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After Jamie Hampton won a very long, very tough match against 25th-seeded Lucie Safarova, a press information worker announced, "Jamie Hampton will be in Room 4. He will be there at 3 o'clock.''
It was helpful information, except, of course, Jamie is a "she,'' not a "he.''
"You know, I have one of the easiest names, but everyone calls me Julie. Julie Hamilton,'' Hampton responded when told about the gender mix-up. "You can pronounce Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova but you can't get Jamie Hampton right? Jamie is [pronounced] 'Hy-may' in Spanish, and that's a guy's name, so I can understand it. But it still annoys me.''
|Jamie Hampton is the latest U.S. woman to win a match at the French Open.|
Great Britain, meanwhile, has no player, man or woman, in the second round.
Ten of those Americans are women: Serena Williams, Sloane Stephens, Varvara Lepchenko, Mallory Burdette, Madison Keys, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Vania King, Melanie Oudin, Shelby Rogers and Hampton.
"A couple of years ago, we weren't even on the scene. There wasn't even a group of us,'' Hampton said of the non-Williams women players. "We've progressed, and I think the whole group will continue to progress. We've all got good games and we're just trying to find our way on the clay right now.''
Hampton, 23, has improved her ranking from 628 in 2008 to 71 last year to 54 now. She says she hopes to crack the top 30 so she can be seeded at future Grand Slam tournaments.
She is certainly putting in the time. Including last week in Brussels (where she reached the quarter-finals), six of her past seven matches have gone three sets. She won Wednesday 7-6, 3-6, 9-7 after she was able to convert her third match point when Safarova hit an easy forehand into the net.
"It got really tough in the third set -- I think 9-7 was the furthest I've ever gone in the third -- and I was able to pull from last week,'' Hampton said. "I had a lot of long matches. I won a couple 6-4s and 7-5s in the third. It was good. I would have been disappointed with any loss today.''
Through to the third
While a surprising number of Americans (14) reached the second round here at Roland Garros, how many will survive to the third?
Safe to say, more than expected.
Wednesday, three players from the U.S. played their way into the third round: Serena Williams, Sam Querrey and Varvara Lepchenko. On Thursday, at least two more Americans will join them for sure.
That's because there are two All-American matchups, John Isner versus Ryan Harrison and Sloane Stephens against Vania King. And there are four other Americans with a chance to advance -- Melanie Oudin, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Jamie Hampton and Jack Sock. Three U.S. men qualified their way into the main draw, the most since 1982. Sock, who plays the ageless Tommy Haas (actually, he just turned 35), is the last one standing.
For context, consider that not a single American -- of either gender -- reached the fourth round here the past two years.
"There's been a lot of negativity toward Americans on clay," Querrey said. "It would be nice to kind of show everybody what we can do."
One American who didn't win her second-round match but deserves some serious credit is Shelby Rogers. The 20-year-old from Charleston, S.C., battled the No. 20-ranked player in the world, Carla Suarez Navarro, to the end -- on the Spaniard's favorite surface -- before losing 3-6, 6-4, 6-4. Rogers, ranked No. 170, received USTA's wild card into the event. In her only previous Grand Slam singles event, the 2010 U.S. Open, she lost in the first round.
Still playing with a massive chip on her shoulder, Serena Williams exceeded her stated goal for the 2013 French Open.
She's been telling folks for months she wanted to win one match at Roland Garros -- a nod to her devastating first-round loss a year ago here to Virginie Razzano of France.
Maybe it was merely a coincidence, but her second-round opponent was from France -- and Caroline Garcia won only three games in a 61-minute match.
Williams, ranked No. 1 among WTA players, looked a lot like the favorite. She has now won 26 matches in a row. She'll meet hard-hitting Sorana Cirstea, the No. 26 seed, on Friday.
A first for Querrey
He was a dreary 1-6 at Roland Garros coming into this year's event, but now Sam Querrey is contemplating a winnable third-round match against Frenchman Gilles Simon. He defeated Jan Hajek of the Czech Republic 6-4, 7-5, 6-4.
"My first third round," Querrey said. "Yeah, I'm really excited. That was my goal coming in. Simon is an unbelievable counterpuncher. But, if I play well, I can win."
Le Monf wins again
Gael Monfils, who had to be granted a wild card here by the French Tennis Federation, is also into the third round with another rousing win on Court Philippe Chatrier, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 7-6 (4), 6-2 over Ernests Gulbis. It was Monfils who took down No. 5 seed Tomas Berdych in the first round, still the biggest upset of the tournament so far. This was the 19th consecutive time Gulbis has failed to clear the second round of a major.
"It's a great feeling, no?" Monfils said. "It's always different here in my town and to be playing well. It's just something amazing for me."
Next for Monfils is No. 32 seed Tommy Robredo.
Wozniacki bows out
The father of Caroline Wozniacki, Piotr, recently suggested in an interview that her boyfriend, golfer Rory McIlroy might be responsible for her recent swoon on the court.
Wednesday, Wozniacki lost to Bojana Jovanovski for the second time in 16 days, 7-6 (2), 6-3.
"Hasn't been the best clay season this year," said Wozniacki, who reigned as the WTA's year-end No. 1 player in 2010 and 2011. "I guess it's good that it's the last tournament. Obviously, I would have liked to have played longer and played better. But it wasn't to be, so now just go back and practice again and try to prepare for Wimbledon.
"Definitely I feel like clay probably is not my favorite surface. Again, I have played well on it in the past. I just want to look ahead and focus on the next targets basically."
It might be worth mentioning that a year ago, Wozniacki lost in the first round at the All England Club, losing to Tamira Paszek.