French Open 2015 Men’s singles draw preview

Hi guys, the second slam of the year is nearly upon us so I thought I’d put together an analysis and prediction of the Men’s singles draw at the 2015 French Open.

Will anyone new add their name to the list of winners?
Will anyone new add their name to the list of winners?

This year’s top seed is again Novak Djokovic, who arrives in Paris after dominating the tour thus far, and looking to add to his Australian Open title. His main rival for the crown will be Rafael Nadal, a 9-time winner in Paris.

 

 

The 32 seeded line-up is featured below:

Seeds

1 – N. Djokovic                 9 – M. Cilic                     17 – D. Goffin                    25 – I. Karlovic

2 – R. Federer                 10 – G. Dimitrov            18 – T. Robredo               26 – G. Garcia-Lopez

3 – A. Murray                  11 – F.Lopez                     19 – R.Bautista-Agut      27 – B. Tomic

4 – T. Berdych                 12 – G. Simon                 20 – R. Gasquet                28 – F. Fognini

5 – K. Nishikori              13 – G. Monfils               21 – P. Cuevas                    29 – N. Kyrgios

6 – R. Nadal                      14 – J.W. Tsonga          22 – P. Kohlschreiber     30 – A. Mannarino

7- D. Ferrer                      15 – K. Anderson         23 – L. Mayer                      31 – V. Troicki

8 – S. Wawrinka             16 – J. Isner                    24 – E. Gulbis                     32 – F. Verdasco

First Quarter:

At the top of the draw, of course, is top seed Novak Djokovic, who is aiming to complete his career grand-slam. He opens against veteran Jarkko Nieminen, before a possible exciting third-round encounter with either Bernard Tomic or Thanasi Kokkinakis. He’s projected to meet Kevin Anderson in the 4th round, but I’d back Richard Gasquet to progress through from that mini section.

The main talking point prior to the draw was the section where 9-time winner Rafael Nadal would find himself, given he entered the slam as the 6th seed. As many wanted, he’s due to face Djokovic in the quarter-finals. Rafa should breeze past wildcard Quentin Halys in his opener, before a tricky 2nd round match-up with either Nicolas Almagro or Alexandr Dolgopolov. If he progresses past that, it’s looking unlikely that we won’t get the QF we want, but Grigor Dimitrov may have something to say about that.

Nadal's 9 triumphs here stand alone
Nadal’s 9 triumphs here stand alone

Predicting a semi-finalist from this section is perhaps the hardest, due to having the top seed and 9 time-winner likely to face eachother. Nadal has only lost once at Roland Garros, but I’m going to jump of the fence and predict Novak Djokovic will be the semi-finalist from this quarter. It could go either way.

 

 

 

Projected 4th round matches:

Novak Djokovic (1) V  Kevin Anderson (15)

Grigor Dimitrov (10) V Rafael Nadal (6)

 

Predicted Semi-finalist: Novak Djokovic (1)

 

Second Quarter:

One of the most in-form players in the world right now, Andy Murray, is the highlight in another strong section. The Brit opens against a Qualifier before a potentially tricky route to the latter stages. Future-star Nick Kyrgios looks set to face Murray in the 3rd round, but I can’t see the Australian winning in a best-of-5 match. Big-serving American John Isner is projected to meet Murray in the 4th round, and is always capable of beating the very best.

David Ferrer is positioned at the bottom of this section, and surely likes the look of his draw. Out-of-form Marin Cilic is his seeded 4th round opponent, but Robin Haase could pull off a first-round upset here. With Cilic not looking like the 2014 US Open champion, I’d look for the winner of the first round match between Leonardo Mayer and Jiri Vesely to progress to the 4th round against Ferrer. Simone Bolelli could cause Ferrer problems in a 3rd round match, but I’d still expect the Spanish #2 to progress.

Ferrer did beat Murray in the 2013 French Open, but given his current time, I’m backing Murray to set-up a semi-final with Djokovic.

