French Open 2015 Preview

Wildcard? No thank you!

On Roland Garros’ website I read that there was a change in the wildcards for the main draw. According to the tournament’s website Tennis Australia decided not to take up the wild card on offer from Roland Garros for the women’s singles draw. With them deciding not to take a wildcard option is does meant that Manon Arcangioli who was given a wildcard into qualifying is now giving a wildcard into the main draw with Myrtille Georges taking her wildcard in qualifying.

Australia already have Stosur, Dellacqua and Gajdosova in the main draw as well Alja Tomljanovic and Daria Gavrilova representing Australia in France. Alja is originally from Croatia and Daria from Russia and they are in the process of changing their residency to Australia but on the WTA tour for now that still represent their own countries but as the four grand slams aren’t under WTA/ATP rules and ITF rules they represent Australia for the next couple of weeks.

I’ve never really heard of a situation like this before where a tennis association has not taken a wildcard for one of the biggest tennis tournaments in the world. They do have a lot of players they could give one to and it would be invaluable experience for them.

No Del Potro 😦

After making his comeback earlier on in the year sadly Juan Martin Del Potro suffered another injury and has withdrawn from this year’s French Open. It is a shame when one of the best players in the world gets injured and every tennis fan wishes he was back on the court soon!

Home favourite!

I suppose in Tennis there is no bigger pressure than playing in front of a home crowd. I like Caroline Garcia and it is good to see her having a good year on the WTA tour. Caroline will go into the tournament ranked at 31 in the world which does mean she will be seeded at Roland Garros so won’t play any of the top players in the opening 2 or 3 rounds.

In my opinion I do think she is having a very good year on the tour. It was a good week in Rome for her going out to Jovanovski in the first round and there have been a couple more disappointing early exits from tournaments against players who she should be beating! This year we have seen her beat Pliskova, Kuznetsova and Ana Ivanovic (twice) on the tour and has come very close to beating Maria Sharapova in Madrid but lost on the finest of margins.

One of her strengths is her two handed backhand which can dicate a lot of rallies which we saw against Ana Ivanovic and produce winners or force opponents into errors. I think in front of a home crowd there will be added pressure but hopefully Caroline can go on a good run in France!

Another home favourite is Gael Monfils. Gael is the entertainer on the tour and some of the shots he can produce others just dream of. There is a chance of a Federer v Monfils match in the fourth round and that would be an absolute treat for the Roland Garros crowd and I wouldn’t bet against Monfils losing that!

Can Nadal retain his title for the 10th time?

Rafael Nadal is currently going through his worst time on the clay courts. After losing to Andy Murray in the Madrid final and Stanislas Wawrinka in Rome semi-finals there is doubts about whether the Spaniard can retain his title. Nadal’s form has been patchy for quite a while now almost a year since winning Roland Garros last year. Can the Nadal who will be ranked seeded 6th at Roland Garros win the title again? Read more of his chances below

Can Nadal retain his title?

Will it be Grand Slam No.20 for Serena?

For me there is no better player in the shitory of tennis than Serena Williams. The world number one is on another level to everyone else. Her dominance in matches is brilliant to watch and even when she is struggling the ability to grind out results against some of the top players in the world is superb. The big question is will she win Roland Garros and her 20th Grand Slam title?

Last year Serena lost to Garbine Muguruza early on and it was a very good match by Garbine who got a lot of joy from getting pace and depth on shots down the middle of the court which gave Serena little to work with and the Spaniard deserved that win.

I am little bit worried for Serena as she scrapped through her match against Azarenka in Madrid who should have beat the world number one and was then comfortably beaten by Petra Kvitova in Madrid. If Serena is going to win Grand Slam title number 20 then it looks like being a very difficult run to the final but if anyone can, Serena can!

sw rg

The opening couple of rounds are quite kind to Serena and will be good to settle into the tournament but the possibility of potentially facing Azarenka, Venus, Wozniacki, Kvitova and Sharapova or Halep will be very tough!

Who is Frances Tiafoe?

Frances Tiafoe is only 17 years old but has been rewarded with a wildcard into Roland Garros. Frances has made his name on the Challenger tour this beating over 20 players ranked higher than him. He recently secured his first top 100 win in Tallahassee and has played in a main tour match when he was 16 at the Citi Open last year where he lost to Evgeny Donskoy in a close match losing 6-4 6-4. You can read more on Frances below.

Who is Frances Tiafoe?

Could Suarez Navarro be one to watch?

Carla is the form player at the moment. She has now reached a career high ranking of 8 in the world and became the first woman to win 30 matches on the WTA tour this year. Carla has made it to the Antwerp, Miami and Rome finals however has fallen short in all them losing to Andrea Petkovic, Serena Williams and in Rome recently Maria Sharapova despite a close match.

On the clay court this year Carla has beaten Bencic, Halep, Kvitova, Invanovic and Bouchard on clay which is an exceptional achievement. I do think she can cause trouble for players at the French Open this year. So far this year she has beaten 8 players ranked in the top 10 and last year got to the quarter finals of the French for the second time in her career and if she could achieve that or maybe a semi-final place this year!

I do think Carla could go far in the tournament but I’m not sure she can win it unless she can miss or get past Serena, Sharapova or Azarenka otherwise it could be very tough!

Wozniacki & Halep win their first slam?

Both have come close to winning a Grand Slam in the past but is their time now? Both players have had a good year so far, Wozniacki has been playing well on the clay but Halep has struggled for consistency during matches recently. If Wozniacki and Halep are going to meet it will be in the final. Both players are in separate sides of the draw but have a difficult run to the final.

sh cw rg

Looking at the draws I do think that Simona has the best route to the final. Simona has Aga and Ana in her quarter of the draw and both of those players have struggled this year and I wouldn’t be surprised to see an early upset there. Wozniacki’s draw is a little bit tougher and getting past Serena is the challenge. Last year she played Serena a number of times and despite losing on all occasions I felt she was the only player last year who pushed her to her best in every meeting they had.

Other Roland Garros articles!

Is it Novak’s best chance of winning Roland Garros?

Is Andy Murray a contender in France?

Brit Watch – French Open Preview

Could Azarenka win her first French Open title?

Will Nadal find his best tennis to defend his title?

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