Tennis Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
psychotic banana
Joined
·
3,022 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Form of the men's seeds at the French Open


PARIS, May 22 (Reuters) - Strengths and weaknesses of the men's seeds for the French Open tennis championships which start on Monday:

1-Lleyton Hewitt (Australia)

One of the most dogged performers on the tour, Hewitt has shown his pedigree by lifting the U.S. Open and Wimbledon crowns. Has failed to reproduce his best on clay, however, which may once more prove to be his downfall.

2-Andre Agassi (U.S.)

Agassi joined the pantheon of greats in 1999 here when he won the French Open to complete the full set of grand slam crowns. The ultimate competitor, Agassi will be a major threat again if his 33-year-old legs keep him motoring.

3-Juan Carlos Ferrero (Spain)

'The Mosquito' to his Spanish fans, there is certainly a buzz in the Ferrero camp as he bids to go one better than last year. A semi-finalist on his debut in 2000 and in 2001 he reached the final in 2002 only to suffer terrible nerves and defeat to compatriot Albert Costa. Has all the claycourt tools, but his sometimes nervous disposition could haunt him again.

4-Carlos Moya (Spain)

No stranger to Roland Garros glory, the 1998 champion and former world number one is back after injury, in the form of his life and looking a very dangerous threat to Costa's crown. No real chinks in Moya's armour, he could be the man to beat.

5-Roger Federer (Switzerland)

With one claycourt title to his name this year in Munich and three 2003 crowns in all, Federer is in fine form. But still clay may be better suited to the more patient players and Federer may have to wait for his grand slam breakthrough.

6-Andy Roddick (U.S.)

Explosive and entertaining, Roddick has been a breath of fresh air in a sport crying out for personalities. Still a little inexperienced on the slow European clay, he will be found out in the latter stages.

7-Guillermo Coria (Argentina)

Emerging this year as one of the elite claycourters with victory at the Hamburg Masters this month, Coria leads a strong Argentine contingent in Paris. He has never gone beyond the third round of a grand slam, though, and may lose his way if he reaches the second week.

8-David Nalbandian (Argentina)

Nalbandian's grand slam breakthrough came at Wimbledon last year where he reached the final before falling to Hewitt. Clay is his preferred surface though and he should mount a serious challenge.

9-Albert Costa (Spain)

One of the fittest men in the sport, Costa shrugged off his nearly-man tag in the final here last year when he beat Ferrero for his first slam. Immensely powerful from the back and with great guile mid-court, he could be sufficiently inspired by memories of last year to repeat.

10-Paradorn Srichaphan (Thailand)

A classical player who likes to attack during rallies, Srichaphan is not really suited to the cloying clay of the French capital. The third round is his best showing here.

11-Rainer Schuettler (Germany)

Raised some eyebrows at the start of the year when he reached the final of the Australian Open with some superb retrieving and rallying. Was put in his place by Agassi in the final, though, and looks a little outclassed in this company.

12-Sjeng Schalken (Netherlands)

A solid performer, Schalken lacks the power and the persistence to make a mark on clay.

13-Jiri Novak (Czech Republic)

Another player whose best paydays come on quicker courts than Paris can provide. A solid performer but not one to back for glory here.

14-Sebastien Grosjean (France)

A popular player at his home grand slam and a superb baseliner. Fell in the quarter-finals here last year and, if he remains focused, could go better this time round.

15-Gustavo Kuerten (Brazil)

Three-times a French champion, 'Guga' has forged a love affair with the Paris public and would like nothing more than to rekindle it this year. A fourth-round loser here last year, he finished 2002 outside the top 10 for the first time since 1988. Struggling since hip surgery more than a year ago.

16-Alex Corretja (Spain)

A former runner-up here -- in 1998 to Moya and 2001 to Kuerten -- Corretja lost in the semi-finals last year to best friend and eventual champion Costa. Certainly has the game to do well at Roland Garros. Whether he has the heart or the legs remains to be seen.





Penpix of leading French Open men's title contenders


PARIS, May 22 (Reuters) - Following are short biographies of leading contenders in the men's singles at the French Open tennis championships, which start on Monday (prefix number denotes seeding):

- - - -

1-Lleyton Hewitt (Australia)

Age: 22

Lives: Adelaide, Australia

Plays: Right-handed, double-handed backhand

Grand slam titles: Two (U.S. Open 2001, Wimbledon 2002)

Record at the French Open: 2002-fourth round, 2001-quarter-finalist, 2000-fourth round, 1999-first round.

