Taking a swing at the French Open

Djokovic, Nadal, and Federer will compete for tennis grand slam title

The 2012 French Open is in full swing, and the men’s side is still in contention, competing for the top spot at the Roland Garros in Paris. Top-seeded Novak Djokovic of Serbia will face third-seeded Roger Federer of Switzerland in the upcoming semifinals. In the process of reaching this stage, the 30-year-old Federer has dropped five sets, one in each of his second through fourth round matches and two in his quarterfinal match against the ninth-seeded Argentinian Juan Martin Del Potro. Djokovic won his first three matches of the tournament in straight sets but had to grind out his last two, both five-setters.

Although Djokovic has never reached the finals of the French Open, he entered this year’s tournament with great confidence after having won the last three grand slams — 2011 Wimbledon, 2011 US Open, and 2012 Australian Open — all three of them involving victories over Rafael Nadal of Spain in the finals. In order to win, Federer will have to keep his first serve percentage high so that Djokovic will have a tougher time returning and breaking Federer’s service games. If he doesn’t, the younger Djokovic should win most of the long rallies with his endurance and agility. Federer looks to add a seventeenth Grand Slam to his impressive resume, while Djokovic seeks his first ever French Open title.

On the bottom half of the draw, second-seeded Rafael Nadal of Spain will face fourth-seeded Andy Murray of the United Kingdom in the semifinals if they both win their quarterfinal matches. In the quarterfinals, Nadal and Murray will face Nicolas Almagro of Spain and David Ferrer of Spain, respectively. Nadal has won all of his matches in straight sets so far, while Murray has dropped two sets, one in each of his second and fourth round matches.

Nadal’s excellent speed, court coverage, and finishing strokes should lead him to the French Open Finals; however, winning the finals, will be a difficult task regardless of whether he plays Federer or Djokovic. Nadal has won six of the last seven French Opens since 2005 and hopes to win his seventh this year. Expect some hard-fought matches and brilliant play from these top four performers in the coming days.