French Open 2010 Rewind

It’s funny how the end of a Grand Slam tournament always seems to have an anti-climactic quality to it—the intensity, drama, upsets, rain delays, injuries, not to mention the Twitter updates, midnight article edits, and lack of sleep, all come to a screeching halt on the last day of the fortnight.

I’ve grown accustomed to this sudden shift in activity, but when it’s all said and done, it’s hard to shut off the rewind button inside my head. What really lingers in my mind for weeks after a Grand Slam ends isn’t who won or lost in the final, but rather, where history was made. In tennis, history-making moments are quite often found in statistics or broken records, but sometimes they can be found in something as offbeat as a gold lame tennis outfit.

Let the Rewind Begin.

One of the best performances in a 5-setter came from Andy Murray in his first round match vs. Richard Gasquet. If Andy plays like that at Wimbledon, he may be hoisting the trophy.

Victoria Azarenka was fined $4,000 for failing to attend her post-match press conference after losing her first round match to Gisela Dulko. Sour grapes = a lighter wallet.

Fastest serve speed: 149mph, by Taylor Dent. He lost in the second round at the French Open, but no one (not even Andy Roddick) was able to top that speed.

Sam Querrey lost his first round match, then caught a flight home instead of playing doubles with John Isner. The number of times Sam Querrey will will look back on the 2010 French Open and kick himself: 2,010 (at least).

One of the biggest nail-biters of the tournament: Gail “La Monf” Monfils was at 5-5 in the fifth set of his second round match vs. Fabio Fognini of Italy, only to have his match suspended due to darkness. Someone goofed on the timing of that call.

Talk about mental fortitude: John Isner had three consecutive tie break sets in his second round match vs. Marco Chiudinelli, then went on to win the match.

Justine Henin had her 24-match winning streak at the French Open snapped by Sam Stosur in the fourth round. Most people know by now that Henin v.2 still has some bugs that need to be worked out.

Robby Ginepri must have been eating from the same pasta bowl as Francesca Schiavone. The 27-year-old had his best French Open result to date, and upset Juan Carlos Ferrero and Sam Querrey along the way. He was the last American male standing at the French Open before losing in the fourth round to No. 3 seed Novak Djokovic. 

Aravane Rezai finally got more attention for her game than for being the only player at the French Open wearing a gold lame tennis outfit.

Roger Federer was ousted by Robin Soderling in the quarterfinals. That’s something I wish I could have deleted from the rewind. On the plus side, Federer had already racked up 23 Grand Slam semifinal appearances before his quarterfinal loss.

Sam Stosur may have been denied the French Open title this year, but she did manage to beat former champions Justine Henin and Serena Williams, as well as former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic on her way to the final. There’s always a silver lining somewhere.

Just a few weeks shy of her 30th birthday, Francesca Schiavone became the first Italian woman in history to win the French Open, as well as the first Italian woman in to win any Major. In the process, she proved that age is just a number.

This was the first French Open women’s final since 2004 to be played by two first-time Grand Slam finalists. (Anastasia Myskina def. Elena Dementieva in 2004.) Translation: everyone’s pick for the women's final didn’t make it to the final.

Venus Williams gained international attention during the French Open, but mostly for the wrong reasons. By the way, illusions are for magicians, not tennis players.

Robin Soderling was the ace leader at the French Open, racking up a total of 82 aces. Unfortunately for Soderling, his serving skills weren’t enough to beat Rafa in the final.

Veteran player Elena Dementieva played her 46th consecutive Grand Slam tournament this year at the French Open. Her streak began at the 1999 Australian Open. There should be an award for this achievement.

Rafael Nadal won his fifth French Open title and did not drop a set during the entire tournament. Nadal also became the second man in history to win at least five French Open titles (Bjorn Borg has six). At age 24, Nadal is well on his way to breaking every record in tennis.

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