1. Vamos Albert
At the tenth attempt, Albert “Fat Albert” Montañes has finally reached the fourth round of Roland Garros and with a match against Fabio Fognini to come he’ll never get a better chance to go further.
It’s nice to see a solid dirtballer reach such a milestone and although the draw opened up for him, he was probably due some luck here.
In three of the last four years, Montañes has lost in the first week to a player who went on to reach the final (Soderling last year, Federer in 2008 and Nadal in 2007).
The Spaniard has a great attitude on court and is a good example of a player who has maximised his ability. He’ll face his polar opposite in the fourth round when he takes on the whining, tanking, pouting but naturally gifted Fabio Fognini.
Which brings me back to the original point: Vamos Albert!
2. The schedulers are idiots
When Djokovic and Del Potro were scheduled to play fourth on Philippe Chatrier everybody’s first thought was that it would probably not even finish on Friday.
So it proved with the match stopped after two sets. Whatever way you look it is it was some supremely stupid scheduling.
Either they were simply incompetent and didn’t even consider the possibility that darkness would interrupt play or they did it on purpose in the hope that the winner would be on court for three hours on Saturday before having to face Richard Gasquet on Sunday.
Are they really that desperate for some home success? They probably are actually. But if that was their idea they probably shot themselves in the foot.
Del Potro looked to be getting on top last night but once Djokovic saved the break points at 2-2 today, there was only going to be one winner. Gasquet would have had a much better chance against the loser.
3. Falla lost the battle but won the war
When Falla served for the match against Kubot in the fourth set was it the biggest game of his career?
Given that he also served for the match in the fourth set against Roger Federer in Wimbledon last year it’s definitely debatable.
Today, he choked badly but broke in the next game to take the match.
This win puts him into the fourth round of a slam for the first time ever with a real shot of reaching the quarter-final when he plays Juan-Ignacio Chela in the last 16.
If he had beaten Federer he would certainly have become a lot more famous than he will for reaching the last 16, that’s for sure.
But look at George Bastl, the last man to beat Pete Sampras at Wimbledon. He hasn’t achieved anything since then apart from growing the gnarliest beard in sports history.
Would a player rather be remembered for one massive upset or look back on his career and say he reached a slam quarter-final?
It’s the latter. Falla isn’t there yet but he’ll never get a better opportunity.
4. Viktor Troicki could reach a slam semi-final
I have nothing personally against Troicki but he must be the single greatest weakness in the argument that tennis has greater depth than ever.
You have to admire his consistency in beating those ranked lower than him and in taking advantage of some favourable draws but I find the idea of Viktor Troicki as a top 10 player a bit laughable.
If he beats an injury-affected Andy Murray in the fourth round (another blessed draw) then that idea will almost be a reality given that he would face the winner of Chela/Falla in the quarter-final.
He also has virtually nothing to defend at the next two slams.
Consider this: Aleksandr Dolgopolov was the third top 60 player Troicki has beaten in a slam in his entire career.
He’s got a pretty big game and is an ok mover but when you look at him play he’s just deeply uninspiring. Then again he wouldn’t be the first top 10 player you could say that about.
6. The qualifiers hit a glass ceiling
Six made the third round, but only one made the fourth with Falla getting the better of Kubot in the all qualie clash.
Antonio Veic, Lukas Rosol, Steve Darcis and Leonardo were the others who fell at their sixth hurdle. Yes, the sixth hurdle.
Superb showings from all.