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Wednesday 28 May: Tale of the day

Wednesday, May 28, 2008
By Elaine O'Neill...followed by Drew Lilley!

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10.10 pm: Right, that’s yer lot. See you all tomorrow. Be good, and if you can’t be good, tell me all about it tomorrow. Til then, from me and Elaine, it’s always a pleasure, never a chore…

9.37 pm: 21 Grand Slam titles playing on Chatrier tomorrow. 21. Quality. And then Rafa and Maria are on Lenglen. What a day in store and it’s only the second round. And for you Kiwis just tuning in and waking up, Marina versus Jelena Jankovic is first up. Sweet as, as you guys would say. Good as gold…

9.30 pm: Tomorrow’s schedool.

9.20 pm: The Dulkster holds. 3-3 and she has the psychological advantage. And they’re off! Adios amoebas! Play is over for today!

9.15 pm: Gisela’s as battling as she is svelte and photogenic. She pushes Alize back with her trademark loopy forehands and then strides to the net to smash away a crosscourt halfvolley to brokeback mountain. Alize asks the ump this time whether it might not be time to call it a day, buy it’s still light out there. The crowd is more subdued now though…

9.12 pm: Alize’s turn to lob, advantage Cornet while I almost choke on a fishbone. Gisela’s a battler though and it’s deuce again by the time I’ve recovered my composure.

9.10 pm: Drop, re-drop then lob and Dulko avoids 5-4. 4-3 Alize, deuce…

9.06 pm: Alize digs deeper and breaks! She managed to find the baseline with almost every shot! 3-1!

9 .01 pm: Two very good players, both clay-court defenders, are digging deep here. Alize survives a 30-30 and holds to lead 2-1. She’s the one with the psychological advantage of going into every changeover ahead (unless she’s broken of course...). Dulko again asks the ump about coming off but there’s nothing doing. The crowd are still there in force, alleeeeeezing Alize.

8.57 pm: In the time it takes me to get a takeaway dinner from the canteen, Cornet and Dulko both hold at a canter.

8.50 pm: Looks like they’re staying on. The crowd applauds warmly.

8.49 pm: Both players want to leave the court and the superviser is out there…

8.48 pm: Gisela holds, and wins. We have a three-setter, ladies and gentlemen. Don’t go anywhere just yet.

8.47 pm: Hoo cha cha! Gisela drops at droptastic drop on the line which Alize can’t reach but questions. Ump gives it the finger up – out! Advantage Frenchie and then… Dulko saves.

8.46 pm: Dulko advantage, Cornet saves. Again. More deuce than a trendy health club drinks bar.

8.45 pm: Dulko advantage, Cornet saves. This game is now officially deucy Lucy.

8.44 pm: Two break points for Alize but Gisela loops up dem forehands and the No19 seed nets. Twice. Deuce.

8.43 pm: One match to go – Gisela – Alize. Will I get an early (ha, ie before 9pm) dinner or will Gisela serve out and take it to a third set? Cornet is 15-30 up…

8.40 pm: Odesnik beats Lee. Whooshka! That boy’s flying. Feel-good story of the first few days.

8.36 pm: Huzzah for Muzzah! Andy Murray shoots through in 1h38 minutes! 9 aces, 41 winners, 67% of first serves in. He can beat anyone on his day (big talk, I know but he has beaten pretty much everyone on his day). His day just needs to come more often but today was definitely one of them.

8.34 pm: After a blip in the middle of the second set, Serena is through, pumping her fist. The two ladies exchange a cursory handshake and accord the same to the umpire (I prefer a bit more courtesy than that as far as the umps are concerned but that’s my bugbear in general – when was the last time a player actually looked up at the chair when shaking hands?) Serena then theatrically acknowledges all four stands and gets warm applause in return. Mathilde’s signing autographs – she shook a GS-winner (and RG finalist) up for a while so she’s entitled to enjoy it for a minute or two.

8.30 pm: Mathilde’s lost it, railing and crying invectives to her corner as Serena breaks and prepares to serve for the match. Alize puts an end to a four-game barren run and makes it 4-3 but her lithe Argentinean opponent still has the whip hand in this set.

