Roland Garros draw

(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe)

(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe)

It’s 5:00 AM and I’ve been staring at a spinning Roland Garros logo for what feels like hours. Why the heck did I get up early for this? Okay, finally…

Seeds in Rafa’s quarter: Karlovic, Soderling, Ferrer, Davydenko, Wawrinka, Almagro, and Verdasco.

Seeds in Rafa’s half: Murray, Feliciano Lopez, Stepanek, Cilic, Gonzalez, Safin, Hanescu, and Simon.

Seeds in the bottom half: Federer, Del Potro, Andreev, Tursunov, Tsonga, Robredo, Kohlschreiber, Djokovic, Roddick, Schuettler, Monifls, Blake, Berdych, and Mathieu. (And that’s a lot of strange typing to be doing this early – goodness knows how many typos are in there.)

The Draw

23 Responses

  1. Izzy says:

    Finally Federer if he is going to earn a place in the final will have to go through Djokovic in a semi…finally!!! But check out Federers quarter, the weakest by far until he gets to his semi. Why of why am I not suprised! (Laughing out of shear frustrastion!!!)

    Probable outcomes

    Quarter Finals
    Nadal v’s Verdasco
    Murray v’s Fernando Gonzalez
    Djokovic v’s Del Porto
    Federer v’s Thomas Berdych

    Semi Final
    Nadal v’s Murray
    Djokovic v’s Federer

  2. IIOO says:

    Nole in Fed’s half at RG! A chance for a Rafole final at last!

  3. Izzy says:

    I know it is brilliant. Now Fed will have to prove how “great” he is! Ah how great Federer must now feel knowing that in order to win Roland GArros he will have to beat Djokovic and then Nadal! This may be enough mentally to take Fed down before the semis…after all he doesnt thrive on adversity and mentally he is his own worst enemy!

    • tiemyshoe says:

      I don’t buy the Federer ‘is a mental shambles’ bit. He’s had a rough time, but there’s no way a 13-time GS winner doesn’t thrive on adversity. He’s always a threat.

    • Anna says:

      Fed became Fed by beating Sampras in a 5 set match. He’s gone trough 5 setters and came out the winner as recently as in this year’s AO (against Berdych) and last year’s USO (against Andreev). People exaggerate his mental frailty a great deal. Mostly because they don’t know how to explain his losses to Rafa any other way. But Fed is no mental midget.

      In fact, I’d put my money on him if it comes to Djokovic vs. Federer semi in RG and if Djokovic doesn’t close it out in 3 or 4 sets.

      If it goes to a 5th, I’d bet on Federer. All the way.

  4. Kalliopeia says:

    If Rafa is healthy and rested, I don’t think he’ll have a ton of problems until the quarters at least. I see him playing Ferrer in the fourth round but I don’t see Ferrer having the self-belief to hurt Rafa on clay. Wawrinka or Verdasco in the quarters, I predict. Wawrinka could be tough, depending on if he actually shows up for the match. Hes kind of inconsistent. I don’t think an in-form Rafa has much to fear, really, from either of them. Not over five sets. For the semis…..hmmm. My first instinct is to say Murray but Murray isn’t brilliant on clay. Gonzalez might be able to take him out. I don’t know what to think about Simon these days.

    I don’t have time to look closely at this right now! Work is SO inconvenient. But I think I see Rafa into the semis without too much hassle. I shall peruse it in more detail while at lunch today. Maybe I’ll do an analysis post later? I like doing those. :D

  5. skyejaden says:

    At first glance Ferrer jumps out as a biggest threat, but then when they play on clay Rafa seems to jump out and dominate (no real shock) even though I love their match up – I see Rafa getting through that. I’m elated at the possibility of a Rafa/Nole final – but of course, we’ll go one match at a time. :) Nole has Pico, that’s not a cake walk for sure.

    YAY back to bed… lol

  6. An says:

    I’m glad Djoko is on the other side of the draw.

    IMO he’s the one who’s become the closest to Rafa on clay… No chance of meeting him before the final is good!

    Of course there are some tough ones in Rafa’s half to but, again imo, i don’t see them doing him much over 5 sets.


