It appeared before the tournament began that we were destined for a Rafael Nadal versus Novak Djokovic final. After the first week, both are still alive, but I am not so sure that both will make the final. But it isn’t Djokovic who worries me. His level of play has been off the charts and nearly flawless. And to add to that, he already is in the semifinals because his quarterfinal opponent, Fabio Fagnini, withdrew with an injury. Fagnini really didn’t deserve that spot anyway. Read about it here:
Though Djokovic is fortunate to get to sit back and watch the others duke it out in the quarterfinals, he was very unfortunate to have to play Juan Martin Del Potro in the third round. Del Potro, while not completely back yet, is about as dangerous a third round match that he could’ve had. Del Potro played at a high level and even took a set off Djokovic, but for the most part, Djokovic handled him easily.
Nadal’s play has been quite the opposite, and very uncharacteristic for him at the French. He struggled in his five set first round match against Jon Isner. The second round was another struggle. He’s been solid in the past two matches, but his serve velocity has been very slow. It’s not often that I say this, but he looks vulnerable at Roland Garros. And up next for him is the only man who has ever beat him in Paris, Robin Soderling. If Nadal doesn’t bring his “A” game, it could be the end for him. A must-watch match.
And what about Roger Federer? He was an afterthought going into the tournament. Yet, he’s quietly floated under the radar and has done it without breaking a sweat yet. His play has been outstanding and he seems comfortable without the spotlight being on him for a change. Next up tomorrow is a match against Gael Monfils. Monfils will have the French crowd behind him, but I don’t think that will be enough. He’s coming off a five-set war against David Ferrer (which I taped and then heard the result right before I sat down to watch it.) Federer also has a good track record against Monfils. I’m still not convinced Roger can win, but I’m much more optimistic about his chances than I was a week ago.
His clay court play has always been severely underrated.
And for your Women’s update, here is Maria Sharapova. I heard she’s playing well but I still refuse to watch two hours of grunting.
She’s married to Sasha Vujacic?