French Open: Served with a twist

Lots of action, lots of chitter-chatter, lots of humorous banter -- Roland Garros was abuzz with activity on Day Two. With Novak Djokovic and former World No. 1 Roger Federer playing, it wasn't expected to be any different.

Stephane Robert

Down two sets to love against Tomas Berdych, French journeyman Stephane Robert (above) pulled off a sensational victory over the Czech world number 6. Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

However, it was Stephane Robert, a French qualifier, who stole the show on Monday. The 140th-ranked journeyman, who had never previously won a match at Roland Garros, opened his account in a great fashion taking out Czech sixth seed Tomas Berdych 3-6, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, 9-7 in three hours and 23 minutes.

In fact, it was only his second win in eight Grand Slam appearances. It was also only his second win of the season on the ATP Tour.

While the action on court is for all to see, Firstpost brings for its readers an interesting mix of events that unfolded off the clay.  We get you the juiciest quotes, facts and numbers. So, read on for all things that made Day Two fun.


Ana Ivanovic

Ana Ivanovic. Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

"Ana Ivanovic. She would be great arm candy."

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, on who he'd like to have as company at the Cannes Film Festival.

"I don't think it matters much what kind of balls you give Nadal on clay. He's gonna be a good player."

Roger Federer hit out at the French Open organisers for introducing new balls at the tournament. While Dunlop balls were used throughout the European claycourt season, at Paris they opted for Babolat, which generally moves faster through the air.

"Novak Djokovic. He's a real showman."

Spanish player David Ferrer thinks that the Serbian is best suited to act in a film on the ATP Tour.

Melanie Oudin

Melanie Oudin. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

"I pretty much got a clay-court lesson. I haven't played anyone that hits the ball that heavy. She's serving well, she's moving well, she pretty much doesn't have a weakness on the clay. I can see how she won the French Open last year. There really wasn't much I could do."

American youngster Melanie Oudin explains why she could win only two games against Italian Francesca Schiavone.

"Pressure is always there. Over the years, you learn how to deal with it. I know there are a lot of expectations because of the streak I have, but I'm really happy with the way I'm handling things right now on and off the court."

Novak Djokovic not feeling the pressure, is he?

"It's just to say thank you to mother nature for being so nice to me and allowing me to produce such good shots. In those moments, you have the feeling that you live in perfect harmony with the nature. I fought for my life today."

Stephane Robert, ranked 140 in the world, explains the kisses he blew to the sky during his shock first round victory over sixth seed Tomas Berdych.

"I cannot imagine how somebody who can play tennis like that can be out of the top 100."

World number 6 Tomas Berdych is at a loss to explain his defeat by French journeyman

Tomas Berdych

Tomas Berdych. Clive Brunskill/Getty Images


"First up tomorrow, early night required. May even stay in and cook for myself however might not play well with an upset stomach!"

Andy Murray, who begins his campaign today, tries out some spaghetti bolognese.

"We're not in a souk. We're not selling carpets in the market. I don't think the umpire was doing his job. He should have called security or told that person to stop moving around."

France's Michael Llodra, the 22nd seed, complained that someone was moving around in the stands and lost his temper with umpire Mohamed El Jennati. Llodra lost the match 6-7, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 against Belgian Steve Darcis and was given a warning after he threw the ball towards the crowd.



That's how many aces Turkish player Marsel Ilhan slammed en route to his 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (1), 6-4 upset win over former World No. 2 Tommy Haas of Germany on Monday. Ilhan, 24, is making his debut at Roland Garros after coming through the qualifiers last week.