The 2008 French Open was a tennis tournament played on outdoor clay courts. It was the 107th edition of the French Open, and the second Grand Slam event of the year. It took place at the Stade Roland Garros in Paris, France, from May 25 through June 8, 2008.
Justine Henin did not defend her trophy due to her retirement from the sport on May 14. Henin had the potential to become the only woman in the Open Era to win four consecutive French Open titles (currently, she shares the record of three with Monica Seles). Her retirement meant that the French Open would have a new women's champion in 2008, and Ana Ivanovic, the runner-up to Henin in 2007, was the victor. On the men's side, Rafael Nadal equalled Bjorn Borg's record of four consecutive titles in the open era. Other competitions included men and women's doubles, junior singles and doubles as well as wheelchair and 'veteran' competitions.
In the men's field, all eyes were turned to a clash between Paul-Henri Mathieu and former No. 1, 1997, 2000 and 2001 French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten, which saw the Frenchman winning 6–3, 6–4, 6–2, marking the closure of Kuerten's career. Third-seeded Novak Djokovic came back from a one set deficit to Denis Gremelmayr to make it into the second round. James Blake, David Nalbandian and Nicolas Almagro proceeded to the next round in straight sets, while Andy Murray needed almost three hours to beat French wild card Jonathan Eysseric 6–2, 1–6, 4–6, 6–0, 6–2. 1998 French Open winner Carlos Moya fell to qualifier Eduardo Schwank and Janko Tipsarevic lost to Nicolas Lapentti.
On the men's side, favorites Roger Federer, Fernando Gonzalez and Fernando Verdasco all won, as well as Tomas Berdych, who crushed his opponent Robert Smeets 6–1, 6–0, 6–0, and Tommy Robredo, who defeated 2004 French Open runner-up Guillermo Coria in four sets. Marcos Baghdatis, who had been injured since Indian Wells lost to Simone Bolelli, and 2007 French Open quarterfinalist Guillermo Canas was also upset in straight sets and three tie-breaks by Wayne Odesnik. The shock of the day came as French No. 1 Richard Gasquet announced his withdrawal a few hours before his match, due to a knee injury. Rain interrupted the play during the afternoon, causing all matches to be stopped and rescheduled to the third day.
In the men's singles, Nikolay Davydenko and Stanislas Wawrinka won in straight sets, whereas Juan Monaco was upset by Robin Soderling, and Mario Ancic defeated Andreas Seppi. Another rain delay eventually forced the ongoing matches to be stopped and rescheduled to the fourth day.
In the men's event, Radek Stepanek, Lleyton Hewitt, David Ferrer, Jarkko Nieminen, Dmitry Tursunov, Ivan Ljubicic, Mikhail Youzhny and Igor Andreev advanced, as well as defending champion Rafael Nadal, who survived a first set scare to eventually overpower qualifier Thomaz Bellucci 7–5, 6–3, 6–1. Meanwhile, 2003 French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero retired against Marcos Daniel due to a leg injury, and Alejandro Falla defeated Ivo Karlovic 3–6, 7–6(4), 7–6(6), 5–7, 6–4, after nearly four hours. Novak Djokovic, Nicolas Almagro and Andy Murray were among the first to qualify for the third round, alongside Paul-Henri Mathieu, who rallied from two-sets-to-love to overcome Oscar Hernandez in four hours and eleven minutes on the score of 2–6, 1–6, 6–4, 6–3, 6–2, and unseeded Michael Llodra, who upset Tomas Berdych in three hours and five sets 6–3, 4–6, 5–7, 6–3, 6–4.
The men's field suffered several upsets as well, as James Blake lost to Ernests Gulbis, David Nalbandian was defeated by French wild card Jeremy Chardy, who climbed back from being two sets down to beat the Argentinian 3–6, 4–6, 6–2, 6–1, 6–2, in over three hours and Igor Andreev was upset by American Robby Ginepri. World No. 1 Roger Federer came back from losing the first set to dispatch his opponent Albert Montanes 6–7(5), 6–1, 6–0, 6–4, and advance to the third round along with Rafael Nadal, Mikhail Youzhny, Fernando Gonzalez, Jarkko Nieminen, Dmitry Tursunov, Ivan Ljubicic, Stanislas Wawrinka, Fernando Verdasco, Nikolay Davydenko, David Ferrer, Lleyton Hewitt and Tommy Robredo.
