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In The Tramlines - The Milos Raonic of Blogs About Tennis

In The Tramlines French Open Recap

Written by Brandon Lawrence on .

We're trying something new here at In The Tramlines, a full recap of the French Open. Let's get right to it.

 

What you need to know:

Rafael Nadal won his 8th French Open title

Serena Williams won her second French Open title, her first since 2002.

David Ferrer made his first major final, defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the process.

Maria Sharapova continued her great run on clay, making the final and losing in a competitive match to Serena in the final

Bob and Mike Bryan won the Men's Doubles title, their first since 2003

 

What you don't need to know but we think is interesting:

Protestors interrupted the men's final, setting off flares and one individual even made his way to the court. See it here: http://tennis.si.com/2013/06/09/video-protestor-flare-french-open-nadal-ferrer-final/?sct=tn_t2_a6

Federer lost to Tsonga in the quarterfinals in a routine three-setter, but he continued his run of 36 straight major quarterfinals

Tommy Haas and Tommy Robredo, both over 30, made the quarterfinals with some beautiful backhands

Of the 8 men quarterfinalists, 4 had one-handed backhands. Zero advanced to the semifinals

In a major semifinal, one player won in 46 minutes 6-0, 6-1. Guess who it was?

The Weekly Wild Card

Written by Brandon Lawrence on .

The French Open concludes in the most predictable manner possible. The attention of the tennis world turns to grass. Wimbledon is just two weeks away. Click "Read More" to get your Weekly Wild Card.

The Only One That Matters: Previewing Nadal vs. Djokovic

Written by Brandon Lawrence on .

My internet crapped out last night.. Better late than never. 

Tomorrow morning at 7 am EDT, the two top players in the world will face off in the French Open semifinals. The players barely need any introduction. Novak Djokovic, number one player in the world, looking for the Career Slam against Rafael Nadal, winner of 7 French Open titles and the best clay court player of all time. When the draw made everyone looked to this match, and while it's only the semifinal, realistically, it's the final, and the winner would be a heavy favorite over either Tsonga or Ferrer. After the jump, we'll preview this match and see who has the edge in each area of the game.

Day 9 Preview: The Quarterfinals Coming Into View

Written by Brandon Lawrence on .

The 2013 French Open is quickly approaching its quarterfinal stage. After tomorrow, the final eight competitors on both the men's and women's side will be determined. Right now we'll preview the four men's Round of 16 matches that will be played tomorrow, and later we'll look at the women's match-ups.

Day 7 Preview: It's Heating Up

Written by Brandon Lawrence on .

The first weekend of a major is when the tournament begins to heat up. The third round concludes on Saturday, and the anticipation of the second week is at its peak. After tomorrow the round of 16 will be set, and tomorrow should be a great day to sit back and watch some high quality tennis. Click "Read More" to see 4 matches to see tomorrow.

Day 4 Preview: Hype Meets Reality

Written by Brandon Lawrence on .

The second round of the French Open begins tomorrow and the remaining first round matches will be completed. Several young prospects are in action, and these early arounds are great to see them develop and maybe even take the next step. Here are four matches ti keep your eye on tomorrow. 

1. Gael Monfils vs. Ernestis Gulbis

This is the match to watch tomorrow. Monfils was involved in the match of the tournament against Tomas Berdych, and Gulbis is finally starting to show why he's been so hyped in the past. Gulbis has a big game and is finally using it well. Monfils, for his part, finally put away the detracting antics against Berdych and played a great match. He didn't try any stupid shots, he played his game and was rewarded for it. This should be a great match. 

2. Aga Radwanska vs. Mallory Burdette

Radwanska has been struggling as of late, and Burdette is a talented young American. Burdette is one of the few players to have gone to college, just finishing her time at Stanford in the fall. She's playing well, and this one should be intriguing.

3. Milos Raonic vs. Michael Llodra

Llodra is an incredibly experienced veteran, and Raonic is the upstart looking for that one huge run in a major. Llodra's game, which is predicated on volleying and craft, isn't terribly suited for clay, but he knows how to get the job done. Raonic has a huge serve and solid forehand, but his footwork has been really poor. He's apparently been working on it, and he'll need to create from the back of the court to win this match tomorrow. This one should be a great style of contrasts.

4. Serena Williams vs. Caroline Garcia

In 2011, Garcia, the young talented Frenchwoman, had Sharapova on the ropes. She couldn't pull it out, and hasn't made much noise. But I'm interested in this match to see if she has anything for Serena. It very well may end up a bloodbath, but I think Garcia will push Serena a bit. Not threaten her, but I think this will be worth watching.

Day 3 Preview: Round One Concludes

Written by Dustin Petzold on .

The first round of Roland Garros 2013 is already well underway, but Tuesday's slate promises some of the best matches so far. Here's a quick look at what to watch for on the televised courts:

Court Phillipe Chatrier

Novak Djokovic will begin his French Open campaign against David Goffin, who burst onto the tennis scene at last year's tournament, before finally losing at the hands of Roger Federer in the Round of 16. The young Belgian's had a poor season so far, and will stand to take a big hit in the rankings after an inevitable loss to the world #1. Djokovic couldn't ask for an easier start to his tournament.

