French Open 2012 Draw: Breaking Down Seedings and Brackets

Carlos TorresContributor IMay 25, 2012

French Open 2012 Draw: Breaking Down Seedings and Brackets

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    The French Open draws were released earlier today, and there are plenty of interesting matchups to look forward to as the tournament progresses.

    The defending champs, Rafael Nadal and Li Na, have the tough task of going for the repeat. Nadal is used to it, having won six of the last seven editions.

    Among the highlights of today's reveal, we discovered that Novak Djokovic would face Roger Federer on the semifinals in what should be a rematch of last year's semifinal where Federer eliminated Djokovic.

    That was the only blemish in a Grand Slam for Djokovic last year, and this year Djokovic is looking to win his first French Open and complete the career Grand Slam.

    Rafael Nadal is going for a record seventh singles title. He shares the record of six with Bjorn Borg, and everyone would love to see a final against Djokovic, where it would be the record vs. the career Grand Slam—something's got to give.

    On the women's side, the Williams sisters and Maria Sharapova are a top story.

    Venus is playing in a Grand Slam for the first time since she revealed she has an autoimmune disease. She is unseeded, so the other question would be which ranked player would have to face her early in the tournament.

    Serena is seeded No. 5, so everyone wanted to know which will be the un-lucky seed to draw her on the quarterfinals.

    Maria Sharapova is playing great and going for her first French Open title.

    Williams owns 13 major titles, including the 2002 French Open, while Sharapova is—like Djokovic—hoping to complete a career Grand Slam with her first title in Paris.

    For an answer to all the questions, let's take a look at a breakdown of every section of both the men's and women's singles draw.

Women's Singles Draw: Section 1 (Pos. 1-32)

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    Top Seeded Player: Victoria Azarenka (No. 1)

    Possible Quarterfinal Matchup: Victoria Azarenka (No. 1) vs. Samantha Stosur (No. 6)

    Azarenka has a tough draw, starting with a possible third-round match against Jie Zheng (No. 31) that should provide her with some early trouble.

    If she is to pass to the fourth round, then she could be facing Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova (No. 15), who always gives her trouble.

    Stosur (No. 6) is on the lower part and should make it to the fourth round, where she will likely face power-hitting German Sabine Lisicki (No. 12). They have never met on clay, and Stosur leads their head-to-head 4-1, although the loss was on the last meeting in Stanford last year.

Women's Singles Draw: Section 2 (Pos. 33-64)

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    Top Seeded Player: Agnieszka Radwanska (No. 3)

    Possible Quarterfinal Matchup: Agnieszka Radwanska (No. 3) vs. Marion Bartoli (No. 8)

    Radwanska has a first round opponent she cannot overlook in Serbian Bojana Jovanovski. They have not met before but Jovanoski is a dangerous first-round opponent.

    And if she goes through to the second round, she will most likely have to face Venus Williams. She will possibly have the toughest first two opponents on the women's draw.

    If she is still alive after that, she will most likely face another tough match with 2009 Champ Svetlana Kuznetsova (No. 26).

    Her Round of 16 match would likely be between Ana Ivanovic (No. 13) or the very dangerous Sara Errani (No. 21). Whomever comes out of that top part of this section will have a very tough opponent in the quarterfinal.

    The lower part of this section is not as loaded. Marion Bartoli (No. 8), who reached the semifinals last year, leads the way, and she will likely face the improving German Angelique Kerber (No. 10) in the Round of 16.

    The other notable on that part of the draw is Italy's Flavia Pennetta (No. 18), who is on the 16th part with Kerber.

Women's Singles Draw: Section 3 (Pos. 65-96)

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    Top Seeded Player: Petra Kvitova (No. 4)

    Possible Quarterfinal Matchup: Petra Kvitova (No. 4) vs. Li Na (No. 7)

    Petra Kvitova (No. 4) has a fairly good chance to run through the draw to the quarterfinals, where she would most likely face defending champ Li Na (No. 7).

    Her first seed to face would likely be Monica Niculescu (No. 32). They have never met before. From there the round of 16 is where things would get interesting.

    Italy's Franchesca Schiavone (No. 14), champion in 2008, has to get past most likely Jelena Jankovic (No. 19) in the third round to get to meet Kvitova. But whomever wins will be a formidable opponent for her.

    On the top part of this section, the defending champ Li (No. 7) should make it to the round of 16, where she would likely face Vera Zvonareva (No. 11).

    Zvonareva might have to work a little extra with Roberta Vinci (No. 17) in the third round, but she should get through.

Women's Singles Draw: Section 4 (Pos. 97-128)

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    Top Seeded Player: Maria Sharapova (No. 2)

    Possible Quarterfinal Matchup: Maria Sharapova (No. 2) vs. Serena Williams (No. 5)

    If you have been looking where Serena Williams (No. 5) would be, this is the quarter of the draw. And the un-lucky top seed facing her in the quarterfinals would be Maria Sharapova (No. 2).

    I was hoping to get them on different end of the draw and see them get to the finals, but we'll get them much sooner.

    On the lower part, Sharapova should make it easily to the round of 16, where she would likely meet one of her fellow Russians, either Maria Kirilenko (No. 16) or Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (No. 22).

