Emotions run high
Originally published on 31/05/17 00:00
In case you missed it…
Defending French Open champion, Garbine Muguruza, was nearly toppled off her superb form when she came up against world No.99 Anett Kontaveit. A set and a break down, it took two hours and eight minutes to bring the game back to win 6-7(4) 6-4 6-2.
While at times this highly strung match was too tense to handle, a little light relief was brought about by an over-excited umpire who managed to fall on the court – after a ball was called wide, the umpire ran to check the mark but was left wiping the clay off his trousers when he tripped over.
Probably the best set I've watched of #RG17 so far as Muguruza levels with Kontaveit. Fierce hitting. The umpire falling over was a bonus.
— Matt Roberts (@Roberts96Matt) May 31, 2017
World No.2 Serena Williams made a surprise visit to Roland Garros today in support of her sister. Dressed casually, head-to-toe in Nike sports kit, Serena looked relaxed and happy in the stands – probably pleased that it wasn’t her feeling the nerves on court today. Venus easily beat Kurumi Nara 6-3 6-1 to go into the third round.
Not only is this the first time in five years since the older of the Williams’ sisters has made it to this point in the competition but, at 36, Venus is also the oldest woman to reach the third round at the French Open since Billie Jean King in 1982.
Venus is in favour of having her pregnant sister court-side. She said: “I'm sure she feels the excitement of being at a major and not having the pressure to play and prepare. Must be an interesting feeling to say the least. She knows exactly what it's like out there, and she's had a lot of success here. If she stays here through to the end, I would like that.”
News just in – Serena is rumoured to be expecting a girl!
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) May 31, 2017
Tears on court
Steve Johnson sank to his knees, weeping, after his four-set win against Borna Coric, taking him to the third round. Emotions were running high for the American whose father died earlier this month. The world No.26 explained what the win meant to him.
He said: "I just miss my dad. I wish he was following along – I know he is from upstairs – but it's just so emotional, it's hard to describe. I just knew he was looking down on me on that last point and gave me the strength to finish it off."
It was a fraught match, with both players having short fuses at times. Coric repeatedly smashed his racquet into the court after losing the fourth set, admitting afterwards that he “got mad”.
He said: "I was on the court for four hours. And it's not something which should be my excuse, but I got mad. I think everyone gets mad from time to time. Maybe I didn't show it in the right way but I made a mistake, but that's it."
There was also a tiff with the umpire who accused Johnson of ball abuse but commentators were quick to suggest that it was a bad call from the umpire. Next up, Johnson will face Dominic Thiem – one of the favourites to take the title at Roland Garros.
— Chris Oddo (@TheFanChild) May 31, 2017
Fashion flair or wardrobe malfunction?
Bethanie Mattek-Sands, the 32-year-old ranked No.117 in the world, is rocking the tennis world with her unorthodox outfits.
From USA-flag-patterned knee socks to blue hair and leopard print tops – the American has the colourful clothing to match her big personality on court. On Wednesday she donned a racer-back top covered in giant red cherries – some took to Twitter to call for the fashion police.
Mattek-Sands stands by her fun approach to match attire. “It’s my personality, and it’s how I would be if I didn’t play tennis,” she says. “I just like showing my personality on the court. When I was little, my aunt used to make my tennis clothes, so I always had something different, so that’s where it began. I had a lot of unique stuff, she’d pick out the patterns.”
On Wednesday Mattek-Sands ended the emotional return to the tour of Petra Kvitova, the No.15 seed, in an entertaining 7-6(5) 7-6(5) victory.
Mattek-Sands was happy with her win. And a nice moment at the net with Kvitova (USAT) pic.twitter.com/AhCi7ddqNo
— Joe Fleming (@ByJoeFleming) May 31, 2017