The first matches of the doubles competition were played, with World No. 1 team Liezel Huber & Cara Black, Mariya Koryttseva & Vladimira Uhlirova, and Shuai Peng & Tiantian Sun to be among the first to advance to the second round of the women's doubles.
On the men's side, Lukas Dlouhy & Leander Paes, Jonas Bjorkman & Kevin Ullyett, Daniel Nestor & Nenad Zimonjic, Mariusz Fyrstenberg & Marcin Matkowski, Marcelo Melo & Andre Sa, Jonathan Erlich & Andy Ram, and No. 1 duo Bob & Mike Bryan all proceeded to the next round, while defending champion Mark Knowles, who partnered Mahesh Bhupathi this year, was defeated in straight sets by Stephen Huss & Ross Hutchins, and 2005 and 2006 champion Max Mirnyi, who teamed with Jamie Murray, lost in three sets to Rik de Voest & Robin Haase.
In the men's draw, Novak Djokovic and Paul-Henri Mathieu advanced to the fourth round, along with Rafael Nadal, who breezed by Jarkko Nieminen, Nicolas Almagro, who overcame Andy Murray in almost three hours, on the score of 6–3, 6–7(3), 6–3, 7–5, Fernando Verdasco, who defeated Mikhail Youzhny 7–6(5), 5–7, 7–5, 6–1, and French wild card Jeremy Chardy, who continued his run in the tournament by upsetting Dmitry Tursunov.
In the women's doubles field, favorites Yung-jan Chan & Chia-jung Chuang, Nathalie Dechy & Elena Likhovtseva, Tatiana Poutchek & Anastasia Rodionova, Zi Yan & Jie Zheng, Dinara Safina & Agnes Szavay, Victoria Azarenka & Shahar Peer, Lisa Raymond & Samantha Stosur, Kveta Peschke & Rennae Stubbs and Katarina Srebotnik & Ai Sugiyama all proceeded to the second round, whereas defending champions Alicia Molik & Mara Santangelo were upset in their first match by unseeded Sara Errani & Bethanie Mattek.
Christopher Kas & Rogier Wassen, Jeff Coetzee & Wesley Moodie, and Simon Aspelin & Julian Knowle were among the teams advancing to the second round on the men's side, as Lukas Dlouhy & Leander Paes won their second round match. Martin Damm & Pavel Vizner were defeated in straight sets by Lukas Arnold Ker & Juan Ignacio Chela, as Arnaud Clement & Michael Llodra, who lost to Pablo Cuevas & Luis Horna, while Mariusz Fyrstenberg & Marcin Matkowski lost their second round encounter to Michal Mertinak & Jean-Claude Scherrer.
In the men's field, twenty-first seed Radek Stepanek dispatched Tommy Robredo in straight sets 6–3, 6–2, 6–1, and Roger Federer advanced past Mario Ancic in little more than an hour-and-a-half, whereas his compatriot and ninth seed Stanislas Wawrinka, who led two-sets-to-love and 3–0 in the third, saw his adversary, Chilean Fernando Gonzalez make a comeback to eventually win the match 5–7, 2–6, 6–4, 6–4, 6–4, in just over three hours. Meanwhile, Lleyton Hewitt and David Ferrer battled through five sets, breaking each other repeatedly, until the Spaniard gained the final advantage, breaking the Australian at 4–4 in the fifth set, which allowed him to win 6–2, 3–6, 3–6, 6–3, 6–4. Former Top Ten member Ivan Ljubicic produced the biggest upset of the men's field thus far, coming back from a two sets deficit to defeat World No. 4, 2007 French Open semifinalist Nikolay Davydenko 4–6, 2–6, 6–3, 6–2, 6–4, and obtain his first fourth round spot in a Grand Slam event since the 2006 French Open.
In the doubles, Alona & Kateryna Bondarenko, and Anabel Medina Garrigues & Virginia Ruano Pascual won their first round matches, while Lisa Raymond & Samantha Stosur, Mariya Koryttseva & Vladimira Uhlirova, Yung-jan Chan & Chia-jung Chuang, Cara Black & Liezel Huber, Shuai Peng & Tiantian Sun, Victoria Azarenka & Shahar Peer, Zi Yan & Jie Zheng advanced to the third round. Nathalie Dechy & Elena Likhovtseva were defeated by unseeded team Sorana-Mihaela Cirstea & Aravane Rezai, second-seeded Katarina Srebotnik & Ai Sugiyama lost to Ashley Harkleroad & Galina Voskoboeva, and Iveta Benesova & Janette Husarova were beaten by Natalie Grandin & Raquel Kops-Jones.
World No. 1 doubles duo and 2003 French Open champions Bob & Mike Bryan cruised to the third round of the men's draw, along with Daniel Nestor & Nenad Zimonjic, Jonathan Erlich & Andy Ram, and Simon Aspelin & Julian Knowle. Frantisek Cermak & Jordan Kerr won one of the last first round encounters. Favorites Jeff Coetzee & Wesley Moodie were upset in straight sets by Serbian pair Janko Tipsarevic & Victor Troicki, Brazilian team Marcelo Melo & Andre Sa lost to Rajeev Ram & Bryan Reynolds, and fifteen-seeded Christopher Kas & Rogier Wassen retired against tall opponents John Isner & Sam Querrey.
Finally, in the mixed doubles competition, No. 1 seeds Katarina Srebotnik & Nenad Zimonjic breezed by their opponents to advance to the second round along with Kveta Peschke & Pavel Vizner and Cara Black & Paul Hanley. Eighth seeds Alicia Molik & Jonas Bjorkman were eliminated by Janette Husarova & Andre Sa, fourth-seeded pair Chia-jung Chuang & Jonathan Erlich lost to Olga Govortsova & Daniel Martin, and seventh seeds Lisa Raymond & Simon Aspelin to Kateryna Bondarenko & Jordan Kerr. Unseeded defending champions Nathalie Dechy & Andy Ram were upset, in the last mixed doubles match of the day, by Dominika Cibulkova & Gael Monfils.
In the men's draw, nineteen-year-old Latvian, unseeded Ernests Gulbis was the first player to qualify for the round of eight, by defeating Michael Llodra in straight sets. He was followed by Novak Djokovic, who defeated Paul-Henri Mathieu 6–4, 6–3, 6–4, to reach his third consecutive quarterfinal in Roland-Garros, Nicolas Almagro, whose opponent, the French wild card Jeremy Chardy held set points in all three sets, but eventually lost on the score of 7–6(0), 7–6(7), 7–5, and ATP No. 2 and defending champion Rafael Nadal, who crushed compatriot and twenty-second seed Fernando Verdasco 6–1, 6–0, 6–2, in little less than two hours.
In the women's doubles, Tatiana Poutchek & Anastasia Rodionova were upset in three sets by Casey Dellacqua & Francesca Schiavone in their second round match, while Anabel Medina Garrigues & Virginia Ruano Pascual, Alona & Kateryna Bondarenko, Kveta Peschke & Rennae Stubbs, and Dinara Safina & Agnes Szavay won theirs. In the third round encounters, sixth seeds Victoria Azarenka & Shahar Peer defeated Chinese team Shuai Peng & Tiantian Sun after three sets, Cara Black & Liezel Huber beat Mariya Koryttseva & Vladimira Uhlirova, and unseeded pair Nuria Llagostera Vives & Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez upset Lisa Raymond & Samantha Stosur. Unseeded Ashley Harkleroad & Galina Voskoboeva were the fourth team of the day to advance to the quarterfinals.