8.26 pm: Murray breaks again. The mannie fae Dunblane is buzzin’, pure mad mental buzzin’. Serving at 4-3 and a mere 10 minutes or so from booking a third round tie with Nicolas Almagro, the Spanish No19 seed. Ooh, then there’s a wee it of controversy as he hits a serviced juuuust the wrong side of the T, the ump comes down and gives it the raised finger of confirmation and Andy’s not happy, giving it some chat. He then puts it all behind him and lays down a dropmongous droptastic dropalicious drop-shot and it’s 5-3.

8.22 pm: Ooh, Gisela breaks again to lead 3-2 with service. Alize fights, Gisela defends, lobbing up her loopy drives that all land way back towards the baseline and the drops a drop that out-drops all other drops in the dropalicious stakes. The games goes to 37 deuces (well not quite that many, yet…)

8.20 pm: Grand Slam champ in trouble alert. Mathile Johansson is serving for the set, 5-3 up! That nose, toes, scratch your back, throws is paying off now. Serena changes racquets and that does the trick. 4-5, Serena to serve.

8.15 pm: Court No2 rings out to cries of “Mickael!” clap clap clap “Mickael!” clap clap clap. The main with almost as many Ls in his name as me (or indeed Elaine) beats Berdych, dumping the Czech No11 seed out of the tournament. Berdych isn’t too happy about something, shrugging his shoulders, raising his eyebrows and sighing theatrically as he nevertheless shakes LLLLodra’s hand. The Frenchy will face pretty boy Bello Bolelli in the third round.

8.10 pm: Fair’s fair, let’s share the lovin’. Moving on to court No15, Wayne Odesnik is 2-1 up on Hyung-Taik Lee. And if I spelt all that correctly I’d be very surprised. Odie of course dumped out Willy Canas in the first round and is a break up in the fourth. He’s serving and coming to the net at top speed and looks like booking himself a third-round tie with none other than Batman’s nemesis, the Djoker (he’ll be Roger and rafa’s nemesis by the end of next week I’m telling you).

Ooh, glamorous Gisela has grappled her way back to 2-2. Can Alize hold on here?

8 pm: Muzzer takes the second set from Acathutho 6-0. Love. Nil. Hee-haw as they say in certain parts of Scotland. A large Saltire is floating in the crowd, as well it might. Serena gives it some breakback mountain and serves at 3-2 up. Alize meanwhile obviously has a dinner date (as well she might as one of France’s most eligible young debutantes). She leads 6-0 2-0. She herself has said that this time around is a year too early (for a RG win, not a dinner date) but by George, she’s giving a good account of herself.

7.54 pm: Alize 6 Gisela 0. Blimey. Gorgeous Gisela is off her game, hitting an unforced error about every third point. While Alize and her little retrousse nose is a model of consistency, making zero mistakes and waiting for her opponent to fluff her lines.

On to the Muzzer. Andy’s buzzing. Acathutho punts a forehand down the line at top speed but Andy’s there, lofting up a backhand lob that catches the baseline. Flower of Scotland rings out in the stands (OK not in the stands, in the office, and it was me singing it…)

7.50 pm: Harsh. The Chatrier crowd applauds when Serena looooongs a backhand. She’s serving like a girl possessed though and really giving Mathilde Johansson the run-around. I thought Ana looked like championship material earlier but Serena’s going to be up there too. And then she goes and proves me wrong by allowing Matti J to fight back and make it 1-1 in the second set. Don’t make Serena angry, Matti… The crowd's doing that already...

Let’s have a look at this young upstart Schwank (read more about him here). He’s giving Granollers a hard time and no mistake. His movement is the main thing. Covering every inch of the court and his variations are great.

7.38 pm: Alize rides her luck. At 30-40 on her serve, she paints the outside of the line and though it is called out, she does a hawkeye-esque challenge. Down comes the ump and gives it a flat downwards palm – it was in and the crowd go wild when she recovers to hold and lead 3-0.

Serena rounds out the set 6-2 and Andy Murray does likewise, behind four aces and double-figures in winners.

