Venus Williams had every reason to think she would make a deep run at this year's Roland Garros. But this effort ended just like most of the other times: with an early round exit.
The second seed, who's been one of the best lady ballers on clay this season, was shown the door today by Nadia Petrova losing 6-4, 6-3 in the fourth round. It was her first loss in five matches against the Russian and her stats show why: she hit 15 winners against 19 errors, hit 6 double faults but, worst of all, only capitalized on 1 of 7 break point chances while Nads grabbed 4 of her 7 chances. V hasn't made it past the fourth round since 2006 and only made it past the quarterfinals once in 2002 when she lost to Serena in the finals.
All credit to Nads, though, who mostly kept her composure and handled the tough conditions better than V. In fact she's been doing that a lot lately including saving multiple match points and regrouping when losing match points herself during her 2-day tussle with Aravane Rezai in the third round. Could it be she's a mental midget no more? Uh, not so fast.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga fell victim to another injury, this time to the hip, and was forced to retire from his fourth round match against Mikhail Youzhny, leaving no Frenchies left in the RG draw. He was already feeling pain during his third round win against Thiemo De Bakker, crying with relief after the match ended.
It's so frustrating to see someone with so much game and charisma flame out time and again with injury issues. His body and his style of play don't seem to get along much which may prevent him from ever reaching his potential. Sad for him, sad for us.
[Photo(s): Getty Images]