The Fedster started off playing good tennis and took the first two sets rather comfortably. The third set was much harder, as he saved two set points at 4-5 and then lost the tiebreak after being up 6-4. However, he righted the ship at the start of the fourth set, gaining the early break and then racing to victory, taking the 4th set 6-3.
|Full-stretch, but balanced. Only the Maestro.|
You can look at this match in two ways. One, Roger wasn't at his best and was disappointing for losing a set in the 2nd round (especially after holding two match points in the breaker), or two, Roger got pushed by a massive underdog who played as well as he could and made Roger earn the win in the end. I choose to look at it from the latter point of view. Roger played very well in three of the four sets, and Ungur was going for broke on many shots and it paid off.
Generally, I think it is a good thing for Roger to get tested a little bit in the opening rounds of majors, so long as it does not bite into his stamina. Through the first two rounds he has obviously not played anywhere near his best, but I expect him to up his level against his 3rd round opponent, Nicolas Mahut. Mahut is a guy that Roger has played three times before and because he employs an aggressive, serve and volley game, the match should be easier on the body for Fed and he can practice those killer passing shots we have all come to know and love.
The only fear I have right now is that the path to the quarters may be a little too easy. If Fed gets by Mahut easily, and then routines his 4th round match, then he will have to go straight into a slugfest with Berdych or del Potro (likely Berdych, as he has been on fire). Although on the other hand, Roger could be match-tested which is always a very good thing against big hitters like Tomas or Juan Martin.
Other 2nd Round Action
- Novak Djokovic got by Blaz Kavcic 60 64 64. Nole started very well and then trailed off towards the end, but a win is a win. He now faces Nicolas Devilder of France in the 3rd round.
- Gilles Simon ended the Cinderella run of Brian Baker, picking up a 64 61 67(4) 16 60 win. It has been a wonderful week for Baker, who had been off the tour for 6 years. I firmly believe the guy could be a very good Top 50 player if he plays consistently over the next year.
- On the 4th round collision course, del Potro plays Marin Cilic in the 3rd round while Berdych plays big Kevin Anderson. Tomas cruised by Michael Llodra while Delpo needed 4 sets to beat Edouard Roger-Vasselin. Cilic could pose as an upset threat to Delpo and Anderson will be Berdych's toughest challenge yet.
- Milos Raonic looks determined to be Rafa's 4th round opponent, but he will have to get through #13 seed Juan Monaco if he hopes to do so. That should be a great match. Rafa had an easy time in his 2nd round with a 62 62 60 win over Denis Istomin. Istomin had a few good break chances in the 2nd set but that was about it as far as the challenge he gave Nadal. Rafa now plays Eduardo Schwank in the 3rd.
- Andy Murray fought off back troubles to beat Jarkko Nieminen 16 64 61 62. He will next play clay specialist Santiago Giraldo, and that could be a tricky match if Andy's back flares up again.
- David Ferrer eased into the 3rd round after only losing 8 games. He plays Dr. Mikhail Youzhny next.
- Richard Gasquet lost the first set to youngster Grigor Dimitrov but came back convincingly to win in four. He will now play Tommy Haas in the 3rd round. Haas, at 34, has shocked everyone by playing so well against Sergiy Stakhovsky, winning 62 63 62. It should be a fantastic clash of one-handed backhanders, Haas and Gasquet.
- John Isner and Paul-Henri Mathieu dueled it out for over 5 hours before the Frenchman took the match 67(2) 64 64 36 18-16 in 5 hours and 41 minutes. Mathieu finally converted on his 8th match point.
|Winner after 5 hours 41 minutes! Incredible.|
There are some interesting third round matches on the lineup over the next few days. Gilles Simon vs Stan Wawrinka, Delpo vs Cilic, Berdych vs Anderson, Raonic vs Monaco, Ferrer vs Youzhny, and Seppi vs Verdasco. There was a potential to see Kohlschreiber vs Almagro but that was wiped out when Kohl disappointingly lost in straight sets to Leonardo Mayer of Argentina.
If you aren't exhausted by watching the 5th set of the Isner/Mathieu match, then good for you. Enjoy the 3rd round action as we move towards the second week of Roland Garros 2012!