When you’re into the second week of a Grand Slam, certain patterns start to emerge that you may have noticed in previous years, or may be quite new…
1. Novak Djokovic will always go further than most people believe. He may be number one in the world right now but people still have an enormous question mark over his ability to play on clay. Not only is it not really the surface a Serb growing up on hard courts can excel on, he has also struggled in recent years with a series of illness – such as allergies, hayfevers etc – that have rendered him a teary-eyed and sneezing wreck. Even this year, after beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a nail-biting match under Paris drizzle, there’ll still be a lot of umm-ing and ahh-ing over whether he’ll show the same impressive form as the other tournaments. Personally, I think he’s on to a winner this year, but he has to have his big break on a the clay Grand Slam.
2. Andy Murray will lose. No, this is not his year. Yes, I’m sure it’s because of his back. No, I don’t think he’ll ever win at Rolland Garros. Not with all those Spaniards and French out there, who grew up on clay. Yes, I believe that he will eventually be muscled out of the top 5 if he keeps going the way he is, and soon.
3. There’ll always be a shocker in the women’s. Actually, you could say that about pretty much every tournament nowadays. This year, there have been quite a few. Serena Williams didn’t even get started before she was knocked out. And the idea that Maria Sharapova might win again is looking extremely likely which is quite shocking in itself. She’s been in the shadows for so long, and it’s fantastic to see her back out in the glare. Li Na has also lost out to Sharapova so the female player currently holding the title won’t be able to defend in a final.
4. It will rain. Ok so it’s not Wimbledon-rain, but Paris isn’t St Tropez and sometimes people forget that France has rain too. So far it’s thankfully only been a bit of drizzle, but the organizers will be hoping for it to drift away and stay there.
5. The men in the semi finals are typically predictable. But who wins them isn’t. It’s clay, so there’s always (unless there’s a full moon or something) Rafael Nadal. There’s usually another Spaniard or Frenchman out of the top 5 or so, such as this year’s David Ferrer. The two Spaniards will be a great clash to see, a bull fight in Paris, and neither of them have dropped a set so far. The other two of the top three trio will be facing each other in the second semi final. Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are no strangers to one another, but at France they are two very different competitors. Roger has won here before. Novak hasn’t.
6. The French Open is brilliant. This isn’t a recent pattern, this is a pattern I have always seen and believed. The French Open is a great European competition. It jumbles up everything, keeps everyone on their toes; clay is a tricky surface and its typically only European players who feel at home on it. This doesn’t mean it’s a predictable way to get European players to win, in fact it’s a great surface that brings the tenacity out of payers who need to kick up an extra gear on a surface they are uncomfortable on. Many winners and impressive matches are made on the courts at Rolland Garros, it’s rarely clear to see before they go in.
- SophieGWritten by:
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