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2007 ROLAND GARROS

DAY SEVEN MEN’S NOTES

Saturday 2 June 2007

Third Round Bottom Half

 

 

Show court matches

 

PHILIPPE CHATRIER:
    
Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA) v Igor Andreev (RUS)

    No. 2 Rafael Nadal (ESP) v Albert Montanes (ESP)

 
 

SUZANNE LENGLEN:           No. 16 Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) v Jan Hajek (CZE)

                                                No. 6 Novak Djokovic (SRB) v (WC) Olivier Patience (FRA)

 

COURT 1:                             No. 23 Carlos Moya (ESP) v (Q) Juan Pablo Brzezicki (ARG)

                                                No. 14 Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) v No. 20 Jarkko Nieminen (FIN)

 

COURT 2:                              No. 12 David Ferrer (ESP) v Fernando Verdasco (ESP)

 

COURT 7:                              Jonas Bjorkman (SWE) v Oscar Hernandez (ESP)

 

 

On court today…

 

·         An all-Spanish match-up between defending champion Rafael Nadal, who plays his last match as a 20-year-old, and Albert Montanes, who is bidding to reach his first Grand Slam round of 16.

 

·         Another all-Spanish match-up between 2005 quarterfinalist David Ferrer and Fernando Verdasco, who has reached the third round here for the first time. Ferrer leads their series 2-1, while Verdasco is on a six-match losing streak against fellow Spaniards.

 

·         2006 quarterfinalist Novak Djokovic bids to extend a six-match winning streak against Frenchmen when he plays Olivier Patience. Patience is hoping to become the first wild card to reach the Roland Garros round of 16 since Michael Llodra in 2004.

 

·         The other remaining Frenchmen, Paul-Henri Mathieu, has a fourth career meeting with Igor Andreev; both men are bidding to equal their best career Grand Slam result by advancing to the round of 16. Mathieu leads their head-to-head 2-1.

 

·         1998 winner Carlos Moya, the only former champion left in the tournament apart from Nadal, plays No. 134-ranked Juan Pablo Brzezicki. The Argentine qualifier is the lowest-ranked man remaining in the draw.

 

·         Lleyton Hewitt, who has a 6-1 win-loss record in third round matches at Roland Garros, bids to reach the round of 16 for the second year running. The Aussie faces Jarkko Nieminen, having lost just one previous match-up against left-handers at majors.

 

·         Jonas Bjorkman faces Oscar Hernandez. The Spaniard is making his first appearance in the third round at a Grand Slam event and has never previously played the Swede, who was the oldest man to start in the men’s singles draw this year.

 

·         A first-time meeting between No. 16 seed Marcos Baghdatis, who has reached the Roland Garros third round for the first time, and tournament newcomer Jan Hajek.

 

 


 

COURT PHILIPPE CHATRIER

 

PAUL-HENRI MATHIEU (FRA) v IGOR ANDREEV (RUS)

 

Head-to-head: Mathieu leads 2-1

2003     Moscow                        Carpet (I)           QF        Mathieu             26 63 75

2005     Davis Cup WG-QF         Clay (I)              R5        Andreev 60 62 61

2005     Metz                             Hard (I)              R32      Mathieu             76 64

 

                       MATHIEU                                          v                                         ANDREEV

 

                            25                                              Age                                             23

                            40                                      ATP Ranking                                     125

                             3                                             Titles                                             3

                          16-18                         Career Grand Slam Record                        14-10

                            9-5                               Roland Garros Record                              7-2

                        123-122                                 Career Record                                  99-88

                          58-52                              Career Record - Clay                             49-38

                          21-10                                     2007 Record                                    15-13

                           12-4                                 2007 Record - Clay                                13-9

                            2-6                              Career Five-Set Record                             1-5

                             0                            Comebacks from 0-2 Down                            0

                          53-46                           Career Tiebreak Record                           39-41

                           10-2                              2007 Tiebreak Record                              2-8

 

·         Mathieu upset No. 31 seed Florian Mayer 63 64 62 in the first round and then defeated countryman Gilles Simon 36 64 61 76 in the second round.

 

·         Mathieu has reached the third round for the last three years. Last year, Mathieu lost at this stage to eventual champion Rafael Nadal 57 64 64 64. In 2005, he lost to Guillermo Canas 63 76 26 67 86 in the third round.

 

·         Mathieu is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the second time and equal his best Roland Garros performance, which came in 2002. As a wild card playing in just his third major, he advanced to the round of 16 that year with wins over Wayne Ferreira, Fabrice Santoro and Jiri Novak. He held a two-set lead against Andre Agassi before losing in five sets, 46 36 63 63 63.

 

·         The round of 16 is Mathieu’s best finish at any Grand Slam tournament. As well as advancing to the last 16 here in 2002, he also reached that stage at the 2006 Australian Open, losing to Sebastien Grosjean 75 62 62.

 

·         Mathieu is making his sixth Roland Garros appearance. With the exception of 2004, when he missed the first half of the year with a left wrist injury, he has played every year since making his Grand Slam debut as a wild card here in 2001.

 

·         Mathieu and wild card Olivier Patience are the only two Frenchmen remaining in the men’s draw from the 21 that started. (Patience is also in third-round action today against No. 6 seed Novak Djokovic.) Five Frenchmen did reach the third round but Michael Llodra, Gael Monfils and Edouard Roger-Vasselin all lost their third round matches on Friday. If Mathieu and Patience both lose and fail to reach the round of 16, it would mark the first time that no Frenchman has advanced to the round of 16 since 1997.

 

·         Mathieu has won 11 of his last 13 matches. He won his first title for five years in the lead-up to Roland Garros, defeating Albert Montanes 61 61 in the final at Casablanca. The following week, he reached the semifinals at Estoril, but retired with a right hip injury when trailing Richard Gasquet 1-3. He lost in the second round at AMS Hamburg in his last event before playing here.

 

·         Mathieu is one of six men still alive in this year’s men’s draw to have won a clay court title this year, along with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, who play their third round matches today, and Roger Federer, Guillermo Canas and Juan Monaco, who are already through to the round of 16.

 

·         Mathieu missed a month of the 2007 season after rolling an ankle when four points from victory against Fernando Verdasco in the first round of the Australian Open. He returned at Las Vegas at the end of February.

 

·         Mathieu was the 2000 Roland Garros boys’ champion, defeating Tommy Robredo 36 76 62 in the final. Following Gael Monfils’s loss to David Nalbandian on Friday, Mathieu is the only former Roland Garros junior champion with the chance to join the five men who have won both the boys’ and men’s title here [For more details, see page 14 of the Preview]

 

·         Andreev upset No. 3 seed Andy Roddick 36 64 63 64 in the first round and followed this with a 63 36 63 75 victory against Nicolas Massu in the second round to maintain his record of always reaching the third round here.

 

·         Andreev is bidding for the 100th victory of his career today.