  7. tiemyshoe says:

    Dedication, miri! 5 a.m., oof.

    Looking like a tough quarter, and less tough half – he’s got some very good claycourters in his quarter, but I can’t see anyone who could threaten him over five sets in a semi. Which is great, because it’s better to have the tough matches early on then deeper into the tournament.

    On Federer and Djokovic’s half, is there anything that will prevent these two from meeting in the semi? I don’t see any sleeper claycourt threats. Rafa’s got far more danger in his quarter (but nothing he can’t handle – he’s never lost to any of these folks on clay, of course).

    I predict that should Rafa get to the semis (and I say “should” due to potential jinx-y-ness), he’ll meet someone unexpected, sort of like Fed v. Monfils in 08. I’d be surprised if Muzz made it to the semis.

    • rez says:

      that’s exactly right. We see all these tough players in his quarter. I guess it’s still a good draw considering that Nole in on the other side.

      Also thank miri for posting this. I got up early (to my standard:)) to check the draws here.

  8. sG says:

    I’m sorry but what the hell is this? Could Djokovic or Federer have asked for a sweeter draw? Scanning through the names in the bottom half and aside from those two, I am left underwhelmed. Okay, Del Potro’s probably sporting a ‘don’t tread on me’ sign this tourney; and Kohlshreiber on clay is no walkover, but the rest? Monfils is a wounded duck; Berdych can barely keep his nerve; Blake has had a decent clay court run but I doubt he’ll do any damage; neither will Roddick; and I still don’t buy the idea of Tsonga on clay (don’t care that he’s French). Andreev may be due for a run of good form — and if that comes to pass then he will be a threat but until then… If either Novak or Fed don’t get through to the semis they’ll really have something to worry about.

    Rafa’s quarter certainly isn’t easy like Sunday morning, nor is the rest of his half anything to wave off. His quarter is certainly loaded! The only two listed who I don’t see as being as tough as the rest on clay are Soderling and Karlovic, but the former has his surliness and the latter his serve so who knows what hijinks will ensue! If Rafa’s quarter seems stacked with more obvious contenders, the later half of his draw strikes me as a trickier breed. Tough in the sense of tenacity or tactics, specifically Murray, Simon, Stepanek and Gonzalez. As for Cilic and the rest, they could get hot which makes them tricky in the ‘I don’t know what to expect from you’ sense. Safin remains ever the habitual dark horse of the overall tennis season — so far his talent hasn’t decided to come out to play.

    Last time I broke down the draw, the winners and the losers, for my personal amusement and my boy lost! I think this time I’ll go back to just evaluating the draw with a quick skim of the eye, cry “Vamos!” and leave it at that.


  9. killian says:

    Miri, this is a fabulous site!! Thanks for your energy and dedication. VAMOS!!!!!

  10. CC says:

    Que sera, sera… That’s all I can say. If Rafa has a really bad day and one of the others the best day of their life, they can beat Rafa. I’m sure. Hopefully, however, that will not happen until further on in the tournament. If at all.
    Wawrinka could be tough. Nole, of course.

  11. johanne says:

    Well I’m def happy Nole is in the other other half, but as usual Fed’s quarter is an effing cake walk. Lucky duck! ;)

    As far as Rafa’s quarter goes, remember that he doesn’t have to play ALL those good seeds. Davy, Stanny, Nando, hell even Almagro – they’d have to duke it out before getting to Rafa…only one of those guys can play him. Same thing for his half: Murray, Gonzo, Simon, Safin…only one can play Rafa. So I’m trying to think of it like that. Obviously I’m still nervous because I’m such a huge fan. :)

    VAMOS RAFA!!!!!

    • CC says:

      Deep down inside I’m nervious as hell, as well. Just trying to be cool as a cucumber. ;)

      • johanne says:

        I know…I’m so anxious, it’s totally ridiculous. Whatever.

        On another note, I hope Hewitt takes out Karlovic. I’d rather watch paint dry than watch Karlovic play. Sorry, but his matches are so boring!

        • CC says:

          Yes, I like Hewitt better anyways. Would be nice for him to do well.
          Wonder when Rafa’s first match is? I’m off to Rafaisland on holiday next week, so will be sure to catch it on TV there!

