The weekend started with six, but with losses by Arnaud Clement (to Mardy Fish) and Paul-Henri Mathieu (to Roger Federer), we are down to four Frenchmen in the men’s singles draw.
Our favorite to make it to the quarterfinals is not new father Gilles Simon (who faces Rafael Nadal this afternoon) or Michael Llodra (although maybe we’re crazy to bet against Llodra who has already taken out Tomas Berdych and Victor Hanescu in straight sets) but rather either Gael Monfils or Richard Gasquet.
This is, of course, a guaranteed prediction, because Monfils and Gasquet play each other in the fourth round for a place in the quarterfinals, but we like to think that one of them would manage to find a way there regardless of their next opponent.
Gael Monfils (pictured at the start of the third set against Janko Tipsarevic on Saturday, below) has been inconsistent in the past and has never made it past the fourth round in a hardcourt Grand Slam.
Likewise, a resurgent Richard Gasquet (pictured reacting to a point in his match against South Africa’s Kevin Anderson, below) has never made it past the fourth round in a hardcourt Grand Slam.
Between Monfils’ acrobatic playing style and Gasquet’s desire for everyone to have something to talk about other than his failed doping test in 2009, Monday’s Round of 16 matchup is sure to be an entertaining one! And it will guarantee that at least one Frenchman makes it to his first Grand Slam quarterfinal match.
(Photos: The Slice)