With a day’s play already in the books and a number one seed ousted out of the event, Roland Garros waits for no man as the tennis gods look to cook up a bouillabaisse full of surprises in the next 14 days. So lets grab a lovely slice of French bread and dig in.
With Serena Williams pregnant and the French officials saying ‘no thanks’ to offering Maria Sharapova a wildcard due to her ‘tainted’ drug suspension, the women’s event is there for the taking. Already world number one Angelique Kerber is out, losing last night to Ekaterina Makarova 6-2, 6-2 in a listless performance. That leaves the top half of the draw wide open.
The emotional favourite to come through would be Petra Kvitova who won her first match (d. Boserup 6-3,6-2) after recovering from a knife-wielding attacker in her apartment last year, a potential 4th round against the Kerber slayer, Makarova looks likely.
Other potential 4th round match-ups in the top half are 37 year old Venus Williams vs pocket rocket 6th seed Cibulkova, the French favourite Mladenovic vs last years Champion Muguruza and the Russian Kuznetsova vs Caroline Wozniacki, who right now is in a battle with 17 year old Aussie Fourlis in the 1st round. Potential Quarter Finals in the bottom half are the in form but ankle damaged Simona Halep vs the Italian Open Champion Elina Svitolina and second seed Karolina Pliskova vs the British hope Johanna Konta.
On the main Aussie front we’ve got young Ash Barty vs 12th seed Madison Keys and Sam Stosur as the 23rd seed vs Kristina Kucova in 1st round match ups. The huge void left by Serena Williams has created a crevasse of opportunity, who walks through it will depend on who gets hot in the second week. If Halep’s ankle holds together it will be her.
My prediction :
Semi finals : Venus vs Kuznetsova
Pliskova vs Halep
Final : Kuznetsova vs Halep
Winner : Halep
Moving over to the Mens Draw and you’d expect it would be more predictable. Everyone of course is talking about potential Rafa vs Novak Semi Final in the bottom half, only the Rafa Slayer from Rome Dominic Thiem could give Novak some issues in a potential Quarter Final where Rafa will be waiting in a blockbuster semi.
The top half is so wide open, the number one seed Andy Murray has really struggled this season with a pedestrian 16-7 match record, a potential Quarter final against 8th seed Kei Nishikori looms, the other Quarter final in the top half according to the seeds could be Stan Wawrinka vs flat hitting Marin Cilic.
Roger Federer will be missed in Paris; he’s decided to skip this event to save himself for Wimbledon and the US Open. On the Aussie front Bernie went out last night in a semi tank against that hard hitting Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-0, 6-2, Kyrgios as the 18th seed has a tricky 1st round against German Philip Kohlschreiber, he gets through that and a potential 3rd round against Frenchman Tsonga looms.
Here we go with my prediction:
Semi finals : Zverev vs Wawrinka
Novak vs Rafa
Final : Zverev vs Rafa
Winner : Rafa