Saturday, May 21, 2005

Roland Garros 2005

Men's Singles
Defending Champion: Gaston Gaudio

Quarter I

Like the women's top seed, the men's top seeded player is looking at this championship to complete his set of four. Shouldn't be much of a problem for Federer, not because the draw is easy, but because he's just so freaking good. Well, maybe the draw helps a bit. Gonzalez will take out consistent clay performer Christophe Rochus, Chela to take out Henman in R32, and Nalbandian in R16 (one of the few players with a winning record against Federer). The only wildcard: Carlos Moya. I don't get him, he' supposed to be good at clay, and a winning player, but it seems that the expectations (for him) are always set so high.

QF Match: Federer vs Chela

Quarter II

With the buzz in this quarter of the draw, it actually makes Federer a sideshow for the competition. All eyes are now on Rafael Nadal, with a smoldering streak in clay, and the current holder of most tournament wins this season. He is coming in as the favorite, though he is ranked 2nd in the Indesit race, but seeded 4th (then again, Seed ain't nothing but a number). Just to echo the sentiments of everyone at the thread, it would've been nicer for Nadal to square off with Gasquet in a later round, and for Nadal to be on the other half of the draw.

While Nadal will indeed injure French hopes by defeating Gasquet and Grosjean in back-to-back rounds, defending champion Gaudio will have to face the Spanish Armada to defend his title. Mantilla, Ferrer and eventually Nadal to make it through to the semis.

QF Match: Nadal vs Gaudio

Quarter III

This quarter is home to previous champions Kuerten and Ferrero all struggling their way back to the Championship race. Also, Coria is out to prove that last year's title was really his (Inasmuch as Ferrero claimed the title in 2003 after losing to Costa the year before). Not much competition for Coria, with Youzhny and Haasfalling by the wayside. The bottom side is all lucky dip. Kuerten vs Robredo and Safin vs Ferrero. An in-form Robredo will win over Kuerten, but the prediction for Safin and Ferrero wouldn't be as easy.

QF match: Coria vs Ferrero

Quarter IV

It may sound like a far-fetched idea, but I'm still betting on an all-American quarterfinals here. Almost. Agassi can make it past Clement in 3R, Canas in 4R, but Roddick will not get past R16-thanks to his best buddy Ljubicic. Other matches of note will be Lopez vs Canas in R32 and watch out for Volandri vs Roddick in the same round.

QF Match: Agassi vs Ljubicic


Women's Singles
Defending Champion: Anastasia Myskina

Quarter I

In the twilight of Lindsay's career, there is still one Grand Slam that eludes her: the French. While Paris has been generally unkind to the American tennis players, the draw gods are quite cheering for the current world #1. The only one to stop her - Kim Clijsters in R16. Then again, Kim has some last minute injuries that may stop her from winning her first slam. With all that taken into consideration, there is no better chance for Lindsay to complete her Slam collection this year.

On the other end of the draw, expect Swiss Patty to sneak into the quarters.

QF Match: Lindsay vs Patty

Quarter II

Last year's runner up pulled some surprises by clawing her way to the finals. This year, all eyes on her, as more tennis fans are taking notice of her solid ground strokes, her all-around atheleticism, and of course, that dying-albatross serve. Not much problems for her, unless she repeats her Melbourne meltdown.

The bottom part of this quarter would probably be the most interesting: titleholder Anastasia going heads up with crafty Emelie Loit in 3R, and a probably tired Venus to face former semifinalist Fabiola Zuluaga in 2R. Anastasia, has to put on her power game to outwit the lefty Loit, but with the way she's been playing (since last year), this is one upset waiting to happen. As for Venus playing the week before Paris in Istanbul, let's just hope that she wraps all her games in the Williams fashion: fast and relentless.

QF Match: Elena vs Venus

Quarter III

Where has Elena Bovina been all this time? Last time I think I saw her was after winning last year's Mixed Doubles in Australia. But I digress, [i]miss ko lang siya[/i].

Alors, the French should have a mouth-watering quarterfinal match on their grounds if all goes to plan.

QF Match: Tatiana vs Amelie

Quarter IV

How many titles did Justine win before this year's French? Was it three? Anyway, We're all glad to see that the Belgians are back on court, and the Olympic gold medalist is pulling all the stops to win her 4th Grand Slam and reclaim the top ranking. She will most definitely romp her older opponents in the first two rounds (Martinez and Ruano Pascual) before taking in Argentinian Dulko in the 4R.

If we all remember last year, before Maria won Wimbledon, she showed the tennis world that she meant business by reaching the quarters. Probably the same results this year.

QF Match: Justine vs Maria

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