Avi Weisfogel's Surprising 2017 French Open Predictions

Avi Weisfogel's 2017 French Open Predictions

The 2017 French Open, which takes place May 28 through June 11 in Paris, promises to be one of the most highly anticipated editions of the major tennis tournament in many years.

In an unprecedented coincidence, neither 2017 Australian Open winner will be competing in the French Open.

Roger Federer, who won the men’s competition in Australia, opted to withdraw in order to focus on Wimbledon and the U.S. Open later in the year. Federer said he prefers grass courts and hard courts at this stage of his career. The French Open takes place on a clay surface.

On the women’s side, Australian Open champion Serena Williams is sitting out due to her pregnancy. Her baby is due in the fall.

Weisfogel knows that the absence of Federer and Williams creates additional layers of intrigue, drama and excitement among tennis fans as the French Open begins. With two of the sport’s biggest stars on the sidelines, the French Open field is wide open.

Men’s division

On the men’s side, Rafael Nadal stands out as the player to watch. Nadal, who lost to Federer in the final match of the Australian Open in January, will be attempting to secure his 10th French Open title. Unfortunately for Nadal fans, another victory in Paris is far from guaranteed. Nadal won his most recent French Open championship in 2014. Since then, he struggled with a serious wrist injury that prevented him from performing at peak levels throughout the 2016 campaign. Although Nadal has earned a reputation as a master of the clay courts, he will face some stiff competition in France.

Avi Weisfogel thinks you should be watching out for Andy Murray, who is ranked first in the world by the Association of Tennis Professionals heading into the French Open, to step up with a big performance in Paris. Like Nadal, Murray is a clay specialist who figures to excel at Roland Garros Stadium. Murray assumed the world’s top ranking in November. Although he has been playing at less than top form since then, his struggles were likely caused by a case of shingles. With his health problems behind him, Murray is primed to make deep run in the men’s bracket.

Defending French Open champion Novak Djokovic represents one of the most fascinating stories of this year’s tournament. The Serbian superstar, currently ranked second in the world, entered a lengthy slump after last year’s triumph at Roland Garros Stadium. Djokovic, who beat Murray in four sets in the 2016 final, sustained a series of early exits from his most recent major tournaments. In a surprising move, Djokovic opted to hire Andre Agassi to help him train for the French Open. Give Djokovic credit for his creative thinking, but it remains to be seen if the maneuver will pay off.

According to Weisfogel, another leading contender is Stan Wawrinka, who ousted Djokovic in the final round to win the 2015 French Open. Wawrinka, a Swiss pro who won last year’s U.S. Open, is extremely dangerous but inconsistent. If he stays hot, a return to the final match is certainly within his reach. Milos Raonic, Grigor Dimitrov, David Goffin and Marin Cilic loom as intriguing underdogs who could make some noise.

Avi Weisfogel's Mens Prediction

Murray will deny Nadal his 10th French Open title by scoring a minor upset when the two clay experts clash in the championship round.

Women’s division

Nagging health issues are emerging as a key concern in the women’s competition of the French Open. Defending champion Garbine Muguruza was forced to leave this year’s Italian Open early with a neck injury. If she is not fully recovered, Muguruza could end up making an early departure from Paris.

Simona Halep, a highly regarded Romanian star, is battling a torn ankle ligament. In the 2014 French Open final, Halep fell short in a close, thrilling and memorable final match against Maria Sharapova.

Weisfogel states, "Watch for Elina Svitolina, a 22-year-old Ukrainian pro, to turn in a breakout performance at the French Open." Svitolina, who is ranked sixth in the world, has put together a recent hot streak on clay courts that includes victories against Muguruza, Halep and Czech star Karolina Pliskova. In 2017 alone, Svitolina won tournament titles in Taiwan, Dubai, Istanbul and Rome. Svitolina reached the quarterfinals of the French Open two years ago, but she is in perfect form to go all the way this time.

Another top prospect is Angelique Kerber, who is off to a slow start this year after a spectacular 2016 campaign. Kerber, a 29-year-old representing Germany, won last year’s Australian Open and U.S. Open. She placed second at Wimbledon. Kerber has vowed to discover her groove, raise her game and make a deep run in Paris.

Avi wants to make sure that you don’t overlook Kristina Mladenovic, who is ranked 14th and will be playing before an adoring crowd in her home country. Interesting sleepers include Anett Kontaveit, Johanna Konta and Eugenie Bouchard.

Weisfogel's Womens Prediction

Venus Williams will make a surprisingly deep tournament run in her sister’s absence before coming up short. In the title match, Svitolina will cruise past Kerber to earn her first French Open title and enter the upper echelon of the sport.

Avi Weisfogel is a native New Yorker, an avid tennis fan, and the owner of the New Jersey-based Dental Sleep Masters. He established Old Bridge Dental Care, his dental practice, in 1999. During this time, Weisfogel began exploring the world of sleep and learning about how dentists and physicians can help patients who suffer from sleep disorders.

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