Sunday, May 28, 2006

Roland Garros 2006

Men's Singles
Defending Champion: Rafael Nadal

Q1: Believe it or not, after three years of leading the tour, Roger Federer is actually the underdog in this Slam. Trailing Nadal 1-4 (4 of which were on clay, and 3 of those were just this year), it seems that there is someone better than Federer in the red courts of Roland Garros. Don't worry, the top seed has probably done his homework, but should not worry about Nadal until he reaches the finals.

A lot of work needs to be done, with an improving Ancic, and recent AMS Hamburg winner Tommy Robredo hanging around in his quarter of the draw. Should be elementary for the game's top dog until the quarters, where things should get interesting.

QF Match: Federer vs Robredo

Q2: Nalbandian for the upper half, but tight choices for the lower portion of this quarter.

Three previous champions are littered below, but which one will make it to the quarter finals? 1998 Winner Carlos Moya? His prime has long passed. 2003 Champion Juan Carlos Ferrero? The road to recovery for him seems to be leading nowhere. Or will Gaston Gaudio, successful in 2004, still contend for the final eight? Logic would say neither of them 3 would make it, Davydenko played in Austria last year and won, and still made it to the semis, if he can do that before, I don't see why not again this year, he's already won Austria again anyway.

QF Match: Nalbandian vs Davydenko

Q3: Andy Roddick still seems to be teasing the media with his sore foot, but the bottom line of it is "Who cares, you're going to win 2 matches at most, anyway." So forget about that. I'm not entirely sure as to how well Ljubicic performs on clay, but I would like to think that hardcourts would be his favorite. Expect the surprise/debutant quarter/semi/finalist from this draw.

QF Match: Rochus vs Ferrer

Q4: James Blake is the last US hope in the men's championships, and don't expect it to last very long. There's Haas, Safin and maybe Monfils in his side of the quarters. I'd choose Monfils over Blake, and Haas over Safin, assuming the Russian gets past Gonzalez in the opening round. And yes, Nadal too.

QF Match: Haas vs Nadal


Women's Championship
Defending Champion: Justine Henin-Hardenne

Q1: Ever since Amelie won her maiden Slam in Melbourne earlier this year, all of a sudden, she gets a tremendous amount of respect. Hopefully, that for her, it translates into self-confidence that she can win, especially in front of her fickle countrymen. Expect easy wins, even over Nicole Vaidisova, but not against Patty or Venus in the quarters.

QF Match: Amelie vs Venus

Q2: Same question as the men's draw, but replace "past champions" with "Russian teenager." Let's see. Maria - is she in top physical condition? Svetlana - has her coach Arantxa given her good training for clay? Dinara? Aah, nice showing in Rome. This one please.

Francesca over Svetlana, judging on previous performance.

QF Match: Dinara vs Francesca

Q3: This season's top claycourt players are in this draw, so expect a good workout from this quarter. Justine against Ana and Makiri versus Nadia in R16 before the main battle begins.

QF Match: Justine vs Nadia

Q4: All eyes are on Martina Hingis as she tries to reclaim the only Slam she hasn't won. She's already proven that she can still play on clay, with her win in Rome. She reached the QF in Melbourne fresh from retirement, why not in clay, where she should outplay most of her opponents. I'm just wondering how her resistance would hold up. No problems for Kim, but depending on the mood, Elena might outhit Martina in 4R.

QF Match: Martina vs Kim

1 talkbacks:

monsterboy said...

Uy, Roland Garros na! I feel like it's been long time since the Aussie Open. Anyway, it's my blog's first birthday. My (non-test) first article was about the French Open I think.

Go Roger! Go Martina!