(June 7, 2015) Stan Wawrinka denied Novak Djokovic entrance into the “career Grand Slam club” defeating the world No. 1 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 on Sunday to capture his first French Open title and second major. Djokovic was bidding to become the the eighth man to win all four majors at least once.
The 2014 Australian Open champion and No. 8 seed also snapped the Serb’s 28-match winning streak.
This was Djokovic’s third time in the Roland Garros final, falling to Rafael Nadal in 2012 and 2014. Djokovic defeated Nadal in the quarterfinals this year and followed it up by taking out third seed Andy Murray in the semifinals, a match which took two days to complete.
“One day, you will win Roland Garros,” Wawrinka said to Djokovic during the trophy ceremony. “You deserve it.”
“I can tell you,” Djokovic said, “that I will keep trying to win this trophy.”
Djokovic won the first set 6-4, holding on to a break achieved in the seventh game, when Wawrinka double-faulted.
Wawrinka finally capitalized on a break point at an opportune moment – to win the second set 6-4.
The momentum swung to the Swiss in the third set as he became the aggressor and broke serve to take a 4-2 lead and held on to claim the set 6-3.
The match looked to be headed to a fifth set when Djokovic jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the fourth. Wawrinka fought back to get on even terms at 3-3.
Serving at 3-4 in the fourth, Wawrinka came back from 0-40 to hold for 4-4. In the next game Wawrinka broke Djokovic and served out the set for the victory.
This was only the fourth time that the Swiss had defeated the Serb in their 21 meetings.
Wawrinka hit 60 winners in the match, winning a total of 137 points in the 3 hours and 12 minute match.
Three-time Roland Garros champion and tennis Hall of Famer Gustavo Kuerten presented the trophy to Wawrinka.
“Certainly one of the best matches of my career, if not the best,” Wawrinka said
“Not easy to stand there as a runner-up again,” Djokovic said, “but I lost to a better player who played some courageous tennis.”
The 28-year-old Djokovic called Wawrinka’s backhand “one of the best one-handed backhands that I have seen.”
“I’m still surprised the way I played, because I think I played amazing today,” Wawrinka said. “I was really nervous, but I didn’t really choke. I was always going for my shots, always going for the right play.”
“It’s quite strange when I tell myself that I have a (Olympic) gold medal and Davis Cup, and that I have two Grand Slams. (It’s) something quite amazing. I never expected to go this far in my career; never expected to be this strong.”
Wawrinka, who also won the French Open as a junior back in 2003, will move up to No 4 in the world when the rankings are released on Monday.
(June 6, 2015) Serena Williams won her 20th major title on Saturday defeating Lucie Safarova 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-2 for her third French Open title.
Williams remains undefeated at 9-0 against the 13th seeded Czech. She is 20-4 in major finals.
It was a struggle Williams for much of the fortnight, having to battle back from a set down in four of the five previous matches, in addition to having the flu.
Williams is now halfway through a calendar Grand Slam, winning the Australian Open in January. She has won three majors in a row – 2014 U.S. Open, 2015 Australian Open and now Roland Garros. She won four majors in a row from the 2002 French Open to 2003 Australian Open which has been dubbed “the Serena Slam.” Should Williams win at Wimbledon, it would be her second “Serena Slam.”
The last player to win the US Open, Australian Open and Roland Garros in a row was Monica Seles in 1991-92.
Williams is the first woman since Jennifer Capriati to win the first French Open and the Australian Open in the same year.
The world No. 1 is now two majors behind Steffi Graf and four behind Margaret Court on the all-time list.
Her third Roland Garros title puts her in elite company with all-time greats who have also won three Paris crowns in the Open Era – Monica Seles (1990, 1991, 1992), Aranxta Sanchez-Vicario (1989, 1994, 1998) and Margaret Court (1969, 1970, 1973).
