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Peter Figura Blogging from Roland Garros: Day 9

Written by: Peter Figura

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***Peter is an award winning photographer and has been involved in tennis for almost 40 years.  He contributes to Ontario Tennis Magazine and some tennis publications in Europe.  His work has been published in Rogers Cup Souvenir Program, and he also contributes his work to Tennis Matters charity. Peter works with several tennis Clubs to help them get high quality tennis photography into marketing publications and displays.***

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Agnieszka Radwanska missed her chance. Again. She lost to Maria Sharapova 7:6, 7:5 after leading in the first set 4:1 and 40:15, and 5:3 in the second, with five set points (at 5:4, she was serving at 40:0)  Radwanska who won here as a junior cannot pass the fourth round. Last year it was a disappointing loss to Yana Shvedova of Kazakhstan. This year Radwanska had relatively easy matches in the first three rounds (she has not lost a set) and was playing well.  Despite some back problems before the tournament, she had a good chance of beating Sharapova, and with all top 3 seeds out of the tournaments who knows…

But like many times before Radwanska is her worst enemy.  Even during those fairly easy first three rounds she was showing her frustration after missing one shot.  Steering at her shoes, throwing a racquet, and yes, swearing (fortunately – quietly).

And it looked like she finally had Sharapova’s number.  Maria who was playing very well in Rome was having problems here in Paris.  This wasn’t the first match when she was down.  It happened against the youngster from France – Garcia.  But like in that second round match (she was down a set and 1:4 in the second) Sharapova focused even more.  Fighting for every point she never gave up.  Not at 1:4 in the first set, and not on five set points in the second set.

But if Garcia is young and inexperienced, Radwanska is almost tour veteran. Ranked currently number 13 in the world, she is known for throwing winning matches.  And it seemed that Maria knew that.

And it was Radwanska who played safe hoping that Sharapova is going to choke, and miss.  Well, at 40:0 being on serve – not a winning strategy.

So she lost 12 points in a row, and a macth she should have won.

Another French Open and another round of 16 for Radwanska. For many players this would be a measure of success.  But for the player who clearly has the potential to be well inside top 10, probably a disappointing performance.  Fortunaly she did not tell her father and coach Robert where to go – just like she did last year afher that loss to Schvedova.

A New Reality By Nicolas Pereira

This past week in the World Team Tennis ‘Bubble” I have seen the efforts to keep everyone safe while carrying on a team competition with around 60/70 players and coaches onsite. Counting organizers, officials, media, and support personnel are around 150 people trying hard to make this happen. I am very impressed by how the strict protocol has been handled and how everyone is invested in making this event a success, but The Open is a completely different scale of details.

ONcourt Interviews NGTL Co-Founder Yves Boulais

It does not matter that you get your rating playing locally or that you had spent an insidious amount of money playing the ITF junior tour tournaments. Your rating is your level of play (you get no bonus for playing more or playing far away). This allows us to break free of the ITF competitive structure potentially saving us time, money, and headache. We see this as a great opportunity to improve the logistic of our sport.

Brandon Burke (son of ACE President Doug Burke) Elected to WTA Board

As revealed in a recent news release issued by the WTA Tour – Brandon Burke has been elected to the WTA Board of Directors (to start officially in September). Oncourt got together with Brandon to delve a bit more into his background and to gain some insight into this wonderful appointment he has attained at such a young age.