Ginepri carries U.S. hopes in French tennis

Jun 1, 2008 7:52 PM

by Mark Mayer | Heading to the second week of the French Open, the slow red clay continues to haunt American tennis players. The Williams sisters, Venus and Serena, were part of a casualty list that saw only 12 of the 39 players on the Las Vegas Hilton odds board still with a chance to win the title.

The last American is 25-year-old Robby Ginepri, who in four previous French Open appearances had never advanced past the first round. Now Ginepri is in the fourth round as a field

player at 15-1 odds. He will face Chilean Fernando Gonzalez, who is 80-1 at the Hilton.

The players on the Hilton board still alive in Week 2 are top-seeded and defending three-time French champ Rafael Nadal (4-9), world’s No. 1 Roger Federer (7-2), Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic (9-2), Spain’s David Ferrer (30-1) and Gonzalez. The other 11 to reach the fourth round are at the 15-1 field category, including Ginepri.

On the women’s side, the retirement of pre-tourney favorite Justine Henin and the upset of Serena Williams (9-4) have new world’s No. 1 Maria Sharapova (9-2) as the favorite to win the one Grand Slam event that has eluded her. The 21-year-old Russian has previously won the Australian, Wimbledon and U.S. Open titles.

The other six seeded players on the Hilton board are world’s No. 2 Ana Ivanovic (5-1), her Serbian countrywoman Jelena Jankovic (6-1) former U.S. Open champ Svetlana Kuznetsova (15-1), Elena Dementieva (15-1), Vera Zvonareva (30-1) and Agnieszka Radwanska (50-1). The remaining nine women in the fourth round are listed as the 9-2 field odds.

The Tennis Channel and ESPN2 will be showing second week action with NBC televising Saturday’s women’s final and Sunday’s men’s championship.