French OpenGrand SlamsRoger Federer

French Open Draw 2015: Nadal in Djokovic’s Quarter

Hey guys, the second slam of the year is almost upon us and earlier today the draw for Roland Garros landed. All the talk pre tournament was where Nadal would slot into things due to his ranking only affording him 6th seed status. Interestingly he's found himself in Djokovic's section which could mean a potential Quarter Final between the two.

With both those guys in the top half, along with Murray and Ferrer, Roger's section is looking pretty good and if things fall into place he should be able to make a deep run. You can see his projected opponents below:

Federer's Projected Opponents

  • 1st Round: Alejandro Falla
  • 2nd Round: Marcel Granollers
  • 3rd Round: Ivo Karlovic
  • 4th Round: Gael Monfils
  • Quarter Final: Stan Wawrinka
  • Semi Final: Tomas Berdych
  • Final: Novak Djokovic

Full .PDF printable draw.

Thoughts on Federer's Draw

Federer French Open Draw 2015

First up is Alejandro Falla who gets his spot in the main draw as a lucky loser. We all remember his match with Roger at Wimbledon in 2010 where he came within three points of the match and really should have won. However I can't see anything close to a repeat of that here; Falla isn't in the greatest form this year and whilst competent on clay he's more of a hard court player. He'll probably come out swinging but Roger should have plenty in the tank to see him off in straights.

Second Round could see Roger face the man who took him to 4 sets at last years US Open, Marcel Granollers. The Spaniard is an accomplished clay courter but over 5 sets I don't think he really has the game to trouble Federer. He can start fast like we saw at the USO but he faded quickly in that one and I'd expect similar here.

The third round is seeded to be against Ivo Karlovic but he's only ever made the last 32 at Roland Garros once before and would need to see off Baghdatis in the first round and potentially Youzhny in the second round. I'd pick Youzhny to come through here and face Fed in the third round which should be a routine match for the Swiss.

Into the last 16 and the first real test could present itself in the shape of Gael Monfils. Monfils has won the last two meetings between the two of them which were both on clay at the Davis Cup and Monte Carlo respectively. There are some concerns over the Frenchman's fitness though after he withdrew from Rome and appeared to have knee troubles during his loss to Granollers in Madrid but you never know with him. I'm pretty sure he will be highly motivated to perform well in front his home crowd and he made the Quarter Finals last year so is definitely a threat to Roger on this surface.

With Roger's quarter looking pretty tame the only name that stands out as a potential Quarter Final opponent is Wawrinka. Roger schooled him in Rome and the Swiss number 2 has just lost to Delbonis in Geneva. Hard to see him really having what it takes to beat Roger over 5 in Paris but if his game clicks then he's always a danger.

The Semi Finals are seeded to be against Mr. Consistent of 2015 Tomas Berdych. Berdych has a patchy record in Paris with a couple of first round losses combined with making the Quarter and Semi Finals in years gone by. Based on form he should really make the second week here but after Roger handled him easily in both Indian Wells & Rome he's not as scarier a proposition as he was a couple of years back.

The final opponent is of course seeded to be Djokovic but he has to potentially get through Nadal in the Quarter Finals which won't be an easy task. He's the hot favourite after his performances this year but anything could happen and I don't think it will be all plain sailing. The same can be said for Federer's section too though – on paper it looks like there aren't too many troublesome opponents but things can change in the blink of an eye and it only takes one player to catch fire to cause an upset or throw the projected opponents completely out the window.

Overall though after beating four top 25 players in a row in Rome I do like Fed's chances of making the second week and if he plays somewhere close to his base level then he should come through his section. It's really only Monfils who appears to have the firepower to do damage prior to the Quarter Finals but as always it's just one match at a time. As per Twitter it looks like Roger will be getting his campaign off on Sunday.


French Open Draw 2015

  • Djokovic to not win the French Open
  • Nadal to not win the French Open
  • Federer to not win the French Open
  • Sock to defeat Dimitrov
  • Murray to struggle against Arguello
  • Fognini to take out Berdych

Let me know what you guys think of the draw in the comments πŸ™‚

PS You can read Roger's pre tournament press transcript here.


Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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    1. Not sure is Roger’s section looks so good… Monfils?? Stan?? Berdych??
      Monfils is always a threat especially playing at RG with the crowd on his side… It’s gonna be an interesting tournament, but a tough one for the GOAT.

