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French Open Draw 2013

French Open Draw – Federer Hits The Jackpot

Hey guys, we're finally here at the second Grand Slam of the year and the much anticipated draw is out. For my last however many posts we've all been speculating the draw will be fixed and it'd be nigh on guaranteed the tournament organisers would want a Djokovic vs. Nadal final but guess what? We were wrong!

In fact the draw turned out better than I could have ever imagined with Djokovic and Nadal landing in the same half and Roger getting a very nice looking path to the latter stages.

This is really the kind of draw we have all been waiting for, we were all expecting Nadal to be in his half but thanks to Sharapova who pulled out the names in the hat we now most likely get a Federer vs. Ferrer / Berdych semi final and Roger is definitely capable of beating both those guys should he make it.

Federer's Potential Opponents

Federer Roland Garros Practice Session 2013

In the last few Grand Slams Roger has landed some pretty rough draws but this one has been very kind to him, he faces a Qualifier in both his first and second round matches which is a very nice introduction to the tournament.

  • R1: Qualifier
  • R2: Qualifier
  • R3: Julien Benneteau / Sam Querrey
  • R4: Gilles Simon
  • QF : Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
  • SF : David Ferrer/ Tomas Berdych

On the face of it this is a very good looking draw, but how many times have we seen Roger have a tough looking draw only for it to open up? The reverse could happen here so let's not get ahead of ourselves.

But on the face of it I can't see any real big problems. A few of you will no doubt look at Benneteau who beat Roger in Rotterdam as a potential stumbling block but there's no way he beats Roger here, Benneteau is on an awful run of form and the French never do well in front of their home crowd because added pressure breaks them very easily.

Simon could be tricky but I honestly think Roger would outclass someone like that on Chatrier, by the 4th round he's just getting into the groove too so that should be straights.

After that anything is possible, and the quarters could see him play the his third French opponent in 5 matches in Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

There's question marks over Tsonga's clay court game but I actually think he plays well on the surface and is perhaps the only French guy you can expect to handle the pressure so that match would be very interesting. Not only that you'd expect a great atmosphere with the crowd quite possibly evenly split or even pro Federer which would be quite something.

French Open Full Draw

French Open Full Draw

[1]Djokovic v Goffin
Dodig v Pella
Alex Kuznetsov v Pouille
Falla v [26]Dimitrov
[22]Dolgopolov v Tursunov
Tomic v Hanescu
Bolelli v Lu
Qualifier v [16]Kohlschreiber
———————
[12]Haas v Rufin
Qualifier v Garcia-Lopez
Andrey Kuznetsov v Harrison
Berlocq v [19]Isner
[29]Youzhny v Andujar
Delbonis v Qualifier
Verdasco v Gicquel
Mahut v [8]Tipsarevic
=============
[3]Nadal v Brands
Klizan v Russell
Qualifier v Rosol
Qualifier v [27]Fognini
[24]Paire v Baghdatis
Kubot v Qualifier
Zemlja v Giraldo
Levine v [13]Nishikori
———————
[9]Wawrinka v De Bakker
Qualifier v Zeballos
De Schepper v Haase
Ramos v [21]Janowicz
[28]F.Mayer v Istomin
Serra v Davydenko
Qualifier v Qualifier
Stakhovsky v [7]Gasquet
=============
[5]Berdych v Monfils
Gulbis v Dutra Silva
Sijsling v Melzer
Zopp v [32]Robredo
[20]Seppi v L.Mayer
Kavcic v Qualifier
Alund v Roger-Vasselin
Qualifier v [11]Almagro
———————
[14]Raonic v Malisse
Qualifier v Llodra
Qualifier v Donskoy
Qualifier v [23]Anderson
[31]Granollers v Lopez
Sousa v Soeda
Qualifier v Montanes
Matosevic v [4]Ferrer
=============
[6]Tsonga v Bedene
Nieminen v Mathieu
Bautista-Agut v Muller
Becker v [25]Chardy
[17]Monaco v Gimeno-Traver
Troicki v Blake
Stepanek v Kyrgios
Petzschner v [10]Cilic
———————
[15]Simon v Hewitt
Mannarino v Cuevas
Hajek v Qualifier
Lacko v [18]Querrey
[30]Benneteau v Berankis
Kamke v Lorenzi
Qualifier v Qualifier
Qualifier v [2]Federer

Nadal and Djokovic Semi Final Collision Course

Djokovic & Nadal

This one is already a certainty for most people but I'm not so sure, I said in the comments on my Rome Final post I have a feeling Nadal might lose early at the French, there's no science or stats behind it, it's just a feeling I have. Guess we'll find out.

As for Djokovic he is my tournament favourite, I know he's suffered a couple of poor losses recently in Madrid and Rome but seeing how he played in Australia and in Monte Carlo I think he is up for this. He is yet to win the French so I think he's going to be very focused on doing so. Even if Nadal makes the semis like he is predicted to do I'm not sure he can stop Djokovic who has some sort of hold on him.

Djokovic actually has the toughest draw on paper but I think that will serve to help him here as he will no doubt gain a lot of confidence as he progresses through the rounds. He could face Dimitrov who beat him in Madrid but I don't think the Bulgarian has the fitness or the mental strength to overcome Novak over 5 yet.

What can we expect from Federer?

Federer Backhand on Chartrier 2013

When you see a draw like this it's hard not to get optimistic and I think we have good reason to be really, although statistically the French Open is Roger's weakest slam he has made 5 French Open finals and without Nadal who know's what he'd have achieved there. It was also the location for his best slam performance up until 2001 so clay is hardly a disaster for Roger. I mean behind Nadal and Borg he's right up there as one of the greatest clay court players of all time.

I don't want to get carried away but I think Roger should surely be able to maintain his Quarter Final streak here and perhaps even make the final which would be an awesome achievement. There is no Nadal to play on his mind either so he can just focus on his tennis which definitely bodes well.

Of course anything can happen but over 5 sets Roger's skills come to the fore and he has very good records against the seeded opponents he could face here. Obviously we don't know which Qualifiers he will face yet but I can't imagine those guys causing him too many problems.

Even though the Rome final was a poor match overall it was a successful tournament and I think we saw some nice aggressive play from Roger there of which there is surely more to come in Paris. The radar is off him really with all the talk of Nadal looking like a lock for the title so he can play freely, this usually helps him.

I know a lot of fans are getting carried away thinking Roger has a cakewalk to the final, which I won't disagree with as the draw does look promising but I still think it's important to take it one match at a time. Anything can happen in tennis as we've seen many times before.

However I am definitely backing him to make the semi finals, where he could meet Berdych or Ferrer. I personally think he will meet Ferrer (Berdych has a tough draw) and then he has a real shot of making the final. If he gets there then he even has a chance of winning the French which would be pretty crazy.

Anyway I don't want to get ahead of myself just yet, this is just hypotheticals mixed with a boat load of optimism, there's 7 matches to play and it's up to Roger to make sure he does the business round by round and keeps his energy levels high for the second week. If he can do that then this could be an interesting one. Whatever happens I'm looking forward to seeing how it all pans out.

My French Open Predictions

  • Nadal to lose early
  • Djokovic to make the final
  • Wawrinka to lose before the 3rd round
  • Berdych to lose before the 4th round
  • Hanescu to beat Tomic first round
  • Verdasco to beat Tipsarevic 2nd round

How do you feel about the draw? Feeling confident? Any potential upsets you have spotted?

About Jonathan

Huge fan of Roger Federer - I'll pretty much try and watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Fed and tennis in general.

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96 comments

  1. First on such a great day 😀

    • Hi Simon… I think you have Esoteric knowledge, as you must be working with Jonathan. Thats why you are nearly always to have the first post/comment. Lol 🙂 I need to find another way to be first. Damn you are quick of the draw!!! Please give us mere mortals a chance. Cheers Serajul 🙂

      • The real reason this evening is that I was bored stiff and had nothing to do. Which leads to me refreshing this page every 20 seconds 😛

        good luck next time guys 😛

  2. This is an amazing chance for Fed to make the final again. And if Nadal/Djokovic tire themselves out in the semis, who knows….

    • Yup, he could eventually go all the way, but that’s being very optimistic I think… 🙂

    • Sid TheCookieThief

      Please…all this talk about Djokovic or Nadal getting tired for the final is a whole lot of horse dough. We know what happened in AO2009. On sleeps in the CVAC pod. The other drinks some magic potion that nobody knows about. Whoever between these two makes the final will be as fresh as a daffodil!

      • Right, we know that, but there is a chance Nadal is not getting to the finals, and that would defo help out Roger, he’s capable of beating Novak at the french, he’s done it before 😉

    • Can Dull get tired? Remains to be seen, he’s had a long clay season though.

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Dull plays possum all the time. Didn’t he mention recently that he is very tired for the French Open? By the way, has he made that statement yet where he is supposed to ritually say he is not the favorite?

      • Most likely but I’ve not heard him yet.

  3. What does early mean for Nadal’s loss? I just can’t see him losing before Novak… As for Stan, I think he’s got it in him to make quarters, unless his injury come up again.
    I’m also expecting Raonic to go out early.

    But I’m one of those who thinks Rafa is favourite until he gets kicked out. I still think he’s over djoker at the french. Hope I’m wrong, but I see Nadal going all the way.

    I expect Rog to make the final, no more no less. If it’s against Djoker, it’s playable, if it’s against Nadal, I don’t think he has it in him, but what a victory that would be 😀

    And Sid, did you see that Rog had a chat Q&A? And he talked about gear: said that he’s been testing rackets for the last couple of years, including 95 sq inch heads, but that he prob wouldn’t change 😉

    • Before the semi finals he loses I think. Just a hunch but we will see.

      I saw the AMA on Reddit and yeah he said he’s tried different racquets. Interesting. I can’t see him changing though. Too late.

      Jonathan

  4. Really nice draw! I really think he’ll make the final. But as I said before, take it one at a time! I think Rafa’s winning it! But Fed will prove he’s 2nd GOAT I clay if he makes a 6 final. Nadal has 7…. That says something! I guess Federer’s twitter is a good luck charm. It’ll be nice to lay back and see Fed in a nice draw for the first time. Federer has another amazingly reasonable chance at the title… He better take advantage of it; it may be his last.

    • Yeah I’m not getting carried away just yet but he has a good draw. I had a dream last night Fed lost in first round lol. But it looked like he was playing Raonic in my dream so who knows.

      • Really! Well this will be the first time in forever that Fed can make back-to-back clay court finals in what seems like an eternity. Cool fact: Fed’s made at least 1 clay court final every year 2004 and on I think(still continuing)!

      • Cool stat, he’s definitely one of the best clay courters of all times. Nadal has just overshadowed him a little because of how much he has dominated on them.

      • He is playing a fairly hot young spaniard, Carreno-busta, who made the semis in Estoril beating a few seeds along the way! Gd test for Fed! Ps the one thing that might beat Nadal! The weather! Cold and wet for the first week!

      • Yeah watching now, courts not taking much spin. Could be interesting.

  5. Very very good oppurtunity for Roger to go far. Therefore no phsycological hindrance for him in his quarter ( no Nadal until final, hopefully someone else ).
    I hope Roger takes it one match at a time and gets stronger and stronger each round. I really hope he can get to the final it would be a huge boost for him and can give him extra confidence and momemtum for SW19. 🙂 Just to make the latter stages at Roland Garrois will be fantastic achievement and with a great draw, Roger needs to make the most of it. I believe Roger will do good and despite losing to Nadal at Rome the fact that Roger made the finals there i hope Roger carries all the positives and aggressiveness to Paris.
    The boring saying of ” one match at a time” couldnt be more important as Roger needs to concentrate on getting through without losing to potentially lethal players in his draw. We dont want an inspired Rosol type player to upset Roger as on paper with him being favourite he definately needs to be sharp word go!! 😉
    Just like all other Roger fans its been a long long time since hes had a favourable draw. I have to thank SID for personally speaking to the ATP and the Elite for finally sorting it out!!! 🙂 Lol. Come on Roger u can do it. GOAT.

    • Indeed, will be interesting to see which semi final gets played first if Fed makes it, if Nadal is waiting in the final it could effect him. Definitely did last year, put in a poor show vs. Djoker.

  6. Great chance for fed to win it this time unless he face Nadal in the Final. As we saw in Rome, Federer was struggling with Nadal spin shots & his Backhand is a major headache during long rally.

    If fed can beat Djoko when Djoker was at his peak form in 2011, then why not this time. . .

    Go Roger !!!

  7. Carreno-Busta in round one. He’s a good young player but Fed won’t be in any mood to be on court for long.

    • Yeah I saw Cahill tweet about it, good up and comer. Will be interesting, a Spaniard on clay. Just watched a few highlights actually, not sure he is a good enough returner.

      Took a set off Stan earlier in the clay season.

  8. Jonathan – long-term lurker here. Thank you for the excellent blog and thanks to all the commentators as well for adding more value!

    Apparently Fed’s first round match is not to be taken lightly. This is what Darren Cahill tweeted:

    “Berdych vs Monfils the obvious popcorn 1st rd match but Federer vs Carreno-Busta a must watch. Pablo Q’d & won 7 Futures in ’13. Can play!”

    Thoughts?

    • Hey,

      Thanks 🙂

      I saw that too, yeah I hadn’t really heard of him, just caught some highlights of his matches actually, looks like a good player. Not sure he has the return game to hurt Fed, or the serve to do too much damage.

      I’m not worried about him really, but I did dream Fed lost in the first round lol, not that means anything 😛

      Jonathan

  9. I was so happy when i first looked at the draw! A Nole/Rafa semifinal is the best thing MaSha has done haha. But i don’t think is such a easy path for Roger (I think Benneteau, can be tricky, and Berdych is a huge danger, he’s been playing great on clay, just hope Ferrer finishs him) but I’m very positive.

    Looking foward to RG, if he’s lucky enough and plays the way he did in Rome he could lift the trophy. Allez Rog!

    • I think beneteau can be tricky, but only indoors. I think (if he gets there), it’s gonna be a good old thrashing, as in like 2, 2, and 3 😉
      Not too worried about berdych on clay though, we’ll see.

    • Hey Carlos,

      I wouldn’t worry about Benneteau, he’s on an awful run of form so can’t see him causing too many problems.

      Berdych would be a danger for sure, hits a heavy ball and had success in Paris before but I think he may lose.

      Jonathan

  10. It’s time Federer and Fedfans caught a break. Owe one to Murray for sure. I have a feeling though that the draw Gods target Roger again at Wimbledon though!

    Whilst Roger definitely has the easiest draw on paper, it is no cupcake really. There are quite a few guys there who have known to trouble him in the past so as Jonathan said it’s best not to get ahead of ourselves and like Roger knows, take it one match at a time.

    I think with this draw, knowing that he doesn’t have to meet Nadal or Djokovic until the final, he will play some great pressure-less tennis. His chances have gone up slightly, only because he has a chance to make the final. Theres a 99% guarantee he will have to beat Nadal or Djokovic to get the title. So if these two can have some sort of slogfest well then really Roger has been handed a great opportunity to get another French title, who would’ve predicted we would be saying those words again!

    Jonathan, you seemed to have missed that Gulbis is looming in Roger’s half somewhere. I have a feeling that he takes Berdych out (wow rough draw, won’t be seeing too much of the cap aye) and can take Ferrer. Anyway, I’ll let the tennis do the talking on this quarter.

    Look Roger can play into form round by round and that’s the only way he’s going to build on confidence on Rome. I’m hoping to see similar form Rome. The only thing that worries me is if he is going to get tested before quarters where Tsonga will be waiting. We saw what Tsonga did to Djokovic last year at the French, I don’t think Roger is going to get by easy in that match and in Australia this year, we saw how well he was playing. But if he is confident at where he’s at and is playing strike tennis, I fully trust he will come out alive in that one.

    Federer has been given a golden opportunity on a silver platter handed to him. I am very very surprised at this draw outcome and I am thinking of reasons why they have not “rigged” (or did they?) this draw for the potential Djokonadal final? Bigger plan in motion? Want to get Roger to the final so he will be draw into Nadal’s half at Wimbledon? I don’t know but the number of people complaining about Djokovic and Nadal landing on opposite halves is quite irritating to be frank. In 2011, the French drew 2/3 and Djokovic never even made the final and last year when he did and gave the people what they wanted, he still wasn’t able to do something. Whilst I understand the circumstances are different this year due to Monte Carlo, Nadal is still the king at Roland Garros and only one man has dethroned him so Djokovic is going to have to beat Nadal for the title either way even if it’s one round earlier (which I think he will) so in my books, it’s fresh to have them in one side of the draw. However, I really do believe weather makes all the difference when Nadal and Djokovic play. Should the clay be a little damp due to Paris’ rainy atmosphere, Djokovic is handed an advantage. However, if the conditions are dry and Nadal can get his ball nice and high well then Djokovic is going to have to play out of his mind to win that one which he can. We’ve seen him do it before, I expect we will see it again. He’s the only one to can stop Nadal in Paris and this is his year to do it. (Sorry Jonathan, don’t see Nadal losing early but it would be fun to see that prediction come true- even better if Djokovic does it himself though)

    Look I’m going to make a prediction which I most normally don’t do because I’m never good at it but I am getting a good vibe:
    Semi finals:
    Federer def. Ferrer
    Djokovic def. Nadal

    Final:
    Djokovic def. Federer

    So yes I’m predicting that Federer makes the finals. This is Novak’s year at the French, I just can’t see anyone stopping him at this slam (other than Nadal obviously but Djokovic has got Nadal on a leash really so if conditions work in their favour, Nadal will listen to his master)

    Federer is more comfortable playing Djokovic on clay than Nadal obviously so if Goderer does manage to step in like he did in 2011, well then there’s nothing else to say there. He definitely has a chance in that final match against Djokovic and he will be well aware of it. So I’m hoping for a Djokovic/Federer final (it will be competitive unlike Fedal) so it’s the best outcome tennis fans will get, also no camera can pan to Uncle Toni’s face on finals day-because Rafa won’t be there. A FO without Nadal in the final? 2009 memories are spiring back now…and who knows, will Roger repeat it?

    • Do you think someone with a forehand as bad as Gulbis’s can beat Fed? lol

      • Haha Jonathan, well it is a bit extreme but it gets the job done. He is the most dangerous floater in that half of the draw, I was quite impressed with him against Nadal both times in Rome and Indian Wells. Seems like he has something to prove at the slams but best of 5 changes things. I see him beating Berdych and meeting Ferrer in the quarters. Roger has lost to Gulbis on clay before as well. He doesn’t have anything to lose so I don’t see why he can’t make a deep run.

    • Totally agree about weather! Nadal hates it wet and cold! Cld really help Novak!

  11. http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1ezafj/im_roger_federer_a_professional_tennis_player/

    P.s guys, this is the Q&A Roger did on Reddit, some funny dorkerer answers here from “Rog” so I recommend giving it a read and having a laugh, he’s actually quite the comedian.

    • Thank you for the Q&A Reddit link. 🙂 I found it really intresting, especially the answers Roger gave about raquets and doping.
      Ps you are right Roger was really funny and witty in some of his answers. There were alot of good questions.
      Again cheers for the link Alysha. 🙂 Serajul

      • Sorry i forgot to ask did you ask a question for Roger to answer in that live Q&A @ Reddit ???? If so what was your question to the GOAT. Serajul

      • No problem. It’s good to see him communicating to his fans like this, out of him, Nadal and Djokovic, he normally stays behind the scenes but this allows us to see his personality a bit more which is always nice.

        I thought it was interesting how he confirmed that he has indeed experimented with the 95sq inch racquet head as some people suspected but never got a long enough time period to get used to it-so there you go Sid wherever you are wondering why he never upgraded. I personally don’t think it would’ve made much difference.

        This answer was my favourite:
        Q: What are some of your pre-match rituals?
        A: Arrive on time at the courts. Pretty crucial so I don’t miss my match.

        Good one Fed. Also found it interesting that he wants to get back to number one, I thought that wasn’t a thing anymore after last year. Guess he wants to have one last go at the year-end number one then? He’s a got a good chance to start gaining on Novak then by making FO finals.

      • P.s no, I did not submit a question. I was unaware of this until it had already finished unfortunately- but if I had a question, it would be about how he keeps his hair so perfect which someone already asked so it didn’t matter either way.

    • AMA was cool, I tried to spam out my “Day in the Life of a Federer fan post” so he’d see it lol but didn’t work!

  12. Looks like Mirka outbid Toni this time LOL. Such a good draw, I’m so hyped for the French Open to start now. I do want Djokovic to make strongly to the final, because if Nadal loses early and so does Djokovic, let’s say Roger wins the French by beating someone relatively unknown, people will take credit away from him and put asterisks as usual. But as you said let’s not look ahead ourselves and focus one match at a time.

    With my exams finished today, I can completely focus on two weeks of tennis and delivered by ITV, so no crappy streams and no Murray for them to focus on. Ha! I also heard of the possibility of Roger playing on a Sunday so that will erase my impatience. 😀

    • Sid TheCookieThief

      [let’s say Roger wins the French by beating someone relatively unknown, people will take credit away from him and put asterisks as usual]

      You mean the same people who “refuse” to put an asterisk on the Roger-Nadal H2H? If Roger wins it all, regardless of who he beats in the final, he would’ve done it with both Djokovic and Nadal in the draw.

      • Yeah it’s good that ITV have got coverage. Gets more people watching and more kids interested.

        Fed does play Sunday, not sure what time yet.

  13. Sid TheCookieThief

    I told you the draw would be rigged by Nadal, Nadal, and Associates, and here are the top five reasons: –

    1 – Toni Nadal has made Ferrer, or Doper Jr., a bigger favorite than Roger to win Paris. And the only way he can prove his point is by…………..
    2 – If Ferrer cannot make it to the semi, well…there’s always Berdych
    3 – Nadal has been itching to take a shot at Rosol. His first slam back, and there’s Rosol in Round 2! Didn’t I tell you it will happen? 🙂
    4 – Tsonga and Berdych, two of the very few men who have beaten Roger in slams, await. Then there’s Benneteau…
    5 – If Nadal is to beat Djokovic, it would serve him better to do it in the semi because in that case Djokovic would lose an additional 480 points further improving Nadal’s chances of the year end number one.

    Very fishy indeed 😉

    • I’m all for a good conspiracy theory sid but I have to say I think that is complete rubbish. We’ve just had two draws in a row where nadal and federer have been drawn in opposite halves. There’s no way nadal would rather have djokovic in his half then federer especially after Rome regardless of whether its a final or semi. Also the French have every reason not to want a repeat of the Rome final and yet it’s on the cards.
      Also federer is just as influential on tour than nadal/Toni if not more so. If there was something fishy going on he’d get wind of it.

      • No one loves Roger more than the French. Roland Garros acknowledges him basically as one of their own and most realistic prospects for the title. Maybe they are giving him a well needed push and helping hand to satisfy the people who definitely are not fans of Nadal or Djokovic. Last year in the final, you could tell they wanted Djokovic to win. The French don’t like Nadal because of the titles he has denied Roger.

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        [The French don’t like Nadal because of the titles he has denied Roger]
        Is the the only reason they dislike Nadal? Maybe there are several other things they don’t like about him? 🙂

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Tomasso, don’t take everything I say seriously. I was being sarcastic considering how much everyone, including myself, was screaming “rigged!” 🙂

        But the Rosol match up? That’s definitely rigged. It must’ve been a special request from Nadal, “He beat me in two thousand twelve, no? For sure I want to play match with him again. This will be the decisive moment.”

      • Lol great impresonations Sid 😀

      • Be funny if Rosol zoned in again, unlikely to happen on clay though as he’d have to string together too many shots. Will make too many errors.

      • Apologies Sid. Didn’t pick up on that at all lol. Would love for rosol to spank dull again that would be priceless. Never gonna happen though, I doubt he’ll even make the second round.

      • He plays Pere Riba, guess he should beat him but you never know!

  14. Sid TheCookieThief

    [and the French never do well in front of their home crowd ]

    Really? Are you implying they do better away from home? Please! Even the Mexicans beat them on Cinco da Mayo for crying out loud! 🙂

    • Well they have quite a lot of guys ranked inside the top 100, wish I could say the same for America 😛

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Sport in the States is dominated by American football, basketball, baseball, then soccer. The industry hardly leaves any room for tennis. Add to that the high costs of coaching, compared to other sports, and you see a serious lack of interest.

        Now, tennis is popular here in terms of how many people own a racquet, the tons of courts (private or public) , awareness of Roger Federer etc. but to get kids to seriously take up the sport requires a major overhaul. Ain’t happening in the near term 🙂

        Kids will get further discouraged when you show them the mindless bashing in matches like AO2012 and the fact that there are barely any teenagers who wins a Slam or a Masters 1000 (thanks to the nature of the surfaces). I think we’ve had this discussion already.

        It’s not the lack of ability or talent, I refuse to believe that.

      • Yeah USA used to have lots of top tennis players but none anymore. Guess the coaching systems need looking at. Same with heavyweight boxers – what happened to them all?

        UK is screwed too, too elitist over here.

      • Yeah.. those were the good times. 80’s up to the late 90’s I think was the golden era for US Tennis and their sporting program as a whole. I mean, my dad’s talking about players when I was not alive yet 😀 but the 90’s was so good.

        Spain overtook them in terms of athletes produced in every sport. Their talent level is quite deep from basketball, football, tennis etc. and of course, China.

  15. Good draw, I’ve been saying things might open up for Feds this clay season and they sure have. I think Nadal will get to the semis but get beaten by djokovic. I think Tsonga will be tough, he had match points against djokovic last year. I hope your right and Berdych loses early and then federer can paste Ferrer and get to the final. Djokovic Federer final – anything can happen (2011 repeat anyone?) Allez!!

    • Just read your prediction Alysha and realised I said pretty much exactly the same thing lol. My bad. Hope it’s true tho!

      • You are free to predict as well Tommaso! It makes me feel better that I’m not the only one that will predict the same outcome. Fingers crossed.

    • Yeah you’d think Tsonga would struggle on clay with his style but he’s pretty good. Not sure he is a big danger here though.

      • Hasn’t been playing with a lot if confidence! Thinking too much it seems about technique! Esp on the BH! Needs to get back to 2011 form, instinctive!

      • He has a coach now though don’t he. Probably best for the long term if he plays tactically.

        His instinctive tennis is too unreliable, no court sense.

  16. Chris Robinson (@ttwarrior1)

    might be the worst predictions in the history of the world ever

  17. A good post as always, Jonathan.

    My good man, i won’t lie, like most of the fedristas, i’m am, too, highly optimistic about the draw. But let’s not forget, it’s a Grand Slam. And GS is on a level of its own, we cannot predict (although we try to, always) it’s outcome based on the Masters 1000.

    And if we are talking hypotheticals here, I am pretty sure Federer can dismantle Ferrer (i highly doubt David has the game to take down Federer on a 5-setter). Berdych i’m still worried about, given their past history, but i think the GS level will prevent Fed from clowning up (and i’ve been wrong on that account, USO 2012). Then comes the Final! P.S. can Gilles take Fed to another decider???

    Betting against Nadal, on red clay, in France, without Soderling…is it wise Jonathan? Let’s say we have a Dullkovic semi. Will it be another AO 2012, or a FO 2012?

    If Roger makes the final and faces Djokovic, he has a better chance of winning it than if he were to face nadal. Then again, if djoke beats Nadal, he is the clear favourite. And i really want Fed to win the FO. Also, i want Fed to beat Nadal in FO, you know, to have that sweet memory of beating dull on his own turf (the wimby 08 still hurts). Oh, so many wishes going against each other, so many permutations and combinations. Ah sr*w it, i’m just gonna enjoy watching Roger (hopefully) reach another grand slam final. And when it happens, you know Roger can take care of his own!

    • Cheers Alvi,

      Yeah Ferrer is a good matchup for Roger should they meet.

      I just like making far out predictions. Dull losing early is just a call I made, if it comes off then whoopie.

      I’m just looking forward to watching whatever happens.

      Jonathan

  18. That’s a good draw for federer.
    Match against tsonga will be tough one for fed as he will enter the 2nd week what we have seen in AO2013.
    I think rafa will not reach final this year, berdych will lose before quarter final, nole will work hard to reach the final.
    Why can’t we expect a 2009 AO scenarion ???? Nole vs tsonga final and nole winning his first French crown????
    It can be a deal, but roger has to manage his draw to win against tsonga atleast in 4 sets.
    David ferrer is a gr8 warrior , win or lose he’ll fight.
    I wish the best luck to roger , go for slam no 18

    • Indeed it is Raghu,

      I think Djoker is favourite. Not sure on Tsonga, not in great form I don’t think but doesn’t take much for him to start playing inspired stuff.

      I’m just looking forward to watching, no boring Fedal semi final. Allez!

  19. I think he could go all the way I want to be optimistic and I have a good feeling this year.Go Roger!!!

  20. Roger to win people, keep the champagne on ice!!!

  21. Hi guys, I have some things saved up to say about all of this:

    1) Unlike you all, I am a little bit worried. Roger getting an easy draw is too easy. When it looks too good, it usually is too good.
    The players he has to play are not easy and to be honest at his age, no one is that easy for him.
    He struggles against players, the other three just defeat without sweating.

    2) If he has an easy draw, it is up to him to make it to the final. Afterall, we don’t know when he will get such a draw again.
    Allthough we will look at it one match at the time, he has been giving a great gift that he should appreciate and not throw away. He HAS to make it to the final. Period.

    3) Somehow I think one of the two, Novak or Rafa will not make it to the semis.
    And if they do, well I know Rafa will win. I know you guys think Novak will win, but I think Rafa will do anything to get to number 8.

    4) I think just like the actual Tennisgods want Rafa to work for his 8th RG title by giving him a difficult task, Roger will get the same for Wimby. The actual Tennisgods will give him a superhard task to make him win his 8th Wimby.

    5) If there is going to be an upset, please let it not be Roger.

    6) Lets not underestimate Ferrer for the semi. He is the same guy who lost twice (or three times) heartbreakingly to Rafa, but made it extremely difficult for him.
    Hopefully Ferrer will not decide that enough is enough and that he is tired of losing to Roger. So hope when they play the semis Ferrer does not get inspired.

    7) If there is a Roger/Novak-final, Roger has a chance, but if Novak gets in the final by beating Rafa, then he will go all the way to get his careerslam.
    If there is a Roger/Rafa-final then we will all know the outcome. Especially when Rafa has beaten Novak, then not even Roger can stop him. But maybe….. Roger is working on some stuff to beat Rafa. He just has to believe that he can do it.

    8) The most important one, if Roger can somehow win two or three times to Rafa in a row, he will never lose to him again. That is all it takes. Look at Novak. He beat Rafa 7 times in a row, now he knows he will defeat Rafa no matter what or when. If Roger can defeat Rafa like only three times in a row, he will have confidence, his mental block will disappear and he will almost never lose to Rafa again, not even on clay. And of course the H2H will be better in Roger’s favour.

    9) I still believe in Roger, he can defeat Rafa, even in a slam, even in a slam final and he can win his 2nd RG.
    I really believe that. Will not be easy, but hey, Roger love challenges.

    10) I love the way Roger is popular in France. I saw the SF and Final of 2011. They were chanting Roger’s name, even during the final. He is really popular there.

    11) If Roger should want to win RG, he has to make this his goal: By winning he would shut the Great Uncle Toni up. The way that man is speaking about Roger is discusting. To say that he is not a favourite, oke, I can live with that, but to say that Roger will not win RG because he is not willing to do more to win, is absurd.
    You cannot make such assumptions about someone you only see a couple of times a year. Who is he to say Roger is not willing to do more than Rafa to win? Yes, Roger has a family, but what is holding Rafa back for marying Ciska and having his own family? Then the Great Uncle Toni will realise how difficult it is for Roger to make time for his family, practise and play matches.
    I know, a stupid thing to say of me, but still, something to think about.
    The Great Uncle Toni is free to think Roger is not a favourite or is not the win or die trying type, but why does he have to say it outloud?

    12) One bad thing is that if Roger wins RG, he will not get his due (especially from the Rafa fans). If Rafa loses the semi and Roger defeats Novak in the final, they will say, well he did not defeat Rafa, Rafa would have won if he would be in the final.
    If Rafa would be in the final and Roger somehow would defeat Rafa, then they would say, well it is obvious, Rafa is not a hundred percent. So you see, even if Roger would win, he would not get his due.
    But we fans will get over Roger not getting his due from Rafa fans, as long as Roger wins RG.

    13) I am a bit torn between two things. First of all, I think Rafa will win RG, unfortunately. Afterall, 8 finals in 3 months, winning 6. Second of all, I somehow think he will lose before the semis. Strange huh? But then again, I also think Novak will lose before the semis.

    14) I read and heard that Rafa is still not up to hundred percent of what he used to be. Well….. that scares me !!!
    If he is not a hundred percent now and made 8 finals winning 6, what the hell will he do when he is full in his hundred percent???? Isn’t that a scary thought??

    15) I have said this before and I will say it again, Roger Federer does not say things for nothing. Everything he has, he has thought about it. So if he says he wants to focus on GS, then he will. And I think from May, this will be his year from now on till the end of the year. Where he has one record of Pete that he has not broken yet, ending as number one six years in a row. If the guy says he wants to win the WTF for a 7th time, then he is planning on that. Isn’t it funny, we all ‘worry’ about will he or will he not qualify for the WTF, and how would it be if he won it for the 7th time.
    And believe me, if Roger says he wants to be number one again, then he will accomplish that.
    Will be close to impossible, but for Roger difficlut but doable.

    16) Smart move of Andy. Not doing RG, so he can concentrate on winning Wimby?

    17) About Rafa’s 8 finals and winning 6 of them. What comes up, must go down sometime, right?
    He cannot keep this up a whole year, right?

    18) Go Roger go !!! It is time to mature and become 18 !!! We have been waiting too long for 77 and 18.

    • Oh Katyani, the way you worry is so adorable!

      Roger looks really motivated for the French. Don’t stress too much. As a fedfamily, gotta take it one match a time. No point thinking about Nadal and Djokovic when Roger and either of them have to win 6 matches in the first place to meet each other. So a lot can happen. Roger certainly doesn’t have an easy cupcake quarter but it’s much favourable to the past few ones he has been given so be more optimistic. And of course, if Roger were not to make the finals with the circumstances of this draw well yes it will be disappointing but you need to remember that he’s probably the most active experienced slam player and that victory is never guaranteed for anyone. There’s a tonne of good guys in Roger’s draw that could take him out and as long as he plays his best and fights with the other guy proving too good there’s no point getting down about it, seeing as the chances for Roger to win another French even with this draw is slim so another final run wouldn’t be as astonishing as we all think (Especially if Rafa is waiting in the final, ugh) Anyway, he looks pretty focused in this video, so if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. And if not, Wimbledon and US Open are right around the corner. Take it easy Katyani!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMt-yoK111Y
      Skip to 1:33 for Fed unless you want to watch Serena and Maria ramble

      • Hi Alysha, who is going to give me a heartattack or an alcer sooner? Roger or me?
        I think me, right? The way I worry for nothing !!!
        Just happy Roger won, one down, six to go, but one match at the time.

        Thank you for the video. Loved hearing Roger, after that Rafa, yak………….

    • I wonder if we will refer to this comment in months to come and call it “Katyani’s 18 points.”

      Cool video, hadn’t seen that. Had to skip through Maria talking off her script and then click close when Dull came on.

    • Look who is talking. Toni hit the bull eye. Fed lost in the most embarassing fashion (in 3 straight sets without any fight). Tsonga rarely even broke a sweat in the match. Toni picked Rafa, Novak, Ferrer and DelPo as the favorites to win Roland Garros. DelPo didn’t play so it doesn’t count. All three of his picks are in the semi. He was criticized by Fedtards for not picking Federer. In the end Toni proved to be right. I like Toni as he makes straight forward statements without trying to be diplomatic, always speaks his mind.

  22. One more comment. I absolutely love Roger’s haircut. He looks more handsome and he looks younger.
    In my opinion, even younger than Rafa. I should not say this, is not very nice of me, but Rafa’s hair is getting thinner and thinner. Did you guys notice?

    Also notice that Roger is looking younger by cutting his hair and Mirka is looking slimmer? She is losing weight.
    Nice for her.

  23. Last comment. I am not a big soccerfan, but did you guys see Bayern winning the Champions League?

    In an all European soccer leage, played in an English city, by two German teams, who made the difference???

    A Dutchman !!!! Go Robben. Go Dutchies !!!

    • Yes, I did! A terrific final, filled with entertaining football. I love your enthusiasm, but I would point out that the whole Bayern side had to play a part, especially considering how good a team goal the winner was, and Robben DID miss a handful of easier chances during the match :p

      • Hi, I know it is a team effort, but still, Robben did make the winning goal, and very unnoticed if I have to say. I was watching the game and I almost mist it. It was so fast.
        But you are right, it took the team that led Robben to his goal.

    • Robben is one of the biggest chokers in the game. He missed a lot of chances and even his goal he nearly messed it up.

      Talented player, but too one footed and a mental midget. If it had gone to penalties he’d have missed.

  24. If Roger reaches the Semis, that’s good enough. If he reaches the final, it’s highly likely he’ll get demolished by Nadal.

    Some people are saying Novak will beat Rafa, I don’t see that happening. Nadal has been rock solid since his comeback and hasn’t shown a single sign of breaking down, whereas Djokovic had his ups and downs.

    Personally, I want someone other than the Big 4 winning this one. Tired of watching the same guys win over and over again.

    • But Djokovic did destroy Nadal in Monte Carlo. That match counts for a lot.

    • There’s a good chance that Novak will beat Nadal this time. Last year’s French Open, their match was stopped because of a drizzle, but they resumed it afterwards. It did benefit Djokovic from that breaktime and steamrolled Nadal but then again, the match was suspended and decided to continue it the following day.. You can say that Rafa dodged a bullet there because if that match ended on the same day.. 2012 FO championship will belong to Djokovic.

      As for the other players outside the top 4 winning a slam.. I really like Ferrer winning one. The guy is pretty good.. just happened to be at the wrong era.

  25. Ill say it again all ye people. Rafa will just run over the field at Roland Garros. Djokovic is just hyping himself in making strong comments on his FO campaign. But my guess is HE IS the one to LOSE at the early rounds just as what happened to him in Madrid and Rome. Nevertheless if he is able to reach the semis, Expect Rafa to come out all guns blazing to get revenge on that surprise loss at MC. 🙂

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