French Open: Sharapova, Ginepri, Bryans lose
PARIS ó Maria Sharapova did not go quietly.
No, her departure from the French Open was filled with sound and fury: her stroke-accompanying shrieks, her self-loathing shouts between points and the spectators’ hearty boos and high-pitched whistles that ushered the No. 1-seeded woman to the exit.
One point from reaching the quarterfinals at the only Grand Slam tournament she’s never won, Sharapova allowed every bit of a significant lead slip away Monday and collapsed to a 6-7 (6), 7-6 (5), 6-2 defeat against No. 13 Dinara Safina.
“Oh, I was angry,” Sharapova said. “I was angry for making unforced errors, for not taking some of those balls and just ripping them.”
Her fourth-round departure was the most startling development on a day that included this footnote: The last U.S. man or woman playing singles at Roland Garros, 88th-ranked Robby Ginepri, was eliminated 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-1 by No. 24 Fernando Gonzalez of Chile.
“A five-hour ‘grindfest’ would have favored me a little bit more,” said Ginepri, 0-5 at the French Open before this year. “I tried to end the points too quickly.”
Gonzalez now faces No. 1 Roger Federer in the quarterfinals in a rematch of the 2007 Australian Open final that Federer won for one of his 12 Grand Slam titles. No. 5 David Ferrer will meet Gael Monfils in another quarterfinal.
Rounding out the rough showing for Americans in Paris, the top-seeded men’s doubles team of twins Bob and Mike Bryan was upset by Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay and Luis Horna of Peru 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (1) in a quarterfinal that ended in a downpour ó and with a bit of rancor.
When the teams switched sides during the third-set tiebreaker, Cuevas celebrated his duo’s 5-1 lead by leaping over the net. So the Bryans didn’t shake his hand when the match finished.
The U.S. Davis Cup doubles pair was more disturbed by the country’s overall showing on clay.
“I guess we were holding the flag there at the end,” Mike Bryan said. “We’ll suit it up at Wimbledon and see how it goes.”
Safina now faces No. 7 Elena Dementieva, the 2004 French Open finalist who beat No. 11 Vera Zvonareva 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 in another all-Russian match Monday.
Sharapova moved up from No. 2 to No. 1 when Justine Henin quit, but the stay might be brief. Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic and Kuznetsova all could lead the rankings by the end of the week. Sharapova was asked about the possibility of losing her spot at the top.
Her reply? “Boo-hoo.”