After Djokovic and Goffin, Frenchman Nicolas Mahut will take center court against Janko Tipsarevic in a battle of two struggling players. Wild card Mahut has failed to gain any traction after returning from an extended injury layoff earlier this year, but Tipsarevic has come upon hard times as well, compiling a 4-10 record since the Australian Open concluded. Mahut has had some success at Roland Garros, reaching the third round last year, but his aggressive style isn't well-suited for clay and he has to be considered one of the weakest players in the draw. Tipsarevic would be vulnerable against most opponents, but he'll make it through this one.

Court Suzanne Lenglen

None of the matches on this court should be close, except perhaps for Benoit Paire vs. Marcos Baghdatis. Both players have strong personalities and struggle with consistency, so the quality of tennis will be unpredictable, but there will certainly be some drama as the 24-seed Paire plays his first Major as a seeded player in front of a home crowd. He should advance, but Baghdatis is experienced and will test the Frenchman.

Court 1
 

42-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm always captures attention at Slams for her advanced age and aggressive play, but she has continually drawn tough matchups in Majors, and this one is no exception as she takes on Sam Stosur, who has typically had her best results on clay. Date-Krumm has struggled with nagging injuries after getting off to a great start earlier this year, so expect Stosur to advance in straight sets. 

Court 2

Surging American teen Lauren Davis plays the second match on Court 2, as she'll face Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic. Immediately following this match, Frenchman Marc Gicquel, who's rebounded this season at 36 years of age, takes on Fernando Verdasco, whose terrible season has led him to drop out of the top 50. Gicquel is a fan favorite in France, and Verdasco may be the most disliked player in the tournament, so expect emotions to be running high as the crowd gets behind the French journeyman.

Court 3

Young American Jack Sock begins this slate of matches by taking on Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. The Spanish claycourter is nothing special so this match could be close, but it might be too much to expect an upset from Sock in his first appearance on the red clay of Paris. Still, this one is definitely worth a look. 16-seed Phillip Kohlschreiber then takes on the Czech Republic's Jiri Vesely, who's had a great year this year and is the youngest player in the top 150. 

Court 6

The only notable match in this group is the first, where Bernard Tomic will take on Victor Hanescu. Neither man is particularly high in the rankings, but Tomic will be looking to break through this year, having never exceeded the second round in spite of high expectations. Hanescu's best days are behind him, but the tall Romanian's serve is still dangerous, and his recent success in the Challenger circuit and in smaller ATP tournaments has allowed him to regain a decent spot in the rankings. This one will be close, but Tomic should get through.

Court 7

Starting off the action on this court will be America's Alex Kuznetsov, the ultimate journeyman who's playing in just his second Major main draw in the last six years. His only other Slam victory came in the 2007 Aussie Open, when he defeated Australian wild card Peter Luczak. He's in a similarly kind situation here, as he's drawn French wild card Lucas Pouille, who, at age 18, is incredibly inexperienced and probably not ready for the big stage. This will be a good opportunity for the USA to sneak an extra man into the secound round.

 

 


 

Day 2 Preview: What to Watch

Written by Brandon Lawrence on .

For me, the first Monday of the tournament is the actual start, not the awful and artificial Sunday. So while it's Day 2 officially, to me it's still Day 1. I'll stop complaining about it. One of my goals this tournament is to see how long I can ignore Nadal's run through the tournament. He's going to win, but I want to see how long I can go without mentioning him. It makes everything so much more interesting. With that beign said, click "Read More" to see what four matches we're recommending for Day 2 of the French Open.

French Open Day 1 Preview: Federer and Serena Headline

Written by Brandon Lawrence on .

Personally, I really hate the Sunday start that the French Open uses. It feels cheap. But we're stuck with it. Federer and Serena are in action ,but really, they're not worth paying attention to until the thrid round or they're down a lot. Then it gets really good. Barring miracle upsets, here are four matches to watch on Day 1 of the French Open!

The Djoker and Rafa: Previewing the 2013 French Open

Written by Brandon Lawrence on .

It's finaly here. The second major of the year starts tomorrow, with the now customary Sunday start at the French Open. The men's side of the draw comes down to the two usual suspects, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Because of Nadal's almost year long hiatus, he was seeded number three and placed in the same half as Djokovic. It was a 50/50 shot they'd end up on the same half of the draw, and now this arguably makes the draw much more interesting. If they were drawn on opposite sides of the draw, it'd be relatively straightforward. We'd all be waiting for those two to meet in the final. Now, the top half of the draw seems a foregone conclusion, but it's a golden opportunity for those in the bottom half of the draw. Roger Federer, David Ferrer, and Tomas Berdych are the biggest beneficiaries of the draw, and it makes that half very fascinating. After the jump we'll look at each quarter and give a prediction. 


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