Realz

Le French Open 2012: Le Preview

In Agnes Radwanska, Andy Murray, Francesca Schiavone, French Open, Juan Martin Del Potro, Kim Clijsters, Li Na, Maria Sharapova, Marian Bartoli, Na Li, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Robin Soderling, Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Tennis, Venus Williams, Victoria Azarenka on May 27, 2012 at 3:57 pm

This year’s official poster looks like a mess

2012 French Open is upon us and as much as there will be a lot of fanfare about the 2nd major of the year, there really is not much to say. The favourites are clearly the favourites. There is really no need for discussion about the matter. What is one going to say? Fiery Ferrer has a chance to win the French Open with the likes of Divadal, D’Joker Harlequeen, Mr. Federer and Lochness Monster lurking around in the draw? Simply idle and reckless talk! The top 4 aka the Four Horsemen of Apocalypse are just really that good. Consider, that the last time none of them have made it to a major final was in 2004 when Gaston Gaudio defeated Guillermo Coria in the 2004 French Open finals. Since then, they have won all the majors with the exception of the 2009 US Open when Mr. Federer lost to Del Potro aka Beast Boy. Interestingly enough, Beast Boy has yet to find this type of form again. His career almost came to an end in 2010 as he had a very serious wrist injury to contend with. He beat Divadal and Mr. Federer back to back in a major and won the title. Now that is almost like climbing Mount Everest and doing it again. Simply near impossible to repeat. Anyway, the real matter is which of the top 4 will win the title. Actually, scratch that, which of the top 3 will win the title, is the real question.

D’Joker Harlequeen will be channeling his inner D’Juggernaut!

D’Joker Harlequeen: He’s a favourite here though not the overwhelming favourite. There’s no question that he wants to win this title and he wants to win it badly. To win here will mean that he has a career slam AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, he is half way to completing a grand slam and possibly a golden slam as this is an Olympic year. He would also be holding all 4 major titles at the same time. He had a very legitimate chance to take it last year but failed to get past Mr. Federer after looking near invincible for the 1st half of the year. He had beaten Divadal in 4 consecutive finals including two on clay. Divadal was afraid and certainly did not have any answers for the onslaught that D’Juggernaut was bringing. This year, however, Harlequeen is not looking so hot. He is often sluggish in matches and usually where he is dominating in the first sets, he is wavering in the second and third sets. He is winning but his victories are not that spectacular and empathic as they were last year. He also has failed to win a set against Divadal in the two clay court tournaments they have played and this seemingly has made him less of a favourite for the title.

Nobody…I say nobody is going to rain on my parade!

I, on the other hand really think that Harlequeen is playing at a lower level so as to save his strengths for the majors. Last year he peaked too early and he definitely is not going to make the same mistake twice. Mr. Federer is in his half of the draw and he knows that nothing but one’s absolute best will take Mr. Federer out of a major tournament and defeat Divadal at the French. I am actually giving the credit and think he can possibly pull it off. He has taken the pressure off himself to win the title and put the pressure squarely on Divadal’s shoulders. He can relax and allow his game to shine through. Watch out for the D’Juggernaut. He could be unstoppable.

I’m so good that I am being immortalized in wax!

Divadal: I mean what can one really say about the Spanish Diva when it comes to clay? His game is just tailor-made for the surface especially if it is red because home gurl is definitely not feeling the blue (Madrid) and/or pinkish (Hamburg) courts. He is the greatest ever on the surface. He has played 7 French Opens and won 6 of them. None of his rivals has come close to beating him ever on this surface. It was an anomaly that he lost in 2009 to Robin Hood Soderling and he put that Swede to rest in the 2010 final when he avenged that lost. Never has a Spaniard been so favoured in French courts. I would be a fool to say that he will not win this title again. He has Lochness Monster in his half and to be honest, we might as well we should just pencil him into the final and have everyone else duke it out to face his destruction. However, there has to be a breaking point; a point where players just cannot continue to dominate their favoured terrain anymore. Perhaps this might be the year but it sure does not look like it at all. On all real clay court surfaces, he has looked spectacular especially in Monte Carlo final when he beat D’Joker for the first time in over a year. Nonetheless, just to be the devil’s advocate, I will say that Divadal will not win this year’s title. I know this is far from impossible but I mean it is okay to hope that there will be a changing of the guard. Right?