Williams at 33 years, 254 days is the second oldest women’s winner at Roland Garros. The oldest was Hungary’s Zsuzsi Kormoczy, who was 33 years, 279 days when she won the 1958 singles title.
Playing in her 24th major final, Williams broke Safarova’s serve in the fourth game of the first set to lead 3-1. Safarova saved a set point serving at 2-5, but Williams closed out the first holding at 15 for 6-3.
Williams, who coming into a major final was 17-0 after winning the first set, broke Safarova’s serve to open the second and extended the lead to 4-1 breaking again in the fifth game. Williams a point away from a 5-1 lead, dropped three double-faults in the next game to give the break back. Williams gave the second break back in the eighth game and the set was leveled at 4-4. Safarova won her fourth game in a row to take a 5-4 lead in the second set.
Williams after yelling at herself, held serve and broke Safarova’s serve to serve for the title. Safarova broke back to send the set to a tiebreak.
Safaraova took a 3-0 lead and never looked back, winning the tiebreak 7-2 sending the match to a third set.
“I got so frustrated. I was just so angry at myself. I pretty much gave the match away,” Williams said “I just had to, like, try to pull it together.”
Safarova’s good fortune continued, opening the third set with a break of serve. At 0-2 down in the third set Williams won the next six straight games to close the match.
“When she was on, she was just serving amazing and going for the returns, pressuring me right away,” said Safarova. “It’s just hard to do anything with that.”
The world No. 1 now owns 67 career singles titles to her name.
“When I was a little girl, in California, my father and my mother wanted me to play tennis. And now I’m here, with 20 Grand Slam titles,” Williams said in French to the crowd after the win. “This is very special for me. I haven’t always played very well here, but I’m really happy to win the 20th here.”
Safarova will be making her Top Ten debut on Monday is projected to be ranked No.7. Along with Petra Kvitova, this will be the first time since the Fall of 1989 that two Czech women rank in the Top 10.
(June 6, 2015) Novak Djokovic moved within one victory of completing a career “Grand Slam” on Saturday, defeating Andy Murray 6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 5-7, 6-1, completing a match suspended on Friday in the fourth set at 3-3.
Top seed Djokovic is seeking the French Open title, the lone trophy missing from his collection of major titles.
When the match resumed on Saturday in Paris, both men held their serves easily until 5-all when Murray broke Djokovic’s serve and held to send the match into a fifth set. It was all Djokovic after that, winning 6 of the next seven games to complete the victory to extend his current winning streak to 28.
“I don’t think I was lucky,” Djokovic said. “I think I was playing some great tennis yesterday. He found his game late in the third. I had many opportunities to finish the match in straight sets, but credit to Andy.
“He showed why he’s one of the biggest competitors and fighters on the tour,” said the world No. 1. “It’s always a thriller, always a marathon.
“He just came up with some great shots, great points.”
This will be Djokovic’s third French Open final, when he faces No. 8 seed Stan Wawrinka on Sunday. Wawrinka dismissed Frenchman Jo-Wilfred Tsonga in the semifinals.
Djokovic will be seeking his ninth major, while the Swiss Wawrinka will try to win his second.
The Serb has a 17-3 record against Wawrinka.
More to follow………….
(June 5, 2015) Stan Wawrinka still does not know yet who his opponent will be in the French Open men’s final on Sunday. The Swiss, who defeated French favorite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 6-7 (1), 7-6 (3), 6-4 in Friday’s first men’s semifinal, awaits the conclusion of the Novak Djokovic – Andy Murray match which was suspended due to an impending rain storm in the fourth set. No. 1 Djokovic was leading No. 3 Murray 6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 3-3.
The Serb and the Scot will resume play on Saturday at 1 p.m. local time. The women’s final featuring No. 1 Serena Williams against 13th seed Lucie Safarova is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.
Williams canceled her practice session and news conference due to trying to recover from the flu she’s had since the third round of the tournament.
