Saturday, May 24, 2008

French Open 2008

Hours away, just hours away now. The French Open 2008 is about to get rolling.
The draws are out, the seeds are unveiled. The wags and experts are postulating and promulgating their picks, favorites, and upset specials.
Everyone is gearing up for a Grand Slam that has an unbelievable energy and anticipation around it, and two burning questions powering it.
On the men's side, all eyes are upon top seed Roger Federer and defending champ Rafael Nadal. All eyes are still burning with images of their classic final in Hamburg last week. All ears are buzzing with talk about Federer losing a step. All minds are boggled by Nadal 100 wins in 101 matches on clay.
All hopes are for a Federer-Nadal final two weeks from tomorrow. That match is what we want, that level of greatness on that stage. Beyond that, who cares what happens?
For the ladies, there is a void at the top that must be filled. The surprise retirement of world number one and defending champion Justine Henin has left the opportunity of a lifetime for whichever woman has the mettle to grab it. Will it be Maria Sharapova and her balky shoulder? Can Ana Ivanovic or Jelena Jankovic overcome their perpetual Grand Slam yips and finally break through? Is it Serena Willams' time to reclaim the #1 ranking she surrendered when her commitment wavered?
Oh yes, there is a great deal riding on this tournament. There are legacies, promises, reputations in the balance.
For those of us ready to soak up this drama, there will be a huge quantity of this event on television. There will be plenty of posts here on tourney happenings, interesting links, and my thoughts. So without further ado (and to borrow from The Chairman on "Iron Chef America")...ALLEZ TENNIS!

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