The French Open are about to start and it looks like it will be a very exciting tournament this year. I want to share my thoughts with you on who the favourites are and what factors are important to consider. As usual we will take a detailed look at the men’s game and the women’s game.
Before We Get Started Check Out This Cool French Open Preview Video!
The results so far in the clay court season were certainly interesting. Federer won on a fast blue clay court in Madrid and Nadal won pretty much everything else. Djokovic has not been able to show the same form on the red clay and it will be interesting to see if he can step his game up towards the French.
Andy Murray has not done well at all so far this year on the red clay and it doesn’t appear like there is anybody else outside the Top3 that is a serious contender for the French Open title at this point!
Let’s take a look at the Top3 in regards to their current form and their results throughout the clay court season so far.
Nadal is the king of clay once again this year. He is playing phenomenal Tennis and his only loss on clay so far came in Madrid on the fast blue clay court surface!
Rafa actually has not even lost a set on the red clay so far this year!
Rafa is playing aggressive Tennis and dictating play with his heavy topspin forehand as usual. Nadal’s defense is also simply unbelievable, which leaves his opponents with very little options against him on the red clay.
Check Out This Incredible Shot From Nadal Against Djokovic in Rome
Novak has not been able to show the same strong clay court form that he displayed last year. He lost to Nadal in Monte Carlo and in Rome. He had no chance in Monte Carlo, losing 3-6 1-6 and he didn’t play his best Tennis either in Rome where he lost 5-7 3-6. In Madrid he lost to Janko Tipsarevic in the quarterfinals.
Djokovic is certainly not playing bad but he is also not at his best. He did have a good win over Roger Federer in the Rome semi-finals but Federer was far from his best form in that match.
In Rome Djokovic was back to smashing rackets, which he did against Juan Monaco and against Rafael Nadal in the finals. Overall he doesn’t seem to be totally at peace with how he is currently playing.
Roger’s record so far this year is quite impressive. He is back to number 2 in the world and has a realistic chance of regaining the number 1 spot and breaking Pete Sampras’s record of 286 weeks at the top if he plays well for the rest of the year. Right now Federer is just one week short of that record!
Have A Look At This Feature About Roger’s Recent Winning Streak
Roger showed impressive Tennis in Madrid, beating a strong Tomaz Berdych in the finals. Throughout this tournament Federer’s form was incredible, serving well and hitting lots of forehand winners.
Have A Look At These Powerful Forehands From Roger In Madrid
We do have to keep in mind though that Roger won in Madrid on a fast blue clay court when Nadal and Djokovic were not at their best. In Rome Federer lost to Djokovic in the semi-finals and he didn’t play well at all in that match!
I saw a stat that said he committed 44 unforced errors in that match and having watched the match it appeared to me as if Roger couldn’t handle the pressure in a big match against Novak one more time.
I think Nadal is the clear favourite to win the French Open this year and I would be surprised if he doesn’t take the title once again!
He is in top form once again and I don’t think that Djokovic or Federer will be able to challenge him.
Djokovic is not playing his best Tennis right now but he certainly has a good chance if he finds his best form again.
Federer on the other hand has been playing phenomenal for the most part in recent months but I expect him to get nervous once again when it really matters in those big matches against Novak and/or Rafa and I don’t really see Roger winning the French this year!
On the women’s side some interesting developments have taken place during the clay court season. To my surprise Serena Williams showed up in excellent form and won the title in Madrid with an impressive win over world number 1, Victoria Azarenka.
Azarenka is playing well but has not been able to keep up her dominant form from earlier in the year. Maria Sharapova is also playing very well and I believe that these three are the top contenders for the French Open title.
Let’s have a look at these three in regards to their form and their chances for the title!
Serena has not lost a match on clay so far this year except for a walkover when she did not play the Rome semi-finals against Li Na due to an injury.
Her two tournament victories in Charleston and Madrid were very impressive. In Charleston she won the semi-finals against Sam Stosur 6-1 6-1 and the finals against Lucie Safarova 6-0 6-1. In the Madrid finals Victoria Azarenka also had no chance when Serena won 6-1 6-3!
Highlights From The Madrid Finals
When Serena is at her best she is still almost impossible to beat in my opinion!
Nevertheless we have to keep in mind that she won Charleston on green clay and Madrid on blue clay and both of these surfaces are quite different to the red clay of Roland Garros.
At 30 years it might be tought to grind out so many tough matches on clay, especially since she hasn’t played all that much in recent months
Vika has had a phenomenal year so far and she reached the finals in Madrid and in Stuttgart. In Madrid she lost to Serena and in Stuttgart to Maria.
She is playing well but I believe the clay courts don’t suit her game as much as the hardcourts!
She has trouble getting past opponents and putting enough pressure on them
Check Out This Hot Shot From Azarenka In Madrid
Maria is having a phenomenal year. She is now ranked number 2 in the world again and it appears that her game is continuously improving since she started working with her new coach, Thomas Hogstedt.
She won the tournament in Stuttgart, where she finally managed to beat Azarenka after several previous losses.
I like the fact that she is now playing a bit smarter, using more angles and generally hitting with a bit more spin!
Her serve is still on and off though and that plays a big role in how well she can do at the French!
Have A Look At This Great Shot From Maria in Stuttgart
In my opinion Serena is the favourite to win the French this year. If she is playing well her game is still too good for Sharapova and Azarenka!
Nevertheless the question is how fit she is and how well she can handle playing a lot of tough matches in a row on the red clay.
Sharapova would be my second favourite. She keeps working hard on her game and has improved a lot on the clay!