“It’s just a matter of resting and keeping hydrated – there’s not much else I can do,” Williams said in regard to her illness. “I need time, and obviously don’t have a lot of it. I just have to hope that tomorrow I will be feeling a lot better and able to give my best on court.”
For Safarova, who at 28-years-old is playing her first major final it will be a new experience.
“It’s been (a) long way and a lot of hours on court,” said Safarova. “I have been on tour, it’s my 12th year, and to reach this, finally, it’s just, you appreciate it much more, I think.”
Safaraova is also in the doubles final pairing up with American Betthanie Mattek-Sands. Together they won the Australian Open title in January.
In the second men’s semifinal, Djokovic rushed off to a two set lead lead, Murray broke Djokovic’s serve for the first time in the third set to take a 6-5 lead and closed out the set on his serve.
At 3-3 in the fourth set, play was called for the fading light due to the dark clouds moving in.
In the first men’s semifinal, Wawrinka had both Tsonga and the French crowd to battle. It’s been since 1983 that a French man won the French Open – Yannick Noaj and the last French man who reached the finals was Henri Leconte in 1988. The key statistic in the match was the fact that Tsonga was 1 for 17 on break points.
“Jo is always a tough player to play,” said the 8th seed Wawrinka, “especially when he’s playing at home.”
For Wawrinka, who won the French Open Junior title in 2003, Sunday will mark his second major final, he won the Australian Open back in 2014. Last year he was bounced out of the French Open in the first round.
For Djokovic, should he defeat Murray and then Warinka, he will be looking to become just the eighth man to win a career Grand Slam – winning a title at all four majors – Australia, Paris, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
(June 4, 2015) Sick with the flu and moving slowly around a hot center court, Serena Williams came back from a set and a break down to reach the French Open final for the third time defeating 23rd seed Timea Bacsinszky 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 on Thursday.
Down 6-4, 3-2 the world No. 1 won the next 10 straight games to knock out her Swiss opponent and reach her 24th major final.
“I tried everything,” Williams said in an on-court interview after the match. ”I thought if I lose, I will lose with a fight. I tried, I tried. I found the energy. I don’t know where, but I found it. And I won. I hope that on Saturday, I hope”
She’ll face No. 13 Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic in Saturday’s final for a chance to win her 20th major title.
Safarova defeated two former Roland Garros champions on the way to the final – defending champion and No. 2 Maria Sharapova in the fourth round, 2008 titlist and seventh seed Ana Ivanovic 7-5, 7-5 in the semifinals earlier in the day on Thursday.
Safarova rebounded from a 2-5 first set deficit to win the next five games in a row.
“I started a little bit slower in the match and wasn’t swinging as much as I should. I was a little slow on my feet,” Safarova said to media. “Ana was playing well right away and going for her shots, too, but I slowly started getting into the rhythm, into the game. Then right away I took the set, took the momentum.”
She had to serve for the match twice in the second set to finally close it out.
“In the second set, when I realized I could finally be in the finals, I got a little bit tense there. And the game at 5-4, I was really overthinking and couldn’t really concentrate to be there in that moment.
“But when I lost serve, I shook it off and started to play aggressive again, and I served it out.”
After 12 years on tour, this will be Safarova’s first singles final of a Grand Slam tournament.
(June 3, 2015) There would be no gifts given to Rafael Nadal by Novak Djokovic on the 9-time French Open champion’s 29th birthday on Wednesday. No. 1 Djokovic ended Nadal’s 39-match French Open winning streak winning the quarterfinal contest 7-5, 6-3, 6-1.
Djokovic has extended his current winning streak to 27.
It was just Nadal’s second defeat on the red clay of Roland Garros. The only other loss came in 2009 in the round of 16 to Robin Soderling. Nadal is 70-2 at the French Open.
Coming into the match, Djokovic had never beaten Nadal in Paris.
With the loss, Nadal’s ranking will fall to No. 10 and if Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reaches the final, the Spaniard’s ranking will be No. 11.
