With the 2013 French Open set to begin at Roland Garros, the seeds and draws are officially in place. While skill and determination have a lot to do with success at the French Open, an advantageous draw can help in that regard too. Some players were lucky enough to get one, but others weren't so fortunate.
Last year's winner on the men's side was once again Rafael Nadal, while Maria Sharapova took her first career French Open title in the women's draw. They were both present at the draw ceremony, according to Roland Garros' official Twitter account, and they had varying degrees of success.
. @RafaelNadal and @MariaSharapova at the draw ceremony ©FFT/CD http://t.co/nLRvkIhWNJ2013-5-24 11:18:43
Things oftentimes look quite simple on paper, but there is a reason why the matches are played. Serena Williams was upset in the first round last year, and it's certainly possible that a top seed in either draw could suffer the same fate this year.
Here is everything you need to know about the men's and women's singles draws at Roland Garros, including the top 32 seeds on each side as well as full brackets.
*Courtesy of RolandGarros.com
|20||Carla Suarez Navarro||ESP|
*Courtesy of RolandGarros.com
Top Seeds to Watch
Nadal is the defending men's champion at Roland Garros and has won the French Open in seven of the past eight years. He is the No. 3 seed this year due to the fact that he missed seven months with a knee injury, but he is in top form as evidenced by his 36-2 record this year with six titles.
Rafa hasn't shown any signs of weakness as of late, so he is an overwhelming favorite to win the French Open yet again. Based on the way the draw is laid out he may have to face Novak Djokovic in the semis and Roger Federer in the final, but it's doubtful that the Spanish star cares.
The French Open has never been Serena's cup of tea as her only title came in 2002, but she appears to be unstoppable in 2013. Her only two losses have been related to injury, so she is in position to roll through the field if she remains healthy. According to Tennis.com, analyst Cliff Drysdale believes that Williams can only beat herself at this point.
ESPN analyst Cliff Drysdale says Serena Williams "cannot be beaten by anybody but herself" at the French Open: http://t.co/UYfBSOlASK2013-5-22 20:00:23
Serena did bow out in the first round at Roland Garros last year as she was shocked by Virginie Razzano. Since then, however, she has won Wimbledon, won two gold medals in the Olympics and won the U.S. Open as well. She is locked in beyond belief and something miraculous will have to happen in order for her to lose.
While Djokovic is the No. 1 player in the world and the No. 1 seed in this tournament, it is no secret that he isn't the dominant player at the French Open. That title belongs to Nadal, and unfortunately for Djokovic, he may have to get through the Spanish star in the semifinals in order to win his first French Open crown, according to Sky Sports Tennis.
Sky Sports Tennis 🎾 @SkySportsTennis
Novak Djokovic and seven-time champion Rafael Nadal have been drawn to meet in the semi-finals of the French Open http://t.co/E4XeAkmXOv2013-5-24 11:20:06
Djokovic fell to Nadal in the final last year, but he will almost certainly have to vanquish his rival one round earlier if he wants to make it as far as he did last year. Djokovic has lost to some inferior players in recent tournaments, so it will be interesting to see if he can turn up the intensity in this huge tourney.
Sharapova has never been considered a great clay-court player, but she was able to complete the career Grand Slam last year by winning at Roland Garros. She was definitely aided by an early exit from Serena Williams, but she absolutely earned it and proved that her power game is portable on any surface.
Despite the fact that she is the No. 2 seed this year, Sharapova is in an extremely difficult quarter featuring land mines such as Petra Kvitova and Samantha Stosur. Sharapova is superior to both of them on clay, though, so she should be fine. A Sharapova versus Serena final is definitely possible, and it's what most tennis fans want to see.
It is no secret that Federer's play has dropped off to some degree over the past couple years, but he has never had much luck at the French Open to begin with. He has managed to win the tournament one time, and that came when Nadal was upset by Robin Soderling. Luckily for Federer, though, the draw fell in his favor, according to Sports Illustrated's Beyond The Baseline.
SI Tennis @SI_Tennis
French Open draw: Rafael Nadal drawn into….Novak Djokovic's half. Somewhere in Paris, Roger Federer is thinking Twitter is good luck. #atp2013-5-24 10:06:54
Since Federer is in the same half of the draw as David Ferrer, he won't have to face Nadal until the final provided both of them make it that far. Federer has slipped up in recent tournaments against opponents that he should beat, but there is no reason why he shouldn't make it to the final at Roland Garros this year.
As the two-time defending Australian Open champion, it feels like there should be more buzz surrounding Victoria Azarenka. She is the No. 3 seed in the women's draw, but nobody is really talking about her as a threat. That probably has something to do with the fact that she has never advanced past the quarterfinals at Roland Garros.
She has a chance to at least reach the semis this year, but 2011 French Open champion Li Na is in her draw, so it will be a difficult task. Serena and Sharapova have proven that a power game can be successful on clay, but Azarenka has yet to put it all together. Perhaps that will change this time around.
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