ROLAND GARROS 2011
Qualifier Robert Stuns Berdych
by ATP Staff|
French qualifier Stephane Robert caused the upset of the day at Roland Garros on Monday as he came back from two sets down for the first time in his career to defeat World No. 6 Tomas Berdych 3-6, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, 9-7.
It was a day of firsts for the No. 140-ranked Robert. The 31 year old had also never before won a main draw match at Roland Garros, never before defeated a Top 10 opponent, and never before prevailed in a five-set match. He delighted the French fans on Court 2 as he held his nerve to prevail in a 75-minute fifth set against Berdych, who reached the semi-finals (l. to Soderling) last year.
"I gave it all today," said Robert, who hit 62 winners. "I fought for my life." Berdych, who squandered one match point, said, "That's tennis. That's what can happen in the long matches. Sadly it happened to me today."
After his run at Roland Garros in 2010, Berdych went on to reach his first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon, finishing runner-up to Rafael Nadal. He came into the clay-court Grand Slam having reached the semi-finals in Nice last week (l. to Almagro).
The 28-year-old Youzhny, who broke serve six times, improved to a 10-11 match record on the season. Since reaching the Marseille semi-finals in February, the Muscovite has failed to win back-to-back tour-level matches, and will attempt to correct that when he faces Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin in the second round. Kukushkin was a 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 winner over Germany’s Daniel Brands.
World No. 16 Viktor Troicki broke serve five times as he defeated German Julian Reister 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 in just less than two hours. The Serbian, who finished runner-up in Sydney (l. to Simon) at the start of the season, posted his best result at Roland Garros last year when he reached the third round (l. to Youzhny).
Janko Tipsarevic completed a perfect day for the Serbian contingent, joining Novak Djokovic and Troicki in the second round after finishing strong in a 7-6(1), 6-1, 6-0 win over Argentine Brian Dabul.
Former Top 10 players Marcos Baghdatis and Nikolay Davydenko recorded straight-sets wins in their opening matches. Baghdatis, seeded 27th, accounted for Portugal's Frederico Gil 7-6(4), 6-2, 6-2, while No. 28 Davydenko closed out a 7-6(2), 6-1, 6-3 win over German Denis Gremelmayr.
Canada's Milos Raonic fell in his debut appearance at Roland Garros, bowing out to German Michael Berrer 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. The 20-year-old Raonic, who earlier this year qualified and reached the fourth round at the Australian Open, managed to convert on just two of his eight break points while Berrer went four for five on his opportunities.