The Serb will play Andy Murray in the semifinals. Murray defeated David Ferrer for the first time on clay 7-6(4), 6-2, 5-7, 6-1.
“I feel like I understand how I have to play on the surface better than I did in the past,” said Murray.
Both Murray and Djokovic come into their semifinal with unbeaten streaks on clay this season.
This will be Djokovic’s 26 major semifinal, tying hall of famer Andre Agassi for fourth on the all-time list.
“I have much respect for Rafa.” Djokovic said. “He is obviously not playing at the level we expect from him this season. But he remains a champion and it’s always a pleasure to play against him.”
“I lost in 2009 and it was not the end and I lost in 2015 and it’s not the end,” Nadal said. “I hope to be back here next year and to fight.”
“I wanna work even harder than before to come back stronger.” Nadal said it was the best moment in Djokovic’s career.
“A match that I will remember for a long time,” Djokovic said.
“An ideal scenario is today could have been (the final), and could have a different discussion,” he continued. “It’s only quarterfinals, and I want to fight for the title. That’s what I came here for.”
On the women’s side, No. 1 Serena Williams had no trouble dismissing former French Open finalist, 17th seed Sara Errani 6-1, 6-3 to reach the semifinals.
“The last four French Opens in a row she’s been to the quarterfinals or better, so I knew I had to be really focused today,” Williams said.
“I haven’t had a great clay court season, so I’m pretty excited to have gotten this far,” said the American. “Hopefully I can keep going. Nothing’s guaranteed – at this point I’m just fighting to stay in the tournament.”
The 33-year-old American, seeking her third title in Paris and 20th major, will play Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky, the No. 23 seed, who defeated surprise quarterfinalist Alison van Uytvanck of Belgium 6-4, 7-5.
“I know people like to write about who is the favorite and who has pressure, who has no pressure, but we are equal when we step on the tennis court,” Bacsinszky said after the match. “She deserved that spot in the quarterfinal. It means she’s playing really well. I wasn’t feeling like the favorite today. That’s why I just played my game and tried to find the solution like before. It was a great experience for me.”
(June 2,2015) Stan Wawrinka defeated his Swiss countryman and No 2 seed Roger Federer for the first time at a major on Tuesday to reach his first French Open semifinal with a 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (4) victory. This was only the third time in 199 matches between than that Wawrinka came out with the win.
This is the third straight year that Federer has been knocked out in the quarterfinals or earlier. Federer was unable to break his Davis Cup teammate’s serve.
“I played my best match in a Grand Slam tournament,” said Wawrinka after the match, “and my best match on clay.”
“I know that when I play good tennis, when I play my best tennis, I can play so heavy from both sides that it’s really tough for the opponent to play,” said Wawrinka. “That’s why Roger was struggling today. It’s because I was playing so well.”
Wawrinka will play No. 14 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga next.
Tsonga defeated Kei Nishikori 6-1, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3
After the match, the Frenchman wrote on the red clay using his sneaker “Roland, je t’aime,” and got laid down on the court under the writing
This will be Tsonga’s second semifinal at Roland Garros, and his sixth at a major.
Earlier in the day, the first women’s semifinal was set up when 2008 French Open winner Ana Ivanovic and Lucie Safarova won their quarterfinal matches.
Ivanovic is back in the semifinals since winning the French Open seven year ago, beating Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-2.
“I don’t know if I should feel very old or very happy,” said the seventh seed.
The 13th seed Safarova, who upset Maria Sharapova on Monday, defeated Garbine Muguruza 7-6 (3), 6-3 to advance to just her second Grand Slam semifinal. Safarova reached the Wimbledon semifinals last year.
More to follow……….
(June 1, 2015) Defending champion and No. 2 Maria Sharapova became the biggest upset victim of the French Open on Monday when she fell to 13th seed Lucie Safarova 7-6(3), 6-4.