    2. It’s a slam so draws are bound to get progressively harder – Fed’s always going to face tough opposition from the 4th Rd / Quarters onwards but I think this section is better on paper. Of course if a few seeds crash in the top section, things change in a flash πŸ™‚

      1. That’s what I was wondering Scooter: Murray/Monfils final! Or Jonathan’s ‘having a laugh’ πŸ™‚

      1. He’s the obvious choice. History says if you beat Nadal at the French, you don’t win the tournament though πŸ™‚

  1. I’m not sure how comfortable I am with this draw – will have to chew it over a bit. It’s certainly not the one I was expecting!

  2. Hopefully the Djokodal QF breaks Santoro-Clement’s record and neither of them can walk at the

  3. Mmmm, what a predictions you have thrown Jonathan πŸ™‚
    With all struggles that Nadal has this year, I still believe he is the favourite, RG with 5 sets, it’s different Animal
    It would be interesting and somehow I really wanted djokodal QF

    1. People writing off Nadal too early I also agree- if the QF with Novak goes the distance, Dull is favourite.

    2. Yeah Nadal can’t be written off just yet. We’ve not seen him play 5 setters on clay for a year though, interesting to see how he handles it.

      1. Who *have* we seen playing 5-setters on clay in the last year, though? Roger played 2 3-setters in the DC final – I can’t remember what the Wawrinka-Tsonga score was.

  4. Hi jonathan

    Its a slam so i think every match could be a potential banana skin, just hope that he plays well and gets into the 2nd week then who knows. I do not want djokovic to win but i cannot see who will stop him. My perfect senario would be for nole, rafa and monfils to go out in the first round and a fed ferrer final!!!! A girl can dream.
    Allez Roger

    1. You never know in a slam Trudi, and Ferrer did after all make the final in 2013. We can all dream – why not? πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  5. I ll have to go with you on this Jonathan. Spot on , thanks to the RG draw only one of the two grinders will make it to the semis. And i dont see either of them winning the title. Nole courtesy his winning streak has maybe put too much pressure on himself. I see federer making the semis atleast. Feels like draw demands him to make the semis atleast. And Yea a champion can emerge too. Murray and Djoko both start at 10-0 on clay at RG. Interesting times as parisian slam looks exciting in a decade.

    My predictions.
    Djokovic loses his nerve in the semis
    Nadal to lose in the Quarters in 4 sets.
    A rock solid Federer vs Nishikori Semi. which the latter wins in 5 sets.
    Murray to make it into his first RG final.

  6. Wow Jon, I thought my predictions were weird, but you just took it to another level πŸ™‚ Novak, Rafa and Roger not winning RG?? So…. Muzza wins RG and maybe even Davis Cup??

    First I was glad with Roger’s draw, but then…. he does have Monfils, Stan the Man, Nishikori. And lets not forget Youzhny. What if he decides (just like Berdy) that he doesn’t want to lose 15 or 16 times to Roger??

    I worry that Roger will find his draw “easy” and will look ahead to the QF and SF and will have problems with the earlier rounds and lets not forget…. every player (maybe also “average”) ends up playing in the zone or the match of their life AGAINST Roger πŸ™‚

    I am not underestimating Rafa and I am certainly not writing Roger off for the win. I pick Roger as the winner. And yes…. if Novak doesn’t win RG… I will he happy….

    Ps: Watch out for Andy “marriage works” Murray πŸ™‚

    1. Spot on Katyani. ‘Marriage works’ Murray could well turn out to be the key player in the whole draw. And a Murray / Kyrgios meeting could be a schooling for Nick. Watch out for a new resolute and purposeful Murray as never before!

    2. Hi Katyani. I’ll go with the possibility of Andy ‘marriage works’ Murray, but I don’t think there’s any chance that Youzhny (should they meet) would ever trouble Federer.

      No predictions from me – I’ve given up on Tiger. I shall just watch, and hope. πŸ™‚

    3. I don’t think Murray can win 7 x best of 5 setters on clay. So he’s not my pick to win.

      @Paul Kyrgrios looks a bit of a tailor made opponent for Murray based on their last meeting. Nick has elbow injury too, already looking injury prone in his career to date.

