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Friday, May 23, 2008

French Open 2008: Favorites of Men’s Singles

You know that French Open is the only grand slam tournament on clay-court. Many great players found it hard in the past to continue their success on the clay-court because playing on this kind of court requires a lot of strength and stamina. For example, current no. 1 of Men’s singles tennis, Roger Federer, could not yet win the title of French Open so far, even though he has already bagged 12 grand slam titles so far his career. On the other hand, Rafael Nadal, the current world no. 2, has won three grand slam titles so far in his career, all three being achieved in French Open for the last three years in a row. Now, another clay-court grand slam, French Open 2008 is going to be started from 25 May. So, the ultimate question comes, who are the favorites of the tournament.

As far as the results of last three French Open tournaments is concerned, I think, Rafael Nadal is undoubtedly comes in the forefront of everyone when it comes to French Open and I do not see any reason to think other way, because Nadal’s recent form on clay-court is also satisfactory. The Spanish star defeated Roger Federer in the final of Hamburg Masters recently, which is 8th clay-court victory of Rafael Nadal over Roger Federer out of their nine clay-court meetings. So, it is almost clear that Rafael Nadal is going to start the tournament as the most favorite.

For Roger Federer, winning a French Open title has now become a criterion to make a final step towards his greatness as a player. It does not mean that Federer has no place in the history of tennis without a French Open title. Actually, a French Open title would bring a polished look to his career. It would make himself reckon a career grand slam. No doubt, he has to show the best ever performance to win French Open 2008. He has to know or find some way to stop the Spanish star, Rafael Nadal on clay-court.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal always take away most of the media attention. However, in 2008 so far, the top two players have had to share it with Serbian emerging star Novak Djokovic, who started the year winning Australian Open 2008 title, the first and only grand slam so far in his career. Following the success of Australian Open 2008, he went on to win two Masters tournaments so far this year. In terms of performance, he is the best player of 2008 until now in terms of performance. So, I think, Djokovic could be even a bigger threat for Rafael Nadal than Roger Federer. The Serbian youngster is now full of confidence and gunning for second grand slam title.

Aside from the top three, I think, David Ferrer, David Nalbandian and surprise performer of Australian Open 2008, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga could be strong challengers for the top three of the ranking. I am not quite happy with the performance of James Blake and Andy Murray, but I think, you should keep your eyes on these two as well, because both of them are talented and potential. Andy Murray won the Marseille Open in February. So, I think, men’s singles of French Open 2008 is going to be an exciting tournament with a number of favorites for the title. So, hold on your breath and wait for the tournament gets underway.

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