GO FIQURE: Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are a combined 7-14 versus Rafael Nadal.
THE BEST PLAYER NOBODY’S EVER HEARD OF: Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova (who quietly took out Jelena Jankovic at the U.S. Open last year and this week reached the Roland Garros quarters, where she fell to Jankovic).
MEMO TO ROGER AND RAFA: Bjorn Borg told the AP that, against Federer, fellow Swede Robin Soderling “played perfect tennis and can become No. 1 faster than we expect.”
WHERE’S FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE WHEN YOU NEED HER?: Two days ago, Nadia Petrova noted that when two Russians play each other, “it’s like war.” On Wednesday, Craig Gabriel gave the comment historical perspective, saying, “It’s the Crimea all over again”
BACK-TO-BACK: Federer is the last player to defend a Grand Slam title (’07 and ’08 U.S. Open).
MORNING IS BREAKING: When Novak Djokovic said he wasn’t a morning person, IT asked him the obvious: “Who in this sport is?” The Serb paused and said, “Rafa.”
THIS JUST IN: Tennis sage Mike Tyson said Martina Navratilova was better than Serena Williams.
WAITING TO EXHALE: Noting all the emotion of Francesca Schiavone‘s win over Caroline Wozniacki, Ian Eagle said, “Now she’s got to fight that instinct to exhale.”
IN A LEAGUE WITH FEDERER: On match point in the Madrid final, Federer completely whiffed completely on Nadal’s serve. Serena whiffed on a Sam Stosur serve at Roland Garros, and Shvedova whiffed on a sitter lob from Jankovic.
DRIVE FOR FIVE: Nadal is shooting for his fifth Roland Garros semi in six years.