Monday, June 2, 2008

Roland Garros Second Check In

Photo by Flickr user sebrenner used under a Creative Commons license.

The Quarterfinals are set, and here's how we stand.

All the heavy-hitters are intact, with Nadal, Federer, and Djokovic coasting along, but after that we have a grab bag of remaining contestants, as only one of the next 15 seeded players remain.

Both my underdog candidates (Monfils and Almagro) have played their way into the quarters, partially thanks to a couple of upsets to Nalbandian (6) and Davydenko (4).

Almost every quarterfinal match looks like something to behold, with the only likely walkover being Federer over Gonzalez. It's not that I don't think Gonzalez is a phenomenal player, it's just that his biggest strength, a blistering 120-mph forehand, doesn't serve him very well on the red clay.

Other than that, Almagro vs. Nadal looks like it could be the premiere match-up as the two clay-court specialists try their trade against each other. Ernest Gulbis isn't someone you want to dismiss too quickly either, as the Latvian has only dropped a single set this entire tourney, so there's another potential upset.

I've been quite impressed with the play of David Ferrer thus far. I was kind of skeptical early on, despite his Spanish pedigree, and opined that he might be upset by Monfils. I still stand by that prediction, as I think Monfils is better than he has played basically his entire pro career, but there is an equally large chance that Ferrer brushes him off in straight sets.