Winners and Losers of the 2018 French Open
While the tournaments only have one winner each, I wanted to point out others that had successful showings, but that is a worse headline that Winners and Losers … Or I could make a short article and go Rafa and Simona = Winners, Everyone else =losers, but that is no fun so here is the list of people who had successful French Opens and also those whose performance left something to be desired.
Lets start with the obvious
Winner – Rafael Nadal – He won his 11th French Open title (11!!!!!!!!!!!) and for me cemented himself as the best clay court player of all time. So many left him for dead during his injuries that it is refreshing to see him come back and dominate the most prestigious clay court tournament. He lost a set to Diego Schwartzman but won every other set in the tournament. Just a dominant performance and it is great to see Nadal back in form after the injuries.
Winner – Dominic Theim – I almost put him in the loser column but when you lose to the best clay court of all time in the finals then you are a winner. It would be nice to see him break through and win but the road block of Rafa is too much for everyone right now so I am not going to be too harsh on Theim. Heck Federer didn’t even play because Rafa can’t be beat on clay. To me his most impressive win was against Sascha Zverev in the Quarters. While Zverev was worn out, Theim really took it to him and dominated the points. Great win on the way to the finals.
Loser(s) – American Men – I alluded to this in my preview, there is no American right now that can push to win the title at Roland Garros but still this was disappointing. John Isner and Steve Johnson had good showings with 4th and 3rd round respectively. It was just the lack on any others making head way that was disappointing. It seems like I need to be more patient for the next wave of American players to start their ascendency. Where are you sock (Jack)?
Winner – Alexander (Sascha) Zverev – While could be seen as a disappointment given his form coming in, I view it as a win as he had never made the Quarters of a major before. He really had to grind to get there as well winning three 5 set matches to get there. Good wins and great job getting a quarterfinal under his belt at a major, setting up big things to come.
Loser – Novak Djokovic – Novak is getting back from injuries and appears to be doing well on that path and this tournament of making the quarters is pretty solid. He just has to be disappointed in losing to then 72nd ranked Marco Cecchinato of Italy.
Winner – Marco Cecchinato – Enters the tournament playing well and excelling on clay, but making the semi’s has to be more that he was expecting before the tournament. He played great and won some very tough matches, but I think he will hold on to that win over Djokovic for a while and can hang his hat on that.
Winner – Juan Martin Del Potro – In my preview I was not sure he was even going to play due to his injury and he ends up making it to the Semifinals and losing to the GOAT (of Clay). Looked good and played some very impressive matches
Winner – Simona Halep – Finally gets a well deserved Major championship in an impressive run where she really had to play well and overcome some slow starts. She went 3 sets 3 times in the tournament including the first round (had me worried there for a second Simona) and really gritted out some matches were she was not playing her best. The semifinal where she played Muguruza was very impressive.
Winner – Sloane Stephens – Sloane looked to build her resume with a second Grand Slam Title. She had a great tournament, but could not quite finish off Halep and adds “just” another final to her accomplishments. She is looking in form after some injuries kept her out and now she looks ready to challenge Serena and Simona for transcendent female player.
Loser – Serena Williams – While she did not technically lose, her having to pull out of the French after looking so ready to get back where she left off was disappointing. Hopefully, she will be ready to go for Wimbledon and we can see her back at her best.
Winner – Madison Keys – Making the Semis is great in any slam but especially great on what is likely her weakest surface. Her game looks great and she is looking for big things in the next majors.
Loser – Jelena Ostapenko – Very disappointing to see her go out in the first round after winning the tournament the year before. She is very young so this kind of inconsistency is going to happen but hopefully she can use that disappointment to fuel her upcoming tournaments.
I really enjoyed the French Open this year, especially the womens side, and I hope that bodes well for an exciting Wimbledon. I will have a preview for the grass court tournament out here soon as well so look for that!