Tue, 28 Jun 2022

Corentin Moutet played his hero Rafael Nadal for the first time. And his idol didn't disappoint. Vicious top spin and wicked angles.

Idol chatter

Before their second round clash, Corentin Moutet was quite happy to tell anyone who'd listen that fellow left-hander Rafael Nadal was his hero as he was growing up in Paris. He even slept in the Nike shirts as worn at the French Open by Nadal. Well, that was before the 23-year-old joined the ATP tour. And the world number 139 got the chance to play his idol in round two's night match on centre court. It took Moutet 15 minutes to get on the scoreboard. Nadal wrapped up the first set 6-3 in 42 minutes. And he was just as ruthless in the second taking it 6-1 in 38 minutes. We stayed up for this?

Night fever

Refreshing to find that after three night matches involving the gentlemen, the broadcasters have opted to give the session over to the ladies. Day 5's action will conclude with the top French women's player Alize Cornet who will take on the 2017 champion Jelena Ostapenko. That will guarantee lots of partisan intervention. And who knows, we might even see local heroine Diane Parry in a night session.

Go girl

That's because while Rafael Nadal was slicing open Corentin Moutet on centre court, over on Simonne Mathieu, 19-year-old Diane Parry was mashing up the Colombian Camila Osorio. It finished 6-3, 6-3 in 78 minutes just as Moutet was losing his bearings in the second set. And Parry, who eliminated the defending champion Barbora Krejcikova in the first round, will take on the 2018 finalist Sloane Stephens for a place in the last 16. "I'll go into that match like I've come into this one," Parry told on-court interviewer Mary Patrux following her victory over Osorio. "Without pressure and trying to give my best so that I can go on."

Day to play the margins

Third seed Alexander Zverev and sixth seed Carlos Alcaraz both saved a match point on their way to five set wins over Sebastian Baez and Albert Ramos-Vinolas respectively. While Alcaraz thanked the crowd on Court Simonne Mathieu for their support, Zverev couldn't really do that since the centre court fans were firmly behind the underdog Baez. On-court interviewer Mats Wilander took Zverev back to the match point. "What made you serve to his forehand which was his stronger side during the match?" the three-time French Open men's singles champion asked. "Well," replied Zverev, "I figured it's likely to be tighter if I serve at 210 km/h to it. He didn't make the return and I look like a hero and I would have looked pretty stupid if he'd made it." So that's it then, after three and a half hours, a bluff.

They're here for our pleasure

Love that centre court crowd action. Just before Alexander Zverev was about to serve for a place in the third round after clawing his way back from a two set deficit and a break down in the decider, the clientele decided to do a Mexican wave. Around it went. And the umpire had to suggest that it stop as there were two chumps standing out in the centre court waiting to play for rather high stakes. The people applauded themselves for the hold-up. Nice touch.

Originally published on RFI

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