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2015 French Open Round Robin Preview

This is our first round robin preview here at LastWord. An assortment of our writers will be giving you their thoughts on who will win the tournament, who can be a dark horse, and which top player is in danger of losing early. The thoughts vary but all have something important to add. Who do you agree with?

ATP Champion

Chris Nordenson: Novak Djokovic. He dismantled Roger Federer in Rome and has looked to be in great form. The only person I see getting in Djokovic’s way is Djokovic. It was wise for him to take off Madrid, I think he will be rested and ready for Roland Garros.

Luke Redmond: Novak Djokovic. His current form is just too good not to back.

Glenys Furness: Rafael Nadal. Coming into the Slam with his lowest ranking in a while, Nadal has not had the best of seasons so far. Coming back from injury he has suffered a lack of form in the shorter format matches. He did make the final of Madrid before being beaten comfortably by Murray, though. Until someone beats him on clay over the five-set format, I see him as the favorite.

Yesh Ginsburg: Novak Djokovic. How can you pick against Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros until someone not named Robin Soderling beats him here? How do you pick against Novak Djokovic anywhere right now? Nadal’s current slump can’t last too long, but it does make him the more vulnerable of the pair at the moment.

WTA Champion

GF: Serena Williams. It’s hard to look at anyone other than Serena Williams or Maria Sharapova for the title here. Both are on form coming into the tournament and have won it before. I’m going to say it will be French Open title number three for Serena.

Linda Ellis: Maria Sharapova. Sharapova had some tough matches in Rome and showed she is in fighting form while Serena withdrew from that tourney with an injury making her possibly susceptible to an early round loss.

CN: Maria Sharapova. I think she has the best chance, it is ahrd to tell what you are going to get out of Serena Williams from match to match. Sharapova looked strong since her early exit in Stuttgart. I expect her to keep her momentum going from Madrid and Rome.

Jake Davies: Simona Halep. The former Roland Garros Junior champion in 2008 narrowly missed out on the coveted prize last year but with Darren Cahill added to her team, has all the tools to go all the way this year.

ATP Dark Horse

CN: Dominic Thiem. His clay game has been on point and is very capable of upsetting a top ten player if he continues to play well. He is currently in the semifinals of Nice. He also took out Gilles Simon in Rome and Fabio Fognini in Munich.

LR: Gael Monfils. Despite his on court dramas the home crowd often fire up the French man so be sure to watch out for him.

YG: John Isner. I’ve been saying for years that the big American’s best potential Slam is the French Open. He finally looks like he has the right attitude in Europe to prove me correct.

JD: Gael Monfils. Monfils has a rare semi-final appearance to his name at Roland Garros and it’s by far his most successful slam to date. Now seeded at #13 he has a real chance at making shock-waves in the draw this year.

Nicole Robinson: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Tsonga could surprise the French crowd with a good run. His powerful game matched with the support from the home crowd could see big Jo pull off an upset over a top 10 ranked player. Look out for Tsonga in week two!

WTA Dark Horse

GF: Agnieszka Radwanska. Although results of late have pushed her outside the Top 10, I believe that Radwanska can come to the fore here. She has been close before to big tournament wins, and a good run here could see her go all the way.

JD: Carla Suarez Navarro. Suarez-Navarro hass improved phenomenally inside the last 12 months and if the draw was to open up as a natural clay courter she’d be one of the first names that could capitalize from it.

LE: Svetlana Kuznetsova. Kuznetsova has been playing well, she has won before at Roland Garros, and she knows she may not have many more opportunities as she is in the twilight of her career. On a good day she is capable of beating anyone.

Jonathan Newman: Svetlana Kuznetsova. Kuznetsova might just be the GOAT underachiever. How many players in the last 15 years have possessed as much talent? Yet she has only two Slams to show for her toils. A final in Madrid and a solid history in Paris positions her as dark horse: ’09 champ, 7 QF showings overall – including the last 2 years.

NR: Carla Suarez-Navarro. Suarez-Navarro may well feature in two week of this years french Open. The Spaniard has been in blistering form of late and her clay-court pedigree is not to be scoffed at. Suarez Navarro narrowly lost out to Maria Sharapova in the Rome final late last week, which will have given her an added boost, she could be dangerous in Paris.

ATP Early Exit

CN: John Isner. He has had a decent clay season thus far and made it to the round of 16 last year but that was the only time he has made it out of the third round. I think given his body size and schedule it was not wise for him to play in Nice.

YG: Ernests Gulbis. Yeah, it is low-hanging fruit. Gulbis has been pretty awful so far in 2015. He can change on a dime, but he doesn’t look like he’s anywhere near that right now.

JN: Stan Wawrinka. In his last eight Slams, Wawrinka has made at least the quarterfinals of six. The other two? First round losses. In 2015, he’s won two events and made a further two semis, including the Australian Open. But, there have also been losses to Haase, Delbonis, Mannarino and Stakhovsky. Anything is possible.

NR: Marin Cilic. The Croat hasn’t performed anywhere near his best since winning the 2014 U.S open. Given his poor performance so far in 2015, and his lack of clay-court pedigree, look for a lower ranked player to get the best of a struggeling Cilic in Paris.

WTA Early Exit

JD: Ana Ivanovic. Ana goes into Roland Garros with no coach and no fitness trainer. I just can’t see her finding clarity in her game without the help of someone by her side, expect the former champion to fall early in Paris.

JN: Caroline Wozniacki. Question marks abound for the top women heading into Paris. The easy picks for an early exit would be Bouchard, Ivanovic , and Radwanska. But Wozniacki gets the nod here for her iffy track record in Paris; her results on clay this year have been serviceable, but she’s only made it past the third round once in eight tries.

CN: Eugenie Bouchard. She simply has not been playing well on clay. She lost in her first match in Charleston, Madrid and made it to the second round of Rome before being ousted by Carla Suarez Navarro. I’d be shocked if she was around for the second week.

NR: Caroline Wozniacki. Wozniacki has never played her best on clay; given her hard-court pedigree and struggling form in 2015 the Dane could find herself in doubt for week two. Should she come up against a lower-ranked clay-court specalist the former World #1 could be in trouble.

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