Men’s Quarter Finals

Jun 1, 2009

With all the drama of the past few days, and two of the top four seeds making their exit, the quarter finals of this years French Open are wide open, and with Federer barely able to scrape through his fourth round match the safest bet of the tournament is that there are no safe bets.

Robin Soderling vs Nicolay Davydenko

Can Davydenko beat the man who beat ‘The Man’?

On paper he is the higher ranked of the two players and has a superior track record on clay, but suprisingly trails 2-3 in their head to head matches – with two of those losses to Soderling coming on clay.

There has to be a massive come down for Soderling after such an upset win, and history is littered with examples of such winners being unable to raise their game in their very next match and tumbling out straight after.

The one that instantly springs to my mind is the Australian Open of 1996 when a 19yr old (and not yet broke) Mark Phillipoussis turned in a stunning performance to dominate world number 1 Pete Sampras in straight sets.

He was bundled out in the very next round, and as it turns out never made it past the 4th round of the Aussie Open in his whole career, even though at the time he was being pegged as a future champion.

So I’m going to go with Davydenko in this one – he’s a talented player who’s been involved in his fair share of controversy but he seems to be playing close to his best at the moment.

Andy Murray vs Fernando Gonzalez

There is no doubting Andy Murray’s talent – he has one of the most complete all round games on tour. But he is still learning on clay, albeit at a fairly rapid rate.

Gonzalez doesn’t quite have the same game, with a weak backhand being an area that Murray will target. But his forehand is massive. One of his Spanish nicknames is ‘Mano de Piedra’ – Hand of Stone.

This is Gonzalez’s third successive quarter finals appearance at Roland Garros and he will be desperate to go at least one better in such an open tournament.

Gonzalez to win in a tough five set match.

Juan Martin Del Potro vs Tommy Robredo

I haven’t seen either of these players so far this tournament, but I’ve been a fan of Del Potro for some time so I’m hoping he can move through here and set up a semi-final with Roger Federer – the winner of which would probably be installed as the favourite to take the titlle.

But one step at a time – he has to beat Robredo first, and playing any Spaniard on clay is no walk in the park

It has to be said that Robredo’s run has been made very easy thanks to the exit of Novak Djokovic and Del Potro will be a tough ask. Too tough an ask in my opinion

Roger Federer vs Gael Monfils

The pick of the quarter finals pits the world number two against the last remaining local in what has the potential to be the most entertaining match of the tournament so far.

The talent of Monfils has never been in doubt. What was always seen to be lacking was discipline, and with his new coach Australian Roger Rasheed progress seems to have been made in this area.

Federer had a huge scare in his fourth round match against Tommy Haas where he was forced to come back from two sets to love down. Maybe his mind had wandered after the shock exit of his great rival.

Whatever the reason he won’t make the same mistake twice and should be more focused for this quarter final clash

Federer to win in four, with a strong local crowd urging Monfils to play some great tennis.

Written by: Crooksy

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