On the men's side, Bob & Mike Bryan, and Daniel Nestor & Nenad Zimonjic qualified without problems for the quarterfinals, alongside Jonas Bjorkman & Kevin Ullyett, whereas ninth seeds Lukas Dlouhy & Leander Paes were eliminated by South American duo Pablo Cuevas & Luis Horna, and Australian Open champions Jonathan Erlich & Andy Ram lost to Bruno Soares & Dusan Vemic. Unseeded Belgians Steve Darcis & Olivier Rochus also secured a quarterfinal spot. Meanwhile, thirteenth-seeded Frantisek Cermak & Jordan Kerr were knocked out of the second round by Igor Kunitsyn & Dmitry Tursunov.
In the mixed doubles, Zi Yan & Mark Knowles, and Victoria Azarenka & Bob Bryan advanced past the first round. Second-seeded Kveta Peschke & Pavel Vizner proceeded to the quarterfinals, alongside unseeded teams Janette Husarova & Andre Sa, Kateryna Bondarenko & Jordan Kerr, and wild cards Virginie Razzano & Rogier Wassen. Despite their second round win in the morning, Zi Yan & Mark Knowles decided to withdraw from the mixed competition, allowing Liezel Huber & Jamie Murray to secure a quarterfinal spot.
After a difficult first set, Fernando Gonzalez cruised to the quarterfinals beating Robby Ginepri 7–5, 6–3, 6–1, in less than two hours. World No. 1 Roger Federer struggled during almost three hours, but eventually defeated unseeded Frenchman Julien Benneteau, by breaking in the last game of every set to win the match 6–4, 7–5, 7–5. Twenty-one-year-old, ATP No. 59 Gael Monfils was the only French player out of the five present in the round of sixteen to advance, as he upset his opponent Ivan Ljubicic on the score of 7–6(1), 4–6, 6–3, 6–2, to reach his first quarterfinal in a Grand Slam event. David Ferrer's 4–6, 6–2, 1–6, 6–3, 6–3 win over Radek Stepanek allowed him to become the last man qualified for the singles' quarterfinals.
Unseeded Russian pair Igor Kunitsyn & Dmitry Tursunov advanced, and were shortly followed by the unseeded team, Janko Tipsarevic & Victor Troicki, who upset fifth seeds Simon Aspelin & Julian Knowle in three close sets, to complete the men's doubles' quarterfinals' line-up. Unseeded South American team Pablo Cuevas & Luis Horna produced the biggest upset of the men's draw in the first quarterfinal match, by knocking out of the tournament World No. 1 duo Bob & Mike Bryan 6–3, 5–7, 7–6(1). In the second quarterfinal of the day, Bruno Soares & Dusan Vemic upset eight seeds Jonas Bjorkman & Kevin Ullyett, to advance to the semis.
On the women's side, Yung-jan Chan & Chia-jung Chuang proceeded to the quarterfinals, alongside Anabel Medina Garrigues & Virginia Ruano Pascual who beat Zi Yan & Jie Zheng, unseeded Casey Dellacqua & Francesca Schiavone, who upset third seeds Kveta Peschke & Rennae Stubbs, and Alona & Kateryna Bondarenko, who defeated ninth-seeded Dinara Safina & Agnes Szavay.
After three hours of play, ATP No. 3 Novak Djokovic came out the winner of a close three-setter against nineteen-year-old unseeded Latvian Ernests Gulbis, on the score of 7–5, 7–6(3), 7–5, to reach his fifth consecutive Grand Slam semifinal. On the Philippe Chatrier central court, defending champion Rafael Nadal crushed compatriot Nicolas Almagro 6–1, 6–1, 6–1, in less than two hours, to set-up a rematch of the Hamburg Masters' semifinal, and of last year's French Open semifinal, both against Djokovic.
No. 1 seeds Cara Black & Liezel Huber defeated all-Spanish team Nuria Llagostera Vives & Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez in straight sets, in the first quarterfinal encounter of the women's doubles. On the other side of the draw, Australian Open champions Alona & Kateryna Bondarenko also advanced, beating unseeded pair Ashley Harkleroad & Galina Voskoboeva. Unseeded Casey Dellacqua & Francesca Schiavone were the third duo to qualify for the semifinals, upsetting sixth seeds Victoria Azarenka & Shahar Peer, and were followed by Anabel Medina Garrigues & Virginia Ruano Pascual, who defeated fourth seeds Yung-jan Chan & Chia-jung Chuang after three close sets and more than three hours of play.