The dynamic Australian has barely played on clay in the build-up to Roland Garros after a year disrupted by a row with the ATP, the governing body of men's tennis, and a viral illness.

But the world number one's ultra-competitive nature, electric speed around the court and crunching baseline shots give him an excellent chance in Paris, although his lack of patience counts against him.

Hewitt is bound to lift himself for the second Grand Slam of the year and will hope at least to match his best French Open showing to date -- reaching the quarter-finals in 2001.

- - - -

2-Andre Agassi (U.S.)

Age: 33

Lives: Las Vegas, Nevada

Plays: Right-handed, double-handed backhand

Grand slam titles: Eight (U.S. Open 1994, 1999; Australian Open 1995, 2000, 2001, 2003; Wimbledon 1992; French Open 1999)

Record at the French Open: 2002-quarter-finalist, 2001-quarter-finalist, 2000-second round, 1999-winner, 1998-first round, 1996-second round, 1995-quarter-finalist, 1994-second round, 1992-semi-finalist, 1991-finalist, 1990-finalist, 1989-third-round, 1988-semi-finalist, 1987-second round.

Agassi just seems to get better with age. He got his year off to the perfect start by winning the Australian Open and he briefly reclaimed his world number one spot with victory at the U.S. Clay Court Championships in late April.

Still capable of bewitching passing shots and great court coverage, Agassi's motivation remains high and, after eight grand slam triumphs, his experience is second to none.

The popular Las Vegan became one of only five men to win all four grand slam titles when he won the French Open in 1999. After two consecutive quarter-final exits, Agassi has grounds to expect an improvement this time.

- - - -

3-Juan Carlos Ferrero (Spain)

Age: 23

Lives: Villena, Spain

Plays: Right-handed, two-handed backhand

Grand slam titles: None

Record at the French Open: 2002-finalist, 2001-semi-finalist, 2000-semi-finalist.

Last year's runner-up at Roland Garros is a claycourt specialist like most of his compatriots and this represents his best hope of a maiden slam title.

Ferrero likes to wear his opponents down with metronomic groundstrokes but a shoulder injury has cast a shadow over his preparations.

The Spaniard won 21 of his 22 claycourt matches this year before retiring hurt due to injury in the Rome Masters semi-finals on May 10.

- - - -

4-Carlos Moya (Spain)

Age: 26

Lives: Geneva, Switzerland

Plays: Right-handed, two-handed backhand

Grand slam titles: One (French Open 199

Record at the French Open: 2002-third round, 2001-second round, 2000-first round, 1999-fourth round, 1998-winner, 1997-second round, 1996-second round.

Another clay-loving Spaniard, although his recent showings at Roland Garros have been disappointing. Not since he won the title as a 21-year-old in 1998 has Moya been past round four.

Moya's win in Barcelona on clay in April has given him renewed optimism for this year's tournament and he believes he now has the mental strength to go all the way again.

The former world number one, named European player of the year for 2002, has all the tools required to win in Paris, the most impressive of which is his thunderous forehand.

- - - -

5-Roger Federer (Switzerland)

Age: 21

Lives: Bottmingen, Switzerland

Plays: Right-handed

Grand Slam titles: None

Record at the French Open: 2002-first round, 2001 quarter-finalist, 2000-fourth round, 1999-first round

Hugely talented Swiss player capable of playing sublime tennis on any surface.

His versatility is amply illustrated by the fact that his two best grand slam performances so far -- reaching the quarter-finals at Roland Garros and Wimbledon in 2001 -- came on two totally different surfaces.

Federer can serve-volley and improvise his game as well as anyone, as Pete Sampras discovered at Wimbledon in 2001. But in Paris his impeccable groundstrokes down both flanks and exceptional touch are like to be his most valuable assets.

- - - -

6-Andy Roddick (United States)

Age: 20

Lives: Boca Raton, Florida

Plays: Right-handed, two-handed backhand

Grand Slam titles: None

Record at the French Open: 2002-first round, 2001-third round.

Roddick made a swashbuckling debut at Roland Garros two years ago when he reached the third round, memorably defeating compatriot Michael Chang in a marathon encounter on the way.

Nicknamed 'A-Rod', he swats the ball with immense power on his forehand and possesses a stinging serve.

Roddick is still learning tactically and, like Hewitt, can lack patience on clay. He will need plenty if he is to win his first tournament outside the United States.

