Lawn Tennis, Paris Open, Lawn Tennis Magazine
And Then There Was One: Gael Monfils
French Open "Paris Picks" - Day 11

By Tripp Mateschitz, Lawn Tennis Analyst, Posted: Tuesday, June 2, 2009 5:17pm PST USA
And Then There Was One: Gael Monfils, The French Open, Roland Garros 2009, Lawn Tennis Magazine Paris--( Not since Yannick Noah in 1983 and Mary Pierce in 2000 has a French player won the French Open singles title.

But after ten days of competition, the only one French player remains.

Gael Monfils of France Wednesday meets the overall favorite and 2nd seeded Roger Federer of Switzerland for the second year in a row in Paris.

Gael Monfils of France | Image: Getty Images
Lawn Tennis Magazine, The French Open, Roland Garros 2009 Lawn Tennis Magazine, The French Open, Roland Garros 2009
After ten days of French Open competition, the only remaining French player is Gael Monfils.

Gael Monfils (FRA)[11] vs. Roger Federer (SUI)[2]
Monfils was suspect before the tournament due to an injury which apparently has healed, considering the Frenchman has only dropped one set in four matches. Monfils, possibly the most athletic male tennis player ever, upset the 6th seeded American Andy Roddick in the round of sixteen handily and has all the tools to win on clay.

Monfils will look to use his astonishing serve, raw athleticism and aggressive groundstrokes to his advantage, however the Frenchman is 0-4 lifetime versus Federer including a semifinal loss in Paris last year 6-2, 5-7, 6-3, 7-5.

It's incredible that Federer has made the finals the last three years considering that clay is his weakest surface. The Swiss has also struggled, dropping four sets in route to the quarterfinals.

If Federer gets off to a slow start, Monfils and the French crowd may not allow him back into the match. I think Monfils has improved since last year, but not enough yet to beat Federer.

Winner: Federer

Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS)[7] vs. Serena Williams (USA)[2]
Two friends, Kuznetsova and Williams, meet in the quarterfinals Wednesday so maybe Williams can avoid some of the drama which seems to follow her on the tennis courts. Williams leads the Russian head to head 5-1 and took their last meeting in January at the Australian Open quarterfinals 5-7, 7-5, 6-1.

Williams won the French Open in 2002, but I think Kuznetsova prefers clay much more than Williams, who likes faster surfaces which reward her power.

Although I think Kuznetsova's game has more variety than Williams' game, if Williams can keep with her gameplan of hitting more winners than errors, she should advance.

Winner: Williams

Juan Martin del Potro (ARG)[5] vs. Tommy Robredo (ESP)[16]
The 20 year old del Porto, one of the biggest hitters of the ATP Tour, upset the world number one Rafael Nadal of Spain in the Miami quarterfinals.

And at 6 feet 6 inches tall, del Potro towers over most opponents and leads the 5 feet 11 inches tall Roberto head to head 1-0, winning at Madrid on hardcourts in 2007.

Del Potro surprisingly prefers hardcourts to claycourts, but should bring enough power to the claycourts to reach his first career grand slam semifinal.

Winner: del Potro

Share: facebook Facebook Digg

Copyright Lawn Tennis 1997-2009 | Home