After a cold and overcast day at the French Open on Saturday, 98th-ranked Robby Ginepri was left as the last American man standing.
In an epic five-set match, Ginepri took out 2003 French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero 7–5, 6–3, 3–6, 2–6, 6–4 to reach the fourth round.
Ginepri now faces world No. 3 Novak Djokovic in the opening match on Chatrier court on Monday.
In his postmatch interview Ginepri said, “I just fought hard throughout the whole match, and ended up getting the victory in the end.”
Ginepri has a great deal of respect for Ferrero, who has been ranked world No. 1. “It was a tough fight. You know, he’s such a great competitor out there. I knew he wasn’t going to give up after I was up two sets to love. You can never count someone out like that.”
With his win Ginepri matched his best showing at Roland Garros; he also reached the fourth round in 2004. Every other appearance of his at Roland Garros has resulted in a first round exit.
Ginepri began his tournament with a four-set victory over 18th seed Sam Querrey from California. He then beat Italian Potito Starace in four sets.
Ginepri is no stranger to long, tough matches and expects another one from Djokovic. “We played twice, played him in the Olympics; two sets for him. But, you know, he’s one of the best players in the world. It’s gonna be another fight out there.”
Defending champion and top seed Roger Federer has set up a quarterfinal clash against last year’s finalist Robin Soderling of Sweden. Federer beat countryman Stan Wawrinka 6–3, 7–5, 6–2 while Soderling beat Marin Cilic 6–4, 6–4, 6–2. Federer has never lost to Soderling in 12 matches.
The men’s draw saw No. 4 seed Andy Murray upset by No. 15 seed Tomas Berdych on Sunday. Berdych moves onto the quarterfinals to face Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny.
Venus Williams, who has been having a terrific 2010 season, was knocked out of the French Open by Russia’s Nadia Petrova on Sunday 6–4, 6–3.
The clay courts have never been too kind to Williams, who has never made it past the quarters at Roland Garros. Williams was the No. 2 seed behind her younger sister Serena.
“I feel like I had a day where I want to hit the ball crosscourt and it went down the line,” said Venus Williams.
“Sometimes when it gets really cold, too, it’s hard to feel the racquet. Especially in Europe it gets really cold. It just wasn’t a good day.”
Four-time champion Justin Henin completed her match with Maria Sharapova on Sunday by winning the third set after splitting the first two on Saturday. Play was suspended late on Saturday after Henin won the first set and Sharapova took the second.
If Henin and Serena Williams win their fourth round matches on Monday, they will meet in the quarterfinals.
Serena Williams is second on Chatrier after the Ginepri–Djokovic match. She will face Israel’s Shahar Peer, the No. 18 seed.
Henin faces Australia’s Samantha Stosur, the No. 7 seed on Lenglen court.
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