Tennis Freaks

“1821: Nadal, I’ve noticed, has a problem with his shorts, in that they keep on getting stuck up his jacksie and he has to pull them out before every point. Not sure why he doesn’t just get a size up, he’s probably loaded.”

Archive for david ferrer

Federer v Ferrer as it happened

Masters Cup final, Shanghai: R FEDERER (Swi) v D FERRER (Sp)

6-2 6-3 6-2

By Pranav Soneji

Roger Federer beats David Ferrer 6-2 6-3 6-2

Ferrer 2-6 3-6 2-6 Federer
Federer moves to within two points of the title with a beautiful running forehand volley and the pressure is too much for Ferrer, who double faults to give Federer match point, which he duly converts with a beautiful cross court forehand. It was inevitable, but Roger Federer, in current form, is untouchable.

Ferrer 2-6 3-6 2-5 Federer
Ace number nine from our Roger is sandwiched between a backhand sent from heaven and an overhit cross court forehand from Ferrer. He finishes off matters with a booming forehand and the defending champion is now one game away from another comprehensive victory.

Ferrer 2-6 3-6 2-4 Federer
Mr (or Ms) Spanish trumpet player is giving it great guns in the crowd, and it seems to have an effect on señor Ferrer, who wins the game when Federer wrongly challenges a baseline call.

Ferrer 2-6 3-6 1-4 Federer
Ferrer rightly challenges a line call from the umpire to lead 15-30, but Federer hardly looks troubled as his serve once again wins him the remaining points for the game. It’s not looking great for our Spanish tyro right now.

Ferrer 2-6 3-6 1-3 Federer
Ferrer hasn’t been able to play his natural game, which is testament to Federer’s talents. More woe for Ferrer, who completely mishits a forehand to give Federer yet another break point. And Federer clinically takes the game with a tremendous running forehand pass down the line, although Ferrer should have ended matters with a volley at the net.

“There’s a tennis masterclass taking place in Shangai at the moment. The tennis is something else from both players. I ain’t pained I missed an extra hour sleep to grab this!!!” Maxxfoot on 606

Ferrer 2-6 3-6 1-2 Federer
A phenomenal chip from Ferrer evades a sprawling Federer and a backhand winner from the Spaniard gives him an opening at 15-30. But an awesome deep return from Federer gives Ferrer no chance. More top serving from Federer sees him win the next two points to clinch the game.

Ferrer 2-6 3-6 1-1 Federer
Lots of slice backhands but none that go Federer’s way. Ferrer wins the game to love without too many problems.

Ferrer 2-6 3-6 0-1 Federer
Ferrer breaks his racket in utter disgust after the second set, but a possible early shot at redemption? Uncharacteristic mistakes from Federer hand Ferrer a break point in the first game of the third set. However Fed’s on the case with an unreturnable serve to take the game to deuce. Ferrer earns two more break points but our Roger isn’t having any of it and ends matters with a high forehand volley at the net. Crisis? What crisis?

“Federer looks in awesome form yet again. What odds Pete Sampras’ Grand Slam record being beaten by this time next year?”
sauceball1703 on 606

Ferrer 2-6 3-6 Federer
Once again unforced errors undo Ferrer’s earlier groundwork and a thumping forehand winner gives Federer a set point. But Ferrer isn’t giving up and battles back to deuce. An entertaining rally is brought to a close when Federer hits a backhand winner down the line for deuce. Quite possibly the greatest point I have ever seen in tennis ensues as both players somehow create incredible shots from nowhere and after an exchange of what must have been at least 20 strokes, Federer manages to find a quite brilliant winner to end matters. But Ferrer claws back three set points but an overhit forehand gifts Federer the second set on a silver platter.

Ferrer 2-6 3-5 Federer
Ferrer looks forlorn, I think he realises how important that last game was, especially as Federer fires more aces to win another service game to love, his fifth of the match.

Ferrer 2-6 3-4 Federer
Brilliant tennis from both players, testing each other’s defences series wide forehands and backhands, and it’s Ferrer who comes off the better in the exchanges. However he undoes all his great work with two unforced errors into the net to give Federer a vital break point. And he gifts the defending champion the game when he fires a wild return way beyond the baseline. That could prove to be a very costly point.

Ferrer 2-6 3-3 Federer
Federer follows up an ace with a double fault to tie the scoresd at 30-30. But a forehand winner and an overhit return from Ferrer earns the world number one the game.

