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2007 ROLAND GARROS

DAY SIX MEN’S NOTES

Friday 1 June 2007

Third Round Top Half

 

Featured matches

 

No. 1 Roger Federer (SUI) v Potito Starace (ITA)

No. 4 Nikolay Davydenko (RUS) v Michael Llodra (FRA)

No. 7 Ivan Ljubicic v No. 29 Filippo Volandri (ITA)

No. 9 Tommy Robredo (ESP) v Janko Tipsarevic (SRB)

No. 13 Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) v No. 17 Juan Carlos Ferrero (ESP)

No. 15 David Nalbandian (ARG) v Gael Monfils (FRA)

No. 19 Guillermo Canas (ARG) v Kristof Vliegen (BEL)

Juan Monaco (ARG) v (WC) Eduoard Roger-Vasselin (FRA)

 

On court today…

 

·         Top seed Roger Federer has a third career meeting with Potito Starace as he bids to advance to the round of 16 for the third year in a row. Starace is attempting to be the first Italian to reach the last 16 since 1995.

 

·         No. 4 seed Nikolay Davydenko bids to extend a 2-0 record against lefthander Michael Llodra. The Frenchman, who by advancing to the third round has broken a run of seven straight first round losses in Grand Slam events, is 1-9 against Top 5 opponents.

 

·         2006 semifinalist Ivan Ljubicic aims to reach the Grand Slam round of 16 for just the third time in his 31st major. The Croat plays Filippo Volandri, who in advancing to the third round has already equalled his best Grand Slam result.

 

·         Tommy Robredo, who has only failed to reach the last 16 here once, takes on Janko Tipsarevic, who has never reached the last 16 at any major.

 

·         Former Roland Garros champion Juan Carlos Ferrero, who has not advanced beyond the third round since his victory here in 2003. The Spaniard faces Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny, who has already reached three finals this year and is currently ranked at a career-high No. 15.

 

·         No. 15 seed David Nalbandian attempts to win three matches in a tournament for the first time since the Australian Open. Standing in his way is 2004 junior champion Gael Monfils, who is bidding to reach the round of 16 of his home Grand Slam tournament for the second successive year.

 

·         Costa do Sauipe winner Guillermo Canas has a third career meeting with Kristof Vliegen. The Belgian has yet to reach the round of 16 of a major.

 

·         The third Argentine in top half action, Portschach champion Juan Monaco, bids to extend a seven-match winning streak when he plays French wild card Edouard Roger-Vasselin, who at No. 144 is the lowest-ranked man remaining in the draw.

 

 

 


 

NO. 1 ROGER FEDERER (SUI) v POTITO STARACE (ITA)

 

Head-to-head: Federer leads 2-0

2004     Gstaad              Clay (O)            SF        Federer             63 36 63

2006     AMS Rome       Clay (O)            R32      Federer             63 76   

 

                              FEDERER                                                        v                                                       STARACE

 

                                      25                                                             Age                                                            25

                                       1                                                    ATP Ranking                                                  57

                                      48                                                           Titles                                                            0

                                  121-21                                Career Grand Slam Record                                  5-11

                                    22-8                                       Roland Garros Record                                        4-2

                                513-132                                            Career Record                                              57-59

                                   98-35                                        Career Record - Clay                                       48-38

                                    26-4                                                  2007 Record                                                16-12

                                    12-2                                           2007 Record - Clay                                           15-8

                                    9-10                                      Career Five-Set Record                                       1-4

                                       3                                      Comebacks from 0-2 Down                                     0

                                191-108                                  Career Tiebreak Record                                    22-14

                                     7-3                                         2007 Tiebreak Record                                        5-4

 

·         Federer defeated Michael Russell 64 62 64 in the first round and French wild card Thierry Ascione 61 62 76 to advance to the Roland Garros third round for the sixth time.

 

·         Federer is making his ninth appearance at Roland Garros, having played every year since making his Grand Slam debut as a wild card in 1999.

 

·         On the five previous occasions that Federer has appeared in the Roland Garros third round, he has only once failed to advance to the round of 16. In 2004 as top seed, he lost at this stage to Gustavo Kuerten 64 64 64. This was the last time that the top seed lost in the third round here.

 

·         Federer has entered his 174th week at No. 1 in the rankings, having been at the top every week since 2 February 2004. This is a record for consecutive weeks at No. 1 – he overtook Jimmy Connors’ mark of 160 straight weeks on 26th February. Federer is in fourth place for the most total weeks at No. 1, behind Pete Sampras (286 weeks), Ivan Lendl (270 weeks) and Connors (268).

 

·         Federer reached the Roland Garros final for the first time last year, becoming the seventh man in the Open Era to reach the final at all four Grand Slam events (the others are Andre Agassi, Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, Ivan Lendl, Stefan Edberg and Jim Courier). Federer’s loss in the final to defending champion Rafael Nadal 16 61 64 76 was one of just five losses for Federer in 2006, four of which were to Nadal (the fifth was to Andy Murray).

 

·         For the third successive year, Federer is bidding at Roland Garros to become only the sixth man in history to win all four Grand Slam titles. The five men to have achieved the ‘career Grand Slam’ are Andre Agassi, Don Budge, Roy Emerson, Rod Laver and Fred Perry. Budge and Laver, of course, won the much-coveted Grand Slam, Budge winning all four major tournaments in a single calendar year in 1938, before Laver did so in 1962 and 1969.

 

·         With his chances of achieving both a career Grand Slam and a true (calendar year) Grand Slam still alive, Federer is also bidding, for the second successive year, to become just the third man in history to win four majors in a row. Of the five men to win all four majors in their careers, only Budge and Laver held all four titles at the same time. Perry, Emerson and Agassi were never able to win four consecutive Grand Slam tournaments.

 

·         In the 38 years since Laver completed his second Grand Slam in 1969, Agassi is the only man to have been able to capture the elusive fourth different major. In that time, 11 other men have collected three of the four major titles. In every case, the players failed to win either Roland Garros or Wimbledon to complete their set. [For more detail see Preview page 3.]

