French Open 2013: Seeded Players Headed Toward Disappointment

Richard Langford@@noontide34Correspondent IMay 30, 2013

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 28:  Tommy Haas of Germany celebrates victory in his Men's Singles match against Guillaume Rufin of France during day three of the French Open at Roland Garros on May 28, 2013 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The 2013 French Open has yet to see many major upsets rock the brackets, but the top players can't hold off the lower seeds much longer. 

Caroline Wozniacki did suffer an early exit after falling to Bojana Jovanovski in the second round, marking the continuation of her recent struggles. Other seeded players should be on notice in light this upset. 

The bracket is about to run into a bit of upheaval, and the following three players will all be victims of a challenging slate.


No. 12: Tommy Haas

The ageless Tommy Haas rode to a 7-6 (4), 6-1, 6-3 victory over France's Guillaume Rufin. It was a solid showing for the 35-year-old, and it was a great reversal of his recent form in major play.

It hasn't been since last year's French Open, when he made a run into the third round, that Haas had escaped the first round of a major.

In his victory, Haas looked a little sloppy early, but he dialed in as the match went on. While this was a promising start, Haas' run will still be short.  

Up next for Haas is the talented Jack Sock, and the youngster has the game to knock him out. In the first round, Sock looked fantastic while beating clay-court specialist Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-2, 6-2, 7-5. 

Also, Sock is playing with a heavy heart and serious motivation, as he tweeted

If Haas does survive that match, he'll possibly face another tough opponent, as 19th-seeded John Isner awaits as a possible opponent in Round 3.

Haas and Isner have never met on clay, and Haas won the last time these two met, but Isner leads the head-to-head play, 3-2. 

Haas will not be able to make it past the next two rounds. 


No. 3: Victoria Azarenka 

After seeing her start to the French Open delayed due to weather issues, Australian Open champ Victoria Azarenka was solid in a first-set 6-1, 6-4 win over Elena Vesnina. 

It was a nice showing, but with the weather delay, it was less than ideal. She is going to be rushed in play as the tournament attempts to get back on track. However, this is a slight concern for this former No. 1. 

What is far more concerning is the fact that clay is not her preferred surface, which certainly helps explain why this is the only major where she has failed to advance at least to the semis. 

Azarenka does not have the most difficult path ahead of her, but she is ripe for an upset. 

Looking ahead, I see Azarenka bowing out in the fourth round, as she did in last year's French Open, to No. 13 seed Marion Bartoli.

France's Bartoli will have the fans behind her, and she has taken three of the past six against Azarenka. 


No. 9: Stanislas Wawrinka 

Stanislas Wawrinka had some strong showings on clay heading into Roland Garros. He made the final in Spain and he won the Portugal Open in his tournament before that. 

Then he suffered a small tear in his thigh in Rome, and he didn't make it out of the second round. 

Wawrinka has admitted he is still receiving treatment for his thigh, and while it wasn't visibly hampering him in his first-round match against Thiemo de Bakker, which he won 7-5, 6-3, 6-7 (1-7), 7-5, he wasn't exactly dominant.  

As you can see, this was a shaky victory, and Wawrinka was unable to gain control as the match wore on. This suggests the thigh injury is bothering him, and it's not like that is going to improve while he is trying to navigate this major. 

Let us not forget that the slippery clay puts more stress on the leg. This is going to erode Wawrinka's confidence, if not his health, and he will bow out of this French Open before he is slated to meet Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals. 


    The Forgotten Home of Tennis’s Open Era

    Tennis logo

    The Forgotten Home of Tennis’s Open Era

    Christopher Clarey
    via Nytimes

    Fed Cup: Johanna Konta beats Naomi Osaka to give Great Britain 2-1 lead

    Tennis logo

    Fed Cup: Johanna Konta beats Naomi Osaka to give Great Britain 2-1 lead

    BBC Sport
    via BBC Sport

    Monte Carlo Masters: Rafael Nadal beats Grigor Dimitrov to reach final

    Tennis logo

    Monte Carlo Masters: Rafael Nadal beats Grigor Dimitrov to reach final

    Matt Jones
    via Bleacher Report

    Nadal and Djokovic in Same Quarter of Barcelona Draw

    Tennis logo

    Nadal and Djokovic in Same Quarter of Barcelona Draw

    via Tennisnow