French Open 2013: Projecting How Top Contenders Will Fare at Roland Garros

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistMay 27, 2013

PARIS - MAY 26:  The Eiffel Tower is seen in the background of a flag on day four of the French Open at Roland Garros on May 26, 2010 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The 2013 French Open is underway, and with the first round starting with some of the biggest names in the sport of tennis, the excitement surrounding where the top contenders will finish at Roland Garros is the talk of the sports world.

With stars like Caroline Wozniacki, Rafael Nadal and Li Na on display, the focus is squarely on how these competitors will perform during this illustrious tournament.

All of the following players are expected to do well at the French Open, but this is where I am projecting they will finish when the tournament is over.


Caroline Wozniacki

After beating Laura Robson 6-3, 6-2 in the first round of the 2013 French Open, Caroline Wozniacki has proven that while her track record on clay isn’t impressive, she’s ready to change that perception.

Wozniacki has a tough draw, but with her serve looking as good as it has this year and her return game rounding into shape at the right time, there are few women on earth who could contend with her.

Unfortunately for Wozniacki, No. 1-seeded Serena Williams is in the way of a possible French Open title, and when the duo meets, it could possibly be the end of the road for the Danish star’s Grand Slam hopes this week.

Projected Finish: Loss in the Quarterfinals


Rafael Nadal

While injuries have slowed Rafael Nadal over the past year, there is no better player on the clay courts than the Spanish star. While a tough matchup against Daniel Brands—4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4, 6-3—in the first round pushed him to his limit, that matchup was Nadal shaking off the rust.

Once Nadal finds his comfort zone at Roland Garros, the rest of the men’s draw will be on notice.

There are serious contenders that will pose a major threat to Nadal’s chances—Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and others—but with seven titles in eight career attempts at the French Open, the Spaniard is the favorite until someone unseats him.

Projected Finish: Win the Men’s Championship


Li Na

While Chinese star Li Na doesn’t get the mainstream fanfare she deserves, the former French Open champion (2011) started the 2013 tournament off with a big win over A. Medina Garrigues (6-3, 6-4) and is ready for more.

The field at Roland Garros this year is as tough as it has ever been, but with previous success on clay and at the French Open, there is little doubt that the Na is ready to reassert her dominance on the women’s draw.

Na will have to beat Victoria Azarenka if she makes it that far—both were drawn in the same bracket—in order to get into real contention, but the veteran knows that her patience and skill can stop even the world’s best.

Projected Finish: Loss in the Semifinals