Men’s Top Six Seeds Reach Quarters

French Open 2012
By Hiland Doolittle, June 5th, 2012

There is a certain predictability about the Men’s Draw at Grand Slam tournaments that is definitely lacking on the women’s side.  On Monday, 5th seeded Jo Willy Tsonga (5) carries the weight of the home country on his broad shoulders into a Tuesday date with top gun Novak Djokovic.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarterfinals of French Open 2012

Tsonga started the day by overcoming stubborn Swiss, Stan Wawrinka (18) in a match that was suspended yesterday.  Tsonga avoided a repeat of last year’s five set collapse when the athletic Frenchman got the 5-set job done 6-4, 7-6(6), 3-6, 3-6, 6-4. The fans were on the edge of their seats for more than four hours. Djokovic, the top seed, who had difficulty in the last round with Italy’s Andreas Seppi would have preferred the Swiss umber 2.  Tsonga and Djokovic have played ten times. They have each won 5 matches. Clay is not the surface of choice for ether player but Tsonga will have a huge and vocal fan base cheering his every move.

Juan Martin del Potro (9) bounced the 7th seed, Tomas Berdych in another suspended match, 7-6(6),1-6,6-3,7-5. Berdych and del Potro featured power tennis at its best. Both players like short points and wasted no time going for winners.  This is a difficult strategy on clay where the points are more structured. For his good work, del Potro will face 16-time Grand Champion, Roger Federer, aka The Swiss. In their 13 head-to-head matches, The Argentine has only won twice.

In today’s other action, 2nd seed and tournament favorite Rafa Nadal looked fresh and was in top form from start to end against another Argentine, Juan Monaco (13) who has played well but was no match for the King of Clay. Almagro ousted Janko Tipsarevic (8) 6-4,6-4,6-4.  Nadal’s 6-2, 6-0, 6-0 match left little to the imagination. Nadal will next play fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro who has asserted himself this week. Almagro has never beaten Nadal in their previous seven matches.

4th seed, And Murray started slow but when he hit full ear, he looked every bit the equal to any other player in the draw.  The Scotsman dropped the first set to a game Richard Gasquet (17) of France but found his stride and cruised home 1-6,6-4,6-1,6-2. Murray has made the semifinals in 5 consecutive Grand Slams but will be tested in his Wednesday quarterfinal against an exert clay courter, Spain six seed David Ferrer. Marcel Granollers (20) was overwhelmed by Ferrer is straight sets 6-3, 6-2, 6-0.

Murray and Ferrer have met nine times. Murray has won 5 matches but has never won (0-3) on clay. However, this Andy Murray approaches his matches with a refreshing enthusiasm. He has an aching back but his talent and mindset have increased since aligning with Ivan Lendl. Murray’s deft drop shot was in ample supply  Monday. This may be the best of the quarterfinal matches but Paris will see eight of the best players in the men’s quarterfinals.

Djokovic – Tsonga, Federer – del Potro are set to tee off on Tuesday with Nadal – Almagro and Murray –Ferrer set for Wednesday.


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