French Open 2013 Mens Draw Preview


Roland Garros – Will Jo be on Tsong in Paris?

Well well well. Here we are with another Grand Slam and I cannot wait to get stuck into it. Below you will find a quick little analysis of the draw from my perspective, as well as a couple of suggested future bets. Searched for a bit of value. Nobody likes someone boasting about $1.10 winners and by now you should have realised I am not about that.

Before I get stuck in, I just thought I would highlight a few French Open specials that are out there.

Betfair -> 50% bonus on multis of odds $6 or greater (max $100 bonus per day, max $500 for tournament)
Centrebet and Sportsbet ->
5 set refund – money back if your h2h bet loses in 5 sets up to $100
Sportingbet ->
25% bonus on 4+ leg multis of odds $6 or greater, min leg odds of $1.20

I think it is safe to say this has been one of the more interesting men’s draws of recent times. The two clear favourites draw the same side of the draw, a few smokeys get a nice run, and a couple of really interesting 1st round matches have been produced.

This is what I make of each of the quarters:


Predicted Quarter Winner: Novak Djokovic

Value Picks: Nil

Seeds Involved:

  • Novak Djokovic
  • Grigor Dimitrov
  • Alexandr Dolgopolov
  • Philipp Kohlschreiber
  • Tommy Haas
  • John Isner
  • Mikhail Youzhny
  • Janko Tipsaravic

Other players of note

  • Carlos Berlocq
  • Fernando Verdasco
  • Andrey Kuznetsov

Winners from the Draw

Novak Djokovic – In my opinion, Novak has been gifted this quarter. I really cannot see any major threat to him along the way. Goffin round 1, Dodig/Pella rd 2, Dimitrov rd 3 if he produces a personal best Grand Slam performance, Dolgopolov or Kohlschreiber rd 4, and take your pick of Haas/Berlocq/Youzhny/Andujar/Verdasco/Tipsaravic or the smokey of Kuznetsov to be his ¼ final opponent. Pretty nice lead-in to Rafa.

Tommy Haas/John Isner/Mikhail Youzhny and anyone else in Tipsaravic’s 8th of the draw – Big opportunities for whoever wants to make the most of it. SOMEONE has to make the ¼ final, and let’s be honest, Tipsaravic isn’t exactly setting the world on fire.

I personally think this week will tell us if Tommy Haas will ever be relevant at Grand Slam level. Since the start of 2011, Haas has gone 5-8 at Grand Slam level, making the 3rd round of Roland Garros last year. Is the best of 5 sets layout too much for Tommy now?

Losers from the Draw

David Goffin – Tweeted a few weeks back that Goffin will need to improve significantly to defend his 4th round Roland Garros points from last year. He then drew Djokovic round 1. Good luck Goff.

Aussies to Watch

Bernie is in this group. I have run out of things to say about Bernard Tomic. Just go and play tennis Bernie. Do what you do best, just get out there and PLAY.

Intriguing Round 1 Meeting

Berlocq vs Isner – On the surface this is an interesting match, particularly on the clay. Has 5 sets written all over it from first look, but will have to dig deeper.

Youzhny vs Andujar – Another really interesting match. Youzhny finds his best at GS level, but this is a tough one first up against Andujar.


Predicted Quarter Winner: Rafael Nadal ($1.13 at Sportsbet)

Value Picks: Nil

Seeds Involved:

  • Rafael Nadal
  • Fabio Fognini
  • Benoit Paire
  • Kei Nishikori
  • Stanislas Wawrinka
  • Jerzy Janowicz
  • Florian Mayer
  • Richard Gasquet

Other players of note

  • Albert Ramos
  • Lukas Rosol

Winners from the Draw

Anyone who doesn’t have to witness Florian Mayer vs Denis Istomin Round 1

Losers from the Draw

Being in Rafa’s section isn’t exactly ideal

Aussies to Watch

None in section

Intriguing Round 1 Meetings

Jerzy Janowicz vs Albert Ramos – Ramos beat Jerzy only a matter of weeks. This is one of the most intriguing matches of the first round, and I will endeavour to analyse in detail closer to the event.


Impossible to look beyond Nadal winning this quarter. Hard to even entertain anything different. That being said, there will be a number of interesting 2nd and 3rd round matches in this section that I am really looking forward to in the coming days.


Quarter Winner: David Ferrer ($2.04) and Ernests Gulbis ($15.25)

Seeds Involved:

  • Tomas Berdych
  • Tommy Robredo
  • Andreas Seppi
  • Nicolas Almagro
  • Milos Raonic
  • Kevin Anderson
  • Marcel Granollers
  • David Ferrer

Other players of note

  • Ernests Gulbis
  • Gael Monfils

Winners from the Draw

David Ferrer – Ferrer would have breathed a huge sigh of relief upon seeing his name on the other side of the draw to Djokovic and Nadal. This is possibly his best chance at reaching a Grand Slam final this year. That being said, Almagro, the winner or potential Gulbis/Berdych and Mr Federer will all most likely stand in the way of David Ferrer on his way to a Roland Garros Final.