  7. Excellent write-up as usual Jonathan!! In fact, I had to do a double-take as I could have written the same almost word-for-word, that is how much I agree with you.With only one caveat: If Roger gets to final and plays either Murray/ Ferrer, then Roger WILL win. If Nishikori gets to final and beats Roger in semi, then Murray to win. And I have always felt deep-down that Djokovic is due for a fall; his seamless run this year stands every chance of coming unstuck. And not because of his fitness levels, or that he may or may not be on drugs, or his seeming unbending mental strength, but emotionally. It is HERE that I am convinced the pressure will tell. And for those who wrote off Andy Murray before, this may come back to bite your behind. He is one of the most talented players of not just this generation but also in the Open Era. He has failed to truly convince before but this is now his chance. And facing Djokovic in a semi is way better for him than facing the latter in a final. And for that measure, a perfect script for Roger too, if, and it IS a big if, if Roger can execute and get there. And as dangerous as either Berdych or Nishikori will be in semi against Roger, if either gets there, and Roger too – it is Monfils who I am now most worried about. Surely lightning does not strike three times against Roger?

    1. And may I add here that both Nishikori and Berdych have very testing potential opponents to face should they confirm their seedings and meet each other in the quarters: Nishikori has a MAJOR banana-skin against one of the most talented but equally one of the worst-achieving clay courters – Bellucci – who appears thankfully to be coming into a form of old. And then there is Verdasco and Lopez to conquer. No guarantees here. And as for Berdych – a certain Mr Fognini may await, and he is one who has consistently caused Berdych serious problems in the past. If Fabio is up for it, Tomas could be in deep trouble. And then Mr Tsonga might await Berdych, and he too may prove to be no push-over for Berdych. I am sure Roger does not want to lick his lips but I am sure will do so if both of the above fail to confirm their seedings.

      1. Despite Muray’s best year on clay, I wouldn’t back him against Ferrer let alone Djoker/Nadal in a best of five format. All the people you mention i.e. Fognini, Belluci, Verdasco and Lopez don’t perform particularly well at RG as far as I’m aware of.

    2. Cheers Paul. Not sure I see Murray really been an out and out threat though, things would need to open up significantly for him I think.

      Agreed on Bellucci though, he’s a danger man in the draw, as is Fognini. Fog made the Quarters in 2011 Alysha but withdrew giving Djoker walkover. He is top 10 material on clay easily but his mind wanders too much.

      Fiasco and Lopez are too unpredictable. Does Goffin meet Lopez? I’d pick Goffin to come through.

      1. I think I had them meeting up in my Tiger predictions & went the other way because of experience, clay-court expertise, and height.

  8. Strange set of predictions you’ve got there, Jon! But oddly enough, I see why. You don’t think fed will win because he doesn’t have the emotional focus to grind a tournament like this out now. You don’t think nadal can get past the Djokovic engine, and you think Djokovic has hyped his chances up so much he’s inevitably over pressured himself. As for a winner, Djokovic will be the favourite, and I think he should be, but I have a sneaky feeling someone from the fed half will take it, probably nishikori.

    As for fed, great draw. Cannot ask for more in terms of easier rounds, even though granted monfils is a banana skin. But then, I honestly think there are a handful of banana skins for fed on this surface nowadays. I think he makes the semis. After that is a lottery, but I would back him against berdych, but not against nishikori.

    1. I don’t think Djoker has himself hyped his chances up, it’s the combination of him being near unbeatable the past half year along with Nadal slumping in the clay season. Can’t really blame anyone and even Novak for thinking this slam is his to lose. Nishikori bit of an anomaly on clay, got out in the first round last year didn’t he? But he has improved a tonne since then so could be interesting to see him be in the mix especially with Chang with him on his side.

      Love the “banana skins” description for the field.

    2. Exactly my thoughts, John. Especially with regard to Nishikori: I think people are underestimating him. He obviously needs to improve his service, but apart from that he can get far in any tournament.
      As far as Monfils is concerned: you never know if it’s rain or shine with him. Let’s hope that if he meets Roger it’s a rainy day in his head πŸ™‚

    3. ” You don’t think fed will win because he doesn’t have the emotional focus to grind a tournament like this out now.”

