BBC Sport tennis

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 15:32 GMT, Sunday, 1 June 2008 16:32 UK
Roland Garros, Paris, 25 May-8 June




French Open: Sunday 25 May to Sunday 8 June
Coverage:
BBCi, Radio 5 Live and the BBC Sport website.

French Open

Fourth round result:

N DJOKOVIC (Ser) bt P Mathieu (Fra)

6-4 6-3 6-4

* denotes server

LATEST ACTION (all times BST)

606: DEBATE
To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111. (Not all contributions can be used)
By Piers Newbery

THIRD SET:

Djokovic 6-4 Mathieu
Djokovic is two points from victory at 30-30 but Mathieu digs deep to find a service winner. He cannot close out the game though and at deuce Djokovic chooses the perfect moment to attack the net and find a winning volley. Balle de match - and Mathieu sticks a mid-court forehand into the net. Quelle surprise. Good stuff from Djokovic though, he's a class act.

1626: We have our first Mexican Wave of the day. I thought you should know. As is now traditional in Paris, the crowd ignore several pleas from the umpire to can it and the players have to wait for a minute or so. The crowd then decide to stop and applaud themselves. Very mature.

Djokovic 5-4 Mathieu
In no time at all, Djokovic puts the pressure straight back on Mathieu with a superb service game. The Djokovic serve is an underrated shot, loads of pace and kick.

Djokovic 4-4 Mathieu
A pressure game for Mathieu who is on the verge of defeat. He kicks off with a double fault, then pulls a backhand into the tram lines for 15-40. The Frenchman then appears to hit an ace but, for the first time today, the umpire overrules.

Everyone is amazingly - disappointingly - calm about it though, and Mathieu wins the point anyway before making it deuce with a solid smash and going on to hold. "Allez!" we cry.

Djokovic 4-3 Mathieu
Mathieu takes a heavy tumble at the net at 30-0 and needs a ball boy to towel him down. The crowd whistles and Mathieu's coach Mats Wilander chortles away. Lovely stuff. Djokovic checks his opponent is OK, then smacks down an ace to finish the game.

Djokovic 3-3 Mathieu
Mathieu comes through a comfortable love-service game - and that's not something you get to write every day.

1610: "When has Djokovic played his best tennis today? When he's been under pressure."
Jonathan Overend on 5 Live

Djokovic 3-2 Mathieu
Djokovic edges ahead again, dominating with some clubbing forehands.

Djokovic 2-2 Mathieu
Djokovic grimaces after hooking a backhand just wide at 30-30 but responds with a stunning cross-court forehand for deuce. Mathieu comes through with the first mid-court forehand under pressure that he hasn't stuck in the net today.

Djokovic 2-1 Mathieu
A murmur of excitement from the crowd at 30-30 is quickly silenced by the efficient Djokovic and Court Philippe Chatrier returns to an almost silent state.

Djokovic 1-1 Mathieu
This time it's Djokovic's turn to let a 0-40 lead slip away. He sticks a very makeable mid-court forehand into the net before Mathieu takes charge with his serve to reel off five straight points and save the game.

Djokovic 1-0 Mathieu
The traditional solid start from Djokovic.


SECOND SET:

Djokovic 6-3 Mathieu
Djokovic wants to get this one over with. He refuses to give up on the game at 40-15 down, getting back to deuce with a blistering forehand return. Moments later a Mathieu double fault gives up break point and the Frenchman sticks a backhand in the net. He made one of five break points in that set. Djokovic made three of three.

Djokovic 5-3 Mathieu
The home crowd is remembering what it's like to support Mathieu. He gets to 0-40 and three break points, sees two slip away, then dominates the following rally with some magnificent backhands before dumping another mid-court forehand into the net. You could hear the collective groan in Kent. Another set point comes and goes with a wayward return and Djokovic makes him pay. I would dare to say that was the match right there.