Losers from the Draw

Tomas Berdych – Drew one of the toughest unseeded players round 1 – Gael Monfils. He should work his way through it fairly easily as Monfils is pushing himself currently in Nice in the final there. It doesn’t get any easier for Berdych then, most likely playing against our adopted favourite, Ernests Gulbis.

Aussies to Watch

Marinko Matosevic – Marinko has snagged a seeded player straight up: David Ferrer. A very very tough match for Marinko, and I will be incredibly curious to see the handicap line for David Ferrer here.

James Duckworth – Ducky played some brilliant tennis in the qualifiers. There will be some tension out on the court round 1, coming up against Blaz Kavcic. Who could forget their match in Melbourne, going deep into the 5th set, with both players cramping significantly.

Intriguing Round 1 Meeting

Gael Monfils vs Tomas Berdych – Set to be an absolutely cracking match on Tuesday. Two of the most entertaining players to watch going at it best of 5. Doesn’t get much better in the first round of a Grand Slam.


Value Pick for Quarter Winner: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga ($5.20)

Seeds Involved:

  • Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
  • Jeremy Chardy
  • Juan Monaco
  • Marin Cilic
  • Gilles Simon
  • Sam Querrey
  • Julien Benneteau
  • Roger Federer

Winners from the Draw

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga – In my opinion, Tsonga has been provided a MASSIVE opportunity here. His draw is pretty friendly and there is nobody that should trouble him greatly on his way to the ¼ final. While I agree his lead-in form hasn’t been superb, Tsonga is a big-time player, loves the big stage, and you know at home he will have the crowd behind him in every match, something that needs to be considered.

I personally think that Tsonga is a massive chance to make the final here. Big call I know, but with the two big boys in the top half, a vulnerable (in my opinion) Federer and potentially a Ferrer (I would say Gulbis/Berdych but would probably be laughed at) between him and a final, it isn’t impossible.

NOTE – I was going to place Federer in this group based on having his first 2 rounds against qualifiers, however he has probably drawn the most difficult qualifier of the field in Pablo Carreno-Busta.

Aussies to Watch

Lleyton Hewitt – Hewitt has drawn hometown Gilles Simon. Not someone Hewitt has a great record against. At all. Curious to see opening lines.

Nick Kyrgios – The beneficiary of the Aussie wildcard, after John Millman had to withdraw. Has Stepanek round 1 for his Grand Slam debut. Will be interesting to see what he can do.

Intriguing Round 1 Meetings

Nothing jumps out.


I am trying to evolve a little with my suggestions. As a result, they will be split up into two main sections, future BETS and TRADES

Future Bets

  • Novak Djokovic to WIN at $3.75 at Betfair
    • People don’t give Djokovic enough credit for his tennis IQ. Novak has made it very clear that Roland Garros is his number 1 aim for 2013. He, along with only a handful of others, have the tools to take it to Nadal on clay. I took a lot from their match in Monte Carlo, but Novak took the most from it. The price here I believe to be significant value. Novak has learnt that to beat Nadal, you need great serve placement, to step into the court and cramp Nadal for time and space, and not be afraid to come into the net behind a dropshot. He has the tools, and I think meeting Nadal in a SF rather than a F will most definitely suit Djokovic. Compared to their close battle last year, Djokovic has improved on clay, however I am not sure if Rafa has done the same.
  • Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to progress further than Tomas Berdych at $1.57 at Bet365
    • Short but good. Berdych has to overcome Monfils round 1, followed by Gulbis round 2. Considering Gulbis got the better of him last year at Wimbledon (Gulbis out of form), and Berdych admitting that Gulbis isn’t a great match-up for him, Berdych has his work cut out for him, that is for sure. Tsonga, on the other hand, has a far far friendlier draw.
  • Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to win Quarter 4 at $5.20 at Sportsbet
    • I see Tsonga making at least the ¼ final if not further, and this seems like a great price to me. Federer has shown flashes, but has been nowhere near consistent enough to be the price suggested of $1.46. I like Tsonga to turn the tables here, he just needs to start the tournament off well.
  • David Ferrer to win Quarter 3 at $2.04
    • In terms of ease of draw, Ferrer takes the cake in the section. Although I genuinely believe if Gulbis can take Berdych early he can win the quarter, this seems the safer option. Further to this, you would probably get a better price all-upping Gulbis through each match if you are that way inclined.

TRADING – Outright Market

Players I love regarding trading:

  • Tsonga at $80-1
  • Ferrer at $29-1
  • Gulbis at $140-1

Why do I love these players odds? They are three of the more threatening players in the draw, AND they are all on the opposite side of the draw to Novak and Rafa. All have the potential to go deep (Tsonga and Ferrer most of all) and their price should really come in, even with the prospect of a short Nadal in the field.

Photo By HSV25 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons




I've had a passion for Tennis since I was young and haven't missed a Grand Slam ever since I can remember. I'm always happy to talk Tennis on twitter and respond to any queries so feel free to tweet me your questions.

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