French Open 2013: Underdogs Looking to Take Down Favorites
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The French Open is perhaps the most unpredictable of the four Grand Slam tournaments. Because of its clay surface, several star players often struggle at Roland Garros.
This is the perfect tournament for those tennis players who are looking to make a name for themselves in the game today or who have fallen below the radar to become relevant again.
Here are four underdogs who will be looking to get their names in the lights at the French Open.
Ana Ivanovic once had a lot of promise, but the Serbian has fallen off the map in recent years.
In 2008, Ivanovic won the French Open and attained the No. 1 ranking. She seemed poised for stardom, ready to be the next big tennis star.
But it wasn't meant to be.
Ivanovic has not regained her winning form since 2008, but now is her perfect opportunity. The French Open gives Ivanovic a chance to be considered great again.
However, if she keeps winning, Ivanovic will meet Agnieszka Radwanska, the No.4 seed, in the fourth round.
This match will give the Serbian a chance to prove that she can still compete with the best tennis has to offer. If she defeats Radwanska, Ivanovic will have a shot to get through to the semis, where she could face Serena Williams. A win over her will make her French Open worthwhile.
The brightest star in US tennis right now is Sloane Stephens.
Will Sloane Stephens ever shake the Serena comparisons?
Stephens is constantly trying to disassociate herself from the Williams sisters, according to Marin Cogan of ESPN The Magazine, and a good showing at the French Open can only help her with this.
Should Stephens get to the fourth round—which she has a pretty good chance of doing—she will most likely come head-to-head with Maria Sharapova.
If she can defeat Sharapova, this will be her latest signature win.
The comparisons to Serena may never cease to exist, but a win over Sharapova will only aid her in gaining her own identity.
Gael Monfils has already defeated the No.5-seeded player in tournament, Tomas Berdych.
Monfils is looking to claw his way back into tennis after suffering injury setbacks over the past few years.
The Frenchman will depend on his home crowd to get him through his upcoming matches, as he tends to play on emotion.
With his comeback off to a good start, he is one to watch.
Monfils has been ranked as high as seventh in the world.
With Andy Roddick retired, the new face of men's tennis in the U.S. is John Isner.
Will John Isner ever win a major?
Isner has yet to perform really well in Grand Slams. His best finish at the French Open came in 2010, when he got to the third round.
But now there will be more pressure on him to perform better.
Isner's draw could see him meeting Tommy Haas, the No.12 seed, in the third round. The American has the ability to defeat Haas and make it to the quarterfinals, where he should meet Novak Djokovic.
Djokovic will of course be a tough win, but it's not impossible.
Now is the right time for Isner to produce a run in a Grand Slam. He cannot afford to step aside any longer.
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