Ferrer 2-6 3-2 Federer
A love game for Ferrer and he’s slowly finding his grove – albeit on his serve.

Ferrer 2-6 2-2 Federer
A blast of the Spanish trumpeter gets the heavy Castellano presence in the crowds warmed up, although it seems to have perked Federer up too. The Swiss star hits a quite brilliant backhand down the line to win the first point before winning the game with the most dismissive backhand from an acute angle you will ever see. Great players make difficult shots like that look so easy.

Ferrer 2-6 2-1 Federer
Genius from the world number one – he sees Ferrer coming towards the net and conjures the most beautiful floated backhand slice which Ferrer can only admire. More brilliance, this time for Ferrer, who has Federer stretching all over the court. And he follows that up with a double backhand winner to take the game.

Ferrer 2-6 1-1 Federer
Federer does not have a serve to rival the big guns, but he boasts is unerring accuracy. He wins the game when Ferrer’s baseline forehand just goes out of play.

Ferrer 2-6 1-0 Federer
Not a good start to the second set from Ferrer. His forehand clips the top of the net and goes out to give Federer an opening at 0-30. Ferrer claws things back with a deft drop volley which Federer cannot keep in play, despite his best efforts. And a total mishit of a forehand from Federer – which finds its way into the crowd – gives Ferrer a massive confidence booster.

Ferrer 2-6 Federer
Blimey, whoever wins this will have the bank manager purring thanks to the $600,000 cheque – and that’s just for winning the final. And at the moment it looks as if that cash will be heading to Switzerland as Ferrer returns a double-handed backhand into the net to give Federer the first set. However this is a three-set final, so Ferrer is not out of it by a long shot.

Ferrer 2-5 Federer
That’s more like it, Ferrer is scampering about the court using his speed to negate Federer’s clever chips – a thumping cross court forehand from an acute angle the highlight of the first set so far.

Ferrer 1-5 Federer
This is looking ominous for the Spaniard – Federer booms down his third ace to win the game. He hardly looks as if he has broken sweat – the forehand is booming and the volleys are hitting the strings sweetly.

Ferrer 1-4 Federer
Things are going from bad to worse for David Ferrer as he finds himself a double break down. The fight and spirit which has seen him reach the final looks to have deserted him just when he needs it most.

Ferrer 1-3 Federer
Federer’s serve was sharper than a butcher’s knife against Rafael Nadal on Saturday and once again it’s firing sweetly as he launches an ace down the middle to win the game comfortably.

Ferrer 1-2 Federer
Absolutely brilliant opening point. Ferrer should have buried a simple volley at the net, but instead gives Federer the opportunity to launch a pinpoint lob which has Ferrer scrambling back to retrieve, and Federer smashes a volley to win the point. Things go from bad to worse for Ferrer, who finds himself three break points down, as he slams a backhand into the net to give the defending champion the break.

Ferrer 1-1 Federer
An unforced error on Federer’s backhand gives Ferrer a 15-30 lead. The Spaniard challenges a line call on a Federer ace down the middle – and Hawk-eye backs his judgement. A wild forehand down the line gives Ferrer a break point, but Federer battles back to deuce with a smart volley at the net. And once again the defending champion charges to the net to put away another forehand volley to win the game.

Ferrer 1-0 Federer
Nervy start from Ferrer, who finds himself 0-30 down after the first two points. He’s handed a reprieve when Federer challenges a line call which Hawk-eye says is just out. Federer challenges another line call the point after – and this time he’s right, the ball just clipping the corner of the service line. However, Ferrer holds his nerve and wins the first game.

0805 : Both players are introduced on to court by the brilliant boxing-style MC, that man should be employed more on the tennis circuit. Ferrer has won the toss and will serve first.

So here it tennis fans, the season-ending finale you’ve all been waiting for.

I’m pretty sure most of us predicted one half of the final, but just where did David Ferrer come from (apart from Valencia)?

He looked in sensational form when he saw off Andy Roddick on Saturday night, although I don’t think he’ll have the same joy with the defending champion.

Story from BBC SPORT

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Djokovic v Ferrer as it happened

US Open, Flushing Meadows Semi-final result:

N DJOKOVIC (Ser) bt D FERRER (Spa)

6-4 6-4 6-3

By Piers Newbery

 

 

Third set:

Djokovic 6-3 Ferrer
Djokovic crosses himself and looks to the heavens after another perfect drop shot gets him to 30-30 and just two points from a Grand Slam final. Moments later, a rush to the net gets him to deuce, another to match point… and with a brilliant drop volley he’s done it!

