crushed bricks, smashed hopes.
Trivia: who in the WTA has the highest winning/loss ratio this year? (answer at the bottom of the post)
Not much I can say about the men’s draw – take a wild guess as to who I think is going to win.
The only thing I might add is that the Draw Gods have not been kind – not only is Rafael Nadal the only real contender for the Roland Garros trophy, but he’ll be able to do it without having to face the double hurdle of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. Roger, on the other hand, would have to really earn his spot in the finals if he wants to defend his points there. Either way, I’m not putting anyone straight through to the semifinals at this stage except for Nadal, so I’m not even going to think about Djokovic v Federer until the middle of week 2.
On the other hand, the women’s draw is as open as the men’s draw is closed. Picks are useless, but also damn fun, so here are mine:
- Dinara Safina: the clear favourite, Safina’s got all the momentum with her, and the determination to prove her worth as the world no 1. Plus I’ve got a new theory: Safina 08-09 = Ivanovic 07-08. Berlin –> Roland Garros finalist –> Australian Open finalist –> Roland Garros winner. See how history works in perfectly repetitive narratives? One slight complication – she has by far the hardest draw out of all the contenders with Azarenka and Ivanovic in her quarter.
- Venus Williams: results will show that Venus hasn’t had the ideal lead-up to Roland Garros, but history will tell you that if your surname was Williams, you don’t need no stinkin’ lead up. Unfortunately, Lisicki second round could complicate things a la Aussie Open.
- Svetlana Kuznetsova: you say no, the draw says yes, given that I don’t see Serena getting far with one good leg.
- Caroline Wozniacki: I don’t really see it happening for Caroline to be honest, but it’s a choice of her, JJ and Elena D in that section of the draw, and recent form dictates that I pick her over the other two.
So not happenin’ for…
- Ana Ivanovic: Ana’s becoming more and more forgettable these days. Get ready to say bye-bye to ranking points.
- Jelena Jankovic: if you had asked me who would win Roland Garros 3 months ago, I would’ve picked JJ. She has actually shown signs of improvement in the last few tournaments she’s played, but not enough. I do have a slice of humble pie waiting just in case though.
- Victoria Azarenka: she’s hungry, she’s been playing well, but at the end of the day, this is not her surface, not her slam and not the best draw for her.
- Vera Zvonareva: I actually wouldn’t be surprised if Vera decided to pull out last minute or retire mid-match along the way. Straight back from injury with no matches under her belt: it’s the kind of thing that Venus Williams does on grass, and Vera Zvonareva is clearly not Venus Williams.
- Maria Sharapova: goes without saying. But (and it’s a big ‘but’) – if, in the unlikely event, she managed to get past Nadia Petrova, fourth round would be doable.
Grooming the Dark Horses…
- Carla Suarez-Navarro
- Sabine Lisicki
- Alize Cornet
- Amelie Mauresmo
- Anna Chakvetadze
- Nicole Vaidisova
Australian tennis is no longer worth analysing these days, simply because … well, Australian tennis doesn’t quite exist. But if anyone’s interested in the Aussies: bad news all round – Hewitt against old nemesis Karlovic first round (I believe Lleyton is 0-3 against the Croat). Should he get past Karlovic, he’s got the Spanish Terminator himself in the third round waiting. Wild card Bernard Tomic is up against Kohlschreiber first round. Dead meat.
Jarmila Groth (formerly Gajdosova) facing Kinnie Laisne of France and most likely Chakvedatze second round. Dokic v Sprem (and should she get past first round, which she most likely won’t – Elena Dementieva awaits) and Sam Stosur up against Francesca Schiavone.
Trivia answer: Vera Zvonareva (.833). Half a mark if you answered Victoria Azarenka.