7.30 pm: Ah, Murray’s got a thistle on his cap, good man. He’s serving at 4-3 30-15 and looks in control. On centre, the crowd applaud every Mathilde point and treat any Serena brilliance with stony silence. Harsh, but hey, partisan crowds are part of the deal at every Grand Slam. In any case, it’s 5-2 with Serena about to serve so the sculptural Saginaw, Michigan native won’t be too concerned. She’s come through worse than this.

Mikey LLLLLLodra has broken and is serving to take it into a fifth set, while on Lenglen, we have Argentinean pin-up Gisele Dulko against French poster girl Alize Cornet. This should be a good battle – Cornet the bright young thing, Dulko a former top 30 (maybe even scraped into the 20 at one point) who’s fallen not exactly on hard times but is struggling a tad at the moment. And the breath of fresh air (approximate translation of Alize) from Nice has held and then broken.

7.18 pm: That giant-killer “Hilary” Schwank has equalised at 1-1 in the second. What a man. Read more about him here. Right, let’s have a look at Serena. Wee Mathilde Johansson seems to be a little overmatched here, physically and technically. She has the kind of service I was taught back in the day: nose, toes, scratch your back, throws. Classically beautiful but not very effective against Serena’s thumping returns. She’s giving it those “left foot off the ground then stamp it back down” forehands that just fly past you in a trice. It’s 3-1 Serena on the Matti J serve.

7.08 pm: Peppermint Swissy (Patty Schnyder) wins the internecine Swiss battle, brushing lil Timmy Bacsinszky aside 6-1 in the third. Courage, Timmy, you’ll be back. Patrizia will face Emilie Loit in the third round (after the excitable Frenchie, who threw her racquet into the crowd after she own her first round match 8-6 in the decider, beat Zakopalova today) – good for Patty as she obviously likes French-speaking opponents.

Comeback of the day alert – PH Mathieu beats Hernandez in five sets. Well played that homme.

7.05 pm: Serena’s out and playing Swedealike French lassie Mathilde Johansson. Serena’s wearing Wimbledon whites a month early. Meanwhile, McBreak alert. Andy Murray’s 2-0 up. His brother Jamie who stopped playing singles two years ago to concentrate on doubles and won the Wimbledon title last year in the mixed with Jellybean Jelena Jankovic has asked for a Wimbly singles wildcard apparently. All the talk last year was whether Jamie and JJ were an item. JJ’s faaaaar too nice-looking to settle for that scruff-bag who needs a decent hair-cut if you ask me.

6.57 pm: Ha! As soon as I’d pressed “send”, Llodra went to pieces and served then volleyed like a wet fish. Berdych breaks and will serve for a two sets to one lead.

6.55 pm: Let’s have a look at Llodra – Berdych. French hopeful versus No11 seed in a battle for a third round berth and a match-up against handsome lad Bolelli or JM Del Potro (who are currently 1-1). Actually let’s not. It’s got clay-court marathon written all over it. 1-1, 5-5. They’ll be here (and have us here) til 9pm I reckon.

6.51 pm: Andy’s on court 3. Gaunyersel wee man as we say in Scotland (it’s one of my many nationalities) which roughly translates to “I say young fellow my lad, play up”. He’s wearing a Saltire (St Andrew’s cross) shirt as always but his cap is white this time. Acasuso has plenty of Argentinean flags to encourage him in the crowd.

6.45 pm: Patty was piqued by that smash-and-grab from Timmy and has broken the Lausanne girl (sorry, forgot to put the link in to her interview earlier, here it is) to open the second set. Powder blue leads light orange. Swiss German leads French. And Andy Murray’s about to come out.

6.41 pm: Gael force! La Monf has beaten Clement in straight sets and will face Lucky Loser Horna (who beat qualifier Jenkins) in the second round. Ooh, Patty slips and hurts herself a little. It’s her serve, 4-5 in the second and lovely little Timmy maybe lovely but she’s not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. She breaks to love and it’s one set all. The attendants brush the courts (I have to do that myself when I play in Switzerland – I play an 6’5” East German guy and a Russian lady lefty, so hello Falk and Lena if you’re reading) and it’s game on for the final set.

