Busted Racquet

  • In a final that pitted one of the sport’s legends against one of its rising stars, Garbine Muguruza won the 2016 French Open over Serena Williams.

    The world No. 4 defeated Williams 7-5, 6-4 to capture her first Grand Slam title. She is the first Spanish woman to win a major title since 1998. 

    Muguruza took it to the defending champion, matching her intensity and heavy-hitting to dictate play. Williams, facing off against an opponent 12 years her junior and fighting an adductor injury, struggled with her movement.

    Murugurza and Williams opened the match blazing, as each showed off their impressive serves. It would take until the fifth game for Muguruza to capture the first break of the match on a double-fault from Williams.

    Garbine Muguruza won her first Grand Slam Saturday at the French Open. (Getty Images)Garbine Muguruza won her first Grand Slam Saturday at the French Open. (Getty Images)

    Williams fended off two set points in the opener, but Muguruza would not be denied on the third try, sending a strong backhand past the three-time Roland Garros chamapion’s outstretched racquet to win the opening set.

    Muguruza

    Read More »from Garbine Muguruza beats Serena Williams to win French Open
  • Novak Djokovic cruised to an easy straight-set victory in Thursday’s French Open quarterfinals, but still came within inches of seeing his title hopes dashed.

    The world No. 1 became frustrated in the third set of his match against Tomas Berdych and angrily threw his racquet down. The racquet then bounced off the clay and went flying backward, narrowly missing a line judge.

    Had the line judge not stepped out of the way just in time, Djokovic could have faced disqualification for the incident. Instead, he got away with a code violation and earned a 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 win.

    Djokovic became agitated when reporters asked about the incident after the match.

    “I threw a racquet on the ground and it slipped and almost hit the line umpire,” he said. “I was lucky there. That’s all.”

    Djokovic will go up against

    Read More »from Novak Djokovic flirts with disqualification, advances to French Open semis
  • Serena Williams came back from the brink of elimination Thursday to advance to the French Open semifinals.

    The world No. 1 dug herself out of a 5-7, 0-1 hole to knock off Yulia Putintseva in three sets.

    Putintseva, currently ranked No. 60, put Williams on the defensive early on. The 21-year-old was able to dictate the pace of the match by comfortably handling Williams’ power and sending her running all across the court. Williams struggled to gain a rhythm, putting up 24 unforced errors and dropping the first set.

    It took until the second game of the second set for Williams to find the aggressiveness she had been lacking. She changed her strategy, adding in drop shots and smashing volleys to take Putintseva off of her game. Williams took a 4-1 lead, and looked primed for an easy

    Read More »from Serena Williams stages epic comeback to reach French Open semis
  • The defending French Open champion will face off against the world No. 2 in a semifinal showdown at Roland Garros.

    Stan Wawrinka, who shocked world No. 1 Novak Djokovic to win the 2015 title, and Andy Murray are set to meet with a spot in this year’s final on the line.

    The match will serve as the 16th clash between Murray and Wawrinka. Murray has an 8-7 head-to-head edge, but Wawrinka owns the last three wins in the series.

    Third-seeded Stan Wawrinka is looking to defend his French Open title (Getty Images)Third-seeded Stan Wawrinka is looking to defend his French Open title (Getty Images)Wawrinka advanced to his second Roland Garros semifinal with a 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 (7) win over Albert Ramos-Vinolas. Wawrinka fired eight aces and 49 winners to quietly put away his Spanish foe in less than two hours. At 31, Wawrinka is the oldest man in 31 years to reach the French Open semis.

    Murray suffered a bit of early trouble in his quarterfinal match against ninth-seeded Richard Gasquet, giving up a 5-2 lead in the first set and falling behind in a second-set tie-break. The two-time Grand Slam winner fought back and regained his composure though, coming back to

    Read More »from Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka set for French Open semis clash
  •  The Williams sisters earned a split Wednesday at Roland Garros, as little sister Serena quickly advanced to the quarterfinals while Venus fell in the fourth round.

    It took Serena just over an hour to get past 18th-seeded Elina Svitolina. Rain had kept Williams off the court since Saturday, but the world No. 1 showed little signs of rust in her fourth-round match, winning 6-1, 6-1. Williams set the tone by breaking Svitolina to love in the opening set and served eight aces to send her 21-year-old opponent home early.

    Coming into Roland Garros, many wondered if Serena would be in top form due to her lack of play in 2016, but she has assuaged those concerns with her dominant showing thus far. Next up in her chase of a record tying 22nd Grand Slam singles title is an unseeded quarterfinal opponent, Yulia Putinseva. Putinseva upset world No. 14 Carla Suarez Navarro

    Read More »from Serena Williams reaches French Open quarters as Venus falls
  • Rain has been one of the top stories from the 2016 French Open. (AP Photo)Rain has been one of the top stories from the 2016 French Open. (AP Photo)Agnieszka Radwanska and Simona Halep had harsh words for tournament organizers after falling in the fourth round of the French Open.