      Not sure I said that πŸ˜† I just think Fed isn’t winning a slam on clay 8 years past his prime with his style of play right now. There’s guy that are too solid from the back of the court and he can’t hit through them. We only have what we see on TV to really make a call on so his emotional focus is hard to determine, maybe he his more focused on grass but who knows what is going on upstairs.

      I make Djokovic the favourite but picking him is just a boring easy pick. Plus like I said above – history shows if you beat Nadal at the French, you don’t win the tournament πŸ˜‰

      @Coutinho – I’m not underestimating Kei, he’s a threat for sure but best of 5 on clay isn’t ideal for him I don’t think. Having said that he looked completely disinterested in Madrid when I saw him play, perhaps he’s saving himself for the French…

      1. That’s what I meant when I said “tournament like this” πŸ˜‰ clay court slam.

    4. I misphrased some stuff. But I do think Djokovic is simply put due a fall. And therefore betting against him here.

      Yeah it’s true Feds game is more susceptible to a fair number of players on clay nowadays. Any more banana skins and we may as well be watching a round of Mario kart πŸ˜‰

      Re: nishikori he’s a weird one. When he’s on form he looks and plays a bit like Djokovic, who, as we know, is of an unbelievably consistent game style. He looks like he plays within himself, nothing too extravagant. But by contrast, nishikori who looks so solid is anything but that. When he’s off form, shots simply go out. Many many shots. But I think he’s capable of winning any tournament he plays now, except for Wimbledon. Not saying he will, but at this point the skill set is there.

      Mark, massive Liverpool conversation? Up for it? πŸ˜‰

  9. Wicked predictions for top players, Jonathan. But hey I quite like the idea that both hyped up guys to lose this year πŸ˜‰ We might have a surprise winner? Murray the new ‘King of Clay’ after two titles? Don’t know about Nadal’s future but Djokovic has few more years to win RG so I’d rather see a new champion if it’s not Fed. An ideal draw for Roger, hoping for quick and efficient matches for him. Love to see him play like he did in the DC final against Gasquet. Allez!

    1. Andy the king of clay Murray got unlucky big time! But do think he has a really good chance at Wimbledon this year- I expect Nadal/Djoker to be mentally exhausted after this slam. Interesting you think Djoker has a few more years to win RG, every streak must come to an end, and his last streak came to an end at RG last time…

      Q: When was the last time someone completed the AO/RG double?

    2. I just make them for fun πŸ™‚ no point picking favourites to win tournaments.

      @Alysha – Last time the double was done 1992 – Jim Courier. A long time ago!

  10. I’m one of those who thinks this is a great draw – for Wimbledon. But for RG, to my mind there are too many variables. He has, I think, a tougher start than in the last couple of years, and his clay performance this year has been … erratic. Plus the last time (2013) I thought he had a great draw and a straight path to the semis a certain Tsonga got in the way and messed everything up, so I’m doing my darnedest not to look ahead this time. One match at a time, and see where they gets us. If I thought there was a draw Roger needed to do well here, I don’t think it would have been this one.

    1. Sorry Alison, but can’t agree with you on that one. This draw is possibly as good as it gets for Roger. It is up to ROGER to do with it what he can, and another final appearance with a little dosage of luck IS doable. And probably Roger’s last chance at another Roland Garros final, let alone another chance to win it. And may I say a lot of us Roger fans – including myself – are probably disingenuous to him. He IS Number Two in the world and it should really not be viewed as a surprise if he is to make the final. And why discount the French instead of Wimbledon, where he could yet get a draw from hell? I have waited for a draw like this for Roger, and I really hope he goes for it, because opportunities like this will become less and less, not to mention the other enemy of Father Time himself…

    2. Agree with this. The draw doesn’t really matter hugely for Rog at RG. I mean yes it’s very favourable but in a best of 5 format, his chances of winning don’t change. Of course 2013 and 2015 are two very different years so far but you need to remember that Roger is more unpredictable now so he could either get out in the 2nd round or make the finals, just gotta hope he’s ready to play some great mental and physical tennis and collects momentum, confidence etc for Wimbledon.

    3. Using 2013 as a yard stick is daft as he had back troubles all year. He was losing to players like Delbonis and Brands on clay that year so Tsonga didn’t really spoil the party, he just advantage of the situation.

