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  • French Open, Day Eight

Novak gives Rafa the birthday blues

ESPN staff
June 3, 2012
Sara Errani took advantage of Svetlana Kuznetsova's wobble © PA Photos
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Momentum of madness
Svetlana Kuznetsova was blown away in her first set against Sara Errani, losing 6-0, then found her footing in the second and had the chance to serve for the set. Everything we had written about the Errani victory had flown out the window, and suddenly the dramatic Kuznetsova comeback seemed to be the story. Then Kuznetsova lost her service game to love - with four unforced errors, no less - and suddenly we were rummaging through the bins, trying to find what had been scrawled down 30 minutes beforehand.

Az-alutely furious
In the ever-unpredictable world of women's tennis, there was another shock: No. 1 seed Victoria Azarenka sent out by Dominika Cibulkova, seeded 15th. At one point, Azarenka was so frustrated that she smashed a racket, the time-honoured display of anger we learn at an early age, and which never, ever leads to improvement.

Pet hate
World number 15 Andrea Petkovic said on Twitter: "Juan Monaco = Sean Penn? I'm gone for a while and hair situations are changing rapidly." Having investigated the matter at great length (really, there's no need to thank us), the only shift we can see in Monaco's locks is from bad to worse.

Feeling blue
You could have been forgiven for thinking we were back in Madrid - well, if you ignore the fact the clay was the wrong colour - early in Novak Djokovic's match with Andreas Seppi. The Serb looked pretty unhappy with life as he trudged around the court, and he kept losing his footing. Maybe the old blue surface wasn't so different after all.

Raf justice
When Djokovic went two sets down against Seppi, Rafael Nadal must have felt like he was set to be given the ideal birthday present on Sunday. But Djokovic came back to win - so it was like being given a PlayStation 3 (or whatever the kids want these days), and then discovering there were no controllers... or games... or wires.

Got my first real six-string
Roger Federer's opponent David Goffin strode onto the pitch looking the spitting image of a young Bryan Adams - and, sure enough, he was soon air-guitaring with his racket, belting out a passable version of 'Summer of 69' (yes, we're making this up).

Left the building
Even we're not sure how surprising this stat is - but hey, it's a stat: for the first time in the Open era, 25% of the women in the round of 16 are left-handers: Petra Kvitova, Angelique Kerber, Varvara Lepchenko and Arantxa Rus.

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