 

Projected 4th round matches:

Andy Murray (3) V John Isner (16)

Marin Cilic (9) V David Ferrer (7)

 

Predicted Semi-finalist: Andy Murray (3)

 

Third Quarter:

The third quarter is arguably the weakest, but features Kei Nishikori, a dark-horse for the title. Nishikori faces Paul-Henri Mathieu in his opener, with Thomaz Bellucci his likely next opponent. Fernando Verdasco is always dangerous, but I’d still back Kei to progress comfortably through the opening rounds. The bottom half of his quarter features Tomas Berdych, Jo Wilfried-Tsonga and Fabio Fognini, players all capable of challenging Nishikori. Berdych and Fognini are due to face eachother in the 3rd round, with the result very much depending on which Fognini turns up. I like Tsonga’s chances of progressing through to the 4th round, but I’m anticipating Fognini will turn up, and progress to a meeting with Nishikori.

The winner of Juan Monaco and Federico Delbonis may expect to go on a surprise run, with Monaco a dangerous player to face, and Delbonis in strong form, with Federico due to play his semi-final match in Geneva today.

Many like Nishikori’s chances of success here, and a possible quarter-final match with Fognini would be lively. It’s hard not to back Kei considering his draw, so I’m anticipating him progressing to the semi-final.

 

Projected 4th round matches:

Kei Nishikori (5) V Feliciano Lopez (11)

Jo Wilfried-Tsonga (14) V Tomas Berdych (4)

 

Predicted Semi-finalist: Kei Nishikori (5)

 

Fourth Quarter:

The final quarter features 2009 champion Roger Federer, who opens against a qualifier. The Swiss star should be quite content with how the draw panned out, despite Gael Monfils looming in the 4th round. Monfils is capable of beating anyone, and recently has troubled Federer, but his route to the 4th round is full of players who prefer playing on the red stuff, including Andreas Haider-Maurer and Pablo Cuevas. I’m actually predicting Cuevas to face Federer in the 4th round, but Dominic Thiem is a tough unseeded opponent.

Could Federer add another year to his strip?
Could Federer add another year to his strip?

Stan Wawrinka arrives in Paris in topsy-turvy form, and it’s very hard to predict how ‘Stan The Man’ will do here. Marsel Ilhan is his first opponent, before the upcoming Dusan Lajovic his likely next match. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez defeated Stan early last year, and a rematch is possible in the 3rd round. A 2nd round match between Martin Klizan and Gilles Simon would be interesting, and with Ernests Gulbis in terrible form this year, the winner should progress to the 4th round.

If Monfils does face Federer in the 4th round, it could be a thriller, but Roger should like his chances here, and will go about his business quietly to reach the latter rounds. Picking Federer’s QF opponent is difficult, but I’m going to say it will be Gilles Simon.

 

Projected 4th round matches:

Stan Wawrinka (8) V Gilles Simon (12)

Gael Monfils (13) V Roger Federer (2)

 

Predicted Semi-finalist: Roger Federer (2)

 

Overall Prediction

My overall prediction for the 2015 French Open is that Novak Djokovic will finally clinch his Career Grand Slam. The QF encounter with Nadal will be key, but I’m finding it so hard to see Djokovic being beaten during the two weeks, given his form this year. I think he’ll beat Murray in the semi-final, and defeat Kei Nishikori in the final. That’s right, I’m predicting Nishikori to defeat Federer in the semis. The Japanese star was given a kind draw, and Federer is always vulnerable on the red clay. If Federer is to lose early, his quarter will really open up, increasing Kei’s chances. Even though I’ve backed Novak to defeat Rafa and win the title, completely ruling out Nadal at Roland Garros is impossible so don’t be surprised if we see him win his 10th title.

Will we see ' N. DJOKOVIC SRB' on this trophy?
Will we see ‘ N. DJOKOVIC SRB’ on this trophy?

 

Summary:

Winner – Novak Djokovic

Dark-horses – Kei Nishikori

Potential surprise runs – Jiri Vesely, Juan Monaco and Martin Klizan

 

5 first round matches to watch:

Grigor Dimitrov (10) V Jack Sock

Borna Coric V Sam Querrey

Nicolas Almagro V Alexandr Dolgopolov

Juan Monaco V Federico Delbonis

Gael Monfils (13) V Edouard Roger-Vasselin

 

Thanks for taking the time to read my analysis and prediction of the 2015 French Open Men’s singles draw, I hoped you enjoyed it. Agree with what I said? Why not offer your opinion below by commenting!

For any questions or queries on this blog, or other blogs, either contact me on my twitter handle – @Tennis17MAD or via email at – jamesfroud0608@hotmail.co.uk

 

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