The farce that has been the 2016 French Open is still dodging the weather in rainy Paris and 'will we get any play on Thursday?' is the next question.
After the utter shambles of Tuesday when those in charge at the FFT opted to shove the players onto muddy and crumbling courts in the rain we actually had some play on Wednesday, but trying to predict it is virtually impossible.
We’ve seen Novak Djokovic reduced to club level hacking against Roberto Bautista Agut; Aga Radwanska lose 10 games in a row to Tsevtana Pironkova; Andy Murray blow 5-2 leads against Richard Gasquet in both of their opening sets before delivering a bagel – and that’s just for starters.
Ernests Gulbis turned a set lead into a four set drubbing against David Goffin, while Marcel Granollers won the set I needed from him against Dominic Thiem – but not the right one.
And finally, Albert Ramos did take Stan Wawrinka to a tie break, but in the third set and not the first, in what was a nervy showing from the Spaniard.
Even the normally mild-mannered David Ferrer was unusually scathing in his assessment of the playing conditions after his loss to Tomas Berdych.
“The players are those who mean the least to the organisers,” he’s reported as saying. “They want to make money. It may look good to some, but I think this is a scam. The conditions were not suitable. Fortunately nobody was hurt. I find it incredible that in such a historic tournament we have not got one or two indoor courts for when there is heavy rain. This seems ridiculous.”
The forecast for Thursday predicts more rain, but it could be one of those on/off kinds of days that are probably even more frustrating than solid rain all day long.
David Goffin vs Dominic Thiem
We’re scheduled to start at around 12:00 UK time on Suzanne Lenglen Court for what will be the eighth career meeting already between two players that also practice together a fair bit.
So, nothing should come as a surprise for either man in what looks another tight one to call and hopefully the rain will stay away for the duration of the match.
The pair have met only once so far in 2016, which was a four set win for Goffin at the Australian Open as slight underdog, and overall in their careers the Belgian has won five of their seven meetings.
Thiem has won two of the last three though and the most recent one on clay and it is the Austrian that seems to have the power to hit through the court in its current state of dampness.
Goffin ended up easing past Gulbis on Wednesday after going a set down to the Latvian, but much of that win can be attributed to the amount of unforced errors leaking from the Gulbis racquet.
His backhand as well as that dodgy forehand were suspect and it ended up being comfortable for Goffin as Gulbis’ game fell apart.
But the power and accuracy of the Thiem game was in evidence against in a win over Marcel Granollers on Wednesday and his extra potency in his shots will probably give the Austrian the edge on the slow clay we’ll encounter again on Thursday.
Goffin doesn’t have a good record at all as a 2.50 underdog or bigger, with losses in 17 of his last 18 matches at that price, and in his career he’s won only four of 14 matches on clay in that range.
So, backing him as an underdog has proven a costly business, but Thiem has as 9-3 record in his career at main level as a 1.50 to 1.60 favourite, with only one loss in his last nine in that range.
The Austrian would do very well to win this in three sets though and the -1.5 sets or the 3-1 to him seem the ones to focus on in this quarter final.
Long shot: Back Thiem to beat Goffin 3-1 at 4.40