      I’m with Alysha, draw doesn’t make much difference as it’s just paper at the minute. All we know for certain is his first round opponent in Falla which should be easy.

      “He has, I think, a tougher start than in the last couple of years” If Falla is a tough start then Roger should skip RG πŸ™‚

      Falla isn’t in form and Fed has routined him twice in Paris before. If you were to handpick opponents it can’t get much easier than that. Not saying Falla has zero chance but something very strange would have to happen for him to win.

      1. “Not sure I see Murray really been an out and out threat though, things would need to open up significantly for him I think.”

        You mean like, oh, Wimbledon 2013?

      2. Hadn’t been following Falla’s form, but it seemed to me he was a step up from the Devvarmans, Pouilles, Carreno Bustas and others that Roger played over the last couple of years.

        And yes, 2013 was affected by back injuries, but there wasn’t any suggestion that that was a cause of the loss to Tsonga. What disturbed me so much with that one was that it seemed to be a mental thing with Roger, and that he lost in straights.

      3. Federer’s back problems in 2013 started (IMO) at Rotterdam and continued through until almost the end of the year. To be fair, Tsonga was looking much stronger/more himself in 2013 than he does now, and is always a very tough opponent, but I’m convinced that the back issue played a big part. It might have been a mental issue in so far as Feds realised he could not afford to play a long-drawn-out match because of the back. So once he lost the first set…?

  11. “You guys talk about the draws, I play them”

    That’s pretty much all to say on the matter to be honest. Nothing is ever as it seems when it comes to draws, and although Fed avoided the massacre to come on the other half, can’t start celebrating yet. Would’ve been more pleased had this draw been gifted at SW19 but of course not. Even with this sort of path, the odds for Roger to win are pretty much the same, unless someone unexpected comes out of the other half. And on that note, Jonathan, predicting Fedal and Djoker don’t take it out, who do you have in mind? Fognini lol?

    Men’s side been dominated by the same narrative for the past 10 years about who can stop Nadal. And despite Djoker being on cloud 9 this year, slams are different. He’s crumbled under the pressure each time and I wouldn’t be surprised if when the QF between him and Nadal rolls around that Rafa musters the strength and denies him yet again. It would seem that one match could be pretty decisive for both these guy’s careers.

    Roger got gifted a similar draw in 2013 I think and was on his way to hitting rock bottom. Would I like to see him making the final and losing to Nadal/Djoker, probably not but I think it would majorly undermine the work he’s put in the past two years to not come out of his half.

    My prediction: Stan or Berd shit in the final vs. Djoker.

    1. Yeah agreed.

      I write shit about the draws, Fed plays them πŸ™‚

      Fognini is always a potential second weeker clay, the guy is top 10 or even 5 on this surface but it’s just whether he can keep his cool.

      I don’t think you can compare 2013 to this year, Fed was troubled all year with back issues. If he’d crashed and burned when playing at close to 100% with an easy then you could but not when he was hampered.

      1. Haha we all talk shit about draw J πŸ˜€

        And re Fognini, yeah the guy is good on clay but he either makes a deep run or gets out in the first or second round.

        Also yes of course 2013 was very different but you can’t ignore the facts in that he got dealt a great draw and got swept away in straights. Either way that was a blessing in disguise because no one wanted to see another Fedal final in Paris.

    1. No mystical predictions from me, I just thought I’d predict he doesn’t win it. I have no idea if he will or not. Nobody who has beaten Nadal at Roland Garros before has gone onto win the tournament πŸ˜‰

      1. You know, I’ve always thought if Soderling hadn’t contracted severe form of mono, that he might just have done it and he did make the final in 2009 and 2010. There was no love lost between he and Nadal – Wimbledon 2007? I think in a match constantly delayed with rain, when he mimicked Nadal’s pre serve routine; he was winning that match too. But it was a bad mistake, as Wafa got MAD. He’s only 30 now, and I do think though he had the game – and the mentality – to have done the unthinkable, and beaten him twice at RG. : )

  12. I think Roger will breeze through to fourth round, then have a couple of close ones against Monfils and Stan, thus match toughening him for Berdych, whom he would then hit off the court, then a Djokerer final could go either way.

    1. Dunno if he can hit Berdych off the court, but he can certainly beat him by moving him around and not letting him plant his feet to hit his forehand.