Djokovic 5-3 Ferrer
Another good hold from Djokovic after he drops the first point and his friends and family are looking suitably excited in the players’ box. They appear to be dressed in lines of red, white and blue to represent the Serbian flag. Very nice.

Djokovic 4-3 Ferrer
Djokovic has a sniff of another break at 30-30 but nets a backhand and Ferrer holds, before jogging back to his chair.

Djokovic 4-2 Ferrer
Djokovic comes up with the shot of the match when in trouble at 0-30, sliding out wide and smacking a backhand down the line, and he takes the next three points for a crucial hold.

1918: “The final is bound to be federer and djokovic and will be a close 5 setter with fed just coming through.”
From Luke from London via text on 8111

Djokovic 3-2 Ferrer
The match looks all but over when Ferrer goes 0-30 down but he picks up a Djokovic drop shot and fires a cross-court forehand winner. The Spaniard goes on to hold to 30.

Djokovic 3-1 Ferrer
Ferrer plays a poor game by smacking a couple of returns long when Djokovic is obviously not desperate to be running around in the heat.

1911: Djokovic has another visit from the doctor and apparently tells him, “I feel exhausted.” But he has a smile on his face and looks ready for one final push.

Djokovic 2-1 Ferrer
Djokovic looks back to his best, earning two break points for the second game in successsion. He narrowly misses the first with an ambitious attempt at a shot around the net post but converts the second.

Djokovic 1-1 Ferrer
Ferrer fails with a Hawkeye challenge as Djokovic rolls through a comfortable service game.

Djokovic 0-1 Ferrer
Djokovic, with the cap back in place, misses two chances to grab what could be a decisive break with sloppy errors and Ferrer stays alive, for the moment.

Second set:

Djokovic 6-4 Ferrer
After a set in which nearly every game has gone to deuce, we get to crunch time and Djokovic serves out to love.

Djokovic 5-4 Ferrer
Another break looks likely when Djokovic dominates the rally at 30-30 but he cannot make a tough half-volley drop shot. A wayward backhand prompts Djokovic to toss his racquet – fairly gently – into the air and Ferrer holds.

Djokovic 5-3 Ferrer
This is a hard one to call. Djokovic is seemingly cruising at 40-0 before a couple of double faults see him slip back to deuce. He takes off the sodden cap he’s been wearing and throws it away in frustration. It seems to work as he serves his way out of trouble.

1840: “Djokovic is knackered.”
Djokovic 4-3 Ferrer
The game looks done and dusted when Ferrer thumps down what looks like an ace at 40-15 but Djokovic challenges, and it’s correct. Suddenly the momentum is back with the third seed and he breaks when Ferrer pulls a forehand wide.

Djokovic 3-3 Ferrer
Djokovic does well to hold serve as he is clearly struggling, while Ferrer looks up for the long haul. Djokovic steers a volley at deuce and Ferrer almost makes him pay, a net cord just taking the ball out, before the Serb comes through with a much sharper volley.

Djokovic 2-3 Ferrer
It’s still early days but Djokovic has been in two Grand Slam semi-finals this year and been found wanting physically, being overpowered by Nadal in Paris and then retiring against the Spaniard at Wimbledon. Ferrer holds to 15.

Djokovic 2-2 Ferrer
The ice towel has some effect as Djokovic moves to game point but Ferrer is able to prolong the following rallies and Djokovic struggles. The Serb scrambles to get to a backhand when break point down and puts it long.

1820: Uh-oh. Djokovic calls for the trainer, the doctor and an ice towel as the heat is clearly starting to bother him. The doc hands over a couple of pills and Djokovic returns to the action.

Djokovic 2-1 Ferrer
Djokovic looks to be blowing a bit after that previous game and dons a white cap to give him some protection on a hot afternoon. It looks to be working when he takes the first two points but Ferrer hangs on.

Djokovic 2-0 Ferrer
It’s so often the way, isn’t it? You do all the hard work and then relax a little bit too much. Djokovic almost comes a cropper but forces an error when facing break point. He needs several deuces in the longest game of the match but does well to hold.