Daniel Nestor & Nenad Zimonjic, the only seeded players remaining in the men's doubles draw, advanced to the semifinals past Belgians Steve Darcis & Olivier Rochus in straight sets, while Igor Kunitsyn & Dmitry Tursunov continued their run in the tournament and completed the semifinal line-up, by defeating Janko Tipsarevic & Victor Troicki.
In the first quarterfinal matches of the mixed doubles, unseeded team Jie Zheng & Mahesh Bhupathi defeated wild cards Virginie Razzano & Rogier Wassen, and second seeds Kveta Peschke & Pavel Vizner overcame Janette Husarova & Andre Sa. Meanwhile, first-seeded Katarina Srebotnik & Nenad Zimonjic won their second round match.
Fernando Gonzalez made a powerful start at the beginning of his quarterfinal against Roger Federer, winning the first set 6–2 in only twenty-four minutes, before the World No. 1 took back the control of the match and easily won the following sets, to end the encounter on the score of 2–6, 6–2, 6–3, 6–4, and advance to his sixteenth consecutive Grand Slam semifinal, his fourth in Roland-Garros. In the last quarterfinal of the men's singles, ATP No. 59, twenty-one-year-old Gael Monfils, winner of the Juniors competition at the 2004 French Open, became the first French player to go past the round of eight in Roland-Garros since 2001, as he upset fifth seed David Ferrer 6–3, 3–6, 6–3, 6–1, to set a semifinal against Federer, already the third encounter between the two players in 2008.
Unseeded team Casey Dellacqua & Francesca Schiavone proceeded to their first Grand Slam final by defeating Australian Open champions Alona & Kateryna Bondarenko 6–2, 6–1. In the second semifinal of the women's doubles, World No. 1 Cara Black & Liezel Huber were upset in straight sets 6–4, 7–6(2), by Anabel Medina Garrigues, who advanced to her first Grand Slam final, & Virginia Ruano Pascual, who reached her fifteenth Grand Slam final, and her seventh at the French Open.
In the mixed competition, third seeds Victoria Azarenka & Bob Bryan were the last players to qualify for the quarterfinals, by beating Vladimira Uhlirova & Mariusz Fyrstenberg, while first seeds Katarina Srebotnik & Nenad Zimonjic defeated unseeded Kateryna Bondarenko & Jordan Kerr to be the third team to advance to the semifinals. Victoria Azarenka & Bob Bryan played a second match at the end of the day, and proceeded past unseeded Liezel Huber & Jamie Murray to complete the semifinals line-up.
On "Ladies Days", Berlin champion, WTA No. 14 Dinara Safina advanced to her first ever Grand Slam final, dominating World No. 4 and 2006 French Open runner-up Svetlana Kuznetsova during nearly an-hour-and-a-half, to eventually claim victory on the score of 6–3, 6–2. Kuznetsova's loss, following Sharapova's fourth round exit, meant that the second semifinal between Australian Open finalist and Indian Wells Tier I titlist Ana Ivanovic and Rome winner Jelena Jankovic was bound to decide who would be the next World No. 1. Jankovic took the first advantage in the match, leading 4–2 when Ivanovic made a comeback and snatched the first set, extending her dominance to the midst of the second, when she saw her adversary win seven games in a row, even the score to one-set-all, and take the early advantage in the final set. Ivanovic broke back once to 3–3 but lost her serve, before breaking again to even the score at 4–4, win her serve, and take Jankovic's to finally win, after over two hours of play, on the score of 6–4, 3–6, 6–4, advance to her third Grand Slam final, her second consecutive in Roland-Garros, and be assured to become the new World No. 1 on June 9, 2008.
