Posted in My Interest, Tennis

#1239 – 2013 French Open

ENGLISH

The second grandslam tournament of the year has just been concluded. And so, as usual, it is time to make a recapπŸ˜€ .

Women’s Singles

A similar pattern as last year occured in the clay-court tournaments leading up to Roland Garros this year: Serena Williams was unbeatable on clay. This time, she came with three clay titles at Charleston, Madrid, and Rome. She was clearly the favorite to win the title, even more than the world no.2 and defending Roland Garros champion, Maria Sharapova. However, even under this looking-good circumstances, there was still somehow a bigger uncertainty than it probably should have been normally. This was because last year, Serena shockingly lost to a world no.111, Virginie Razzano, in the first round of the 2012 French Open.

The draw fell quite nice for Serena (partly thanks to Rafael Nadal who, as the defending champion of the men’s singles, had the honor to draw the women’s seeded players in the draw), with most “dangerous” players (at least on paper) fell into Sharapova’s half. However, these two top seeds managed to live up to their seeding and advanced to the final. Both not with plain smooth sailing though. Serena had to face her “French Open Quarterfinals demon” in her quarterfinals match against Svetlana Kuznetsova where she had to fight in three sets and actually was behind in the third set; and Sharapova faced a tough battle in the quarterfinals and semifinals against Jelena Jankovic and the world no.3, Victoria Azarenka, respectively.

Even though the final was between the world no.1 and world no.2, Serena was pretty much the heavy favorite. Especially with the level of play she had been showing through out the tournament and also the lopsided head to head record she had with Sharapova (13–2 in her favor coming into the final). The final turned out to be a high quality match though, with Sharapova playing, arguably, the best she had played against Serena in many of their last encounters. However, even so, Serena Williams was still one step ahead. With a 198 km/h ace down the T in her first match point, she defeated Maria Sharapova 6–4, 6–4.

Interestingly enough, it was Serena’s only second French Open title. The first one came ELEVEN years back in 2002, where she beat her older sister, Venus Williams, in the final; it was the starting point of the famous “Serena Slam” where she would also end up winning the following Wimbledon, US Open, and Australian Open (all against Venus in the finals). It was also such a nice victory for Serena because with this title, she became just the fifth woman to have won all four grand slam at least twice (so far she has had five Australian Opens, five Wimbledons, and four US Opens).

Wow, congratulations Serena! Keep on going strong!

Men’s Doubles

Quite similarly to Serena Williams, Bob and Mike Bryan also won their second Roland Garros title TEN YEARS after their first title back in 2003. The duo won the final against local players, MichaΓ«l Llodra and Nicolas Mahut in a thriller three-setter which had to end in a tiebreak with score 6–4, 4–6, 7–6(4).

Men’s Singles

The two most in form players this year fell into the same half: the world no.1, Novak Djokovic, and the seven-time Roland Garros champion, Rafael Nadal; which meant they could meet in the semifinals. And they did. And it was indeed a very intense and exciting semifinal where eventually Nadal won 6–4, 3–6, 6–1, 6–7(3), 9–7. I did watch this match until the fourth set but I couldn’t watch the fifth because I had to go to a tennis lesson on FridayπŸ˜† .

The other half of the draw, therefore, looked a little bit softer, especially after Andy Murray’s withdrawal. At first, it looked like it was a very good opportunity for Roger Federer to sneak into another Roland Garros final. However, it was not meant to be as he lost in the quarterfinals to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The hard-working fourth seeded David Ferrer, harnessed this opportunity and advanced to his first even grand slam final after defeating Tsonga in straight sets in the semifinals.

Not surprisingly, Nadal dominated the final by beating Ferrer 6–3, 6–2, 6–3 in a little over two hours. Thus, he won his eight French Open and twelfth grand slam title overall.

On the side note: even so, Nadal will drop in the world ranking to world no.5 as of Monday while Ferrer will raise to world no.4. This is due to Nadal’s absence from the sport for seven months starting from July last year. Well, him being ranked fifth will make Wimbledon interesting as he could potentially meet the other big four (Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, and Roger Federer) in the quarterfinals. However, the good news for him now is that he pretty much has no point to defend until the conclusion of Australian Open in January 2014; which basically means that he can only gain and go up from now.

Serena Williams lifted her second Roland Garros trophy in 2013; eleven years after her first. Photo credit: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images Europe
Serena Williams lifted her second Roland Garros trophy in 2013; eleven years after her first. Photo credit: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images Europe
Bob and Mike Bryan won their second Roland Garros title; ten years after their first. Photo credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe
Bob and Mike Bryan won their second Roland Garros title; ten years after their first. Photo credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe
Rafael Nadal won his eighth Roland Garros title in 2013. Photo credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe
Rafael Nadal won his eighth Roland Garros title in 2013. Photo credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe

BAHASA INDONESIA

Turnamen grandslam kedua tahun ini baru saja berakhir. Dan seperti biasanya, ini adalah saatnya untuk sebuah rekapπŸ˜€ .

Tunggal Putri

Sebuah pola yang sama seperti tahun lalu muncul di turnamen-turnamen tanah liat sebelum Roland Garros tahun ini: Serena Williams tak terkalahkan di tanah liat. Kali ini, ia datang dengan tiga gelar di tangan: Charleston, Madrid, dan Roma. Ia adalah favorit juara, bahkan lebih difavoritkan daripada pemain peringkat 2 dunia dan juara bertahan Roland Garros, Maria Sharapova. Namun, walaupun situasinya nampak bagus banget seperti ini, ada sedikit awan keraguan dan ketidak-pastian yang mungkin lebih besar daripada seharusnya. Ini karena tahun lalu, SerenaΒ kalah dengan mengejutkan dari pemain peringkat 111 dunia, Virginie Razzano, di babak pertamaΒ French Open 2012.

