French Open Highlights Du Jour: Days 14 & 15

The Battle for #1

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic faced off for the 42nd time with the #1 ranking and the French Open title on the line yesterday.  The level of play was a bit lower than what Nadal and Djokovic usually produce but there were still enough flashes of brilliant shot-making to keep the match interesting.  Both players seemed somewhat fatigued by the heat and used ice-filled towels to cool themselves during changeovers.  Djokovic appeared to vomit at one point and admitted to being bothered by an upset stomach.  In the end, Nadal emerged victorious in four up-and-down sets for his ninth Roland Garros title.

From Cow to Queen

Maria Sharapova—who once compared her clay-court movement to a cow on ice—captured her second Roland Garros title with a win over fast-rising Simona Halep.  With the win, Sharapova extended her clay court winning streak to 20 matches.  The final was a high-quality match and was the first three set women's final since 2001.  As long as Halep can recover emotionally, I expect that we'll see plenty more of her in the weeks, months, and years to come.

 In Good Company

With the 2014 Roland Garros title, Nadal now has 14 Grand Slam titles to his name.  That moves him into a tie for second place on the all-time Grand Slam list with Pete Sampras.

 No Rest for the Weary

With Roland Garros officially wrapped up, it's right into the grass court season as players now have two weeks to get used to grass before Wimbledon.  This week the men are at the Gerry Weber Open in Germany or the Aegon Championships in London.  Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Milos Raonic, Kei Nishikori, Richard Gasquet, and Gael Monfils (among others) are all entered in the Gerry Weber Open.  Stan Wawrinka, Tomas Berdych, Andy Murray, Grigor Dimitrov, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and Ernests Gulbis are all entered in the Aegon Championships.  The women's tour is at the Aegon Classic in Birmingham.  Ana Ivanovic, Sloane Stephens and Sam Stosur are all entered.

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