French Open 2011: Kim Clijsters, Marin Cilic and the Seeds We've Lost so Far
This year's French Open has been full of shocks so far, with the seeds finding themselves in surprisingly sticky situations against lower-ranked players. Blustery conditions today have made it even more unpredictable for the top players and, with unsettled weather predicted in forthcoming days, we may get even more upsets.
So let's take a look at who we've lost so far...
Antonio Veic sent Nikolay Davydenko packing today, with an impressive five-set win, 3-6, 6-2, 7-5, 3-6, 6-1. Davydenko may only be the No. 28 seed this year, but the Croatian Veic is ranked 227th in the world at the moment.
I don't really count this one as too much of a shock because Alejandro Falla is a great player, but the German No. 20 seed exited in four sets today, 4-6, 7-6, 6-1, 6-2.
Out on court three, he'll probably have been hoping nobody noticed.
And immediately after Florian Mayer's defeat, his namesake Leonardo knocked out Marcos Baghdatis, the No. 27 seed, with a straight-sets win, 7-5, 6-4, 7-6.
24-year-old Mayer, of Argentina, is currently ranked 217th in the world.
A disappointing one, this, as I expected Querrey to do well this year, but instead he was soundly beaten by Ivan Ljubicic, 7-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Of course, Ljubicic is a fine player, ranked No. 37 in the world, but the No. 24 seed must have fancied his chances too.
Sweden's Johanna Larsson surprised many with her first-round defeat of Ana Ivanovic, 7-6, 0-6, 6-2. That second set must have reassured the No. 20 seed that her experience would see her through, but she simply couldn't maintain it.
A home crowd will always even out your chances somewhat, but even so, Stephane Robert's first-round win against Tomas Berdych, the No. 6 seed, was a shock. Berdych must have thought he had it in the bag, winning the first two sets, but Robert stayed focused to take the match 3-6, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, 9-7.
The biggest shock of all—arguably the best female tennis player in the world—crashed out in humiliating fashion to Arantxa Rus today.
Clijsters has been struggling for fitness and the poor conditions didn't help, but even so, Rus did brilliantly to beat the No. 2 seed.
Nobody expects much of the US women's singles players in the absence of the Williams sisters, but Varvara Lepchenko showed that there is some talent in the pool when she knocked out No. 18 seed Flavia Pennetta in the first round, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.
The shock that started the tournament—the No. 19 seed and former top-10 player Marin Cilic losing in the first round to Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo, 7-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Other Big Names
Other seeds who have made an early exit include No. 11 seed Nicolas Almagro (lost to Lukasz Kubot in the first round, 3-6, 2-6, 7-6, 7-6, 6-4); No. 22 seed Dominika Cibulkova (lost to Vania King in the first round, 6-7, 6-3, 6-2); No. 22 seed Michael Llodra (lost to Steve Darcis in the first round, 6-7, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3); No. 26 seed Nadia Petrova (lost to Anastasia Rodionova 6-7, 6-3, 6-4); No. 19 seed Shahar Peer (lost to Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, 7-6, 6-1).
Let me know who you think might spring a shock in the comments.