Tennis Forum banner

1 - 20 of 48 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
44,018 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Breaking down the French Open draw

Posted: Saturday May 24, 2003 12:50 PM



Sports Illustrated senior writer Jon Wertheim peers into his crystal ball to reveal the fate of the top 16 men's and women's seeds for the French Open. Scroll down to see the first-round matches you shouldn't miss, some darkhorse candidates to advance to Week 2, and his championship predictions.

WOMEN'S REPORT | Men's Report

1. Serena Williams: Playing on her worst surface, the world No. 1 looked (and indeed was) unmistakably mortal in Charleston and Rome. Plus, the template for how to beat her -- junk it up and extract errors of frustration -- works best on clay. It's awfully hard to bet against the winner of four Slams running, but we'll do it anyway.

2. Kim Clijsters: Due (overdue?) to win her first Slam. If she keeps her head and convinces herself she really can beat Serena, this could be a gilded opportunity.

3. Venus Williams: The word is that she gave some thought to sitting this one out altogether. In addition to the strained stomach muscle, she seems to be rehabbing her spirit a bit. Might play herself into contention since her draw is mighty soft until a potential quarterfinal encounter with 2001 champ Jennifer Capriati.

4. Justine Henin-Hardenne: Has to be encouraged by her play in Charleston and Berlin. We're a bit concerned about her track record in Paris and in big matches in general, but it will be a mild shocker if she doesn't reach the semis.

5. Amélie Mauresmo: See: Henin-Hardenne. No question the talent is there. In the past month, she has beaten Venus (sort of), Capriati (as usual) and Serena (fair and square). But her status as one of the brighter and more self-aware players doesn't always work to her favor when matches tighten. She tends to get particularly, um, jittery with the high expectations she shoulders in Paris. (Her last two losses at Roland Garros have come to the redoubtable duo of Jana Kandarr and Paola Suarez. Yikes.) Quarterfinal match against Serena should be a good one, maybe even worthy of the big court and not Chartrier.

6. Lindsay Davenport: Newlywed may live up to her seeding, but that's probably it. A better player on clay than she professes, but there's a nagging sense that she no longer truly believes she can beat the best. Don't be surprised if Iroda Tulyaganova takes a set off her in the deuxième round.

7. Jennifer Capriati: The Capster hasn't won a tournament in more than a year, but she always competes well and has won on clay before. A benevolent draw has her facing no top-30 foes until the fourth round.

8. Chanda Rubin: Has turned in some erratic results of late, but she can play on clay and she thumped her possible quarterfinal foe, Henin-Hardeene, on a hard court in Miami. Some dangerous players pock her draw, but Rubin is a player to watch.

9. Daniela Hantuchova: Slumping badly and won't right the ship until she makes the necessary physical adjustments. A shame because she should be a top-five player. On the plus side, her draw is softer than hutertite goose down.

10. Jelena Dokic: The sine curve that is her career currently is at a node. She usually tends to bring her alpha game to the biggies, but, boy, has she been in a rut this year.

11. Anastasia Myskina: Interesting first-round match against Dinara Safina. After that, her draw appears to open up a bit.

12. Monica Seles: The heart says she'll make a deep run in what may well be her final performance at Roland Garros. The head says the bum ankle makes it awfully unlikely she'll be around much beyond the middle weekend.

13. Elena Dementieva: How much confidence remains from her victory at Amelia Island? She put some coins in the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately meter by winning her first career title, but we're not optimistic about her first-rounder against Maria Sanchez Lorenzo.

14. Eleni Daniilidou: Has turned into a moody player who looks like a top-five talent one day and an underachiever the next. Her heavy strokes will serve her well, but does she have the requisite patience for clay?

15. Magdalena Maleeva: Same old, same old. May live up to her seeding, but don't expect more.

16. Ai Sugiyama: Her opening match against Virginia Ruano Pascual is our Blue Plate Upset Special.

LOWER SEEDS WORTH WATCHING

19. Patty Schnyder: A welter of family and personal issues serves as a distraction, but this temperamental Swiss lefty can always win some matches on talent alone.

22. Vera Zvonareva: Last year she was an unknown qualifier when she took a set off of Serena Williams. This year she might well be the hottest young player on tour.

23. Anna Pistolesi: Has yet to prove that she can challenge the top five, but her stamina and speed could serve her well on clay.

