I’m so glad that another Grand Slam is upon us! The break between the Australian Open and the French Open is entirely too long! But now that it’s back, I’m in heaven!
My girl Serena Williams took care of business today. I hate when Americans have to play each other in the 1st round. It’s like “hey, let’s try to diminish the already low American competitors!” So she beat Ashley Harkleroad soundly (6-2, 6-1). Serena’s been looking GREAT this year. She’s looking more fit and playing with an increased aggression. If you’ve ever seen Serena play, you wouldn’t say that she lacks aggression, so for me to say that she’s turned it up means she’s making strides! Provided she doesn’t get injured — she had to withdraw from the Italian Open with a back injury a couple of weeks ago — I’m expecting Serena to make a run for the title. Serena’s achilles heel in grand slam events has been Justine Henin. Serena won’t have to worry about her this time around as Henin retired a couple of weeks ago. But before she did, Serena beat her at the Sony Ericsson Open. Ahhh, redemption!
So I’m looking for a strong showing from Serena. Americans don’t usually do well on clay, so I won’t be too terribly shocked if she doesn’t win, although she does have a French Open title (2002). And another thing; why aren’t there more clay courts in the US for our stars to practice on? It’s downright embarassing that they have to go overseas in order to get quality competition in on the surface! Anyway, I digress…
Maria Sharapova is the newly crowned #1 player thanks to the Henin retirement. She’s been playing well, so she should do well too. I’m also looking for Ana Ivanovic to make a splash.
Onto the men’s draw! I really, really, really, really want Novak Djokovic to win the French Open. I freakin’ love that guy! He’s such a great player and personality for the sport. I am constantly amazed by his drive and wonderful sense of humor.
But, at the same time, watching Roger Federer is nothing short of a treat. He always puts on a show. He’s that good! This is the slam that he hasn’t won and I’d really like to see him add a trophy from Roland Garros to his case. As much as it wasn’t as exciting watching Roger dominate tournament after tournament over the past few years, the same can be said about Rafael Nadals’ pwnage of the French Open. He has not lost a single match there! So I’m ready for someone not named Rafa to take the title! We shall see!
On the American side, just 1 win was needed to do better than that pathetic 2007 showing where they went 0-9. James Blake came through with a win today, so we’re already ahead! But I must say watching him sometimes frustrates me. Like today, he was up 2 sets, easily, and couldn’t put away his opponent despite being up 5-1 in the 3rd set. In addition, Donald Young is going to face Robby Ginepri, so another American is guaranteed a pass to the 2nd round. I like both Robby and Donald, but Donald needs the win desperately! He had so much hype moving up from the Junior circuit to the pros, but it hasn’t panned out. He brings a youthful energy to the game that the American men need. It’s not like anyone can count on Andy Roddick; who withdrew from the tournament citing a right shoulder injury. So yes, I’d really like to see Donald make some steps forward. In the next day or so, we will know if he’s made that step.
Guga is already out, as is Moya. My mother and I love watching them play, so we will miss the two of them this year.
Keep an eye on www.rolandgarros.com for all the latest!