 

·         Federer has collected his ten Grand Slam titles in his last 15 Grand Slam tournaments. En route to the 2007 Australian Open crown, he advanced to his 11th successive Grand Slam semifinal, setting a new Open Era record for consecutive Grand Slam semifinal appearances. He became the first man to win a Grand Slam title without dropping a set since Bjorn Borg at 1980 Roland Garros.

 

·         Although Federer has won three titles so far in 2007, by his standards this season has been disappointing. Before the start of Roland Garros, his win-loss record for the season was only seventh-best, at 24-4. Federer’s victory at AMS Hamburg broke a run of four straight tournament losses, his longest streak without winning a title since taking over the No. 1 ranking in February 2004. After winning the Australian Open and Dubai, Federer lost in the second round at AMS Indian Wells to Guillermo Canas 75 62 (after a first round bye), and again to Canas, 76 26 76, in the round of 16 at AMS Miami. Federer reached the final at AMS Monte Carlo before losing to Rafael Nadal, and was then upset by wild card Filippo Volandri 62 64 in the round of 16 at AMS Rome.

 

·         Federer’s recent victory at Hamburg was his fourth win at the tournament and marked his first defeat of Rafael Nadal in six clay court meetings. He defeated the Spaniard 26 62 60 in the final to improve his career head-to-head against Nadal to 4-7.

 

·         Gustavo Kuerten was the last No. 1 seed to win Roland Garros, in 2001. The top seed has only failed to advance to the round of 16 here on seven occasions in the Open Era.

 

·         Starace advanced to the third round by defeating Czech qualifier Ivo Minar 46 61 64 76 in the first round and Argentine Carlos Berlocq 62 64 62 in the second round.

 

·         In reaching the third round here, Starace has already equalled his best result in a Grand Slam event and is today bidding to reach the round of 16 at a major for the first time in his career.

 

·         Starace’s only previous third round appearance in a major came here in 2004. As a qualifier, he defeated Dmitry Tursunov 62 63 64 in the first round and then upset No. 10 seed Sebastien Grosjean 76 63 64 in the second round before falling to Marat Safin 67 64 36 75 75.

 

·         Starace’s victory over Minar in the first round here ended a run of eight first round losses at majors. The last time that Starace won a match at a major was at the 2004 US Open, where he defeated Alexander Popp in the first round before losing in five sets to Olivier Rochus.

 

·         This is Starace’s third Roland Garros appearance. Last year, he lost a two-set lead to lose in the opening round to Flavio Saretta 67 26 64 76 63. He missed the 2005 event with a sprained ankle.

 

·         After a disappointing start to 2007, when he only won back-to-back matches on one occasion through the end of March, Starace really hit form during the European clay court season. He reached the first final of his career at Valencia (l. Nicolas Almagro 46 62 61) and backed this up with a quarterfinal finish at Barcelona (l. Rafael Nadal 62 75).

 

·         Prior to reaching the final at Valencia (see above), Starace won the Napoli Challenger, defeating Younes El Aynaoui 75 62 in the final.

 

·         As a result of his form during the European clay court interview, Starace hit a new career-high ranking of No. 53 on 21 May and plays here at No. 57.

 

·         Starace is one of two Italians through to the third round at this year’s Roland Garros along with No. 29 seed Filippo Volandri, who plays Ivan Ljubicic today. This is the first time since 1999 that two Italians have advanced to the third round here.

 

·         Starace is bidding to be the first Italian to reach the round of 16 since Renzo Furlan in 1995. The last time that two Italians reached the round of 16 here was in 1976.

 

·         Starace is playing a Top 10 player for the eighth time in his career today and has a 2-5 win-loss record in his seven encounters to date. The highest-ranked player that Starace has defeated is the then No.8-ranked Carlos Moya. Starace defeated Moya in the first round at 2005 AMS Rome.


 

NO. 4 NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO (RUS) v MICHAEL LLODRA (FRA)

 

Head-to-head: Davydenko leads 2-0

2005     AMS Hamburg               Clay (O)            R64      Davydenko        61 61

2005     Metz                             Hard (I)              R16      Davydenko        64 64

 

This is their third meeting, and second on clay. Llodra has yet to take a set off Davydenko.

 

                           DAVYDENKO                                                     v                                                        LLODRA

 

                                     25*                                                            Age                                                            27

                                       4                                                    ATP Ranking                                                  87

                                      10                                                           Titles                                                            1

                                   39-24                                 Career Grand Slam Record                                12-22

                                    14-6                                       Roland Garros Record                                        5-7

                                234-175                                            Career Record                                              66-98

                                  111-70                                      Career Record - Clay                                        8-19

                                   25-14                                                 2007 Record                                                  7-9

                                    10-6                                           2007 Record - Clay                                            2-2

                                     7-5                                       Career Five-Set Record                                       1-6

                                       3                                      Comebacks from 0-2 Down                                     0

                                   61-64                                    Career Tiebreak Record                                    29-48

                                     9-8                                         2007 Tiebreak Record                                        2-3

* Turns 26 on 2 June

 

·         Davydenko was the only man to complete a first round match on Monday, defeating Stefano Galvani 63 61 61. He defeated Werner Eschauer 75 63 61 in the second round.

 

·         Davydenko is playing his seventh Roland Garros. He reached the quarterfinals here last year, losing to David Nalbandian 63 63 26 64.

 

·         Davydenko reached his first Grand Slam semifinal at 2005 Roland Garros before losing to eventual runner-up Mariano Puerta 63 57 26 64 64. He matched that by reaching the semifinals at the 2006 US Open, losing to eventual champion Roger Federer 61 75 64.

 

·         Prior to reaching the semifinals here in 2005 (see above), Davydenko had never previously advanced beyond the Roland Garros second round, losing at that stage on his first three appearances.

 

·         Davydenko played at Portschach last week, having won the title in Austria for the past two years. This time however, as No. 1 seed, he lost in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Juan Monaco 62 67 64.

