Doubles Take looks back at a wild week in Paris and what to expect as the tournament rolls on.
OK, raise your hands if you saw the top seeds in both the men’s and women’s doubles draws at Roland Garros going out before the second week started.
Or nod your head if you saw only one Top-5 men’s team making it through to the quarters.
Let’s just assume that there’s not a lot of positive affirmation out there.
The first week of the French Open was marked by upsets of near-epic proportions and as the tournament winds down, it really looks like it’s anyone’s ballgame.
On the men’s side, the first big shocker happened when the second seeds, Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares, dropped their opener in what was their last tournament together. They were among five seeded men’s teams to fall before the first day of play concluded.
Plenty of the higher-ranked pairs made it through to the third round, but getting out of there proved to be tricky for most of them. Top seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo fell to the Frenchmen Fabrice Martin and Jeremy Chardy; Bob and Mike Bryan lost to Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau, and last year’s runners-up, Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic, were upset by the unseeded Germans Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies.
The highest seeds left are pre-tournament favorites Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah. Seeded No. 3, the Barcelona and Rome champs beat Joren Vliegen and Mikhail Kukushkin for a spot in the semifinals. Rojer and Tecau fell to the unseeded Argentines Diego Schwartzman and Guido Pella in the quarterfinals, who are out to put disappointing singles showings behind them.
On Tuesday, Chardy and Martin will play No. 11 seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury and the last quarterfinal contest will see Krawietz and Mies square off against Dusan Lajovic and Janko Tipsarevic in an all-unseeded battle.
On the women's side, the quarterfinals are set. Only two players have won a French Open doubles title: Kristina Mladenovic in 2016 and Samantha Stosur in 2008. Both of them, along with their respective partners Timea Babos and Shuai Zhang, are playing some of the most consistent tennis in the tournament and will face off in the quarterfinals.
Stosur and Zhang, this year’s Australian Open champs, took out Victoria Azarenka and Ashleigh Barty on Monday. Two unseeded teams are through to the quarters: Jelena Ostapenko and Lyudmyla Kichenok, and Chinese duo Duan Yingying and Zheng Saisai.
The top half saw a big blow come early. No. 1 seeds and defending champions Katerina Siniakova and Barbora Krejcikova were eliminated in the first round by Nadiia Kichenok and Abigail Spears. That unseeded team was one of four to make it to the third round in the top half.
Among those surprise showings has been the run of the young Frenchwomen Diane Parry and Fiona Ferro. They lost to No. 4 seeds Gabriela Dabrowski and Xu Yifan on Monday.
Parry is only 16, and has had a tournament to remember. She’s also learned a valuable lesson going forward: The French Open can truly be that at times—open.
Follow Van on Twitter: @Van_Sias
Catch up on Week 1 at Roland Garros on the TENNIS.com Podcast: