By Jon Wertheim
June 02, 2012

It's Saturday night in Paris. The top men remain. The women's draw is agape. John Isner played a marathon match. The weather has been gorgeous. Which means it's business as usual at the French Open.

Then again, maybe not. Serena Williams lost her opening match -- to a player ranked outside the top 100. The top seed in women's doubles lost their first match, too. Roger Federer is dropping sets to lesser lights. One of the remaining Americans is a hyper-charming teenager with a big future. The other is a 26-year-old, born in Uzbekistan, a classic exponent of the American Dream.

Before heading to Week Two, some midterm grades ...


Djoko-dal: The top two men's seeds -- Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal -- are breezing through, no drama, no trouble.

Maria Sharapova: Three matches down, fives games surrendered. And while she was girding herself for a quarterfinal showdown, her draw just opened.

David Goffin: A lucky loser in the truest sense. Belgian bounced from the qualifying draw, Goffin makes it into the main draw when Gael Monfils pulls out. Goes on to reach the fourth round.

Karma: Nicolas Mahut reached round three. Tunisia's Malek Jaziri who should have been in the Dubai field earlier this year, acquits himself well. Brian Baker -- as good a comeback story as you'll find in contemporary sports -- won a round, pushed Gilles Simon to five sets, and now awaits a Wimbledon wild card. A year after losing her fiancee, Virginie Razzano draws on inner strength to beat Serena Williams. The oft-injured Tommy Haas, age 34, qualifies for the main draw and reached the middle weekend. Paul-Henri Mathieu, his career threatened by a knee injury that necessitated a wild card, beats John Isner 18-16 in the fifth set.

Sloane Stephens: American teenager reveals herself to be a) comfortable on clay b) a promising pro c) thoroughly endearing and marketable as she reached Week Two.

Arnaud Clement: At age 34, the popular French player wins a round, loses a round and then calls it a career.

Steve Johnson: On the other side of the pond, congrats to USC star for defending his NCAA title. (Here's one-stop shopping for all the college tennis results.)


Ryan Harrison: Some real chances in his first-round match against Gilles Simon, including points for a 2-0 sets lead. Squanders opportunity, the window closes and he loses in four sets. Harrison doesn't do moral victories. So chalk this up to a learning experience.

John Isner: Another example of his deceptively strong fighting spirit, he played another marathon. Alas, he blinked first, falling to Mathieu 18-16 in the fifth set of their second-rounder.

American women: Ten win their first match, including Melanie Oudin. But only three -- Stephens, Christina McHale, and Lepchenko -- survived the second round.

Blaz Kavcic: Wins his first match and then makes Djokovic work a bit in second round. More important, he brings a much-needed superhero name to the ATP field.

Marcel Granollers: Nice job reaching the second week. This fit of pique was from the League de Bush:

Mikhail Youzhny: Gets positively blitzed by David Ferrer on Saturday, at one point losing 22 straight points. But you have to love a guy who then writes "SORRI" in the clay with his racket.

French Fans: The die-hards are fantastic, packing the upper reaches, investing themselves in the most random contests. The fat cats with the suites are bigger frontrunners than Miami Heat fans, arriving late and leaving early. A real shame. The big courts looks embarrassingly empty, yet the grounds can scarcely accommodate all the fans.


House of Williams: We're still trying to process Serena's first-round defeat to Razzano, the first time she's ever lost this early at a Major. And Venus is simply a shell of herself physically. Unlike so many (too many, frankly) I'm not preapred to retire them yet, though. Let's see what they can do on the grass.

House of Bartoli: The highest-ranked French femme, Marion Bartoli, would have garnered more sympathy for her Olympic snub had she not bowed out in round two.

Andy Roddick: Even at the peak of Roddick's powers, expectations were minimal in Paris. But his first-round loss to Nicolas Mahut was painful to watch at times.

Aga Radwanska: That the No.3 seed loses in week one is no longer shocking. That she mustered three games in defeat (to Svetlana Kuznetsova) is.

Olympic snubs: Spare a thought for the Spaniard, Feliciano Lopez. He retires from a first-round match on account of an oblique injury. (The muscle; not an obscure injury.) The loss imperils the Olympics chances for a recent top 15 player and Wimbledon quarterfinalist last year.

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