Djokovic 1-0 Ferrer
The Djokovic forehand is getting bigGer and bigger. Ferrer is in real danger at 0-30 but hauls himself back to game point, before a punishing rally of huge hitting is brought to an end by another big Djokovic forehand. Ferrer then fails to deal with some heavy slice and nets a forehand, but Djokovic goes long with the backhand on break point. Another chance comes along and this time the Serb runs down a drop shot and puts away a…. forehand.

First set:

Djokovic 6-4 Ferrer
Djokovic completes the turnaround with his fifth straight game in stunning style. The backhand that was faltering only a few minutes ago is now working beautifully and he wraps up the set with a drive volley.

Djokovic 5-4 Ferrer
Djokovic tries another drop shot but this time Ferrer runs it down and hits a winner. The pressure remains on the Spaniard though and at 30-30 he puts a regulation backhand long. Djokovic needs only one break point, firing a backhand up the line that Ferrer cannot handle.

Djokovic 4-4 Ferrer
After a slow start Djokovic is motoring now and he glides into the net before angling away a backhand volley for 40-0, taking the game with a big serve on the next point. Three love games in a row.

Djokovic 3-4 Ferrer
Ferrer has gone from De Niro to Mickey Blue Eyes. The Spaniard does some excellent scampering on the second point but to no avail and a couple of huge forehands then help Djokovic to 0-40 and three break points. The best forehand of the lot then follows, cross-court, and the Serb is back on serve.

Djokovic 2-4 Ferrer
Djokovic gets back on track with a love hold of his own.

Djokovic 1-4 Ferrer
Ferrer is looking as ruthless as De Niro in Goodfellas, ‘whacking’ down an ace for a love game.

Djokovic 1-3 Ferrer
Djokovic opens up with a ridiculous drop shot from behind the baseline that just sneaks over the net and he holds to 15 to get off the mark. And Robert De Niro is in the crowd, hidden under a fishing hat. Maybe he’s a big David Ferrer fan.

Djokovic 0-3 Ferrer
Ferrer is in the groove now and Djokovic is struggling to keep pace, firing one forehand way outside the tram lines.

Djokovic 0-2 Ferrer
Djokovic is under pressure after a double fault and a backhand error. Ferrer absolutely hammers a forehand moments later to get to 15-40 and two break points, and another sloppy Djokovic backhand gives up the break.

Djokovic 0-1 Ferrer
It’s another sunny, blustery day at Flushing Meadows and the Arthur Ashe Stadium is yet to fill up. The late arrivals miss some beautiful forehands that get Djokovic to 0-30 up and he soons earns the first break point of the day, but Ferrer comes up with a service winner and goes on to hold.

1714: Forget the football, ignore the rugby, the cricket’s over, and tear yourself away from the gymnastics – this is the place to be. We have two players trying to reach their first Grand Slam final.

Ferrer has a 2-1 lead in career meetings but that does not tell the whole story, as both the Spaniard’s wins came on clay and the first was in 2004 when Djokovic was just 17.

The Serb’s win came on hard courts in Indian Wells this year and he has rocketed to number three in the world, reaching the semis at the French Open and Wimbledon.

But Ferrer has been in a rich vein of form in New York, beating Rafael Nadal on his way to a first Grand Slam semi-final.

Story from BBC SPORT

French Open – Roland Garros – Men to watch

 

EurosportTue, 22 May 00:52:00 2007

French Open – Believe it or not, a Rafael Nadal versus Roger Federer French Open final is not necessarily ordained from above. Jeremy Stahl runs through the list of contenders who stand a chance on the red-hot clay at this year’s Roland Garros.

TENNIS 2007 Battle of the Surfaces Roger Federer Rafael Nadal - 0

Rafael Nadal – The odds-on bet

We would be loathe not to mention the two-time defending champion as the easy favourite to defend his crown. The world number two is coming off of the heels of his first defeat on the slow dirt in more than two years, but his loss to Roger Federer in the Hamburg final takes nothing away from the Spaniard’s record-breaking 81-match win streak on clay. In addition to having a perfect record in his two years at Roland Garros, Rafa has yet to have even been pushed to a fifth set at Paris. Three titles in four claycourt tournaments in 2007 bode well for the 20-year-old man-child from Majorca.

Roger Federer – To be the greatest…..