Djokovic 4-3 Mathieu
A nip-and-tuck game turns heavily towards Djokovic when he hits the shot of the day so far at deuce - stepping in and creaming an off-backhand return into the corner. Mathieu then goes long with a backhand and it's three breaks in a row.

Djokovic 3-3 Mathieu
Mathieu finally manages to string some of his best hitting together, a couple of punishing forehands helping him to 15-40 and two break points. This time he takes advantage as Djokovic cannot handle his fierce return of serve.

Djokovic 3-2 Mathieu
We're back with the action and Djokovic is not messing about, stepping in and thumping away a forehand winner for 30-40 and break point. He then comes up with such a superb backhand winner down the line that he begins to leap in the air in celebration before thinking better of it.
A Parisian police siren wails in the background - always reminds me of Inspector Clouseau.

1518: The camera picks up a smiling Richard Gasquet in the crowd signing autographs - quite surprised to see him at Roland Garros as he pulled out ahead of the tournament with an injury, which didn't go down well with everyone in France.

1511: The players are back out on court and knocking up after that brief rain interruption.

1500: "Nadal will take Verdasco apart, Almagro may get a set in the next round. It's been a special week for Federer - yesterday he was excellent and I don't think Benneteau is going to trouble him."
Roger Rasheed, ex-coach of Lleyton Hewitt, on 5 Live

1450: The rain steps up a gear and forces the players off at 15-15.

Djokovic 2-2 Mathieu
Another very classy service game from Djokovic rolls by without any incident. Of more interest is the many ways people are sheltering from the rain - the jumper pulled over the head look is especially good.

Djokovic 1-2 Mathieu
Mathieu responds with a love game of his own but the big and depressing news comes from above, as it starts to rain. At least I presume that's why everyone's putting up umbrellas. They're carrying on for the moment.

Djokovic 1-1 Mathieu
A straightforward love hold for Djokovic, who looks like he's enjoying a stroll in the park. Which is another thing you lot could be doing.

1444: "In tennis . . . players must be restricted. . . on the number of bounces b4 a serve . . its getting silly . . 3 max."
From anon via text on 81111

Djokovic 0-1 Mathieu
There are real danger signs for Mathieu at 0-30 but Djokovic lets him off the hook with a couple of errors and the French hope serves his way out trouble.

1438: "Piers, please don't mention that we should be out canoodling, your live commentary was the only thing stopping me from thinking about girl trouble!"
From Ben, London, via text on 8111


FIRST SET:

Djokovic 6-4 Mathieu
Two blistering returns get Mathieu to 0-30 up and send the crowd bananas for the first time today. The pressure is on Djokovic and he double faults.

Three break points for Mathieu - he nets a return on the first from a big second serve, Djokovic then hits an ace on the second and another on the third. Fantastic stuff. A great rally follows but Mathieu chooses the wrong option and goes to the waiting Djokovic forehand, only to see it whizz back past him seconds later. Set point and Mathieu thunders a mid-court forehand into the net - could be hard for him to get over that game.

1431: "Djokovic's coach Marian Vajda is a great guy, a great entertainer, and there's an element that it's fun to be out there. They enjoy each other's company."
From Times correspondent Neil Harman on 5 Live

Djokovic 5-4 Mathieu
Mathieu does well to hang on from deuce as Djokovic makes a couple of unforced errors, castigating himself for the mistakes.

1428: "Piers is novak at his brilliant best today?"
From mike at the wet rugby sevens in murrayfield (He's looking very smooth at the moment so far, stepping up when he needs to. Hope you've got an umbrella)

Djokovic 5-3 Mathieu
Great stuff from Djokovic, who quietens the crowd from 30-30 with a couple of hefty serves. The camera repeatedly returns to a pair of young lovers canoodling in the stands. That's what you lot should be out there doing.

