RG: Singles Draw

Photo by JACQUES DEMARTHON/AFP/Getty Images

It’s that time again…the smell of spring flowers, clay dust and sweat in Paris. The draw is out! Rafa’s first round match will be against Gianni Mina. Seeds in Rafa’s quarter include: Verdasco, Kohlschreiber, Almagro, Gonzalez, Ljubicic, Bellucci and Hewitt. In Rafa’s half are Djokovic, Roddick, Monaco, Melzer, Ferrer, Ferrero, Querrey, and Hanescu. In the other half of the draw are Federer, F. Lopez, Wawrinka, Monfils, Cilic, Gulbis, Montanes, Soderling, Murray, Baghdatis, Berdych, Robredo, Garcia-Lopez and Tsonga.

Once it’s up, you should be able to see the draw here. Until then, you can check it out in this more difficult to read format.

107 Responses

  1. Susanna728 says:

    I’m quite happy with Rafa’s draw. Keep in mind we’re talking about 5 sets, which gives Rafa a huge advantage. With the exception of Verdasco (and only if he’s physically and mentally in good shape), I don’t see any of the guys in Rafa’s quarter being able to hang with him for 5 sets. So that leads to either Nole, who is a big question mark, or David -who could be the biggest threat if he plays as well as he has been playing. Ferrer is one of the only guys in good enough shape to stay with Rafa over five sets. But I still predict the trophy for our boy.

  2. Ch F says:

    When Rafa is healthy and confident he can do anything. So that’s what I’m hoping for.
    I don’t find the draw horrible, ok Djokovic is dangerous but we can’t expect a draw with no dangerous opponents.
    Here’s to a healthy confident Rafa who’ll play some great tennis for all of us to watch!

  3. Rafafan says:

    Hi all Rafa fans – from Rafafan. I have to say after reading the comments I am absolutely ecstatic about the draw (apart from the first match! – and actually Lubicic)I know this is silly but Rafa is always nervous in a first match and playing a French! with their reputation and hostility to our boy. The French guy has nothing to lose – a no hopper – of course anythng is possible on any given day, Rafa doen’t know him “from adam” as we say in england and therefore doesn’t know his play – get the picture why I am worrying? and hope Rafa like he says one match at a time – boy he needs it coz it’s more of the french crowd than the player I think? Just hope he works it out if the guy is hot hot hot serve or has studied Rafa since he was … er 3.. Who knows but I am NERVOUS Sorry for the caps Miri! Its just I am so thrilled with the draw. I didn’t want Gulbis or the Sod near our boy (coz they are his nemisis for sure…and they are not there – yipee). Djok no way -he is not up to scratch. The reason he was so close in Madrid – fast courts, the knee etc. and Fed, Rafa knows how to beat him even if the Fed tries to come to the net. Rafa would have beaten him more easily in Madrid but I think coz his serve was crap and the altitude thingy plus I reckon Rafa was a little nervous and prob the first time he was dropping things he should have won like at the beginning of the year when he should have won Doha, aganst lubicicetcd. Hope this makes sense. I am always so longwinded and ramble….

  4. Stf says:

    Guys, seriously? Nole? Do you seriously think that there is a person out there that can beat Rafa in 5 sets, especially if Rafa is healthy? Personally, I think the draw is actually pretty good, compared to Fed’s. Fed should be able to get to the finals because 5 setters work to his advantage as well. But Gulbis and Soderling NOT in Rafa’s way? Definitely a good thing.

    I don’t think Ljubicic can last 5 sets and Almagro can’t either. They’re both good players but Ljubi is older and he’s been getting injured lately and Nico can keep up a good performance for about a set and a half. After that, I think there’s absolutely no chance for him to keep up with Rafa. Provided Rafa doesn’t get tired because he hasn’t played 3 sets in a while, this should work to his advantage. I don’t think Djoko can push him to 5 sets and if he does, well, look at them both. Nole with health and mental issues and Rafa who has just won 3 masters in a row and has just beaten Fed. Who’s got the advantage here?

    As long as Rafa is happy, healthy and confident, which he should be now, he can beat anyone. Just have some faith in him. He has earned it.