    “I’m just so surprised and angry, that we have to play in the rain,” Radwanska told reporters after her loss to Tsvetana Pironkova on Tuesday. “I mean, it’s not a $10,000 tournament. It’s a Grand Slam. How can you allow players to play in the rain? I cannot play in that conditions.”

    Radwanska and Pironkova’s fourth-round match began Sunday, but was postponed due to rain with Radwanska comfortably holding a 6-2, 3-0 lead.

    For the first time in 16 years, an entire day’s worth of action was postponed, as steady rain made Monday’s scheduled matches impossible to play.

    The second-seeded Radwanska and Pironkova finally resumed play Tuesday morning, but rain again forced the players off the court less than 40 minutes later. After another close to three-hour delay, the match continued for good, with Pironkova completing a stunning come-from-behind upset to

    Read More »from Players rip French Open organizers over poor conditions
  • Another top women’s player has fallen at the French Open.

    Second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska was defeated Tuesday at the French Open. (AP Photo)Second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska was defeated Tuesday at the French Open. (AP Photo)Tsvetana Pironkova staged an epic comeback to stun second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska and secure a spot in the quarterfinals.

    When the match began on Sunday, Radwanska looked well on her way to the next round, building up a 6-2, 3-0 lead before play was halted due to rain.

    Pironkova, currently ranked No. 128, came out inspired when the match resumed Tuesday, reeling off 10 consecutive games.

    Radwanska took a medical timeout in the third set to tend to an injured arm, but she wasn’t able to battle back. Pironkova took the decisive set 6-3.

    Radwanka's loss was not the only big upset Tuesday, as sixth-seeded Simona Halep also fell in the fourth round. Halep, a 2014 Roland Garros finalist, lost 7-6 (0), 6-3 to Samantha Stosur.  

    Four of the top seven seeds in the women's singles draw have now met an early exit.

    Read More »from Second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska falls at French Open
  • For the 13th straight year, there will be no American man in the quarterfinals of the French Open.

    John Isner fell to Andy Murray in the fourth round in Paris Sunday, continuing a disappointing run for Americans at Grand Slams.

    John Isner couldn't keep up with Andy Murray Sunday at Roland Garros. (Reuters) John Isner couldn't keep up with Andy Murray Sunday at Roland Garros. (Reuters) The 15th-seeded Isner, known for his towering height and powerful serve, couldn’t keep up with Murray’s quickness, falling in straight sets. Isner is now 1-6 in fourth-round matches at Grand Slams.

    Isner is the lone U.S. representative in the top 20 of the ATP rankings. Jack Sock is the next highest-ranked American at No. 23.

    No American man has won a Grand Slam tournament since Andy Roddick’s 2003 U.S. Open win.

    Meanwhile, on the women’s side, there could be as many as four American women represented in the quarterfinals. Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Madison Keys will all play their fourth-round matches Monday, hoping to join underdog Shelby Rogers.

    Read More »from Last American man falls at French Open
  • Two doubles matches in one day proved too much for Venus and Serena Williams.

    Serena and Venus Williams lost in doubles action Sunday at the French Open. (Getty Images)Serena and Venus Williams lost in doubles action Sunday at the French Open. (Getty Images)The sibling duo fell to Kiki Bertens and Johanna Larsson, 6-3, 6-3, in the third round of the French Open.

    Earlier in the day, Venus and Serena had to finish up their second round match that was halted due to darkness with the Williams leading by a set. Vitalia Diatchenko and Galina Voskoboeva won Sunday’s first set to push the sisters a little more. After winning the decisive set 6-0 to take the match, the sisters had little time to rest before facing Bertens and Larsson.

    Bertens and Larsson had taken down the second-seeded duo of Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova in the opening round. In singles play, Bertens made headlines by upsetting world No. 3 Angelique Kerber.

    Venus and Serena entered the doubles draw to prepare themselves for the upcoming Rio Olympics. 

    Now, the sisters will turn their attention to singles play in Paris, where they are both vying for a quarterfinal slot. Serena will take on

    Read More »from Williams sisters knocked out of doubles play at French Open
  • Stan Wawrinka is taking no chances in his French Open title defense.

    So, when his fourth-round opponent Viktor Troicki called a medical timeout mid-match, the third-seeded Wawrinka wasn’t going to risk getting cold.

    Looking for a way to stay loose during the break, Wawrinka turned to a ball boy and asked if he wanted to rally.

    "We had a little chat,” Wawrinka told reporters after the match. “He was a nice kid. It was nice for him. It was fun for the audience. I was a little bit bored waiting for him [Troicki] so it kept me busy."

