Sunday, June 2, 2013

Injured Errani makes comeback in French Open round of 16

At 5-all in her match today against Carla Suarez Navarro, Sara Errani--clutching the area around her stomach--called for a medical timeout. She wasn't ill, and she told the trainer and the doctor that it wasn't a muscle problem, and that she was having trouble breathing. Commentator Martina Navratilova suggested that the Italian player had somehow gotten a rib out of place, which is the logical conclusion (though this has not been confirmed, to my knowledge).

At any rate, Errani received treatment by getting her diaphragm released, but she lost the first set 5-7. It looked as though a retirement might be looming, but this was Sara Errani, who is as tough as they come. Also, she has finalist points to defend, and she was playing a woman known for finding ways to lose matches.

Indeed, Suarez Navarro went up 4-2 in the second set, but Errani fought through and broke her, and at that point, you kind of knew what was going to happen. Errani won, 5-7, 6-4, 6-3. Her opponent in the quarterfinals will be Agnieszka Radwanska, who defeated 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic in straight sets.

Radwanska tends to suffer on clay surfaces, but she's looked pretty comfortable so far at Roland Garros, and has yet to drop a set. Today, the queen of trick shots threw in a tweener, just for good measure. This is the first time in her career that Radwanska has reached the quarterfinals of the French Open--and the first time she's played in Paris as a blonde. Just saying.

Errani's doubles partner, co-world number 1 Roberta Vinci, lost in straight sets to singles world number 1 Serena Williams, but Vinci's performance gave spectators something to appreciate.

Williams will face 2009 French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in the quarterfinals. Kuznetsova defeated 8th seed Angelique Kerber 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

Ivanovic's exit means that four former champions are still in the draw.


Anonymous said...

That Kuznetsova-Kerber match this morning was just superb -- both played very, very high quality tennis. Sveta faulted herself for not closing it out in two sets, but Kerber fought very hard to prevent that. As for the next round, I still think Serena's the overwhelming favorite (despite or maybe because of Sveta's having won their epic three-set Roland Garros encounter in 2009), but I think Sveta could make Serena work harder than anyone else has in this tournament. I guess that's a pretty low bar to clear, though!

What frustrated me today was my inability to find a live feed for the women's doubles matches, because I'm intrigued by the pairing of Sam Stosur and Francesca Schiavone. And if I'm reading the draw correctly, it looks like there's some possibility of a Stosur/Schiavone semi-final against Kuznetsova/Pennetta. And THAT sounds like a really tantalizing match-up!

Eurosport's commentators completely missed the possible "rib out of place" explanation for Errani's medical issue, but that's what it looked like to me. Wasn't that the explanation Azarenka gave for one of her medical timeouts against Sloane in Melbourne? I remember Vika saying she just suddenly couldn't breathe -- and today it looked like Sara just as suddenly found it impossible to take a breath without obvious chest pain.

I never thought Ana's chances against Aga were very good, but I KNEW Ana would lose when I saw she'd done a "Road to Roland Garros" interview. Every time I see one of those interviews the player in question gets bounced out of the tournament the same day -- it's the kiss of death!


Diane said...

It was a terrible day here for viewing. All we had was NBC, which is as close to nothing as exists, and where I live, the children's telethon is always shown instead of the French Open. So I had to watch the FO in standard def.

Tennis Channel's online streaming has to stop the moment NBC's starts, so there's no choice of matches. And the NBC feed on the no-name channel--instead of going directly to the Aga-Ana match after the men's match--showed Serena vs. Vinci.

Errani seemed to have what Azarenka had, yes--a "locked" ribcage. She said after the match that she was still in pain, but that the release done by the trainer was quite helpful. She said the injury was scary.

Serena is clearly the favorite, but Kuznetsova strikes me as one player who has the potential to give her some trouble.

Yes, a Schiavone/Stosur vs. Kuznetsova/Pennetta match is indeed possible and would be great fun to watch. I have my fingers crossed that I'll be able to see it.

Interesting point about the Road to Roland Garros. You're right! Kvitova's out, and Nico--after wearing the Ahgassi wig--made yet another head-banging exit from a major.