French Open 2012: Predicting the Men's Tournament

Tommy Keeler@@tkeelernvd and @nectar737Correspondent IIIMay 26, 2012

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 26:  Rafael Nadal of Spain plys a forehand during a practice session ahead of the 2012 French Open at Roland Garros on May 26, 2012 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
Dan Istitene/Getty Images

I don't think there's any doubt that Rafael Nadal is the heavy favorite for the French Open. The reality is I can't see too many players having a chance at beating him.

Perhaps Novak DjokovicRoger Federer or Tomas Berdych could take the win but for the most part, I think most people would be very shocked if Nadal didn't win his seventh French Open.

Still, the matches have to be played, and anything can happen in sports. So, here's my look at the next two weeks.

First quarter:
Djokovic is the top seed here, and I don't see much standing in his way in this section. Jurgen Melzer is the first seed he would face, but I don't think he would have any problems with him.

Fernando Verdasco, Gilles Simon and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are also contenders here. If Tsonga could make it to the quarters, he could give Djokovic a run for his money, but the French players haven't played real well here for the last few years.
Semifinalist: Djokovic

Second quarter:
Federer is the top seed here, and like Djokovic, I don't see too many difficult challenges in this quarter of the draw. He could face David Nalbandian in the second round and Andy Roddick in the third, but they are both old and Roddick is terrible on clay.

Tricky lefty Feliciano Lopez could await in the fourth round, but I don't think Federer would have much trouble with him.

Juan Martin del Potro and Berdych are also worthy adversaries. Berdych could push Federer in the quarters, but I still like the veteran to get through.
Semifinalist: Federer

Third quarter:
This is Andy Murray's section, but with how little he's played during the clay-court season, I would be surprised if he made it through. David Ferrer, John Isner and Richard Gasquet are some of the other top names here.

I like the way Ferrer has been playing, if nothing else he is very consistent. Gasquet could be a dark horse, but then it comes back to that Frenchman thing.
Semifinalist: Ferrer

Fourth quarter:
Nadal will own this section. As if he needed it, I think Nadal got a great draw. The first seed he would face is Florian Mayer.

He does have Milos Raonic, Juan Monaco, Nicolas Almagro and Janko Tipsarevic in his section, but none of those names should scare Nadal in Paris.
Semifinalist: Nadal

Djokovic vs. Federer: This should be a great match - Another classic between the two. Again it comes down to Djokovic having a little more left in the tank at the end. I think Federer will have a 2-1 sets lead, only to see Djokovic rally for the win.
Winner: Djokovic in five sets

Ferrer vs. Nadal: Nadal should have little trouble in this match. Ferrer is a solid player, but he's simply no match for Nadal in any phase of the game.
Winner: Nadal in three sets

Djokovic vs. Nadal: If Djokovic would somehow get lucky and not have to face Federer in the semis, I think he might have a shot at Nadal. However, I think he will have a long, grueling match with Federer that will zap the life out of him going into the final.To me the biggest surprise of the tournament will be if Nadal drops a set.
Winner: Nadal in three sets