Yes, the French Open starts on Sunday this year. That means that there are three Sundays instead of two during the tournament and that is one more weekend day, in this case memorial weekend in the U.S., for getting some prime time network exposure.
It’s exhausting for ATP fantasy leaguers because there is a 128 player draw. That’s 64 first round plus 32 second round plus 16 third round plus 8 fourth round matches to pick before we get to the quarterfinalists.
I’m going with Federer, Robredo, Nalbandian, Davydenko, Stepanek, Ferrer, Gonzalez and, of course, Nadal. This is the end of the clay court season so Robredo, Ferrer and Gonzalez are at the end of their usefulness for this year. Stepanek is a strange pick but he’s in Roddick’s part of the draw – need I say more – and Olivier Rochus is the only competition there.
There are 7 US players in the draw: Roddick, Blake, Kevin Kim, Gimelstob, Ginepri, Goldstein, and Spadea. Gimelstob and Goldstein get a qualifier in their first round match as does Kim who is a qualifier himself. Even Federer gets a qualifier in the first round since Clement dropped out. Doesn’t seem fair, does it?
I have Roddick going down the Rochus in the third round and Blake losing to Almagro in the second round in case it matters.
There are a few interesting first round matchups. Grosjean and Pavel: Pavel just got to the finals at Poertschach but Grosjean is French and though it won’t get him a title, it should get him to the third round. Gonzalez and Safin: it’s a nightmare to have to play Safin in the first round if you’re a top ten player but it probably won’t matter. Safin has been having his troubles this year. At one tournament he slipped and sprained his ankle while walking to the hairdresser. I hope he can find his way to the court safely.
The draws below go as far as picking the semifinalists. I’ll update as things move along.
I’m so exhausted from picking the damn draw that I’m too tired to be engaging. Tomorrow I’ll talk about some of the players who are not at the Open. See you then.