Posted by: Paul | May 21, 2010

French Open Tennis

Grand Slam 2010 number two opens on Sunday, and poor Andy Murray could hardly have been handed a tougher first round draw. He faces France’s Richard Gasquet, a hometown boy on his way back from injury and a ban for testing positive for cocaine, and if there’s one thing the Roland Garros crowd love more than an underdog, it’s a French underdog. They will be on Murray’s back from the word go. It’s not exactly a bear pit – these are tennis fans, after all – but they will definitely want their man to prevail, especially if it’s over a Brit.

Should Murray win, he has a favourable draw after that point all the way to the semi finals, where he would be likely to face Federer. I don’t like his chances of winning that match but if he can make it there he will have done one better than he did last year, and better than any other British player since…well…ever.

In other draw news the British ladies almost all have really tough opening matches, and will be doing well if any of them make it into the second round. Having said that, the womens game is much more of a level playing field in the last few years – Williamses apart, you will often see top seeds tumbling at early stages in the slams, so it’s not IMpossible…just rather unlikely. Still, both Keothavong and Baltacha have demonstrated increased mental strength in the last 12 months, so I have my fingers firmly crossed.

But it’s hard to see past Nadal reclaiming the title he lost to Federer last year. I predict a final between these two titans of the game, and a doozy of a match for the fans. Loving the fact that I will be able to watch as much of this as I usually do of Wimbledon – the Beeb has lots of coverage on its red button service again this year, which is marvellous news.

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