This article explains the top 4 players of the tennis worlds chances of winning one of the hardest Grand Slams to win the French Open. It also mentions things about the clay court swing and some results from the start of it. This article also gives some key facts about the French Open and ultimately tells readers who and why they will win the French Open 2012.
It is May again which means it is getting close to the hottest part of the tennis calendar; this of course includes the clay court swing. The clay court swing for readers who don’t know consists of the Mutua Madrid Open (currently on now as of the 05/10/12), Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters (the first of the clay tournaments won by Rafael Nadal), Rome and finally the big one, the French Open. This is also followed by Wimbledon which my other article talks about.
Firstly coming into the clay court swing Roger Federer, the current world number 3, and Novak Djokovic, the current world number 1 were in top form, whilst Rafael Nadal, the current world number 2, struggled to take titles, although he did make it to the final of the Australian Open. Nadal has always been favoured on clay as he has already taken out 6 French Open titles on the red clay, and as he has already played at and won at Monte-Carlo not only beating, but crushing world number one Novak Djokovic 6 games to 3 in the first set and 6 games to 1 in the second set (6/3, 6/1). This means that Novak Djokovic, who hasn't won at Roland Garros yet, and because clay seems to be his weakest surface, Djokovic is probably not going to be the favourite this year. He will be knocked out by Federer or Nadal in the Semi-Finals, unless he gets a lucky draw and draws Murray, who he should easily beat.
This then brings us to Murray, who not only hasn't won at Roland Garros, but hasn't even won a major yet, will definitely not be on the short odds this year. Firstly Murray, like Djokovic, doesn't seem to play his strongest game on clay, secondly the top 3 players above him, which will be virtually impossible to avoid 1, 2 or even all 3 of them, will surely beat him here at the French. Lastly he has not won a single Grand Slam title to date and I highly doubt anybody can see him winning his first slam at Roland Garros, and I personally doubt that he will ever win a title on the clay courts of Paris.
Roger Federer, the only other man apart from Rafael Nadal to win a French Open title (2009), since 2005. Getting to the final last year he will hope to make a deep run in 2012. The only man stopping him though is none other than Nadal, one of the greatest clay court players of all-time. Federer is 0-4 (no wins to four losses) against Nadal in French Open finals, and has never beaten him at the French Open. Although it is easy to blame the clay courts, it isn't just the clay which sees Federer fail to win against Nadal, it is Nadal's game which troubles Federer the most, as he lost to Nadal in the Semi-Finals of the Australian Open this year and who holds a 18-10 record against Federer. As to if Federer will win this year, I would say 'only if Nadal doesn't win'.
Finally we come to the king of clay, Rafael Nadal, who will look to win a record 7th title at the French and will probably be the favourite going into the tournament. The only way I see Nadal not winning is if he is a) injured or b) gets shocked early by someone like John Isner, who took Nadal to five sets last year (the only man ever to go to five sets against Nadal). So to conclude my prediction in order of best to worse is Nadal, Federer, Djokovic then Murray, I believe the final will be Nadal vs. Federer or Djokovic depending on the draws. One thing is for sure, the picture will only get clearer the closer we get to the tournament, and winning atleast one of the two remaining clay court masters, will be the key for Nadal, Federer and Djokovic.
It is just day before the start of the French Open now and the draw will be released later today (05/25/12) Federer has won the second of the two clay court masters (Madrid) and Nadal has won the last of the three masters at Rome, which gave him back the number 2 spot in the world (as he dropped to number 3 after Madrid). Nadal is still looking exceptional on clay and will be hard to stop, as always. I currently cannot see Djokovic beating him, because he has already lost twice to Nadal in 2 finals (Monte-Carlo and Rome). Federer has not played that much but I believe he will struggle to defeat Djokovic and / or Nadal at the French Open. Nadal has improved his serve going into Roland Garros and looks as dangerous as ever, Nadal is now my clear favourite to win a record 7th French Open title.