Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Qualified for the job?

Can you believe that the start of the French is just a few days away? For some reason, it appears this stretch of the year has flown by. Why it seems like only yesterday that I was thinking, "wow, the clay-court season's almost here!" Now it's almost gone. (Sorry for all that time-displacement talk: I must have Star Trek on the brain or something!)

Play has already started at Roland Garros, actually. Well, it's the qualifying rounds, but it is play nonetheless! For some reason, looking at the draws, none of the matchups are really captivating me. I don't see anyone at all on either side making a decent run or causing trouble for a main-draw player.

I guess you have some decent players out there like Fabio Fognini (top seed in the men's qualies), Nicolas Mahut (a Frenchman who's better on fast surfaces), Scoville Jenkins (an American who looks like he's going on the right track), Lukasz Kubot (the Serbian Open finalist) and veteran Dominik Hrbaty (a semifinalist here about 10 years ago). But will any of them really make a main man sweat?

As for the women, some Americans are still alive: Carly Gullickson, Angela Haynes and Vania King. Then there's veterans like Yvonne Meusberger and young guns like Michelle Larcher de Brito. Actually De Brito might make some noise here (besides the shrieking when she hits the ball!)

But otherwise, the qualifying rounds are kind of quiet this year. Will someone step up when they get to the main event?


Shelia said...

Hey Van, my sentiments exactly. As I was going through the qualifiers draw, I was wondering if the economy is keeping players who are doubtful about their potential promise in Paris at home.

Interesting... I don't quite know what to make of Paris this year, not just qualifiers - the seeds too!

van said...

Hey Shelia! Good point about the economy: I guess it takes a lot to get to Paris and to not be assured a place in the draw.

Do you know who gets the wildcard with Isner not going now?

Shelia said...

Last I read, after the USTA gave the wildcard back to the French Federation, it was then given to a French player, whose name escapes me, but someone ranked in the three or four hundreds.

I'm not sure of the enitre wildcard protocol, but I was under the impression that we could allot it to another choice - guess not.