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Rediff.com  » Sports » Photos: Agony and ecstasy at the French Open

Photos: Agony and ecstasy at the French Open

Last updated on: June 6, 2011 09:42 IST

Gael Monfils wins a marathon match

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The Roland Garros, venue of the French Open, is a great theatre for tennis stars to display their emotions. While some are over the top with their expressiveness, others keep a low profile when it comes to conveying their feelings. Be it during an upset win or an unexpected loss, these tennis stars have poured out their hearts on these beds of clay in Paris.

Here's a sneak peek of a plethora of emotions laid bare at the Roland Garros.

A boy from the backyard, Gael Monfils was having a great run at the Roland Garros until he bumped into Spain's David Ferrer in the fourth round. That match was interrupted due to bad light with the ninth-seeded Monfils 0-2 down in the fourth set.

The rain break wasn't of much help to the Frenchman as he failed to put up much of a fight when the match resumed on the Suzanne Lenglen court. He dropped the set in less than half an hour before regrouping.

He finally downed the 7th seeded Spaniard when he ended the contest on his fourth match point by blazing a forehand passing winner on Ferrer's serve. Monfils registered a 6-4, 2-6, 7-5, 1-6, 8-6 win to enter the quarters.

The happiness at winning that match is visible from the emotions running through Monfils in the picture.

However, the Frenchman's campaign was ended by Roger Federer in the quarter-finals.


Image: Gael Monfils reacts after defeating David Ferrer
Photographs: Reuters
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Kuznetsova blown away by brave Bartoli

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When Svetlana Kuznetsova, the 2009 French Open champion, stepped on to the court to face Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli, she didn't expect the challenge coming her way.

Bartoli was up for the challenge and Kuznetsova was beaten on more occasions than one.

The quarter-final was money's worth as the first set went into a tie-break.

An untidy first set, which featured seven breaks of serve in 13 games, was predictably settled by a tie-break. Bartoli then made easy work of Kuznetsova in the second set to book a berth in the semi-final.


Image: Svetlana Kuznetsova reacts during her quarter-final match against Marion Bartoli

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Nadal brings out his best against Soderling

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Till this quarter-final clash, World No 1 Rafael Nadal wasn't playing at his best. The champion himself admitted to this fact.

But once he saw Robin Soderling on the other side of the net, Nadal cut loose to batter the Swede 6-4, 6-1, 7-6.

Five-times winner Nadal, whose only French men's singles loss was to Soderling in 2009, tasted sweet revenge after this reassuring win.


Image: Rafael Nadal reacts during his quarter-final match against Robin Soderling

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Sharapova rises over Radwanska challenge

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Former World No 1, Maria Sharapova had a tough fight when she faced Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland in the fourth round encounter. So intense was the match that Sharapova couldn't keep her emotions in check, jumping at every point. And the Russian deserved the points because Radwanska didn't make it easy for her.

It wasn't the best tennis on display in terms of numbers. In the first set, Sharapova, hit 29 winners but 22 unforced errors, while Radwanska had only seven winners and five unforced errors. At set's end, Sharapova had won 42 points, Radwanska 41. And she won the tie 7-6 (4), 7-5.


Image: Maria Sharapova reacts during her match against Agnieszka Radwanska

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Inconsistent Ivanovic knocked out in first round

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Ana Ivanovic was done in more by lack of consistency than the genius of unheralded Swede Johanna Larsson. She started brilliantly to take home the first set 7-6 but gradually lost her grip over the match and bowed out of the first round.

Larsson won 6-7, 6-0, 6-2.

Ivanovic seemed to have found her form when she rolled through a one-sided second set, despite still battling to stem unforced errors.

She went off the boil again in the decider and bowed out after one hour and 49 minutes when she netted a routine forehand.


Image: Ana Ivanovic of Serbia reacts during her match against Johanna Larsson of Sweden

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Murray, Triocki play out thriller

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Britain's Andy Murray and Serbia's Viktor Troicki played out a thrilling fourth round contest.

Murray fought off an injury and saved two crucial points to claw back into the game with a 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 win a spot in the quarters.


Image: Viktor Troicki reacts during his match against Andy Murray

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String of unforced errors cost Triocki the match

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Troicki came within two points of victory when he led 5-3, 30-0 on his serve but made a string of unforced errors to let Murray back into the contest.

The 24-year-old Scot wasted three match points but a gravity-defying crosscourt backhand passing winner sent him through after almost four hours.


Image: Andy Murray reacts in the match against Triocki

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Kirilenko's fight in vain

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Maria Kirilenko was staring her fate in the face during this nail-biter against Germany's Andrea Petkovic. She went down 2-6, 6-4, 4-6 but not before putting up a fight in the second set.

Kirilenko took every game to deuce. She even earned a break in the last set, but it wasn't enough since she kept her serve just once before losing in three-quarters of an hour.


Image: Maria Kirilenko of Russia reacts during her match against Andrea Petkovic of Germany

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Soderling clinical against Simon

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Robin Soderling was pumped up in the match against Gilles Simon. He was accurate as ever and even though he needed some medical attention for a blistered finger, the Swede silenced the fervent French crowd on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Soderling eventually trumped the Frenchman 6-2, 6-3, 7-6 for a place in the quarters.

However, Soderling's campaign was brought to a grinding halt by Nadal, who won the quarters 6-4, 6-1, 7-6.


Image: Robin Soderling of Sweden reacts during his match against Gilles Simon of France

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Schiavone rallies against Jankovic

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Fifth seed Francesca Schiavone had to dig deep against Serbian Jelena Jankovic in the last 16 round clash. The strong Schiavone overpowered the tall Serbian to crawl back in to the game after going down in the second set.

With the support of the boisterous crowd she beat the 10th seeded Jankovic, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4.


Image: Francesca Schiavone of Italy reacts after winning her match against Jelena Jankovic of Serbia

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Mayer outdone by Falla

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Germany's Florian Mayer was outplayed by Columbia's Alejandro Falla in the second round of the French Open. And Mayer's agony can be made out here even as he put up a fight in the third set.

But the Columbian's power hitting got the better of Mayer, who was knocked out of the competition after a 6-4, 6-7(4), 1-6, 2-6 loss.


Image: Florian Mayer of Germany reacts during his match against Alejandro Falla of Colombia

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Fognini first Italian to reach French Open quarters

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Laid-back Fabio Fognini became the first Italian man to reach the last eight at Roland Garros since Renzo Furlan in 1995. He beat Spain's Alberto Montanes 4-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 11-9 in four hours 22 minutes.

Fognini saved five match-points, one with a drop shot, as he fooled around on Court Suzanne Lenglen, notably pouring water on the trainer who came several times in the fifth set to massage and strap his left thigh.


Image: Fabio Fognini of Italy reacts after winning his match against Albert Montanes of Spain

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