The first semifinal of the men's doubles, that opposed unseeded Uruguyan Pablo Cuevas & Peruvian Luis Horna to alternates Brazilian Bruno Soares & Serbian Dusan Vemic, lasted almost three hours and extended to a third set tie-break, until Cuevas & Horna took a final advantage, to score a 6–4, 6–7(6), 7–6(6) victory, and advance to their first Grand Slam final. After losing the first set to unseeded Russian pair Igor Kunitsyn & Dmitry Tursunov, second seeded Daniel Nestor, the defending champion, & new partner Nenad Zimonjic battled to take back the advantage, ultimately winning the match, and reach their first Grand Slam final together on the score of 4–6, 6–4, 6–4.
In the mixed category, Jie Zheng & Mahesh Bhupathi withdrew, consequently offering a final spot to their opponents Katarina Srebotnik & Nenad Zimonjic, who reached their third consecutive French Open final together, having previously won in 2006, and lost in 2007. The second semifinal was played in the afternoon, and saw Victoria Azarenka & Bob Bryan defeat Czech team Kveta Peschke & Pavel Vizner 4–6, 6–3, 10–8, to advance to their first Grand Slam mixed doubles final together.
Tenth-seeded, all Spanish-team Anabel Medina Garrigues & Virginia Ruano Pascual competed with unseeded Australian Casey Dellacqua & Italian Francesca Schiavone for the women's doubles title. Dellacqua & Schiavone commanded the game in the first set, winning 6–2 in nearly forty minutes, before their adversaries broke to 6–5 in the second, and won their serve to come back to one-set-all. Garrigues & Ruano Pascual broke in the first game of the third set, kept their advantage up to 4–3, when Dellacqua & Schiavone broke back to 4–all. Garrigues & Ruano Pascual managed to immediately take their opponents' serve again and keep theirs to win the match 2–6, 7–5, 6–4, after two-hours-and-a-half. In becoming the 2008 French Open women's doubles champions, Anabel Medina Garrigues won her first ever Grand Slam doubles title, & Virginia Ruano Pascual, a fifteen-time Grand Slam doubles finalist, holder of eight titles, won her fifth victory at the French Open.
The final of the mixed doubles took place between first seeds Slovene Katarina Srebotnik & Serbian Nenad Zimonjic, and third seeds Victoria Azarenka, from Belarus & Bob Bryan, from the USA. After easily winning the first set 6–2 in only twenty-two minutes, Azarenka & Bryan saw their adversaries even the competition, as Srebotnik & Zimonjic held their serve to a second set tie-break, in which they even took the early advantage, leading 4–3. Azarenka & Bryan were able to break back, and win four points in a row to eventually claim victory on the score of 6–2, 7–6(5), in little more than an hour. Victoria Azarenka, already the 2007 US Open mixed doubles champion, and the 2007 Australian Open mixed doubles runner-up, & Bob Bryan, finalist of the mixed doubles competition in Wimbledon 2006, and winner at the US Open in 2003, 2004, and 2006, won their first Grand Slam title together, becoming the new Roland-Garros mixed doubles champions.
(Pictures from Day 13)
The men's doubles final featured second seeds Canadian Daniel Nestor, a nine-time Grand Slam doubles finalist, winner of the 2007 French Open with Mark Knowles, & Serbian Nenad Zimonjic, a two-time doubles final runner-up in Wimbledon, and unseeded South American duo, composed of Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas, No. 50 in the doubles rankings, & Peruvian Luis Horna, No. 43 in the doubles rankings, on their first ever Grand Slam final appearance separately and together. The unseeded South Americans completely dominated the seasoned champions during the final, breaking them twice in each set, never losing their serve themselves, to crush Nestor & Zimonjic in only fifty-six minutes, on the score of 6–2, 6–3, and win their first doubles title together. Pablo Cuevas & Luis Horna knocked out four seeded teams, Arnaud Clement & Michael Llodra, Lukas Dlouhy & Leander Paes, World No. 1 pair Bob & Mike Bryan, and ultimately Daniel Nestor & Nenad Zimonjic on their way to becoming the first South American team to win a Men's Doubles Grand Slam title, and the 2008 French Open men's doubles champions.
(Pictures from Day 14)
(Pictures from Day 15)