6.27 pm: To answer a question below on points (ATP and WTA): Winner 1,000. Finalist 700. Semis 450. QF 250. 4th round 140. 3R 90. 2R 60. R1 2. For the women’s: Qualifier 31. Q3 25. Q2 15. Q1 2. For the men’s: a qualifier gets 15.

PHM makes it a five-setter, well done that homme. La Monf is 2-up on La Cle. Schwank and Granollers is in a tie-break and the Spaniard takes it.

6.20 pm: Another wrong-footer from PHM makes it Ad service and then he nets another one. Come on mon ami, get a hold on yourself! Big service, Ad PHM, serves half way down the net, second serve, long rally, then a forehand that paints the line! PHM is 1-2 down but 5-3 up! Oof! In the Swiss battle, Patty’s lefty forehand and Timmy’s righty backhand are both joys to watch. 2-2 in the second.

6.15 pm: PHM was a break down to Hernandez in the fourth but he’s given it some breakback and is mountin’ a comeback. Another break took him up 4-3 up but now it might be breakback mountin’ 2, as Hernandez ain’t taking this men’s struggle lying down. PHM saves one then ooh… the line-oh fails to call one out from Herny, PHM stops and “loses” the point but the umpire comes down, checks the dust and raises a finger, to signify “out”. PHM then drops a far-from-droptastic drop right into the net and it’s a third break point. Serve, second serve (so break point and a half) and PHM sends Herny the wrong way. This game is now officially deucalicious. And this paragraph is too long already…

6.05 pm: I resisted all of the first set but I can hold back no more – it’s the battle of the Swiss Misses! Peppermint Swissy Schnyder and lil Timmy “Bash” Bacsisnzky (read more about her here). No10 seed Patrizia the lefty won the first set 6-4. Patty loves the ol’ red brick though, so Timmy’s got her work cut out. She’s trying perhaps too hard on service at the mo. She’s just gone from 40-0 to deuce including a double fault. Ooh, and then Patty, wearing a powder-blue dress with what looks like either half a polo neck (at the front) or perhaps it’s on backwards, drops a drop from the baseline that drops droptastically and it’s advantage to the German-speaker. Timmy the Francophone then battles back but I reckon we’re in for a deucemongous time here – two strong players on defence so we could be here a while. For those of you watching in black and white, Timmy’s wearing a fetching pale orange outfit.

6 pm: I’ve been asked below to have a shufty at Andreev – Starace. Andreev was my dangerous floater last year – a clay-court bandit and no mistake – but he’s dropped off the radar a little with a 15-15 record this year. He-s 2-1 up over the wonderfully named Potito Starace (which I choose not to pronounce Staratchay in Italian style but Star Ace) but the Italian has broken in the fourth. It’s got all the hallmarks of a clay-court marathon this one – ooh, especially as Andreev breaks back. He’s been the better player so far but Starace’s defence occasionally rises to the occasion for long enough to stretch the set out. We’ll come back to this one and see what happens.

5.55 pm: Whoosh. Ana’s into the third round in less than an hour, 6-1 6-2. She’ll face Caroline Wozniacki, the dashing Dane who won junior Wimbledon two years ago, in the third round, in what is a very open (for her) quarter of the draw. She was refocusing after every point – she’s obviously up for it this year and does not want any repeats of last year’s final where she froze.

5.48 pm: The Frenchie derby is going in favour of Gael Monfils – aka “La Monf”, who is a set and a break up over Arnaud Clement – La Cle. The latter has his usual headband, dark glasses and designer stubble, but it’s former rising star Monfils, who has been hamstrung by injury for almost a year now (wrist then knee) who looks on better form. He’s a great player, one who won the juniors here 4 years ago and beat Andy Murray in a 5-setter two years ago.Allez La Monf, I say.