  13. A slam can give birth to many surprises. Seemingly Roger is not expecting very much, but you never know. In Jonathan’s predictions Kei was not mentioned. Is Kei in weak form? If he beats Roger (I hope not) he should have a chance this time?

  14. Is it only me, struggling to use RG official website? Great photos but not intuitive!
    When will Fed play 1rd, please?

    1. Sunday I think.

      I quite like the website, big update from last year and they’ve gone for the more mobile / tablet friendly type design. I’ve not had too much difficulty getting around it but unless I’m actually going to a tournament the only pages I’ll ever go on are Draws, Live Scores, Results and News.

      What don’t you like about it?

      1. I do like the design of it! Love the big images. Haha, I spoke too soon as I spend some time getting around, clicking stuff, now it’s not bad at all, sorry. I was just frustrated finding the match schedule had not been updated. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

        So Fed tomorrow then!

  15. If Fed and Monfils get to play then Monfils will be on 2 match winning streak. Has anyone other than fellow members of the big four won 3 in a row against Fed?? Cant imagine it

      1. Wait, my online. Sleuthing led to a whole bunch of players who beat Roger 3 in a row. Nalbandian won his first 5 matches against Roger. Del Potro beat roger three in a row as well. So has kafelnikov.

      2. Enqvist too if you don’t count a walkover. Henman actually won four in a row. Hewitt actually won 3 in a row on 2 different occasions! And here’s a name you wouldn’t expect: Nicolas Kiefer. He won 3 in a row but lost 11 straight after. Nicolas Escude beat Roger thrice consecutively in 01-02. The last one on the list is Agassi. He won the first 3 and lost the last 8. More players than I expected but imagine a list of all the players Rogers beaten three times in a row.

  16. Good post, I like your predictions Jonathan πŸ™‚ Hopefully it won’t be a repeat of 2013. By that I’m meaning Federer doesn’t get eliminated in the same matter as he did against Tsonga πŸ˜‰ What a catastrophic failure that RG campaign was – I remember reading your draw post ‘Federer hits the jackpot’ and having finished it, I’d never felt more optimistic about Fed winning a slam in my whole life! Revisiting that post, those two grinning Fed images showcased the worst of PeRFect Tennis jinxes on the Swiss Maestro πŸ˜€

    1. Haha I just re-read that post, I was in an optimistic mood, but I did put the caveat one match at a time. As we know Fed still hadn’t got over his back issues. Good job he didn’t win the French in 2013 though, might have skipped Halle so I wouldn’t have seen him play πŸ™‚

  17. I don’t have too high hopes for this year’s RG. Roger hasn’t really been a big contender at RG in the last few years. Clay is a brutally honest surface in that it shows the physical decline since his prime more than any other surface. I only hope he gets through the tournament without exerting too much energy, because he will need all his strenght for Wimbledon where he still has a very good chance.

    But then again you never know. If he plays his best, if the conditions are right…well, one can always hope. πŸ™‚

    1. Players are saying that Chartier is playing slower this year. Anyone know the weather forecasted for the next two weeks? Will be very crucial in determining the outcome of Djokodal

  18. Coolest draw for Fed. Probably his best shot at winning the French again. Most Fedfans do not want Fed to meet Rafa generally and more so on clay. However, I hope for a Fed-Rafa final and that Fed gets it done in four and then slumps down crying. Will seal the GOAT debate forever and also the “Oh he won FO because it was not Rafa on the other side” comments.

    Wishful thinking of course, but the best chance to reach the finals and also meet a Rafa not at his claypeak.

    To me Monfils is the only threat.

    1. If Nadal gets 6 best of 5 matches under his belt and one of those ends up being Djokovic, its basically impossible to beat him in the final. That’s why Djoker is quite lucky to have gotten him in his quarter, the earlier the better.

      1. I thought that to take Nadal out it would probably need to be in the QF or so. I just didn’t really expect Djoko to be his opponent there.