I’m so good even my waxwork can take all of you on at once! Bring on the balls

Mr. Federer: Wouldn’t he love to win this title and defeat Divadal in the process! This is on his wish list perhaps on the same line as winning Olympic singles gold. Mr. Federer wants another French Open title badly. He makes no bones about how special the 2009 title means to him but if he is to silence the critics and reclaim some of this aura back, he needs to win another French Open title. Mr. Federer is no longer a shoe-in for the finals of majors nor is he collecting major titles like there is a bargain basement sale. He is definitely not favoured to win this thing at all. In fact, Mr. Federer has his work cut out for him.

Gurl you gotta work!

He has not beaten Divadal on clay since 2009 Hamburg finals and what is even more infuriating is that he never employs the winning strategies against him to keep himself in contention. Mr. Federer plays into the hand of Divadal on clay by sticking behind the baseline and trying to rally with the Spaniard instead of coming forward. Nonetheless, to even get to Divadal in the finals, Mr. Federer has to beat D’Joker again in the semis, which after looking at the recent Rome’s semifinals, might be harder than we originally thought. It does not help that Mr. Federer is the “weakest” of the top 4 and when he losing matches, he is being out hit by stronger, bigger opponents. (Gurl you need to get your @$$ in the gym and start drinking some protein shakes because your guns are looking more like sticks and ain’t no one be bringing sticks to a gun fights.)

This is where your behind needs to be against Divadal and D’Joker!!

Mr. Federer is stubborn and very much an egomaniac as so often are the gifted. However, if he wants to win this title, beyond hoping for miracles, he has to play the strategies to win and not get caught up in beating the other players at their own game. In essence, I think Mr. Federer has to humble himself on court and play to win. Divadal and D’Joker are not concerned about “pure tennis strokes;” they are much more interested in winning points, games, sets and matches and rightly so. Mr. Federer is my dark horse pick.

Lochness Monster lurking in the dark

Lochness Monster: I mean seriously, I do not know what the fcuk is going on in this Scotsman’s life these days. He, of the top 4, is the most vulnerable to upsets. His game is definitely regressing. There is no fire, no passion just a lot of tension. Every year he is employing different coaches or some new gimmick (He even tried the gluten-free diet at one point. I bet you that wanker was back to bread before the yeast rose.) However, none of it is working. He just does not have his head in the game. He has made it to three major finals and failed to win a set in any. He looked poise to taking out D’Joker in Australia this year but in the end could not convert when it counted. He hired Ivan Lendl to help deal with the pressure but I do not think this partnership is not working for him. I did not know that Lendl acquired a PhD in Psychology or Psychotherapy since his retirement from the sport because that is what Andy needs. But alas it is not my place to speak of these issues which rise far above my pay grade though I think the issue is the player himself and not the coach. Anyway, as he struggles to find himself out there, the top 3 are content to play for the big prizes. Either way, despite Nessie being a very competent clay court player, he does not stand a chance to win this title. Anyhow he comes up against any of the other three, he is losing because they are all so much better than he is and also they DISPLAY a more mature attitude on court. I know. Who can be less mature on court than D’Joker Harlequeen right? Well, Lochness Monster is. This one acts like a lil prissy itch half the time on court, spluttering and cursing up a storm. He really needs to get his shite together and start showing some real potential out there. Otherwise he will be just wannabe and never the real deal.

These guns be showing blanks at the majors

A very interesting tidbit about this tournament if any of the top 4 wins for if they do, it will be a very historic event.

