French open 2018 predictions, draw analysis, seeds – xania news gas explosion

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I don’t practice Santaria / I ain’t got no crystal ball…. But some prognosticating before the 2018 French Open, as Rafael Nadal goes for title No. 11 (not a typo) and 127 other players attempt to thwart him, here are your men’s skinnies….. 1. Rafael Nadal (ESP)

Can this be right? Only the fourth time he’s been the top seed. He’s not simply the favorite. It’s hard to envision a situation—injury notwithstanding—in which he doesn’t win an 11th (not a typo) French Open title. Lost one match—and won three titles—during clay season. And the best-of-five format gives him a cushion against a zoning opponent. Must be a strange experience, entering a major knowing you cannot exceed expectations. 2. Alexander Zverev (GER)

Takes the No. 2 spot in Federer’s absence. Credit him with this ascent—he just turned 21—and his ranking is no fluke. But it’s not a function of Slam excellence. Still needs to prove himself in best-of-five matches. A first round loser in 2017. 3. Marin Cilic (CRO)

Same old story for Dimitrov. Gorgeous player and likable figure. He possesses the full palette of shots; that we’ve long known. Does he possess the full range of emotion to survive seven rounds? Big opportunity here. 5. Juan Martin del Potro (ARG)

One of the few players who can outslug Nadal. (If perhaps not for five sets.) Playing French Open for only the second time since 2012. Great to see him back at this level and with this well-deserved ranking. But unclear if he’s ready to win majors, especially on this surface. 6. Kevin Anderson (RSA)

Such a solid performer who plays the minor keys, but is capable on all dimensions. One of those guys who may lack the firepower to win Slams, but will always give himself the best chance. And, meanwhile, you admire the professionalism. 9. John Isner (USA)

Nice bounceback year punctuated by his career win in Miami. Also, note that Isner is one of a small handful of players to take two sets off Nadal in Paris, a better clay-courter than you might expect. Perhaps the first American—get this—to reach the fourth round in 15 years. 10. Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP)

Jarring to see that No. 22 next to his name in the rankings, the first time he’s been outside the top 20 since 2006. Tennis’ great mystery. But the 2016 champ showed promise in Rome, reaching the semis and playing competitively against Nadal. 21. Nick Kyrgios (AUS)

If the tennis fates owe a player, it’s this one. A bridesmaid three times—including the 2017 French; as well as the previous major—you have that ineffable feeling that it’s her time. Worry, though, about her record in finals (she’s lost six of her last seven) and the back tweak she experienced last week in Rome. Needs to overcome 128 players—the field and herself. 2. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)

Winner of the previous major and, in Serena’s absence and Sharapova’s decline, you might say the face of the WTA. But clay has never been her strongest surface. But it will be interesting to see how she handles herself playing her first major as a Grand Slam champ. 3. Garbine Muguruza (ESP)

The enigma continues. Capable of winning, as she did in 2016. Capable of losing early, as she does too often. Won Monterrey—and has lost three of her last five matches. She either feels little pressure; or she is slumping. So it goes. 4. Elina Svitolina (UKR)

Comes in having won Rome, dispatching Halep in a one-sided final. But in Slams, Svitolina still needs to convince us (and herself) she’s varsity over jay-vee. But, increasingly, you sense that the breakthrough seems to be a matter of when, not if. We’ll say now. 5. Jelena Ostapenko (LAT)

This we know: she would like to see Hawk-Eye on clay. It will be interesting to see if her YouTube moment from Rome has any lingering effect. Love the power but those typical flat, hard Czech strokes don’t come with much margin for error on clay. 7. Caroline Garcia (FRA)

All credit to Venus for being a top ten seed. This is a player who started her career without an email account or a cell phone. Seven wins on clay is too big an ask, but a strong showing in Paris will propel her on the grass. 10. Sloane Stephens (USA)

Absolutely mystifying player. She was a contender at this time last year. Then she went a half-year without winning a match. Now she is merely uneven. A French favorite who, in 2017, took out the defending champ (Muguruza) looks to recapture the magic in Paris. Dark Horse Nation