Wednesday, June 6, 2012

French Open 2012 So Far

The second Grand Slam tournament of the year has been going on for ten days. Interestingly enough, that's also how long I lasted in the suicide pool being taken out by Andy Murray's lost today. Neither here nor there! Now with the tennis world focused on the red clays of Roland Garros, here are just some of the storylines of the tournament...

Ups and Downs for American Women

Through their first 10 matches, American women went 10-0 including some impressive wins from young players against seeded layers. Of course, it also set up the improbable upset of Serena Williams in the first round, her earliest lost ever from a Grand Slam. With all of this said, there's a handful of women who was looking to do well to qualify for the Olympics including Venus Williams. Will be interested to see where all of that settles.

Top Women Struggle

Along with Serena, former champions fail to reach the latter stages including Francescha Schiavone, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Ana Ivanovic, and defending champion Li Na. World no. 1 Victoria Azarenka also crashed early as well as Agnieszka Radwanska, Marion Bartoli, Jelena Jankovic and Caroline Wozkiacki.

Newcomers and Comebacks

Here are just a few names making their presence known by making it as far as they did. There's David Goffin who took out Radek Stepanek in the first round and played his childhood idol Federer hard in the fourth round. There are Sloane Stephens and Varvara Lepchenko, the two Americans to make it furthest in the draw, 4th Round, losing to eventual semifinalists. Or how about Yaroslava Shvedova, ranked 142, making it all the way to the QF and Nicolas Mahut getting some nice revenge on Americans in a big stage by taking out Andy Roddick in the first round? Finally there's Brian Baker, who came back to the game just last year and after a few weeks of non-stop winning including his run through qualifying and the 2nd round of the French Open, he's never been higher.

The Final Eight and Predictions

So after ten days, out of the 256 men and women 8 remain, the final four guys and the final four women. The final four guys are no strangers. Top seed Novak Djokovic is looking to complete a career Grand Slam while second seed and clay king Rafael Nadal is trying to get his record 7th French Open crown. Former champ Roger Federer is looking to win his first major since 2010 Australian Open and David Ferrer is celebrating reaching his first French Open SF. In the women's side Maria Sharapova, like Djokovic, is looking to complete a career Grand Slam (and recapture the #1 ranking) while Petra Kvitova and Sam Stosur want to get back on top after lackluster results post their Grand Slam results last year. Finally, Sara Errani took out two previous French Open champions and now reaches her first ever major semifinals. All eyes will be on Sharapova-Kvitova and Djokovic-Federer since they look to be the blockbuster match-up the tournament has been waiting for. The winner of that woman's match should be seen as the favorite to win the whole thing while Nadal WILL win regardless of who he is facing. That's just the truth.

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