Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 30th 2015 Contents PARIS---One of Roger Federer s
five-year-old twin daughters had
her nose buried in a comic book.
The other was glued to a mobile
phone. Shame, really, that they
didn t look up, because the tennis
their father wove on the French
Open center court verged on art.
The canvas for Federer s strokes,
the backhand as smooth as a cat s
paw and the forehand with crackle
and pop, was Damir Dzumhur. The
23-year-old, the first Bosnian man
to play at a major tournament,
idolises the 17-time Grand Slam
champion. He had to pinch himself
as they warmed up in a chilly
breeze for their third-round match
"Strange feeling," Dzumhur said
later. "Like I m dreaming."
But Federer hitting this well:
nightmare. He gave Dzumhur just
one hour, 29 minutes of his time.
The 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 win put Federer
into the last 16 for the 11th con-
secutive year at the only major
tournament he hasn t won multiple
Although Maria Sharapova, by
her own admittance, lacks Feder-
er s artistry, the defending women s
champion was the portrait of grit
against 2011 US Open champion
Samantha Stosur, winning 6-3, 6-
4. That puts Sharapova into the
fourth round for the fifth consec-
utive year. The post-match on-
court interview unfortunately
focused on the five-time Grand
Slam winner s outfit---white shirt
with blue stripes---as much as the
solid tennis that got her over the
obstacles of Stosur, a nagging
cough and the wind that fiddled
with Sharapova s hair and ball toss.
"Coming to Paris, you want be
tres chic," she said gamely.
No one asks Federer about his
clothes. Although, in this fashion
capital, they should. His pink
shorts were so bright they left lin-
gering spots on the back of the
eyes when stared at too long.
Thankfully, his tennis was dis-
tracting. A volley winner in the
fourth game --- one of 24 successful
excursions to the net for Federer
--- oozed assurance. A backhand
two games later drew an appre-
ciative "oooh" from the crowd.
Even after three rounds without
dropping a set, it would be pre-
mature to froth about Federer s
chances of providing a twin for
his solitary French Open title, in
2009. But he is moving well, and
not just for a 33-year-old.
Federer is too respectful of
opponents to say such a thing, but
there were times against Dzumhur
where the match looked more like
a sparring session to prepare him
for later, tougher rounds. The
younger Bosnian grunted from the
exertion of trying to keep up; Fed-
erer made no sound. After serving
out the first set, he wiped his brow
more out of habit than need. But
his road steepens from here.
"I m not always as relaxed as
one might think," Federer said.
"Because there s a lot to play for."
The glint of delight in the eyes
of Ana Ivanovic told that story.
The 2008 French Open champion
is into the fourth round at a major
tournament for the first time since
the Australian Open last year.
Ivanovic was miffed with her
sluggishness, pushed to three sets
both times, in her first two match-
es. Against Donna Vekic, the sev-
enth-seeded Serb hit overdrive,
winning 6-0, 6-3 in 53 minutes.
Her French language skills are lim-
ited, but she knows a phrase that
handily describes her performance:
She may have to be tres, tres
bien against her fourth-round
opponent, Ekaterina Makarova,
seeded ninth. Sharapova next plays
Lucie Safarova, the first left-hander
in her path this time and a Wim-
bledon semifinalist last year.
"A tough one," Sharapova said.
"Lefties are always tricky."
Federer would agree. Still, the
trickiest lefty of them all --- nine-
time French Open champion Rafael
Nadal --- is on the opposite side
of the draw, meaning the rivals
with 31 Grand Slam titles between
them could meet only in the June
7 final, if they get that far.
Dzumhur was an unknown for
Federer, since they d not played
before. But Federer is very familiar
with Gael Monfils, whom he plays
next for the fourth time at the
French. Monfils advanced 4-6, 7-
6 (1), 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 against Pablo
Cuevas. Monfils is making a habit
of five-setters at the French: this
was his 13th in 10 years.
"I m a phoenix," he said.
But the Frenchman, seeded 13th,
has yet to beat Federer here. If
Monfils cannot unlock that riddle,
Federer will be looking at a quar-
terfinal against either another
Frenchman, 12th- seeded Gilles
Simon, or eighth-seeded Stan
So things are heating up for Fed-
Those twins might want to take
a look. (AP)
Saturday, May 30, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
NEWCASTLE---Early exits are
becoming a habit for Rory McIlroy,
especially in his home country.