 

·         Victory for Andreev today would match his career-best Grand Slam result, set on his first Roland Garros appearance in 2004. He upset defending champion Juan Carlos Ferrero 64 62 63 in the second round, causing the joint-earliest loss by a defending champion here in the Open Era, going on to fall to eventual winner Gaston Gaudio 64 75 63 in the round of 16.

 

·         Andreev is making his third appearance at Roland Garros, but his first for two years, having missed six months of the 2006 season, from the end of April to November, after left knee surgery.

 

·         Andreev’s performance here in 2004 is his only Grand Slam round of 16 performance. His best performances away from Roland Garros are third-round finishes at the Australian Open (2006) and Wimbledon (2005).

 

·         Andreev is bidding to join his countrymen Nikolay Davydenko and Mikhail Youzhny in the round of 16. If he is successful today, this would be the first time that there have been three Russians in the last 16 at Roland Garros and just the second time in any Grand Slam event in the Open Era, following their performance at the 2006 US Open when Youzhny, Davydenko and Marat Safin advanced to the round of 16 with Youzhny and Davydenko going on to semifinal finishes.

 

·         Andreev reached a career-high ranking of No. 24 on 3 April 2006, shortly before undergoing knee surgery on 28 April. He returned for the last event of the season, AMS Paris, and made a full comeback for 2007. Andreev dipped down to No. 235 in the rankings on 2 April this year, but plays here on a protected ranking of No. 27. His actual ranking has risen to No. 125 and victory here would put him back inside the Top 100.

 

·         Andreev has had his best results on clay in 2007. Having not got beyond the second round at any hard court event, his clay court highlights are winning two matches at AMS Monte Carlo to reach the round of 16, upsetting Fernando Gonzalez 62 26 63 in the second round then losing to Juan Carlos Ferrero 63 63, and reaching the round of 16 at AMS Hamburg before losing to eventual runner-up Rafael Nadal 64 61.

 

·         Andreev’s other clay court highlight of the season came in Russia’s Davis Cup World Group first round tie, a potentially tricky away encounter for the defending champions against Chile in La Serena (see also head-to-head above). Andreev won both his singles matches, defeating Fernando Gonzalez 46 64 63 62 in the second rubber and today’s opponent Massu 62 61 67 64 in the decisive fifth rubber, to end Chile’s ten-home-tie winning streak. (Russia will host Germany in September’s semifinals.)

 

·         Until AMS Hamburg, Andreev had the distinction of being the last man to defeat Rafael Nadal on clay, doing so in the 2005 Valencia quarterfinals en route to the title. Nadal then embarked on his 81-match winning streak on the surface, ended in the Hamburg final by Roger Federer.

 

 

 

 


 

NO. 2 RAFAEL NADAL (ESP) v ALBERT MONTANES (ESP)

 

Head-to-head: Nadal leads 1-0

2005     Acapulco           Clay (O)            FR        Nadal                61 60

 

This is one of two all-Spanish match-ups in the third round bottom half, alongside the match between No. 12 David Ferrer and Fernando Verdasco. Perhaps surprisingly, these are the first two all-Spanish match-ups at 2007 Roland Garros. Fourteen Spanish men started in the draw here, the third-highest representation by any nation.

 

Nadal and Montanes were two of the eight Spaniards to reach the third round at Roland Garros this year, six of whom are in action today. This is the third year in a row, and the fourth time in the Open Era, that eight Spaniards reached the third round, equalling the highest number of players from the nation to do so.

 

The highest number of Spanish players to reach the Roland Garros round of 16 is six in 1998. With this being one of two all-Spanish match-ups today, it is not possible to equal or surpass this, following Juan Carlos Ferrero’s loss to Mikhail Youzhny in the third round on Friday.

 

                         NADAL                                             v                                      MONTANES

 

                            20*                                              Age                                           26

                             2                                        ATP Ranking                                    50

                            21                                             Titles                                           0

                          42-10                          Career Grand Slam Record                       12-21

                           16-0                              Roland Garros Record                            9-5

                         221-57                                   Career Record                                89-113

                         123-13                              Career Record - Clay                            82-82

                           38-6                                      2007 Record                                  18-11

                           21-1                                 2007 Record - Clay                              18-9

                            7-2                              Career Five-Set Record                           2-1

                             2                             Comebacks from 0-2 Down                          0

                          50-40                            Career Tiebreak Record                         27-35

                            5-4                                2007 Tiebreak Record                             7-5

* turns 21 on 3 June

 

·         Twice defending champion Nadal defeated 18-year-old Juan-Martin Del Potro 75 63 62 in the first round and Flavio Cipolla 62 61 64 in the second round.

 

·         In three appearances at Roland Garros, Nadal has always won his first two matches of the tournament in straight sets. On his Roland Garros debut in 2005, he did not drop a set until his round of 16 match; last year, he reached the third round before dropping a set.

 

·         Including this week, Nadal has been ranked No. 2 for 97 straight weeks since 25 July 2005. (Roger Federer has been at No. 1 for 174 consecutive weeks, since 2 February 2004).

 

·         Nadal has improved his Roland Garros record to 16-0 through the first two rounds. In 2005 he became the first man to win the event on his debut since Mats Wilander in 1982, defeating Mariano Puerta 67 63 61 75 in the final. He defeated Roger Federer 16 61 64 76 in the 2006 final.

 

·         Nadal is bidding to become the first man since Bjorn Borg in 1980 to collect a third successive Roland Garros title, and just the second man for 93 years to do so. Borg, who won a total of six Roland Garros titles in the periods 1974-75 and 1978-81, is the only man to have won three in a row here in the Open Era, and the only player to have done so since the event went international in 1925. Three more men achieved the feat pre-1925: Andre Vacherot (won titles 1894-96), Paul Ayme (1897-1900) and Max Decugis (1907-09; 1912-14).

 

·         Roger Federer was, of course, the last man to win a hat trick of titles at any Grand Slam event, winning his third successive Wimbledon title in 2005, and his third successive US Open title in 2006. [See Preview page 2 for more details.]

 

·         The last man to win three or more Roland Garros titles, consecutive or non-consecutive, was Gustavo Kuerten in 2001. (Kuerten also won in 1997 and 2000.) Kuerten is one of six men to have won three or more Roland Garros titles, consecutive or non-consecutive, since the event went international in 1925. [For more details see page 3 of the Preview.]

 

·         Nadal is one of three left-handers still alive, from the 13 that started, in this year’s men’s draw. Nadal’s compatriot Fernando Verdasco and Jarkko Nieminen are also due to play their third round matches today.

 

·         Nadal, who turns 21 tomorrow (Sunday) is the second-youngest player remaining in the men’s draw after Novak Djokovic, who turned 20 the week before the tournament started.

 

·         Nadal arrived at Roland Garros having just suffered his first clay court loss for more than two years. He had his record-breaking 81-match clay court winning streak broken by Roger Federer at AMS Hamburg, falling 26 62 60 in the final. Nadal accumulated his streak after losing to Igor Andreev in the Valencia quarterfinals on 7 April 2005, surpassing Guillermo Vilas’s previous mark of 53 straight clay court match wins with his first round victory at Roland Garros last year. Federer’s defeat of Nadal in Hamburg was his first clay court victory against the Spaniard in six clay meetings on the surface, but Nadal still leads their overall head-to-head 7-4.