From John McEnroe to Andre Agassi, the general consensus among tennis’ now wise (once wild) men is that Roger Federer needs to win the French Open and become the sixth man to achieve the Slam in order to challenge for the mantle of “greatest-of-all-time.” After a previously disappointing claycourt season, Fed-ex won his first clay title of the spring in Hamburg. More importantly, the Swiss Slam machine overcame one of his biggest goblins of the past two years and beat Rafael Nadal on clay for the first time in six tries. Though Federer had been coy about his Roland Garros hopes, the world number one is clearly anxious to get over the final hurdle of a brilliant career on the burning red dirt of Paris.

Fernando Gonzalez – Gonzo-mania strikes again?

The fifth ranked Chilean starts the French Open as the most credible challenger to the world number one and the two-time defending champion, having already reached the final of one Grand Slam and a claycourt Masters series this year. The man whose red-hot Oz Open run was only ended by an unstoppable Federer in the final, also reached the final of the Rome Masters before being trounced by Nadal. If he can somehow avoid the top-two in the draw, another Gonzo Grand Slam final is a distinct possibility in Paris.

Novak Djokovic – The other young gun

The Serbian starlet, who turned 20-years-old a week before the start of this year’s French Open, has not quite rivalled Rafa Nadal as the best young player on the ATP Tour this year, but he has come close. Djokovic, third in the 2007 ATP Points Race behind only Federer and Nadal, won titles in Adelaide and Estoril, and beat Rafa on his way to a Miami Masters crown in a brilliant first-half of the season. He reached the quarter-finals of last year’s Roland Garros before retiring hurt down to sets to eventual winner Nadal, but after gaining more experience against Rafa at the Rome, Miami, and Indian Wells Masters, is in the best-possible position to challenge his top-ten 20-year-old peer.

Nikolay Davydenko – Looks good on paper

A perennial Grand Slam quarter-finalist, the Russian had his best-ever finish at Roland Garros in 2005 losing to Mariano Puerta in the semi-finals. Despite his third consecutive quarter-finals appearance at the Australian Open this January, Davydenko’s 2007 had been anything but impressive with several first and second round exits. But then the world number four nearly showed what he is nearly capable of by nearly beating Rafael Nadal at the Rome Masters in a semi-final epic. Nearly will not be good enough at Roland Garros, however.

Guillermo Canas – The upset specialist

Returning to the ATP circuit from a 15-month doping suspension last fall, the Argentine gained a more positive notoriety this spring by beating world number one Roger Federer in two consecutive tournaments. Canas has the quickness and defensive agility to challenge the world’s best on the slow surface, as he proved in his encore victory over Federer in a thrilling 7-6(2) 2-6 7-6(5) victory at the Miami Masters. Having already beaten former French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero on clay to win the Brazil Open, Canas went onto reach the finals in Barcelona before succumbing to Nadal. But only one victory in his last three tournaments means “El Gigantico Killero” has cooled heading into Paris.

Lleyton Hewitt and Carlos Moya – The old school

Though both the Australian and the Spaniard have faded significantly since their respective runs at the top of the world rankings, back in November 2001 and March 1999 respectively, both Hewitt and Moya have surged into this year’s French Open. The former US Open and Wimbledon champion Hewitt struggled after winning the Las Vegas Open in February, but demonstrated shades of his former attacking greatness against Nadal in the semi-finals at Hamburg before losing 6-2 3-6 5-7 to the Spaniard. Moya, the 1998 French Open champion, also started the season strong with a title on clay in Acapulco in February, before struggling up until an impressive Hamburg run, which was ended by eventual champion Roger Federer in a thrilling 6-4 4-6 2-6 semi-final. Between the 30-year-old Moya and the 26-year-old Hewitt, you have to give the edge to the Australian.

David Nalbandian – The long-shot

Another really strong contender on paper, Nalbandian reached his second Roland Garros semi-finals appearance in 2006 before retiring against world number one Roger Federer. The big-hitting 25-year-old has disappointed this season with only one quarter-finals appearance at Barcelona, but is capable of beating anybody in the world as he showed at the Masters Cup final against Federer in 2005. Prone to unforced errors and on-court nervous break-downs the hot-blooded Argentine has all the potential to win the French Open, but probably lacks the mental toughness to go all the way.

Philipp Kohlschreiber – The really, really long-shot

The 23-year-old German could turn a few heads and cause a couple of upsets at Paris, if he continues the form that has seen him to a career-best ranking of 32nd in the world. Kohlschreiber, a natural dirt-baller, won his first-career title on the clay at Munich last month. He pushed Rafa Nadal to four sets before losing to the Spaniard in the second round of the Australian Open, and reached the quarter-finals at Monte Carlo before falling to the eventual champion Nadal yet again. The added experience against the world number two could very well work to his advantage.