“I feel like I had small openings, and I just wasn’t able to play a good few points,” Sharapova said. “I just wasn’t able to keep that level up today. She was able to do that for a longer period of time. She was the much more aggressive player, took the time away from me, created her angles …….and I didn’t.
Sharapova said that her opponent was at a much higher level than she was and that it was a “tough day“ for the two-time champion.
The victory was one of the biggest of the Czech’s career. She also defeated world number twos Justine Henin in 2007 and Caroline Wozniacki in 2010.
“The last few times I played Maria we had really long battles,” Safarova said after the match. “I remember they were really close, and I almost beat her in Stuttgart, but I always lost. “Yesterday I was really pumped, and really ready, and I just wanted to take this match. I was just excited to be there.”
For Safarova, this will be her third major quarterfinal. She’ll take on No. 21 seed Garbine Muguruza, who defeated 28th seed Flavia Pennetta 6-3, 6-4.
No. 1 Serena Williams looked as though she was going to be another major upset victim when she fell behind American countrywoman Sloane Stephens 6-1.
Williams righted herself in the second set and stayed even with Stephens. From 4-5, Williams won seven of the next 9 games to take the second set 7-5 and build a 4-2 lead in the third set.
Williams closed out the contest 1-6, 7-5, 6-3.
“I felt like if I had made a shot here or made a shot there, then maybe the first set could have been different,” Williams said. “But it’s not how you start, I guess it’s how you finish. That’s kind of how I’m looking at it.”
Williams has dropped sets to 3 of her 4 opponents this fort night. “I’m definitely gaining confidence,” Williams said in regard to the comebacks.
The 19-time major champion will face former French Open finalist No. 17 Sara Errani for a place in the semifinals.
In a second major upset on the women’s side, 23rd seed Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland stunned two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 2-6, 6-0, 6-3.
In men’s play, Roger Federer completed a win over Gael Monfils in a match delayed by darkness on Sunday to move into his 11th quarterfinal at Roland Garros.
“I wanted to get off to a good start, because you never know how he will be playing,” said Federer. “So I felt good. I was calm yesterday. I was calm this morning.
Federer will face Swiss countryman Stan Wawrinka in the quarterfinals.
“It [will be] a special match,” said the 17-time major champion. “It is not a traditional match. There aren’t too many Swiss players in the draw… It’s always special to play each other. There will be a Swiss guy in the semi-final. That’s positive.”
After the match, Monfils said, “It was tough because I’m sick. I have not much energy.”
“When you’re 100 per cent is it’s never easy to beat Roger, so when you’re not 100 per cent it is definitely impossible.”
Sixth seed Rafael Nadal knocked out the last U. S. man in the draw on Monday. He was extended to four sets, but defeated Jack Sock 6-3, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2.
Top seed Novak Djokovic cruised past Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 for his 26th straight win.
This sets up a highly anticipated Djokovic vs. Nadal quarterfinal on Wednesday.
“I’m not used to playing him that early, but that’s the reality and that’s a challenge that both of us have to accept,” Djokovic said.
“Probably the toughest quarterfinal in my career here in Roland Garros, without a doubt,” Nadal said.
Nadal leads the head-to-head against Djokovic 23-20.
Andy Murray and David Ferrer will meet in the other top half of the draw quarterfinal. Murray defeated Jeremy Chardy ijn four sets, while David Ferrer beat Marin Cilic.
(May 30, 2015) Serena Williams fell behind Victoria Azarenka 6-3, 4-2 before the 19-time major champ won 10 out of the next 12 games to move into the French Open round of 16 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.
With Azarenka up 4-2 in the second, the pendulum of momentum began to swing Williams’ way.
On a key point of the match, which was replayed due to the chair umpire’s decision, Williams and Azarenka traded gestures, word and angry looks. It was the last point of the second set – an Azarenka ball called long at the baseline and Williams hit into the net as “out” was called.”
Chair umpire Kader Nouni decided the point should be replayed, and Azarenka disagreed.