 

·         Nadal is one of just two men, along with Buenos Aires and Portschach winner Juan Monaco, to collect multiple clay court titles so far in 2007. For the second year running, Nadal claimed all three of his clay court titles on European clay, winning at AMS Monte Carlo (d. Roger Federer 64 64 in the final), Barcelona (d. Guillermo Canas 63 64), and AMS Rome (d. Fernando Gonzalez 62 62). By winning his 16th career clay court title in Rome, Nadal moved ahead of Carlos Moya as the active player with the most clay court titles. He now stands in tenth place on the list for most career clay court titles won in the Open Era. [See Preview page 2 for more details.]

 

·         Eight of the last 12 Roland Garros champions entered the event having won at least one clay court title in the months leading up to Roland Garros.

 

·         Nadal’s 19-1 clay court win-loss record ahead of Roland Garros is the best of any player. Countryman Nicolas Almagro ties him for wins on the surface, but has seven losses. [For the 2007 clay court leaders chart, see page 13 of the Preview.]

 

·         Nadal leads the tour for total titles collected in 2007, having won four altogether including his hard court victory at Indian Wells in March. He also leads the tour for total match wins this season, being 387-6 through the second round here.

 

·         The defending champion has only failed to reach the round of 16 at Roland Garros on five occasions. The only time that the defending champion lost in the third round of Roland Garros was in 1986, when 1985 champion Mats Wilander fell to Andrei Chesnokov 62 63 62. (The defending champion has not returned on three occasions in the Open Era.)

 

·         Montanes advanced to the second round when his first round opponent, No. 25 seed Robin Soderling retired with a stiff neck when trailing 76 41. He then reached the third round by defeating Latvian Ernests Gulbis 61 62 16 76.

 

·         Montanes is bidding to reach the round of 16 at a major for the first time, having lost in the third round on three previous occasions, all of them at Roland Garros.

 

·         Last year, Montanes also reached the third round here, falling to Mario Ancic 61 62 64. He previously reached the third round here in 2001 as a qualifier, losing to Franco Squillari 63 63 57 63 and in 2002, losing to Andrei Pavel 61 16 64 63.

 

·         Montanes is playing his sixth Roland Garros and his 22nd major overall. The only major he has missed since 2002 was 2004 Roland Garros where he failed to qualify, losing in the first qualifying round as top seed.

 

·         Montanes has recorded just three victories in the other majors, one at each, thus never advancing beyond the second round away from Roland Garros.

 

·         Montanes is facing a Top 10 opponent for the tenth time in his career. He has a 2-7 win-loss record in previous meetings with Top 10 players. The highest-ranked player that he has defeated is No. 2-ranked Gustavo Kuerten 64 36 61 in the second round at 2002 AMS Rome.

 

·         Montanes has had a very good year on clay. His highlight was reaching the fourth final of his career at Casablanca in April, losing to Paul-Henri Mathieu 61 61. He also reached the semifinals at Houston (l. Ivo Karlovic 76 62) and Vina Del Mar (l. Nicolas Massu 61 63) as well as the quarterfinals at Buenos Aires (l. Alessio Di Mauro 16 64 62) and Portschach (l. Luis Horna 76 67 61)

 

·         As a result of his good clay court form this year, Montanes plays here on a career-high ranking of No. 50.

 

·         In addition to reaching the final at Casablanca this year, Montanes also advanced to the final at 2001 Bucharest (l. Younes El Aynaoui), 2004 Valencia (l. Fernando Verdasco) and 2005 Acapulco (l. Rafael Nadal).


 
COURT SUZANNE LENGLEN

 

NO. 16 MARCOS BAGHDATIS (CYP) v JAN HAJEK (CZE)

 

Head-to-head: first meeting

 

                           BAGHDATIS                                                     v                                                          HAJEK

 

                                      21                                                             Age                                                            23

                                      19                                                   ATP Ranking                                                 100

                                       2                                                            Titles                                                            0

                                   20-10                                 Career Grand Slam Record                                   3-2

                                     3-2                                         Roland Garros Record                                        2-0

                                   93-48                                              Career Record                                               7-13

                                   29-13                                        Career Record - Clay                                         6-5

                                   23-11                                                 2007 Record                                                  5-9

                                     9-4                                             2007 Record - Clay                                            5-4

                                     7-2                                       Career Five-Set Record                                       1-0

                                       1                                      Comebacks from 0-2 Down                                     0

                                   38-21                                    Career Tiebreak Record                                      7-2

                                    10-6                                        2007 Tiebreak Record                                        5-1

 

·         Baghdatis handed Sebastien Grosjean an unwanted 29th birthday present when he defeated the Frenchman 63 62 64 in the opening round. He defeated Kristian Pless 75 63 64 in the second round.

 

·         Baghdatis is making his third successive Roland Garros appearance and has reached the third round here for the first time.

 

·         Last year, Baghdatis won his first match at Roland Garros, defeating Albert Portas 64 64 67 61 in the first round, before losing to Julien Benneteau 36 64 63 67 64 in the second. He lost to David Nalbandian 06 64 64 64 in the first round on his debut here in 2005.

 

·         Baghdatis is bidding to reach the round of 16 at a third different Grand Slam tournament, having made two round of 16 appearances at the Australian Open (2005, 2006) and at Wimbledon last year.

 

·         Baghdatis recorded his career-best Grand Slam result at the 2006 Australian Open where, ranked No. 54 at the time, he reached the final before losing to No. 1 Roger Federer 57 75 60 62. En route to the final he defeated three Top Ten players, beating No. 3 Andy Roddick 64 16 63 64 in the round of 16, No. 8 Ivan Ljubicic 64 62 46 36 63 in the quarterfinals and No. 4 David Nalbandian 36 57 63 64 64 in the semifinals. He had another standout Grand Slam result in 2006 when he reached the Wimbledon semifinals (l. Rafael Nadal 61 75 63).

 

·         Baghdatis played five clay court events in 2007 (including Davis Cup) before Roland Garros. At Munich, he had his best career result in a clay court tournament when he reached his first semifinal on the surface, losing to eventual champion Philipp Kohlschreiber 62 63.

 

·         In his other clay court events in 2007, Baghdatis won back-to-back matches at AMS Rome, losing to Novak Djokovic 62 75 in the third round, and won two singles rubbers for Cyprus in its Davis Cup Europe/Africa Group II tie against Finland. He suffered first round losses at both AMS Monte Carlo and AMS Hamburg.

 

·         Baghdatis’s best performance in 2007 came on carpet at Zagreb where he collected the second title of his career, defeating Ivan Ljubicic 76 46 64 in the final. Assembling a nine-match winning streak, he also reached the final a week later on hard court at Marseille, losing to Gilles Simon 64 76.

 

·         Baghdatis lived in Paris and trained at the Mauratoglou Tennis Academy until earlier this year, but has now moved back to Cyprus and is coached by Yiannos Hadjigeorghiou.

