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Feats and Feet of Clay (III): French Open Day 3 Preview

A rather painful episode of déjà vu occurred today for the star-crossed Richard Gasquet, who watched a two-set-and-break lead evaporate against Murray for the second time. Probably better suited for the compressed best-of-three format, the Frenchman’s electrifying shotmaking fails to compensate for his lack of physical (and mental) fitness at majors. With relatively little at stake, Murray deserves credit for staying focused until Gasquet faded once again; this instinctive will to compete comprises an essential trait of a champion. Elsewhere, Taylor Dent cracked the fastest serve in Roland Garros history…and actually won the match. (We know that Andy will be eyeing the radar tomorrow in an effort to eclipse that 149-mph bomb, but wet conditions won’t aid his cause.) In previous French Opens, serving records generally have not produced positive outcomes; Venus broke the WTA Slam speed record in a 2007 loss to Jankovic, while Karlovic broke the single-match Slam ace record in a defeat to Hewitt last year. Finally, Ivanovic delivered a characteristically candid post-match interview that was much more intriguing than her opening victory. Documenting the Serb’s mental oscillations between confidence and uncertainty, it’s worth a read for Ana fans (go to the Roland Garros site, click on News and Photos, then Interviews). As she tries to “move on and get better” from match to match, we move on to Day 3.

Click here for previews of Henin, Hewitt, Safina, Cornet-Pavlyuchenkova, Ferrero, GInepri-Querrey, Peer, and even more of Tuesday's action!

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