Another enthralling day in Paris
Originally published on 07/06/17 00:00
The women's quarterfinals has dominated conversation at the French Open.
Simona Halep made a remarkable comeback to defeat Svitolina, while Karolina Pliskova ended the dreams of Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia to reach the semi-finals.
In the men's draw, crowd favourites Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka survived another day but defending champion Novak Djokovic crumbled on court, losing to Thiem in three sets.
Another day, another injury
On Day 11 of the French Open it was the first of the men’s quarter-finals on Philippe-Chatrier. Rafael Nadal and fellow Spaniard, Pablo Carreno Busta, strode onto court at 11:00am – an early start due to adverse weather conditions stopping play the day before.
After only 50 minutes, and 6-2 2-0 down, Carreno Busta retired from the match. Struggling with a left abdominal muscle injury, the No.20 seed appeared to cut his losses, deciding that with the match heading inexorably to another Nadal win, he would be better off saving himself from further damage.
The 25-year-old had already gone to the locker room after the first set for treatment and on his return was evidently in discomfort and pain. Nadal clinched the first set in 32 minutes – Carreno Busta gifting him the set after he served two double faults.
“I hit the serve very hard and felt an acute pain in my abdominals,” Carreno Busta said. “I looked at my staff. I was apprehensive. It's a delicate area. It was quite uncomfortable. I wanted to serve, but I couldn't. I was afraid. So I asked for the physiotherapist to turn up at the end of the set."
A yell of pain and frustration signalled the end of the Spaniard’s 200th Tour-level match. It has been the player's best performance at a Grand Slam tournament and a sad way to end his successful run – he beat Grigor Dimitrov and Milos Raonic en route to the last eight.
“I know in the future I will be able to be back here to make a potential deep run,” Carreno Busta added.
Pablo Carreno Busta abandonne. @RafaelNadal en demi-finale.
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 7, 2017
Stosur plays through torn muscle
Samantha Stosur, the Australian player who unexpectedly lost to Jelena Ostapenko in the fourth round, 2-6 6-2 6-4, has revealed that a torn muscle in her right hand contributed to the early exit.
In Paris, the No.23 seed had an MRI on her hand but it was a second scan back in Australia that showed the muscle tear.
Fortunately, the injury is expected to heal before Wimbledon and will only see Stosur out of action for seven to 10 days.
According to her manager, Paul Kilderry, the former US Open champion suffered a torn muscle between the second and third finger on her right hand.
“It’s just every time I impact or grip my racket, swing it on that side, it’s just been really, really sore,” Stosur said.
Next up for the player is the tournament at Eastbourne, beginning June 24.
Andy to vote
Despite being in the middle of a tournament in which he could become the second British man to win Roland Garros (Fred Perry won the title in 1935), Andy Murray is adamant that he will still be voting in the British General Election on Thursday, June 8, 2017.
The world No.1, who beat Kei Nishikori in the French Open quarter-finals on Wednesday, has gone the extra mile to make sure his vote counts. Murray and his wife, Kim, are having their postal votes brought out to them in Paris and then taken back to the UK.
The Scotsman is an exception to the many other top British sportspeople who chose to move abroad, potentially in attempts to avoid tax. But Murray is set on staying in Surrey.
“I like living at home,” said Murray. “The only chance of me living somewhere else is if I had a bunch of friends or some of my family were living elsewhere and I would move to spend time with them.
“But I wouldn’t want to go and live somewhere not to pay any tax and not to have any of my family and friends around me. I wouldn’t do that.”