The Week Ahead: Men’s Roland Garros Preview

Posted by Brodie under: Roland Garros, The Week Ahead

26 May 2012

French Open Stadium

Official Site: Here
Mens’ Draw: Here
Ladies’ Preview Here

Djokovic’s Quarter, Top Half – It can never be intentional, but the top seed always seems to get an excellent path to the quarterfinal, and it has to be said that Djokovic’s first four matches will have to be nearly painfully straightforward. Only Melzer or Davydenko could even have him breaking sweat in the first three matches, and will never last for five sets. Verdasco is a potential fourth round match up, however it remains to be seen whether or not the Spaniard will make it that far, and he surely will not have what it takes to outlast the Djoker.

Likewise, the other side of the quarter sees fan and French favourite Tsonga with confidence boosting first four matches. He would likely get Simon or Wawrinka (how’s that for a third rounder, by the way) and should be able to handle either of those if he can keep his brain together. This should be a largely straight forward and upset free quarter.

Predicted Quarterfinal: Djokovic vs. Tsonga

Federer’s Quarter, Top Half – Things are far less straight forward for Federer, as it is immediately obvious that Nalbandian in the second round is a serious landmine that all tennis fans should be aware of and be looking forward to. It should be one of the first displays of world class tennis that will deserve every eye ball it gets. I don’t think Nalby will have what it takes, but he may push Fed to the limits of his game.

The other half of the draw seems destined for a Berdych/Delpo showdown. Before his US Open win and eventual injury, Delpo pushed Fed to five sets and nearly won. He has some of the most underrated defense on the tour, and his ability to consistently drive the ball deep and find the angles and big shots to finish points means that he is a considerable clay opponent for a big man. Regardless, Berdych, an insanely streaky player, is finding his groove and will feel he has a legitimate chance at Fed in the quarterfinals. A tough one to call.

Predicted Quarterfinal: Federer vs. Berdych

Murray’s Quarterfinal, Bottom Half – In a mirror reflection of the ladies’ draw, the third quarter offers up many more questions then it answers. Ferrer and Murray are the favourites to make the quarters, but many names, including many who have found recent success on clay, may toss things slightly out of position.

Isner could wait for Ferrer, a match-up that does not suit the Spaniard, though clay will give him an obvious advantage. Murray could meet Dolgopolov, and yes, Richard Gasquet. If memory serves correctly, Murray has come back down two sets to love TWICE to the Frenchman at Roland Garros. Always an intriguing match (though, when isn’t it with Murray on clay?). Perhaps the most difficult quarter to call.

Predicted Quarterfinal: Ferrer vs. Gasquet

Nadal’s Quarter, Bottom Half – Sven himself could not have drawn up a better draw for Nadal. Pico in the fourth round and Tipsarevic in the quarters is heavenly for the Spaniard. Both players who play a defensive, grind style. In other words, a lesser attempt at what Nadal plays, and a style Nadal routinely feasts on. Easy.

The only other real threat, Nico Almagro, is on Tipsarevic’s half of the quarter, and a player Nadal can easily outlast over five sets.

Beyond that, Nadal could easily take a Ferrer, Murray or Gasquet and grind them into a pulp in the semis. Again, these are not power players who push the ball deep or serve big on clay. They are players whose games match up perfectly for Nadal on clay. No Soderlings, no Isners, no Delpos. If you are a Rafanatic, give a prayer to the tennis gods before bed.

Predicted Quarterfinal: Nadal vs. Almagro

Predicted Semifinals: Djokvoic vs. Federer, Nadal vs. Ferrer
Predicted Final: Djokovic vs. Nadal
Champion: Nadal

The Changeover Podcast:

Episode #56 – Indian Wells Wrap