24. Conchita Martinez: Former finalist here is always dangerous on clay.

27. Alexandra Stevenson: Just kidding.

30. Paola Suarez: A quarterfinalist last year, Argentine swashbucklerette is dangerous against the right seed.

31. Laura Granville: Steadily, if quietly, climbing the ranks. Not on her best surface, but she competes well and is a fresh enough face that few opponents know her game.

DARKHORSE NATION

Emilie Loit: Lefty junkball virtuosa could do damage against the right opponents, particularly with French fans in her corner.

Magui Serna: Irrepressible Spaniard quietly has turned in an awfully strong year, and she is playing on her best surface.

Virginia Ruano Pascal: Assuming she beats Sugiyama, her draw opens nicely.

Maria Sanchez Lorenzo: Just because.

FIRST-ROUND MATCHES TO WATCH

Mary Pierce vs. Clarisa Fernandez: 2000 winner vs. 2002 semifinalist.

18. Meghann Shaughnessy vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova: Shaughnessy has cooled considerably since beating Venus in Miami. Kuznetsova is not simply Martina Navratilova's doubles partner; she can play some singles as well.

Myskina vs. Dinara Safina: Rushing the nyet.

PREDICTIONS

Semifinals: Capriati vs. Clijsters, Serena Williams vs. Henin-Hardenne
Final: Clijsters vs. Williams
Champion: Clijsters
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,942 Posts
Isn't this the same person who predicted Clijsters would win the Australian Open? If that is the case, don't hold your breath on this prediction.
 
  • Like
Reactions: vs1

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,792 Posts
lizchris said:
Isn't this the same person who predicted Clijsters would win the Australian Open? If that is the case, don't hold your breath on this prediction.
i dont think so, but this is the same person who said hantuchova would beat venus at the australian open this year...hehe...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
349 Posts
oh, so... I know what will happen to his predictions if he thinks Hantuchova LOL...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,217 Posts
Well on paper I would def go with Venus over Jenn. But the strange thing popped in my mind: I was hoping Jenn would pull Venus of the top four in the quarters. And she did. I just have the feeling that if both make the qtrs. Jenn will get her first win. I don't know might be wrong. But I have been getting that vibe for the last week. And statistics and laws of probability are on Jenn's side: She is long overdue for a HUGE win.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,174 Posts
Of course Jen can beat Venus, Jen is playing better and is overdue for a win versus Venus. Plus you can be sure that of the top 4 seeds, she got the easiest one. Would she want to play Clijsters or Henin on clay? Hell no. She hates to play Serena on any surface. Capriati can smell the blood and I think she will pounce on this opportunity.

(LOL watch her go and lose first round)
 

·
Veelieve!!!
Joined
·
32,521 Posts
What horseshit 5 0s. Venus has gotten to the finals with the exception of 1 of the tournaments she's played so far this year, how is jen playing better??
Tennis has nothing to do with statistics and odds-- if it did , then Maureen Drake is DUE for a big win.Iroda Tulyaganova is DUE to win a Grand slam title(no offense to Tuly's fans)
It's "fig newtons of the imagination" of people who desperately WANT Venus to lose.It's not related to reality. I can't wait to see the egg dripping off your face :rolleyes: :fiery:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,174 Posts
Jen is playing better than Venus because she is more consistently reaching the later rounds of tournaments. Sans Australia, of course. And the biggest key of why Jen is playing better than Venus:

Jen's results are improving.
Venus' results are going downhill.
 

·
Veelieve!!!
Joined
·
32,521 Posts
How many titles has Jen won in the last year and a half? how many has Venus won? The fact is a lot of you resent Venus and make predictions that only reflect what you HOPE will happen- like when you "predicted" she would lose the Antwepe final .Carry on, she will shut you up-- and you can take it to the bank :devil:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,174 Posts
The last year and a half won't matter on monday. This is about form, not past achievements. And going on form, Capriati is playing well (not great) and Venus is playing poor. Well > poor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,711 Posts
lizchris said:
Isn't this the same person who predicted Clijsters would win the Australian Open? If that is the case, don't hold your breath on this prediction.

We all know that Clijsters SHOULD have won the AO...so his prediction wasn't that far off....if fact Serena was the one holding her breath at 1-5 :eek: and just about "done" :rolleyes:


barmaid :wavey:
 
1 - 20 of 48 Posts
Top