 

·         Davydenko’s best result on clay so far this year was reaching the semifinals at AMS Rome, where he defeated Tommy Robredo 16 63 63 in the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champion Rafael Nadal 76 67 64 in a match lasting three hours, 38 minutes. Two weeks earlier, he had reached the quarterfinals at Barcelona, but gave a walkover in that round due to a wrist injury.

 

·         Davydenko’s best results on all surfaces this season have been semifinal finishes, reaching the last four at Doha and indoors at Rotterdam, both on hard court, before doing so at AMS Rome. He was also a quarterfinalist for the third successive year at the Australian Open (l. Tommy Haas 63 26 16 61 75).

 

·         Llodra defeated countryman Nicolas Devilder 64 63 63 in the first round, and upset No. 32 seed and Valencia champion Nicolas Almagro 26 62 67 64 64 in the second round.

 

·         Llodra’s second round defeat of Almagro was the first five-set win of his career. He was 0-6 in five-setters before it, including a 67 46 64 63 97 defeat by Tim Henman in the round of 16 at 2004 Roland Garros.

 

·         This is Llodra’s eighth successive Roland Garros appearance and he is bidding to equal his best result at this event, achieved when he reached the round of 16 as a wild card in 2004, losing at that stage to Henman as detailed above. This year and 2004 are the only times he has advanced beyond the first round at Roland Garros.

 

·         The round of 16 is Llodra’s best finish at any Grand Slam event. As well as reaching that stage here three years ago, he also advanced to the last 16 at the 2004 US Open, losing to Joachim Johansson 62 63 62.

 

·         Llodra’s progress to the third round here has broken a run of seven straight first-round losses in Grand Slam tournaments. The last time he played in the third round of a major was en route to a round of 16 finish at the 2004 US Open (see above). Llodra has in fact lost in the first round of a Grand Slam tournament a total of 16 times in 22 majors played ahead of this one.

 

·         Llodra is the only lefthander to reach the third round in the top half of the draw.

 

·         Llodra has a 1-9 win-loss record against Top 5 opponents. His only victory was defeating No. 3 Guillermo Coria in the 2004 ’s-Hertogenbosch final, to claim his only career singles title.

 

·         Llodra’s best tour result in 2007 ahead of Roland Garros was reaching the quarterfinals at Zagreb, and advancing to the third round at AMS Miami. He was also runner-up on indoor hard court at the Heilbronn Challenger (GER) (l. Michael Berrer 65 ret. in the final.)

 

·         Llodra is attempting to win three tour-level matches in a row for the first time since June 2005, when he had four victories to reach the semifinals at ’s-Hertogenbosch. He is attempting to win three consecutive tour-level clay court matches for the first time since advancing to the last 16 here three years ago.

 

·         Llodra was runner-up in the 2004 Roland Garros men’s doubles with Fabrice Santoro (l. Xavier Malisse/Olivier Rochus 75 75 in the final). He is playing doubles here with countryman Arnaud Clement, and the No. 10-seeded pair were still to play their first round match at time of writing.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

NO. 7 IVAN LJUBICIC (CRO) v NO. 29 FILIPPO VOLANDRI (ITA)

 

Head-to-head: Ljubicic leads 3-0

2003     Basle                Carpet (I)           R32      Ljubicic             63 36 62

2006     AMS Miami       Hard (O)            R32      Ljubicic             62 63

2007     AMS Miami       Hard (O)            R64      Ljubicic             63 62   

 

                       LJUBICIC                                          v                                         VOLANDRI

 

                            28                                              Age                                             25

                             7                                       ATP Ranking                                      34

                             7                                             Titles                                             2

                          28-30                         Career Grand Slam Record                         8-16

                           10-7                              Roland Garros Record                              5-4

                        306-199                                 Career Record                                 126-112

                          73-59                              Career Record - Clay                             116-68

                          26-11                                     2007 Record                                    12-11

                            5-4                                  2007 Record - Clay                                11-6

                           7-13                             Career Five-Set Record                             1-2

                             3                            Comebacks from 0-2 Down                            0

                        149-152                          Career Tiebreak Record                           25-34

                          16-11                             2007 Tiebreak Record                              2-5

 

·         Ljubicic defeated Arnaud Clement 61 75 76 in the first round and Stanislas Wawrinka 64 63 67 63 in the second.

 

·         Ljubicic is making his eighth successive appearance at Roland Garros and turned things around at last year’s tournament. Having never previously advanced beyond the third round, and having lost in the first round on four occasions, he broke through to reach his first Grand Slam semifinal. Ljubicic defeated Julien Benneteau 62 62 63 in the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champion Rafael Nadal 64 62 76. This is his best performance in a major to date.

 

·         This is Ljubicic’s third third-round appearance at Roland Garros. As well as last year, he also reached this stage in 2003, falling to Jiri Novak 64 75 36 62.

 

·         In his 30 previous majors before this one, Ljubicic has only advanced beyond the third round on two occasions. In addition to a semifinal finish here last year, he also reached the quarterfinals at the 2006 Australian Open.

 

·         Ljubicic has now won back-to-back matches on clay for the first time since July 2006, when he won two in a row to advance to the quarterfinals at Gstaad (l. Feliciano Lopez 76 63).

 

·         Ljubicic failed to win consecutive matches in the four clay court tournaments he contested this season before coming here. He advanced to the third round, after a first round bye, at both AMS Monte Carlo (l. Richard Gasquet 63 67 75) and AMS Hamburg (l. David Ferrer 63 63), and to the second round at Portschach last week (l. Luis Horna 76 64). He lost in the second round after a first round bye at AMS Rome (l. Jose Acasuso 64 63).

 

·         Before moving to clay, Ljubicic was having a good 2007 season, if not quite as impressive as last year, when he had won two titles (Chennai and Zagreb) ahead of Roland Garros. Ljubicic won his seventh career title in the first week of the season on hard court at Doha, defeating Andy Murray 64 64 in the final. He also reached finals on hard court at Rotterdam (l. Mikhail Youzhny 62 64) and on carpet at Zagreb (l. Marcos Baghdatis 76 46 64), as well as reaching the semifinals at AMS Miami, on hard court, losing to Guillermo Canas 75 62.

