Prior to the French Open, we here at The Slice made some predictions. We’re happy to say, it looks like the majority of our predictions could hold out!
However, due to the upsets on both sides and the fact that some players have come forward as newly-emerged favorites, we’ve begun to second guess ourselves. Here are our thoughts on the final fours and how we think the weekend will pan out.
The Men’s Side:
- Rafael Nadal: King of Clay. Enough said.
- Jurgen Melzer: It’s the Austrian’s first ever Grand Slam semifinal. But, he beat Djokovic in his first ever Grand Slam quarterfinals. Can the 29-year-old capitalize on the momentum? Or will exhaustion from coming from 2 sets down to beat the Serbian hinder him in his quest against Nadal (who by the way, did we mention, is pretty good on clay)?
- Tomas Berdych: Who? Right, you’ve never heard of him because big names like Federer and Nadal are all you see when you turn on your television. But this fiesty Czech is an up-and-coming star and a definite threat to his next opponent, Soderling. We definitely wouldn’t count him out because the up-and-comers have come out on top before. (Think Del Potro at last year’s U.S. Open).
- Robin Soderling: Who knew this Swede could follow up his performance last year (beating Nadal and eventually making his first ever Grand Slam appearance) with an even sweeter win over current world number one Roger Federer! As Mats Vilander said after Soderling’s win in 2009, “Sweden is back!” Is he number one material? Maybe. Is he a possible French Open champion? Resounding yes.
Finals: Rafael Nadal vs. Robin Soderling
Winner: Robin Soderling
The Women’s Side:
- Jelena Jankovic: Unfortunately for Jelena, if she’s going to make it to her second Grand Slam Final, she has a tough opponent to get passed. And history shows, she’s had a tough time getting to the end in the French. (She has lost twice in semifinal attempts to the eventual winners). Her only saving grace is that Stosur will still be recooperating from her 3-set epic win over Serena Williams.
- Samantha Stosur: As we stated, she’ll probably be tired – emotionally, physically, and mentally. But these are the times when you put those things aside and just go for it, and Stosur knows it. She’s been a Grand Slam champion before in doubles; there’s no reason her kick-serve and motivation can’t ge past Jankovic to the Finals.
- Francesca Schiavone: The first Italian in a Grand Slam semifinal. She’s not the most consistent player, so have her face Russian Elena Dementieva and it’s game, set, match Russia.
- Elena Dementieva: Our heart has broken in the past when Elena has gone out in epic quarter- or semi-final matches. Never have we seen such a technically proficient and motivated player on the court who just hasn’t been able to close the deal and win herself a Grand Slam. Our fingers are crossed this time.
Finals: Samantha Stosur vs. Elena Dementieva
Winner: Elena Dementieva