5.34 pm: Mathieu holds and brings the match back to 2-1 against Hernandez. Good on him. He’s a great guy who incidentally played Sampras and Kuerten (and beat them obviously) in their last ever matches – quite a record! Ana meanwhile is 6-1 3-0 up. I reckon she wants to get to the players’ restaurant before everyone piles in there at 6pm…

5.27 pm: Mats Wilander, all-round legend, Masters tournament player and winner here in 82, 85 and 88 is watching PHM carve out a break point on the Hernandez serve. He had umpteen chances in the last H service game but didn’t take them. He’s really attacking now – before, it was like watching Amelie, he was that afraid. But no more sitting back and he breaks! Now he can serve for the third set and halve the deficit.

5.23 pm: Moya-masher Eduardo Schwank is out on court 5 against Granollers. The winner will meet whoever emerges victorious from PHM and Hernandez, which stands at 4-3 in the third with serve. Whoosh, Ana wins the first set from Lucie Safarova 6-1 in 3 mins 18 seconds (OK, in 20 minutes). Safarova’s no mug – made the fourth round here last year – but Ana looks devastating (tennisistically I mean, we all know she’s an all-round cutie). 10 winners, great returns and also great serves – that is what will win her the title here if she gets that far. Her returning has always been great on the forehand but if she can serve up to scratch (and then keep her head, as she is prone to nerves when it gets to the final) then she will indeed go all the way.

5.09 pm: Ana’s serving like a demon and returning like a champ. She leads 3-0 after precisely 32 seconds on court (well it seems that quick) so we’ll come back to her later. On Lenglen, men’s No18 PHM is fighting to stay alive, two sets down but 3-3 in the third. He finally seems to have found his rhythm, particularly on the service return and he finally has Hernandez in trouble. He’s got a long way to come back in this match is he is to survive.

5.01 pm: Where have I been, you ask? At a theme park with my eight-year-old son, who lives up in the north of Paris and doesn’t have school on Wednesdays so I slope off Wednesday mornings when I’m here.

Ana’s about to start, but before then we’re having a Radwanska report – she’s No14 seed after all. The Polish girl is looking on reasonable form in this, her second round match on a sunbathed No4 court. Her first serve looks sharp but her opponent, Jelena Pandzic who beat France’s Severine Bremond on Monday, is pouncing on the second – so much so that it’s gone to deuce here (tho Agnes leads 6-2 2-0). Her quarter of the draw has Venus, Amelie, Bartoli-basher Casey ofthewater (little Italian translation there for you), Jelly Jankovic and Alize Cornet so she’ll have her work cut out to reach the second week on current form.

4.54 pm: Ana’s out on court, PHM’s battling and women’s seeds Misses Kirilenko, Wozniacki and Radwanska are strolling to victory.

4.48 pm: Ivanovic – Safarova about to start, and it’s our match of the day, swiftly replacing Petrova – Rezai on the homepage as Nadia the No25 seed has just beaten the French prodigy. Aravane will be back, I have no doubt.

4.40 pm: Frenchy derby coming up on Chatrier (our centre court). Gael “my son” Monfils against Arnaud “nice weather” Clement (a quick translation of the names there). While they warm up, let’s watch everyone’s favourite world No3 Novak Djoker Djokovic. He’s two sets up and has just brokoviced in the third. And in the time it’s taken me to type this, he’s won. Whoosh! So no time to comment on him! That’s him facing Odesnik or Lee in the next round.

4.29 pm: I think anyone who enjoyed the blog this morning and afternoon should post their comments in and give Elaine a big cyber round of applause. Speaking of applause, PHM isn’t earning any at the moment. The partisan crowd on Lenglen is right behind him but Thpaniard Othcar Hernandeth has just taken the second set 6-1. Come on Paul-Henri – this isn’t the No1141 ranked player in the world you’re up against now – get a grip! (Metaphorically, I’m sure his racquet has a grip on it).

Aha, there we go, Rafa coasts into the next round, where he’ll face nuggety Frenchman Nicolas Devilder.

4.25 pm: Greetings one and all! Drew here, just in time for Elaine to have a well earned break, I’m sure you’ll agree, and go and watch Nadal win. He’s actually struggled a tad, a tiny wee bit – it’s all relative obviously when we’re talking about Nadal. It’s deuce on his service but let’s be honest, he’s 6 points from victory so he’s not sweating it just yet, despite the balmy weather.

