French Open 2012: 4 Most Overrated Players Left in the Field

Brian Leigh@@BLeighDATFeatured ColumnistMay 31, 2012

French Open 2012: 4 Most Overrated Players Left in the Field

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    A list of overrated tennis players doesn't feel complete without the inclusion of Andy Roddick. But this is a list of the most overrated players left in the 2012 French Open and sadly—albeit unsurprisingly—Roddick was ousted in the first round by Nicholas Mahut.

    But even without tennis' patron saint of undeserved praise, we trudge on. As the French Open begins to kick into high gear, there are still some players in the field who are ranked far higher than their body of work indicates they deserve to be.

    Here are the four most overrated players still battling it out at Roland Garros.

No. 10 John Isner

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    Highest Grand Slam Finish: Quarterfinals—2011 US Open

    Highest French Open Finish: Third Round—2010

    Isner isn't necessarily a bad player, but he's definitely an overrated one.

    Isner exploded onto the national scene after his record-breaking feat of endurance against Nicholas Mahut in the first round of the 2010 Wimbledon.

    That match will deservedly live on in tennis lore for the rest of time. In fact, it may very well be the greatest match ever played. But it gave John Isner a sort of name-recognition that is dissonant with what his career resume warrants.

    While he has surely earned his spot as the tenth-ranked player in the world, the crowning achievement of his career still remains a first-round victory over an unseeded opponent.

    I'm rooting for the guy, but I need to see more from him before I'm sold.

No. 6 David Ferrer

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    Highest Grand Slam Finish: Semifinals—2007 Australian Open, 2011 US Open

    Highest French Open Finish: Quarterfinals—2005, 2008

    At No. 6 in the world, Ferrer is the highest-ranked player who's never reached a Grand Slam tournament final.

    Since making the semis at the 2007 Australian Open, he's made only two appearances in Grand Slam quarterfinal matches.

    That means in 14 of the last 16 Grand Slams, he's been eliminated before the quarterfinals, which begs an important question: why is he the sixth seed?

    He's sectioned with the aforementioned John Isner in the 2012 French Open, and if they are able to hold court over their lower-ranked competitors, they will face off for a spot in the quarterfinals (and a likely date with Andy Murray).

No. 8 Janko Tipsarevic

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    Highest Grand Slam Finish: Quarterfinals—2011 Wimbledon 

    Highest French Open Finish: Third Round—2007, 2009, 2011

    As the eighth-seeded player in the world, Tipsarevic is tentatively expected to make it to the quarterfinals.

    That is, the only way for him to not make the quarterfinals would be losing to a lower-seeded opponent.

    Yet Tipsarevic has found himself in only one career Grand Slam quarterfinal.

    On top of that, he struggled mightily against unseeded American Sam Querrey on Tuesday, losing the first set 2-6 and needing a tiebreaker to take the the third set 7-6 (7-3).

    First round opponents aren't supposed to give quarterfinalists that much trouble in a Grand Slam.

No. 14 Fernando Verdasco

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    Highest Grand Slam Finish: Semifinals—2009 Australian Open

    Highest French Open Finish: Fourth Round—2007, 2008, 2009, 2010

    In 2009 and 2010, Verdasco would have been nowhere near this list. He was one of the hottest young players in the world and a mainstay in the later rounds of Grand Slams.

    He is best known for his epic bout with eventual champion Rafael Nadal in the semifinals of the 2009 Australian Open.

    The match lasted over five hours and was, at the time, the longest match in the esteemed history of the tournament. Soon after, Verdasco would rise to No. 7 on the ATP rankings.

    But that appears to be the apex of his career.

    He has gotten progressively worse in his last three majors prior to this year's French Open. He lost to Ivan Ljubicic in the third round of the 2011 French Open, then he was taken down by Robin Haase in the second round of Wimbledon. Most recently, he succumbed to 19-year-old Bernard Tomic in the first round of the Australian Open.

    A player with an alarming downward trajectory in Majors probably shouldn't be seeded as high as 14th.