Murray survives stormy day in Paris
Andy Murray's win over Simone Bolelli might have been messy and taken the best part of three hours, but it was a job well done.
Murray escaped from a day of swirling winds, when many top names struggled, with a straight-sets win - a major result considering all three were tight.
Yes, we can pick holes in the his performance, and the string of break points was a cause for concern, but nobody will remember this six-out-of-10 performance if he wins the tournament.
And he's a lot closer to winning the title than Davydenko, Berdych, Almagro or Melzer, because they're all out.
Jurgen Melzer's a goner? Yup. Isn't he in Murray's section? He was.
Late on Thursday evening, the man who beat Roger Federer in Monte Carlo succumbed in five sets to the Czech qualifier Lukas Rosol. Murray's section is now open wider than the Place de la Concorde.
In terms of seeds, Viktor Troicki is now the main obstacle between Murray and the semi-finals. If that isn't "Happy Land" - the British media's word of the tournament after it was coined by Heather Watson - then I don't know what is.
So let's count our blessings that Murray is still in - Bolelli was useful and things could have been a lot worse.
Andy Murray kept his focus against Bolelli. Photo: Getty
Even Rafa Nadal found things tough out on Court Suzanne Lenglen. He's been on court for seven hours and 18 minutes over eight sets; most unusual figures after two rounds at Roland Garros.
After his five-set thriller with John Isner, the five-time champion was troubled by Pablo Andujar, the world number 48, who had so many set point chances in the third set people were losing count. Was it eight? That's the general consensus. The third set lasted more than an hour and a half.
Kim Clijsters was bundled out of the tournament by Arantxa Rus, a left-hander whose forehand scythes through the air a bit like Gasquet's backhand. There's nothing like a shot with an artistic follow-through and the Dutch player made the most of a sloppy Clijsters display.
The Belgian unusually dodged the main issue in the press conference afterwards, saying any blame towards her injured ankle would be the "talk of a loser", but she returned too soon and she knows it.
"Almost full healed" she tweeted, tellingly, on the eve of the tournament. She then confirmed she was having treatment on it after her first match.
Clijsters was nowhere near her true self as she offered up 65 unforced errors, and while restrictive movement wasn't an obvious issue, nobody can really say how much thoughts of the ankle played on her mind during rallies. Let's hope she's fully fit for Wimbledon and suggestions that she could soon retire again, which swirled around Roland Garros without any informed basis, are wide of the mark.
And what a struggle Maria Sharapova had. When she trailed the French 17-year-old Caroline Garcia 6-3 4-1, Andy Murray wasn't alone in suggesting the French wildcard could be a future world number one. For someone who doesn't make a habit of making outlandish statements, Murray's prediction is one worth remembering. Wimbledon folk would be well advised to give her consideration if, as usual, they are struggling to dish out the freebie places next week.
Sharapova, for her part, showed enormous mental strength to counter the conditions, and her opponent, and launch a stirring fight back.
Sadly, British teenager Watson couldn't cause a shock of her own as she was blown away by the power hitting of Kaia Kanepi. The Estonian gives it an almighty whack from the back of the court and unsettled the Guernsey teenager with weight of shot. When Watson got her on the move she had more success. It was an illustration of how tough the climb from top 100 to top 20 is going to be and an interesting lesson to learn.
But Watson's progress into the top 100 remains steady, assured and, most of all, exceedingly promising.
Elena Baltacha missed a chance agaisnt Vania King, having won the first set, but she goes into the grass-court season having picked up more ranking points on clay than ever before.
I was disappointed to see her moonballing in the first game of the deciding set - if ever there was a time to exert some authority it's in a game like that - but that's being picky.
Baltacha remains a shining example of perseverance and hard work. There is no reason why she couldn't win one of the grass-court tournaments in Nottingham to give her a massive boost going into Wimbledon.
I write this at 9.30pm on Court Phillipe Chatrier, the centre court of Roland Garros which has been half-full for most of the day, watching Gilles Simon and Jeremy Chardy slug it out in a fourth set. Hardly anybody is here to see it. All the folk, the same folk who earlier prefered lunch to Clijsters v Rus, have disappeared into the night.
On Friday they have scheduled the match of the round - Novak Djokovic versus Juan Martin del Potro - as the last of the day, in this same slot. They could be playing in gathering gloom, uncertain of getting finished. It's ridiculous.
Simon v Chardy ended at 9.38pm after four sets and two hours and 28 minutes, at the end of a schedule when the previous men's match lasted only three sets. What a risk the organisers are taking with their curious order of play.
And that's not the only thing: Federer's on Court Suzanne Lenglen for the second round in a row (when was the last time he played two successive matches away from Centre at a slam?), which suggests he's the forgotten man of the French Open.
Yes, Tsonga and Bartoli carry home hopes but, not for the first time here in Paris, the schedule is ridiculous. An international barnstormer of a match on the graveyard shift? A worldwide superstar on the periphery two rounds in a row? The defending champion (Francesca Schiavone, a real attraction) at the start of play for the second time?
There's so much to love about the French Open but so much more than just a rebuild required to keep pace with the other three majors.