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Roland Garros: First Impressions

by TN

The first round of this year’s Roland Garros is almost over (except for Zverev having a 2-1 sets lead over doubles phenomenon Pierre Hughes-Herbert) and it’s time to look at my predictions and summarize what’s been going on so far. Let’s start with the top half of the draw.

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I’m pretty pleased with my French Open predictions so far, especially on the top half of the draw. The X’s are predictions where I got it wrong and I have know added the correct name instead for the next round prediction. My pick that Brian Baker would beat Tomic was a bit of a shot in the dark, but you never know with Tomic so I had a feeling he wouldn’t be mentally ready for it. But he was.

I thought newcomer and #Nextgen youngster Chung would make it more of a battle against Quentin Halys, but he still needs to get both physically and mentally stronger to make runs in slams.

Florian Mayer is still looking for his form after injury comeback and couldn’t find it against Malek Jaziri.

Another person just coming back from injury is Fabio Fognini. As we all know he has the talent to beat Nadal on clay, but also the mental strength of a fat kid in a candy store and he gave a half-hearted impression as he lost in straight sets to Granollers.

Talking about injuries (which sadly has become such as frequent part of our game these days), Anderson is also back but couldn’t really perform well on his least favorite surface. Robert can hit a bad ass ball, which we saw against Djokovic in Rome and deserved the win.

Berlocq or Lorenzi? Yeah, it was a bit of a coin toss to be honest. In the end Berlocq came to play and won easily. I was more surprised to see Almagro confidently beat a Kohlschreiber who has been playing really well of late. We know how Almagro’s angry swings can be a ruthless clay court weapon, but didn’t see this coming.

And what do we say about Ernests Gulbis? The guy has six titles to his name but often decides not to bother with acquiring more of them (mental strength/desire similar to Fabio Fognini, I would say). But his head-to-head record against Seppi should have told me that this was a match he could only win (5-1 before the this match) and so he did in straight sets.

So summing up the top half – 32 matches played and seven of which I got wrong (assuming that Zverev wins here). Pretty okay with that 78% percentage. Not as cool as Nadal’s tweener passing shot against giant Groth, but a decent score.

Bottom half then:

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The bottom half of the draw was not as easy for me as the top one as you can see above. Mannarino vs Kukushkin was a coin toss as Mannarino is also a everyting-or-nothing player. Zeballos and Vinolas was also a tough one. What was rather shocking was Cilic’s loss to Trungelliti. Cilic has just reclaimed a top ten position on the ATP World Tour rankings, but his results are still very on-off and it’s hard not to feel that his 2014 US Open win was a one-win-wonder.

Another up-and-down players is Martin Klizan who battles as much with his temper as his opponents. In the end Taro Daniel was more composed while Klizan seemed to suffer from a few aches and pains in the end of their five set encounter.

More positive was Bjorn Fratangelo‘s hard fought win over compatriot Sam Querrey. Fratangelo is a hard worker and seems to have the mindset to make bigger things out of himself. Will be interesting to follow his career.

Sam Querrey has had a lot of expectations on his shoulder that, in my opinion, he so far has failed to live up to. Another US player that has also underwhelmed is Donald Young and his loss to Gabashvili wasn’t completely unexpected.

Britain's Andy Murray clenches his fist after scoring a point in his first round match of the French Open tennis tournament against Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Tuesday, May 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

(AP Photo/Michel Euler)

You can’t break down the draw without mentioning Murray’s tight win against Stepanek 3-6 3-6 6-0 6-2 7-5. Murray didn’t play his best, but it’s obvious that age, even in tennis, is only a number and that Stepanek at age 37, with the tricky game he has, can still be a threat to top players on their off days.

The bottom half of the draw was tougher. I only got 20 out of 32 matches right, which is a percentage of 62.5%.

Looking at my predictions in total after the first round, I got 45 out of 64 matches right, which so far is 70%. Let’s see if I can maintain that ratio for the upcoming rounds.

Regarding the predictions for round 2, you have it all in the second column. I think the second round is usually easier to guess than the first when people are nervous, not properly used to the courts etc, and I’m pretty much predicting the favorites to go through. What do you think?

And what do you think about the Y3 Adidas Roland Garros fashion collection? I’m starting to shift a bit on what I wrote in my previous post on this tennis fashion statement.


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