    Wawrinka earned a 7-6(5), 6-7(7), 6-3, 6-2 win and the ball boy came away with an unforgettable experience.

    Read More »from Stan Wawrinka rallies with ball boy during break at French Open
  • Shelby Rogers wasn’t even sure she’d make it into the French Open field.

    The 23-year-old from Charleston, S.C., was the second-to-last player to receive an automatic bid to the tournament's main draw.

    Rogers is making her presence count, as she took down another seeded opponent Sunday to continue her upset bid into the quarterfinals.

    Rogers, currently ranked No. 108, defeated 25th-seeded Irina-Camelia Begu 6-3, 6-4 in just over 80 minutes Sunday.

    Rogers opened the tournament by taking down No. 17 Karolina Pliskova, fighting back from a set down to win 3-6, 6-4, 6-3. Then, in the third round, Rogers squared off against two-time Wimbledon champion No. 10 Petra Kvitova. That match was another three-set battle, with Rogers again emerging victorious with a 6-0, 6-7 (3), 6-0 win.

    Rogers’ previous best

    Read More »from American Shelby Rogers extends upset run into French Open quarterfinals
  • Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal each added to their impressive resumes Thursday at Roland Garros.

    Djokovic became just the seventh man to record 50 French Open wins, while Nadal earned his 200th victory at a Grand Slam event.

    Djokovic overcame 42 unforced errors to down Belgium’s Steve Darcis and join Nadal, Roger Federer, Andre Agassi, Guillermo Vilas, Ivan Lendl and Nicola Pietrangeli.

    The world No. 1 is hoping to join another exclusive club next Sunday. A Roland Garros title would give Djokovic a career Grand Slam, something only seven other men have achieved. Djokovic has made it to the final three out of the past four years, but has continually come up empty.

    Meanwhile, Nadal’s triumph over Facundo Bagnis puts him eighth on the list of career wins at Grand Slams. Djokovic is fifth on that list with 216 career victories. Federer, who pulled out

    Read More »from Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal reach career milestones at French Open
  • One day after staving off a first-round exit, Andy Murray escaped elimination again Wednesday at Roland Garros.

    Murray was taken to five sets for the second time in two matches and, once again, the world No. 2 was forced to dig deep to pull off a 6-2, 2-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory against Mathias Bourgue.

    The 22-year-old French wild card had no previous matches against a top-50 player. Bourgue was so unknown that he currently has no biography information listed on the ATP’s website.

    Mathias Bourgue gave Andy Murray all he could handle Wednesday at Roland Garros. (Reuters)Mathias Bourgue gave Andy Murray all he could handle Wednesday at Roland Garros. (Reuters)After Murray captured the opening set, Bourgue used his stellar drop shot and backhand to fight his way back into the match. He won eight straight games, sending Murray racing all over the court and pulling ahead for a 2-1 lead.

    In the fourth set, Murray’s experience and superior conditioning began to take hold. He marched out to a 6-2 victory and it finally looked like his young opponent was beginning to fade.

    Armed with the support of the crowd (and a Mars bar and Coca-Cola that he called for mid-match)

    Read More »from Andy Murray avoids upset again against unknown at French Open
  • Hours after No. 3 Angelique Kerber was upset in the opening round, another top women’s player exited the French Open field at Roland Garros on Tuesday.

    Fifth-seeded Victoria Azarenka was in the same half of the draw as Serena Williams. (AP Photo)Fifth-seeded Victoria Azarenka was in the same half of the draw as Serena Williams. (AP Photo)Fifth-seeded Victoria Azarenka was forced to retire midway through the third set against Karin Knapp after a right knee injury proved to be too much to bear.

    The early exits of Azarenka and Kerber should make life easier for defending French Open champion and No. 1 seed Serena Williams, as they were both in her half of the draw. Williams started her title defense with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Magdalena Rybarikova on Tuesday.

    Azarenka was in obvious pain during her match, but tried to fight through it.

    Knapp, who beat Azarenka at Roland Garros nine years ago, came out firing and took the first set 6-3.

    Azarenka began to break down during the second set, and took a medical timeout leading 4-3 in the second set.

    Knapp almost finished Azarenka off in the second set, leading 6-5 in the tie-break. But Azarenka fought back, saving the match point

    Read More »from Serena Williams' quest for a French Open title just got easier
  • As Serena Williams starts her French Open title defense, here’s a reminder of just how good she is at her craft.

    Williams partnered with the dudes at Dude Perfect to hit some crazy tennis trick shots.

    Williams nails moving targets and smashes a water balloon on a string without breaking a sweat. The members of Dude Perfect also try their hand at returning a serve.

    The video builds up to the grand finale, where Williams uses an oversized racquet to sink a large tennis ball into a basketball hoop from the bleachers.

