Federer Gets Dream French Open Draw, Could Meet Djokovic In SF; Nadal With Ferrer, Almagro
by Staff | May 23rd, 2014, 7:21 am
  • 137 Comments

Roger Federer has to be all smiles today following the release of the 2014 French Open men’s draw. The 2009 champion drew Tomas Berdych as his highest seed in his quarter. Other seeds in his section Dmitry Tursunov, Mikhail Youzhny and Ernests Gulbis. The Swiss will open against Lukas Lacko.

Eight time champion Rafael Nadal was paired with countrymen Nicolas Almagro and David Ferrer. Nadal could face rising sensation Dominic Thiem in the second round potential Grigor Dimitrov if the the Bulgarian can upset Ferrer in the fourth round.

Nadal’s semifinal opponent could be either Andy Murray or Stan Wawrinka. Ailing Frenchmen Richard Gasquet and Gael Monfils are also in the section along with clay veterans Fernando Verdasco and Fabio Fognini.

Novak Djokovic’s journey to a career Slam could take him through Marin Cilic, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Milos Raonic. Kei Nishikori is also in the section. Djokovic will open against Joao Sousa.

[1] Nadal v Ginepri
Mathieu v Thiem
Qualifier v Mayer
Gabashvili v [30] Pospisil
[21] Almagro v Sock
Johnson v Qualifier
Lajovic v Delbonis
Zopp v [16] Haas

[11] Dimitrov v Karlovic
Qualifier v Brands
Michon v Klahn
Robert v [19] Anderson
[32] Seppi v Giraldo
Monaco v Pouille
Qualifier v Qualifier
Sijsling v [5] Ferrer

[3] Wawrinka v Garcia-Lopez
Mannarino v Lu
Young v Sela
Qualifier v [26] Lopez
[23] Monfils v Hanescu
Olivetti v Struff
Becker v Bellucci
Qualifier v [14] Fognini

[12] Gasquet v Tomic
Hewitt v Berlocq
Ebden v Cuevas
Llodra v [24] Verdasco
[28] Kohlschreiber v Riba
Stakhovsky v Istomin
Matosevic v Brown
Golubev v [7] Murray

[6] Berdych v Qualifier
Devvarman v Nedovyesov
Falla v Paire
Qualifier v [27] Bautista-Agut
[17] Robredo v Qualifier
Montanes v De Schepper
Mahut v Kukushkin
Herbert v [10] Isner

[15] Youzhny v Carreno Busta
Stepanek v Arguello
Qualifier v Benneteau
Kubot v [18] Gulbis
[31] Tursunov v Qualifier
Volandri v Querrey
Qualifier v Qualifier
Lacko v [4] Federer

[8] Raonic v Kyrgios
Rosol v Vesely
Russell v Gonzalez
Qualifier v [29] Simon
[20] Dolgopolov v Ramos
Dodig v Granollers
Haase v Davydenko
Klizan v [9] Nishikori

[13] Tsonga v Roger-Vasselin
Goffin v Melzer
Nieminen v Przysiezny
Estrella Burgos v [22] Janowicz
[25] Cilic v Andujar
Qualifier v Kamke
Chardy v Gimeno-Traver
Sousa v [2] Djokovic


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Nicolas Alamgro Has Lost All 12 Matches With David Ferrer, But He Will Fight On Tuesday
Will Federer Play Paris? For Now He’s In The Draw Along With Djokovic And Murray
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137 Comments for Federer Gets Dream French Open Draw, Could Meet Djokovic In SF; Nadal With Ferrer, Almagro

Shailesh Says:

Yet another easy draw for Nadal!! This guy seems to be super lucky when it comes to draws!


wilfried Says:

6th seed Thomas Berdych got drawn in Federer’s quarter of the draw.
In other words, in 32 straight consecutive draws the 6th seed has been drawn in the second, third or 4th quarter of the draw (as the last time he has been drawn in the same quarter of the 1st seed goes all the way back to 1982 !)
Question : What’s the odds of such an outcome ?


wilfried Says:

I meant of course 32 consecutive Roland Garros draws.


Michael Says:

From the look of it, it does appear that Novak’s draw is the toughest and is strewn with thorny patches while Rafa and Roger have relatively easy draw to navigate. It is not a good piece of news for Novak initially, but we have seen in the past tricky draws becoming ordinary with elimination of players in earlier rounds. So, Novak has some hope that things might turn his way. Nevertheless, he would still fancy himself to become the French Emperor soon.


Ben Pronin Says:

Once again tennis proves itself to be the dumbest sport when placing seeds in the draw.


van orten Says:

as much as i like djoker . if fed is hot he could spoil the Party big time only to lose to nadal in the final. kinda shizophrenic for us fed fans . nadal? the best draw he could possibly get. i wanted fed in his just to make sure djoker gets to the final .. it is as it is .


Daniel Says:

Don’t think Djoko’s deaw is that bad apart feom Federer i the semis.
He got Raonic which although improved is the seed with less chances to reach quarters in my view. He avoid Murray and Wawrinka whom beat him in reent Slams.
Nishikorin is in the same quarter of Raonic so he will have to deal with ony one of them.

Fed has an easy draw as Berdych is no garantee to be in quarters as well so he could e fresh for a clash with Djoko in the semis.

Nadal also will have to face eiter Murray or Wawa in his semis and this is the only potential risk match. I can’t believe Almagro in Round of 16 or Ferrer / Dimitrov in quarters could beat him best of 5. Will see.

So, all Fed, Nadal and Djoko got easier as ty will habe to beat only 2 of each other in order to win, if they all go that far. Murrya or Wawa will have to beat 3 of the “new big 5″: each other, Nadal and than Fed or Djoko in the final.

I think this RG we’ll see the seeds go deep. The potential tricky matches were kind of eliminated along the way.


lylenubbins Says:

Djokovic Nishikori – - what a match-up!


leo Says:

Fed’s draw looking easy? Have you seen Nadal’s?

Sure, Ferrer beat him on clay this year, but not happening here. And Thiem? Maaaaybe he’ll get 4 in a set, that’s it.

Fed better watch out for Gulbis, if they both meet. When on song, could hit him right off the court.


leo Says:

Quarter #7 is a bad neighborhood! Not sure who’s coming out of there.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Rafa has to go through the 4 last players to beat him!
Almagro round of 16
Ferrer quarters
Wawrinka semis
Novak finals.

Plus a test against Thiem early.

I would say, as far as Rafa CAN face a challenge at RG, this is it. Don’t see how it could have fallen any tougher frankly, unless you snuck Kei in there!

Murray has a dream draw- no one to challenge him before quarters, except possibly Gasquet 4th round, but by then he should be well into form. And even Wawrinka is one of the 2 “easy” quarterfinal seeds.

Wawrinka too seems to have an easier path to Murray, in fact, I think Wawrinka has an awesome chance to make the semis here, then Rafa! What a fun match that could be.

Yes, Fed has a cush draw too. Until Berdych, which I think is a great matchup for Fed on clay.

Novak gets Chardy, Cilic, Tsonga on the way to Raonic.

To me, Rafa has the hardest path, then Novak. Murray Fed and Wawrinka have easy draws.

Is this how UPSETS start?


James Says:

Stan seems to have to have the easiest path to semi finals. Roger’s is easy too except if he meets Berdych who’s beaten him in their previous 2 Slam meetings iirc.

Nadal’s path is a bit tricky as well. Novak wouldn’t want to face Tsonga and Nishikori back to back. If Kei brings his Madrid-Barcelona form to Paris which he should, I think he’s in to cause a few upsets.

In the end, the two best players of the tournament will be in the finals.


James Says:

If Djokovic-Nishikori happens, it would be a very good match. They’re two of the fastest and most balanced players on tour imo. And they’re both excellent against the 2nd serves of their opponents. I hope this match up happens regardless of how it turns out.


Ben Pronin Says:

Nishikori is a big question mark. Tsonga is half the player he was even a year ago. Murray definitely lucked out but if Wawrinka is playing well I think he wins that one. However, Wawrinka is dealing with his own injury and poor form. Almagro is not going to challenge Nadal here, that’s an absolute joke. Ferrer could maybe steal a set for a change, but he’s not winning that, either. Berdych has been very up and down this year, but so has Federer. Just going to call that a toss-up until we see their form leading in. I think Djokovic will end up facing Raonic and that’ll be another tough one, possibly 4 sets. Berdych in the semis would probably be a huge delight but if Federer makes it then, again, it’ll depend on the form leading in. I’m just going to say right now I want Djokovic to win that match because Federer will not beat Nadal in the final. At least Djokovic has a legitimate chance.


Ben Pronin Says:

I don’t get the hype of a Nishikori-Djokovic match. I like Nishikori a lot but he’s basically a lesser version of Djokovic. If he’s fit then I could see maybe 4 sets.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

By H2H or ANY measure there is no possible tough road for Rafa to the finals.
But facing the last 4 players to beat him? That’s at least interesting, no?


Hippy Chic Says:

Didnt take long for people to start whining about the draw,or should i say Rafas draw?the mans won the title 8 times,he could beat most players most years,with both arms tied behind his back,blind folded,stood on one leg,roller skating through treacle on clay,and yet he still gets crucified about the draw,he may win the title this year and he may not,but surely now he nothing left to prove anymore jeez????


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Hipp, I got your back here!


Hippy Chic Says:

TV do you mean you got my back up?if thats what you meant,your posts never get my back up as they are always fair and balanced,i was by the one at the top of the thread,also read some on the other thread,before this one came up….


volley Says:

according to this quote no one is talking about the real contender:-

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BoUiperIYAAUfar.jpg

no shortage of confidence in swtizerland. they must add it tothe water with fluoride. the matches are always on their racquets o_o


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Hippy, its an expression that means I’m on your side in the fight, protecting your back.


Margot Says:

@volley
Just read that. Oh my goodness….ooof! did he really say that? Certainly throwing down the gauntlet.


Hippy Chic Says:

Tennis Vagabond lol,sorry not always up on tennis-x lingo,many thanks though….


Hippy Chic Says:

If not for Rafa here at RG, or Andy at Wimbledon,i would pull for Stan to do the CCGS,it would be a fantastic achievement for somebody to do it,and Stan has a head start,but i love Rafa and Andy too much,to want him to do that?


van orten Says:

ben federer up and down ??? he reached only finals and semis except for Miami and his rhythm was interrupted when he had to miss Madrid because his twins were born so he lost to chardy having match Point. clearly one of the best Players this year


Margot Says:

@Kimberly
Thank you for doing that :) Just had a peep. The first round is hard! And probably the second and….
@Hippy Chicky
It’s why some people like to sit facing the door, they are afraid of getting stabbed in the back!


Ben Pronin Says:

What did he say? I can’t open the link.