 

·         Baghdatis finished 2003 as the No. 1 junior after winning the boys’ title at the Australian Open and finishing runner-up in the US Open boys’ event. He was No. 1 seed in the Roland Garros boys’ tournament that year, but lost in the quarterfinals to Brian Baker 64 75. (He fell in the first round of the junior events here in 2001 and 2002.)

 

·         Hajek defeated Thomas Johansson 75 76 76 in the first round and countryman and qualifier Bohdan Ulihrach 16 62 76 36 62 in the second round. That was the first five-set match of his career.

 

·         Hajek has advanced to the third round in his Roland Garros debut. This is just his third appearance at a Grand Slam event and he has recorded his best result, having lost in the second round at the 2006 US Open (l. Fernando Gonzalez 64 64 62) and in the first round at the 2007 Australian Open (l. Juan Carlos Ferrero 30 ret. due to stomach illness).

 

·         This is Hajek’s third career meeting with a Top 20 player. He is 0-2 to date, losing to No. 11-ranked Gonzalez at last year’s US Open (see above), and to No. 16-ranked Novak Djokovic 60 61 in the 2007 Adelaide round robin.

 

·         Before making his main draw debut as a direct entrant this year, Hajek had tried to qualify for Roland Garros three times, reaching the final qualifying round in 2003 and 2006, and losing in the first qualifying round in 2004. Hajek lost to Roko Karanusic 64 64 in the final round of qualifying for 2006 Roland Garros.

 

·         Hajek was 0-8 in tour-level matches for 2007 until turning things around at the World Team Cup. After losing two round robin matches at Adelaide, then first round losses at the Australian Open (see above), Acapulco, AMS Indian Wells, AMS Miami, Valencia and Munich, he compiled a 3-1 singles record representing Czech Republic in last week’s team competition alongside Tomas Berdych, Jiri Novak and Martin Damm.

 

·         At the World Team Cup, Hajek had wins against Bartolome Salva-Vidal, Kristof Vliegen and Florian Mayer in the round robin before losing to Agustin Calleri 63 61 in the final. Czech Republic lost 2-1 to Argentina in the final.

 

·         Hajek did not play his first tour-level match until last year, his sixth year as a professional. He made his debut by qualifying at 2006 New Haven, losing in the first round, and won his first tour-level match as a direct entrant at the US Open, reaching the second round (see above). He had further tour-level appearances at 2006 Palermo (losing in the second round) and 2006 Basle (losing in the first round), and finished the season in the Top 100 for the first time as a result of an outstanding season in challenger play. He won four titles in 2006, tying Guillermo Canas for the most challenger titles collected.

 

·         Hajek has played a little on the challenger circuit on 2007, and was runner-up on clay at Monza (ITA) in April, losing in the final to Werner Eshauer 60 30 ret.

 

·         Hajek did not play the Roland Garros junior event.

 

 

 


 

NO. 6 NOVAK DJOKOVIC (SRB) v (WC) OLIVIER PATIENCE (FRA)

 

Head-to-head: first meeting

 

                      DJOKOVIC                                         v                                         PATIENCE

 

                            20                                              Age                                             27

                             6                                       ATP Ranking                                     129

                             5                                             Titles                                             0

                           19-9                          Career Grand Slam Record                         6-10

                            7-2                               Roland Garros Record                              4-3

                          91-42                                   Career Record                                  21-36

                          32-15                              Career Record - Clay                             15-20

                           37-8                                      2007 Record                                      4-5

                           13-3                                 2007 Record - Clay                                 4-3

                            4-3                              Career Five-Set Record                             2-3

                             1                            Comebacks from 0-2 Down                            1

                          36-15                           Career Tiebreak Record                           10-16

                            8-5                               2007 Tiebreak Record                              0-0

 

·         Djokovic defeated Colombian lucky loser Santiago Giraldo 63 76 64 in the first round and French qualifier Laurent Recouderc 63 36 63 61 in the second round.

 

·         In Patience, Djokovic is playing his second Frenchman of the tournament. Through his second round win over Recouderc, his career record against Frenchmen is 14-5, and he is on a six-match winning streak against the nation. He hasn’t lost to a French player all year, his last loss being at 2006 AMS Paris, when he fell to Paul-Henri Mathieu in the second round.

 

·         Djokovic is competing at Roland Garros for the third time and has advanced to the third round for the second straight year. The highlight of his Grand Slam career so far came here last year, when unseeded he advanced to the quarterfinals, before retiring with a lower back injury when trailing eventual champion Rafael Nadal 64 64.

 

·         Djokovic has retired at Roland Garros both previous times he has played here. He advanced to the second round on his debut here as a qualifier in 2005, retiring there with breathing difficulties and cramping when trailing Guillermo Coria 46 62 32.

 

·         Djokovic is one of two Serbian men to reach the third round here, the other being Janko Tipsarevic, who lost his third round match on Friday. This marks the second time in the Open Era that two Serbs have made it to the third round of a Grand Slam event, the first being at 2005 Wimbledon, when Tipsarevic and Djokovic reached this stage before both losing. Djokovic established a new best individual performance by a Serbian man at Roland Garros by reaching the quarterfinals here last year. (Note: Serbian men played under the Yugoslav flag until the start of 2004.)

 

·         As No. 6 seed here, Djokovic has received the highest Grand Slam seeding of his career. He entered the Top 10 for the first time on 19 March this year and rose to a career-high ranking of No. 5 on 30 April. (He is also ranked No. 6 here.)

 

·         Djokovic is having the best season of his short career, having won three titles so far – he and Roger Federer, who has also won three, share second place behind Rafael Nadal (four) for most tournament wins in 2007. Djokovic’s 35-8 win-loss record for the year ahead of Roland Garros was second only to Nadal (36-6) on the tour.

 

·         Djokovic won on hard court at Adelaide, defeating Chris Guccione 63 67 64 in the final, and collected his first Masters Series title at Miami, defeating Guillermo Canas 63 62 64, having a week earlier reached the AMS Indian Wells final (l. Rafael Nadal 62 75). He also won the clay court event at Estoril, defeating Richard Gasquet 76 06 61 in the final.

 

·         Djokovic’s clay court form dropped off slightly after winning Estoril. He was a quarterfinalist at both Masters Series events in Rome and Hamburg, Hamburg being his last tournament before coming here.

 

·         Djokovic played the junior event at 2003 Roland Garros, losing in the round of 16 to Daniel Gimeno-Traver 62 26 63.

 

·         Patience defeated 17-year-old fellow wild card Jonathan Eysseric in the first round 61 36 62 64. He defeated lucky loser Mariano Zabaleta in the second round 75 63 36 26 64 to improve his five-set record to 2-3. It was his first-ever five-set match at Roland Garros.

 

·         At No. 144, Patience is the second-lowest ranked man left in the tournament, behind No. 134-ranked Juan Pablo Brzezicki, who also plays his third round match today.

