I guess you could've said that last year, too, but we all know what happened then. Nothing's ever a given in pro sports, but I do think Rafa is a great choice to win it all, based on his overall ability on the clay courts. Plus, I'm sure there's going to be an extra bit of motivation going in, looking to erase what happened last year.
But the tournament doesn't start and end with him as there is 127 other guys in the field. Here's how I think it'll go, from the round of 16 on:
The Fourth Round:
Roger Federer (1) vs. Stanislas Wawrinka (20) Ernests Gulbis (23) vs. Robin Soderling (5) Andy Murray (4) vs. Tomas Berdych (15) Mikhail Youzhny (11) vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (8) Juan Monaco (26) vs. David Ferrer (9) Pablo Cuevas vs. Victor Hanescu (31) Philipp Kohlschreiber (30) vs. Nicolas Almagro (19) Michael Berrer vs. Rafael Nadal (2)
Federer vs. Gulbis Berdych vs. Tsonga Ferrer vs. Hanescu Almagro vs. Nadal
Federer vs. Berdych Ferrer vs. Nadal
Nadal over Federer
*A side note: You may be saying, "What about Djokovic? Verdasco? Roddick? Gasquet over Murray?" Here's my thinking along those lines: Nole's not match-tough, Verdasco's played too much, Roddick not enough and Gasquet won't be able to handle the pressure.
An old friend of mine and I used to talk tennis for hours, whether it was our own games or what was happening in the pros. I've started Tennis Talk, Anyone? to, well, talk tennis with an even broader crowd! My name is Van Sias and I've been playing for 20 years now, and not only am I player, I'm a huge fan of the game as well: pro, amateur, you name it. I'll post links to news items related to the sport, and offer my own personal opinion, predictions and hopefully get some of yours as well.