As for the chair umpire’s decision to replay the point, the two-time Australian Open winner was not pleased.
“I think, my honest opinion, that call was bullsh*t, and everybody knows it,” the 27 the seed said to media. “But it’s part of the game. Sometimes it happens this way. But I think it wasn’t a fair call.”
“The ball was touching the net and he says it’s not a late call. So for me, there definitely has to be a review on that. We have a Hawk-Eye, so might as well just have that. Because it’s not easy for an umpire, but it’s definitely not easy on the player when you get screwed like that.”
“As I’m saying, I’ll always give a benefit of a doubt. But in such situation I think it was pretty clear. So I think the review, a little TV screen? I don’t know what they have, and just look it over.”
Williams agreed: I think that would be really cool, because sometimes you may or may not foot fault, and that instant replay on that foot fault. So, yeah. And obviously other things, as well. I think it could definitely not only be fun for the fans, but as well be helpful for the players to have that kind of instant replay thing. I think that’s a really great idea.”
( Vine courtesy of https://twitter.com/DamJef)
“He did a late call, he called it out, he didn’t put his arm out until like five minutes later,” Williams said. “But yeah, I mean, this is tennis. This happens all the time. You know, I — I even said, no, don’t worry, the ball is in, we’ll just replay the point. So for me, it was like, this happens all the time, every day in tennis.”
“Vika and I are really close, we really get along. We have this great relationship. So I was like, you know, she knows me. You know me, like I’m — you don’t win Grand Slams by being unethical. I’m a really ethical player. So I was just like, eh…”
“I think the level of the match was pretty high quality from both players, and she really stepped it up,” Azarenka said of her opponent’s comeback. “She went for a lot of shots that landed, you know, right on the line and really stayed aggressive. I think looking back at it, you know, I’ve got to learn from that and maybe stay a little bit more aggressive and go a little bit more for my shots. But there wasn’t much wrong that I have done, I think. She just really played a good match and I have to give her credit for that, for sure.”
With Saturday’s win, Williams now has 50 match wins at Roland Garros and becomes the first woman in the Open Era to record 50+ match wins at all four Grand Slams. Only three others have 50+ at three of the four majors -Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graf.
Williams will play another woman from the U.S., Sloane Stephens for a place in the quarterfinals.
Stephens defeated Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) 6-4, 6-1.
“I played pretty solid,” Stephens said. “Obviously she’s a tough player, so I knew I had to come out and play some good tennis. I was able to just make a lot of shots and stay in it, so I was happy with that.”
Stephens defeated Williams in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Australian Open.
The rest of line-up for the round of 16 for the top half of the draw: No. 4 Petra Kvitova vs No. 23 Timea Bacsinszky, No. 17 Sara Errani vs. Julia Goerges, and No. 93 Alison Van Uytvanck vs. No. 100 Andreea Mitu.
The bottom half of the draw: No. 7 Ana Ivanovic vs No 9 Ekaterina Makarova, No. 19 Svitolina vs No. 29 Alize Cornet, No. 28 Flavia Pennetta vs No. 21 Garbine Muguruza, No. 13 Lucie Safarova vs No 2 Maria Sharapova.
ROLAND GARROS – PARIS, FRANCE
GRAND SLAM – €26,287,000
May 24 – JUNE 7, 2015
RESULTS – MAY 30, 2015
Singles – Third Round
 Petra Kvitova (CZE) def.  Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) 6-3 6-2
 Serena Williams (USA) def.  Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 3-6 6-4 6-2
Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) def. Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 6-4 6-1
Sloane Stephens (USA) def. Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) 6-4 6-1
 Sara Errani (ITA) def.  Andrea Petkovic (GER) 6-3 6-3
Andreea Mitu (ROU) def. Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 7-5 6-4
 Timea Bacsinszky (SUI)  def.  Madison Keys (USA) 6-4 6-2
Julia Goerges (GER) def. Irina Falconi (USA) 6-4 6-1