 

·         In Djokovic, Patience has his fifth career meeting with a Top 10 player. He is 2-2 in previous such match-ups, his two victories against Top 10 players being against No. 9 Gaston Gaudio 62 62 in the second round at 2006 Salvador, and No. 4 Nikolay Davydenko 75 61 in the first round at 2007 Estoril.

 

·         This is Patience’s fourth Roland Garros appearance, having played here for four years in a row, each time as a wild card. He lost in the first round here last year to Ivo Karlovic 76 76 76.

 

·         Patience has reached the third round of his home Grand Slam event for the first time. His best results here previously were second round finishes: in 2004 (l. Hyung-Taik Lee 64 64 63) and in 2005 (l. David Ferrer 63 76 75).

 

·         Patience is bidding to reach his first Grand Slam round of 16. He advanced to the third round of the 2004 Australian Open as a qualifier, and had back-to-back wins over two Russians, Igor Andreev and Nikolay Davydenko, before losing in the third round to James Blake 61 63 62.

 

·         Patience was one of two wild cards to reach the third round, alongside countryman Edouard Roger-Vasselin, who lost his third round match to Juan Monaco on Friday. The last wild card to reach the Roland Garros round of 16 was Michael Llodra in 2004; the best performance by a wild card here in the Open Era is Henri Leconte’s progression to the semifinals in 1992.

 

·         Patience has won two consecutive tour-level matches for the first time since February 2006, when he won three in a row on clay to reach the semifinals at Salvador (l. Alberto Martin 62 57 76).

 

·         Roland Garros is just Patience’s sixth tour-level event of 2007 and until now, he had not progressed beyond the second round at any tour-level tournament this year. He lost in the second round at Estoril, where he played as a qualifier, and went 1-1 in the round robin at Vina Del Mar. He had first round losses at Chennai, the Australian Open and Costa do Sauipe.

 

·         Patience has also played challengers this season, his highlight being a runner-up finish at Rabat (MAR) on clay in March, where he lost in the final to Stefano Galvani 61 61. He was also a semifinalist at the San Remo Challenger (ITA), his last event before playing here. Fourteen of his 17 challenger, ATP and qualifying tournaments have been on clay.

 


 

COURT 1

 

NO. 23 CARLOS MOYA (ESP) v (Q) JUAN PABLO BRZEZICKI

 

Head-to-head: first meeting

 

                                  MOYA                                                            v                                                      BRZEZICKI

 

                                      30                                                             Age                                                            25

                                      26                                                   ATP Ranking                                                 134

                                      19                                                           Titles                                                            0

                                   71-38                                 Career Grand Slam Record                                   2-1

                                   30-10                                      Roland Garros Record                                        2-1

                                525-280                                            Career Record                                                2-5

                                310-124                                     Career Record - Clay                                         2-4

                                   23-12                                                 2007 Record                                                  2-1

                                    13-7                                           2007 Record - Clay                                            2-1

                                   15-17                                     Career Five-Set Record                                       0-0

                                       5                                      Comebacks from 0-2 Down                                     0

                                202-147                                  Career Tiebreak Record                                      1-2

                                    10-3                                        2007 Tiebreak Record                                        1-0

 

·         1998 champion Moya defeated Andreas Seppi 61 36 63 26 60 in the first round and Florent Serra 64 62 64 in the second round.

 

·         Moya is making his 12th Roland Garros appearance, having played here more years than anyone remaining in the draw with the exception of Jonas Bjorkman, who is competing here for the 14th time. Moya has played here every year since making his debut in 1996.

 

·         Moya is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the sixth time, having first done so in 1998 en route to the title, and then in 1999, 2003, 2004 and 2005.

 

·         Last year Moya reached the third round here as No. 30 seed, losing to Nikolay Davydenko 61 75 63.

 

·         Moya won his lone Grand Slam title here in 1998 by defeating countryman Alex Corretja 63 75 63 in the final. He is one of two former Roland Garros champions still alive in the tournament, the other being two-time defending champion Rafael Nadal, also in third round action today.

 

·         Moya was one of five players starting in the draw to possess a lone Grand Slam title, and the only one remaining. The others were Thomas Johansson (2002 Australian Open), Juan Carlos Ferrero (2003 Roland Garros), Andy Roddick (2003 US Open), and Gaston Gaudio (2004 Roland Garros).

 

·         Moya has had good results on both clay and hard court so far in 2007. He was runner-up on hard at Sydney in January (l. James Blake 63 57 61 in the final), and on clay at Acapulco in March (l. Juan Ignacio Chela 63 76). Other hard court highlights were reaching the semifinals at Chennai and the last 16 at AMS Indian Wells, and on clay, Moya reached the semifinals at AMS Hamburg just over a week ago.

 

·         Moya’s run to the semis at AMS Hamburg included wins over No. 10 seed Tomas Berdych 36 75 76 in the second round, No. 8 James Blake 16 63 63 in the round of 16 and No. 4 Novak Djokovic 76 46 75 in the quarterfinals. Moya lost in the semifinals to No. 1 seed and eventual champion Roger Federer 46 64 62.

 

·         Moya has won 19 career titles, this total including at least one every year 2000-06. Until recently, Moya’s 15 career clay court titles were the most among active players, but Rafael Nadal now heads that list after winning his 16th career title at AMS Rome.

 

Most clay court titles (active players)

Rank

Player

Total

Most recent title

1.

Rafael Nadal

16

2007 AMS Rome

2.

Carlos Moya

15

2006 Buenos Aires

3.

Gustavo Kuerten

14

2004 Costa Do Sauipe

4.

Guillermo Coria

8

2005 Umag

 

Juan Carlos Ferrero

8

2003 Roland Garros

 

Gaston Gaudio

8

2005 Kitzbuhel

 

 

·         At 30 years, 9 months, Moya is the second-oldest man remaining in the men’s draw behind 35-year-old Jonas Bjorkman.

 

·         Qualifier Brzezicki defeated Robert Kendrick 61 36 62 61 in the opening round and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 76 62 60 in the second round.

 

·         At No. 134, Brzezicki is the lowest-ranked man remaining in the draw.

 

·         Brzezicki is the only Argentine to reach the third round in the bottom half of the draw, of seven who started in this half, but is bidding to become the fourth Argentine overall to reach the round of 16 - No. 15 seed David Nalbandian, No. 19 Guillermo Canas and Juan Monaco all advanced on Friday. The last time as many as four Argentines advanced to the last 16 at Roland Garros was in 2005, when six reached that stage, an Open Era record. Three Argentines reached the round of 16 here last year.

 

·         Brzezicki has had his first match wins at Roland Garros this year. In his lone previous appearance at a Grand Slam, as a lucky loser here two years ago, he lost in the first round to Tim Henman 62 61 64.

 

·         In 2007 Roland Garros qualifying, as No. 24 seed, Brzezicki defeated Jeremy Chardy 57 76 63 in the first round, Martin Klizan 62 57 62 in the second round and Paolo Lorenzi 62 60 in the final round.

 

·         Brzezicki was unsuccessful in two previous attempts to qualify for Roland Garros (in 2004 and 2006), and also in trying to qualify for five other Grand Slam events.