      2. I agree with you Alysha. The draw isn’t the best for Fed fans who don’t like RN and ND. The one who comes through that quarter match is going to be rather unstoppable for the rest of the tournament. I don’t like to see either of them wins. Therefore my only hope is one of them doesn’t make it to quarter or it will again be a brutal 6-hr 5 setter πŸ™‚

  19. A very interesting draw. This is no easy path for Roger though, given how poor he has been on clay recently, as many of you may have mentioned. A great chance to make the final, nevertheless, and from there on, it’s about havingone darn good day. With the extra week between Paris and Wimbledon, Roger can actually go for it. You never know!

    As for that much hyped about, and talked about, mother of all Roland Garros quarter finals, if they Djokovic and the “Grand Vermin” make it, I agree with Jonathan that it has to be advantage Djokovic. Nadal is more susceptible earlier. By the time he makes the final, which is usually the case, he absolutely peaks.

    So, here’s hoping.

    Would the French-Wimbledon double, if anyone were to achieve it starting this year, have the same meaning as in the past, given the extra week of rest? I think there was certain challenge to doing it given the short transition time. It would certainly make winning Wimbledon a bit less meaningful in my opinion.

    1. I think the only way Fed wins French Open is somehow he plays god like tennis to get to the final and then in that final plays an exhausted Djokovic or Murray.

  20. Well, well! An opportunity for sure. Much depends on who shows up – which Roger and, assuming both get to r4, which Monfils. If we get a DC Final level Monfils it could be a stunning match. As Roger himself has been saying, also not to discount players in earlier rounds, any one of whom can have an amazing day. And assuming he gets through that, “which Roger” matters even more in later rounds. We saw in Rome that we could have a brilliant Roger one day and a flattish Roger the next, & it won’t do. I wonder about the slump coming the day after playing Stan – did they go out for dinner AFTER the match this time? Not thrilled he might have to play him again here. I am also not so sure Djokovic is going to crumble – this has been a huge goal of his & ties in with his very close relationship with his first coach. If he manages it, I think it likelier he might crumble AFTER.

    Getting pretty punchy with your predictions there aren’t you Jonathan? πŸ˜‰

    Roger has been saying that the conditions are slow and that that favors Rafa (no surprise) but that it also favors HIM, which did kind of surprise me. He also said the balls are different from what they have been using and are quite “dead”. What does that mean in practical terms? They don’t take spin? They don’t bounce as high?

    He has also been talking about the time since 2013, including both the recovery from back problems & the introduction of the new racquet & the association with Edberg, as a kind of continuous arc that he feels is coming to fruition now.

    For those who speak French, the current Le Monde article is outstanding:

    Glad he’s given himself plenty of time to get in some early practice, but puzzled and surprised to once again apparently not have the family here. Maybe they will join him later; I was sure I remembered him saying something about all being together “from Paris on” in an earlier interview.

    1. I thought I saw that comment about “from Paris on” too: I thought along the lines that Madrid and Rome are a bit busy for a family, and it’s less than a week, but they’d be there for Paris? Maybe he just got there early to get some practice on these “very different” courts?

  21. I think Rogers problem for some time is recovering from emotional expenditure as well as physical. That was true following Del Potro in the Olympics, Monfils at the US Open etc. At this stage he like to tick through matches and not be bossed and have to lay it on the line to win and when that happens he does seem to come out flat next match. This draw offers him the chance. Hoping he can do that, make the final and give it his all as he did at Wimbledon last year. Also I think there is an element of that in losing to Djok so easily in Rome – not that there was great emotional expenditure in beating Stan but that he was mentally saving himself for the really big occasion with Djok later in the summer.

    It could be Thiem coming out of the Monfils quarter – which would be an interesting match

    Regarding it being Nadal in final I too would perversely like that but be careful what you wish for ….

    1. Well spotted on Thiem, Ian. This guy is not talked about in the same breath as the likes of Krrgios, Coric and the emerging teenagers ( Chung, Kokkinakis, Zverev, Rublev and Ymer ) but I think that is a mistake. I will mention three great ‘older’ talents in Bellucci, Klizan and Dolgololov, who despite their prodigious talent, have to date not achieved what they are capable of. Three guys who are up-and-coming and not mentioned much are in my opinion, are serious and very mature players for their age, and I include Thiem here. I put Vesely and Goffin in the same group. Make no mistake about it: if Thiem ( and not Cuevas ) gets to face Monfils, Monfils will need to be ready as Thiem is more than capable of taking him out. And hopefully for Roger too as Roger would probably be a step too far for Thiem – at the moment!

