French Open 2018 Draw
French Open Draw Analysis
The draw for Roland Garros 2018 is out and comes with some interesting potential matches. Here is the breakdown of what promises to be a fascinating two weeks in the French Capital.
The first quarter is dominated by one man: 10 times and defending champion, Rafael Nadal.
Rafa will be happy to have avoided many potential banana skins in his half of the draw. Djokovic, Wawrinka, Thiem, Nishikori, Dimitrov and second seed Alexander Zverev all cannot face the Spaniard before the final. While Rafa faces a potentially tricky challenge in Alexander Dolgopolov in the first round, who has twice beaten the Spaniard, should he make it through this challenge, apart from a potential round 4 match, there would appear to be little resistance to Rafa making it to the semi-finals. His potential path is as follows:
Round 1- Dolgopolov
Round 2 – Sousa
Round 3- Gasquet
Round 4- Shapovalov
Quarter final- Kevin Anderson?
A Nadal-Shapovalov 4th round is likely to be the match of this quarter should this be the case. This is where Nadal is likely to be tested most, by an in-form and confident opponent, despite being relatively comfortably beaten by Rafa in Rome.
While the first quarter of the draw is relatively bare, the 2nd quarter features a number of interesting players, all of which have the ability to make it out of this section of the draw. These potential players are as follows
- Marin Cilic
- Fabio Fognini
- John Isner
- Tomas Berdych
- Juan Martin Del Potro
Clearly, this quarter is stacked with legitimate veteran challengers for the title, many of which have been in excellent form during the 2018 season. These include Cilic, Del Potro and Isner, who has proven himself as a clay court player by taking two sets off Nadal in Paris back in 2011.
Despite this choice, Marin Cilic vs Del Potro would be the quarter final to expect, as these players, being grand slam champions, have the most big match experience, and can be generally relied upon to go deep into grand slams.
On first glance, this quarter may not be seen to include the calibre of grand slam champions as the previous two. However, to assume this is to miss a certain Novak Djokovic, way down as the 20th seed hiding in the middle of this section of the draw. Djokovic’s difficulties may start in the second round where he is scheduled to face 2013 French open finalist David Ferrer. It is difficult to assess how the Serb will fare in this tournament; this match should give an early indication.
Also in this section of the draw is the Number 4 seed, Grigor Dimitrov. Dimitrov’s clay court season has been mixed; while he made it to the semi-finals of mote Carlo, giving a reasonably impressive performance against Nadal, Dimitrov has had no luck with the draw gods, Playing Raonic and Nishikori in his first round of his last two tournaments, losing both. If he can navigate a difficult first round against Victor Troicki, I see him making at least the fourth round, and a potential match against Djokovic.
Wildcards: Gael Monfils and Nick Kyrgios are both in this section of the draw, and are scheduled to play each other in the 3rd round. That is, if both, or either make it that far. You never know with those two.
Potential Quarter final: riding the French support, Monfils will make it to the quarter finals, to play the Djokovic we saw against Nadal in the Rome semi-finals.
‘Stacked’ is the only way to describe this final section of the draw. Featuring potential and previous champions, this section of the draw is likely to provide fireworks early on in the tournament. The star names are as follows:
- Alexander Zverev
- Dominic Thiem
- Stan Wawrinka
- Kei Nishikori
After Nadal, this years clay court seasons two stand out players have to be Alexander Zverev, winner of the Masters 1000 event in Madrid, without the loss of a set, or even the loss of one service game, and Dominic Thiem, the only player to beat Rafael Nadal on a clay court so far in 2018 and in 2017. Both these players should be expected to reach the quarter finals, with either one even going all the way.
This is despite the inclusion of Wawrinka and Nishikori , who are both too early in their recovery to challenge two of the hottest players on tour right now.
Projected Quarter Finals
- Nadal vs Anderson
- Cilic vs Del Potro
- Djokovic vs Monfils
- Thiem vs Zverev
- Nadal vs Cilic
- Djokovic vs Thiem
-Nadal vs Thiem