 

·         Brzezicki’s wins over Kendrick and Garcia-Lopez in the first two rounds here were the first tour-level victories of his career. He was 0-5 in tour-level matches until then, having made his tour debut as a lucky loser at 2005 Roland Garros (see above), losing in the first round, and losing further opening round matches at 2005 Stuttgart, 2005 Ho Chi Minh City, 2006 Buenos Aires and 2007 Buenos Aires.

 

·         Brzezicki has played mainly on the challenger circuit this season, and all but one of his 11 main draw events at that level were on clay. His lone title however was won on hard court, at Salinas (ECU) in March, where he defeated Marcos Daniel 64 64 in the final. Brzezicki was also runner-up at the La Serena (CHI) and Tunica (USA) challengers.

 

·         Having reached the final at the Tunica challenger (see above) and the semifinals at the Forest Hills (USA) challenger in the two weeks preceding 2007 Roland Garros qualifying, Brzezicki has now won 12 of his last 14 matches, through three wins in qualifying and two main draw victories here. (Note: only main draw tour-level matches are counted on a players’ win-loss record.)

 

·         In No. 26-ranked Moya, Brzezicki is facing just the third Top 60 player of his career, having lost to No. 8-ranked Tim Henman at 2005 Roland Garros as detailed above, and to No. 57-ranked Boris Pashanski 64 57 75 in the first round at 2006 Buenos Aires. His defeat of No. 64-ranked Garcia-Lopez in the second round here marked his best career win in terms of rankings.

 

·         Brzezicki played just two tournaments on the ITF Junior Circuit and they did not include the Roland Garros boys’ event.

 

 


 

NO. 14 LLEYTON HEWITT (AUS) v NO. 20 JARKKO NIEMINEN (FIN)

 

Head-to-head:  Hewitt leads 3-0

2002     AMS Cincinnati              Hard (O)            R16      Hewitt               26 62 63

2002     AMS Paris                    Carpet (I)           R32      Hewitt               62 64

2005     US Open                       Hard (O)            QF        Hewitt               26 61 36 63 61

 

                        HEWITT                                            v                                       NIEMINEN

 

                            26                                              Age                                           25

                            16                                       ATP Ranking                                    23

                            26                                             Titles                                           1

                         105-32                         Career Grand Slam Record                       28-19

                           21-7                              Roland Garros Record                            8-4

                        457-144                                  Career Record                               200-140

                          75-35                               Career Record - Clay                            70-38

                           19-8                                      2007 Record                                  14-13

                           10-4                                 2007 Record - Clay                               7-6

                          24-10                             Career Five-Set Record                           10-4

                             4                             Comebacks from 0-2 Down                          1

                         120-96                           Career Tiebreak Record                         77-58

                            2-4                                2007 Tiebreak Record                             7-3

 

·         Hewitt advanced to the third round by defeating former doubles partner Max Mirnyi 63 61 63 in the first round and 2003 Roland Garros champion Gaston Gaudio 46 36 62 64 62 in the second round.

 

·         Hewitt is making his eighth Roland Garros appearance. Apart from on his debut in 1999, when he lost in the first round, he has always reached at least the third round here. He did not play in 2005 due to to a rib injury.

 

·         Hewitt has only once lost in the third round on his previous seven appearances at this stage here. In 2003 as top seed, he lost to Tommy Robredo 46 16 63 62 63.

 

·         Last year, Hewitt lost to eventual champion Rafael Nadal 62 57 64 62 in the round of 16.

 

·         Hewitt’s best performance at Roland Garros was in 2004, when he reached the quarterfinals, losing to today’s opponent Gaudio 63 62 62, at the beginning of a run of seven majors where he lost to the eventual champion.

 

·         Roland Garros is the only major at which Hewitt has not advanced to the final. He has made two final appearances at the US Open, winning the title there in 2001 (d. Pete Sampras 76 61 61), and finishing runner-up in 2004 (l. Roger Federer 61 67 60 64). He won the 2002 Wimbledon title (d. David Nalbandian 61 63 62), and lost in the final at the 2005 Australian Open to Marat Safin 16 63 64 64.

 

·         Hewitt is one of four Grand Slam champions, from the nine that started, still alive in this year’s men’s draw, along with Roger Federer, Carlos Moya and Rafael Nadal. Hewitt, Moya and Nadal are all bidding to join Federer in the round of 16 by winning their third round matches today.

 

·         This is Hewitt’s 80th match against a left-handed player and he has a 67-12 win-loss record in previous encounters. With the exception of two defeats to world No. 2 Rafael Nadal, Hewitt has not lost to a left-hander since March 2003 (l. Francisco Clavet in the second round at AMS Miami).

 

·         Hewitt’s loss to Nadal here last year was his first against a left-handed opponent in a major and he comes into this match with a 14-1 win-loss record against left-handers in majors

 

·         Hewitt made a belated start to the 2007 European clay court season, following an eight-week lay off after AMS Indian Wells with a back injury, returning at AMS Rome.

 

·         Following a first round defeat at AMS Rome (l. Oscar Hernandez 36 76 61), Hewitt displayed some of his best clay court form, reaching successive semifinals at AMS Hamburg (l. Rafael Nadal 26 63 75) and at Portschach (l. Gael Monfils 64 75).

 

·         Hewitt collected the 26th title of his career, the second highest number among active players behind Roger Federer, at 2007 Las Vegas, defeating Jurgen Melzer 64 76. Hewitt has won at least one title every year since winning his first title, aged 16 years 10 months at 1998 Adelaide.

 

·         Just one of Hewitt’s 26 titles has been on clay. He won the title at Delray Beach in 1999, defeating Xavier Malisse in the final 64 67 61.

 

·         Nieminen defeated Feliciano Lopez 62 64 76 in the first round and then recorded his 200th career victory and 70th win on clay against French wild card Mathieu Montcourt 61 61 64 in the second round.

 

·         Nieminen is bidding to equal his best Roland Garros result, set in 2003. As No. 30 seed that year, he reached the round of 16 before losing to Fernando Gonzalez 63 63 62.

 

·         Nieminen also reached the third round on his debut here in 2002, losing to Tommy Haas 63 75 26 64.

 

·         Nieminen is making his fifth appearance at Roland Garros. At last year’s event, as No. 16 seed, Nieminen suffered his first opening round exit here, when a stomach upset forced him to retire while trailing Raemon Sluiter 62 76 21.

 

·         Nieminen’s best Grand Slam performances are two quarterfinal appearances, at the 2005 US Open (l. Lleyton Hewitt 26 61 36 63 61) and 2006 Wimbledon (l. eventual runner-up Rafael Nadal 63 64 64). He is the only Finnish man or woman to reach the last eight of a Grand Slam tournament in the Open Era.

 

·         Nieminen is one of three left-handers still alive, from the 13 that started, in this year’s men’s draw. The other two are Spaniards Fernando Verdasco and Rafael Nadal, who are also due to play their third round matches today.