Federer’s form has been iffy. He barely beat Tsonga in MC. He lost a from a winnable position to Wawrinka. He played an awful tiebreaker in IW. He still has that awful loss to Hewitt in Brisbane. And there was the no contest against Nadal in Australia. His results have picked up but I’m not convinced of his form being as steady as it needs to be to go all the way. And quite honestly, I just hope he wins Wimbledon this year. So long as he has a healthy French Open, it’s ok.


andrea Says:

roger could surprise here, but he hasn’t had a lot of matches on clay. if he finds his rhythm in the early stages of RG (and based on his draw, he should – in theory – be able to).

the problem is, i don’t want him to make it all the way if nadal does as well. that match is pre destined for failure.

i’d love it if gulbis finally had a breakthrough and made it all the way, but that seems unlikely.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Ben, you have to believe brother!


volley Says:

@Ben

he said: “i know that whoever i’m going to play against, i can defeat them all. it depends very much on me”


skeezer Says:

Stan has backed up those words. Not an issue. Can he do it again though?


Voicemale1 Says:

The best thing that could’ve happened to Djokovic is to get Federer as his potential SF foe. Think about it from RF’s perspective for a minute. He’s 32, so he has to be judicious about where he expends energy now. If he reaches the SF, he knows there is no way he can take out both Djokovic AND Nadal to win RG, and then have any prayer of doing remotely well – let alone win – at Wimbledon 2 weeks later. And I’m guessing Federer will want to be at his very best at Wimbledon as opposed to RG. Roger would much rather have to face Djokovic at Wimbledon, where Federer’s vicious cross court Slice will severely hamper the Djokovic Backhand all day long. Federer is FAR more likely to take out Djokovic on grass than on clay. In fact Federer would even rather face Nadal on grass than anywhere else, since that’s the only surface where Federer has a leading H2H against Nadal. It would have been worse for Djokovic had he drawn someone like Wawrinka as a potential SF foe since Wawrinka beat him last time in Best of Five, also has a win in a Masters 1000 clay event this year, and would likely play Djokovic much more toe-to-toe. The fact Djokovic got Federer only helps him since Federer is likely to use RG to get some matches in him before what I’d guess is his real target: Wimbledon. And my guess is Djokovic fully understands that, and he’s happy that it’s Federer and not Stan, since Stan would play him much more heartily.


Ben Pronin Says:

Wawrinka said that?

VM1, I don’t think Federer thinks that way.


ertorque Says:

@wilfried
Assuming that the putting the 6th seed in the 4 quarters is random, the probability of not landing in the same quarter as the top seed for 32 consecutive years is (3/4) raised to the power of 32 which works out to be 0.00010045242.

Looks like it’s not a random event.


Voicemale1 Says:

“VM1, I don’t think Federer thinks that way.”

Well, why does it matter what you think about how Federer thinks :). Go back to the Federer Djokovic RG SF 2012. Federer was up a break in all three sets they played that day. Federer had no intention of losing to Nadal in yet another RG Final – since he’d lost his 4th one to him the year before. And Federer manager to give back the breaks in each set to Djokovic, then proceed to give him one more in two of those sets for good measure. And as a side note to all this? Federer showed up at Wimbledon in 2012- and walked off with the title. Just sayin’ :)


gonzalowski Says:

The Ferrer – Dimi R16 match looks for sure to happen, and then presumible QF against Rafa.
Last year Fed wasn’t a factor to win RG, in 2014?
it would be the goating goattitude’s goateness!


Ben Pronin Says:

I think he played like garbage in that semi. He had played like garbage throughout the event. And he was injured when Wimbledon started.


Hippy Chic Says:

Especially With an off colour Rafa and this looking like the year hes at his most vulnerable,i dont buy that Roger wont want to win RG when the chance of a second career GS is a possibility? he won it in 2009 err just saying….


Voicemale1 Says:

“I think he played like garbage in that semi. He had played like garbage throughout the event. And he was injured when Wimbledon started.”

_________________________________________________

Right. Right. Right. Djokovic losses are just to be ignored, excused, wiped away. Only when he wins is he to be exalted as the greatest player on earth. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Yawn.

If they meet in the RG SF, mark this down: Federer WILL lose to Djokovic. If these two meet at Wimbledon, mark this down too: Federer WILL Slice and Carve up the Djokovic Backhand into mincemeat, and send Djokovic packing. Over and out :).


RZ Says:

Several years later, I’m still looking to find Federer in the #2 slot (it also took me forever to remember that he wasn’t in that #1 slot). Old habits die hard…


Voicemale1 Says:

@ Hippy Chic:

” he won it in 2009 err just saying….”

Interesting theory. And sounds plausible. But again, Roger is 32. And regardless of message board fandom from any of us, 32 in tennis is limiting. It’s about recovery – you don’t bounce back from matches physically they way you can at 25, or ever 27, 28. For you assessment to be a goal of Federer’s means whatever he exerts to win any Rafa-less RG title will pile up in his body. He still has to play Halle the following week, and then Wimbledon a week later where his 2nd Round loss last year really hurt him. So while it’s plausible on the face of it, I still bet Federer wants to play any of these guys on grass – HIS best surface – than on clay where he doesn’t have that much advantage.


wilfried Says:

@Etorque.
Thanks for your reply to my question. It doesn’t seem random to me either.


Hippy Chic Says:

Voicemale 1 fair enough,lets just say you have your opinion,and i have mine….


Ben Pronin Says:

I wasn’t praising Djokovic for that win. He played like garbage, too, just held a little more steady. How he won the second set, I still don’t really understand but it is what it is.

I also remember the Wimbledon semi and it was one of my favorite matches. I thought both guys played great with Federer being a little tougher in the big moments.

Pretty bold predictions, though. Can you share the crystal ball?


