French Open memories -- week 2

Paris (AFP) –


French Open memories in the first week of the 2019 tournament at Roland Garros:

Day 9

Monday, June 3

Thiem forgets Serena row with spectacular tweener

-- Dominic Thiem said he had "forgotten" the bizarre incident which had seen him booted out of a news conference to accommodate Serena Williams who he then accused of having "a bad personality".

"I don't know if it was her mistake or if it was only the mistake of the officials, but I don't know if she saw me or if she saw that somebody's in the room," he said after beating Gael Monfils to reach the last 16.

"So if she would have seen me, then it would be nicer from her to wait. But, I mean, it's also understandable, in a sort of way. She lost and everything."

He preferred to concentrate on the spectacular 'tweener' he sent past a stranded Monfils.

"It was an amazing shot. It was really amazing, of course, because it was the only choice I had. I was so far off the ball and couldn't play it any different way."

Day 10

Tuesday, June 4

Federer, Wawrinka, brothers in arms

-- They shook hands in the corridor and then warmly embraced after their three-hour 35-minute quarter-final saw Roger Federer defeat old friend Stan Wawrinka 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4.

"The complete dream would be to win the tournament," said Federer who went on to lose to Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals.

Day 11

Wednesday, June 5

It's a Wednesday washout

-- Torrential rain caused a complete washout of quarter-final action with Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep amongst the biggest victims.

It was the second time since 2016 that all French Open play was cancelled and third since 2000.

Day 12

Thursday, June 6

Women's shift 'unfair and unacceptable'

-- The WTA blasted the decision to shift the women's semi-finals, due to be played Friday, away from Court Philippe Chatrier as "unfair and inappropriate" while former world number one Amelie Mauresmo of France said it was a "disgrace".

The backlog caused by Wednesday's deluge meant Ashleigh Barty and Amanda Anisimova went to Suzanne Lenglen while Johanna Konta's match with Marketa Vondrousova moved to the 5,000-seat Simonne-Mathieu.

However, the men's semis between Roger Federer against Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic taking on Dominic Thiem were to be played on the main, 15,000-seat Court Philippe Chatrier as planned.

Day 13

Friday, June 7

Gone with the wind

-- Winds of up to 40 km/h had Federer likening the conditions on Chatrier to a sandpit as he lost to Nadal in straight sets.

Djokovic demanded to know if there was an "extreme wind" rule before his match with Thiem was suspended for the night.

Day 14

Saturday, June 8

Barty takes title, Djokovic's history bid shattered

-- Ashleigh Barty ended Australia's 46-year wait for a French Open singles title by thrashing nervous Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova 6-1, 6-3 in just 70 minutes.

The 23-year-old rises to second in the world behind only Naomi Osaka and became the first Australian winner at Roland Garros since Margaret Court won the last of her five trophies in 1973.

"It's unbelievable, I'm a little bit speechless. I played the perfect match today."

Djokovic said his shock Roland Garros defeat to Thiem, which ended his dream of becoming just the second man in history to hold all Grand Slam titles at the same time twice, was played out in "hurricane conditions".

Thiem downed the world number one 6-2, 3-6, 7-5, 5-7, 7-5 in a match which spanned a full 24 hours.

"When you're playing in hurricane kind of conditions, it's hard to perform your best," said an angry Djokovic.

Day 15

Sunday, June 9

Nadal wins historic 12th title and 18th Slam

-- Rafael Nadal swept to an historic 12th Roland Garros title and 18th Grand Slam crown with a 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 victory over Dominic Thiem.

Nadal is now just two behind Federer's all-time record of 20 majors and three ahead of Novak Djokovic who was knocked out by Thiem in the semi-finals.

The world number two also took his Paris record to an astonishing 93 wins and just two losses.

"It's a dream to win again, an incredible moment. When I first played here in 2005 I never thought I would be still playing here in 2019.

"It's very special for me."