Two ballers who made big impressions during the warm-up tourneys leading up to Roland Garros had their campaigns come to a crashing halt today, destroying my racket brackets in the process.
Ernests Gulbis had his best result in Rome defeating Roger Federer for the first time en route to the semifinals where he ran into Rafael Nadal - and lost. He also grabbed quarterfinal appearances in Barcelona + Madrid.
So, upon entering Roland Garros, Curlbis was favored to make a deep run and give Fed another tussle in a potential quarterfinal match. Well, the top seed is probably breathing a bit easier (not to mention Marin Cilic + Robin Soderling) now that the Latvian lad is out of the tourney and the top quarter, suffering a leg injury and retiring from his opening round match against Julian Benneteau.
"I stretched my leg, my hamstrings, and I heard two cracks," he said about the moment the injury occurred. "I don't know why, so I'm going to go to MRI to hospital in 20 minutes and check it. I hope it's nothing serious, because it can be anything, but it's for sure a little stretch of the muscle.
"It's also an experience I never [had during] a match before. I always finish the match until then but this time it was I think a little bit worse than I ever had for injuries."
Get better Curlbis.
Rome was also the site of Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez's biggest tourney win defeating then World No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki before outplaying an in-form Jelena Jankovic in the final. The Spaniard then landed in the bottom quarter of the RG draw where the highest seeds are No. 2 Venus Williams, who hasn't been past the third round since 2006, and the slumping fifth seed Elena Dementieva.
Unfortunately, MJMS felt discomfort in her neck during the warm up for her first round match against Akgul Amanmuradova and had to call the trainer later on eventually losing 6-2, 6-4.
What a way to go out. At least they'll always have Rome which is more than I can say for me and my wrecked racket bracket. Ugh.
[Photo(s): Getty Images]