Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and David Ferrer: Will One Land in the French Open Semis?
Both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have been putting pressure on world No. 1 Novak Djokovic for his place atop the men's standings. But perhaps the most crucial ranking battle taking place is going on between Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and David Ferrer, the No. 5 and 6 players, respectively.
More than likely, one of them will end up in the same quarter of the draw at the French Open as Andy Murray, the No. 4 player. Provided Murray gets that far, he could be in a vulnerable state as he hasn't been able to compete as much over the past few weeks due to injury.
That could leave Tsonga—who has been playing better than he ever has on the clay—or the always-solid Ferrer with a good chance to pull off a minor upset and find themselves on new ground, the semifinals at the French Open.
For Tsonga, being in that situation would be enormous. The French are starved for a men's champion representing the home crowd as the last one to win the world's most prestigious clay court tournament was Yannick Noah, back in 1983. The last male French finalist was Henri Leconte, in 1988.
Tsonga was the most recent French male major finalist, finishing runner-up to Djokovic at the Australian Open in 2008. Roland Garros remains the most unlikely place for Tsonga to make a Grand Slam-winning breakthrough, but momentum and home support could make a difference.
Ferrer has never gotten to a major final and is arguably the best active player never to do so. His game isn't the flashiest, but he's especially dangerous on the dirt. Ferrer's chances at Grand Slam glory won't be there forever; this could be one of his best opportunities.
It appears with their level of play in 2012, both Tsonga and Ferrer are ready for a big move at Roland Garros. Murray should be on guard.
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