The 26-year-old Northern Ireland
native failed to make the Irish Open
cut for the third straight year yesterday,
shooting an even-par 71 that failed to
make up for an 80 in the opening
round. It is the second straight week
the world s top-ranked golfer failed to
make the weekend, having exited early
at the PGA Championship at Went-
This one, he said, hurt more because
it s personal.
"Obviously I m playing at home in
front of a lot of friends and family. To
not play the way I wanted is very dis-
appointing. But I m sort of getting used
to it," said a downcast McIlroy, whose
Rory Foundation charity hosted the
Irish Open for the first time.
England s Tyrrell Hatton showed the
field at Royal County Down that the
seaside links course, bedeviled with
unseasonably frigid gales and pelting
showers, could be tamed.
The 23-year-old Hatton, ranked
142nd in the world, set a new course
record of 66 to join a five-way tie for
the lead at 3-under 139. His score tied
a mark from 1939, but club and Euro-
pean Tour officials said it was consid-
ered a new record because the course
has greatly changed over the past 76
Only 15 of the 156-player field man-
aged to beat par Friday as the changing
weather drove the cutoff score to 5 over.
Ireland s Shane Lowry summed up
the sense of frustration when he
smashed his putter against his bag and
broke it after missing a short putt for
par on his third hole. Lowry actually
played better when forced to putt with
his wedge, managing three birdies and
making the cut with a 74.
"Golf s a weird game and it ll drive
you mad sometimes," said Lowry, who
thanked his caddie for persuading him
to stay on the course.
Local fans made the Irish Open a
four-day, 80,000-ticket sellout in hopes
of seeing McIlroy at his best. He gave
them brief hope yesterday when he
sank a 30-foot putt on the short sev-
enth for his first birdie of the tourna-
ment. He picked up another shot at
the 12th and needed just two more
birdies to make the cut.
But McIlroy mis-hit his approach to
the 15th and three-putted for a double
bogey, erasing the day s gains.
"I just shot myself in the foot," he
He drove his shot off the 18th tee
into an impenetrable wall of thorny
gorse bushes and, after taking a penalty
drop, saved par with a 15-foot putt in
front of the cheering grandstand.
But McIlroy said he wasn t relishing
the tournament s final two days.
"I might have to show my face at a
couple things," he said.
He now has nearly three weeks to
prepare for the U.S. Open.
"I m honestly looking forward to a
couple weeks off," he said. (AP)
at Irish Open
So far, so very good for Federer
Switzerland's Roger Federer returns the ball to Bosnia and Herzegovina's Damir Dzumhur during their third
round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, yesterday in Paris. Federer
won 6-4, 6-3, 6-2. AP PHOTO
A look at the French Open yesterday:
Weather: Overcast. High of 68 degrees (20
Men's seeded winners: No 2 Roger Federer,
No 4 Tomas Berdych, No 8 Stan Wawrinka, No
12 Gilles Simon, No 13 Gael Monfils, No 14 Jo-
Wilfried Tsonga, No 20 Richard Gasquet.
Men's seeded losers: No 21 Pablo Cuevas.
Women's seeded winners: No 2 Maria
Sharapova, No 7 Ana Ivanovic, No 9 Ekaterina
Makarova, No 13 Lucie Safarova, No 19 Elina
Svitolina, No 21 Garbine Muguruza, No 28
Flavia Pennetta, No 29 Alize Cornet.
Women's seeded losers: No 8 Carla Suarez
Navarro, No 11 Angelique Kerber, No 20 Sabine
Lisicki, No 26 Sam Stosur.
Stat of the Day: 13. The number of five-set
matches Gael Monfils has played at the
French Open since his first appearance at
Roland Garros 10 years ago.
Six of Monfils' last 11 matches at the clay-
court Grand Slam went to five sets.
Quote of the day: "I wouldn't say she's Rafa-
like. That may be a bit of overstatement." ---
Samantha Stosur, after her straight-set loss to
defending champion Maria Sharapova.
On court Saturday: No 1 Novak Djokovic vs
Thanasi Kokkinakis; No 1 Serena Williams vs
No 27 Victoria Azarenka; No 3 Andy Murray vs
No 29 Nick Kyrgios; No 4 Petra Kvitova vs No
30 Irina-Camelia Begu; No 6 Rafael Nadal vs
Andrey Kuznetsov; No 7 David Ferrer vs
Simone Bolelli; No 9 Marin Cilic vs No 23
Leonardo Mayer; No 10 Andrea Petkovic vs No
17 Sara Errani; No 17 David Goffin vs Jeremy
Chardy; No 15 Kevin Anderson vs No 20
Today's forecast: Partly cloudy. High of 68
FRENCH OPEN AT A GLANCE
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