Incidentally this is how tennis looked when the last British male won a major.

D’Joker Harlequeen wins: He has all 4 majors, a career slam and half way or 2/5 to achieving the true slam or golden slam.

Divadal wins: 7th French Open title, all time record and further etching his name in the Hall of Fame.

Mr. Federer wins: His 17th major title and further distancing himself from others.

Lochness Monster: First Brit man to win a major in God knows how long….say 1935 and let’s face it, he wins a major that would totally be a major personal achievement for him and could further change the complexion of the game.

And if someone outside of the top 4 wins, well definitely call Guinness World Record… wait..No. Look to the skies because miracles can come through.

These are the odds on favourites according to one betting site

On the ladies side, it is really a 2-3 women race: Vickie, Shriekapova and the Serenanator. I know it is hard to believe that Shriekapova and the Serenanator are heavy favourites for a major clay court tournament but alas that is the state that the WTA is in. This is no slight of these two ladies but really and truly, their strengths do not necessarily translate well to the clay. Nonetheless, make no mistake, no surprise old gal is coming out of near retirement to rejuvenate their career and win this title this year a la Schiabone (2010 champ) or reigning champ LiNaLi did. I am not going to waste your time talking about how Danish Biscuit (Wozniacki) has not won a major yet, how Ivanovic the Terrible might find herself here and regain former glory or even that Sam D’Stove Stosur has a chance of getting back to the final along with Schiabone or that LiNaLi will repeat as champion or that Carebear Angelique Kerber from Germany look ripe for a major win. That type of shite show is over. The top contenders are ready to assume control of the game.

Why is she giving me Melissa Gilbert from Little House on the Prairies? I am the baddest chick out here y’all!

Vickie: There is no doubt that I love me some Vickie (I like calling her Vickie. I am not feeling the whole Vika bit.) I think she might be the real deal and definitely a young gun that is showing true potential and actually fulfilling those promises of high quality tennis and consistency to match. Yet she is getting more flack that say Danish Biscuit who has yet to win a major or GHW (Grand High Witch) Kvitova who herself a major winner yet has failed to show much promise since then, tanking out of tournaments as if that were her goal. Anyway, Vickie definitely has the game to win this tournament but standing in her way are two players who can definitely beat her. Vickie, after seeming to be unstoppable the first 3 months of the year, showed herself to be vulnerable with a weak service game that is very attackable. Yes, her groundstrokes are solid and she definitely is fitter than years past and good and dealing with pace of stronger players.

Vickie working out with Amelie Mauresmo

However, if she is not able to win cheap points on her serve, she is allowing players a decent look at an upset. Also, playing on clay allows players more time to get at her shots especially as she cannot blow them off the court. She has not won a clay court tournament this year losing in the finals of Stuttgart and Madrid to Shriekapova and the Serenanator. Thankfully, they are on the other half of the draw and she has to contend with her pigeon Bratzwanska and Fatoli (who took her out of Miami, the Belarusian’s first defeat of the year) Nonetheless, she should make it to the finals. Interestingly enough, Ebony Starr is in this side of the draw and if Ebony Starr can find her first serve and keep it going, there will be trouble in that half of the draw. Ebony Starr is set to face Bratzwanska in the 2nd round and I honestly think the American can take the Pole and avenge her Miami loss. Anyway, barring any real upsets, Vickie should make it to the finals.

Out working hard for her money!!

