Chris’ picks: the French Open Men’s draw (bottom)

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Chris P continues with his thoughts about the bottom half of this year’s men’s French Open draw.

Read Chris’ picks after the cut…

Bottom Half
First Quarter

Tipsarevic has the lucky quarter in being the lowest seed with 3 others who don’t have much of a chance. Blake (7) could go out to Schuettler in R1 or Gulbis in R2. Baghdatis (17) hasn’t played on clay since Davis Cup in July of last year (vs. Bulgaria) and before that it was a loss to Andreev in the R16 at Roland Garros. How Berdych remains near the top 10 is beyond me. He’ll probably go out to the winner of Llodra vs. Del Potro in R2 giving Tipsarevic a smooth ride through to meet fellow Men’s Vogue model Djokovic in the QFs.

Second Quarter

I am a firm believer that the seeds for the slams should be modified to reflect their respective surfaces (a la Wimbledon) and with that being said, I would maybe even go so far to seed Novak first. The only people who could (but won’t) give him any trouble here are Canas (29) and former champ Moya (16). Poor Mathieu–this kid can’t get a break! Despite being the hometown boy, something tells me he’ll be the one getting the boos in his R1 defeat of Guga. Djokovic coasts through losing no more than 15 games in his first 3 matches.

Third Quarter

Again, three names: Nalbandian, Almagro, Murray. No one is talking about Nalbandian so he could win the whole thing, but my money is on Almagro. He’s played spectacularly on clay this year and I predict will be top 10 by the end of the year. Knowing Murray, he’ll get fatigued and flame out to the Frenchman Eysseric, in R1. Almagro benefits from Nalbandian’s and Murray’s mercurialness and reaches the QFs.

Fourth Quarter

Of the top 4, Nadal has the easiest draw until he’ll face Nieminen, Lopez, or Kiefer (my pick) in the 3R. This won’t be a test for Nadal and neither will Verdasco or Youzhny in R16. My only question is with the lack of match preparation before meeting Almagro in QFs. Will Rafa be ready?

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