PARIS, France - With two rounds in the books, the Insider Notebook gets a little fiesty as the weather continues to heat up at Roland Garros.
Sara Errani and Kristina Mladenovic put their "forza feud" to rest.
After losing to Mladenovic in the second round, the Italian told reporters she wasn't too pleased about the Frenchwoman's constant cries of "Forza!" - which mean's "Come on!" in Italian - during their match.
"I didn't do it on purpose," Mladenovic said. "I like her very much. It's a pity she didn't know this. She didn't watch my other matches. Not many of them in any case. She should do this. Look at all my matches. Watch my matches. I always say forza. My first round as well I was saying forza. All of my matches I say that.
"So it was nothing to provoke her. It's not my type of thing to do this."
"Yesterday I knew it was going to be a really tough match and that I had to face both a great player and a greater crowd of fans cheering for her," Errani wrote. "That’s why I hyped myself up as much as I could before the game, maybe too much. I was so hyped up that adrenaline was still rushing through my veins when the match was already over, in press conference.
"I thought I knew everything about my opponent but I didn’t. Nobody told me about Kristina’s habit to cheer and celebrate in Italian. That’s why, caught in the excitement of competing, I rose to the bait and took it as a provocation – as has happened in the past with other players.
"Kiki is a fair and honest player, therefore I genuinely wish her the best of luck for rest of the tournament."
Madison Keys' wrist continues to hold her back.
What do you do when everything feels good except the one thing you need? Madison Keys is struggling with that singular dilemma as her Roland Garros campaign ended at the hands of Croatian qualifier and veteran Petra Martic, losing 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 in the second round. Keys looked fantastic in her opening win over Ashleigh Barty and looked on her way to dominating Martic, but a mishit backhand late in the first set re-aggravated her surgically repaired left wrist.
"I hit one or two balls late and off," a visibly frustrated Keys told reporters after the match. "From that point at the end of the first set, it just got worse and worse. I was hoping I could get through it in the second set, but then by the third set it was just really painful."
"There's nothing structurally wrong with it anymore. It's the scar tissue and it's the little things. If I hit something weird, it locks up a bit on me. From there it just gets more painful. The good news is that if I don't hit the ball wrong, it's fine!" she said with a laugh.
"I played the last year in pain, and I can deal with that. It's just the frustration of getting it fixed and just feeling like you're almost there. And then especially happening at a Slam, it's just tough."
Keys will head to the doctor to get the wrist checked but says she's not concerned about her grass season schedule.
Simona Halep is ready to be cruel if she needs to be.
No more talk about ankles. The No.3 seed says she's fit and firing and ready to run for three hours if need be in Paris. The 2014 finalist advanced to the third round with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Tatjana Maria and will face No.26 seed Daria Kasatkina on Saturday. The match is one of the marquee showdowns in an exciting third round, and pits two players who injured their ankles in Rome against each other.
Halep is ready to do whatever it takes to put herself into the second week. "She has a very topspin forehand, so it's going to be very heavy," Halep said. "I have to make her run, because she's a little bit injured, like me," she said, laughing.
Strap those ankles tight, ladies. All's fair in love and tennis.
Is CiCi Bellis ready to make her mark?
The 18-year-old American is the youngest woman left in the draw and the only teenager left in the draw. In fact, Americans bookend that stat, with Venus Williams remaining as the oldest player left. Bellis takes on Caroline Wozniacki on Friday and if she wins, she would become the youngest player to reach the Round of 16 at the French Open since 2007 (Nicole Vaidisova).
A win would also make her the youngest American to reach the Round of 16 at the French Open since 1998 when Venus (QF) and Serena (R16) both advanced to the second week.
Thoughts through the first two rounds.
- The third round matches to watch: Simona Halep vs. Daria Kasatkina, Caroline Wozniacki vs. CiCi Bellis, Garbiñe Muguruza vs. Yulia Putintseva, Kristina Mladenovic vs. Shelby Rogers, Samantha Stosur vs. Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Timea Bacsinszky vs. Ons Jabeur, Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Alizé Cornet.
- Biggest surprises: No.92 Veronica Cepede Royg knocks out both Lucie Safarova and, more surprisingly, an in-form No.16 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to become the first Paraguayan woman to advance to the third round at a Slam since 2002.... Cagla Buyukakcay knocking out an injured (shoulder) No.22 seed Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-3, 6-3.... CiCi Bellis stunning a dark horse pick for the title, No.18 seed Kiki Bertens.... Richel Hogenkamp beating Jelena Jankovic 6-2, 7-5 in the first round.
- Notably impressive: Garbiñe Muguruza's ability to handle the early pressure against two tricky opponents, fending off a second set surge by Francesca Schiavone to win in straight sets and coming back from a set and a break down from the dangerous Anett Kontaveit.... Timea Bacsinszky is flying under the radar and looking relaxed and sharp.... Simona Halep has played without any signs of a torn ankle ligament.... Elina Svitolina got through a good test from Tsvetana Pironkova to win in three sets.... Samantha Stosur looks set to make a run.
- Notable concern: whether Kristina Mladenovic can get through the tournament with a bad back.
- Who would have thought: The last German standing, man or woman, is Carina Witthoeft.
- The draw has opened up for: Karolina Pliskova. She faces Witthoeft in the third round and if she wins, would face either Cepede Royg or Mariana Duque-Marino to make the quarterfinals for the third straight major. The seeds she could face there? No.9 Agnieszka Radwanska or No.28 Caroline Garcia. If the weather stays hot, watch out.
- Young ones to watch: They've bowed out of the tournament, but Marketa Vondrousova, Anett Kontaveit, Ekaterina Alexandrova, Océane Dodin, and Amanda Anisimova left an impression. Those are names we're going to be seeing often in the future.
Quote of the Day: Take it away, Aga.
Q. You skipped almost the greatest part of this clay season. Would you consider maybe in the future to pull a Federer and skip the whole clay season to preserve your body?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, I wish. It's not that easy, especially comparing me to Federer. Let's come back to reality.