Ben Pronin Says:

He doesn’t HAVE to play Halle. I think if Nadal loses at any point before Federer plays, it’ll make Federer go all out. If he knows Nadal is waiting for him in the final, I can agree that he won’t go nuts to try to win, but that doesn’t mean he’ll just roll over for Djokovic or whoever. And what if it isn’t Djokovic? What if it’s Nishikori or something?


RZ Says:

H&M doesn’t seem to have much faith in Berydch doing well at RG. They’ve outfitted him for a tropical vacation: http://the-slice.com/2014/05/fashion-focus-berdych-summer-2014-hm-collection/


van orten Says:

ben u still set the bar very high for fed if a final loss is iffy an up and down. most top ten Players lose way before the quarters on a regular Basis


the DA Says:

“it depends very much on me”

Hmm…bold statement Stan.


Voicemale1 Says:

“He doesn’t HAVE to play Halle. I think if Nadal loses at any point before Federer plays, it’ll make Federer go all out. If he knows Nadal is waiting for him in the final, I can agree that he won’t go nuts to try to win, but that doesn’t mean he’ll just roll over for Djokovic or whoever. And what if it isn’t Djokovic? What if it’s Nishikori or something?”

————————————————-

I’ll say this once more: FEDERER IS 32! You just don’t have that many matches in your legs at 32 than you do when you’re 27. Period. Federer has long said – and did again in his press conference today, just for consistency’s sake – clay is a surface for the long matches because your Serve doesn’t save you. For him – a player who is NOT a grinder like Djokovic or Nadal – he can’t grind and grind all day like they can. He relies on his terrific Serve to get him out of trouble. That works FAR better on grass than clay. Suppose Nadal loses, so what? Federer will likely have to go through Djokovic in 4-5 sets IF he manages to do that (which is unlikely because the surface suits a grinder). But even still, if he has to face Stan – who already beat him in Monte Carlo – Federer would take whatever physical reserves he has and chase something he’s by no means guaranteed to win. He already has his Career Slam. And add this, if he wins another Wimbledon (his own personal favorite event), he breaks his tie with Sampras as holder of 7 Wimbledons. He’d stand alone with 8 Open Era titles there, a record for Wimbledon. When you add in that the players there are already saying the First Week’s weather at RG is looking hideous, so with no roof the schedule is likely to get crushed, well, I maintain my RF position on RG. Phoning it in.

You can believe what you like. Experience tells me that Federer knows he can’t pile up too many taxing matches in his 32 year old body and expect to do well in all of them. He could when he was dominant. He can’t anymore. Nadal has discovered this too. He won’t be able to empty out during the clay season like he has for 10 years and still have enough left to get through both RG and Wimbledon. And let’s remember about Wimbledon for Nadal too – he loves that place almost as much as Federer, having been to 5 Finals there and winning twice. His last two Wimbys were early losses. So his form having gotten better in both Madrid & Rome with each match might be designed to have him ready to once again to make a serious run at both events. Nadal will play better at this RG than he has at any of the clay run-ups. If he improves from match to match during RG, then it will take a super effort to beat him. My bottom line about RF is unchanged: RG is practice, Wimbledon the prize.


Ben Pronin Says:

Federer set the bar high for himself. And Djokovic and Nadal have matched/surpassed it. So for Federer to do well or win, he has to hit that bar.


Ben Pronin Says:

Then why not skip RG all together if he’s not going to try and win it and it’s too taxing?

“So his form having gotten better in both Madrid & Rome with each match might be designed to have him ready to once again to make a serious run at both events.”

This implies that he purposely played crappy.


roy Says:

”From the look of it, it does appear that Novak’s draw is the toughest and is strewn with thorny patches while Rafa and Roger have relatively easy draw to navigate.”

so nadal has two of the TOP clay courters in ferrer and almagro before the SF, players who just BEAT HIM, and he’s got an easy draw compared to fed and djoker?

yes, it’s another one of those ‘easy’ nadal draws because he doesn’t play djoker in the third round or something.


Ben Pronin Says:

“yes, it’s another one of those ‘easy’ nadal draws because he doesn’t play djoker in the third round or something.”

LOL I was going to say this before, too, in that the only way Nadal could have a tough draw at the French is if he played Djokovic in at least 3 of the rounds. I mean after a decade’s worth of dominance, you couldn’t fix a tough draw for him no matter how hard you tried, on paper anyway. We have no idea how things will play out considering this crazy year.

But Almagro is not a TOP clay court player.


Voicemale1 Says:

“Then why not skip RG all together if he’s not going to try and win it and it’s too taxing?”

It’s like no one here can have their point of view if it disagrees with yours, and then you want to ankle bit everybody to death. You leave no one any option other than to say: “OK Tennis-x, everyone pull for Djokovic because he’s my guy and I want him to win”. Just shut up already. Sheesh.


Ben Pronin Says:

I think you get a lot more offended when someone disagrees with you than I do. My statement has nothing to do with Djokovic. If Federer reaches the semis playing well, I don’t see him rolling over. I don’t even disagree about the age being a huge factor in this. It certainly is and it has been for a while. But then why play at all if it’s too taxing? Like I said, I don’t think Federer thinks in terms of “let me reach the semis and save myself.” If he’s made it as far as the semis, why wouldn’t he push himself to win 2 more matches? There’s just no way he’d shy away from winning another slam, even if it’s not his favorite Wimbledon.

And I do think he’s gearing up for a big Wimbledon run. He always has, that’s his MO. But considering how tough recovering is for him, I feel like a semifinal showing would warrant a Halle withdrawal anyway.

Excuse me for not believing that a guy who’s won 17 majors is going to go all the way to the semis of one then say “screw it, I’m out!”


Candace Says:

What a moronic article!!!! NADAL is in Fed’s half of the draw, Bozo, NOT Djoker!


