• Djokovic lands tough quarter in Roland Garros

    5/22/11 1:50 AM | Cheryl Murray
    Djokovic lands tough quarter in Roland Garros Serbia’s Novak Djokovic may have to work hard to get through perhaps the most challenging of the four sections of the French Open draw.

    The best player in the world right now was not gifted with a cupcake draw at this year’s edition of the French Open. The No. 2 seed will kick things off against Thiemo De Bakker, who is a big-serving Dutchman. De Bakker shouldn’t give Djokovic much trouble on the slow dirt in Paris, but after that, the Serb’s draw gets increasingly more complicated.

    He should get past Nice runner-up Victor Hanescu, but in the third, he is likely to run smack into Juan Martin Del Potro. This has the potential to be an explosive match-up...if Del Potro is healthy, that is. The Argentine had to pull out of Madrid because of injury and says he’s healed and ready to go for Roland Garros – but that remains to be seen.

    Despite the potential for a real blockbuster, Del Potro’s chances of pulling off the upset are probably fairly slim. Of course, should the Serbian champ get past Del Potro, Thomaz Bellucci or Richard Gasquet could very well be waiting in the fourth round.

    And even with all of that adversity, Djokovic is playing out of his mind right now and if he and Tomas Berdych find themselves in the quarters, it will be Djokovic headed to the semis.

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Hey Cheryl, you seem to think Djokovic's quarter is most challenging because of Del Potro and Bellucci. Frankly, I doubt that Del Potro can trouble Djokovic when he is coming off a hip injury. He is probably quite rusty because of not enough match practice.
As for Bellucci, I did not think he is fit enough to best Djoko in a 5 setter.
Richard Gasquet could cause some problems.
Berdych doesn't seem to be in good form.
It is Rafa who has the toughest draw.
Rafa is most troubled by extra tall people. He has an adverse h2h with Davydenko.
And he has Murray who showed what he is capable of in the Rome semi. Murray is 24, in the prime of his life. Not nearly 30 like Federer. I am not discounting Federer. Just pointing out that probability of in-prime Murray troubling Rafa is more than probability of past-prime Federer troubling Djokovic. Not ruling it out. No one can be ruled out.

holdserve , 5/22/11 7:15 AM

In the above post, I am referring to Rafa's draw and not just his quarter.

holdserve , 5/22/11 7:17 AM

I agree with holdserve. In Nole's current form, I don't see the likes of Delpo, Bellucci and Gasquet hurting him. Delpo is a question mark having just come back from that hip injury. If he had not been hurt, then I might think he could make it interesting, however the h2h favors Nole and he is playing his best tennis now. I think Bellucci was a one time thing. He played great that day and then lost early in the next tournament. He has to play well consistently before anyone should think of him as a serious threat to Nole.

Even though Rafa should beat Isner, I still believe that this is not the kind of first round match he would want. Tall big serving players like Isner have always given Rafa trouble. He has the advantage because this is clay and Isner hasn't been in good form for a long time. Davy has always given Rafa trouble and their h2h reflects his success. He may not be the player he once was, but he still has the game to give Rafa trouble.

Murray is always a tough matchup for Rafa and now he seems to be coming into RG with more confidence after his great match against Nole. So there is no way that Rafa's draw is easy.

Nativenewyorker , 5/22/11 8:54 AM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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