10 in wins. It’s the first time since 2003 that so many US women have gained a berth in the second round in Paris. In 2003 11 US women made the second round.

The US women can still add to their total in the second round, as two more women Serena Williams and Jamie Hampton take the court on Tuesday for their first round matches.

Monday, May 28th results

Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) d. (12) Sabine Lisicki (GER) 64 63
(Q) Lauren Davis (USA) d. (30) Mona Barthel (GER) 61 61
Christina McHale (USA) d. (Q) Kiki Bertens (NED) 26 64 64
Vania King (USA) d. Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) 64 62
Varvara Lepchenko (USA) d. Ksenia Pervak (KAZ) 62 67(6) 64
Sloane Stephens (USA) d. Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) 64 76(6)

Sunday, May 27th results

Venus Williams (USA) d Paula Ormaechea (ARG) 46 61 63
Irina Falconi (USA) d Edina Gallovits-Hall (ROU) 36 63 61
(Q) Alexa Glatch (USA) d Anna Tatishvili (GEO) 63 57 64
(WC) Melanie Oudin (USA) d Johanna Larsson (SWE) 63 63

In five of the past seven years, a mere four American ladies made it out of the first round in Paris.

“A couple years ago everyone was asking me the opposite questions on why American tennis was so bad, said Bethanie Mattek-Sands who upset 12th seed Sabine Lisicki on Monday.  “I told them, I think we have some great young players coming up.  It’s just the WTA right now has a lot of depth.

“It really shows that some of the Americans are coming through playing tough, grinding it out here on the clay, and it’s awesome, I think.”

“It’s exciting.” Sloane Stephens said about all of the American women coming through. “I was just talking to Christina (McHale) in the locker room.  I’m like, Who do you play?  She’s like, I play Lauren Davis.  I’m like, Oh, my God.  I play Bethanie.

“So all the Americans are playing Americans, but it’s good that we’ll have people in the third round.  So that’s always nice.”

In terms of American women on clay”I don’t think anything’s changed,” Stephens continued.  “It’s always been the same.  Maybe people got tough draws before.  I don’t know what methods people are using or what’s been different, but we’re winning.”

“Maybe it’s a little bit extra firepower or some extra come ons or some heart.  I’m not sure.

“But to everyone that got a win, that is really exciting, because everyone always says that we’re not good on clay.

“That’ll prove ’em wrong.”


As for the US men, although Andy Roddick and Ryan Harrison crashed out in the first round, John Isner, Jessie Levine, and comeback player Bryan Baker are through to the second round. Sam Querrey, James Blake, Donald Young will face huge challenges to advance to the second round when they play their first round matches on Tuesday.


Notes and Quotes on USA’s Loss to Germany in Fed Cup


For the first time in since the group format was instituted in 1995, the United States will not be able to compete for the Fed Cup next year. Germany crushed the United States, 5-0, in the 2011 Fed Cup World Group Playoff in Stuttgart this weekend. Germany will advance to the 2012 Fed Cup World Group.  The loss relegates the United States is to Fed Cup World Group II in 2012.

The draw for Fed Cup’s World group 2 will be made during the summer. The 2012 Fed Cup World Group II features the four nations that lost in the 2011 World Group Playoffs and the four winners from the 2012 World Group II Playoffs.  Seeding will be determined by the Fed Cup Nations Ranking.


GERMANY defeated USA 5-0

Venue: Porsche Arena, Stuttgart, GER (clay – indoors)


Andrea Petkovic (GER) d. Christina McHale (USA) 63 64

Julia Goerges (GER) d. Melanie Oudin (USA) 62 76(5)

Andrea Petkovic (GER) d. Melanie Oudin (USA) 62 64

Sabine Lisicki (GER) d. Christina McHale (USA) 63 64

Julia Goerges / Anna-Lena Groenefeld (GER) d. Liezel Huber/Vania King


U.S. Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez

When asked about reflecting on the weekend: “Tough weekend. We got to give a lot of credit to the entire German team. They really played great throughout the weekend from start to finish. They were tough and played extremely well with a lot of confidence. We’re disappointed because we go into every tie with high expectations, even when we’re the underdog. We did the best we could, and fought for every point.


On possible turning points:  “You look back and think if whether there was a turning point. But there were a couple of openings here and there that could have turned the tie a little bit. But they were the better team. ”


When positives can be taken away: “I think the positive thing is that every time you go out there, you learn. It’s a learning experience, and it really doesn’t matter how old you are. This is a very young team. But they’ve come a long way in a very short amount of time. There’s still a lot to prove and a lot to learn, and get better. I think that’s the most important thing. Overall, they all fought and gave it their all. This team made the United States and me as captain very proud.”


On the pressures of staying in the World Group: “You approach every match positively, no matter where you’re playing it. Obviously its tough since the United States is out of the World Group for the first time in history. But at the same time, this young team has been to the Fed Cup finals which is unbelievable. So it makes you appreciate that kind of success, and also makes you realize that there’s still a lot of work to be done. It wasn’t the pressure of the tie and trying to stay in the world group, we just came up against a better team.”


On next steps: “Continue to improve and work hard. Get stronger and better. You just keep building. That’s really all you have to do at every age and every level. This team has improved every single year, and they’re going to continue to improving.


On going into World Group II next year: “We want to win every time we play no matter what group we’re in. We go out there, we win together, we lose together. But we give it our all. It would be nice to get a home tie. Its back to doing our best, and hopefully getting back into the World Group.


On Venus’s role: “Venus came here to support the team and obviously injured so she couldn’t participate. She made herself to come and then got hurt in Australia, So unfortunately she was unable to play but was a great team member.”



Melanie Oudin

On playing Petkovic: “I definitely started off well and after I lost my serve at two-all, she took her game to another level and got really confident. She started going for better serves. I don’t think she served that big in her match yesterday. Today it looked like she could go for even more, by stepping in more and controlling the points. She’s playing well, and has been playing well. And when you play that well, it can be hard to beat opponents like that. ”


On losing the World Group: “I knew if I loss this match then our team would go down to World Group II, and that was a little weight on my shoulders knowing that. But I try not to think about it.”



Christina McHale

When asked about her experience in competing in her second Fed Cup: “I learned a lot from these matches, and I have a lot to take away from it. I was disappointed that I couldn’t do more, but I’m going to take the positive side from this experience and keep going.”



Liezel Huber

When asked about the turning point in the doubles match: “For me it was when I was hit by the ball by accident. Although we lost the tie, like Mary Joe said, everybody tried their best and it didn’t matter what the score was going into doubles because Vania and I tried our hardest. This is a team that played their best.

On strategy going into doubles: “Our strategy was to play aggressive and to move and to cross. Maybe this is the surface where you don’t do that, and just stay in the back. But this is also the beginning of clay court season for us, so this match was a great learning experience for me going into my next match. I will approach some things a little different.”