Daniel Says:

Agree with Voicemale1, for Fed RG is practice and not spent too much energy.

But also agree in part with Ben. If Nadal loses early, the open is there for Federer. He was the only player who won RG in the last 9 years not named Nadal and there is no guarantee Djoko will be in the semis or Stan in the final. The seeds can all go down and the tourney open for him.

But indeed, if they get to play the semis, Fed will lose in 3 or 4, specially if he knows Nadal would be in the final already. Similar mentality I think Murray will have to. By second week will know more about Fed’s future chances in this year RG.


Voicemale1 Says:

“Like I said, I don’t think Federer thinks in terms of “let me reach the semis and save myself.”

__________________________________________________

This statement from the guy who has no problem at all believing Djokovic tanked his match in Rome last year against Berdych, 4 points away from winning. Serious Eye Roll LOL.


Ben Pronin Says:

Tanking in a slam semi against a big rival vs tanking a qf Masters against Berdych…


Daniel Says:

A Slam is a Slam, no one knows what will happened when in a Slam final. What if Nadal had another injury in a possible final versus Fed in RG?! I know…Fed won’t have this lucky. LOL!!


Voicemale1 Says:

“Tanking in a slam semi against a big rival vs tanking a qf Masters against Berdych…”

————————————————

Parsing like this makes you look even more ridiculous LOL.


Ben Pronin Says:

I feel like you’re just trolling me at this point.


Voicemale1 Says:

“I feel like you’re just trolling me at this point.”

_____________________________________________

No. You just make yourself such an easy target with the silliness you write here.


contador Says:

@Kimberly!

Thanks for setting up the bracket challenge on GTN! I left you a message there. It’s about me not being able to make the picks. What am I doing wrong? Um…

Do you need to send me a confirmation email or does it just take some patience? lol…

_____________________

My man Gulbis is into the Nice Final! Go Ernests!


Ben Pronin Says:

I guess so but you’ve done a great job of matching me silly comment for silly comment. You just happen to have an elevated superiority complex compared to me.


RZ Says:

Candace – the link to the draw is here: http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/scores/draws/ms/msdraw.pdf

Nadal and Wawrinka are in the top half; Djokovic and Federer are in the bottom half.


Voicemale1 Says:

“You just happen to have an elevated superiority complex compared to me.”

_________________________________________________

True. It’s because you disagree with what I say just for the sake of it, rather than back up your arguments with analyzable data. You just offer opinion vs. opinion. Such as: the 2012 RG tournament – to you – was Djokovic just playing terribly, so you claim that’s why he lost. Here’s another view on that 2012 Final. The NBC cameras were inside the area leading to Chartrier during one of the rain delays on the Sunday (the last one before they postponed the match to the next day). The camera was focused on Nadal – laying down flat on his back – with not a bag of ice but a HUGE BLOCK of ice strapped to his elevated left knee, watching highlights to that stage. The same knee that in 3 weeks time would send him to Majorca for 8 months of rehab. So, however poorly you think Djokovic played (which is seriously dubious at best), what can be said of Nadal is he basically beat Djokovic in the 2012 Final on 1 leg, since he only had 1 of them at 100%. This isn’t just conjecture, since the NBC camera basically showed him with an iceberg strapped to his knee. It was something like Sampras winning Wimbledon in 2000 on the inflamed shin. The very best just find a way to fight through it.


mat4 Says:

Just my two cents in that exchange of posts.

Djokovic played an awful clay season in 2012. It is easy to check his stats in tennis abstract, compare his average stats against Rafa in the period 2011-2014 with those in MC and RG 2012.

And I also watched that match a few times. Novak started swinging freely in the third set, and Rafa got even more nervous that he probably was. The behaviour of both players was a disgrace — Novak breaking the bench, Rafa throwing a ball at the umpire. Uncle Toni almost walked on the court. The behaviour of the organizers was a disgrace too.

It was one of the ugliest GS final I have ever seen.


Kimberly Says:

Just picked my bracket. Hope everyone else does too. Its actually an intriguing draw. See Isner and Mahut will likely play!

http://www.globaltennisnetwork.com/tennis-tournaments/bracket-challenges/bracket-challenge-page/myBracketPage/573-tennis-x-fans-unite

Come on all, lets do it!


Humble Rafa Says:

Draws are made in Heaven. We don’t complain about them. We just do our best and leave the rest.

- Philosopher Humble


Goatexpert Says:

When Nadal came back after the 6 month break last year, he was suddenly very fresh, had tons of energy, and upto the US Open 2013, produced remarkable tennis. Since then, he’s been 49-10. Not bad, but not great either, with losses to many lower ranked players. In recent months he really looks out of it.

Perhaps he needs another one of those “cooling off periods” – it is said that it takes 6 months or so for certain “meds” to fully get out of your system. He’s been taking those break quite periodically.

Neither you nor I can know the truth. We can only look at the information in front of us and see what explains it best. So don’t talk crap that you KNOW he doesn’t do it!

Time for another “injury” for him, followed by another prolonged break.


contador Says:

Come on all Tennis-X’ers that like to pick. Kimberly’s bracket is the place to be right now; create your masterpiece bracket!

Mat4
Daniel
Gilles
Humble Rafa
Kimmi
Jane
Wog boy
Courbon
skeezer
michael
Ben Pronin
Voiscemale1
Sean Randall
Tom Gainey
Tennis Vagabond
roy
Dari
Andrea
Nadalista
Madmax
Okiegal
All posters (new or old), and their aliases, and lurkers are welcome

Test your picking skills against friend and foe alike :D
leave a message or some smack talk in the comment section.
everyone….


mat4 Says:

I wrote a few times that Rafa can’t sustain for a long time the tension in connection with repeated losses, with a situation he can’t solve. He somatizes it somehow, makes it physical. All his injuries come after a period of crisis, when he faced with a challenge, mostly in the moment he managed to reverse the situation.