 

·         Volandri advanced to the third round at Roland Garros for the second time in his career by defeating qualifier Paul Capdeville 63 75 63 in the first round and Martin Vassallo Arguello 76 75 62 in the second.

 

·         In reaching the third round here, Volandri has already equalled his best result in a Grand Slam event and is today bidding to reach the round of 16 at a major for the first time in his career.

 

·         Volandri’s only previous appearance in the third round of a major was here in 2005, when due to right hand tendonitis he was forced to retire after losing the first three games to Jose Acasuso.

 

·         This is Volandri’s fifth successive Roland Garros appearance. Last year, Volandri reached the second round here, defeating Kristian Pless 64 76 64 before losing to Tomas Berdych 63 61 61.

 

·         Roland Garros is the only Grand Slam event at which Volandri has won a match in the last two years. Volandri’s last win in another major came at the 2004 US Open.

 

·         Volandri suffered a poor start to 2007, losing his first five matches before advancing to the second round at AMS Miami, defeating Nicolas Mahut 63 ret. (ankle injury) before falling to Ivan Ljubicic 63 62.

 

·         Volandri’s form picked up considerably during the European clay-court season. He won back-to-back matches at Valencia, retiring in his quarterfinal against Nicolas Almagro with stomach illness after losing the first set, and at Barcelona, losing to Nikolay Davydenko 76 76 in the round of 16. The following week as a wild card at AMS Rome, he produced his best result of the season, advancing to the semifinals, losing to Fernando Gonzalez 61 62.

 

·         On the way to his semifinal finish at AMS Rome, Volandri became just the third man to defeat world No. 1 Roger Federer in 2007, and the twelfth player to record a victory over the Swiss since he rose to the No.1 spot in February 2004. His 62 64 victory in the round of 16 there was his sixth of seven victories to date over a Top 10 player.

 

·         As a result of his improved form during the spring, Volandri has climbed back up the rankings, having dropped as low as No. 55 earlier this year, and plays here at No. 34, just six places below his career high.

 

·         Volandri is one of two Italians through to the third round at this year’s Roland Garros along with Potito Starace who plays No. 1 Roger Federer today. This is the first time since 1999 that two Italians have advanced to the third round here.

 

·         Volandri is bidding to be the first Italian to reach the round of 16 since Renzo Furlan in 1995. The last time that two Italians reached the round of 16 here was in 1976.


 
NO. 9 TOMMY ROBREDO (ESP) v JANKO TIPSAREVIC (SRB)

 

Head-to-head: Robredo leads 1-0

2005     Umag                Clay (O)            R16      Robredo            63 61

 

                      ROBREDO                                                       v                                                    TIPSAREVIC

 

                                      25                                                             Age                                                            22

                                       9                                                    ATP Ranking                                                  80

                                       4                                                            Titles                                                            0

                                   50-25                                 Career Grand Slam Record                                  7-12

                                    21-6                                       Roland Garros Record                                        3-3

                                275-169                                            Career Record                                              44-57

                                  127-57                                      Career Record - Clay                                       20-13

                                   25-14                                                 2007 Record                                                  8-9

                                     9-5                                             2007 Record - Clay                                            5-1

                                     6-3                                       Career Five-Set Record                                       7-3

                                       1                                      Comebacks from 0-2 Down                                     2

                                   89-73                                    Career Tiebreak Record                                    22-23

                                     4-6                                         2007 Tiebreak Record                                        4-2

 

·         Robredo advanced to the third round by defeating Argentine Sergio Roitman 63 64 62 in the first round and Greek qualifier Konstantinos Economidis 64 75 64 in the second round.

 

·         Robredo is playing his seventh successive Roland Garros and has now always reached at least the third round. He is today bidding to reach the round of 16 for the fifth consecutive year.

 

·         Robredo has only failed to reach the round of 16 here once. In 2002, he lost to Andre Agassi 62 64 62 at this stage.

 

·         Last year, as No. 7 seed, Robredo reached the round of 16 before losing to Mario Ancic 64 46 26 64 75.

 

·         Robredo has reached the Roland Garros quarterfinals on two occasions, in 2003 and 2005. In 2003, he let slip a two-set lead and lost to countryman Albert Costa at that stage and also lost in five sets in the last eight in 2005, falling to Nikolay Davydenko.

 

·         Roland Garros is Robredo’s most successful major. He reached the Australian Open quarterfinals for the first time in 2007 (see below), but has yet to advance beyond the round of 16 at the US Open or the third round at Wimbledon.

 

·         Robredo played five clay court events this year in the lead-up to Roland Garros. His best result was at Estoril, where he advanced to the semifinals, losing to Novak Djokovic 75 61. He also reached the quarterfinals at AMS Rome, falling to Nikolay Davydenko 16 63 63.

 

·         Robredo enjoyed a good start to the 2007 season, reaching the final at Auckland on hard (l. David Ferrer 64 62) and then advancing to the Australian Open quarterfinals (l. Roger Federer 63 76 75) and equalling his best performance in a major (he also reached the quarterfinals here in 2003 and 2005, see above).

 

·         Robredo has won four titles in his career, all on clay. Last year was the first time that Robredo won more than one title in a year. He won titles at Hamburg and Bastad.

 

·         Robredo has a very good junior record at Roland Garros, reaching the semifinals in 1999 (l. David Nalbandian 63 62) and finishing as runner-up in 2000 (l. Paul-Henri Mathieu 36 76 62).

 

·         Tipsarevic advanced to the third round at Roland Garros for the first time in four appearances, defeating countryman and qualifier Dusan Vemic 76 64 46 63 in the first round and then upsetting No. 22 seed Marat Safin 64 64 75 in the second.