  5. emir says:

    i mean this is sports in the ned anything can happen,rafa is clever enough to concantrate one match at a time..he isnt going to buy ohh i am unbeateble in a beat 5 on this surface..the only thing thats diffrent from the previous french opens,that fed is defending champion so he wont be desperate for the title but that can make him more comfortable..this is sports anything can happeN..i will be sad if rafa cant win..but it isnt do or die for me..the only diffrence as i said before possible fed rafa match,fed is the defending champion…but to reach a major final isnt a sure thing even for anybody so..i wont think abaut nole or fed before the semis or final..

  6. Anita says:

    So no one is nervous that Rafa has every good clay court player in his half of the draw? I’m nervous but I agree that with 5 sets it should be a cakewalk for Rafa. Hoping and praying!!! VAMOS RAFA!!

    • Stf says:

      He is known to own every clay court player out there by scoring wins. He has done so against the most consistent players such as Ferrero and Ferrer. He’s proven that he is the best clay courter.

  7. Izzy says:

    I am NOT CONCERNED at all!!!
    Reasoning is this.
    The people that can produce freakish wins, flash in the pan wins are nowhere near Rafa side of the draw. They are all on Feds side.

    And please all remember this- all the good Spanish clay courters have played too much tennis up until this point and are fatigued and one in particular, Verdasco is injured (ankle).

    There is no way any of them can pull out a freakish win in 3, let alone with in 5 sets against a fit and rested Rafa!

    It wouldnt surprise me if where Rafas side of teh draw is concerned you see all the big names fall to the way side, retiring for one thing or the other, or just being beaten out of fatigue.

    Providing an injury to RAFA ( WHICH IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN, I am just saying) our boy will make it safely and with relative easy into the Final.

    He will b on fire this tournament and back to his MOnte Carlo best. You wait and see,because in Rome and Madrid he played so so for himself. His due to play out of his skin.

    • Els says:

      I’d say the draw is fine – there is no draw with no dangerous opponents at all ;-) but I was glad to see Gulbis and Soderling both in Fed’s side of the draw. Fed could meet Gulbis in QF, and if Gulbis can play his best tennis, he might be a very difficult and dangerous opponent. The known good clay court players are very good … but not good enough to beat Rafa. ;-)

  8. vamsi says:

    very sad not to see sorderling in rafa s half
    it would have been a cracker of a match
    i still hope that that guy managed to beat rf and play rafa in the finals

    anyways lovely draw
    many epics awaiting us

    vamos rafa!!!

  9. Fay says:

    I would never say that it is going to be easy for Rafa, Almagro is in hot form at the moment and is dying to beat Rafa! He was really dangerous in Madrid and is not to be taken lightly, for me it all depends more on Rafa and how he is physically plus of course how he is feeling the ball, conditions etc.. if he plays well there should be no hiccups, all I can say is fingers crossed* all goes to plan!!! I will be away after the 1st week and will be nervous for the whole of my holiday me thinks!

    • vamsi says:

      hey common should some optimism
      rafa is playing gr8
      he is not going to be defaeted easily this time
      he is there for the trophy
      experts feel that rafa s name can be scribbled on the trophy right now
      experts have a reason when they say so
      almagro and verdesco r in fine form
      they will definately offer competition and bring out the best from rafa for his own good
      it will be nice if rafa tests his game a bit before the big sunday

      • Fay says:

        Yes on the surface it is all looking good for Rafa, its just that every match is best of five. Previously to his injury this was always in Rafas favour, he can outlast anyone physically and mentally but its the toll on his body that worries me, he needs to keep his matches short if possible and save himself for the final. In RG 08 where Rafa was sublime he steam rolled everyone only being tested say by Nole in the semi’s, I would love to see this again but it is too early to say that he is going to win it, he is always the favourite any year, one thing is for sure he is in better shape than last year, but I agree it would be nice if Rafa gets his game tested and comes through better for it.

        • Stf says:

          I’m pretty sure there are very few players out there who can play well and with the same consistency as Rafa in a fourth or fifth set. Sure, he might get tired sooner than he used to but the same applies to most players out there. The only one I can think of who’s good on clay and can play five sets well is Delpo. And, well, he’s not around this year. ;)

  10. Nana says:

    Catching up on the tennis that I missed last week and think that one thing I look forward to seeing again at RG, is the bored faces of opponents while waiting for rafa in the tunnel, for coin toss etc… That would be fun ;)

    Monfils did try to read, maybe someone will being a book!