The challenge of his career is Djokovic. It is not only the results: but the way they play: Novak attacking, Rafa fighting for every ball. The quantity of adrenaline Rafa summons in those matches is exceptional.

The decompression after such periods, strangely, is always reflected in a physical way: in 2009, after that clay spring, in 2012 after a year and a half of searching for answers.

I feel that the Novak-Rafa rivalry is on the verge to destroy their career, such is the burden it puts on their mind. Rafa was twice injured since Novak started to Novak started beating him. Novak almost hasn’t won a slam since he started trying to win that elusive Roland Garros, playing subpar all his GS finals but one.

We often write about the Fedal rivalry, but no rivalry was so loaded as the Rafole one. I deeply hope that Novak will very soon definitely prevail and lose free, although I think that they are both already cursed by that never ending war, and they will get out both broken out of it.


mat4 Says:

I found the Wawa interview in French. The link given by Volley yesterday takes his words out of context and misquotes them.

Stan basically says that he doesn’t walk in the court as an already beaten man, that he says to himself that a lot depends of himself, and that he feels that he has his chance in every match.

His main favourites are Rafa and Novak, by far, and after them, “Rod and himself”.

Here it is:

http://sport24.lefigaro.fr/tennis/roland-garros/actualites/wawrinka-nadal-et-djokovic-sont-les-favoris-695965


Margot Says:

Two big words that might just throw a spanner into the Wimbledon works: Andrew Murray.
I’m hoping Andy gets to the quarters, though I’m not relishing the prospect of Beefy Boy beating him, and gains some very useful points.
Then beetles back to blighty and gets some very useful pre tournament practise on the “green, green, grass of home.”
Go Andy!


Colin Says:

Margot, you may have seen on the BBC website today, that Andy has decided on his new coach. The official announcement will be made after Roland Garros (or at any rate after his participation there).

So I hope we don’t get the announcement too soon!


metan Says:

@humble rafa. You are awesome.
Rafa Nation is standing still, it doesn’t.matter what ever happen.

And here coming number IX . VAMOS RAFA.


Margot Says:

Hi Colin, yes I did see that. Keeping us in suspense, isn’t he?
Still keeping my fingers crossed for Martina. Heard her on the radio talking very enthusiastically about coaching Andy.
She said it would be great to coach someone, “who can do virtually anything on a tennis court.” :)
Think she’d make him come off that damn baseline and use his excellent volleying skills a lot more.


Colin Says:

I agree, Margot; I’d like to see how Martina would do in the job. The thing is, would she commit to all the travelling? When she retired from the Tour, she said she wanted to spend more time with her partner. Are they still together? Martina’s private life has been as dramatic as that of her old friend Chris Evert.

Martina can’t be short of money, so I suppose her partner could travel with her, increasing the size of Andy’s entourage even further.

You could never imagine Andy talking back to Lendl, and somehow I don’t think he’d try it with Navratilova either!


Margot Says:

@ colin
One of the players, can’t remember who, has two coaches. They share the coaching and the travelling. It seems to work very well. Andy’s got his mainstay Dani anyway, perhaps Martina could be persuaded to travel part of the time?
Lol, a bit of wishful thinking going on my part here!


Hippy Chic Says:

Im not arrogant enough to expect Rafa to win the title every year,and i do believe he has a problen when it comes to Novak,whom has had his number recently,but that doesnt mean to say Rafa aint capable of beating him anymore,which everybody seems to think these days,Rafa beat Novak 3 times last year twice on HCs,and once in a HC GS too,OK that was last year,and the pendulum has swung Novaks way since,but whos to say it wont go back in Rafas favour?its not like the Serena and Maria rivalry where Maria beat Serena at Wimbledon a decade ago and hasnt done it since?IMO thats not even a rivalry?this one is much more evenly contested than that?


Kimberly Says:

mat4—-FYI, my husband said he saw one interview and he doesn’t remember by who that categorizes the rafole rivalry and the best in the history of the sport for a number of reasons
1. it is contested, you never know what will happen
2. the number of times they have met
3. the quality of tennis produced
4. the weight of several of the occasions
5. the mental aspect of the fight
6. the physical brutality of the fight.

However, this rivalry is sort of overlooked.


contador Says:

@Kimberly – that is a toughtful analysis. Tell your hubby hello and get him in the Bracket game; Grandma too. Does your mom know who Grigor Dimitrov is?


contador Says:

Left you a message on the bracket challenge HC and had a look at your smart draw. Looks like a winner!

I am very seriously wanting to win the pool prize, lol.

Ajde Nole!


Hippy Chic Says:

Contador thanks i just saw it,and left you a message too,i havent a clue on how to put up pictures on a computer though,i like the picture of you anyway,your much prettier than an overated ex premier league footballer,although you didnt have to take it down sorry,anyway im looking forward to the FO regardless of who wins,it was all pretty random not much thought behind it,but picked Rafa more out of hope rather than expectation,however we will see no?


contador Says:

@Hippy Chic.

Thanks for saying I am pretty : ).

Left you a message. Would you want me to post instructions to upload a photo or avatar here or in the bracket chat?

Very nice to see a face behind the username after all this time ; )


contador Says:

Gulbis and Delbo match is on now.

Go G-bus!