4.14 pm: Vive la France! Benneteau snatches the match 6-3 in the final set, magnifique !

4.10 pm: Good news for all our Serbian readers, this is a complete walk in the park for Nole! He's just taken the second set 6-1. An improvement on his first round performance…also means we get to see the lovely Ivanovic sooner than we thought…

4.06 pm: Nadal breaks again...both players come to the net and the mighty Spaniard passes his opponent with a deft forehand

4.02 pm: Another Frenchman making progress on court 3…lovely tennis from Benneteau giving him some breathing space in the fifth set against America’s Spadea, now stands at 4-2. Nadal whips one round the side of the net..call is in his favour..3 break points..

3.56 pm: The pressure starting to get to Bellucci now..he's just lost his serve in the first game of the third set..meanwhile, Petrova is serving at 4-4 in the first set on court 2, Rezai so far matching the 25th seed stroke for stroke...

3.48 pm: Apologies, Mathieu is of course playing in the second round..I meant in today's matches..God, you don't let much go do you? Me neither...

3.44 pm: BREAK! Nadal comes into the net sends Bello to the left, then finishes him off with a firmly planted volley down the right hand side...5-3

3.41 pm: Bellucci saves break point and it’s now advantage to the Brazilian…

3.39 pm: The Djoker is kicking butt at the moment…already 5-0..and he’s only just stepped on court! Bellucci still hitting plenty of winners. Beleza...keep it up my son!

3.26 pm: Bellucci still holding his own against Nadal but if he delivers too many unforced errors, Nadal will have no trouble wrapping up the game...don’t forget we’ve got Matt and Eli broadcasting live on radio Roland Garros!

3.22 pm: So far today Santoro is the only frenchie to make it through the first round…four have fallen so far today, Simon, Mahut and Ascione in the men’s singles…we’ll have to see what Monfils and Clement have to offer later on..

3.14 pm: Apologies for failing to keep you guys up to date on Bartoli's status and as you'll now know, the no.9 seed has bellyflopped out of the first round...Dellacqua fully deserved to go through...oof, after an awesome rally, Bellucci just fails to deliver what would have been the perfect drop...just fell short into the net

3.02 pm: The lovely Paul-Henri Mathieu is up against Oscar Hernandez on the Suzanne Lenglen court...the golden boy has already broken the frenchie's serve in the first game...

3.00 pm: Game, set, match Safin in just under 3 hours...Nadal's just taken the first set off Bellucci 7-5..

2.58 pm: That wasn’t very quick, forgive me! Safin about to cruise through to the next round…we’re at deuce now on Lisnard’s serve…

2.10 pm: Just popping out for a sandwich, don't go anywhere...

2.06 pm: Safin’s just broken serve and Lisnard’s appealing to the umpire on a line-call…wow, Safin’s clocked up a total of 12 aces to one so far..that’s what I like to see! Beautiful forehands hands him advantage…

1.50 pm: Hola Gabi, in answer to your question (as three times champion Nadal’s warms up in his fluorescent green gear), Sequera as I’m sure you know hasn’t had much luck since coming back from injury..only 2 wins out of ten games so she’s unlikely to improve upon her best performance so far (second round)..but never say never!

1.46 pm: Now for the main event…Nadal’s coming onto centre court next, I’m sure all of Brazil will be tuned in to see if Bellucci can follow in Guga’s footsteps…bit of a tall order.

1.40 pm: It's all over for the debutante...Maria's finally wrapped things up...she's looking a tad shaken tho..17 double faults - ouch!

1.36 pm: Just had a chance to see one or two of your comments…I’m Irish despite the German reference..that’s besides the point, Maria’s serving to take the match! Will try answer more qs presently!

1.30 pm: This is gripping stuff…Maria is moaning like never before, Evgeniya is a gutsy little thing, we've got deuce on her serve..

1.20 pm: Next up playboy of the western world, Marat Safin to finish his match against Lisnard, both players hold a set apiece…Deuce on Rodina’s serve..

