Monday, June 9, 2008

Au revoir, Paris!

Another French Open has come and gone, and it seems like only yesterday that I was picking Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova to complete their career Slams. We all know how that went, unfortunately. I just wanted to take a final look back before moving on to greener pastures, aka the grass-court season, which has kicked off today.

• Fantastic four: Rafael Nadal won his fourth French title in a row, stomping through the field, and he's only 22. He could easily win another four before he turns 30. I would really like to see him pick up another Major somewhere else, though.

• Number 1 stunner: Ana Ivanovic had a weekend of firsts: a number-1 ranking to go with her first Slam. Last year, I was thinking she's too Kim Clijsters-like, you know, too nice to win many majors or even care if she loses. But I like what she said after taking Indian Wells this year, that she was really ready to do it. She has to be considered a favorite wherever she plays now.

• Back in black: Even though he lost the final at the French, and pretty handily, I think Roger Federer is definitely back. He got deep in all his clay-court tournaments, making four out of five finals, and that's his worse surface. I think he can grab another six titles before the year is out, and at least one major. That's a pretty good year by anyone's stretch of the imagination.

• Breaking through (finally!!!): Dinara Safina and Gael Monfils had the biggest results of their careers at the French. I know I had pretty much written off both of them. I just hope this was finally the stepping stone for them and that they're here to stay.

• No place like home: Aside from Monfils, there were four other French male players that made it to the round of 16 at their home Slam.

• The lonely American: Robby Ginepri was the only American singles player, male or female, to make it to the second week as the best chances—Serena and Venus Williams—both got upset in the third round. The American men did better than last year, though, as to where at least some of them won matches!

• I blew it: On a personal note, I'm not too dissatisfied with how my breakdown of the men's draw went, landing five out of eight quarterfinalists. But on the women's side, man, was I off! Two out of eight picks is nothing to write home about at all. I even predicted the wrong Serbian to make the final!

That's it for me on the French. Tons of other stuff happened, of course, but it's time to move on. Until next year, mon amis!

(Photos: Nadal, Federer: Getty Images; Ivanovic: AP)

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