    I just can’t wait for Rafa to start! Perhaps on Tuesday?

  11. jba says:

    The OOP for Tuesday is up and Rafa plays third on Suzanne Lenglen. http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/scores/schedule/schedule8.html
    To be honest, I’m completely baffled why Rafa isn’t going to play on Philippe Chatrier. :|

  12. Vic says:

    France attacks… or is it the martians?

    Rafa will debut tomorrow on the Suzanne Lenglen court, while Andy Rodick will play the Philippe Chatrier court. The matter has not come unnoticed by the spanish media. Be prepared for the age old Spain versus France paraphernalia.

    I expect Nadal to win but really…after the equally disastrous organization of the Madrid tournament, I think… it’s the martians!

    • miri says:

      Excuse me while I rant a bit (this is the polite version):

      This happens every year: people scream about a conspiracy in the scheduling. Did you know Federer played his first RG match in 2008 on Lenglen? They like to sell tickets to Lenglen, so every now and then, they put people on Lenglen who will sell tickets. It actually kind of nice that they share the love a bit and don’t keep all the name players in one court.

      The slightly less polite version I tweeted a minute ago:
      I’m not answering anyone who asks why Rafa’s match is on Lenglen. 1: I’m not the scheduler. 2: IT DOESN’T MATTER *ahem* I feel better now.

      • Inés says:

        well, in 2008 Roger played the same day that Rafa although Roger had to play the next day, but the tournament decided to put Roger early this day because the forecast for the next days were awful, Roger ended his match but Rafa’s match was suspended because of the rain and he has to play three matches in three days. I remember Rafa very pissed off with this issue, he even said something about it in the interview with Alex Corretja

        • miri says:

          Fed played on Lenglen in 2005. In 2006 Fed and Mauresmo played on Lenglen on the same day.

          I’m just saying, it’s not all that unusual for top or popular players to be on Lenglen.

          • Inés says:

            I know Miri, Rafa always has played at least one match there although never the first day and do you think that Roddick Nieminen is more interesting than Rafa Mina? and perhaps can be a casualty, but last year Federer never had to play there

            • miri says:

              I admit to being surprised when he got the second court when playing a French player, but the match is likely to be a massacre and not that interesting. Maybe they were trying to help the French player a bit by having him on a smaller, less intimidating court. Also, the Roddick match might have a nice bit of comedy to it given his lack of play on clay this year. ;)

              Last year was just odd. Period. (Maybe Fed was supposed to be on Lenglen in a later tourny, but after Rafa was out, they figured they had to put the one top player they had left on the main court? Dunno.)

              Bottom line: we’ll never truly know why scheduling decisions are made…unless we get a mole in the scheduling area of the tournament. ;)

      • tiemyshoe says:

        Hrmm, I’m gonna go out on a limb and predict now that Rafa will get majorly screwed over by scheduling/rain/organizers at Wimbledon AND U.S. Open, ’cause I’m clairboyant like that. ;)

        Anyway, I think there definitely are politics behind scheduling – but these “demonized” officials actually have to run a tournament, and work out a schedule so that all the courts sell well! I know, shockhorror.

        As I see it, the politics are in which players’ special requests get granted behind the scenes (remember that FB vid with Pico and Rafa whining about his night match, when Pico joked that Rafa “had no weight”? Very telling, even in jest). But since there’re no reports that Rafa was dead-set on starting on Philippe-Chatrier, there’s no reason for outrage. Plus, when you’re seeded #2 and the worst thing that can happen to you is getting the second most magnificent court to play on during Round 1 … well, there’s no reason to whine.

        I’m sure if Gasquet – whose perfectly reasonable request for a later start was denied – heard people decrying Rafa’s Lenglen start, he’d laugh and laugh.

        • miri says:

          Was clairboyant an intentional typo? Because I totally love it. :)

          And yeah, we have no idea how much politicing, whining, yelling and bullying goes into the scheduling process – and it comes from the players, coaches, sponsors, TV people (from all countries), etc. Basically, I think it’s like the draw: everyone seems to think their favorite player is screwed while the others are getting by easily. People see what they want to see.

