Lawn Tennis
French Open - Roland Garros
Paris, France, May 25-Jun. 8, Grand Slam The French Open - Roland Garros
May 25th-June 8, 2008
Paris, France
French Open - Roland Garros
Paris, France, May 25-Jun. 8, Grand Slam
Sharapova, Nadal Handed Favorable French Open Draws
By Tripp Mateschitz, Lawn Tennis Correspondent, Posted: Friday, May 23, 2008 1:45pm CST USA
Maria Sharapova, Rafael Nadal Handed Favorable French Open Draws
Maria Sharapova and Rafael Nadal
PARIS, France (—The French Open begins Sunday in Paris and with three time defending champion Justine Henin of Belgium recently retired from the sport, the women's field should prove much more dramatic than in the past several years.

Henin's stellar mix of topspin and slice served her well on the terre battue, but now several others of the top players can sense this is their time to win the French Open.

[1]Maria Sharapova (RUS) Tennis' darling has been handed a weak draw and could cruise into the final.

[8]Venus Williams (USA) must eliminate errors to beat Jankovic, Serena Williams and Sharapova.

[5]Serena Wiliams (USA) will need to be ready for a tremendous battle in the quarterfinals.

[3]Jelena Jankovic(SRB) always plays Venus Williams. Venus is tired of losing to her on clay.

[2]Ana Ivanovic(SRB) will need to pull out all the stops to beat Serena Williams in the quarterfinals.

Darkhorses: [12]Agnes Szavay (HUN), [13]Dinara Safina (RUS), [14]Agnieszka Radwanska (POL), Ashley Harkleroad (USA)

First Rounds To Watch: [5]Serena Williams (USA) vs. Ashley Harkleroad (USA), [15]Nicole Vaidisova (CZE) vs. [Q]

Final: [1] Maria Sharapova (RUS) loses to [8] Venus Williams (USA)

The men's draw lacks the drama and suspense of the women's draw in part because we all know or at least expect king of clay and three time defending champion Rafael Nadal of Spain to steamroll into the finals followed closely by world number one Roger Federer of Switzerland. Anything else would be a huge upset.

[2]Rafael Nadal (ESP) 21-0 has never lost a match in Paris. Unless injured should grab a fourth title.

[1]Roger Federer (SUI) will need to get to the net but claycourters can outlast him on this surface.

[7]James Blake (USA) is America's best hope but faces tough potential quarterfinal against Djokovic.

[3]Novak Djokovic (SRB) Australian Open champ has improved but could meet Nadal in semifinals.

[4] Nikolay Davydenko (RUS) Frenchman Tsonga I think could upset him in the round of sixteen.

Darkhorses: [14]Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA), Marat Safin (RUS), Gael Monfils (FRA), [23] Juan Carlos Ferrero (ESP)

First Rounds To Watch: [1]Roger Federer (SUI) vs. Sam Querrey (USA), Donald Young (USA) vs. Robby Ginepri (USA), Gael Monfils (FRA) vs. Arnaud Clement (FRA), [7]James Blake (USA) vs. Rainer Schuettler (GER), [WC]Gustavo Kuerten (BRA) vs. [18]Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA)

Final: [1] Roger Federer (SUI) loses to [2] Rafael Nadal (ESP)

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