 

·         Nieminen played six clay court events in 2007 prior to Roland Garros (including a Davis Cup tie), with his best result coming in his most recent tournament at AMS Hamburg. He advanced to the third round at AMS Hamburg before losing to Novak Djokovic 75 46 64.

 

·         Nieminen’s best result of 2007 to date came at Marseille on indoor hard in February, where he advanced to the semifinals before losing to Marcos Baghdatis 36 63 62.

 

·         Nieminen has reached three finals on clay in his career: 2002 Estoril (l. David Nalbandian), 2002 Mallorca (l. Gaston Gaudio) and 2003 Munich (l. Roger Federer).

 

·         Nieminen played the junior boys’ singles event here in 1999, defeating Andy Roddick in the first round, going on to reach the third round, falling to Eric Prodon (FRA).


 
COURT 2
 
NO. 12 DAVID FERRER (ESP) v FERNANDO VERDASCO (ESP)

 

Head-to-head: Ferrer leads 2-1

2004     Chennai                        Hard (O)            R32      Ferrer                16 75 60

2004     Valencia                        Clay (O)            QF        Verdasco          62 63

2005     Barcelona                      Clay (O)            R64      Ferrer                63 64

 

This is the fourth meeting for these Davis Cup teammates, and third on clay. Although Ferrer has the edge in their overall series, they are tied 1-1 on clay.

 

Ferrer and Verdasco have teamed up twice on the tour to play doubles, reaching the quarterfinals together at 2005 AMS Madrid and losing one match at the 2006 World Team Cup.

 

This is one of two all-Spanish match-ups in the third round bottom half, alongside the match between defending champion Rafael Nadal and Albert Montanes. Perhaps surprisingly, these are the first two all-Spanish match-ups at 2007 Roland Garros. Fourteen Spanish men started in the draw here, the third-highest representation by any nation.

 

Ferrer has a 31-26 win-loss record against fellow Spaniards, while Verdasco has a poorer record, 12-23, and is on a six-match losing streak against his countrymen. A total of eight Spaniards advanced to the third round at Roland Garros this year, equalling the highest number of players to do so in the Open Era. This is the third year in a row, and the fourth time in the Open Era, that eight Spaniards have reached the third round.

 

                                FERRER                                                         v                                                     VERDASCO

 

                                      25                                                             Age                                                            23

                                      14                                                   ATP Ranking                                                  51

                                       3                                                            Titles                                                            1

                                   26-17                                 Career Grand Slam Record                                20-15

                                    10-4                                       Roland Garros Record                                        4-3

                                174-130                                            Career Record                                           114-106

                                  102-62                                      Career Record - Clay                                       57-42

                                   31-11                                                 2007 Record                                                 8-13

                                    14-4                                           2007 Record - Clay                                            2-4

                                     5-1                                       Career Five-Set Record                                       3-4

                                       2                                      Comebacks from 0-2 Down                                     1

                                   33-37                                    Career Tiebreak Record                                    49-49

                                     3-4                                         2007 Tiebreak Record                                        2-9

 

·         Ferrer defeated Daniele Bracciali 61 61 62 in the first round and Diego Hartfield 64 63 76 in the second round.

 

·         Ferrer is playing his fifth successive Roland Garros and is through to the third round for the third successive year. He lost in the second round in his first two appearances here in 2003-04.

 

·         Having reached his first Grand Slam round of 16 on his way to his quarterfinal finish here in 2005, Ferrer has now made a total of four appearances in the round of 16 of a major. He went on to reach the round of 16 at the Australian Open 2006-07 and Wimbledon in 2006, each time losing at that stage.

 

·         At last year’s Roland Garros, as No. 15 seed, Ferrer advanced to the third round before losing to compatriot Ruben Ramirez-Hidalgo 76 75 64.

 

·         Ferrer’s best Roland Garros performance came in 2005 when he reached his only Grand Slam quarterfinal to date, falling to eventual champion Rafael Nadal 75 62 60.

 

·         No. 12 is Ferrer’s highest seeding at Roland Garros and just below his highest-ever at a major, which occurred when he was seeded No. 11 at the 2006 Australian Open and the 2006 US Open.

 

·         Ferrer started 2007 in good form, defeating Tommy Robredo 64 62 in the final at Auckland on hard court to collect the third title of his career.

 

·         Ferrer has enjoyed a good European clay court season, reaching the semifinals at Barcelona, the quarterfinals at both AMS Monte Carlo and AMS Hamburg, and winning all three of his matches at last week’s World Team Cup. The only blip was his first round loss at AMS Rome.

 

·         Through the second round here, Ferrer has won eight of his last nine matches.

 

·         Verdasco defeated French qualifier Jerome Haehnel 46 62 62 60 in the first round and upset No. 21 seed Dmitry Tursunov 64 64 64 in the second round.

 

·         Verdasco is one of three lefthanded men playing in the third round today, alongside countryman Rafael Nadal and No. 20 seed Jarkko Nieminen. These are the only three lefthanders remaining in the draw.

 

·         Verdasco has a 12-42 career record against Top 20 opponents, and is currently on a nine-match losing streak against them. His last win over a Top 20 player was at 2006 Wimbledon, when he defeated No. 3-ranked David Nalbandian 76 76 62 in the third round.

 

·         Verdasco is making his fourth straight appearance at Roland Garros and has reached the third round here for the first time. Last year, as No. 28 seed, Verdasco reached the second round here, losing to Juan Monaco 46 64 64 61. He also reached the second round on his debut in 2004, losing to Juan Ignacio Chela 75 62 62.

 

·         Verdasco is attempting to reach his third Grand Slam round of 16. Unusually for a Spaniard, Verdasco has had his best Grand Slam results so far on faster surfaces, reaching the round of 16 at the 2005 US Open (l. Jarkko Nieminen 62 76 63) and at 2006 Wimbledon (l. Radek Stepanek 67 63 46 64 62). He had two hard courts at home when growing up.

 

·         Verdasco’s victory over Haehnel in the first round broke a seven-match losing streak. His last victory before coming here came at AMS Indian Wells in March, where after a first round bye he defeated Andreas Seppi 76 63 in the second round. Verdasco then fell in the third round to eventual champion Rafael Nadal 64 64, before losing his first match at six subsequent events before arriving here: AMS Miami (after a first round bye), the Davis Cup quarterfinals versus USA (he played just one rubber), Valencia, AMS Monte Carlo, AMS Rome and AMS Hamburg.

 

·         Verdasco’s victory over Haehnel was his first on clay this year. He had not won a match on clay since September last year, when he reached the quarterfinals at Palermo, defeating Jan Hajek 62 62 in the second round before losing in the quarterfinals to Ruben Ramirez-Hidalgo 63 64.

 

·         Verdasco’s best result in a disappointing year ahead of Roland Garros was reaching the quarterfinals at Las Vegas, before losing to Marat Safin 61 64.

 

·         Verdasco has reached three finals in his career, all on clay. At 2004 Valencia, he defeated Albert Montanes 46 62 62 to take the title. He finished as runner-up at both 2004 Acapulco (l. Carlos Moya) and 2005 Kitzbuhel (l. Gaston Gaudio).