1.16 pm: Meinliebegott!! Moan-ria’s struggling..it is very windy out there but still…don’t forget there’s at least 100 rankings between these two..Lleyton Hewitt victorious!!

1.14 pm: You beaut, Hewitt’s just lobbed Mahut to break serve and now we’ve a shot of his lovely wife from Home & Away..

1.12 pm: Same can be said of Sharapova, but she hasn’t exactly made things easy on herself…

1.08 pm: Of course you aussies are still up…sorry, that was a bit patronising wasn’t it? Hewitt’s back in it…

1.04 pm: Sorry about that folks..bad news is Hewitt’s struggling in the third set and Sharapova needs to hold serve to keep her hopes alive in the final set…who’d have thought? Rodina’s really giving Maria a run for her money..

12.48 pm: Having slight technical problem so bear with me…

12.36 pm: Hewitt’s serving better, that can only be a good thing…clearly – he’s just taken the second set 6-2…walk in the park..Meanwhile, Santoro looks like he’s gonna have no problemo getting into the next round, he’s just taken the second from Korolev 6-1..

12.32 pm: She came to the net, but it didn’t pay off I’m afraid…Rodina’s just taken the second set as Maria volleys into the net…again!

12.30 pm: Oh Maria, you won’t win this set if you keep planting them in the net…that’s better, a dead ball over the net cleverly outwits Rodina..but no, she’s now got set point!

12.24 pm: It’s ok Moan-ria’s held serve…I can’t believe someone called me Drew, you obviously didn’t notice I’ll failed to bang on about my “bright and breezy early morning jog” and breakfast with Barbara Schett and Robin Haase! Nice one, Hewitt’s just broken to move to 3-2 in the second…

12.14 pm: Some nice volleying from frenchie Simon…he might actually pose Stepanek some problems in the 2nd set..at least I hope so..need to keep some locals in the running after nothing but disappointment for Gasquet and Tsonga..

12.09 pm Sharapova not looking so hot now..she’s racked up 8 double faults thus far…Hewitt has a chance to break in the first game of the second set…

12.06 pm: Btw Sharapova is indeed looking lovely…fantastic, Mahut’s just hit it long to hand Hewitt the first set, that should appease you aussies…are you still awake?

11.57 am: Oh la-la-la-la! Sorry for the confusion folks, Drew has had to absent himself this morning so it’s the lovely “young Elaine” looking after you folks this morning…judging by your comments some of you are actually getting to watch the tennis this morning…moving up in the world are we? Hewitt serving to take the first set and he’s got advantage!

11.36 am: Hewitt holds serve, comes into the net and sends a bullet of a forehand crosscourt leaving Mahut in no-man’s land..

11.30 am: Sharapova’s serving well, takes Roddy’s service game and her own no bother…oh and now she’s broken once again..quick as lightning..this ain’t gonna last long for the Russian debutante!

11.22 am So far not going with serve in Maria’s game, she’s just hit one into the net to hand the game to Rodina and Hewitt’s at advantage, but brings it back to deuce with his first double fault..

11.15 am: Sharapova the first to get the action under way this morning and she immediately breaks Rodina’s serve...things are looking good so far! Don’t forget Rafa’s next up after her…I know you’re all DYING to know how he gets on! Meanwhile Mahut gets the game under way on Court No. 1…

11.05 am: And there she is, the lovely Sharapova all dolled up in a little navy number has just stepped out on court along with her fellow Russian, Evgeniya Rodina as frenchie Gilles Simon warms up against his opponent Radek Stepanek…looking nice and sunny out there now!

10.55 am: Keep the comments coming in, there’s a bit of a backlog as they’ve come in all from all four corners of the planet overnight but they should be popping up any moment now…

10.30 am: Good morning boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen! After a heavy night’s rain and some fairly impressive thunder and lightning, all is now looking good here at Roland Garros, with a mammoth 74 first and second matches scheduled to keep you all entertained (via my fantabulous updates of course!). We’ve got World No.1 Maria first out on central court, Lleyton on Court 1 as well as some Serbian action from Djokovic and Ivanovic playing back to back in round 2…stay tuned!

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