Djokovic 4-3 Mathieu
Mathieu looks in control at 40-15 but Djokovic attacks a second serve to get to 40-30 down before Mathieu obligingly wallops a backhand into the net. The local hero then finds a service winner and an ace. It's anyone's guess from point to point with P-HM.

Here's a key stat - Mathieu has made 13 unforced errors so far and Djokovic just four. Just let that one sink in.

Djokovic 4-2 Mathieu
Some great hitting from both players as they really open their shoulders and give it a crack. Mathieu can hit with the best of them but Djokovic finds an ace at 30-30 and wraps up the game with a sharp backhand volley. Tennis funnyman Mansour Bahrami looks on from the stands, doubtless cooking up a hilarious jape for later.

Djokovic 3-2 Mathieu
Mathieu gets out of trouble with a big serve at 15-30 but then gets right back in it with a backhand that goes long. Break point for Djokovic but Mathieu saves it with another service winner.

The Frenchman then smacks a straightforward smash into the tram lines - this game is typical Mathieu - but Djokovic makes a surprising backhand error on his second break point. A third arrives soon enough and this time Djokovic comes into the net and makes a winning smash.

1401: "Does watching mathieu at roland garros remind anyone else of watching henman at wimbledon-the support, expectation and ultimate disappointment?"
From anon via text on 81111

Djokovic 2-2 Mathieu
A thumping love-service game from Djokovic.

Djokovic 1-2 Mathieu
No sign of the traditional Mathieu mental breakdown yet, but it's early days. He holds to 15. The winner will play Ernests Gulbis in the quarter-finals as the 19-year-old Latvian has just beaten Michael Llodra in straight sets. Ernests - there's a name for you. Good player though.

1354: "Only a tenner Piers! :-)" (see 1343 entry)
From Chris via text on 81111

Djokovic 1-1 Mathieu
Djokovic, oozing confidence as usual, moves 30-0 clear but lets Mathieu back in with a couple of loose backhands. The third seed responds with an ace and holds serve.

The Parisian crowd is already getting a bit lively, although nothing compared to my journey home last night as people mourned the passing of drinking on the tube by..... drinking very heavily and falling over on the tube. All very emotional.

Djokovic 0-1 Mathieu
Eyes down - Mathieu to serve first..... and the Frenchman sticks his first two big forehand efforts into the net to go 0-30. He gathers himself together well, though, edging back to 30-30 and then smacking a forehand cross-court winner into the corner and another down the line for the game.

1343: "I've placed a bet on Monfils to get to the semis. Come on my son!"
From Chris via text on 81111 (He's got to get past Ljubicic and probably Ferrer - possible but I hope you haven't put the mortgage on it)

1338: A smiling Djokovic puts up with the teeth-grinding pre-match interview. "I know he's going to have big support from 15,000 French people," says the world number three. "But the French like you very much too," responds our Gallic host. "Well, thank you very much for that," says Djokovic, before walking onto Court Philippe Chatrier to the deafening sound of "Mathieu, Mathieu, Mathieu!"

1335: "I expect this match to become another heartbreaker for Mathieu. He has the game to beat anyone when he's on, but he's known for snatching defeat away from the jaws of victory in the most spectacular fashion."
From Guiro on 606

1330: After the excitement of yesterday, when there were five-set thrillers at every turn, today has begun in more predictable fashion. Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic have made it into the women's quarters, Ivanovic without losing a game and Jankovic after her customary medical time-out.

And now for Novak Djokovic, who is looking to make it a hat-trick of Serbian wins.

Djokovic and Mathieu have met twice before, with Djokovic winning in Miami two years ago and Mathieu taking revenge a few months later at the Paris Masters.

The Frenchman is a hard one to predict, capable of screaming winners and abject collapses. Streaky is the word. However, he has former French Open champion Mats Wilander in his corner these days, so maybe he's picked up some of the Swede's icy resolve.


see also
French Open women's live scores
23 May 08 |  Tennis
French Open men's live scores
23 May 08 |  Tennis


related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.