- - - -

9-Albert Costa

Age: 27

Lives: Barcelona, Spain

Plays: Right-handed

Grand Slam titles: One (French Open 2002)

Record at the French Open: 2002-winner, 2001-first round, 2000-quarter-finalist, 1999-third round, 1998-fourth round, 1997-third round, 1996-second round, 1995-quarter-finalist, 1994-first round.

The defending champion saw off compatriot Ferrero in last year's final and he has a strong record in Paris on a surface that suits his rear-court game.

But Costa has struggled for form on clay this year, suffering a series of shock defeats, notably an embarrassing loss to 16-year-old compatriot Rafael Nadal in Monte Carlo.

The 27-year-old Costa has reached the quarter-finals at Roland Garros three times and that may be the best he can hope for as he defends his only grand slam crown.

- - - -

15-Gustavo Kuerten (Brazil)

Age: 26

Lives: Florianopolis, Brazil

Plays: Right-handed

Grand Slam titles: Three (French Open 2001, 2000, 1997)

Record at the French Open: 2002-fourth round, 2001-winner, 2000-winner, 1999-quarter-finalist, 1998-second round, 1997-winner, 1996-first round.

'Guga' loves Paris and Paris loves Guga after his three successes at Roland Garros, after the most recent of which, in 2001, he drew a giant love-heart in the clay to show his appreciation of the French crowd.

So good is his record at the clay-court grand slam that last year's run to the fourth round was a disappointment.

A shock first-round loss in Rome earlier this month will not have helped Kuerten's confidence but with his waspish baseline shots and grace about the court, the Brazilian is still capable of beating anybody on his favourite surface.




Previous French Open men's singles champions


PARIS, May 22 (Reuters) - List of French Open men's singles champions since tennis turned professional in 1968:

