French Open 2012: Analyzing Top Breakout Stars
As the 2012 French Open concludes its first week of action, there are many names left in the draw that were both expected and unexpected.
While the usual players of Djokovic, Nadal, Federer, Azarenka and Sharapova are all still in, here are five players who are having breakout tournaments and look to contend with the favorites.
Tsonga has always been a name floating around in tournaments, but now he is at his highest ranking and playing some of the best tennis in his career.
The heavy-hitting Frenchman cruised into the fourth round, only dropping two sets. This year's performance is tied with the deepest he has been in the French Open.
He faces No. 18 Stan Wawrinka in the next round, and if he gets past him, will face Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals.
The 27-year-old has beaten the No. 1 seed before so do not count him out and be prepared to watch a match for the ages.
The 21 year-old from Belgium has had an interesting road to the fourth round.
After taking down the No. 21 seed Radek Stepanek in five sets, he had to play another tough five sets to win his second round match and then cruised by Lukasz Kubot in this third round match.
Unfortunely, Goffin is pitted against Roger Federer in his fourth round match, who has been unstoppable thus far. However, if he continues his hard-fought play, Goffin could potentially trip up the No. 3 seed and continue his Roland Garros journey.
The 19 year-old American has been one of the biggest surprises in the tournament thus far.
After a close victory against Ekaterina Makarova in the first round, she has cruised her way through the other two rounds, including defeating Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
In her fourth round match, she will face No. 6 seed Samantha Stosur of Australia. This is her toughest test yet, so she must be light on her feet and ready to dig deep if she wants to continue her unbelievable run.
After her straight sets victory over No. 29 seed Anabel Medina Garrigues yesterday, the unseeded Croatian advanced to the fourth round and the furthest she ever has in a Grand Slam.
She has already taken down two seeded players, Garrigues and No. 8 Marion Bartoli, a semifinalist at Roland Garros last year.
This 21-year-old is proving to be a force to contend with, and if she keeps up her play, she will face No. 2 Maria Sharapova in a potential semi-final battle.
The American women have a strong showing at Roland Garros with Stephens and Lepchenko.
The 26 year-old unseeded American has played three tough matches to make it to the fourth round. She defeated unseeded Ksenia Pervak in the first round and former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 6-4 in the second round.
However, her biggest victory came in her third round match, defeating the 2010 French Open Champion and No. 14 seed Francesca Schiavone 6-3, 3-6, 8-6.
Her next match is against the fourth-seeded Petra Kvitova from the Czech Republic, but if she has enough left in her tank, she can easily be a deep and dangerous threat to the women's draw.