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The seedings for the second Grand Slam of the year, the French Open have been announced and there were no real surprises as the French Tennis Federation, expectedly stuck to the ATP / WTA rankings. World No.1 Rafael Nadal, is the no.1 seed in the men's draw, with the Spaniard having to fight real hard to hang onto top spot in the rankings. The bookies may be undecided, but the fans are not, naming the five time champion as the second favourite to claim the title come June. Dane Caroline Wozniacki, looking forward to winning her maiden Grand Slam at the French Open has been given the highest billing on the women's side. Though a few high profile casualties through injuries have made the women's pack a little depleted, there are still plenty of superstars to keep an eye on in the ladies draw.
With two consecutive defeats at the hands of world no.2 Novak Djokovic on his beloved clay, there are whispers around the tennis world about Rafael Nadal losing the trophy he has made his own to the man who has been simply outstanding this season with a 37-0 record. The King of Clay heads into the tournament with belief as meek as a lamb and even if he does defends his title in Paris, he could still lose his hold on the summit of the men's rankings if the Serb reaches the semis.
Australian Open Champion Novak Djokovic has been in sublime form this year and is undoubtedly the chief threat to the Spanish Superstar's dream of a sixth crown, as he hunts for his second straight Slam after Melbourne Park. The world no.2 has beaten both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at least thrice this season. The Serb would like to keep his fairytale run going as he tries to go one up on John McEnroe's streak of 42 matches to start a season, a feat he shall accomplish should he reach the final at Roland Garros.
2009 champion Roger Federer, British No.1 Andy Murray and two time finalist Robin Soderling round off the top five seeds. Fedex starts the tournament as a huge underdog because of a poor run of form on European clay. In contrast, Murray's much improved form on the surface could propel him towards Grand Slam glory while Soderling will be hard pressed to repeat his performance of 2009.
The men's draw could throw up some surprises with Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych seeded 6th, the ever improving Spaniard David Ferrer is no.7 and the dangerous Jurgen Melzer has been given the no. 8 seeding. Each of these men are capable of beating the best in the world on their day as was evident by Ferrer's triumph over Nadal in the Australian Open Quarters and Melzer and Berdych's victory over Roger Federer at the Monte Carlo Masters and Wimbledon respectively.
Other players to look out for are French hope Gael â€œSlidermanâ€ Monfils the 9th seed, Rome semifinalist Richard Gasquet at no. 14, power hitters Fernando Verdasco and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at 17 and 18 respectively. Former US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro will play the kind of tennis which does not justify his seeding at no.27 and no.31 Tommy Robredo will bring his solid forehand to the floor. Robredo's fellow countryman Guillermo Garcia-Lopez has squeezed in as the last seed after the withdrawal of David Nalbandian.
With the absence of the Williams sisters and 2009 runner up Dinara Safina due to injuries, the tournament is there to be won for anyone brave enough in the women's draw. That could included top seed Caroline Wozniacki, world no.2 Kim Clijsters or newly crowned Rome Champion Maria Sharapova.
Wozniacki will be looking to prove those pundits wrong, who have accused her of being the best player in the world only on paper, as she chases her maiden Grand Slam title. Reigning US and Australian Open champion Kim Clijsters has a golden opportunity to win at Roland Garros as she faces a depleted field although her match fitness would be in serious doubt due to her two month layoff through injury. World No.3 Vera Zvonareva, Belarusian Victoria Azarenka and defending champion Francesca Schiavone complete the top five.
The women's draw is full of players who can easily make it through to the last weekend. China's Li Na can test the resilience of any player by her amazing stroke play from the back of the court. Three time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova will look to play the kind of tennis which made her the no.1 player in the world and her return to top form could not have been better timed. Former finalist Sam Stosur and the Serb Jelena Jankovic will try to be the treasure hunters as the no.8 and no.10 seeds respectively.
Other players who might cause some damage are Andrea Petkovic, Ana Ivanovic, Nadia Petrova, Yanina Wickmayer and veteran Daniela Hantuchova. Czech Klara Zakopalova and Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova have also made it into the 32 due to the absence of Serena and Venus Williams. The latter of course one of the few women to have beaten Venus at Wimbledon.
|1||Rafael Nadal||Caroline Wozniacki|
|2||Novak Djokovic||Kim Clijsters|
|3||Roger Federer||Vera Zvonareva|
|4||Andy Murray||Victoria Azarenka|
|5||Robin SÃ¶derling||Francesca Schiavone|
|6||TomÃ¡Å¡ Berdych||Li Na|
|7||David Ferrer||Maria Sharapova|
|8||JÃ¼rgen Melzer||Samantha Stosur|
|9||Gael Monfils||Petra Kvitova|
|10||Mardy Fish||Jelena Jankovic|
|11||Nicolas Almagro||Marion Bartoli|
|12||Mikhail Youzhny||Agnieszka Radwanska|
|13||Richard Gasquet||Svetlana Kuznetsova|
|14||Stanislas Wawrinka||A Pavlyuchenkova|
|15||Victor Troicki||Andrea Petkovic|
|16||Fernando Verdasco||Kaia Kanepi|
|17||Jo-Wilfried Tsonga||Julia Goerges|
|18||Gilles Simon||Flavia Pennetta|
|19||Marin Cilic||Shahar Peer|
|20||Florian Mayer||Ana Ivanovic|
|21||Alexandr Dolgopolov||Yanina Wickmayer|
|22||Michael Llodra||Dominika Cibulkova|
|23||Thomaz Bellucci||Alisa Kleybanova|
|24||Sam Querrey||Jarmila Gajdosova|
|25||JM del Potro||Maria Kirilenko|
|26||Milos Raonic||Nadia Petrova|
|27||Marcos Baghdatis||Alexandra Dulgheru|
|28||Nikolay Davydenko||Daniela Huntuchova|
|29||Janko Tipsarevic||Peng Shuai|
|30||G Garcia-Lopez||Roberta Vinci|
|31||Sergiy Stakhovsky||Klara Zakopalova|
|32||Kevin Anderson||Tsvetana Pironkova|
File Photograph Copyright: Porsche Tennis Grand Prix
- 21/05/2011 12:44 - French Open 2011: Women's Draw Analysis
- 21/05/2011 05:34 - French Open 2011: Men's Draw Analysis
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