Salleh Ahmed Says:

wtf

4 drop shot winner in a row from gulbis. this guy is such a genius


contador Says:

Ernests Gulbis took the first set easily 6-1.

But Delbo is the real deal, as newcomers go. The match will be even if the Argentine takes this set…

nail-biting 2nd set tie-break in progress :D


mat4 Says:

@Kimberly:

I completely agree — and I am very afraid of the consequences of that endless fight on their psyche and their bodies. For now, they still managed to improve their tennis. But what is next?

And for me, yes, it is the greatest rivalry in tennis ever.


contador Says:

Delbo ahead 3-2 with a mini break

Ernie looks too hot, as in temperature in Nice is not so nice for him.


Hippy Chic Says:

Contador yeah go for it thanks ….


contador Says:

@Sallah Ahmed

5-5 in the tie break! Who will get more nervous, Gulbis or Delbo?


contador Says:

Ernests Gulbis wins the title in Nice…

Love that Gulbinator.

Great second set from Frederico “Delbo” Delbonis!


Thomas Says:

Good win for Gulbis. Let’s see how he does in RG.


Salleh Ahmed Says:

hahhahaah

gulbis has sixth titles already. he will have more than berdych i suppose

new highest ranking also


contador Says:

Maybe I am overly excited, but I think the 6’3″ Delbo has what it – takes. Gulbis is not the only one in the trophy ceremony with charisma!

Aw, G-bus looks so handsome with his beard neatly trimmed. Good to see he cares about his tennis, image, ect…

Very Smart guy, that Gulbis.


Salleh Ahmed Says:

i wann see glubis to win a GS


contador Says:

Me too, Salleh Ahmed!!!!!

Almost gave up on him but I am on cloud nine with him for winning another 250 tournament, for now!


contador Says:

Okay down to business.

Hippy Chic. Not sure which place is more likely where you’d be reading. I am still working out my early round picks.

Here are instructions for uploading a photo or avatar on GTN.

Reminder for the social and sports prediction game types here::

http://www.globaltennisnetwork.com/tennis-tournaments/bracket-challenges/bracket-challenge-page/myBracketPage/573-tennis-x-fans-unite

Click on link. Register, and come out to play FO ATP Bracket challenge. You have until midnight. Sign up soon to cheer for your favorite and show off picking skills.


contador Says:

oops. Error alert for…

@hippy chick. Will leave the instructions on GTN for uploading a profile picture/avatar.


Kimberly Says:

contador—-grandma joan is out in palo alto trying to figure out to join on her ipad and Christian is out diving as the weather is flawless here memorial day weekend. He has promised to do the bracket when he returns! Just got back from playing tennis myself and there is no wind, perfect conditions if you don’t mind the heat.


Hippy Chic Says:

Im nervous about Andys 1st round match,Golubev in the 1st round,the player who beat Stan in straight sets in the DC a few weeks ago hmm.


Salleh Ahmed Says:

@hippy

Golubev beat stan in fourth sets at the DC ;)


contador Says:

@Kimberly

That is good news about Grandma Joan and Christian!

I got an idea: you post some bikini pictures and I will write-up the descriptions, advertising/recruiting on tennis-x

_____

Hippy Chic. I don’t think Andy will have a problem with the likes of Golubev at the FO. Andy has to play well and smart. I do have him losing to Beefy Boy, though.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Alright Kimberly and Contador, I’m in.
Ferrer over Rafa!
Milos over Kei AND Novak!

All Swiss Final!
Double Career Slam!
EAT IT!


skeezer Says:

“The link given by Volley yesterday takes his words out of context and misquotes them.”
Not surprized.


skeezer Says:

TV,
Super bold prediction. But a fun one.


Hippy Chic Says:

SA yeah sorry,but never the less….
Contador i left my e.mail address on the GTN,many thanks,and BTW i hope your right about Andy too….


madmax Says:

Cannot wait for the French Open to start.

van orten Says:
as much as i like djoker . if fed is hot he could spoil the Party big time only to lose to nadal in the final. kinda shizophrenic for us fed fans . nadal? the best draw he could possibly get. i wanted fed in his just to make sure djoker gets to the final .. it is as it is .

May 23rd, 2014 at 8:42 am

Well, I read some comments earlier about Fed tanking! Seriously, when is that old chestnut going to die a death? Does anyone ever tank a match?

Federer is the last person to tank a match, always ready and eager to take on the challenge. Some people should just give up on that one.

I don’t think anyone has an easy draw to be fair. There is always someone lurking in the top half and the bottom half that could give any of the players a scare, on a good day. We all know that.

Hope the practice the Fed is having in Paris, will continue to make him strong enough to lift that trophy and that double career slam!

Vamos Federer!


gonzalowski Says:

Gulbis is the real Arrogant One


Hippy Chic Says:

Federer is the worlds greatest ever player,so i find it sad when people say he doesnt want to make a final,as he has a so called fear of facing a hypothetical meeting with Rafa,as the saying goes theres a 1st time for everything?


Hippy Chic Says:

Im wondering if theres any news on the ladies draw,who faces who,whos the favorite,who is in whos half etc etc??


Hippy Chic Says:

Gonzalowski i couldnt agree more….


Margot Says:

@Hippy Chicky
Quite a lot of analysis on here, of both the women and men:

http://tennis.si.com/2014/05/23/roger-federer-maria-sharapova-2014-french-open-draw-winners-losers/


Hippy Chic Says:

Thanks Margot ;-))….


mat4 Says:

A little review of the expert picks:

On tennis.com, Tignor (a Rafan), picked Novak to win the FO.

