Monday, June 1, 2009

French Open: Quarterfinal Preview

After an insane fourth round, eight men have made it into the quarterfinals. One of the more surprising fourth round victims is 4-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal yesterday losing in four sets while Roger Federer was two sets down and needed five sets to move on. Crazy indeed.


Nikolay Davydenko [10] vs. Robin Soderling [23]
Andy Murray [3] vs. Fernando Gonzalez [12]
Juan Martin Del Potro [5] vs. Tommy Robredo [16]
Roger Federer [2] vs. Gael Monfils

Apart from predicting Federer to waltz right into the finals en route to finally FINALLY getting his golden fleece, his Holy Grail, his WMDs, his copy of the last Harry Potter book weeks before it was to be published, it's a hard call. Please note my facetiousness here since it will NOT be a waltz for Federer. Yes, it's been five years since he's lost to anybody at Roland Garros not named Nadal, but the other guys cannot be discounted at all.

Davydenko has made the semifinals here twice. Can he take out Nadal-vanquisher Soderling? Can veterans Gonzalez and Robredo use their experience and clay-court savvy to take it to youngs gun Murray and Del Potro respectively? And finally, can Federer survive against Monfils and the fickle and vocal French home crowd? Look what it did to Nadal just days before!

Predictions: Federer will face Robredo in the semis while Davydenko and Gonzalez or Murray (can't decided!) fight it out on the other end. Federer will then face winner of Gonzalez/Murray for the French Open title.

For the women, Safina, Wiliams, and Sharapova continues to astound. For Safina she's lost a total of 5 games (!) in four rounds. That's complete and utter domination. For Williams, it's been a rollercoaster, but she's through like the champion she is. And finally Sharapova keeps exceeding her and everyone else's expectations by still being alive in the draw. A few noteworthy losses during the fourth round are the two Serbian women, Jelena Jankovic and defending champion Ana Ivanovic.


Dinara Safina [1] vs. Victoria Azarenka [9]
Dominika Cibulkova [20] vs. Maria Sharapova
Samatha Stosur [30] vs. Sorna Cirstea
Serena Williams [2] vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova [7]

Can Sharapova and Stosur continue their storybook runs? Will first time quarterfinalists Cubulkova and Cirstea find it deep within themselves to defeat the veterans? Can Azarenka and Kuznetsova derail the Safina and Williams flood of dominance?

Prediction: Safina will face Cibulkova in the semis while Williams take on Stosur. Safina and Williams will then contend for the title with Safina winning her maiden Grand Slam title.

Let's just see how wrong I am, shall we?

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