Another day of memorable moments in Paris yesterday, but despite drama lasting deep into the night – there was really only once story and one lasting image in Roland Garros and French Tennis history; Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s final goodbye to a glittering career.
In what had been billed as his last ever match, the former world number 5 and twice a semi finalist here was – at nearly 300 in the world rankings – unfancied against clay court form man and 8th seed Casper Ruud. But in typical Tsonga fashion this was no walkover, the charismatic former Australian Open finalist even served to take us into a deciding set, before his shoulder gave in, cue the tissues and a touching tribute on Chatrier with a presentation, trophy and the whole caboodle.
Away from such scenes, we had a shock in Shapovalov’s early exit at the hands of another former junior champion here, we lost di Minaur and Carreno Busta also [the latter at the hands of another Frenchman nearing the end of a fine career; Gilles Simon.
But really today was the day of the established names all being tested – some severely – before eventually scraping through in often the full distance. Observe: Pliskova, Halep, Sabalenka, Keys, Giorgi and most of all Tsitsipas who was absolutely nowhere for the first two sets really. Yes he was up against Musetti who is obviously dangerous and almost dumped Djoko out last year, but the Greek really was looking in major trouble.
No such drama for the likes of Cornet, Ostapenko, Medvedev, Badosa or the evergreen Gasquet.
Day 4 picks
Sasnovich vs Raducanu
Bencic vs Andreescu
Korda vs Gasquet
Moutet vs Nadal
Azarenka vs Petkovic
Anisimova vs Vekic
Cirstea vs Stephens