1968 Ken Rosewall (Australia) beat Rod Laver (Australia) 6-3 6-1 2-6 6-2

1969 Rod Laver (Australia) beat Ken Rosewall (Australia) 6-4 6-3 6-4

1970 Jan Kodes (Czechoslovakia) beat Zelijko Franulovic (Yugoslavia) 6-2 6-4 6-0

1971 Jan Kodes (Czechoslovakia) beat Ilie Nastase (Romania) 8-6 6-2 2-6 7-5

1972 Andres Gimeno (Spain) beat Patrick Proisy (France) 4-6 6-3 6-1 6-1

1973 Ilie Nastase (Romania) beat Niki Pilic (Romania) 6-3 6-3 6-0

1974 Bjorn Borg (Sweden) beat Manuel Orantes (Spain) 6-7 6-0 6-1 6-1

1975 Bjorn Borg (Sweden) beat Guillermo Vilas (Argentina) 6-2 6-3 6-4

1976 Adriano Panatta (Italy) beat Harold Solomon (U.S.) 6-1 6-4 4-6 7-6

1977 Guillermo Vilas (Argentina) beat Brian Gottfried (U.S.) 6-0 6-3 6-0

1978 Bjorn Borg (Sweden) beat Guillermo Vilas (Argentina) 6-1 6-1 6-3

1979 Bjorn Borg (Sweden) beat Victor Pecci (Paraguay) 6-3 6-1 6-7 6-4

1980 Bjorn Borg (Sweden) beat Vitas Gerulaitis (U.S.) 6-4 6-1 6-2

1981 Bjorn Borg (Sweden) beat Ivan Lendl (Czechoslovakia) 6-1 4-6 6-2 3-6 6-1

1982 Mats Wilander (Sweden) beat Guillermo Vilas (Argentina) 1-6 7-6 6-0 6-4

1983 Yannick Noah (France) beat Mats Wilander (Sweden) 6-2 7-5 7-6

1984 Ivan Lendl (Czechoslovakia) beat John McEnroe (U.S.) 3-6 2-6 6-4 7-5 7-5

1985 Mats Wilander (Sweden) beat Ivan Lendl (Czechoslovakia) 3-6 6-4 6-2 6-2

1986 Ivan Lendl (Czechoslovakia) beat Mikael Pernfors (Sweden) 6-3 6-2 6-4

1987 Ivan Lendl (Czechoslovakia) beat Mats Wilander (Sweden) 7-5 6-2 3-6 7-6

1988 Mats Wilander (Sweden) beat Henri Leconte (France) 7-5 6-2 6-1

1989 Michael Chang (U.S.) beat Stefan Edberg (Sweden) 6-1 3-6 4-6 6-4 6-2

1990 Andres Gomez (Ecuador) beat Andre Agassi (U.S.) 6-3 2-6 6-4 6-4

1991 Jim Courier (U.S.) beat Andre Agassi (U.S.) 3-6 6-4 2-6 6-1 6-4

1992 Jim Courier (U.S.) beat Petr Korda (Czechoslovakia) 7-5 6-2 6-1

1993 Sergi Bruguera (Spain) beat Jim Courier (U.S.) 6-4 2-6 6-2 3-6 6-3

1994 Sergi Bruguera (Spain) beat Alberto Berasategui (Spain) 6-3 7-5 2-6 6-1

1995 Thomas Muster (Austria) beat Michael Chang (U.S.) 7-5 6-2 6-4

1996 Yevgeny Kafelnikov (Russia) beat Michael Stich (Germany) 7-6 7-5 7-6

1997 Gustavo Kuerten (Brazil) beat Sergi Bruguera (Spain) 6-3 6-4 6-2

1998 Carlos Moya (Spain) beat Alex Corretja (Spain) 6-3 7-5 6-3

1999 Andre Agassi (U.S.) beat Andrei Medvedev (Ukraine) 1-6 2-6 6-4 6-3 6-4

2000 Gustavo Kuerten (Brazil) beat Magnus Norman (Sweden) 6-2 6-3 2-6 7-6 (8-6)

2001 Gustavo Kuerten (Brazil) beat Alex Corretja (Spain) 6-7 7-5 6-2 6-0

2002 Albert Costa (Spain) beat Juan Carlos Ferrero (Spain) 6-1 6-0 4-6 6-3
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28,582 Posts
7-Guillermo Coria (Argentina)

Emerging this year as one of the elite claycourters with victory at the Hamburg Masters this month, Coria leads a strong Argentine contingent in Paris. He has never gone beyond the third round of a grand slam, though, and may lose his way if he reaches the second week.
Me thinks this writer has an awfully short memory. He made the 4th round of Australia just this year. Unless he meant the third round of RG - which is true - and just messed up, but judging by the rest of the sentance, that is not the case.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28,582 Posts
Am I alone in thinking that Moya is being given "favourite" status by some writers by default? Yeah, yeah I know he won Barcelona, I know he's won RG before. I'm not saying he isn't a contender. But he hasn't made week two of a slam since Australia 2001. That, and he's been playing like shite as of late, if the match reports are anything to go by. *note: I have not seen him play lately, my tennis coverage blows*
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28,582 Posts
Ferrero likes to wear his opponents down with metronomic groundstrokes but a shoulder injury has cast a shadow over his preparations.
For anybody who cares, a recent interview states that it's not bothering him anymore, and the Ferrero camp is hopeful that the pain won't return :)

But whatever. I think he should play the injury up really good ...less pressure ;)
 

·
psychotic banana
Joined
·
3,022 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I have no idea why Moya seems to be the favorite in people's eyes. I think Ferrero, and maybe even Agassi or Federer are slightly more favored than Moya. :)

And as a Roddick fan, I still have LOL that he was actually listed as a "contender" (look into 2nd list where only "contenders" are listed). :eek:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
181,840 Posts
Nalbandian's surface preference isn't clay either.

Carlos Moya will be lucky if he makes week 2 the way he's been playing in last 3 week :mad:
he's no longer in top 5 contenders.

we can pick out who of the likely contenders got lucky/unlucky when the draw is released.

Coria should be in that 2nd list not Roddick.

lucky the French Open uses little pellets for balls or else Agassi has no chance either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,330 Posts
Rebecca said:
Am I alone in thinking that Moya is being given "favourite" status by some writers by default? Yeah, yeah I know he won Barcelona, I know he's won RG before. I'm not saying he isn't a contender. But he hasn't made week two of a slam since Australia 2001. That, and he's been playing like shite as of late, if the match reports are anything to go by. *note: I have not seen him play lately, my tennis coverage blows*
You are not alone in both wondering why Carlos is listed among the favourites and having crappy men's tennis poverage
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,330 Posts
Rebecca said:
For anybody who cares, a recent interview states that it's not bothering him anymore, and the Ferrero camp is hopeful that the pain won't return :)

But whatever. I think he should play the injury up really good ...less pressure ;)
Nobody cares :p

But good to hear his injury is no longer a problem
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top