French Open 2013: Underrated Contenders Best Positioned for Impressive Display

John RozumCorrespondent IMay 26, 2013

Watch out for Tomas Berdych in the French Open.
Watch out for Tomas Berdych in the French Open.Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The 2013 French Open gave an intriguing draw that has some underrated talents in strong positions.

Obviously on the men's side, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are expected to reach deep into the Roland Garros. Well, there are players after them capable of making a deep run.

On the women's side, it's a similar situation.

Although Serena Williams is the top seed, she has struggled at the French Open of recent. And Despite Maria Sharapova having won it in 2012, Justine Henin is the only woman to repeat this century.

Therefore, anything can happen on the only clay surface Grand Slam.

Note: Full view of men's and women's French Open draws courtesy of


Tomas Berdych

First off, Nadal got bumped up to the No. 3 seed with Andy Murray out for the French Open. As reported by BBC Sport, Murray's back was the reason:

Therefore, that simply helps Tomas Berdych who has logged some key wins over impressive competition this season. He defeated Federer in Dubai's semifinals, Murray in Madrid's quarterfinals and Djokovic in Italy's quarterfinals.

Currently ranked No. 6 in the ATP, Berdych has a cakewalk to the quarterfinals where he'll likely square off against David Ferrer.

Like Berdych, though, Ferrer has struggled versus Nadal this season. And the victor here has finals potential.

Ana Ivanovic

Ana Ivanovic hasn't made it past the fourth round of the French Open in her previous four attempts.

Nevertheless, her experience still remains after having been the 2007 runner-up and 2008 champion. Now there has been a bit of recent inconsistency, because Ivanovic reached the semifinals in Madrid but was then upset by Urszula Radwanska of Poland in Italy.

Clearly when she's on her A-game, though, Ivanovic is a tough outing.

With solid victories in previous matches against Angelique Kerber and Nadia Petrova, as well as tough losses to Sharapova (three sets in Stuttgart) and Sara Errani (three sets in Miami), the talent is there for a strong display.

It's simply a matter of overcoming potential opponents in Agnieszka Radwanska and Errani to reach the semifinals.


Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

The man who was ranked one spot ahead of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Juan Martin del Potro, is also out of the Roland Garros. Per Tennis World, del Potro is out with an illness:

The withdrawals on the men's side at the French Open continues with world No. 7 Juan Martin del Potro becoming the second big name to withdraw officially from the second grand slam of the season.

Potro flew back to Argentina on the week to get treated for a respiratory illness.

As a result, this enhances the odds for Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Last season he took Djokovic to the brink at the French Open, and has recently reached the semifinals at Wimbledon in 2011 and 2012. This season, however, Tsonga has only collected an appealing win over Berdych in Marseille's finals.

Otherwise, he has not been consistent against the best of competition. Provided he gets on a roll just like 2012, though, Tsonga's serve and power are capable of outlasting sound contenders on the Roland Garros clay.