No more Americans in Paris after third round
The Americans still appear to be allergic to second week singles action in Paris. The Yanks kept the stars and stripes flying for three rounds, but on Saturday the flag came down off the flag pole.
Vania King was the last American woman in the field, losing to ninth seed Petra Kvitova, 6-4, 6-2 in the third round.
"I went in there a bit nervous," King admitted. "I was expecting a big game, but she was playing really fast. She's a great player, a strong player."
Mardy Fish had the honor of being the final American standing. The 10th seed couldn't get the better of Frenchman Gilles Simon, who had all the crowd support in his corner. Fish fell behind 0-4 in the last two sets, eventually going down 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
When Fish was asked about the American effort in singles here this year, he responded, "Unsuccessful." He then elaborated, "We come here every year with the same question, 'When are we going to put someone in the quarters?'"
Fish, however, didn't have an answer for that all too familiar question.
This is only the second time in the Open Era that no American player is left by the fourth round of a Grand Slam. The only other occurrence was at the 1973 Australian Open, when no Americans had entered the tournament.
Shorter season, please
For a guy who is the world No. 1 and defending champion, Rafael Nadal is sounding very disgruntled these days. He just doesn't seem content, not even after posting a swift 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 third round win over Anotonio Veic.
Nadal's prime gripe: The players play too much. The men's calendar has too many weeks of play. Nadal says he hasn't been able to go home to Mallorca since early March.
Nadal, who serves as an elected representative on the ATP Players Council, is not satisfied with plans to reduce the 2012 calendar by two weeks. He insists it's not enough.
"You don't have a chance to stop, never," he said. "I have almost 25 [years old], but seems like I am playing for 100 years on the tour."
Nadal's suggestion for a fix won't likely get much traction.
He'd like the tour to play their year-end event two weeks after the US Open finishes in September. From there, the tour can run many of their smaller tournaments for those players interested in continuing to play through the end of year.
"I don't [think we're] gonna have these changes for my generation but, hopefully, for the next generations to have a better sports life," he said. "I think you need two months and a half of rest at the end of the season."
Thanks for the memories
The tennis community said good-bye to Patty Schnyder of Switzerland on Saturday.
Five days after losing in the French Open first round, and having won only three of 12 matches played this year, Schnyder came back to Roland Garros to announce her retirement.
"It's time to close this amazing chapter of being a tennis player," Schnyder said. "It's a very emotional decision. My feeling is being thankful and proud of all the moments I was able to share like all over the world with the fans and with all the champions of many decades."
When asked why she took the decision now, Schnyder, 32, said, "That's just a feeling of my heart. It feels right."
Schnyder won 11 singles titles in her 17-year career, and reached a career high ranking of No. 7 in 2005. Her best result at a Grand Slam was reaching the 2004 Australian Open semifinal, and she also reached six other Grand Slam quarterfinals.
However, Schnyder is probably most remembered for following an extreme orange juice diet in the late 1990s at the urging of self-proclaimed "natural therapist" Rainer Harnecker, whom she also dated. Her parents eventually hired an private investigator, Rainer Hofmann, to help remove their daughter from Harnecker's influence. Schnyder ended up marrying Hofmann in December 2003.