      1. Thiem just won his first title in Nice against Mayer in the final. It was a pretty long match, but will certainly give him a ‘lift’. One would imagine that Monfils will have a little too much for him, but if that knee is still a little dodgy, then Thiem could certainly benefit from that. From what I’ve seen Thiem is a pretty tough cookie; a great attitude, fit, determined and ambitious.

  22. The tennis gods has called for my unbiased analysis expertise once again! πŸ˜›

    Looking at Federer’s projected draw, from what I hear on MTF’s side, everyone is saying that Federer has a real good shot at reaching the final on paper. Considering the failures he had in Wimbledon and US Open last year which the draws were more generous, I won’t hold my breath on this prediction just yet. This is actually a TOUGH draw for Federer when taking into CONTEXT on Federer’s form on clay and his matchups against other opponents for the last year or so.

    R1: Falla

    Don’t sleep on this guy. We all had a heart attack when Federer came close to crashing out of R1 Wimbledon against him and being a lefty is sure to make a tough opposition for Fed on this surface. He also took a set of Federer in the olympics, and pushed Federer into 2 tiebreaks at Halle so the fact that he can make it tough on his best surface is indicative of what’s to come.

    Don’t be surprised if Federer wins this in 4 sets in his opening match tonight.

    R2: Granollers

    Gruntnollers is a joke. All grunt and no game. Next.

    R3: Karlovic

    Karlovic when he’s 100% servebotting mode is literally one of the scariest things to come up against for Federer barring Nadal on clay since the match is hanging on his racquet. Very few players can do that against him in terms of influence of an outcome.

    But since this is on Clay and not on hard/indoors, the threat is less imminent and Dr.Ivo’s return is pretty poor, so as long if Federer gets through his service games; take the pressure of and focus on his returning, he should do fine.

    R4: Monfils

    This is far and away one of the toughest opponents for Federer outside the Big 4 in slams. We all know how much of an all court player Monfils is when he’s not clowning, the biggest thing to note is that Monfils has won the last 2 clay court encounters without Federer taking a SET. And if you count the previous slam meeting as well which was the US Open where Monfils nearly won, Federer has his work cut out for him.

    Being played at the French crowd will also be tougher for Federer. I actually call for Federer to lose to Monfils in R4 but he needs to get through his matches first. Clownfils can always make an appearance at the early stages of grand slams.

    QF: Wawrinka

    Another very tough opponent for Federer. If we exclude the beatdown at Rome recently, Wawrinka has pushed Federer in their last 3 encounters. Stan the Man when’s he redlining is a huge threat for Federer and if Stan manages to reach the QF, you know he’s peaking dangerously at the right time.

    Again, like Monfils, these guys might not even reach this stage due to their inconsistencies match-wise.

    SF: Berdych

    Federer’s beatdown of Birdshit at Rome kinda gave me a funny impression that this year, Berdych is playing better against outside the Top 10 but worse than within Top 10. Normally, I should be very worried since Berdych; a classic power-hitter like Gulbis RG 2014 could overwhelm a declined Federer on this surface. If Federer gets through all his matches cleanly up until SF, then Federer could confidently exploit Berdych’s awkward vertical movement on clay.

    F: Djokovic/Murray/Nadal

    Well it’s a lottery who Federer could get in the final assuming he reaches there. The top of the draw is clearly the spotlight right now and Federer would be the underdog from 2 of the 3 players listed there. Let’s hope for the best for Federer. I won’t make such judgements just yet here since the top half draw can turn out very chaotic.

      1. Karlovic out against Baghdatis; Youzhny out also – and his frustration spilled out with a real smacking of his face with the racquet – crazy Russian! No great threats though I guess. Now all we need is for Monfils to be knocked out and Feds’ cup will truly runneth over!

  23. I hope he does deep into 2nd week, draw is decent for him to make a good run. Not looking much beyond his first match this Sunday. However I will be watching with great interest top Djoker/Murray/Nadal section.

    1. Yeah, that was terrible Nath – bloody French security – absolutely crap. Remember 2009 and that guy with the flag? Waste of space those security blokes. Harmless kid, but there are some crazy people out there.

      1. As Roger said: “it’s good to be in suit and tie but that’s not enough”. He managed it quite well!

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