The French Open is here. The clay court swing reaches its climax with a little difference this year; it’s a little more wide open. Well as wide open as Novak Djokovic which for many, rather unsurprisingly is the favourite to win.
Aside from the big four, stand out players on the clay so far have to be David Ferrer who reached the finals of Monte Carlo and Barcelona; Nicolas Almagro who has just won his third title this year in Nice. Rafael Nadal arguably has the toughest opening round against big server John Isner, however Roger Federer faces an in-form Feliciano Lopez in the first round who had match points against him in just about the tightest best-of-three match ever in Madrid.
Other players to watch are Tomas Bellucci who was a set and a break up to the indomitable Novak in Madrid -his first ATP Masters semi-final ever; and Richard Gasquet who derailed Federer, fighting in two tie-breaks in Rome and endured a very high quality first set in the semi-finals against Nadal.
It’s Grand Slam o’ clock! This time last year I was Smuggy McSmuggerson. This year not so much but I still have confidence in my mandem. I reckon Rafito will pull out all the stops, it’s one thing to win him in Masters tournaments but it’s another in Grand Slams, of which he has nine, may I interject – oh the smugness is coming back! Besides he said on his Facebook that he was eager to play which is a very good thing. The determination has grown, if that were possible.
I also tip the Muzzard (Murray) to go deep – he’s having a bon clay season so good on him! Roger, I don’t know. He could get to the finals or he could lose out in the last 16 – I really don’t know where his head at is at the moment. His game is looking killer though – I’ve never seen anyone play so aggressively as he did against Rafs in Madrid. The only thing he failed to do was leap over the net and punch Rafa in the face. No comment on Nole because it would inevitably be a typical thing to say.
Anywhoo I am incredibly excite, I might even pay to subscribe to the Eurosport iplayer so I can watch on my lunch break at work. [Side note: I love Tsonga’s outfit also he’s looking like he’s dropped some lbs.] I’m also rooting for Daveeeed and Monfils (at my own peril). So I’m going to sit back, relax, bite off all my nails when I watch Rafa’s matches and we will see what happen no?