With the draw coming out today, me and fellow writer Chris Hayes will make our picks for this years French Open. We will pick the Semifinalists, Finalists, and Winner. Then we will pick 2 sleepers, who must be outside the top 10. Two dark-horses, who must be unseeded. And we will pick two Early Exits from players who must be inside the top 16.
Top Half- (1)Djokovic vs (3)Nadal Winner: Novak Djokovic Bottom Half- (2)Federer vs (4)Ferrer Winner: Roger Federer
Final- (1)Djokovic vs (2) Federer Champion: Roger Federer
The Breakdown: Djokovic and Nadal each have tricky matches to get to the semis, but they should get there. This is the match everyone wants to see. I have Djokovic in 5 tough sets. I think that his mental advantage over Rafa will be the deciding factor. Combine that with his ability to neutralize Nadal’s heavy spin by taking the ball early, and I’ve got my winner.
The other Semifinal was easier to pick. As much as l love David Ferrer’s heart and passion, he has nothing to hurt Federer. Head to head record tells it all: 13-0 Federer. Should be more of the same.
The Final will be a blockbuster one for sure. I picked Federer because I think Djokovic will have to play a tough physical match in the semis, while Roger will not. Federer wins his second French Open in 4 tight sets.
Sleepers- My first sleeper is Tommy Haas. He’s been playing some good ball on the red clay, and he has a favorable draw. If he can get through Isner in the third round I believe he can reach the Quarterfinals where he would play Djokovic.
My second sleeper is Milos Raonic. He has yet to perform at a Major, but I think this will be his breakthrough. An easy early draw should get him to the fourth round where he will most likely play David Ferrer. Ferrer is short, and I believe that his serve(notably the kick serve) will cause him to pull the upset.
Dark-Horses- The most obvious dark horse in Ernests Gulbis. He has been playing unbelievable tennis this year, and he just pushed the king of clay to the limit. His draw looks okay, and he could play Berdych in the second round, but I think he will get through it. Prediction: Quarterfinals.
My second dark horse is Fernando Verdasco. He had a terrible start to 2013, and really he’s had 3 bad years in a row. But in Madrid his attitude seemed to change, and he continued good form into Rome, where he and Ferrer played a great 3 set match. Prediction: 4th Round
Early Exits- Tomas Berdych. He must be dreading his draw. He plays Gael Monfils first round, and with the french crowd, that match should be wild. If he manages to win that one, he will play Ernests Gulbis second round, another brutal match.
Second early exit is Janko Tipsarevic. He just isn’t playing well this year, and he could play Verdasco in the second round.
Looking forward to the start of the Tournament!