And the rest….

Andy Roddick, James Blake, Ivan Ljubicic, Tommy Robredo, Tomas Berdych, and Tommy Haas are threats in any major tournament, while claycourt specialists Juan Ignacio Chela, Juan Carlos Ferrero and David Ferrer could also do some damage.

Nadal’s king, but these 5 can usurp the throne

Matthew Cronin / FOXSports.com

Breaking news! Rafael Nadal can be beat on clay — at least once every two years.

But despite his three-set loss to top-ranked Roger Federer in the Hamburg final, the Spaniard is still the favorite to win his third consecutive French Open title and become the first man since all-time great Bjorn Borg to pull off a triple. Here are the five best bets to take his title:

  • Roger Federer: Muddled in his longest slump since he became No. 1, Federer scraped and clawed his way to his third Hamburg title, needing three sets to overcome Juan Monaco, David Ferrer and Carlos Moya. Then in the final against Nadal, whom he had never beaten in five attempts on clay, he rediscovered his ferocious backhand, stepped further inside the court with his backhand to pick up the Spaniard’s high bouncing balls earlier and hit straight through his exhausted foe.Even though it was clear that Nadal had finally lost his legs after an amazing 81-match win streak on clay, the victory was a much-needed boost of confidence for Federer, who now believes that if he finds the zone, continues to hit out, serves huge and returns intelligently, that his chase of the calendar year Grand Slam is no quixotic quest. But if Federer is to win his first Roland Garros crown, he must play cleanly through his first five matches because he doesn’t want to enter the final weekend with tread-worn wheels.
  • Novak Djokovic: The hottest young player on tour has found his feet on clay and is looking all the part of a top five player this year. John McEnroe loves this guy’s composure and how he goes after the ball. He’s beaten Nadal on hardcourts, and he won Warsaw on clay.Interestingly, even though he’s a Serbian who has slid on plenty of clay courts in his life, Djokovic prefers faster surfaces. But he’s a good mover who can launch his forehand and rarely backs off the ball against elite players. He just turned 20 and is still a little immature, but unlike some of the veterans, he doesn’t fear Rafa or Roger. He’ll get after it, which is a sure sign of a future Slam champ.
  • Nikolay Davydenko: Hurt much of the year, the Russian rebounded in Rome with a semifinal appearance and a near win over Nadal. If he can find motivation — and find some heart — he’s a decent threat to reach the French Open semis (and maybe the final if Fed fizzles). He’s the tour’s most unknown top-5 player, but is a true backboard with pop and savvy.
  • Fernando Gonzalez: The Chilean slumped after the Australian Open final, overplaying and frequently losing his composure. The 26-year-old has huge weapons and a much-improved backhand, but he can be impatient and lose his focus. On clay, that’s a death sentence.Gonzo did revive himself at the Italian Open, reaching the final, but Nadal ran circles around him there and in Hamburg. If he can avoid the Spaniard until late in the tournament and catches fire, he can upset anyone on a great day. But he needs to show the same spunk he did Down Under.
  • Guillermo Canas: After a lengthy doping suspension, the veteran Argentine has run an incredible race back into top 25, grinding nearly every week since last fall and taking Federer down twice at Indian Wells and Miami.In his six appearances at Roland Garros, he’s played nine monstrous five-setters, winning five of them. Even though he can stay on court for eons, Canas has to be more of a risk-taker this year if he’s to pass the quarterfinals. Playing possum isn’t going to cut it as the tournament wears on.While the ATP Tour isn’t deep at the top level of the game, it’s near fathomless with men who have quarterfinal possibilities. Here are 10 other men who can reach the French Open final eight:
  • Graceful Spaniard Tommy Robredo
  • The talented yet erratic French hopeful Richard Gasquet
  • Czech powerballer Tomas Berdych
  • Argentine veteran David Nalbandian
  • Tireless Spaniard David Ferrer
  • The improving Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela
  • 2003 champion Juan Carlos Ferrero
  • The up-and-down Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis
  • Argentine teen Juan Martin Del Potro
  • And two-time Grand Slam champion Lleyton Hewitt of Australia.Unless they receive a very sweet draw, don’t expect American top 10ers Andy Roddick and James Blake to reach the second week. They are bedeviled by the dirt.