 

·         Tipsarevic’s previous best result here was reaching the second round in 2005, defeating Dominik Hrbaty 67 63 36 63 86 in the first round before losing to Fernando Vicente 63 16 76 63.

 

·         Last year, Tipsarevic lost to Julien Benneteau 62 64 67 63 in the first round, one of eight first round losses in 12 majors before this one.

 

·         Tipsarevic is today bidding to reach the round of 16 for the first time in a major. His only previous Grand Slam third round appearance came at 2005 Wimbledon, when he lost to Thomas Johansson 62 63 61.

 

·         Tipsarevic is one of two Serbian players through to the third round here, the other being Novak Djokovic, who is due to play wild card Olivier Patience on Saturday. It is the second time in the Open Era that two Serbs have made it to the third round at a Grand Slam event. The other time this occurred was at 2005 Wimbledon when Tipsarevic and Djokovic also reached the third round. There have never been two Serbian men in the last 16 at a Grand Slam event in the Open Era. Serbian men played under the Yugoslav flag until the start of 2004, and although there have been five occasions when two men playing under the Yugoslav flag reached the third round at a major, on each occasion one or two of those men were Croats.

 

·         This is the third time that Tipsarevic has won back-to-back matches this year. He advanced to the third round at AMS Indian Wells (l. David Ferrer 61 63) and also won both singles rubbers when Serbia defeated Georgia 5-0 in a Davis Cup Europe/Africa Group I tie.

 

·         This is the first time that Tipsarevic has won consecutive matches on clay in his career to date. Prior to playing here, he had won just four matches in his twelve previous tour-level tournaments on clay.

 

·         This is Tipsarevic’s third tour-level event on clay this year, including Davis Cup (see above). At Casablanca, he defeated Michael Llodra 62 76 in the first round before losing to Jose Acasuso 64 64.

 

·         Tipsarevic won the Zagreb Challenger (d. Julio Silva 36 63 63) in his last tournament before Roland Garros so is currently on a seven-match winning streak at all levels.


 

NO. 13 MIKHAIL YOUZHNY (RUS) v NO. 17 JUAN CARLOS FERRERO (ESP)

 

Head-to-head: Ferrero leads 1-0

2003     Sydney             Hard (O)            R16      Ferrero              63 62

 

                              YOUZHNY                                                        v                                                       FERRERO

 

                                      24                                                             Age                                                            27

                                      15                                                   ATP Ranking                                                  20

                                       3                                                            Titles                                                          11

                                   40-24                                 Career Grand Slam Record                                75-27

                                     7-6                                         Roland Garros Record                                       30-6

                                205-162                                            Career Record                                           352-179

                                   59-49                                        Career Record - Clay                                      186-62

                                   29-11                                                 2007 Record                                                21-12

                                    10-4                                           2007 Record - Clay                                           18-8

                                     8-7                                       Career Five-Set Record                                    17-13

                                       2                                      Comebacks from 0-2 Down                                     1

                                   86-71                                    Career Tiebreak Record                                 130-101

                                   10-10                                       2007 Tiebreak Record                                        6-4

 

·         Youzhny advanced to the third round by defeating Nicolas Lapentti 63 60 64 in the second round. He had advanced to the second round without completing a game when his first round opponent, Jan Hernych, retired with lower back pain eight minutes into the first game of their match. With Hernych serving, nine points had been played and the score was advantage Youzhny.

 

·         Youzhny has advanced to the third round here for just the second time. He lost in the second round here in 2003, 2005 and 2006.

 

·         Youzhny is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the first time. In his only previous third round appearance in 2004, he lost to Nicolas Escude 62 75 67 62.

 

·         Youzhny is playing at Roland Garros for the seventh consecutive year. Last year, Youzhny lost in the second round here to 1998 champion Carlos Moya 63 64 62.

 

·         A win today would mean that Youzhny has reached the round of 16 or better at all four majors. His best career Grand Slam result came at the 2006 US Open, where he reached the semifinals, defeating Rafael Nadal 63 57 76 61 in the quarterfinals before losing to Andy Roddick 67 60 76 63.

 

·         In the lead-up to Roland Garros, Youzhny reached the seventh final of his career, his second on clay, at Munich, losing to Philipp Kohlschreiber 26 63 64.

 

·         Munich (see above) was Youzhny’s third final of the year. He won his third career title at Rotterdam on indoor hard court in February, defeating Ivan Ljubicic 62 64 in the final, and a week later reached the final at Dubai, also on hard court, losing to Roger Federer 64 63. This is the first time in his career that Youzhny has reached more than two finals in the same year and it is reflected in the fact that he equalled his career-high ranking of No. 15 on 21 May and plays here at the same ranking.

 

·         2003 champion Ferrero defeated Amer Delic 67 63 63 64 in the first round and Stefan Koubek 64 75 63 in the second round.

 

·         Ferrero is making his eighth appearance at Roland Garros, having played every year since his run to the semifinals on his debut in 2000. He has reached the third round for the seventh time, having only once failed to get that far (he lost in the second round as defending champion in 2004, to Igor Andreev 64 62 63).

 

·         Ferrero has fallen in the third round here for the last two years. Last year as No. 24 seed he lost to No. 10 seed Gaston Gaudio 75 75 76 at this stage and in 2005, as No. 32 seed he was defeated by No. 3 seed Marat Safin 76 75 16 76.

 

·         On his first four appearances here from 2000-03, Ferrero always reached at least the semifinals, culminating in victory here in 2003.

 

·         Ferrero won his lone Grand Slam title here four years ago, defeating Martin Verkerk 61 63 62 in the final. In the semifinals Ferrero had beaten Albert Costa, avenging his defeat by Costa in the 2002 final.

 

·         Ferrero is one of three former Roland Garros champions to reach the third round of the men’s draw, the others being Carlos Moya (1998) and Rafael Nadal (2005-06). Another former Roland Garros champion Gaston Gaudio (2004) lost in the second round to Lleyton Hewitt 46 36 62 64 62 on Thursday.

