Taiwan’s remaining competitors in the French Open were eliminated yesterday, first with Lu Yen-hsun and Japanese partner Go Soeda going down in straight sets in the second-round men’s doubles to hometown player Michael Llodra and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia. This was followed by the defeat soon after of Greater Taichung sisters Chan Yung-jan and Chan Hao-ching to Russians Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in third-round women’s doubles play.
Early yesterday Taiwan time, the Spanish 11th seed duo of Anabel Medina Garrigues and Arantxa Parra Santonja won their second-round women’s doubles match against Taiwan’s Chuang Chia-jung and Vera Dushevina of Russia 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Third seeds Llodra and Zimonjic were almost spot-on with their first serves, recording an 85 percent success rate, on their way to a 6-3, 6-3 win over unseeded Lu and Soeda in a match that lasted 1 hour, 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, the Chan sisters were unable to capitalize on break-point conversions as they also went down in straight sets to Makarova and Vesnina, the sixth seeds, 6-3, 6-4.
Of their eight break-point chances, they converted only four times, while the Russians notched 7-of-9 conversions.
In men’s singles play, Mikhail Youzhny was having such a bad day in the third round of the French Open that he felt the need to apologize, right on court during the match.
The 27th-seeded Russian scraped “SORRI” into the clay with his right foot in the middle of his 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 loss to No. 6 David Ferrer.
“There was a lot of people. That’s why I write: ‘Sorry.’ Because I can’t show them a nice game,” Youzhny said. “The way we played in the beginning, it was not really interesting for people.”
Youzhny is well known for a more painful on-court meltdown. In 2008 at the Sony Ericsson Open, Youzhny whacked himself in the head with his racket three times after losing a point. The antic left him with a thick stream of blood running from his hairline down his nose.
Against Ferrer, Youzhny won his first game early in the second set, making it 2-1. He held serve at love when Ferrer sent a forehand return into the net.
However, instead of heading straight for his chair for the changeover, he stopped just inside the service line and started writing out his message.
“People in the stands may not have noticed, but I think I had to do this,” Youzhny said.
Also yesterday, fourth-seeded Petra Kvitova advanced by beating Nina Bratchikova of Russia 6-2, 4-6, 6-1.
Also yesterday, unseeded Varvara Lepchenko of the US beat 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone of Italy 3-6, 6-3, 8-6 in their third-round match.
The 63rd-ranked Lepchenko never had made it beyond the second round at any Grand Slam tournament. However, she came back to eliminate Schiavone, who was the runner-up at last year’s French Open.
Lepchenko joins Sloane Stephens, who won Friday, to give the US two unseeded women in the fourth round at a major tournament for the first time since Wimbledon in 2002.
On Friday, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic faced fired-up Frenchmen and partisan crowds at Roland Garros and took differing routes to negotiate safely past them into the fourth round of the Grand Slam.
Third seed and former champion Federer looked less than superhuman when he had to recover from a second-set loss to beat Nicolas Mahut 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 on Philippe Chatrier Court.