I watched the 2nd round French Open match between 3rd seed Vera Zvonareva and Sabine Lisicki with a growing sense of dread because it seemed as though nothing too good could come of it. Zvonareva looked flustered and too defensive against Lisicki, but I was feeling something more than frustration over the 3rd seed's performance. Because I knew that Lisicki might choke away her opportunities, and I was right. It wasn't that I wanted an upset--it was just that watching one player under-perform and the other one lose her nerve was like watching some type of accident from which I wanted to turn away my sight.
Lisicki was two points away from winning the match in the second set, but she was simply not mentally up to the task. At that point, it was easy to believe that the German would just get discouraged and Zvonareva would take charge. But I still had that sinking feeling, which proved to be reliable. Lisicki led 5-2 in the third, and had a match point on Zvonareva's serve, but she didn't convert it. When Lisicki served for the match at 5-3, she was broken.
By this time, it was apparent that Lisicki wasn't feeling too good. She wound up seeing both a trainer and a doctor and getting ice packs and a lot of water; she was cramping. She was easily broken at 5-6, but then two of Zvonareva's match points faded away--one because of a massive, "last gasp" forehand from Lisicki, and one because Zvonareva made an error. Zvonareva finally won, 4-6, 7-5, 7-5, and Lisicki managed to do the handshake, then collapsed into a heap of pain and was hauled away on a stretcher.
That was a lot of drama. The drama earlier in the day was more fun, however. 11th seed Marion Bartoli, fully pumped up and carried by the crowd, won a three-hour match against Olga Govortsova, who hit 46 winners. Bartoli defeated Govortsova 6-4, 6-7, 6-2. Bartoli outlasted her opponent, but one wonders what effect the length and intensity of the match will have on the ever-fragile Frenchwoman.
Meanwhile, the world number 1 advanced, as did the defending champion and the 2009 runner-up. Julia Goerges got the tough match from Lucie Safarova I expected her to get, and came from behind to win, 2-6, 7-5, 6-2. Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez went out, defeated by Rebecca Marino (I didn't see that coming), and Bethanie Mattek-Sands defeated countrywoman Varvara Lepchenko.
There was a significant upset in doubles. The Czech team of Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka defeated the Czech team (and 8th seeds) of Iveta Benesova and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova. Benesova, by the way, is playing mixed doubles with Leander Paes (the injured Cara Black is his regular partner).
In other mixed doubles news, 2nd seeds Vania King and Daniel Nestor were defeated by Chan Yung-Jan and Eric Butorac.