Monday, May 23, 2011

Roland Garros: Down Goes No. 6!

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We are only two days into the 2011 French Open and we already have our first major upset. The unwanted honor goes to 2010 semifinalist and World No. 6 Tomas Berdych.

Berdych was stunned in the first round by qualifier Stephane Robert (3-6, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, 9-7). Just by looking at the score we can tell Berdych was cruising along and strangely enough simply fell apart in the third and fourth set. As for Robert this is by far the biggest win of his career. He had won just one match all year long and entered the French with a measly 1-3 match record. In other words, he had played in only three tournaments so far in 2011 and got wiped out in all three.

After the match an exuberant Robert said, "I played my best tennis, I gave everything." No doubt this has to be the highlight of the 31-year old journeyman's career.

For Berdych, the loss was like a dagger through the heart as far as his ranking points go. As a returning semifinalist he entered the tournament needing to defend 720 points. He'll get credit for 10 points just for being in the first round and will take a hit of 710 points which may result in some lost ground in the rankings. His overall points total will drop from 4200 to 3490 as a result of his nightmare French Open experience.

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As for Robert, who has qualified for only 20 tournaments during his entire 11-year career (13-20 match record), this was definitely his shining moment.

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