No Joy for the Brits at RG13

Of the 12 British participants entered for Roland Garros 2013, only two remain. Honestly, we were really hoping for a big upset, as the likes of Andy Murray, who pulled out anyway, aren’t at their usual high standard playing on clay.

In Heather Watson’s first match back since her break due to Glandular Fever, she played well. Swiss player Stefanie Voegele didn’t play up to Watson’s standard during rallies in my opinion, and Heather’s forehand only improved as time went on. Still, I must stay Stef’s serving was a bit better. However, the Brit’s serving also improved, going from 52% first serves in in the first, working up to 74% in the final set. The first set was decided by a single break from Voegele, and was allowed to hold only by a silly backhand unforced error. The second was just as close, with an early break to both sides, up until 2-2. Watson won the next four games with accurate serving and powerful forehands. In the final third of the match, it looked like it would be dominated by Voegele, but after her early break was the longest game (nine minutes) of the match. After that, both struggled to continue to hold serve, but they did. The final score was 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 to Stefanie Voegele.

In Robson and Wozniacki’s first set it was quite tightly contested and the game were going by in about four minutes. However, after 15 minutes the Dane broke due to the Brit’s double-fault. Laura didn’t concede the set straight away though, as she straight away broke  back – leaving the scoreline at 3-2 Wozniacki. The drama didn’t stop though, as another double-fault lead to the British no.1 losing another break. An unforced error allowed Wozniacki to held serve to 5-2, leaving them to serve the set out. In the next it was similar, with the Dane breaking thrice and Robson once. Over the hour and ten minutes of the match, it was the 39 unforced errors that lead to the downfall of Laura, with the six unforced errors (often at crucial moments). Final score: 6-3, 6-2.

None of the women’s doubles got past the first round, but two of the men’s doubles players have – and  they are the only two to reach the second round. Who were they? Although Andy wasn’t competing, Jamie Murray did and has saved the Brits from embarrassment. The unseeded pair of himself and John Peers beat the fifteenth seeded Austro-Serbian pair   of Knowle and Polasek in two sets – but both were decided on a tie-break 7-5, so it was much closer than the typical straight sets victory. In total, the Anglo-Australian pair won 105 points, just one more that their opponents. They play Colombian pair Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah next.

It was even more of a shock that 27 year-old Londoner Dominic Inglot pulled off a victory over Tobias Kamke and Florian Mayer, but they are more specialised in singles play. With partner Ted Huey, he plays Mikhail Elgin and Denis Istomin in the second round.

– Jacob Lee

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