        • Josh says:

          Can I just ask to you all; why are all the news outlets going “Rafa faces a tough prospect in Lleyton Hewitt for the third round”. I mean bearing mind if both of them get that far, and with no offence intended to Hewitt; but seriously?! I mean I love Hewitt from my days as an 8 year old watching Wimbledon but he is not the man he was; and Rafa beat him in both ’06 and comfortably in ’07 when he was less of a complete player as he is now.

          Anyway I think toughest will be Nando until we get to the semis where it will be interesting to see who gets there. Good old Nando, you know I was so scared of him in the QF of Madrid I was more fearful of Rafa losing to Nando than Djokovic, Crazy huh?!

          • kalliopeia says:

            Because they need to find something to talk about and Hewitt gave Rafa a heck of a fight on clay a couple of years ago in….I forget where. Hewitt’s not a threat though, I don’t think.

            • johanne says:

              Yeah, I agree with this. I think it’s also out of respect to a former No. 1. They do the same with Safin. I realize his ranking is higher than Lleyton’s, but they’re both not the same players they once were. However, that’s not to say they’re not still a name, you know? And when that happens is early rounds *BAM!* it’s a story. Rafa beat Lleyton comfortably at the Olympic Games. Should be fine.

  12. dutchgirl says:

    My first reaction to the draw was: ‘so happy that Djokovic is in the other half!’ So I decided to stick with that happy feeling and have faith. This can and probably will go up and down during the tournament btw, especially on the days that Rafa will have to play.
    Yes indeed, the burden of a true Rafa fan!

  13. GD says:

    PEOPLE, Rafas toughest opponent right now is Pressure, and 2nd fatigue/injury.

    After the mental and physical hurdles come the opponents and his biggest threat in the draw right now is Qualifier! Laugh if you must, but rafa has had a long clay season, pissed about madrid and hte stupid conditions Which have put off his preparation, hes barely had ne rest, and hes got lots of pressure to do well here whereas qualifier has been playing several matches already and has nothing to lose…

    If he gets past qualifier, id say theres some talent there really. Hewitt is tough in the sense that he has nothing to lose, if its really hot and hewitt sees the ball well and rafa is A bit off theres potential for some damage from lleyton, really as much as rafa loves to isolate every match as 1 match, if WE look at a 5th crown we must look at a whole, how many players can wear down rafa?

    Im gonna put my money in my mouth, Murray and simon, fuh-geda-bowdit! Murray isnt moving well on clay, hes confidence from the beggingin of the clay season is gone and in best of 5 hes much more vulnerable, nando can beat him, Simon is even less likely to advance, u need weight of shot on clay, simon has to work way too hard on clay, the crowd wont carry him through unless by some miracle he plays AMAZING and the opponents crumble, he cant do it, he needs the fast courts to be use the opponents pace (go watch the ao loss to rafa). Gonzo Is a threat But He says hes been injured (if thats a lie then he could have been working on a secret weapon for the clay season), Davy is also a bit iffy he really has been injured (that guy just doesnt miss tournies), Dasco is a huge danger but Hopefully the courts at RG will allow for a drubbing ala Rome, and the second set of madrid is in his mind, again conditions will have an effect.

    Ferrer Definitley potential for a tough match, Karlovic is a potential danger if he gets to rafa and its particularly hot and dry but i dont really see that happenin, Almagro hes not only wasted this clay court season but well did u watch last year? Stepanek im sorry no chance, Cilic dont see him getting that far (if he does hell be on his last legs and he cant just blast his way to a win either), same goes for safin. Man im just happy nole isnt in his half. Hes a trouble on ANY surface for rafa the WORST match up, and hes proven that on any clay court hes rafas toughest opponent (even showed that last year).

    I type too much, But just my 2 cents worth. I dont think we can ever assume its a cakewalk to the title, honestly JUST because of nole, this is the favourable draw, thats the ONLY ONLY ONLY reason. but whose to say nole wont tank it like wimbledon last year? We dunno wat madrid has done to him, also nole could still lose in the semis IF hes carrying scars from madrid…. really dont know.