Sunday May 29th, 2011

Novak Djokovic's winning streak is still on. The top two women's seeds are out. Rafael Nadal is in. The title is still up in the air. Herewith, midterm grades from Roland Garros. All marks distributed on the diploma mill curve.

Novak Djokovic: The streak continues. And if Week 1 is any indication, it's not ending at this tournament.

Victoria Azarenka: Everyone hates the shrieking. But she's playing as though she's ready to win her first Grand Slam.

Virginie Razzano: Doesn't win a match, but sets a new standard for courage, taking the court so shortly after her fiance's death.

USC: Wins men's NCAA title yet again. Florida took the women's title.

Alejandro Falla: Less than a year after heartbreaking Wimbledon -- failing to serve out the match against Roger Federer --Colombian qualifies and reaches Week 2.

Patty Schnyder: Veteran Swiss player, once embedded in the top 10, calls it a career.

The hosts: Despite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's disappointing five-set loss, three Frenchmen -- Gael Monfils, Richard Gasquet, and Gilles Simon remain. Marion Bartoli has been carrying the flag in the women's draw.

John Isner: Can't close out Nadal after taking a 2-1 sets lead. But a strong effort from a player long due for an easy first-round Slam match.

Tennis Channel: When the biggest complaint after dozens of hours coverage has to do with the size of the on-screen graphics, you're doing something right.

Rafael Nadal: Still in the draw, which is ultimately what counts. But looked more than a little vulnerable in first two matches.

Christina McHale: Strong effort for American teenager for most of her first match against Italian veteran Sara Errani. Then the wheels flew off and she squandered a 5-0 third-set lead.

Kim Clijsters: A game from advancing in a routine win, she erupts like an Icelandic volcano, committing 65 errors and losing to little-known Arantxa Rus.

Caroline Wozniacki: She's right: only one player can win each event. But that doesn't mean the top seed losing a Week 1 match 6-1, 6-3 is an acceptable result.

Ana Ivanovic: Former champ continues her struggles, losing her first match to Sweden's Johanna Larsson.

Tomas Berdych: Wimbledon finalist flames out in a hurry, losing opening match.

The balls: Only in tennis do you play for six weeks with one brand of ball and then switch to another brand for a Grand Slam. Players hate it. Brand gets maligned. Gee, who could have predicted this?

The crowds: True, the French do a mean lunch. But until they start playing matches in the hospitality tents, it would be nice if the bourgeoisie with the choice seats actually sat in them.

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