Springtime in Paris

Portuguese champion Rui Machado lost 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 to the much higher ranked Chilean Fernando Gonzalez during the second round of the French Open.

Nevertheless, the  25-year-old Algarvean’s achievement of getting thus far in one of the four biggest tournaments of the year sees him climb from No130 to No80 in the world rankings. Even greater was the impression left behind in Paris by Michelle Larcher de Brito.

The Lisbon teenager reached the third round of the Grand Slam event with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over current Chinese world No15 and 2006 Estoril winner Jie Zheng, becoming the most successful Portuguese woman tennis player of all time in the process- her subsequent 7-6, 6-2 defeat at the hands of Aravane Rezai did little to diminish that historic feat.

At the same time Sweden’s Robin Soderling caused the biggest upset of the tournament by eliminating hot favourite Rafael Nadal. Federer now has his best chance of getting his final Open title.