Roland Garros: Americans in the Round of 16?!

The French Open continues this week at Roland Garros, and the American women came to play on clay. Serena Williams dominance aside, Sloane Stephens, Jamie Hampton and Bethanie Mattek Sands all made it through to the Round of 16.

In the 3rd round, Jamie Hampton managed to take-down defending Wimbledon Champ Petra Kvitova in two sets – she faces Jelena Jankovic in Paris today. Sloane Stephens sees her toughest opponent in her 4th round match against defending French Open Champion Maria Sharapova. And Bethanie Mattek-Sands has been brilliant. With a win over Maria Kirilenko, she’ll face Victoria Azarenka in the Quarterfinals. Tomorrow’s quarterfinal matches feature Serena Williams vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova and Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Sara Errani.

For the guys, the Isner vs. Haas 3rd round match has to be the story of the tournament…so far. Tommy won it 10-8 in the 5th, after 4-hours and 37-minutes. John saved 12 match points in the fourth set alone to force the fifth, eventually losing: 7-5, 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-7(10), 10-8. Tommy became the first 35-year-old to reach the quarters at Roland Garros since Jonas Bjorkman in 2007; and with an easy 3-set win over Mikhail Youzhny in the 4th round, he’s now the oldest Slam Quarterfinalist since Agassi at the 2005 US Open. The 3rd round loss was another tough one for John – he actually had a match-point at 5-4 in the 5th, but couldn’t convert. Now a common occurrence, we’re starting to lose track of his marathon matches…including the longest match in tennis history at Wimbledon in 2010 and his 5-hour and 41-minute, 5-set 18-16 loss to Paul Henri-Mathieu last year at the French Open. Before beating Ryan Harrison in 5-sets during the 2nd round this year, John had lost 6-consecutive 5-setters. Now make it seven of the last eight…

Roger Federer is through to the Quarterfinals, after winning a tough 5-setter over Gilles Simon. Roger actually stumbled and scraped his hand on the clay during the second-set, and lost focus through the end of the third, before coming back to win it easily in the 4th and 5th sets. He’ll face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga next.

31-year-old Tommy Robredo has made it through to the Quarters. Countryman David Ferrer, who’ has breezed through his draw, will be Robredo’s next challenger. Novak Djokovic faces Philipp Kohlschreiber today, looking to face Tommy Haas next. And in other 4th round action, it’s Rafael Nadal vs. Kei Nishikori and Stanislas Wawrinka vs. Richard Gasquet.

Today also sees Men’s and Women’s Doubles play. The Bryan Brothers are still alive, as is Vania King – playing with Monica Niculescu of Romania. Mixed Doubles is into the Quarterfinals. Lisa Raymond is playing well with Bruno Soares of Brazil. In fact, they could play American Liezel Huber and Marcelo Melo from Brazil next, if Liezel and Marcelo can get past Jelena Jankovic and the amazing Leander Paes.