Shriekapova: She is the No 2 in the world and to be honest, she is definitely playing very well. It is no secret that I am not a fan of her playing style but one has to give credit where credit is due. The French Open is the only major she has yet to win and since the last time she has won a major was 2008 Australian Open title, she will love nothing more than to reach career slam and gain this French title. She made it to the semifinals last year only to lose to LiNaLi. In 2012, she has made it to the finals of nearly all of the tournaments she has entered and won two titles. Yes, she was made to look like a spectator who stumbled onto the court in the Australian Open final when she was just handed a 2-6 0-6 loss by Vickie.  However, she has rebounded and played very well throughout the year. She lost only to players who play a better brand of tennis than she does. She is aggressive and tenacious. She does not allow the scoreboard to affect. She was on the brink of another bagel set by LiNaLi last Sunday and still won the match. She is a very very tough competitor and all credit goes to her for that. Nonetheless, it would be criminal to not point out that Shriekapova on court only has one game plan: to hit hard and scream behind of it. Her game may look big but it is really paltry. She is a poor mover (though clay allows her more time to get to the shots), her serve breaks down tremendously in big matches, she is HORRIBLE up at the net and there is no dimension to her game; no ability to change things up when Plan A is not working and no real sense of point construction. However, winning this tournament means career slam and a return to the number one ranking and she is not going to let an opportunity like this go idly by. However, she got real problems…well just one: the Serenanator is in her quarters.

Shriekapova: Spray on pest and she would be out of your way!
Serenanator: Jehovah please tell this itch to back up because me and my home gurl here about to beat a itch down Compton style in Paris

The Russian has only beaten the American twice in their career head to head (the infamous 2004 Wimbledon final and later that year at the WTA Year-Ending Championships) She failed to convert two match points in the 2005 Aussie Open semifinals. Since then, it has been all the Serenanator. Shriekapova has hardly won a set against the American. Let us not be mistaken or confused about the matter, there is no rivalry between the Serenanator and Shriekapova despite what people may say. The Serenanator dominates their head to head and has in essence made Shriekapova her pigeon. Shriekapova does not know what to do on court other than try to win a couple of games here and there to prevent an embarrassment on court. The Serenanator makes her look amateur. Anyway, provided that the Serenanator is out of her way, she can actually win the entire thing. Kvitova aka GHW is in Shriekapova’s half of the draw but that will certainly not stop the Russian. GHW pales in comparison to her former self. She is missing something as of late and seems unable to get it back. I really hope she gets it together because it really is a crying shame that these young guns are out shooting blanks.

This ain’t no coward’s yellow! I’m a highlighter so all you rest itches can see me coming!

The Serenanator: The Serenanator wants a 2nd French Open title to add to her collection of 13 majors. She last won this title in 2002 a mere ten years ago and she looks just as good as she did then. She has shown herself to be in shape and patient to handle the challenges of the clay. Her serve is a force to be reckoned with and without a doubt, she sees herself holding this title come next after next Saturday. She has had excellent preparation on the surface having not tasted defeat all season long on clay. She has beaten the top ranked players and the lower ranked ones. However, there is a looming fear that I have for the American. Her preparation for this major looks erringly similar to her preparation for US Open last year. She won two warm up tournaments and pulled out of the third. Yet, she did not win the US Open. In her most recent outings at majors, she has seen inexplicable exits from the tournament. She lost to Makarova, Stosur and Bartoli all in relatively easy fashion. It was as though some doppelganger showed up on the court and just completely did not know how to play tennis. She did not even win a set or come close to winning the set. The players were all shocked to see Serenanantor Lite on court and they sure were swinging away and collected the win. Nonetheless, the Serenanator is a very formidable opponent and she is working really hard for this title. In real truth, she is the heavy favourite and she has definitely put in the hard work despite many saying that it was impossible for her to reclaim another French title.

Yeah I know…my game cannot be all over the place like my weave if I want to win this title!

Despite all of this, we all know that nothing is a foregone conclusion in sports. At Realz, we say, the game is won and lost on the field and not on paper. Allez le French Open!!!!

For one of the realzest fanz out there from your BFG, Love ya Tiann!!

Don’t forget to comment and rate this entry. We really need your support!

None of them here really stand a chance of winning this title!

Gurl you heard what he said? He’s the top in the relationship!! Kimmie gurl I’m choking. Divadal I think I just peed myself a little.

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  1. last picture and caption is GOLD

  2. and LOL @ BFG hahaha!

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