          • Marilyn Wasserman says:

            American TV can’t be swinging that much weight. Roddick and Querry/Ginepri will be playing at about the same time. This American is planning on watching via Livestream anyway. I don’t subscribe to Tennis Channel and ESPN’s coverage is really annoying since most of it is tape delay, and they’re careful to tell you all about it during their short earlier live coverage. Thankfully I’ve been getting good quality and selection from Livestream so far.

            • miri says:

              I agree – I don’t think American TV got Roddick on the main court…after all, they’d want a time when more people would be awake! So, last match would have been better. tennischannel.com is also streaming matches on their site.

          • tiemyshoe says:

            Clairboyant – yeah totally intentional. TOTALLY. -_-

        • Atch2 says:

          I’m baffled by Rafa put on SL court as well, but I like An’s thought that it does give him a chance to get use to more than 1 court in case there are court changes due to bad weather or whatever. I only hope 2 things, that Rafa has enough leg room to move around in SL, and they televise Rafa’s match and not A-Rod’s or Bartoli’s on PC.

          If there was a conspiracy, I’d say the tournament has it in for Gasquet who asked to play Tues and was put on SL court. He’s French, playing the number 4, has just won a tournament this yr unlike Monfils, and the request to play Tues is reasonable and would not appear biased as Rafa and other top players are also playing on a Tuesday (even Nando who played him in the Nice finals plays today). And I think Gasquet could do with the maximum number of people to cheer him on in PC court. If I was the French Tennis Federation, I’d do as much as I can to help Gasquet in his comeback.

          • miri says:

            I think Tsonga’s request for a start/date time was also not honored. This is what I mean by scheduling baffles me.

          • Nana says:

            Or maybe Rafa requested to be in SL once a year as per his “tradition”… I’m just saying ;P

            There must be tons of politics involved and there’s no use to get dirty ourselves so let’s just enjoy the match!

            Itching for the match to start!

          • GB says:

            Yeah, it’s surprising that Gasquet wasn’t given any advantage from it being his home slam in terms of playing on Tuesday (the argument was that they didn’t want one match from the top 1/2 hanging over…both Fer & Rafa etc are in the bottom 1/2). My commies were saying that Reeshie actually requested SL, though, because its quicker conditions suit his game more.

      • Vic says:

        Fair enough (laughs)

  13. Fay says:

    Oh thanks for that Miri, it answers my question! I knew they did play Rafa on Lenglen sometimes and that he didn’t have a problem with it.

  14. Susanna728 says:

    Plus it’s not like Lenglen is tiny. It has about 10,000 seats. Chatrier has 14,000 +. I don’t know all the history from prior years that you guys do, but from everything we know about Rafa’s humility, I suspect he won’t care that much. Miri’s theory about taking some pressure off the young French kid makes a lot of sense.

  15. Stf says:

    I think the whole fuss is because of the crowd’s behaviour during Rafa’s matches last year and generally because of the way Rafa was treated last year, which caused quite the uproar and complaints. I suppose that it does happen that top players will play in Lenglen, and hell, what’s the big deal. He will be lifting that trophy in a couple of week and it won’t be in the Lenglen court. ;)

    • Denizen says:

      It’s not just last year. When I watched the rebroadcast of the ’06 final last week, I thought I heard the commentators say, right after Rafa took the court, that they didn’t understand why he was being booed.

      That said, it seems to me that the schedulers have been programmed to “random”.

  16. dk says:

    Hi Miri,

    I don’t remember if you already have a link to the following article but if you don’t yet, here it is (would be worth posting):
    http://espn.go.com/sports/tennis/picks

    Thanks.

    • miri says:

      Well there you go – you just posted it. :) Thanks.

      • Karen says:

        At least Rafa doesn’t have to play straight away on the court which dealt him his worst ever loss! And the crowd won’t be as big and noisy.

  17. Kate Baritsa says:

    Now I’m looking at Nadal’s new sport wear on the court… I’m not sure I like it… I really liked his previous plaid shorts… :(

    • Erin says:

      They were lovely but I think these are better! I’m watching it on the BBC and they HATE his shirt! I think it is great :D I still think that the Australian Open 2009 night outfit is the best outfit since they put Rafa in sleeves :)

      • Els says:

        I really love this shirt, beautiful colors and it really suits hem. And I hated the plaid shorts, so I’m happy with his outfit. Shame for the sleeves, though. ;-)