Above you can find two French Open draws. But before I get to that, let me just clear up some confusion about Federer’s outfit for Roland Garros. Three posts back I made a post about Roger’s outfit, and I only realized today that he was holding his old racquet in his hand. That was done by Photoshop. Amazing what they can do with technology these days! Maybe you noticed that as well and was confused, so this is just to confirm that it will indeed be his outfit:
What do you think?
OK lets get back to the draw. First of all, Federer did the draw himself. Here is what he had to say about the experience:
“When you’re sitting in that room, you feel like, ah, if only I could have picked maybe (…) Oh, no. You don’t even want to start thinking that way,” he said with a smile.
“It was a bit nerve-wrecking in some ways. But I’m used to pressure situations, so it was moderate. It was fine.”
Roger plays Luczak in the first round, which is not a bad for a first match at the French. He should get through that one pretty comfortably. Then he meets the winner of Tipsarevic and Falla. Again that is not bad for a second round match. Tipsarevic gave him a tough five set match at the Oz Open in 2008, but that was when the GOAT was sick. Again he should get through that one pretty comfortably. In the third round it looks like he could meet Lopez, who has had decent results on clay, but should not trouble Federer too much. In the last sixteen he will probably meet Wawrinka or Monfils. He just took care of Wawrinka easily in Madrid, and Monfils was out of the game for a while and is not back to his best yet. He just lost to Starace in the quarter’s of Nice. Having said that, he is a talented player and has a good record at Roland Garros.
Then in the quarter finals I think there is a good possibility that Federer will meet Gulbis again. I consider Gulbis to be one of the dark horses of the tournament, but Roger beat him in Madrid, and if they are to meet again I am confident he will do so again. Soderling also has a chance to make the fourth round, but given the current form of the the two players, I’d definitely have to go with Gulbis to make it. So up until this point Federer has a pretty tough draw, but the second quarter of the draw is the weakest quarter, which means he will meet someone very beatable in the semi-finals. This is great considering what is at stake. We know if he makes the final, the record for most consecutive weeks at number one is guaranteed. It’s hard to predict who he will meet in the semi’s. It could be Tsonga, Gasquet, Murray, Robredo, or someone else.
As was the case at the Oz Open earlier this year, the quarter finals will probably be the most crucial match. If he wins his quarter final match, he will have the number one ranking locked up until after the French Open, and he will have a relatively easy semi-final match. You don’t really want to look past the first round, but I’m positive that Roger can make the final once more, in which case I will be satisfied. Anything more than that will be a bonus. Looking at the bottom half of the draw, you obviously expect Nadal to come through. He doesn’t have anyone really good until the fourth round, even though some of the tennis ‘experts’ tried to draw attention to themselves by calling Belluci a favorite to win the French. In the fourth round there is either Verdasco, Gonzalez, or Almagro for him. Then in the semi’s he could face Djokovic or Ferrer.
So probably Nadal has the easier draw earlier on, but he has it tougher than Roger in the semi’s. In the end they have to be the heavy favorites to make the final once more. Roger seems to have missed his biggest rival:
“We’ll see how we play. I hope we can play again in the future, because a year away from each other was maybe a bit long,” he added.
But he doesn’t seem to eager to meet him in the French Open final either:
“Fourteen days down the road and six matches for each of (us) to get into the final. (It) is not my priority to play Rafa,” said Federer.
Like I said, if Roger makes the final I will be happy. Knowing that Roger has secured the record for most weeks at number one, I will be able to sit back and enjoy the final without too much stress. But until Roger makes the semi-finals, I will still be pretty stressed. This number one record is a pretty big thing and I wouldn’t want him to throw it away when he has come so close(doesn’t Roger just love doing this to us?) But once he makes the finals, even the impossible becomes possible. Lets hope it does.
May the Fedforce be with you.
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