French crowds are notoriously sparse during matches that clash with
lunchtime at Roland Garros but it was still a shock for Tramlines to hear the
support for Novak Djokovic during his second round match.
'Hear' is, of course, the wrong word. TL could hear nothing.
Despite Djokovic being undoubtedly the best player in the world this year, the
crowd was practically silent during the whole match.
Eurosport pundit Mats Wilander said Djokovic
still has some way to go before winning over the French crowd after they were
nowhere to be seen during his first round match.
On that particular occasion, he played at lunchtime. Why someone
would shell out money for tickets to watch the tennis on Court Philippe
Chatrier and then not actually watch the tennis is beyond TL. But it is a
little more understandable.
Today, however, Djokovic played at around about 6pm in the afternoon
and the stadium was relatively full.
Okay, so Djokovic did not have to produce his best tennis against an
opponent who, although solid, was never really at the races. Nonetheless Djokovic
did come up with some amazing retrievals and also some cracking passing shots.
And yet the biggest cheer of the entire match, came during a change
of ends early in the third set when news that Richard Gasquet had won his match
in four sets over on Court 1 appeared on the screen.
Tramlines is all for patriotic support but surely the French crowd
should be able to bring themselves to occasionally applaud or cheer the
unbeaten world number two?
Just a quick word on the dramatic scenes that ended the day in
Paris when Germany's Sabine Lisicki had to be stretchered off Court 1 in tears
at the end of her two hours and 40 minute clash against world number three Vera
Desperately short of match practice after 18 months decimated by a
bad ankle injury, Lisicki threw everything she had into her clash
with Zvonareva and very nearly dumped the third seed out of the tournament.
But the Russian saved match points before bouncing back to seal the
match when Lisicki hit long before the German, who was on an upward trajectory
before injury hit in late 2009, collapsed in floods of tears.
It's never nice to see that happen to any player, in any sport, and
TL wishes Lisicki a speedy recovery back to the kind of form she produced when
she reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon
two years ago.
TWEET OF THE
DAY: "I never played mix doubles cuz I don't know what are the rules
on and off the court.Not sure if I can hit it hard or not. The ball that is.."
A frequent visitor to this section of Tramlines, Ivo Karlovic can always be
relied upon to come up with the wacky comments of the day.
QUOTE OF THE
DAY: "I think it's a tough one to call. It's two great teams but
at the same time I like Barcelona.
So, yeah, I hope a little bit that they will win." Forget the tennis, avid
Liverpool fan Caroline Wozniacki gets involved
in the important conversation of the day.
SHOT OF THE
DAY: It was not a single point that caught TL's eye today, so much as several shots from one player in particular. It looked for all the world like Juan
Martin Del Potro had been personally offended by the little yellow ball as he
hit out blistering forehand after blistering forehand against Blaz Kavcic. Tramlines
is surprised there was any fluff left on any of them by the end of that match
and if Del Potro can reproduce that shot against Djokovic, who in turn has the
best backhand on the tour this year, we could be in for a real treat in two
days time when the two of them meet in the third round.
MATCH TO WATCH ON
DAY FIVE: Tramlines has started it's prediction service for the second Grand
Slam of the year in blistering fashion.
After picking Rafael Nadal's match against John Isner as the one to
watch on day three (hardly a difficult call, if we're honest) TL is now riding
a wave a glory after also picking Zvonareva-Lisicki as a match to watch.
And so, watch it all come crashing down around our ears, as TL
looks for the hightlight of day five amongst the schedule.
Ninth seed Petra Kvitova could definitely be tested by Jie Zheng. The
Chinese player is not on her best surface at Roland Garros, but she is more
than capable of creating an upset and rising-star Kvitova will be wary.
Likewise, in the men's game, 10th seed Mardy Fish could face a very
stern test when he takes on Robin Haase of the Netherlands.
Fish has never gone beyond the second round at the French Open,
while world number 54 Haase is high in confidence after reaching the
quarter-finals in Nice last week before beating clay-court specialist Daniel
Gimeno-Traver in the opening round.
So there you have it, two predictions for the price of one.