    Williams began her quest for a record-tying 22nd Grand Slam singles title on Tuesday at Roland Garros with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Magdalena Rybarikova.

    Read More »from Serena Williams shows off her trick-shot skills prior to French Open
  • Rafael Nadal began his bid for a 10th French Open title in style Tuesday.

    In the third set against Australian challenger Sam Groth, the “King of Clay” proved he’s still got the moves with a crazy between-the-legs shot.

    All Nadal and Groth could do was laugh and take in the raucous applause from the crowd.

    Nadal needed just three sets to take down Groth, winning 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 to advance to the second round.

    The world No. 5 had a rough 2015, but has looked stronger in 2016. With No. 3 Roger Federer pulling out of Roland Garros due to injury, Nadal won’t face No. 1 Novak Djokovic until the semifinals.

    Read More »from Rafael Nadal made his opponent smile after this between-the-legs shot
  • Andy Murray narrowly avoided defeat Tuesday at the French Open, edging out 37-year-old Radek Stepanek for a 3-6, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3, 7-5 first-round win.

    Andy Murray avoided losing in the opening round of the French Open. (AP Photo)Andy Murray avoided losing in the opening round of the French Open. (AP Photo)

    Murray was taken to the limit by the 37-year-old Stepanek, who won the first two sets of the match on Monday.

    The deficit proved to be a wake-up call for Murray. The Scotsman won the third set in under 20 minutes and built up a 4-2 lead in the fourth before the match was halted for the night.

    Murray finished his comeback bid Tuesday, but not without more drama. Stepanek proved a tough opponent in the deciding fifth set, taking a 5-4 lead and once again pushing Murray to the edge of disaster.

    The world No. 2 remained cool under pressure though, and won three straight games to finally advance to the second round.

    Murray was the second top player to narrowly dodge defeat in the first round, as defending Roland Garros champion Stan Wawrinka also needed five sets to put away his opponent.

    Murray is looking for his first French Open title. He

    Read More »from Andy Murray dodges first-round upset at French Open
  • Angelique Kerber was bounced early from the 2016 French Open. (AP Photo)Angelique Kerber was bounced early from the 2016 French Open. (AP Photo)Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber became the first big name to fall at Roland Garros, losing 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 to Kiki Bertens.

    The third-ranked Kerber struggled Tuesday, dealing with a shoulder injury and a determined opponent.

    Bertens broke Kerber twice to claim the game’s first set. Kerber, who toppled world No. 1 Serena Williams in Melbourne for a stunning upset, then responded with a 6-3 win in the second set to stave off elimination.

    But Bertens would not be denied, jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the deciding third set before Kerber called for a medical time out to tend to her ailing shoulder.

    The time out briefly revitalized Kerber, as she staved off two match points. But, a failed drop shot bid would send Kerber home, while Bertens was through to the second round.

    "I'm disappointed that I lost the first round here," Kerber said after the

    Read More »from Aussie Open champ falls at French Open
  • Andy Murray (Getty Images)Andy Murray (Getty Images)Andy Murray has avoided a stunning upset in the first round of the French Open — for now.

    Radek Stepanek, the oldest player in the men’s singles draw at 37 years old, opened up a two-set lead over Murray at Roland Garros, putting the world No. 2 on the verge of elimination. Murray then roared back to win nine straight games before the match was halted for the night midway through the fourth set with the Scotsman leading 4-2.

    Stepanek, currently ranked No. 129, took it to Murray from the get-go, winning the first set 6-3. Murray looked sloppy at times, giving up 12 unforced errors.

    The two traded breaks in the second set and battled back and forth until Stepanek won two straight games to send Murray to the brink of a first-round exit.

    Read More »from French Open: Andy Murray’s upset scare will conclude Tuesday
  • Stan Wawrinka’s bid to defend his French Open title got off to a rocky start Monday. Wawrinka got all that he could handle from his first-round opponent Lukas Rosol in a five-set match that stretched over three hours.

    Stan Wawrinka (AP Photo)Stan Wawrinka (AP Photo)Rosol drew first blood, coming out aggressive to take the first set 6-4. Wawrinka then fought back, taking the second set 6-1. But Rosol would not go down easy, matching everything Wawrinka had to offer and then some. He downed the third-ranked Wawrinka in the third 6-4 to put him on his heels yet again.

    Playing upset wasn’t new to Rosol, as he knocked off Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon in 2012. And Wawrinka and Rosol had met just less than a week ago in the Geneva Open semifinals. Wawrinka had an easier go in that match, winning 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 to reach the final of the French Open tune-up tournament.

    But at Roland Garros, Wawrinka suddenly found himself down 2-1 and needing to fight back to force a fifth set to avoid becoming the first defending Roland Garros champion in the

    Read More »from Stan Wawrinka survives first-round scare at French Open