 

·         Ferrero was also one of five players starting in the draw who possess a lone Grand Slam title, but following the defeats of Thomas Johansson (2002 Australian Open), Andy Roddick (2003 US Open) and Gaudio, only he and Moya could still possibly add to their collection.

 

·         Ferrero has recovered from his fall to as low as No. 98 in the rankings in February 2005, but hasn’t recaptured the form that took him to the title here in 2003, and is still searching for his first title since 2003 AMS Madrid.

 

·         Ferrero’s best results in 2007 have been on clay. He reached the final at Costa do Sauipe, losing to Guillermo Canas 76 62, and was a semifinalist at Acapulco (l. Carlos Moya 26 62 63) and AMS Monte Carlo (l. Roger Federer 63 64).

 

·         With 18 wins on clay in 2007, Ferrero lies joint fourth for most wins this season:

 

2007 clay court leaders*

Rank

Player

Win-Loss

1.

Rafael Nadal

21-1

2.

Nicolas Almagro

20-8

3.

Juan Monaco

19-5

4=

Juan Carlos Ferrero

18-8

4=

Juan Ignacio Chela

18-9

* through completion of Roland Garros second round

Players in bold still active at Roland Garros

 

·         Ferrero was runner-up in the Roland Garros boys’ tournament in 1998, losing to Fernando Gonzalez 46 64 63 in the final.


 

NO. 15 DAVID NALBANDIAN (ARG) v GAEL MONFILS (FRA)

 

Head-to-head: first meeting

 

                          NALBANDIAN                                                    v                                                       MONFILS

 

                                      25                                                             Age                                                            20

                                      18                                                   ATP Ranking                                                  52

                                       5                                                            Titles                                                            1

                                   67-21                                 Career Grand Slam Record                                  11-9

                                    18-5                                       Roland Garros Record                                        5-2                             

                                228-116                                            Career Record                                              57-54

                                   90-44                                        Career Record - Clay                                       21-17

                                    11-9                                                  2007 Record                                                 9-11

                                     5-4                                             2007 Record - Clay                                            6-4

                                    14-8                                      Career Five-Set Record                                       4-1

                                       6                                      Comebacks from 0-2 Down                                     0

                                   74-61                                    Career Tiebreak Record                                    26-20

                                     4-6                                         2007 Tiebreak Record                                        5-4

 

·         Nalbandian defeated Hyung-Taik Lee 62 61 36 63 in the opening round and Spanish qualifier Ivan Navarro Pastor 75 64 64 in the second round.

 

·         Nalbandian is appearing at Roland Garros for the sixth time in his career. This is his fifth appearance in the third round, and he has not lost at this stage at Roland Garros since his debut year in 2002, when he fell to Marat Safin 63 63 36 64.

 

·         Nalbandian reached the semifinals for the second time last year, as No. 3 seed defeating Nikolay Davydenko 63 63 26 64 in the quarterfinals before retiring with a left abdominal strain against Roger Federer, losing 36 64 52 ret. to hand the world No. 1 his first Roland Garros final. Nalbandian also reached the semis here in 2004, falling to eventual champion and compatriot Gaston Gaudio 63 76 60. He is one of only two active players – the other being Federer – to have reached the semifinals or better at all four Grand Slam events.

 

·         Nalbandian’s best Grand Slam result remains his runner-up finish at 2002 Wimbledon, where, in just his fourth major and playing his first senior grass court event, he became the first man to reach the Wimbledon final on his debut. He defeated Xavier Malisse 76 64 16 26 62 in the semifinals before losing to Lleyton Hewitt 61 63 62.

 

·         Bearing in mind today’s opponent Monfils’s perfect 4-0 record in five-set matches at Roland Garros (see his notes below), it is interesting to note that Nalbandian’s mark of six career comebacks from two-sets-to-love down is the best among active players.

 

·         Nalbandian was one of five men starting in the draw who have been Grand Slam runners-up without claiming a major title. The other two were 2001 Australian Open finalist Arnaud Clement, 2003 Roland Garros runner-up Martin Verkerk, 2006 Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis, and 2007 Australian Open runner-up Fernando Gonzalez. Only Nalbandian and Baghdatis survived the first round, and both have advanced to the third round.

 

·         Nalbandian has played an abbreviated season so far, Roland Garros being just his ninth event (including the Davis Cup quarterfinals). Having led Argentina to the Davis Cup final at the end of 2006 (they lost to Russia), he sat out the first round of this year’s competition in February to rest. He retired with a back injury in the second round at AMS Monte Carlo (l. Philipp Kohlschreiber 75 41 ret.), then reached the quarterfinals at Barcelona in his last tournament appearance before coming here. Nalbandian withdrew from the Masters Series events in Rome and Hamburg with the back injury.

 

·         Nalbandian is bidding to win three matches in a tournament for the first time since the Australian Open, where he reached the last 16 before losing to Tommy Haas 46 63 62 63. That is also his best result thus far in 2007; he won two matches in a row to advance to the last 16 at AMS Indian Wells, and the quarterfinals at Barcelona.

 

·         Nalbandian was runner-up in the 1999 Roland Garros boys’ tournament, losing in the final to compatriot Guillermo Coria 64 63.

 

·         Monfils defeated Olivier Rochus 46 64 62 36 61 in the first round and upset No. 18 seed Juan Ignacio Chela 36 63 63 61 in the second round.

 

·         This is Monfils’s third straight appearance at Roland Garros and he is bidding to equal his best Grand Slam result, recorded here last year when he reached the round of 16. He won three five-set matches in the first three rounds before losing to Novak Djokovic 76 76 63. Monfils lost in the first round on his Roland Garros debut as a wild card in 2005.

 

·         Through the first round here, Monfils has a 4-0 record in five-set matches at Roland Garros, and an overall record of 4-1 in five-set matches (his lone loss being in the first round at the 2005 US Open).

 

·         The third round has been a barrier for Monfils at majors other than his home Grand Slam event. He lost in the third round at 2005 Wimbledon and the 2007 Australian Open, and his best result at the US Open is a second-round finish in 2006.

