As we move into the second week of the French Open at Roland Garros it’s all been smooth sailing for the leading men so far. Whilst on the women’s side, the biggest shock of the tournament came in the opening round.
Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic, the two favourites in the men’s event, have both negotiated the first week with minimal fuss and without the loss of a set. In fact, Djokovic has won the nine sets he’s played for the loss of just 23 games, whilst Rafa is averaging less than two games a set dropped, standing on 17 games losses.
Things haven’t been quite so simple for Federer and Murray, but neither of them have looked in any real danger of going out. Roger has dropped a couple of sets, against Unqur and Mahut, which will be of some concern for the Swiss as he prepares for much tougher tasks ahead. Meanwhile, Andy Murray gave the British a real scare in the second round, when a back injury saw him drop the first set to Nieminen, 6-1. It looked like the Scot could be making an early exit from the competition, however he bounced back to come through that one in four sets and a comfortable victory in the following round seemed to suggest the back problems were behind him.
Story of the week so far on the Men’s side has been the success of 21-year-old lucky loser from Belgium, David Goffin. After losing in the third qualifying round ahead of the main event, Goffin was invited back into the draw following the withdrawal of French favourite, Gael Monfils. Since then he has produced some stunning performances to defeat, Radek Stepanek, Arnaud Clement and Lukasz Kubot. The youngster will step out in the fourth round against his idol, Roger Federer.
We haven’t had a lot in the way of epic matches from the men so far in Paris, but there should be plenty to come in the week ahead. Berdych and Del Potro will go head-to-head as they battle for the right to in all probability face Roger Federer in the quarter-finals, whilst Djokoivc and Tsonga could do battle in the last eight too. Nadal looks like he could be facing countryman Nicolas Almagro in the quarters, which may provide a challenge and Murray will face the man who beat him in Romelast week, when he faces Richard Gasquet in the fourth round.
In the women’s event there’s no question that the biggest upset of the week came in the match I told you to look out for last Monday. Serena Williams came up against home favourite Virginie Razzano. Serena took the first set comfortably and led 5-1 in a second set tie-break before somehow succumbing and losing the set. A cramping Razzano then raced into a big lead in the deciding set, but with the score at 5-2 in her favour, Razzano needed eight match points before finally seeing off the American challenge and confirming one of the biggest French Open upsets in recent history.
Maria Sharapova is now looking like the hottest property in the draw as she marches confidently past all who are put in her way, but the likes of Victoria Azarenka, Petra Kvitova, Na Li and Angelique Kerber are all still looking strong and could potentially win this event.
Worryingly for Azarenka, she lost the opening set of her first match to Italian Alberta Brianti, but she hasn’t looked back since and has moved through to a fourth round meeting with Cibulkova without the loss of any further sets.
2011 Wimbledon Champion, Petra Kvitova looked like she may be in trouble in her third round match against young Russian, Nina Bratchikova , but she recovered well from losing the second set, to comfortably take the decider.
A semi-final match-up between Kvitova and Sharapova looks like it could be on the agenda for later in the week, but Kvitova would need to defeat reigning Champion Na Li first. Meanwhile, Angelique Kerber will be hopeful of setting up a semi-final meeting with world no.1, Azarenka, but may first have to come through a tricky quarter final with Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Potential Week Two Match-Ups – Look out for these matches for great trading opportunities:
Round Four: Juan Martin Del Potro v Tomas Berdych
Round Four: Roger Federer v David Goffin
Round Four: Andy Murray v Richard Gasquet
Quarterfinal: Roger Federer v Tomas Berdych
Quarterfinal: Andy Murray v David Ferrer
Quarterfinal: Novak Djokovic v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Quarterfinal: Rafa Nadal v Nicolas Almagro
Round Four: Victoria Azarenka v Dominica Cibulkova
Quarterfinal:PetraKvitova v Na Li
Quarterfinal: Victoria Azarenka v Sam Stosur
Semi-final: Petra Kvitova v Maria Sharapova.
I’ll be back soon with more top tips,