News, insights and updates as we send the first week of the French Open out with a bang ...
John Isner doesn't do anything the easy way. On Friday, he fought back from two sets down to take out Ryan Harrison. And on Saturday, his match with Tommy Haas went five sets. Isner, of course, is the winner of that marathon three-day, 11-hour Wimbledon match back in 2010, when he beat Nicolas Mahut in a 70-68 fifth set.
This time around, he wasn't so lucky, falling to Haas in a four-hour, 37-minute match in which he again rallied from two sets down. (Interesting stat: Roger Federer has played less time in all three of his matches than Haas just did.) Isner surely isn't happy to be done, but at least now he'll get a break.
We're expanding the definition of "upset" here to include its definition as "frustrated or angered." Benoit Paire was playing No. 13 Kei Nishikori but couldn't keep a lid on his emotions. Paire won the first set 6-3, but lost his temper (results above), received a point penalty for coaching, and went on to fall in four sets. And, continuing to take back all the gains he'd made in allegedly maturing, Paire complained that he would have received different treatment from the officials had he been a top-5 player. But, then, wouldn't we all?
In happier news, Nishikori becomes the first Japanese male in 75 years to reach the fourth round of the French Open.
Magdalena Rybarikova, caught in mid-hair-swirl, looking like the fittest club DJ ever. Alas, she and partner Irina-Camelia Begu lost to Varvara Lepchenko and Saisai Zheng in three sets.
"Although the current rule is conclusive in that players are not allowed to use devices at all unless approved, we can and should always consider ways to make sure the rule is consistently enforced." -Bill Babcock, Grand Slam committee director, to Reuters, May 30. Above: Bob Bryan takes his own photo of a ballmark on a disputed call, and received a warning from the chair. He and brother Mike would beat Eric Butorac and Jack Sock in two sets, regardless. But how much longer will this new trend go unpenalized?
Nicolas Mahut and Michael Llodra rock the matching cruise-ship stewards' look. And they set sail for the next round with a three-set win over Max Mirnyi and Horia Tecau.
Let's all tip our caps to Bethanie Mattek-Sands. It's not everybody who can pull off the Jersey-dad-on-the-beach look, what with the dark socks and matching armbands and cap, but she does it. Even better: she won her match against Paula Ormaechea in three sets, meaning we get to see what she'll wear to the clay in the next round.
Nishikori's reward for reaching the fourth round is a matchup against Rafael Nadal. Congratulations! Over on the women's side, the Sloane Stephens-Maria Sharapova showdown will be a can't-miss. See times and schedule of play for Day 8 right here.