Welcome to Tennis Elbow, the column that looks ahead to the latest in tennis. Today, Charles Blouin-Gascon previews day 6 of the 2020 French Open.
No one could have faulted you for missing the shitshow.
On a wild, bonkers second round match between former great Sara Errani and fifth-seed Kiki Bertens, the Dutch emerged victorious by the score of 7-6(5), 3-6 and 9-7.
The stats already tell you what a wild ride this match was: 134 points won to 133 for Bertens, a whopping 12 (!!!!) breaks of serves on each side, Errani more than doubling up Bertens’s six double faults with 15 (!!!!) of her own on the way to winning a minuscule six of 34 second-serve points, not to mention that at one point, the two players managed to lose 10 straight services, an absolute baffling number.
What are the odds of this happening ever ? We’re not quite sure but you might be able to find other odds or props for the tournament. Usually, Sports Betting Dime will publish content with odds and betting props for various major tennis tournaments like the French Open. For sure they’ll be coming out with more stuff as it gets closer to the finals so check back for those numbers if that’s what you’re interested in.
But anyway we digress. What the statistics tells us is that this was stellar stuff yeah.
But the statistics don’t tell the entire story. Because while it’s one thing to read how awfully Errani, who it must be said is a former World No. 5 player with nine career titles to her name and one Roland-Garros final in 2012, served, it’s another altogether to see it.
Here’s Errani missing a first serve by about 12 miles—the tweet, you’ll see, is in a thread where just above we see another tweet where the Italian missed the very first missed serve she hit after four ball tosses and receiving a warning.
In an endless tossing game Errani hits first serve which lands past baseline. #rg20 pic.twitter.com/Ilsg178TKK
— Grigor. (@Scores_WTA) September 30, 2020
Maybe an awful first serve miss isn’t your cup of tea and you’d much rather witness a tragic second serve miss? Dear reader, we have one of these for you too.
Errani missed an UNDERARM serve on second serve. Jesus. pic.twitter.com/OoCdE5AuJC
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) September 30, 2020
Here’s the part where you might wonder why we’re openly mocking Errani here, that we shouldn’t break decorum or whatever. Well first of all, who are you to tell us whether we should or not? But most importantly, we’re being mean toward Errani because Errani behaved like a petulant child throughout the match. Bertens battled cramps, which her opponent didn’t take kindly; here is she openly mocking Bertens’s injury after winning a point.
Errani openly mocking Bertens’ injury now… pic.twitter.com/bJnh3qywOq
— Bastien Fachan (@BastienFachan) September 30, 2020
Was Bertens faking? Who are we to know but we’ll venture that someone who won a match and wasn’t injured when she made it seem like she was probably wouldn’t cry in her chair after the win and probably wouldn’t need a wheelchair to leave the court.
No handshake/racket tap
Errani leaves the court shouting ‘va fanculo’ (no translation needed)
Bertens comes back to her chair crying
Absolute scenes pic.twitter.com/TvtI7sOhDT
— Bastien Fachan (@BastienFachan) September 30, 2020
Errani, meanwhile, left the court with little but her pride intact, her grace being long gone by the time she screamed the expletive “Vaffanculo!” on her way out. After the match, she ventured into the nonsensical in interviews, casting doubt on the Dutch’s injury. “I don’t like when somebody is joking on you. She played an amazing match, but I don’t like the situation,” she said. “For one hour she’s injured, then she run like never. I don’t like that.”
We’re no expert here, Errani, but we feel like most of all what you don’t like is the fact that you lost and played awfully bad.
All that said, you can see below three matches we’ve chosen to highlight below. (You can see the full schedule here.)
Court 7: Sebastian Korda vs Pedro Martinez (Second match of the day)
We always love surprises and the unforeseen, but we especially love it during this chaotic and miserable year that we’re all suffering through. We say all this to say that we’re absolutely thrilled to see that this matchup ensures that a man who emerged from the qualifying draw will make the men’s fourth round. Unleash chaos.
There will be at least one qualifier in the fourth round of #RG20, as qualifiers Sebastian Korda and Pedro Martinez (ESP, not BOS or NYM) will face each other in the third round.
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) September 30, 2020
Court Philippe Chatrier: Simona Halep  vs Amanda Anisimova  (Second match of the day)
Which of these two great players who has yet to lose a set at this Roland-Garros will be the one to buckle? The easy and probably right answer is likely to go with the Romanian Halep. (Hell, that’s even what we had predicted in our draw preview last week. Why change now?)
Let’s stick to our guns here and give Halep a hard-fought three-set win.
Court Philippe Chatrier: Rafael Nadal  vs Stefano Travaglia (Fourth match of the day)
Rafael Nadal’s rampage through this main draw continues on day 6. In many ways, it doesn’t actually matter much who the Spaniard is playing; everyone is the same lamb thrown to the slaughter on the Parisian clay when they play Nadal, they just are that to different degrees.
Today, it’s 28-year-old Stefano Travaglia’s turn to play the part. Good luck.
Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @RealCBG