    On the top part, Williams' third-round match would be a good one against Germany's Julia Goerges (No. 25). If she gets through, her round of 16 would most likely be against Caroline Wozniacki (No. 9), who might face dangerous Kaia Kanepi (No. 23) on her third round match.

    We should get to see Sharapova vs. Williams on the quarterfinals, and to me, the winner will win the French Open.

Men's Singles Draw: Section 1 (Pos. 1-32)

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    Top Seeded Player: Novak Djokovic (No. 1)

    Possible Quarterfinal Matchup: Novak Djokovic (No. 1) vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (No. 5)

    The world's No. 1 player Novak Djokovic will have a tough draw starting from the second round on, on his quest to complete the career Grand Slam.

    Lleyton Hewitt may not be the player he once was, but he could give Djokovic some extra work on the second round.

    Jurgen Melzer (No. 30) should be waiting in the third round. He beat Djokovic the last time they met in 2010 here in the French Open.

    Then things get even dicier. Fernando Verdasco (No. 14) should be the fourth round opponent. Verdasco gave Rafael Nadal his only loss on clay this year.

    But for Verdasco to advance, he will have to face probably Italy's Andreas Seppi (No. 22) or the very dangerous Latvian Ernest Gulbis.

    On the bottom part of the section, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (No. 5) led the way. He has not been playing very well as of late, but he is one that feeds from the home crowd and should get to the fourth round.

    If he gets there, he will most likely face Giles Simon (No. 11) or Stanislas Wawrinka (No. 18). Either one of them will be a tough opponent for him, and whomever comes out from there, will prove a formidable opponent for Djokovic.

Men's Singles Draw: Section 2 (Pos. 33-64)

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    Top Seeded Player: Roger Federer (No. 3)

    Possible Quarterfinal Seed's Matchup: Roger Federer (No. 3) vs. Tomas Berdych (No. 7)

    Federer (No. 3) is going for his 17th Grand Slam title.

    He has been playing very well as of late and should be able to make it to the quarterfinals here. He might have to face Andy Roddick (No. 26) in the third round, but on clay Federer should prevail.

    In the fourth round, there is the possibility of facing either Feliciano Lopez (No. 15) or Radek Stepanek (No. 23). American Alex Bogomolov Jr. is an unseeded player to watch in that part of the draw.

    The bottom part of this section is led by Czech Republic's Tomas Berdych (No. 7).

    Berdych won't have an easy task in the fourth round. He will likely face either Juan Martin Del Potro (No. 9) or the dangerous Croatian Marin Cilic (No. 21).

    The winner of this part of the draw should be a very tough opponent for Federer in the quarterfinal.

Men's Singles Draw: Section 3 (Pos. 65-96)

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    Top Seeded Player: Andy Murray (No. 4)

    Possible Quarterfinal Matchup: Andy Murray (No. 4) vs. David Ferrer (No. 6)

    The top half of the bottom half of the men's singles draw is led by Andy Murray (No. 4). He is not in top physical shaping coming to the tournament, which, combined with a tough part of the draw, should make it difficult for him to go deep in it.

    In the third round, he should face his first major obstacle with the up-and-coming Bernard Tomic (No. 25). Whoever comes out from that match will have to face a very tough opponent.

    Alexandr Dolgopolov (No. 16) or Richard Gasquet (No. 17) should be awaiting. Also in that part of the draw is one of the best first-round matches, featuring American Donald Young and Bulgaria's Grigor DiMitrov.

    On the top part of this section is David Ferrer (No. 6), who is at his best on clay courts.

    Russia's Mikhail Youzhny (No. 27) should be his fourth-round opponent. Youzhny drew James Blake in the first round and should face in the second round a very interesting opponent, which will be the winner of the Ivan Dodig-Robin Haase match.

    American John Isner (No. 10) should be the round of 16 opponent for Ferrer. He will possibly go through Marcel Granollers (No. 20) in the third round.

Men's Singles Draw: Section 4 (Pos. 97-128)

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    Top Seeded Player: Rafael Nadal (No. 2)

    Possible Quarterfinal Matchup: Rafael Nadal (No. 2) vs. Janko Tipsarevic (No. 8)

    Rafael Nadal (No. 2) is going for a record seventh French Open crown, and he has a very good draw to get to the finals.

    In his half of this section, he should have an interesting match in the third round, possibly with Germany's Florian Mayer (No. 32) or big-serving Ivo Karlovic, but should get through nonetheless.

    His fourth round should also provide an interesting match, but he should get through as well. He might be facing Juan Monaco (No. 13) or the very dangerous hard-hitting Canadian Milos Raonic (No. 19).

    In the top part of this section, Janko Tipsarevic (No. 8), Nicolas Almagro (No. 12), Philipp Kohlschreiber (No. 24) and Julien Benneteau (No. 29) are the seeds.

    But there are some unseeded players that are worth a look like American Sam Querrey, Olivier Rochus and Marcos Baghdatis.

    Querrey will face Tipsarevic in the first round, Rochus would face Kohlschreiber in the second round and Baghdatis could face Almagro in the second round.

    All three are very capable of providing an upset.

    But Nadal should get through this part of the draw. The way he is playing right now, he should get to the finals and win to establish a new Open era singles titles record and become the all-time King of Clay.