Random Pre-French Open Thoughts (in no particular order):
- Will this be the year Halep will win a slam? She says clay is her favourite surface. If fit , she could go deep in the tournament.
- Maria could do well too, if Serena is not in her path. Plus, her serve should not desert her, as it sometimes does during key matches.
- Is Victoria coming to Paris? Her injury seems to be quite serious.
- So Aga Radwanska went to Melbourne as one of the contenders and then was blown away by Dominika. Does Aga’s lack of actual weapons hurt her at Slams? After all, there is only so much of counter-punching one can do and expect grand success at slams. Aga is sometimes compared to Hingis. Perhaps, she is not as crafty as the Swiss Miss.
- How fit is Serena? Judging from her first match at Rome against Petkovic, she looked good. She was playing with ease an moving very well. A third title at Paris would be welcome.
- So is Rafa’s aura on clay finally diminishing? He started strongly against Almagro at Barcelona and then lost the plot; eked out a win against Kei in the Madrid Masters final, where the latter was playing lights-out Djokovic-style tennis and for the most part seemed to be the better player on the day.
- Wrist injuries are tough to heal from; it is a slow and painful (ask Potro). So how fit is Novak? Does playing Rome give him enough match practice for the French Open? He can definitely play himself into form at Paris, but needs a benevolent draw at the French capital.
- Can Wawrinka do what Roger and Rafa could not? Courier could. Winning the Australian Open and French Open the same year was a great feat the American achieved in 1991 and 1992. This does not exactly have the glitter of a Channel Slam (French Open+Wimbledon) but doing so would assure Wawrinka’s place in history books.
- Roger travels to Paris with very less match practice and dark circles under his eyes. The defeat to Chardy did not perturb him much. Roger, in the past, has missed warm-up tournaments and managed to win grand-slam titles. Plus, he is a fine clay-courter. So cannot rule out the happy new dad.
- Who are the dark horses? Dimitrov, Gulbis and Nishikori among men and Stosur and Ivanovic in the ladies draw?