2012 French Open Men’s Preview and Predictions
The first major tournament of the summer is back, and the world tennis stars are set to take the stage in beautiful Paris in what should be a highly entertaining tournament. With the draws released, all eyes head straight to where the big 4 lie and who can stand in their path to the finals. The top 4 seeds are just as expected with Novak Djokovic (#1), Rafael Nadal (#2), Roger Federer (#3), and Andy Murray (#4). Headlining the big 4 are once again Djokovic and Nadal, as they both hope to make tennis history by winning the French Open. If Novak Djokovic can outlast the field on the infamous red clay, he will become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four major titles at once. And if Rafael Nadal can win, he will win a record 7th title at the French Open, usurping tennis legend Bjorn Borg. I expect both Djokovic and Nadal to face little difficulty in their paths to the final, but for the world’s #3 and #4 I can’t quite say the same. So let’s take a look into each of the big 4’s draws.
Novak Djokovic’s Bracket:
Djokovic shouldn’t expect too much of a challenge; his biggest competition may lie in the quarterfinals against French native Jo-Wilfried Tsogna (5). But just like most majors I expect Tsonga to collapse once again against Djokovic, assuming he makes it that far of course. The only other major threat that I can see holding off Novak would be Fernando Verdasco of Spain, who is recently coming off of a huge win against Rafael Nadal in Madrid.
Sleeper: Fernando Verdasco (14)
Prediction: Novak Djokovic
Roger Federer’s Bracket:
Federer unfortunately received the honors of being placed on the same side of the bracket as world’s #1 Djokovic. And on top of that, Federer’s quarter of the bracket is certainly not the easiest. Thomas Berdych (7), Juan Martin Del Potro (9), and Feliciano Lopez (15) all will have a solid opportunity to take down Roger. The matchup I would like to see the most would be in the quarters between Federer and Del Potro, as Del Potro has made the semifinals once before here, and has been playing well since coming back from his injury. Our beloved American Andy Roddick is also seeded here, holding the possibility of facing Federer in the 3rd round, however I can definitely see Andy losing early once again.
Sleeper: Juan Martin Del Potro (9)
Prediction: Roger Federer
Andy Murray’s Bracket:
This draw is certainly the most up in the air for who will advance to the semis, as clay is a weakness for Murray. On top of that, the tough competition of David Ferrer (6), John Isner (10), and Bernard Tomic (25) will have the opportunity to make it out of this bracket. Ferrer is consistently one of the toughest opponents to face on clay, and American John Isner is arguably near his best tennis, especially on the clay surface. The matchup I am hoping and most excited to see would be Ferrer (6) versus Isner (10), as this could quite easily be deemed a thrilling 5-setter.
Sleeper: John Isner (10)
Prediction: David Ferrer (6)
Rafael Nadal’s Bracket:
The final quarter of the bracket holds whom I see as the only player with a chance of beating Novak Djokovic with Rafael Nadal. This part of the draw is one that holds very little challenges for Rafa, the winner of the past two French Opens. Having won 6 out of the 7 French Open’s he has played in, Rafa is coming into Paris with a near infinite amount of confidence. On top of this, Nadal has been placed in a very easy bracket, considering most of his competition will be coming from Janko Tipsarevic (8), Nicolas Almagro (12), or Juan Monaco (13). I truly only see fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro giving Nadal a true challenge in his quarter of the bracket, a matchup I hope to see.
Sleeper: Ivo Karlovic (unseeded)
Prediction: Rafael Nadal
Semi Final Predictions:
Novak Djokovic def. Roger Federer
Rafael Nadal def. David Ferrer
Rafael Nadal def. Novak Djokovic