French Open Highlights Du Jour: Days 7 & 8

Upset Alert on the Federer Express

The biggest upset of the weekend took place yesterday when Ernests Gulbis dismissed Roger Federer in five sets.  There's no doubt that Ernie has always been supremely talented, though words like "underachieving" and "controversial" are applied to him even more often.  Either way, Ernie came through with the biggest win of his career, matching his best ever performance at a Major—which also came at Roland Garros way back in 2008.

Working Overtime

Both Andy Murray and Fernando Verdasco were forced to play matches that stretched out over two days.  They started their matches Saturday but were unable to finish before darkness encroached, forcing the matches to be postponed and finished Sunday.  Murray was pushed to the limit before dispatching crafty veteran Philip Kohlschreiber 12-10 in a match that took over four hours.  Verdasco, on the other hand, handily dispatched Richard Gasquet in straight sets in less than two hours.  Murray and Verdasco will face each other today in the fourth round and we'll see if Murray has enough left in the tank to eke out a win.

Lone Sloane

Sloane Stephens—who plays today against Simona Halep—is the lone American remaining in the tournament.  Donald Young and John Isner, the other American players, fell over the weekend.  Young lost in five sets to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez while John Isner lost in straight sets to Tomas Berdych.

 Cirque du Roland Garros

Anyone that's watched much of Gael Monfils and Fabio Fognini could have predicted that this match would be a wild ride.  Both players are prone to melodrama and Fognini can be a bit volatile.  Even when it's just Fognini or just Monfils, you're usually going to get some kind of extracurricular entertainment that's not strictly related to tennis.  Putting both of them together seems to make something special and wholly unique every time.  This weekend's match was no exception.  The tennis itself was up-and-down—Fognini hit an astounding 81 unforced errors and it wasn't clear whether Monfils was trying at all in the 4th set—but the match really had every kind of drama you could ask for.  Medical timeouts, point penalties, audible obscenities, thrown racquets and apparently even Fognini telling a woman in the crowd to "Sit down, you horrible goat."  Oh yeah, and even a few great points as well.

Kid's Day

The Junior event started on Sunday with 24 Boy's and Girl's singles matches scheduled on the outside courts.  The Finals for the Junior event are slated for this Saturday.