 

·         Monfils reached the fifth final of his career at Portschach last week, defeating two former world No. 1s - Andy Roddick 75 63 in the quarterfinals and Lleyton Hewitt 64 75 in the semifinals - before losing to Juan Monaco 76 63.

 

·         Monfils arrived at Portschach on an eight-match losing streak. The last time that he had won back-to-back matches in 2007 was at the Australian Open, where he advanced to the third round before losing to countryman Richard Gasquet 60 46 75 63.

 

·         Monfils was the Roland Garros junior boys’ singles champion in 2004 (d. Alex Kuznetsov 62 62 in the final). He also won the boys’ singles titles at that year’s Australian Open and Wimbledon, finished the year as the No.1-ranked junior and was named ITF Junior World Champion.

 

NO. 19 GUILLERMO CANAS (ARG) v KRISTOF VLIEGEN (BEL)

 

Head-to-head: Canas leads 2-0

2004     US Open           Hard (O)            R128                 Canas               63 46 75 61

2004     AMS Madrid      Hard (I)              R64                  Canas               57 75 61

 

                                 CANAS                                                          v                                                        VLIEGEN

 

                                      29                                                             Age                                                            24

                                      22                                                   ATP Ranking                                                  74

                                       7                                                            Titles                                                            0

                                   34-23                                 Career Grand Slam Record                                  6-10

                                    13-6                                       Roland Garros Record                                        3-3

                                211-146                                            Career Record                                              65-69

                                  104-67                                      Career Record - Clay                                       27-28

                                    24-8                                                  2007 Record                                                10-14

                                    14-5                                           2007 Record - Clay                                            7-6

                                   11-11                                     Career Five-Set Record                                       1-3

                                       1                                      Comebacks from 0-2 Down                                     0

                                   68-60                                    Career Tiebreak Record                                    28-16

                                    11-3                                        2007 Tiebreak Record                                        6-2

 

·         Canas defeated Victor Hanescu 63 61 64 in the first round and Simone Bolelli 64 63 63 in the second round.

 

·         Canas’s first round win against Hanescu came in his first Grand Slam match for two years, having returned from a 15-month anti-doping suspension in September 2006.

 

·         Canas is making his seventh appearance at Roland Garros and is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the third time.

 

·         Roland Garros is the scene of Canas’s best Grand Slam performances. He has twice reached the quarterfinals here, going no further than the round of 16 at any other major. Canas first reached the quarters here in 2002, defeating Lleyton Hewitt 67 76 64 63 in the round of 16 before losing to eventual champion Albert Costa 75 36 67 64 60. He returned to the last eight here in 2005 in his last Grand Slam appearance before suspension, again losing in five sets, this time to eventual runner-up Mariano Puerta 62 36 16 63 64.

 

·         Canas tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide steroid at 2005 Acapulco and began his 15-month suspension after 2005 Halle the week of 13 June. He returned at the Belem Challenger (BRA) the week of 11 September 2006 and won the title, and has performed strongly since, working his way back up the rankings from a low of No. 514 in September 2006 to No. 20 on 14 May 2007, his highest mark since 8 August 2005. He plays here at No. 22.

 

·         Canas compiled a 28-3 record on the challenger circuit from September onwards through the remainder of the 2006 season, winning a total of four tournaments (Belem, Montevideo, Buenos Aires and Asuncion). After collecting another challenger title at Sao Paulo this January, he stepped up to the ATP tour, and quickly won the title at Costa do Sauipe, his first tour title for two and a half years, defeating Juan Carlos Ferrero 76 62 in the final.

 

·         In addition to winning the Costa do Sauipe title, Canas has other good results this year on both clay and hard court. He qualified at AMS Miami and advanced to the final, losing to Novak Djokovic 63 62 64, and was runner-up at Barcelona, to Rafael Nadal 63 64.

 

·         His performance at Barcelona was Canas’s standout result on European clay – he did not advance beyond the second round at his three other events in the run-up to here. He withdrew from AMS Monte Carlo with leg pains, and retired in the first round at Munich with a stomach injury.

 

·         Vliegen defeated Danai Udomchoke 62 64 63 in the first round and upset No. 11 seed Richard Gasquet 76 63 61 in the second round.

 

·         Vliegen has won his first matches at Roland Garros for two years, having lost in five sets in the opening round here last year to Lukas Dlouhy 46 64 36 76 62.

 

·         This is Vliegen’s fourth successive appearance at Roland Garros and by advancing to the third round he has established a new best performance at this event. His previous best result was reaching the second round as a qualifier here in 2005, before losing to Mariano Puerta 63 75 62.

 

·         Vliegen is bidding to reach his first Grand Slam round of 16. This is his second appearance in the third round of a major, having lost at this stage at the 2006 Australian Open to Juan Ignacio Chela 61 64 64.

 

·         Vliegen was joined by countrymen Olivier and Christophe Rochus in the 2007 Roland Garros draw, but they both lost in the first round. The last Belgian man to advance to the round of 16 here was Xavier Malisse in 2004. (Malisse missed this year’s event due to a right wrist injury.)

 

·         Vliegen’s win against Udomchoke in the first round here broke a four-match losing streak in main draw tour-level matches. Having lost to eventual champion Rafael Nadal in the second round at Barcelona 61 62, Vliegen lost all three of his singles matches representing Belgium in the World Team Cup last week, to Florian Mayer 63 64, Jan Hajek 76 64 and Nicolas Almagro 62 61.

 

·         Between his appearances at Barcelona and the World Team Cup, Vliegen attempted to qualify for AMS Rome and AMS Hamburg, losing in the first qualifying round at both. Adding these to his four main draw losses as detailed above, Vliegen in fact broke a six-match losing streak by winning in the first round here (although only main draw tour-level matches are counted in a players’ win-loss record).

