The draw is out for the singles events at Roland Garros 2017. With that predictions aplenty promise to become available from the pundits. To give tennis fans a snapshot of the draw, this is what it would look like in the round of sixteen if the seeds held up for each quarter.
Top half of the draw:
Bottom half of the draw:
(6) Dominic Thiem vs. (10) David Goffin
(2) Novak Djokovic vs. (16) Lucas Pouille
The top half of the draw has to be considered the weaker half for this particular Grand Slam. Arguably, the brightest light up there right now is Alexander Zverev. In fact, the 20-year old German might entertain ambitions of making it all the way to the tournament final in Paris. There’s certainly good reason to be skeptical of every projected fourth rounder on the top half of the draw with the exception of Zverev.
With Andy Murray, there’s bad form for practically the entire season. Furthermore, the World No. 1 reportedly has the flu right now (Samuel Lovett/The Independent/May 25th). Lastly, the French Open is historically his worst Grand Slam with last year’s run to the final his best showing. The conditions seem to be right for Murray to suffer what would probably be called a shocking upset. However, I personally wouldn’t be surprised if he fell in the quarterfinals or earlier because he hasn’t had a great season to date.
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With Tomas Berdych and Gael Monfils, you kind of get the feeling that their best tennis is behind them. They’ve both been to the semifinals of the French Open, but for each player the result was ages ago.
With Nishikori and Cilic, you do find two very dangerous players, however, it seems that you always have to be worried about injuries with both of them. Nishikori is just the 14th-best player on year-to-date rankings while Cilic is way out at 20th. They are both worth keeping an eye one because they do have some finalist potential given the situation with the top favorites all on the other side of the draw.
In regard to Tsonga, he has two titles this season, and if he’s ready to go in Paris, then he could challenge for the final in what is an open section of the draw. However, since winning Rotterdam and Marseille he has been pretty quiet. Wawrinka, the 2015 champion from Roland Garros, can’t be ignored, but he didn’t play his best in the Master Series events that were recently completed. He’s also in the Geneva final this weekend, and he may have been smarter to rest up for the French.
Zverev, with the title in Rome that has surged him up the rankings, is the only player that is hard to criticize on the top half. If anything his Grand Slam results don’t include a deep run yet, but then he’s never been seeded as high as 9th. He’ll avoid the top players through the opening rounds, he certainly isn’t a choker, and he’s in better form than Nishikori, Murray, and Wawrinka. The top half of the draw is open to a fair extent, but I think if you have to pick a final you’d go with Zverev vs. Nadal at this point.