Thursday, June 02, 2016

2016 FRENCH OPEN: Men's Quarterfinals Preview, Part 2

Here are my predictions for the 2016 men's quarterfinals and remaining Round of 16 matches at the French Open. Last year I correctly predicted 3 of 4 women's quarterfinals and correctly predicted 3 of 4 men's quarterfinals. This year I correctly predicted 3 of 4 round of 16 matches and 2 of 2 men's quarterfinal matches played so far.

Novak Djokovic (SRB) [1] vs. Tomas Berdych (CZE) [7]Berdych has already surprised me once this tournament by defeating David Ferrer in clay. (I thought it would be a war of attrition, but in the end it turned out to be a relatively straightforward straight sets victory for the Czech.) However, Berdych defeating Djokovic this year at Roland Garros would count as an upset of cataclysmic proportions. These two have played 25 times and Djokovic has won 23 times. It is true that Berdych won one of their most  important matches (the 2010 Wimbledon semifinal) so he does have big match bona fides but the lopsided head-to-head is hard to overlook in order to make a case for a Berdych win here. Djokovic is playing in his 29th consecutive major quarterfinal (which surprisingly is only 7 behind Roger Federer's supposedly unreachable 36). Djokovic is 24-4 in major quarterfinals while Berdych is playing in his 14th major quarterfinal where he sports a 5-8 record. Mad Professah's pick: Djokovic.

 David Goffin (BEL) [12] vs. Dominic Thiem (AUT) [13]. 
The 22-year-old from Austria has 40 match wins  in 2016 (only one less than World #1 Novak Djokovic). In this major quarterfinal he will be playing his good friend, 25-year-old David Goffin from Belgium, with the winner being rewarded with a  first-tie berth in the ATP Top 10 for the first time . Thiem and Goffin have already played six times in their short time on tour and the elder (and higher ranked) player has a 4-2 advantage! Interestingly, neither of them has faced a seeded player in Paris so far so it's hard to predict how they will do against each other but I believe I need to give the edge to Thiem due to his overall record in 2016, despite the fact that Goffin won the last time they played, which was at the 2016 Australian Open, in four sets. Regardless of which player loses this match, I am firmly convinced that both players will be in the Top 10 by the end of the year. However that future achievement will be little solace to the player who misses reaching his first major semifinal. Mad Professah's pick: Thiem.

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