Found May 28, 2012 on Fox Sports:
Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer moved into the second round of the French Open without mishap. No surprise there, but how about six American women? Without getting carried away, because this is, after all, just the first round, such across-the-board success made it a memorable Memorial Day for American tennis in Paris. Apart from headliner Lauren Davis, who scored a barely believable 6-1, 6-1 victory over the talented young seeded German Mona Barthel, there were solid and slightly surprising victories for Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Vania King, Sloane Stephens, Varvara Lepchenko and Christina McHale. In all, there are 12 US women in the draw, and 10 have won while Serena Williams and Jamie Hampton are scheduled for first-round matches on Tuesday. This hasn't happened in a while. Just to add to the little green shoots of optimism that are appearing, many of the winners are still in the early stages of their career and beat higher-ranked opposition. Stephens scored a particularly impressive 6-4, 7-6 victory over the experienced Russian Ekaterina Makarova. Stephens is 19 and is ranked 70. Makarova is four years older and ranked 38. King beat Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakstan, who, at No. 49, is ranked eight places higher King, 23, was four years younger than her opponent. McHale, who battled to a 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 win over the Dutch player Kiki Bertens, did not fit the mold in that she is considerably higher ranked (36 to 91) than her opponent. Nevertheless, this is red European clay and Bertens looked far more at ease on the surface at the start before McHale wore her down. Mattek-Sands, ranked 167th, had to overcome the biggest negative ranking differential when she faced the talented German Sabine Lisicki who is the 13th-ranked player in the world. But Mattek-Sands came through in style 6-4, 6-3. Earlier in the day, on Court Three, which is to be found in a far-flung corner of the Roland Garros complex, Davis scored the best win of her career over another German, Barthel, who is considered the most naturally gifted of a group of young emerging players from the nation of Steffi Graf. Davis, who packs a punch off her double-fisted backhand despite her diminutive height of 5-foot-2, knew that hanging around behind the baseline against a big ball striker like Barthel wasn't going to work. "She wins a lot of matches in the smaller tournaments by grinding it out," said John Evert, Chris Evert's brother, who has been overseeing Davis' development at the Evert Academy in Boca Raton, Fla. "But we knew she would have to take it to Barthel and knock her out of her rhythm," The tactic worked from the get-go and, having seized the initiative, Davis never let go. The German was in such a state by the end that she served four double faults in the penultimate game as she tried to make the lop-sided score line look more respectable. "I've seen her play on TV," said Davis with all the wide-eyed wonder of the 18-year-old that she is. "I mean, she's 30 in the world. She's a really good player. Her backhand is so sick, I tried to keep away from it. I have a lot of confidence right now - probably my biggest win." Asked to define herself, Davis said, "I have a lot of heart. I have so much passion for the game I love playing. I'm tough mentally." Davis is obviously helped by her environment. "I've been there two years," she said of the Evert Academy. "It's basically my home. I love it. It's like my family there. Everybody's so supportive and so loving. I fit in perfectly." The good thing - for one player, at least -- is that the US is guaranteed a player in the third round as Davis will take on McHale in the second round. With his win over the German, Tobias Kamke, Federer tied Jimmy Connors for the record number of Grand Slam victories at 233. "It's a huge record, me making it," said Federer. "I had not realized. But I'm very happy because Jimmy Connors was a huge champion - still is." Federer's performance against the hard-hitting Kamke was far from perfect but, despite trailing 2-4 in the second set, he was never in danger and came through 6-2, 7-5, 6-3. "I had a bit of ups and downs on my serve," he admitted. "And today I was sometimes taking the wrong decisions and that creates errors. But overall, I'm happy I'm through. Sometimes you have to come through when you are not playing your very best." World No. 1, Novak Djokovic, searching for the only Slam he has never won, was made to work hard in the first set by the experienced Italian Potito Starace but came through unscathed 7-6, 6-3, 6-1 and there were no problems for John Isner who blasted his way past a Brazilian baseliner, Rogerio Dutra Silva 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.

No. 1 Djokovic reaches 2nd round at French Open

The pressure to win is always high, and the pressure to keep on winning is even worse. For Novak Djokovic, the world's best tennis player at the moment, that just means a challenge. The 25-year-old Serb is trying to win his fourth straight Grand Slam singles title, and he made it into the second round of the French Open on Monday by beating Potito Starace of Italy 7-6 (3),...

Novak Djokovic’s painful stretch

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Djokovic into Second Round of Roland Garros

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Roger Federer Keeps Breaking Records

Tennis fan or not, you have to admire what Roger Federer has done in his illustrious career. Federer tied the all-time Grand Slam match victories record (233) set by the great Jimmy Connors. Federer tied the record by beating German, Tobias Kamke 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 in the first round of the French Open on Monday. Federer has earned 16 major championships in his career, and holds a dominate...

Federer hits milestone at French Open

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Federer equals Connors’ record for Grand Slam match wins

Roger Federer has tied Jimmy Connors’ record for most wins in Grand Slam matches at 233 victories with his first round French Open win on Monday over Tobias Kamke of Germany 6-2, 7-5, 6-3. “I think that’s a big one, because that was longevity,” Federer said of the record. “And it’s been around for ….Jimmy is obviously one of the greats of all time, and was around for...

Roland Garros 2012: Fashion Hits and Misses

It feels like years ago I was typing out my fashion blog for the Australian Open while eating takeaways after a long day at the tennis. My tan’s faded and Melbourne is chilly, but the tennis goes on. Roland Garros is usually a Slam that struggles to inspire the absolute best in fashion, possibly due to the lack of night session and proximity to Wimbledon, but this year some of...

Federer equals Connors' Grand Slam win record

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