 

·         Vliegen’s best result of the European clay court season was reaching the quarterfinals at AMS Monte Carlo, defeating Paul-Henri Mathieu and Marat Safin before losing to eventual champion Rafael Nadal 61 61. The quarterfinals is Vliegen’s best result on any surface this season – he also reached the last eight on hard court at Auckland in January (l. David Ferrer 36 63 62).

 

·         Vliegen had another clay court highlight in the Davis Cup first round in February. With Belgium back competing in the World Group for the first time since 2003 and playing Australia, he won both his singles rubbers, defeating Lleyton Hewitt 46 64 36 63 64 in the first rubber and Chris Guccione 64 64 64 in the decisive fifth rubber to help Belgium to a 3-2 victory, the nation’s first in the World Group since 1999.

 

 

 

 


 
JUAN MONACO (ARG) v (WC) EDOUARD ROGER-VASSELIN (FRA)

 

Head-to-head: first meeting

Both men are competing at 2007 Roland Garros on career-high rankings, although Monaco is ranked 109 places higher than his French opponent.

 

                              MONACO                                                        v                                              ROGER-VASSELIN

 

                                      23                                                             Age                                                            23

                                      35                                                   ATP Ranking                                                 144

                                       2                                                            Titles                                                            0

                                    6-10                                  Career Grand Slam Record                                   2-0

                                     5-3                                         Roland Garros Record                                        2-0

                                   73-70                                              Career Record                                                4-3

                                   62-42                                        Career Record - Clay                                         3-2

                                    22-9                                                  2007 Record                                                  3-1

                                    19-5                                           2007 Record - Clay                                            3-1

                                     1-2                                       Career Five-Set Record                                       1-0

                                       1                                      Comebacks from 0-2 Down                                     0

                                   17-27                                    Career Tiebreak Record                                      1-0

                                     3-6                                         2007 Tiebreak Record                                        0-0

 

·         Monaco upset No. 27 seed Jurgen Melzer 62 63 62 in the second round, having defeated Italian qualifier Fabio Fognini 36 26 61 62 64 in the first round to record the first five-set victory of his career.

 

·         This is Monaco’s fourth straight year playing Roland Garros and by reaching the third round he has equalled his best Grand Slam result. He advanced to the third round here for the first time last year, defeating Fernando Verdasco 46 64 64 61 in the second round before losing to eventual semifinalist Ivan Ljubicic 46 57 63 64 62.

 

·         Monaco has never advanced beyond the second round at any of the other Grand Slam events, having played ten majors ahead of this one.

 

·         Monaco competes here at a career-best ranking of No. 35 and is currently on a seven-match winning streak, having won the Portschach title in the week before Roland Garros, defeating Gael Monfils 76 63 in the final.

 

·         As well as winning at Portschach, Monaco won the title in his hometown of Buenos Aires in February, defeating Alessio Di Mauro 61 62 in the final. He is the only man other than Rafael Nadal to have won multiple clay court titles this season ahead of Roland Garros. (Nadal has won three, at AMS Monte Carlo, Barcelona and AMS Rome).

 

·         Seven of Monaco’s 11 tournaments this season ahead of Roland Garros were clay court events, and he has had his best results on the surface, reaching the quarterfinals at Costa do Sauipe, Houston and Estoril. (He also reached the quarterfinals on hard court at Auckland.) He is in third place for most clay court wins in 2007.

 

2007 clay court leaders*

Rank

Player

Win-Loss*

1.

Rafael Nadal

21-1

2.

Nicolas Almagro

20-8

3.

Juan Monaco

19-5

* through completion of Roland Garros second round

Players in bold still active at Roland Garros

 

·          Monaco competed once at Roland Garros as a junior, but lost in the first round in 2002 (to Philipp Petzschner).

 

·         Wild card Roger-Vasselin has advanced to the third round in his Grand Slam debut. He won his first round match by retirement, defeating qualifier Marcos Daniel 61 41 ret. when the Brazilian suffered an adductor injury. Roger-Vasselin upset Radek Stepanek, ranked 86 places above him, 36 61 06 64 64 in the second round. That was the first five-set match of his career.

 

·         At No. 144, Roger-Vasselin is the lowest ranked man to reach the third round. This is his career-best ranking.

 

·         Roger-Vasselin is one of two wild cards to reach the third round, alongside countryman Olivier Patience. The last wild card to reach the Roland Garros round of 16 was Michael Llodra in 2004; the last time two wild cards reached the round of 16 here was in 2002, when Arnaud Di Pasquale and Paul-Henri Mathieu both lost at that stage. The best performance by a wild card here in the Open Era is Henri Leconte’s progression to the semifinals in 1992.

 

·         Monaco, at No. 35, is the highest-ranked opponent Roger-Vasselin has faced in his career. His best wins to date, in terms of rankings, are against No. 58-ranked Martin Vassallo Arguello in the first round at Casablanca this year (see below), and No. 58-ranked Stepanek in the second round here (see above).

 

·         Before receiving his wild card here, Roger-Vasselin competed in Roland Garros qualifying three times without progressing to the main draw. He lost in the second qualifying round in 2003, the first qualifying round in 2004, and the second qualifying round in 2005. Roger-Vasselin also made five unsuccessful attempts to qualify for other Grand Slam tournaments.

 

·         Before 2007 Roland Garros, Roger-Vasselin had played just five career tour-level matches in three tour-level events. He made his tour debut as a lucky loser at 2004 Stuttgart, losing in the first round, then reached the second round at 2004 Shanghai as a qualifier, and the second round at 2007 Casablanca as a qualifier.

 

·         Roger-Vasselin’s performance at Casablanca in April, where he qualified and defeated Vassallo-Arguello 62 62 in the first round before losing in the second round to countryman Paul-Henri Mathieu 46 63 64, was his highlight of 2007 before coming here. Roger-Vasselin also had some good results at challenger level, reaching the final on indoor hard court at Besancon (l. Ernests Gulbis 64 36 64) and semifinals at Cherbourg and Rabat.

 

·         Roger-Vasselin played his home Grand Slam tournament once as a junior, losing in the second round in 2001 (to Santiago Gonzalez).

 

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