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Posts Tagged ‘josselin ouanna’

RG Day One: Mixed Fortunes for the French

Posted by gauloises1 on May 24, 2010

Mixed bag for the home players today at Roland Garros. While Clare Feuerstein, Mathilde Johansson and Stephanie Foretz all lost in straight sets, the new queen of French tennis, Aravane Rezai, absolutely steamrollered Heidi El Tabakh of Canada 61 61 on Philippe Chatrier. Maybe she really isn’t intimidated by the prospect of playing at home.

“People are expecting me, and it’s a pleasure,” said the player who is based at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy just outside Paris and regularly practices with Britain’s Laura Robson. “I like this feeling. I like to be expected by people, and I want to do the best I can. I want to fight every day, and I want to please them.

“However it’s not pressure at all. I have a personality like a fighter. I like to fight on the court and enjoy it. But that’s my character. I think that’s the best way to improve, and that’s what I do all the time.” […]

“I’m in my bubble; I’m doing what I should, and I don’t think I can have a better preparation than to win a big tournament before Roland Garros,” she concluded. “I feel confident, but I know that won’t suffice for winning matches at Roland Garros. I’m going to have to erase all that and look ahead and try to forget what happened, because I’m going to start fresh like all the players in the tournament. But I’m going to battle like I did in Madrid.”


Destiny awaits. Or crushing disappointment. One of the two.

On the men’s side, things were similarly up-and-down, with Laurent Recourdec and Stephane Robert losing in straight sets to Robin Soderling and Tobias Kamke respectively, while Olivier Patience was on the wrong end of a pretty thrilling four-set encounter with Thiemo de Bakker.

Eduardo Roger-Vasselin of Delpo-beating fame beat Kevin Anderson 61 in the fifth, while Josselin Ouanna, the shy Frenchman who beat Marat Safin at his final Roland Garros last year, beat Poland’s Lukasz Kubot in four.

But apart from Julien Benneteau’s aforementioned victory over Ernests Gulbis, the real fireworks of the day were provided by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who found himself embroiled in a five-set contest with Daniel Brands of Germany on Philippe Chatrier. Reportedly not feeling well, Jo really had to dig in and let the crowd help him in surviving some really inspired play from Brands. I’ve followed Brands a bit – mainly unwillingly and entirely due to whitelinefervor, who adores him and thinks he’s a thing – but I was really impressed by how well he played and kept playing even after going two sets to one down. Had he not wobbled crucially right at the end, things might have been very different.

Still, I’m glad Jo survived and I hope he makes the most of his rest day(s) before his next match. I know his celebrating gets up some people’s noses, but I find his exuberance heartwarming and I love his game. I also love the clear affection he has for Roland Garros – a tournament he’s often been prevented from playing through injury.


Posted in daniel brands, french open, jo-wilfried tsonga, josselin ouanna, thiemo de bakker, video | Tagged: , , , | 9 Comments »

USO Day Two: Murray, Maria Shine

Posted by gauloises1 on September 2, 2009

Two solid performances by big names on Arthur Ashe last night. Maria Sharapova fairly destroyed Tsetvana Pironkova, 63 60, and I thought she looked pretty good doing it.


I kind of love the dress. And the shiny silver headband. It’s a bit glam rock.

Andy Murray followed up with a great performance over Ernests Gulbis, winning 75 63 75. Ernie actually played the best I’ve seen him play for ages. His game and his charisma really make a mockery of his ranking. Get it together, man! I want to see that more often!

muzz ernie

Love love love that Fred Perry shirt on Murray, and it was a good opener for him, just testing enough. I thought he played great and looked nicely focussed and relaxed.


He doesn’t smile like this at Wimbledon, no sir. He also celebrated victory by doing an indescribable kind of dance step on the court, which I demand youtube footage of but have yet to find. It was heartwarming.

Elsewhere, what else happened I haven’t mentioned yet? Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Julia Goerges in straight sets in a slightly fabulous retro outfit.


Can’t you just see Martina in that shirt? Great stuff. Melanie Oudin of Wimbledon fame beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in straight sets. OK, Pavs couldn’t find the court, but still a solid win for Melanie. And Shahar Peer upset the thirty-second seed Agnes Szavay, also in straights.


And how about a hand for Josselin Ouanna, who came through qualifying to beat Rajeev Ram in four sets?


Get in.

Posted in andy murray, ernests gulbis, josselin ouanna, maria sharapova, melanie oudin, shahar peer, svetlana kuznetsova, us open | Tagged: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Do You Ouanna?

Posted by gauloises1 on May 27, 2009

(I’m sorry. I had to.)

Check out this – now somewhat prescient? – article about today’s sensation, shy boy Josselin Ouanna, written after his first round victory over Marcel Granollers:

Still visibly moved after watching the match, Ouanna’s first coach Fabrice Loustalot spoke to the press about his former protégé’s transformation. “Joss has changed his attitude. He’s really developed his character. During the match he showed some emotion, pumped his fists. It was beautiful to watch. Perhaps that’s what was missing from his game.” Loustalot trained Ouanna from the ages of 7 and 13 and remembers him as a “super talented boy who was extremely shy and almost never spoke.”

Ouanna is clearly coming into his own then. A victory at the Rennes challenger, followed by a quarter-final spot in Lyon, are proof of a burgeoning talent. Joss himself commented on his recent progress: “I’ve improved at my own pace. I know I have what it takes. Perhaps I had less self-confidence than Jo or Gael and of course my injuries didn’t help. It wasn’t easy seeing my friends winning matches on TV, but it in the end it certainly motivated me to go meet them at the top!”

It can’t be easy growing up in a golden generation of players like Gasquet, Tsonga and Monfils – especially if you’re shy by nature.


Best of luck to you, Ouanna.

(Unless you play somebody I like in the next round, in which case, kthanxbye, yeah?)

Posted in french open, josselin ouanna | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

RG Day Four: Five-and-Three Set Warriors

Posted by gauloises1 on May 27, 2009

Come on, you know who gets the five set award.


Say hello to Josselin Ouanna …


And goodbye to Marat Safin.

marat ouanna

The French wildcard Ouanna triumphed over the former no. 1 in a match that lasted well over four hours and concluded in fading light, 10-8 in the fifth. It took Ouanna five sets to defeat Marcel Granollers in the first round, by the way; it was his very first five set match.

Sorry Marat fans – and I am a Marat fan, some of the time – but Ouanna played really well. It was well deserved and it’s great seeing someone get their moment in the sun like this.


This year’s Chardy?

On the women’s side, you know who I’m going to say.


Say what you will about Shazza, and I could say plenty,  but she certainly made the second round interesting. The world no. 126-or-so knocked off eleventh seed and former finalist Nadia Petrova in three sets, 62 16 86. And I’m so watching that third set as soon as I can find a spare hour (not soon).

Bad luck to Petrova – but what a result for Shazza.

Posted in french open, josselin ouanna, marat safin, maria sharapova | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »