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French Open Draw 2014

French Open Draw 2014

The draw for the French is out and no surprises here as Federer landed in Djokovic's half along with Berdych and Raonic. Nadal, Ferrer, Wawrinka and Murray are all in the other half with play beginning on Sunday.

If things go to seeding we'll be getting a Djokodal final which the tournament organisers, the majority of fans and the money men behind the game definitely want as it's the hottest ticket in men's tennis right now.

As for Federer it's a pretty decent draw and he looks to have a very comfortable path to the 4th round where the tougher matches usually start. Roger has been in Paris for about a week already hitting on Chatrier with Edberg, Dimitrov, Wawrinka and probably several other players so he should be used to the conditions and balls which gives him a slight advantage over players who are forced to play Nice and Dusseldorf this week.

However he's considerably short of competitive matches after losing early in Rome meaning his last taste of tournament play and back to back matches was April 21st. Here's what he had to say himself in a pre tournament interview:

Playing well in Monaco was helpful in the sense that when I went to training I knew what I needed to work on.I feel like I'm in good shape. I feel very strong. After Rome, it was more just staying in the rhythm and relaxing again before Paris, Halle and Wimbledon. It's an important stretch now for me, and I don't want to come into this tournament uninspired or tired… For me it's really about being fresh mentally more than anything at this point.

To be honest I call bullshit on that one as if he'd gone deep at Rome we'd be reading a quote like “Making the finals in Rome has given me a great base ahead of the French and getting matches under my belt is hugely important.” So I don't think you can read too much into that on how he's feeling or how he will play here, just the usual PR talk. Physically he should be raring to go but matchplay wise it's an unknown.

Federer's Projected Opponents

  • R1: Lukas Lacko
  • R2: Qualifier
  • R3: Dimitry Tursunov
  • R4: Ernests Gulbis/ Mikhail Youzhny
  • QF: Tomas Berdych
  • SF: Novak Djokovic
  • F: Rafael Nadal

Full .PDF draw.

My Thoughts on the Draw

Federer Hiting on Chatrier

First up Fed faces Lukas Lacko and this is a dreamy opponent first up. Lacko is yet to play on a clay court this year and his last result, at the Busan Challenger in South Korea, ended in a retirement. So a.) he's out of touch on the surface and b.) probably not 100% fit. Roger schooled him at the Australia Open in 2011 too so if you're like Fed and haven't played many matches lately this is the peRFect starting point πŸ™‚

After that it's a Qualifier, either Elias Gastao from Portugal or Diego Sebastien Schwartzman from Argentina. Being honest I haven't heard of either of them before and they both have relatively poor records. I'll pick Schwartzman to come through though. Argentines have been known to cause Fed some problems on clay but I expect a routine win and then into a third round against most likely Tursunov. We know Tursunov can hit hard and has a decent serve but over 5 in a slam? Can't see it.

4th Round is an interesting one as it is seeded to be either Youzhny or Gublis. Gublis is playing in the Nice final tomorrow so he's in form but could be tired and potentially only a days rest. I also can't see Youzhny vs Gublis been a straight set encounter so looks to be advantage Roger in that one.

If Fed makes the 2nd week I'll be pretty pleased with his performance and if things go to seeding he'll be greeted with a match against Berdych. He's been a bit of a nemesis for Roger in recent years and on clay he's dangerous especially in overcast conditions as he hits a huge ball. I'd still back Fed to get it done but it could go 4 or 5.

Then if he gets through that it looks like he'd have to face Djokovic and Nadal in back to back matches. Only #Stanimal has beaten those guys in the same slam to win it so it's not an easy task πŸ˜›

So I'm expecting Fed to make the second week most definitely, then after that it's going to be interesting to see if he plays a 5 setter how he holds up int he next. I think the weather's going to play a part during the French too and if it's damp then big ball strikers tend to perform better. Overcast conditions usually work against Fed (Soderling 2010) so hopefully the sun can make an appearance whenever the GOAT is on court.

Elsewhere in the Draw

Wawrinka French Open 2014

Nadal actually has the toughest draw out of the top 4 seeds with matches against Thiem, Almagro, Ferrer and Wawrinka / Murray all possibilities. Predicting this guys results is extremely difficult though. Part of me thinks he might lose early but the other says he could just crush it like usual.

Djokovic has it reasonably good with a few potential tough matches against Chardy, Cilic, Raonic or Nishikori on the cards. He's going to be confident after Rome though so I can see him dispatching opponents who are expected to trouble him quite easily.

Stan and Murray have a nice path to the Quarters too, they'll have to most likely face some clay court specialists in the shape of Fognini and Verdasco respectively. Murray picked up form in Rome but fell short against Nadal again so I'm interested to see if he can make the the Quarters or Semi's. Stan is an enigma at the minute, he bagels huge servers one minute then crashes out to clowns the next. Very hard to say how he will play.

Interesting First Round Matches

  • Grigor Dimitrov vs. Ivo Karlovic
  • Stan Wawrinka vs. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez
  • Richard Gasquet vs. Bernard Tomic
  • Kei Nishikori vs. Martin Klizan
  • Marin Cilic vs. Pablo Andujar
  • Robin Haase vs. Nikolay Davydenko

Predictions

Federer Bath
Will Federer be taking an early bath?
  • Federer to make the Quarter Finals
  • Djokovic to win his 1st French Open
  • Nadal to lose before the final
  • Bautista-Agut to take out Berdych
  • Edouard Roger-Vasselin to be the best performing Frenchman
  • No Americans to make the 4th Round or better

Finally I thought I'd share this video of Fed hitting with Dimitrov, they're playing first to 11, no serves. It's a decent drill and Fed looks pretty sharp.

Unfortunately video has been removed

Let me know what you guys think of the draw. Any darkhorse predictions? How will Fed do?

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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87 comments

  1. I’ve gotta say as a fan personally there isn’t a tournament I want to see Fed win more than a second French Open. Even more than an 8th Wimbledon and that’s saying something. So I’ve got to dare to dream, as I do every year. With Nadal’s confidence shaky, the pressure being on Novak and Fed himself going in healthy, this might be his last best chance. I cannot be more up for this. KOMM JETZT JA!
    Now that’s out the way, it’ll be very interesting to see how Fed does over 5 sets considering how little tennis he’s played this month. But he’s Roger freakin’ Federer he’ll be alright. We’ll know loads more after his first match which should be fun to watch, I remember Lacko he’s quite talented. Shame he’s dropped off the radar really.
    For Novak, I think there’ll be a match where he will choke, lose a set or two. And if he comes back he’ll win the whole thing.
    Stan could easily lose that first match y’know. If Garcia-Lopez plays like he did against Novak in Monaco, that’ll be a match.

    • Hey Tom, you just said exactly what my dream is: any GS would be perfect, but for me, oh man, I want him to win RG so badly, more than I want him to win an 8th Wimby. Just once, RG. Just once….
      He couldn’t win MC or Rome this year, but please let him win DC and lets be free of that never ending discussion.
      And….. it is about time Roger wins his 7th WTF…

    • As much as we would all love Federer to win the FO again and sure there’s always a possibility, we have to be realistic and I think Roger knows that ship has sailed. If you look at his pressers near clay court season or the French, he always mentions Wimbledon in there somewhere. I think he’s more concentrated on getting some confidence and rhythm now in time for the grass but you never know. I think though every year we get our hopes up and then get slapped back into reality when it comes to RG.

    • Hey Tom,

      USO is the one for me, unfinished business πŸ™‚

      Fed will cruise past Lacko I think.

      Jonathan

      • Most people want Roger to win one more Wimby, one more USO, or one more French. Personally I want him to win one more of each of those. I think the AO is the one most fans would say they wouldn’t mind if he never got another of those. I could be wrong though lol

  2. Hi Jonathan

    Seems like a reasonable draw but I remember saying the same about Rome!! Hopefully this will not be a repeat and Fed can get his game going in the first couple of rounds and get I hope to the semi’s (I would say the finals buit do not want to jinx him). It will be lovely just to see him back on court – my other wish is that someone please dispose of rafa before the final – and finally Jonathan I have a question that you may be able to help with I have tickets for Wimbledon on Tuesday 24th June (what do you think the chances are that I might see Roger – not sure how it works if he is seeded 4 or if they move him up and drop Rafa to 5 as I have heard talk of) as could not get tickets for Cincy – husband treated me to these for our 19th wedding anniversary which is on the 24th June – he is actually going to come with me as well!!

    • Yes, I thought last year’s was such a good year that he ought to get through to at least SF and probably F, and look what happened – out to Tsonga in 3. So I’m not getting my hopes up, and in view of his lack of matchplay I’m trying to prepare for anything.

      Trudi, I think it’s too early to call the Wimbledon draw yet. Murray will play the first match on Centre on the first day, and then the rest of his half of the draw, I think, so you’ll have to hope Roger’s in the other half which plays on the Tuesday. That in turn is going to depend on his seeding and of course Murray’s, and I’m not sure how much Wimbledon’s special formula will bump the latter up the rankings, assuming that he’ll still only be 7th or thereabouts by then.

    • Hey Trudi,

      I honestly have no idea. Like Alison says Murray will start the first day on centre, so it all depends which half of the draw Fed is in. So I think your chance is 50 / 50 πŸ™‚

      Jonathan

  3. Fifth?

    Since there is 0% chance of Roger beating Dull in FO and Djoker has more than a 50% chance of beating Dull, I want Roger to lose in the SF if they both make it to that point if Dull still has not lost to someone at that point. I know that’s being a traitor, but what’s the point of another humiliating one-sided loss to Dull?

    • Hey you just never know, with anything… I bet if they did meet in the final, despite Roger having “0% chance” you’d still watch. There’s always a chance. If someone had said before Australia than Stan Wawrinka would take out Djokovic than Nadal in the final, you’d have laughed at them…

      • Unlike Fed vs Dull, Stan does not have a match-up handicap or a mental letdown while playing Dull. Not the same thing.

      • Stan had bigger problems than Fed before the AO Open. But anyway he would never have beaten Nadal if Nadal had been healthy.

    • I see what you mean, but still you can’t just say he would have 0% chance against Nadal on Chatrier. It’s ironic that the greatest of all time should have no chance in a certain match-up… Of course there’s a lot more to it, 5-0 Nadal at Roland, 9-2 in all GS, 23-10 overall tells an emphatic story. But even with that, have faith in Roger, he’s done remarkable things in his career, defeating Nadal at Roland Garros would be another. But a Nadal / Federer final is still a million miles away, probably won’t happen. I’d rather see them play at Wimbledon or the US open.

      • After all these comments about Roger have 0% chance against The King of Clay or even Fed hooligans fans want him to lose against Nole in order to not to see another slaughter make me think, how can they say he is the GOAT. I can’t imagine any GOAT fans of any sport doing the same.

        P.D: Nadal will win easely,probably without droping a set again.

      • Yes you are right Pablo. With this you have a point. Even between Roger fans there is a difference. Some fans want Rafa to lose more than they want Roger to win.
        For me, it is SO SO SO important that Rafa loses, but why can’t it be because of Roger beating him? 20% chance, 5% chance, 1% chance, I will take it πŸ™‚
        Unfortunately I too was lately seeing a bit more the importance of Rafa losing then Roger winning. But… seriously, why can’t that both happen??
        I really believe Rafa will not win this year. He is getting older and it takes more out of him to win. Even in 5 sets. He gave 2 bagels and 6-3 is his first match, while Roger lost more games in his first match… AND STILL Roger’s match was shorter. Why can’t you guys see that Rafa is not invincible anymore, that he is getting more and more tired, that at some matches even his mental gear doesn’t help and that more and more players practise to figure him out and succeed or almost succeed in it??

        Pablo, I don’t want Roger to lose to Novak so that Novak can beat Rafa. I want Roger to beat Novak and play Rafa in the final. Even if he will be “destroyed” again or loses closely, atleast he will BE there. Why do some Roger fans want Roger to avoid Rafa or hope that someone else takes him out?? Have faith in Roger. Isn’t that the least we fans can give him after all he has given us?? Yes, 99% that he will lose, but…. there is 1% that he might win. And come on guys, isn’t Roger the second or third best claycourt player of this generation??

        I don’t want to see a beatdown by Rafa to Roger. But I don’t want to disrespect Roger by saying that Novak would be better to win because he has more chance to beat Rafa.

        Have faith in Roger. He might pull it off. I believe he will. And if he won’t…. RG is going nowhere, neither is Roger. We will make it happen next year πŸ™‚

    • The draw would be better if Fed and Dull were in same half. I don’t think its 0% chance but it’s definitely sub 20% he beats him.

  4. I think if Federer met in Djokovic in the semis, I’d put my money ever so slightly on Fed. He secretly has some unfinished business with this damn French Open! hehe πŸ˜‰

    • Maybe, good matchup. But Djoker looked solid in Rome whereas Fed crashed out in his first match… I’d pick Djok.

    • Federer may have unfinished business, but Djokovic sure as hell does! I think if he plays at his best, Djokovic is hellishly tough to beat on this sort of slow court. I would think Fed would lose that one, especially as it seems to be they’re taking turns beating each other nowadays πŸ™‚

      I’ll be perfectly happy with QF or better, although it would sicken me to see Roger lose to Berdych. I do, however, think that he’ll get to the semis and as with 2012 be taken out by a red hot Djokovic despite holding several leads in every set πŸ™

      But the good news is: I think Nadal will not be winning this one. It’s difficult to predict a Nadal loss at the French, given it’s only happened once, and all credit to Soderling, but it does seem to be a pure anomaly. Something tells me the anomaly is going to manifest itself again, and Rafa may lose before the final.

      Of course, should that happen, Fed losing to Djokovic would feel even worse, wouldn’t it?

  5. Hey all, since Jonathan is predicting, I will give my prediction too and this time I will remember it.
    So If I am right, it would be cool, if I am wrong, you can all laugh at me πŸ™‚

    – Dark horses: Thiem and Raonic.
    – RG winner: Roger, by defeating a tired and low on confidence Rafa or anyone else but Rafa.
    – Novak not winning RG and actually never winning RG (eventhough he does deserve it). This is his year to win,
    but somehow…something always comes between him and the title.
    – Rafa either losing early because of lack of confidence or losing in the final because he is tired.
    – Stan maybe making SF, but not more.
    – Nishikori coming far, but having to give up because of injury.

    Well…. sounds reasonable??? πŸ™‚

    • Sounds reasonable, if a little optimistic πŸ˜€

    • Dull being tired against Fed?!
      Well that doesnt sound very reasonable πŸ˜›

    • Dull will never lose a final because he is tired. Wouldn’t happen!

      • Nadal has lost a final because he was tired Jon. Remember Madrid I think before it was clay, Nadal played a brutal three setter against Moya and lost easily to Youzhny in the final.

      • Madrid 2009 and Hamburg 2007

    • Dull tired? Nice one! πŸ˜‰

      • Dull is human guys…. He is not a machine, even if they want you to believe it. He also ages and gets tired. But…. honestly…if somehow… Rafa wins RG, then eventhough I won’t like it at all, it will be impressive. Winning a slam 9 times. Even if he is doing it the wrong way, 9 times is impressive. Not that he is going to win it πŸ™‚

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        A 9th French Open would once and for all cement his status as a “Clay bully”. He would then have 9 clay slams out of 14, and we will well and truly be reminded of what the great Rod Laver said about Roger having achieved a, “more complete body of work” πŸ™‚

        So, Mr. Dopal, go ahead, bully your way to your 9th RG!

      • Hey Sid, great and true comment. But you have to admit, 9 RG would be impressive, whether we like it or not. I mean come on, the dude just lost 1 match at RG, just one. How many can say that? Ofcourse for me and for the rest of us, it will show what we already know and that is that he is the Greatest Claycourt Player of all Time, but NOT the Greatest of all Time. That was and will forever be Roger, even is Rafa wins 12 RG.
        And even if he did it the wrong way (for me that is a fact), it still is impressive. He too has to play 7 matches and…. you won’t like to hear this, but…. in the short period of me watching tennismatches, the 5th set (this ONLY set) of the RG SF 2013 between Rafa and Novak was the best set I have ever seen. For that set alone, I had so much respect for Rafa, he did so great winning it. Nole won the 4th, had momentum, would have won, but somehow Rafa got to another physical and mental gear. I did not like it, but at the moment…. respect for Rafa.

        You know Sid, at some point we have to be honest too, he is not evil or the devil. He is just a discusting unsporting unhumble player who could not take losing to a great player and decided to choose the wrong and illegal way. And I still laugh when people call him very humble and a puppet in the hands of his uncle. Trust me, Rafa is calling all the shots, NOT his uncle.

        But Sid, two things. 1) Rafa will not win RG, Roger will. 2) Rafa cannot escape faith or justice forever, neither could Armstrong πŸ™‚
        We just have to wait for:
        1) Rafa
        2) Oprah
        3) Her couch
        4) Rafa sitting on his couch, surrendered by all his trophies, tweeting that he has done nothing wrong πŸ™‚

      • Oh and Sid, you have got to laugh at “Destiny’s” sense of humor and at Rafa’s luck….
        No Nishikori, no Dimi, no Stan, no Almagro….only Ferrer and Muzza and the rest of the danger men on all the other side πŸ™‚ Someone upstairs really wants Rafa to win this πŸ™‚

    • Katyani,
      I always like your predictions πŸ™‚ and you have all the right to foresee
      my prediction for Rafa this year is somehow pessimistic, although I see him reaching the final, but I believe this year is Djoko to win and I hope Roger do Nadal favor like he did in 2011 πŸ˜‰ otherwise, I can see Djoko holding the Trophy
      I give 60/40 edge to Djoko

      • Hey Shamtoot, don’t take my predictions too seriously, I am just having fun with it πŸ™‚
        Afterall, for me personally, it gets a bit boring saying all the time, well, we’ll take it one point, one match at the time. I mean I still do…. If Roger is hopefull, so am I. He has maybe 5% chance of winning RG, but I’ll take it anyways πŸ™‚

        For now… just love to see him play πŸ™‚

      • Hey Katyani,
        You know one thing, after all, we are all fan of one of those great players. Roger, Nadal, Djoko and to some extend Murray. I have great respect to all of them and the rest of players. Hate, dislike and distaste all comes part of what determine our fan-ship thingy.
        what i don’t understand, is the disrespect for some of those fans to other players than their player. at the end of the day, you like him, dislike him you have the free well, bust disrespect, i don’t really digest it.
        that why i have some much respect for you Katyani and others in this blog πŸ˜‰

      • Hey Shamtoot, you are so sweet !!! But please, don’t make me out to be so nice, you might get disappointed πŸ™‚ I am not perfect and to be honest, I know almost nothing about tennis. Never even liked it. I used to zapp in like seconds on another channel if I saw tennis. BUT… one time I was too slow with zapping and I saw Roger play a point…. Didn’t know the guy, didn’t know the game, but what he did, was to me so special, I kept watching. That is why I love Roger so much, because I am literally one of those thousand fans who started watching tennis because of Roger.

        And Shamtoot, I hope you haven’t read many of my comments, but I am not always respectful. I try to be, really, but so sorry, doesn’t work all the time πŸ™‚ You may have noticed that I don’t like Rafa, but that is because of the things he does. I don’t think he is evil or the devil or the demon, he is just…. not my kind of player. And trust me, Roger is not perfect either. He does also lost of things that bother me.
        And in a perfect world for a diehard Roger fan… Roger would be perfect and the rest would all be evil. But it is not so. Nobody goes to sleep, wakes up, eats and when it is time goes to play the match and wins. They ALL watch their diet, practise for hours and hours, go to the gym, practise more, have a life, do good for others and so. No one deserves to lose because they are bad people. I like all of them. Even Serena (but…. don’t go there πŸ™‚ ) and Shamtoot, I am… one of the few people who likes Berdych a lot. What says that about me πŸ™‚

        So Shamtoot, don’t have too much respect, I am not perfect and I make a lot of wrong predictions. Please God please, make the one about Roger come true πŸ™‚

      • “I am… one of the few people who likes Berdych a lot. What says that about me πŸ™‚ ”
        I would say, welcome to the club because I am also one of them πŸ˜‰

      • But the dude needs to dress better so badly, Shamtoot…. Great that H&M is supporting him, but his Hawai shirt is a big no no πŸ™‚

  6. Nice post Jonathan, been a long time since I’ve posted myself, how is everyone, we all ready for Rolly G?

    Pretty decent draw for Roger but as you said, his presser most of the time is never how he will really feel because what happens on the court lately is a totally different story as to what he is saying to the media. Lack of match play could be a constraint if he makes it to second week when it comes down to tougher opponents. Seeing as what happened in Rome when he had those match points and what took place in 2013, it’s really all about how he is feeling on the court mentally on a particular day. Hoping for him to make it to the semis but anything is possible. I am loving the predictions, and you normally get one of them right. I am hoping Dull makes the final so Novak can hand him his second loss at the French, the day we have all been waiting for. Or if Rafa does indeed lose before the final, will be interesting to see if Roger can repeat 2011 and take the slight opportunity to get a second FO. But that’s probably not gonna happen. Right?

    I think all Fed fans can really hope and want for Roger is to make the second week. He’s got a lot on his plate right now and making it to the quarters would be ideal to get back into consistency when it comes to slams and also to get the ball rolling for grass season and potentially US hard court season. Looking forward to sharing the next two weeks with all of you! Allez!

    • Hey Alysha,

      Yeah long time no post.

      I agree, Fed to make second week, anything else is a bonus. Edberg said it’s not a priority for him so guess we’ll see how invested he gets.

      I’m thinking 2 of my predictions come off πŸ˜‰

      Jonathan

  7. Well my less favourite Slam will begin (should be the favourite because of Guga), but I have to say that I am more excited about the World Cup (It will be in my country!!) and for Wimbledon, anyway always a pleasure to watch Federer plays wherever.
    I’m honestly sensing he’ll not go too far, but since he get pass through the quarter-finals I think he has a decent shot at glory as I see Djokobitch as a good matchup for him on clay. Let’s see how it goes on the early rounds so we can talk about Fed going deeper in this French. Oh and my dark horse is Monfils.

    • Are you going to watch any matches live?

      I reckon England might not get out the group.

      • Yes, I got tickets for 2 matches in Brasilia: Cote D’Ivore vs. Colombia and Switzerland vs. Ecuador. I think if Suarez plays, it will be Uruguay and Italy passing, if not it will be England and Italy. That’s for sure the hottest group in the WC.

  8. Is it my imagination or what. Whenever Roger gets a good draw he seems to do poorly. Scraping through tough matches seems to inspire him. I have no sense how he’ll do at RG. Hoping for quarters at least. For me, things feel unpredictable.
    Hate the shirt this year. No class to it.
    Dark horse…..Gulbis…lol.

    • I guess, this draw not totally easy though, some decent opponents.

      I’m not big on the shirt either and Gulbis – could be fatigued after Nice but he’s decent on clay. Windmill forehand.

  9. Who knew that was coming???
    Nadal already making excuses for an early exit not looking good for him

    http://tennis.si.com/2014/05/23/french-open-quotes-media-day-roger-federer-maria-sharapova/
    Rafael Nadal, who practiced at Roland Garros on Thursday, hopes the court conditions improve by the time the tournament starts. β€œCenter court was a little bit different. I think they make the court new, so it’s like the clay [needs to] get a little bit more fixed. It was moving around a little bit too much. But there remain a few days and probably they can fix it. They are specialists, no?

    • Haha yeah I wonder if it’s as bad as blue clay? Good job Fiasco is in Murray’s Quarter.

    • Sid TheCookieThief

      [clay [needs to] get a little bit more fixed]

      Yeah, some fix it glue will do the trick. And while they are at it, Nadal can use some of it on his behind so he doesn’t have to keep fixing it.

      Does any kind of clay makes this doper happy? Oh wait…the kind he can win on does πŸ™‚

  10. Def think Fed shld make 2nd week!
    Stan? Agree 1st round cld be a real banana skin and Berdych will not relish Bat-Agut!
    Raonic will be looking to avenge Rome V Djoko but I do think Novak will win it this yr!
    Fed to make Semis.
    Nadal vulnerable dependent on weather!!
    All good fun! Let the games begin!

  11. I like reading all these predictions but wouldn’t make any myself because, well, because tennis is so – unpredictable. All I will say is Come on Roger!

    Love Nadal’s comment about the clay being different and moving around too much. Maybe he should cut back on whatever it is he’s taking πŸ™‚

    • Rita, That means Rafa is nervous because there have been players practicing at Roland Garros all week and no one has said anything about the surface.

    • Rita you make predictions every single day on Bet365 πŸ˜€

      Yeah nobody else has even mentioned the clay being loose. He does that to take pressure off himself though, not through nerves. Always under dog.

  12. A fine post as usual Jonathan.

    As much as I’d love to join the wishful club of Tom and Katyani though I’ve read Edberg saying “RG may not be the highest priority but Wimby or USO…”. The link to the article is the below, if any of you are interested.

    Enigmatic Fed to start with, unpredictable this year which means more exciting and interesting. But no please don’t take an early bath, Roger! Have some champagne in fortnight πŸ™‚ Would love to see new faces deep into the 2nd week, Novak with the trophy if not our GOAT, and some drama (but not in Fed’s matches) too. Hope to see you guys in the chat!

    http://stefanstennis.free.fr/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1330:edberg-lfederer-needs-to-use-his-weaponsr&catid=41:fedberg&Itemid=93

    • Thanks for the link. I hadn’t seen that. Edberg got his eyes on Wimbledon I bet.

    • Hey Wanda, it is after a while that RG is looking exciting again. For me, Rafa winning every year was making it not exciting. This year a lot of players have the chance. Poor Muzza. Not beeing even mentioned as a possible winner πŸ™‚

      And best team is Fedberg. Looks like they are made for each other. Both nice and respectful guys. Hoping together they will achieve great things πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Wanda, an interesting read.

  13. Well, we’re in the Nole’s half and can only meet Rafa in the final. Thanks to Ferrer for not taking 4th rank which could have spoiled the possibility. Draw-wise, on the track…I didn’t want Roger to be in the Rafa’s half. I DON’T WANT RAFA TO LOOSE EARLY WHILE ROGER IS ALIVE. I WANT A FEDAL FINAL AND FED SMILING WITH THE TROPHY IN HIS HAND. It’s a dream and dreams have every right to be illogical. Oh Roger, once, just once… beat him on the RG clay. And it can’t be better if you can do it in a final. This might well be the LAST chance to do it. Do whatever u need to. Just play fearlessly, as you do against Nole. Go Roger GO.

    • Love the optimism Ankur, but it isn’t about playing fearlessly. I don’t even think it’s as mental as people make it out to be. It’s a matchup issue. You can be as mentally resilient as you want, but the fact of the matter is that the game style across the net is tailored to beat you. There is hardly anything he can do. The only way to win is to play lights out for 3 sets and hope luck is on your side. He’s forced to play high risk tennis that won’t often pay off. Credit to him for actually having won the matches he’s won against Dopal.

      • Fully agree!

      • I’m with you too, Gaurav!

      • Tennis is like 80% mental at the top level. Maybe even more. So clearly a factor vs. Dull. Big matchup issue but mental too.

      • LOL! DOPAL!

      • Ya, Gaurav, that’s the point…you can’t play high risk tennis with fear in your mind. Got to be fearless. As Jonathan said, timing of the risks is vital against him… Remember their last meeting in RG 2011. In first 3 sets, anybody could have won. Just the crucial points… and it’s MENTAL. I agree with you, it’s a bad match up for Fed, unfortunate combination of their playing styles. But again, Fed did overcome that on a number of occasions… but after all the hard work failed due to lack of confidence in crucial moments.

      • I agree with Gaurav, Roger-Dull being one-sided is hardly mental. Dull’s lefty topspin literally destroys most backhands in tour, exception being Nole and now Stan. Roger has a sub-optimal topspin backhand so that doesn’t help either. Everyone is put into a defensive spiral that ends with Dull getting the point. Hence the abysmal H2H with all other players. I guess by now, Roger might have some mental issues when facing Dull but if courts were reversed to low-bouncing conditions like 90s I bet you one fondue that Roger would win 7/10 of their encounters πŸ™‚

      • Yeah, I agree, it sure is mental, which becomes obvious in some of the points Federer begins to start playing around the second set mark. But that is set into motion due to the matchup issue.

        It’s the same thing in Nadal Djokovic matches now. You see Nadal making absolutely routine errors against Djokovic. And here is the person who is supposed to be THE most mentally tough player in the game. I think it just shows that it happens to everyone. It isn’t being mentally weak, it stems from the knowledge that the matchup is severely against you that forces you to go for extra and consequently miss.

        Also, Gargantouas, I disagree about Stan. He’s won just 1/14 matches against Nadal. Yes, he plays well against Nole (So does Federer) but 1 win out of 14 doesn’t say anything about Nadal’s game not bothering him any more than it does Federer. It just says that it was his day on the day of the Aussie Open Final. It will be interesting to see encounter number 15 between the two. Although, yes, fully agree that Stan’s backhand is defintitely superior. Also, Federer has a sub- optimal top spin backhand!!? Come on, that’s being a tad harsh, isn’t it!

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        [You can be as mentally resilient as you want, but the fact of the matter is that the game style across the net is tailored to beat you]

        If Nadal were a right hander, no matter how much spin he puts on the ball, or how much doping he does, and no matter how much he picks his butt, Roger would’ve had at least 20 slams by now. It is that one pattern that has hurt him.

