Photo: AP Photo/Christophe Ena
There has been a lot of build up to the French Open, what with:
- Djokovic and his huge winning streak (39 matches to be more precise)
- Rafa being beaten (on clay no less) more than once
- Roger not reaching a Final since Dubai in February
- Murray breaking his huge losing streak in the nick of time for the French Open and being the only man to get a set off Rafa and off Djokovic on clay in recent times.
Here’s how it all stacks up in terms of the French Open draw.
Rafael Nadal – No.1
Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
I’ve read that if Rafa doesn’t win the final, Djokovic will have enough points to claim the No.1 ranking, even if he loses early on.
In the more immediate future, if the seeds win, Rafa potentially needs to get past Verdasco and Soderling to make it to a semi final against Murray or Melzer.
That’s stiff competition all round but that’s what makes for a fab tennis. For my money, Rafa watches and learns and he will learn from recent defeats to push forward to more titles.
Novak Djokovic – No.2
Photo ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images
Djokovic has beaten Nadal on clay in both the Madrid and Rome finals. But a 5 set grand slam match is quite different to a 3 set match. Having said that, will the fact that Djokovic can become world No.1 after this tournament distract him from the incredible focus he has shown this year to date? Or will he continue to power through whatever is hit his way?
Djokovic plays in the bottom half of the draw. Potentially he will play Del Potro early on. My heart screams “yes, Delpo can win”, in reality I’m not so sure but whatever happens I look forward to the match.
Then Djokovic faces either Gasquet or Bellucci and then either Hewitt or Berdych (unless lovely Tommy Haas breaks through), in order to potentially meet either Ferrer or Federer in the semi final.
I think Djokovic is hungry for Grand Slam success. He wants to prove himself on all surfaces and if he can win in Paris, it’s not such a big stretch to the whole Grand Slam!
Roger Federer – No.3
Photo Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Roger is in the bottom part of the draw, with Djokovic. He’ll play either Wawrinka or Tsonga in Round 4 and then potentially Ferrer in the Quarter finals.
I’d love to see Roger go through to the final but my head is saying, based on Ferrer’s recent form on clay, that Ferrer can beat him. I’ll be happy to be proven wrong though! Roger is still a player to be reckoned with – it might take a while to redeem his former glory but I think it can still happen in the next year or two.
Andy Murray – No.4
Photo: AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito
Luckily for Andy Murray, tennis rankings have a long memory. Because it feels like years since he won something, and yet he is still number four. The Australian Open runner up points have carried him a long way.
Since making that fateful Australian Open final in January, Andy didn’t play much tennis worth speaking of until recent times on clay. He is the only man to get a set off both Nadal and Djokovic on clay this season. And the form he is showing speaks loudly that he is back.
Andy is in Rafa’s part of the draw. Seemingly he has a few easy early rounds against qualifiers but he could face up and coming superstar Raonic in the 3rd round, and then either Dolgopolov or Troicki in Round 4 and Almagro or Melzer in the quarter finals.
Whoever he plays I feel like if Murray has his “A” game with him in Paris, he’ll power past them all.
I’d be happy for any of the Top 4 to win the French Open, all for different reasons (quite the fence sitter really, aren’t I!). But I also love the thought of someone new making it to the final, like what often happens at the Australian Open.
Whatever happens, as always, I’ll be barracking for good tennis and lots of it!
Until next time
Grand Slam Gal
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