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To replace the absent headliners, the match between Andy Murray and Brazilian clay courter Thomaz Bellucci was moved to central court. There, fans were able to witness how the Brit lost to Bellucci, 6-4, 6-2. Murray blamed an injury in the elbow: "I was coming back from an injury that was [not] that serious; but an elbow injury is not easy for tennis players. On Saturday I practiced with Rafa, I had to stop my practice early 'cause my elbow was sore." He also acknowledged his opponent's good play, "He served very well tonight and that was something that maybe was a bit of a surprise. I expected him to be a difficult opponent and he was."
This was the first time a Brazilian beat a Top 5 player since Guga Kuerten defeated another Brit, Tim Henman, in 2004. Bellucci explained his success, "My serve was very helpful and I think I played a good game and made him feel a bit uncomfortable playing against me because of my forehand and my serve, as well. I think the key was to miss very few shots on the court and play well the important points."
And speaking about favorites losing, with yesterday's exit of top seed Caroline Wozniacki, 2010 Roland Garros Champion and Finalist, Francesca Schiavone and Samantha Stosur, respectively, the women's field is decimated, too. Only two of the sixteen seeded players are left in the draw: Victoria Azarenka and Na Li [Correction: three seeds remain. Since publishing, it has come to PTN's attention that we had omitted 16th seed Petra Kvitova].
After defeating Sam Querrey, Flavio Cipolla, and Daniel Gimeno-Traver, Michael Llodra lost in the Quarterfinal to Rafael Nadal on Friday. Llodra, who will be 31 this month, went beyond the Second Round of a Masters Series on clay for the first time in his career this week. Although he lost easily to Nadal, 6-2, 6-2, Llodra was more successful in his Doubles Quarterfinal. Partnering Nenad Zimonjic, he defeated the second-seeded team of Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor.
– Fernando Verdasco, who lost in his first match to Yen-Hsun Lu, and is coachless since ending his relationship with José Luis "Tati" Rascón, has been seen practicing with former Roland Garros Finalist Alberto Berasategui. Berasategui was known for his extreme western – a.k.a. "Hawaiian – grip, which made him hit both the backhand and forehand with the same side of the racquet, and allowing him to hit heavy balls with a lot of spin.
– In his close loss to Roger Federer earlier this week, Feliciano López explained that he hit that smash on his match point in the third-set tiebreak, perhaps the key to his loss, perfectly: "It was a very high ball, I lost sight of it; I didn't really know what my position in the court was. I hit the ball perfectly but it went 3 meters outside the court because I couldn't see the ball well and lost my position."
–Finally, one cannot miss the opportunity to congratulate Novak Djokovic for the best start of the season of any player in the history of Open Era tennis. In winning his 29th match of the season (defeating Guillermo Garcia-Lopez), he's equaled Czechoslovakia's Ivan Lendl and is second only to John McEnroe's run in 1984. At the time of publication, Djokovic is fighting David Ferrer for a place in the tournament Semifinals and in the record books.