      • Exactly Sid. Dull’s a left hander though, so it clearly is Dull’s game who is tailored to beat him

  14. Couldn’t have asked for a more decent draw for Roger, confident he can reach at least the quarters. Berdych and Guilbis can be a tricky opponents. Weather condition will play a crucial part for the next 2 weeks. I want both Roger and Djoker to win this but only one can get through to face Nadal. Based on the draw, Nadal will reach the final no doubt. It very difficult to beat Nadal over 5 set match. Let’s go Roger!!!!

  15. can Fed surprise us all?
    I sure hope so.

    but Fed is now the father of 4, does he has the mental freedom that he needs to be focused solely on tennis??
    I pray that something extraordinary will happen this year. Fed will fly under the radar to make his way to SF. JesusFed will turn up for the semis and Goderer will make an appearance at the final…

    I share the same sentiment as some of the other readers who want to see Fed winning a 2nd RG (think how sweet it will be of RF will become the first in the open era to win all majors al least twice, after Rafa failed this year in Oz…)

    it is indeed a distant dream, but who knows. miracles do happen from time to time. we’ve seen it before.

    • It’s a possibility just unlikely I think.

      Last time he had twins he was pretty relaxed and played some of his best tennis so maybe it will be similar this year.

  16. Good post, Jonathan. One thing I disagree about is that the sun and faster conditions are good for Roger on the clay. With the sun, the ball jumps up higher so we all obviously know that’s an issue on the backhand side. His recent bad losses at the French (to Jo last year and Nole in 2012, both in straights) were in sunny conditions, whereas his huge win against Nole in 2011, win in 2009 final over Soderling, and multiple tourney wins at Hamburg (including against Rafa) were in damper, slower conditions. You are right thought that the 2010 loss to Sod were in those conditions, so you never know really.

    Anyway, hoping that his game will come together in the early rounds. Gulbis’ game is very Soderling-like so that could def be an issue in 4th round if Fed isn’t sharp. Allez!

  17. One thing I’ll never forget about the 2012 final bw Nole and Rafa was when Nole was starting to turn the match around after dropping the first two sets, winning the 3rd set in a drizzle and being up a break in the 4th…Nadal was bitching about how he wanted to stop playing due to the rain, with the real reason being that his heavy topspin ball doesnt take off and explode in those conditions. When they did stop in the 4th, and you see the players walking off in the tunnel, Toni shows up and is literally cursing off the umpire. Typical disgusting behaviour from team Nadal.

  18. Hey guys, anyone saw the CL-final?? Atletico Madrid just needed to defend 2 more minutes and they would have won. Instead Real Madrid scored a goal and after that, with momentum I think, ended up winning the title !!!
    How about that πŸ™‚ In a few moments anything can happen. Roger could end up beeing beaten in QF or SF, but he could also end up winning the title πŸ™‚

    • If Stan did it, then Roger can also do it. Btw, a Great CL final.

    • Don’t like RM, but still a good final. I would like Roger to win but I just can’t bear a Fedal final.. It is too tough for my heart. If Nadal loses early (Thiem, are u listening?), then Nole-Fed semi willl be electric..

  19. Hi Jonathan, thanks for your expert analysis and agree with the most of your view except QF opponent. I will be surprised if the other side is Birdman. Thomas lost the first round matchs in three out of the last five years (OK he made to semi to 2010). For me, 2014 Roger should make to semi. True, Fed fans are weary with the 2013 RG still at the back of our minds but so far sign suggests that the 2013 Wimbledon type of horror show is less likely.
    On which slam, Roger’s fans here wish Roger to win. I for one have always been dreaming calendar slam (does not have to start from AO). Tough yes, optimistic yes and it is possible!

    • I’m pretty sure Berdych alternates from losing in first rounds between the French and Wimbledon since 2011. Got a decent chance to make the second round on the clay based on that trend. We all thought Roger would make the final last year because he got Ferrer in his half and that did not go to plan. Draws always change during the course of the tournament so will be interesting to see where his mind set his in this slam after lack of matches. Also don’t think Roger is ever completing the calendar slam, we’re just hoping to make it to second week at this point lol. He had multiple chances but could not pull it off. But something like an 8th wimbledon would be just as satisfying πŸ˜€

  20. My RG preview.
    http://amitstennisworld.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/winds-of-change/
    Jonathan, I hope you won’t mind me sharing it here.

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