Roland Garros Day 6: Links Roundup with Nadal, Paire, Djokovic, Isner and more

Roland Garros Roundup takes you through the Slam’s hot stories of the day, both on and off the court.

Tommy Robredo after his win over Gael Monfils

Shot of the Day: Newly-resurgent Spaniard Tommy Rebredo collapses on the court from exhaustion after his 3 hour 46 minute match against Frenchman Gael Monfils. Robredo came back from two sets down to win it 2-6, 6-7(5), 6-2, 7-6(3), 6-2.

Benoit Paire dissects his game: Benoit Paire possesses some of the most unique strokes in all of tennis. In this French Open feature video, the Frenchman discusses his eccentric backhand, his incessant use of drops, and the evolution of his weakest shot that being the forehand.

Novak Djokovic answers all: Novak Djokovic sits down to answer questions from his fellow ATP contemporaries Andy Murray, Gilles Simon, Jeremy Chardy, Richard Gasquet, and Marin Clic. Murray and Gasquet both inquire about their first ever match in the juniors against Djokovic and Jeremy Chardy takes a leap of faith and asks the world the No. 1 the secrets to beating him.

Rafael Nadal still seeking top form: Rafael Nadal’s confidence coming into the French Open could not have been higher. After dropping the first sets of his two opening round matches, the King of Clay is still looking for the level of play that propelled him to seven Roland Garros crowns. As Greg Garber of ESPN reports, Nadal believes he had “a good reaction of the second, playing—even if I didn’t play fantastic—I played the way that I had to play, with intensity, with passion.”

Rafael Nadal condems French Open scheduling: As Matt Cronin of reports, Rafael Nadal expressed his discontent with the scheduling and organizing of his second round match after his second round match was forced back a day due to the rainy conditions in Paris on Thursday.

“I cannot play third after men’s and girls when our possible opponents play second after girls. That’s not fair. The excuse they told me was because [opponent of Fabio Fognini, Lukas] Rosol have to play doubles. I am sorry, but that’s a joke. You have one more week to play doubles if you want to play doubles.”

Monumental year for the Americans in France: It has been an awesome year for the Americans in France—relatively speaking of course. Since 2003 when 11 Americans reached the third round of the French Open, the United States has had no more than 6 Americans reach the third round. This year with Serena Williams leading the way, there are seven Americans in the third round which “is the best the Americans have produced in the past decade” Greg Garber writes in his piece for ESPN.

John Isner overcomes five-set drought at slams: In 2012, American John Isner was defeated in all four majors in five set matches. After the first two sets, it didn’t even look like Isner was going to make it to a fourth set, let alone a decider. In Peter Bodo’s account of the match, he quotes Isner’s coach, Mike Sell, as saying, “Ryan was pretty much in charge there in the first couple of sets, but it turned around when John began to hit through the court. He did a good job keeping that pressure on right to the end there.” After Harrison broke what Bodo calls the first commandment of tennis, which is “Thou Shou Not Double Fault Away a Break Point” at 6-6 in the fifth set, Isner successfully served out the match to win 8-6 in the fifth.

Maria Sharapova finishes off Eugenie Bouchard: After building a 6-2 4-2 lead for herself against Canadian upstart, Eugenie Bouchard, Maria Sharapova was sent off court as the Paris rains proved insurmountable on Thursday evening. Sharapova came back Friday and was able to quickly close off any resistance for Bouchard and take the match 6-2 6-4. Sharapova said that “it was a pretty long day yesterday” but handled the situation with positivity stating, “At 8:45 last night, when it was still raining, it was pretty tough to continue. But I was happy to play part of the match and get myself in a good position to come out again today and finish it off.”

Youth being served: As Christoper Clarey of the New York Times tells us, “At the moment, there is not one teenager in the top 100” in the ATP. In addition, “the three [teenagers] who made it into the French Open draw did so through wildcards or qualifying. Fabrice Santoro believes the drastic dip in success among teenagers in the ATP is due to the fact that “the average level of play is higher now than ever” and “the high physical level of the top players is one that a 19-year-old cannot have.”

French Open Funnies: Check out the most exciting and entertaining moments of the French Open thus far in this 80-second bit.