On tennis-x, Sean also picked Novak.
On ESPN, 8 experts picked Novak, four picked Rafa. Among them, women picked Rafa (all but Kamakshi Tandon), while Gilbert, McEnroe and Cahill picked Novak.

At SI, Wertheim also picked Novak.

It seems that most of the betting sites see also Novak as the favourite.

Just to mention, of course.


mat4 Says:

Of course, the most accurate picks are at tennis abstract, based on clay performances of the players. Here, we have:

Rafa Nadal, 45.7% to win the title;
David Ferrer, 2.1%
Stan Wawrinka, 2.2%
Tomas Berdych, 3.9%
Roger Federer, 4.4%
Milos Raonic, 1.3%
Kei Nishikori, 0.5%
Novak Djokovic, 31.3%


mat4 Says:

Sorry, Andy Murray is at 3.9%.


Hippy Chic Says:

Mat4 Rafa seen as the underdog for once,its the way he likes it anyway,im not complaining either,let Novak have the pressure for all i care,he also doesnt hold a GS either so will be desperate to win this one,Rafa with nothing to prove or Novak with everything to prove,ooh those mind games eh ;-P….


contador Says:

How can Rafa be seen as an underdog? He is in line to win his 9th title. LOL…

Rafa quietly and humbly winning a 9th RG title? Dark horse or underdog? I don’t think so.

People are picking Djokovic because the idea of the same result at FO over and over again is really a head-banging thought. Well, to me anyway.

So here we are. Opening rounds of joy ahead and I don’t have to watch Nadal bite another trophy. I have my limits. In cycling people dread Alberto Contador Velasco firing another mock pistol shot from the top step of the Tour de France podium. Being a true Berto fan, however, that is just what I want to see: el Pisotlero firing his imaginary gun!


Hippy Chic Says:

Contador it was just a joke,please dont take it to heart….


contador Says:

@ TV
Yay, you are in! c’mon…

_____

Hippy Chic – I left steps for posting a photo to your account on your GTN profile.


contador Says:

@ Hippy Chic

There are so many good tennis matches coming up that I cannot calm down…

Time to go on a long bike ride. :D


Kimberly Says:

Allright call out to bracket challengers—skeezer, mat4 etc….lets do it! Rafa fans Fed fans Djoker fans Murray fans!


Hippy Chic Says:

Contador enjoy the bike ride,and thanks for the info on GTN,unfortunatly i havent any pictures on my computer stored,but i did get the gist of what i have to do,i have a couple of friends who are computer savy so ill get one of them to help me post a photo of some discription….


mat4 Says:

@Kimberly:

OK, I joined the bracket challenge. But why didn’t we stay where we were the previous years? It is very complicated in this site, I don’t see a way to chat, and I made the mistake to use my name, not my nick. The quantity of data asked is a bit too much there.


Hippy Chic Says:

Mat4 tell me about it,Contador gave me instuctions on how to put up a profile photo,i think i know how to do it now,the only thing i need to do now is get a decent photo on this laptop?


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Mat4, is that freaking DOSTOEVSKY?


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Kimberly, I agree with that analysis of the rivalry. The most attractive elements are the evenness of the matchup, and the brutality of it. Frankly, their hard court matches I could skip, but I really enjoy their clay ones.
Because I don’t enjoy it so much, I guess its hard for me to call it the greatest rivalry. But I don’t think its overlooked. Everyone who watches tennis knows its the biggest story on tour, and one of the most unique in tennis history.
But if you’re waiting for worldwide attention, as Rafa and Fed got, I think you’ll have to wait. Fed had a rare celebrity for a tennis player. Rafa is still far behind it, and Novak far behind that. It may not be fair, but it is what it is.
We know how big and special this rivalry is.


Steve 27 Says:

Rafa will win his 9th Roland Garros, equaling Martina Navratilova as the second tennis player to win the same major nine times in the Open Era.
Vam9s!


Margot Says:

@mat4
R u referring to the Masters 1000 challenge? That was a lot easier to manage, but has died. We looked at another slam site and it was actually a lot harder to manage than GTN.
Of course in a GS there are just so many matches, and I think you need all the data in front of you in order to get an idea of the whole tournament. Not that it helps me much LOL.
As for messaging, just look right at the top of the page, above all the pics of the contestants, you’ll see “messages” box there and just click on it.
Good luck.
@ Hippy Chicky
U don’t have to use your own pic, u can usually re-size one u like from the net and use that. Or one from a Rafa site?
@conty
Nice pic of Ernie….air brushed I assume…;)
@everyone else
Sorry for all this “challenge” talk. Will now stop!


mat4 Says:

@TV:

Yes, it’s Dostoïevski. I have a dual boot system, but in the last few days I am stuck in windows preparing the new issue of the journal of my faculty, and, since I have only and old copy of Ventura installed in this system, I just found pictures of Russian writers prepared for a previous book. I guess I should have chosen Tchekhov.

Although it is not related to tennis in any way, a few words about graphic design. I noticed that in the last ten years, nobody develops software for long book creation. InDesign, Quark, all of this is OK for newspapers, and graphically intensive publications. But books… I finally opted for Lyx, then I learned TeX, and I get beautiful books with it. But since I am always under time pressure with the journal, I still use the true and proven Ventura (for 20 years now). That`s why I still use windows from time to time.


Hippy Chic Says:

Margot yeah i get that thanks,but i still havent a clue how you get a picture onto that site?


Margot Says:

@ Hippy
I’ll have a go at explaining on the site, rather than clogging up tx. But if I can do it, anyone can!


TennisVagabond.com Says:

I love Dostoevsky but I can’t even imagine a parallel with tennis. Could the Big Three be mapped to the Brothers Karamazov? What do you teach?

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