Hello there bloggies!
It’s time for some grinding, unpredictable tennis on the red clay courts of Roland Garros. The draws are out. Let’s take a look at the men’s side.
It may not seem like it, but Andy Murray is still the number one player on the tour. If Andy were acting like Andy, I would say that he has a good draw to make the semis and maybe even the finals on his worst surface. But it is so hard to have faith in him at the moment. DelPo is looming in the 3rd round with Sasha Zverev (seeded 9th!?!?) and Kei for the quarters.
Speaking of Zverev, he is coming off his biggest tourney title in his career and beating Novak to do so. Confidence should be sky high for the German teen. The draw gods decided to test that by putting Verdasco as his first round opponent. Ouch! If he gets through that, I think I see him getting to the semis with an injured Kei and unknown Murray.
This is a quarter filled by personality man. Fognini, Monfils, Dustin Brown, Krygios, and Gulbis (whoa throwback!) are all here. Holding the helm of this quarter is the ever unpredictable Stan Wawrinka. He could lose first round to a player outside the top 100 or win the whole damn tournament. There are two massive matches that are must watches in the first round: Monfils vs. Brown and Krygios vs. Kohlschreiber. All the shots will be hit, and the crowds will be mental. Still, it’s hard to go with anyone except Stan here.
And here is where Sir Rafa Nadal has landed. The man who simply owns this tournament and has found a way to reclaim the form that won him all of those championships. Now, his first round against Paire is not a gimme, particularly if Paire rides the home crowd energy to playing well. But even with Paire and more dangerous threats like Sock, Raonic, and Dimitrov lurking, it’s just crazy to think that Rafa isn’t getting out of here.
Oh boy, now isn’t this a loaded quarter. Although Djokovic hasn’t been playing up to his standards, Novak is still playing well. He is making semis and finals of tournaments, and competing. It is not as if he has completely forgot to tennis overnight people. His first rounds are bearable, but there are substantial threats in later rounds. The leader of that pack has to be Domi Thiem, even though Novak just destroyed him in Rome. Thiem has arguably been the 2nd best clay court player this spring, making two finals (losing to Nadal) and a semi (beating Nadal before losing to Novak). Domi opens against the most unpredictable tennis soul…Bernie Tomic…and has a looming 4th round matchup against his slam nemesis David Goffin. I want so bad to pick Thiem, but I think Goffin may get his number again. Even with them and Pouille and the seeded Mischa Zverev (really??), I think the men’s draw always tilts to the expected. I see Novak making the semis.
Wawrinka def Zverev. Too much experience and fitness from the former champ.
Nadal def Djokovic: Nadal is just grinding too well. If he keeps his forehand deep, he’s unstoppable
Finals: Nadal def Wawrinka. Nadal will just be too much for Stan to hit through!
Those are my picks. Who do you think will take the French crown on the men’s side. Let me know here or on twitter!