Nadal And Williams Favored At French

French Open 2012
By Hiland Doolittle, May 25th, 2012

The bookmakers and the seedings are in disagreement in the 2012 French Open. The consensus is that second seeded Rafael Nadal (8/11) will upset defending champion and world number 1 Novak Djokovic (9/4) on the red clay at Roland Garros and secure his seventh French Open title.

Rafael Nadal favourite to win French Open 2012

If Nadal beats Djokovic, it would be the Spaniard’s second consecutive win on clay against the Serb. Not many tennis fans dispute Nadal’s superiority on clay, but the risk is that the fragile Nadal may not be able to tolerate seven matches in two weeks. Nadal desperately wants to halt Djokovic’s Grand Slam run and re-establish himself as a dangerous challenger.

The men’s field will attempt to unseat the top four players who seem to rise to the top at Grand Slam events. Djokovic drew third seed Roger Federer (8/1) for a possible semifinal pairing. Nadal drew Scotsmen Andy Murray (33/1). Clay is not the surface of choice for either Murray or Federer. In fact, the bookmaker’s fourth choice is Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro (14/1).

Murray is expected to meet sixth seed David Ferrer (33/1) in the quarters with the winner playing Nadal. Ferrer will have to play through dangerous 10th seed John Isner, who is not a clay player but whose serve makes up for a lack of foot speed.

Nadal’s 4th round match could prove interesting as a very game Milos Raonic (80/1) has some momentum and plenty of game. If form holds, Nadal would face Serbia’s number 2, Janko Tipsarevic, the 8th seed. Murray will be tested by Australian teen Bernard Tomic but should advance to the quarters.

Djokovic has some talent in his bracket. Jurgen Melzer could be a third round opponent and Fernando Verdasco (80-1) could be waiting the 4th round. 5th seed Frenchman, Jo Wily Tsonga (125-1) will carry the French banner now that Gael Monfils has scratched. Tsonga would meet Djokovic in the quarters. If Djokovic is to repeat, he will play through Melzer, Verdasco and Tsonga then Federer and Nadal or Murray. That is a difficult draw.

Federer has his own risks. He could meet Roddick in the 3rd round, Feliciano Lopez in the 4th and an in-form Tomaz Berdych or del Portro (33/1) in the quarters.

We think Nadal will fall to injury. Djokovic’s draw is very intense but he should make the finals. In the Nadal’s half, watch out for Nicolas Almagro. We like Almagro (100/1) or Murray to make the finals.

Serena Williams Favored

Serena Williams favoured to win French Open 2012

The Women’s draw is much more unpredictable than usual. Fifth seed Serena Williams (4/1) is the bookmaker favorite. Serena did not have any luck with the draw and if she survives to the quarters, she will meet the second seed an in-form Maria Sharapova (8/1). Williams could meet former number 1 and tenth seed Caroline Wozniacki in the third round.

Sharapova could get a 3rd round challenge from China’s Shuai Peng.

Top seed Victoria Azarenka (5/1) looks to have pretty smooth sailing until she reaches Samantha Stosur (16/1). Stosur is seeking her second Grand Slam and was a finalist her 2 years ago.

Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska (20/1) is enjoying her most successful season. The third seed will have to play through Svetlana Kuznetsova but should escape to meet Marion Bartoli (50/1) in the quarters. Bartoli will have her hands full with Flavia Pennetta and dangerous Angelique Kerber (2/1).

Defending Champion Li Na (12/1), the sixth seed, will have a difficult run to the title. Second seeded Petra Kvitova (10/1) is scheduled to meet Li in the quarters. Kvitova is not as effective on clay but she does possess a gig game.

We like Azarenka and Li Na to meet in the finals. Azarenka should prevail in the most balanced draw in quite a while.


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