French Open 2012 Bracket: Ranking Today's Top Matches

Taylor GiffinCorrespondent IIMay 29, 2012

French Open 2012 Bracket: Ranking Today's Top Matches

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    Tuesday brings forth the start of the third day at the 2012 French Open, and as the days keep advancing, so too will the level of tennis we get to experience.

    Like yesterday, today's matches bring us some big names and high-ranked players, but not necessarily top matches.

    These early matches do tend to give us an idea of which players have brought their A game to Roland Garros. However, other than the early Roddick upset, the seeds have posted some pretty clean sheets, so maybe today will give us something real juicy to talk about with an upset or two.

    So let's take a look at some of the matches that you're most likely to tune in to while watching the action on TV. They are placed in descending order, with the best matches of the day saved for last.

James Blake vs. Mikail Youzhny (27)

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    Having dropped all the way down the world ranking to 96th, it would seem Jason Blake will be easy pickings for No. 27 Mikhail Youzhny.

    Youzhny has been playing this year what is expected of him, winning a few matches but nothing drastic to really talk about.

    He is consistent to win the first one or two matches, and that should be a good sign for him when he goes up against Blake today. There should be no fear of an upset here for Youzhny, as he drew an opponent who may be on his way out.

    Even more intriguing is the changing of the guard for American tennis, which seems to be showcased in full colour at this year's French Open.

    With the expected first-round loss of Blake and the upset of falling Andy Roddick, the reins of American tennis are there for the taking.

    Why This is a Top Match

    This match should be an easy win for the seeded Youzhny but should also hold some interest for American tennis fans.

Eleni Daniilidou vs. Caroline Wozniacki (9)

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    The French Open has never been the best tournament for Wozniacki, but with her recent slip in the rankings all the way down to ninth, this could be the perfect time to do some damage on the clay at Roland Garros.

    Her first matchup against 69th-ranked Greek Eleni Daniilidou should be a walk in the park for the former world No. 1.

    This is an important game for her, however, if she wants to set up a good foundation for the rest of the tournament in order to make a solid run.

    Look for Wozniacki to try to take this game as fast as she can and move on to get ready for bigger and better competition.

    Wozniacki has had a few solid tournaments this year, but a strong showing at the French Open should set the stage for a successful first half of the season.

    Why This is a Top Match

    Wozniacki is not only a tennis star but is also the other half to a sports power couple with Rory McIlroy. Although she may have dropped in rank, she is still a star in the sport.

Serena Williams (5) vs. Virginie Razzano

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    Today is the day the top-ranked American woman finally gets to start her 2012 French Open campaign.

    Her sister already has one win in the books, and Serena looks to join her after this first-round matchup.

    The fifth-ranked Serena plays against the 111th-ranked Virginie Razzano from France.

    Although she will be gaining a lot of hometown support from the crowd, it will still not be enough to handle the powerful Serena.

    Razzano was once a top-20 player in 2009, the same year she managed to make it all the way to the fourth round of the French Open. However, that type of performance will not be had this time around up against Williams.

    Look for Williams to easily take this match and begin her preparations for the next one. She will not be wasting any time giving the hometown crowd a good match for their homegrown talent.

    Why This is a Top Match

    This match has one of the most powerful women in the game, Serena Williams, and the American is highly ranked at this year's tournament.

Tatsuma Ito vs. Andy Murray (4)

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    Could this finally be the year Andy Murray gets the first major of his career?

    It would seem unlikely, especially on clay and expected to face Rafael Nadal in the semifinals, but he may be able to pose a legitimate threat.

    His first-round opponent, however, does not bring the same type off threat to the court when the two match up today.

    Murray, like all top seeds, will be expecting to dispose of the 68th-ranked Ito fast and without any hiccups.

    Ito has risen in the world rankings steadily and should use this opportunity of playing Murray to help him gain some more experience. As Ito told to BBC Sport, he realizes what exactly he is up against, "I would be famous if I won. I will try 100 percent and fight hard on every point."

    Ito has yet to play a legitimate top seed so far this season, and for him to draw Murray is not good luck at all. Expect him to be outplayed for the whole match, as can only be expected with an early-round match such as this one.

    Why This is a Top Match

    Murray is sometimes forgotten floating behind the big three. Eventually, he must break out of his major slump. Why not think and believe that this would be the year?

Maria Sharapova (2) vs. Alexandra Cadantu

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    Sharapova looks to improve on last year's semifinal appearance, and it all starts today against 78th-ranked Alexandra Cadantu of Romania.

    "I'm much more comfortable on this surface. Even though I don't play too many tournaments on it throughout the year, with every year that has come and the clay season that arrives, I feel physically stronger”, Sharapova told The Guardian U.K..

    If this is true then Sharapova should be well on her way to reaching the final of this year's French Open.

    Cadantu will not give Sharapova too much of a challenge, and she will be looking to finish this match off and look ahead to the second round. It seems like Sharapova is feeling confident about her game, and for any athlete that should mean a good performance.

    Why This is a Top Match

    For one, she is the No. 2 seed and one of the most popular female tennis players, but she has also been playing some extremely good tennis—which includes winning the last tournament she played in (Rome).

Simone Bolelli vs. Rafael Nadal (2)

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    Despite being seeded No. 2 this time around, Rafael Nadal is considered the early favourite.

    Even fellow rival Roger Federer talks up Rafa as being the top player in the tournament, putting himself in third spot behind Novak Djokovic, he tells the Daily Mail U.K..

    Although he will not be looking to use any extra motivation going into this match against Bolelli, ranked 111th in the world, if he does need it there is plenty available.

    He has the opportunity to become the player with the most championships on the fabled red clay at Roland Garros. Another win, to bring Rafa's total to seven, would surpass the mark he and Bjorn Borg hold at the moment with six titles.

    Any game with Nadal in it should be a good one and one that will be watched. This game however, should be completed fast and with ease by the far more superior Nadal.

    Why This is a Top Match

    Does it really need to be further explained? One word—Nadal.