Both of the men’s matches today at Roland Garros ended with upsets as two top-10 players were ousted. Most notably, number 3 seed Andy Murray lost to number 12 Fernando Gonzalez in 4 sets. Gonzalez pulled out all the stops in this victory, going for winners and hitting them. Gonzalez had 24 forehand winners compared to only 3 for Murray.
In other quarterfinal action, number 23 Robin Soderling defeated number 10 Nikolay Davydenko. Soderling showed his upset win over number 1 Rafael Nadal was no fluke. Soderling commented, “I always knew that I could play really, really good tennis.”
Gonzalez and Soderling meet in the semifinals, a first for each of them in a Grand Slam.
On the women’s side, number 1 Dinara Safina beat number 9 Victoria Azarenka. Safina, however, lost her first set of the tournament. Midway through the 2nd set, Azarenka seemed to begin losing her touch on the ball, committing 26 unforced errors. Azarenka recognized her failures, stating, “I just missed a lot of my chances,” said the 19-year-old Azarenka, who was playing in her first Grand Slam quarterfinal. “It’s all experience, which I have to learn from.”
Though the final match was technically not an upset, it sure seemed like it. Number 20 Dominika Cibulkova clobbered unseeded Maria Sharapova, 6-0, 6-2. Sharapova managed to win her first game after holding off a match point in the second set. Too little, too late. Sharapova, the former world #1, has to feel good about being in the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam event. This is only her 2nd tournament after missing 10 months due to a shoulder injury and surgery. Cibulkova, in her first Grand Slam semifinals, will face Safina.