The French Open excitement is already building with qualifying matches underway for those who are not lucky enough to automatically get through to the finals. The competition starts on the 25th May and runs through to June 8th and so there is not long to wait. The draws have also been announced, making some people already start to speculate about who might win the championships this year.
There is no surprise that Rafael Nadal is the number one seed this year and if you check your favourite tennis odds then he is likely to be bookies favourite as well. His first few rounds of matches do not look to challenging either, although Tommy Haas and David Ferrer could challenge him later on.
His biggest competition could be Andy Murray in the quarter finals, assuming that they both get that far of course. He could then meet Roger Federer in the semi-finals, but he has quite a tough draw with a lot of well-known players in his quarter. They may not be so good at the moment, but could prove themselves under the pressure of the big tournament. The number two seed Novak Djokovic, also has a pretty tough draw with a lot of good players in his quarter as well, as he will need to beat 25th seed Marin Cilic and then Jo-Wilfred Tsonga who is the thirteenth seed and then a semi-final against Roger Federer to get through to the final. Of course most people would like to see him playing Nadal in the final, but there are a lot of matches between now and then and it is pretty hard to know who will get through at the moment.
Recent form could also help spur on Djokovic who won the Rome Masters recently which put worries about a wrist injury behind him. He beat Nadal in three sets in that final and was his fourth successive win over him so that has to give him confidence. It could also be a grudge match after last years final when he was leading Nadalin the fifth set but was still not able to lift the trophy.
Nadal on the other hand has lost three matches in this season, breaking a ten year record of successive wins. It will also be interesting to see how well Andy Murray fairs having not shown his sparkling form from last years Wimbledon win since having back surgery. Federer is of course always a threat too, but there has been talk of his vulnerability lately and so whether he can push through to the latter matches will be interesting. There is always the chance that someone outside of the top four could do well or even win, it has happened many times before and so it could be a very interesting fortnight of tennis.