Carreno Busta-Estrella Burgos
Well, there it is folks. The long awaited French Open draw in all its glory. And it is not lacking any surprises, the biggest of which is Djokovic and Nadal being in the same quarter. The second biggest surprise is that Murray is in the same half as these two, leaving Federer with the best French Open draw he’s had in years.
- Djokovic and Nadal in the Same Quarter
I guess the people who are so sure that draws are rigged didn’t expect this one. Not saying draws don’t get rigged, but if it did then I’m not so sure a Djokodal quarter-final would have made a whole lot of sense. Anyway, this is what I hoped for. The later the Djoker faced Nadal the worse for him. There was always a chance that Nadal could have lost before he faced the Djoker, but if they had to meet I’d preferred it happened in the quarters. If Nadal makes the quarters he would already have four wins behind him and feeling more confident.
But knowing that the Djoker is lurking in the quarters should he come through won’t exactly fill him with confidence I think, making him more prone to an upset. But given current form the Djoker surely has to be the favorite if they meet in the quarters. I don’t think four match wins will be enough to get Nadal back to his old level while the Djoker has been impeccable of late. No doubt all the losses against Nadal at the French as well as the pressure of completing the career slam won’t exactly fill the Djoker with confidence either.
But that’s what makes it so interesting. As for their draw until the quarters the Djoker has it pretty easy while Nadal has Dolgopolov in the second round and Dimitrov/Sock/Robredo/Coric in the fourth round, so an upset before the quarters is not unthinkable. But should these two meet in the quarters, which is the most likely outcome, we have the most interesting quarter-final matchup in Paris in years, if not ever. The closest the Djoker has ever come at beating Nadal was in the semis, and the earlier you get Nadal at the French the better…
- Murray Also in the Top Half
This is another big surprise for people who think draw rigging is a reality. This means that three of the big four, who also happens to be the four big favorites for the title, are all stacked in the top half. If there was any draw rigging going on it was certainly in Roger’s favor this time. Murray’s draw is tough too because he gets Kyrgios in the third round, Isner in the fourth, and Ferrer in the quarters. And if he manages to get through he will play the favorite for the title.
I hope that’s not the stress of marriage causing Murray’s baldness…
- Federer’s ‘Cakewalk’ Draw
Roger’s draw is in a sense a cakewalk draw if you take into account the fact that he avoids the rest of the big four before the final, but it is not a cakewalk draw in the true sense of the word. Here it is:
- R1: Qualifier
- R2: Granollers
- R3: Karlovic
- R4: Monfils/Thiem/Cuevas
- QF: Wawrinka/Garcia-Lopez/Simon
- SF: Berdych/Nishikori
In all honesty that is a cakewalk draw compared to the rest of the big four. But draws are never to be taken too seriously and we all saw what happened at the US Open last year. Roger also had a ‘cakewalk’ draw and all of a sudden Cilic was in the zone schooling everyone. The same thing could happen with Stan, Berdych, or Nishikori. These are all talented shot makers who hit anyone off the court on a given day. Well, maybe with the exception of Nishikori whose serve is a massive liability.
…and the stress of Roger causing Edberg’s baldness.
Still, you would hope that Roger could take advantage of this opportunity if you are a Fedfan. Especially after what happened at the US Open and Australian Open. I’m sure many Fedans feel Roger owes them when it comes to the slams. I’m sure he’d want to prove to himself too that he’s still got it where it matters most. There is doubt about his stamina as well as mental fortitude after what happened in Melbourne. And nothing less that a final in Paris would put those doubts to rest for the time being.
Why? Because his current clay court form says he is good enough to do it. He lost to Monfils in Monte Carlo, but that was before he found his clay game in the Istanbul final. Or maybe I expect too much? All I know is if he wants to win another slam title he can’t lose in the third round to the likes of Seppi. That is not gonna get it done. With his current clay court form, he simply has to find a way to make the final. If he does that there is always a chance he can win the title too.
Sure the ideal scenario was semi-finals, but that was before the draw came out. Now that he dodges the rest of the big four before the semis he has to try and capitalize. And making the final would also be a boost before Wimbledon.
- Thiem Makes the Final in Nice
Finally, Thiem made his second tour final today with an impressive 7-6(5), 6-3 win over Isner. He almost choked it away because he got broken straight back after breaking Isner in the first set, and in the tie-break he made a double fault at 6-4 but, fortunately, broke Isner on the next point to win the first set. The other youngster Coric was not so lucky as he lost to Mayer. I hope Thiem can win his first ATP title tomorrow. By making the final, he has already equaled his previous best ranking of 36.
If he wins tomorrow he climbs to a personal best of 31, but it’s great to see that he has already overcome his recent struggles and is climbing back up the rankings. He had a poor start to the clay court season, but it looks like that training camp with Roger paid off after all, as it did for Roger. As far as the French Open goes he has a tough draw, but I won’t be surprised if he causes an upset or two. Who knows, we may even have him playing against Roger in the fourth round!
The is in your court.