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Sunday, May 26, 2013

[2013 French Open] The Men's Singles Draw Analysis and Prediction - Roland Garros

Since Andy Murray, world #2 withdrew from this year's French Open, I had been nervous until the main draw was released on Friday, because of the obvious reason. It means #3 Federer and #4 Nadal, who are bumped up to #2 and # 3 seeds, could meet as early as semi-final. When it was announced that No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic and No. 3 seed Rafael Nadal were drawn into the same half of the draw, naturally, I got all excited. Of course, first Federer and either Djoker or Nadal make it to the final.

Let's take a closer look at the Men's Singles draw. 
The big picture of the draw looks like this:

1. Novak Djokovic's quarter
(Photo taken at 2009 Cincinnati Masters)
Djokovic doesn't have a particularly easy quarter. But, he doesn't have a particularly difficult one either.
What I mean is that it could have been worse for the world #1. It's true that Grigor Dimitrov who is a potential third opponent, defeated Djokovic last week in Rome. But it was the best of three sets match. It's a totally different story in Grand Slams. It's extremely hard to win three sets against a top player like Djokovic. I just can't imagine Djokovic losing three sets anybody in his quarter, including Janko Tipsarevic who is the next highest seed or the German veteran Tommy Haas (No. 12 seed), who defeated Djokovic in Miami Masters back in March. However, Haas may give a hard time to Djokovic, if he can reach the last eight in Paris.
Semi-finalist: Novak Djokovic

2. Rafael Nadal's quarter
(Photo taken at 2009 Cincinnati Masters)
Rafa has been an excellent form since his comeback from nearly 9-month-injury-break. He reached 8 finals of 8 tournaments he played and won 6 of them. He won the two latest Masters tournament, Madrid and Rome, recently. There cannot be any doubt about Rafa's current form and dominance on this specific surface. There are other talented players like No. 9 seed Stanislas Wawrinka who lost to Nadal in Madrid final, or No. 21 seed Jerzy Janowicz who has been red hot throughout this clay season. But, unfortunately for those talented players locked in this quarter, their potential quarterfinal opponent is all-mighty Nadal. 
Semi-finalist: Nadal for the semi-final is a no-brainer's prediction.

3. David Ferrer's quarter
(Photo taken at 2009 Cincinnati Masters)
This quarter cannot be trickier for both No. 4 seed David Ferrer and No.5 seed Tomas Berdych, especially for the latter one. Berdych's section is packed with all the you-name-it  clay court specialists, from Gael Monfils, Ernests Gulbis, Tommy Robredo, to Andrea Seppi. Personally, I think Gulbis is the hottest unseeded player in the draw. I will not be too surprised if he beats Berdych and goes all the way to quarter final to face Ferrer. Compared to Berdych's section, Ferrer's looks relatively soft and doable. Ferrer will not see any real threat until the quarter-final. Our own Canadian Milos Raonic who is seeded #14, could be a threat for Ferrer, but Milos will not have many chances on the dirt.
Semi-finalist: David Ferrer

4. Roger Federer's quarter
(Photo taken at 2010 Cincinnati Masters)
This time, unlike Australian Open, the goddess of the draw was on Federer's side. First of all, as I wrote above, he doesn't need to play Nadal in the semi-final. His likely semi-final opponent is No.4 seed David Ferrer against whom Federer had not lost a single match in their 14 meetings. Until semi-final, there are two qualifiers, before he may meet three Frenchmen in a row: No. 30 seed Julien Benneteau,  No. 15 seed Gilles Simon, and No. 6 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who are not particularly in good forms, but playing a French in France is always tricky. However, French crowds have adored Federer so much that they often don't know whom to support when Federer plays a Frenchman in Paris. It would not be much different this year either. Benneteau who almost dispatched Federer in the third round of 2012 Wimbledon, could be the toughest challenge Federer can expect until he makes the final four. Otherwise, I dare to say that Federer is pretty safe.
Semi-finalist: Roger Federer

Just like the most Grand Slam tournaments, it's highly likely that we will see the top four players in the two semi-finals.

Colleen's prediction

Djokovic over Haas in 4
Nadal over Wawrinka in 4
Ferrer over Gulbis in 5
Federer over Tsonga in 4

Nadal over Djokovic in 5
Federer over Ferrer in 4

Nadal over Federer in 4
(As a die-hard Fed fan, I have a strong urge to pick Roger here, but I try to be more realistic :(, even though I really want to see Federer lift la Coupe des Mousquetaires (French Open trophy) once again.)

I love the venue of Roland Garros. I enjoyed the tour very much last year. Hope I'll have a chance to go there to see a match someday. You can see my visit to Roland Garros, Paris here.

2013 French Open 


  1. The game today was very easy for Roger;) Seemed like he wanted the game to be over.

    1. Hi Carolina,
      yes, the score tells all, doesn't it? The real first challenge will come on Friday, at R32. We will see! Enjoy the matches :)