Undiannya (draw maksudnya) nampak baik bagi Serena (setengahnya berkat jasanya Rafael Nadal yang, sebagai juara bertahan tunggal putra, berhak untuk mengundi posisi pemain unggulan tunggal putri di dalam undian), dengan kebanyakan pemain “berbahaya” (setidaknya di atas kertas) jatuh di sisinya Sharapova. Namun, toh kedua pemain unggulan teratas ini berhasil masuk ke final. Keduanya tidak mengalami jalan yang murni mulus sih. Serena harus melawan “iblis (demon) perempat-final French Open”-nya di pertandingan perempat-finalnya melawan Svetlana Kuznetsova dimana ia harus bermain tiga set dan bahkan awalnya tertinggal di set ketiga; dan Sharapova menghadapi pertandingan perempat-final dan semifinal yang ketat melawan Jelena Jankovic dan pemain peringkat 3 dunia, Victoria Azarenka, berturutan.

Walaupun finalnya adalah antara pemain peringkat 1 dan 2 dunia, Serena jauh lebih difavoritkan. Terutama dengan level permainan yang telah ia tunjukkan di sepanjang turnamen dan juga rekor pertemuannya yang amat jomplang dengan Sharapova (13–2 untuk keunggulan Serena sebelum pertandingan final ini). Finalnya ternyata menjadi pertandingan kualitas tinggi loh, dengan Sharapova bermain yang terbaik dari semua pertemuannya dengan Serena di banyak pertemuan terakhir. Namun, biarpun begitu, toh Serena Williams masih lebih unggul. Dengan pukulan ace ke T berkecepatan 198 km/jam di match point pertama, Serena mengalahkan Maria Sharapova 6–4, 6–4.

Yang menarik, ini adalah gelar French Open-nya Serena baru yang kedua loh. Yang pertama ia dapatkan SEBELAS tahun yang lalu di tahun 2002 ketika ia mengalahkan kakaknya, Venus Williams, di final; dan itu adalah permulaan dari “Serena Slam” yang terkenal itu dimana ia kemudian memenangi Wimbledon, US Open, dan Australian Open setelah itu berturutan (semuanya melawan Venus di final). Ini jugalah sebuah kemenangan yang manis bagi Serena karena dengan gelar ini, ia menjadi wanita kelima yang telah memenangi keempat turnamen grand slam setidaknya dua kali (sejauh ini ia juga telah memiliki lima gelar Australian Open, lima Wimbledon, dan empat US Open).

Wow, selamat Serena! Teruslah bermain dengan hebat ya!

Ganda Putra

Agak mirip dengan Serena Williams, Bob dan Mike Bryan juga memenangi gelar kedua Roland Garros mereka SEPULUH TAHUN setelah kemenangan pertama mereka di tahun 2003. Duo ini menang di final melawan pemain lokal, MichaΓ«l Llodra dan Nicolas Mahut, melalui pertandingan tiga set yang ketat yang harus berakhir dengan tiebreak dengan skor 6–4, 4–6, 7–6(4).

Tunggal Putra

Dua pemain paling hot tahun ini jatuh di sisi yang sama dari undian: pemain peringkat 1 dunia, Novak Djokovic, dan juara Roland Garros tujuh kali, Rafael Nadal; yang mana artinya mereka bisa bertemu di semifinal. Dan mereka beneran bertemu di semifinal. Semifinalnya beneran menjadi sebuah pertandingan yang ketat dan amat seru lho dengan Nadal memenanginya 6–4, 3–6, 6–1, 6–7(3), 9–7. Aku menonton pertandingan ini sampai set keempat tetapi tidak bisa menonton set kelima karena aku harus pergi ke sebuah les tenis di hari JumatΒ :lol: .

Sisi lain undiannya, oleh karenanya, nampak agak lebih lunak, terutama dengan mundurnya Andy Murray. Awalnya, ini nampak sebagai peluang emas bagi Roger Federer untuk menembus final Roland Garros lagi. Namun, takdir berkata lain karena ia harus kalah di perempat-final dari Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Unggulan keempat yang terkenal karena kerja kerasnya, David Ferrer, benar-benar memanfaatkan kesempatan ini dan melaju mulus ke final grandslam pertamanya dengan mengalahkan Tsonga dengan straight sets di semifinal.

Tidak mengejutkan, Nadal mendominasi finalnya dengan mengalahkan Ferrer 6–3, 6–2, 6–3 dalam waktu dua jam lebih sedikit. Oleh karenanya, ia menjuarai titel kedelapannya di French Open dan title grand slam kedua-belasnya secara keseluruhan.

Catatan samping: Biarpun begitu, Nadal akan turun ke peringkat 5 dunia mulai hari Senin besok sementara Ferrer akan naik ke nomor 4. Ini dikarenakan absennya Nadal dari tenis selama tujuh bulan semenjak Juli tahun lalu. Yah, ia berada di peringkat lima akan membuat Wimbledon menarik karena ia berpotensi bertemu anggota lain dari big four (Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, dan Roger Federer) di perempat-finak. Namun, berita baiknya baginya adalah sekarang ia tidak memiliki poin sama sekali untuk di-defend sampai akhir turnamen Australian Open di bulan Januari 2014; yang mana pada dasarnya artinya ia hanya bisa semakin mengumpulkan poin dan posisinya semakin naik semenjak saat ini.

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