 

·         Verdasco competed in the Roland Garros boys’ tournament in 2001, losing in the round of 16 to Brian Dabul 61 76.

 

 


 

COURT 7

 

JONAS BJORKMAN (SWE) v OSCAR HERNANDEZ (ESP)

 

Head-to-head: first meeting

 

                            BJORKMAN                                         v                                      HERNANDEZ

 

                            35                                              Age                                           29

                            39                                       ATP Ranking                                    61

                             6                                              Titles                                           0

                          82-53                          Career Grand Slam Record                        4-10

                          10-13                              Roland Garros Record                            4-3

                        401-339                                  Career Record                                 29-51

                          33-60                               Career Record - Clay                            29-43

                           8-11                                      2007 Record                                    9-6

                            2-5                                  2007 Record - Clay                               9-6

                          29-12                             Career Five-Set Record                           0-0

                             5                             Comebacks from 0-2 Down                          0

                        120-123                          Career Tiebreak Record                         17-14

                            4-5                                2007 Tiebreak Record                             6-3

 

·         Bjorkman defeated Aussie wild card Peter Luczak 67 57 63 63 61 in the first round and then Ivo Karlovic 36 36 64 76 63 in the second round.

 

·         In coming back from two sets down in both of his first two matches here, Bjorkman has become the first man since Jean Rene Lisnard in the first and second rounds at the 2005 Australian Open to win consecutive matches at the same tournament from two sets down.

 

·         Bjorkman is only the fourth man at Roland Garros in the Open Era to win consecutive matches from two sets down. The previous three men to do so here all lost their next match:

 

Year

Player

Rd

1st comeback victory

Rd

2nd comeback victory

Final result

1968*

Eduardo Zuleta (ECU)

R256

d. Peter Szoke (HUN)

26 26 63 61 75

R128

d. Richard Hawkes (NZL)

36 46 63 75 60

Lost R64

1979

Gene Mayer (USA)

R64

d. Yannick Noah (FRA)

36 06 63 64 63

R32

d. Brian Gottfried (USA)

 16 67 76 63 62

Lost R16

1994

Ronald Agenor (HAI)

R128

d. Lionel Barthez (FRA)

26 16 62 64 62

R64

d. David Prinosil (GER)

67 67 63 64 1412

Lost R32

2007

Jonas Bjorkman (SWE)

R128

d. Peter Luczak (AUS)

 67 57 63 63 61

R64

d. Ivo Karlovic (CRO)

 36 36 64 76 63

???

*256 draw

 

·         This is the third time that Bjorkman has advanced to the third round at Roland Garros, but the first time for 11 years. In 1996, Bjorkman defeated Chris Woodruff 76 26 46 75 64 in the third round before losing to Richard Krajicek 63 62 64 in the round of 16, his best performance to date here. Bjorkman also reached the third round on his debut here in 1994, when he lost to Jim Courier 63 61 61.

 

·         Bjorkman is playing at Roland Garros for the 14th successive year. He lost in the first round here for the last two years and, in fact, before this year, had lost in the opening round in seven of the last nine years.

 

·         Since his Grand Slam debut in the 1993 US Open, Bjorkman has missed just one major, the 2003 Australian Open (awaiting the birth of his son), and is competing in his 54th major here, placing him joint eighth for most Grand Slam appearances in the Open Era. Among active players, only Fabrice Santoro, who contested his 59th Grand Slam event at this year’s Roland Garros, has played more majors.

 

·         Bjorkman is twice a Grand Slam semifinalist. He advanced to the last four at the 1997 US Open (l. Greg Rusedski 61 36 36 63 75) and at 2006 Wimbledon (l. Roger Federer 62 60 62). Of those players to reach two or more Grand Slam semifinals in the Open Era, only Wayne Ferreira has a longer gap between his first and second semifinal appearance.

 

·         Bjorkman is bidding to become the first Swedish man to advance to the round of 16 since Thomas Enqvist in 2001.

 

·         At 35 years, 71 days, Jonas Bjorkman was the oldest man to start in this year’s men’s singles. He is the oldest man to reach the third round here since Jimmy Connors in 1991. If he wins today, Bjorkman would become just the sixth man aged 35 or over to advance to the round of 16 and the oldest since Nicola Pietrangeli in 1972.

 

·         This is just the second time that Bjorkman has won back-to-back matches in 2007. The only other time was at Marseille on indoor hard court in February, where he lost to Gilles Simon 76 62 in the quarterfinals.

 

·         Before arriving at Roland Garros, Bjorkman was on a seven-match losing streak, excluding a victory in a dead Davis Cup singles rubber, (d. Sebastian Preito 61 62 as Sweden d. Argentina 5-0 in Davis Cup World Group quarterfinal) including five straight losses on clay.

 

·         Bjorkman’s first round victory against Luczak was his first victory on clay since 2004 Roland Garros and ended a run of 13 straight losses on the surface.

 

·         Bjorkman is seeded two in the men’s doubles here with Max Mirnyi. The pair are twice defending champions here.

 

·         Hernandez defeated Juan-Pablo Guzman 76 60 62 in the first round and then upset No. 28 Philipp Kohlschreiber 76 61 61 in the second to advance to the third round here for the first time.

 

·         Hernandez’s previous best performance here was advancing to the second round, in both 2005 and 2006. Last year, he lost to Ivan Ljubicic 63 67 61 62 in the second round and in 2005, he fell to Mario Ancic 46 61 62 63 at that stage.

 

·         This is Hernandez’s fourth appearance at Roland Garros. He lost in the first round on his debut in 2004.

 

·         Despite playing in all four Grand Slam events, Hernandez has never won a match away from Roland Garros, losing three times in the first round of the Australian Open and twice in the first round at both Wimbledon and the US Open.

 

·         Hernandez has played exclusively on clay in 2007. (In fact, his last match on any other surface was at the 2006 Australian Open.) His best result of the season was at Barcelona, where he reached the quarterfinals, falling to Agustin Calleri 60 63.

 

·         Hernandez has now won back-to-back matches at tour level for just the second time this year, having made second round exits at four of his other five tournaments as well as one first round loss.

 

·         Hernandez has also played on the challenger circuit in 2007, winning at Florianopolis (BRA), as well as reaching semifinals at Santiago (CHI) and Napoli (ITA).

 

·         Hernandez plays here at a career-high ranking of No. 61, which he first reached on 21 May 2007.

 

·         Hernandez was one of eight Spaniards to reach the third round at Roland Garros this year and one of six in action today. This is the third year in a row, and the fourth time in the Open Era, that eight Spaniards have reached the third round, equalling the highest number of players from the nation to do so.

 

·         The highest number of Spanish players to reach the Roland Garros round of 16 is six in 1998. With this being one of two all-Spanish match-ups today, it is not possible to equal or surpass this, following Juan Carlos Ferrero’s loss to Mikhail Youzhny in the third round on Friday.

 

 

 

 

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