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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tournament Prediction: French Open

With the ongoing Paris Masters Series Tennis Tournament happening this week, I doubt that the French Open will get much attention. However, heres my predictions for this week's French Open:

Predictions for Selected Singles Matches on Day 1 of Main Draw:

Park Sung Hwan vs. Wong Choong Hann (Match not confirmed due to injury)
Technically speaking, from a ratings point of view, Wong is just in front of Park by 1 position. However, after the stellar performances of Wong in his recent few campaigns, which started with a runner-up position in Chengdu, I think Wong would prevail easily and set up a meeting with Lin Dan or Sony.

Lin Dan vs. Sony (Match of the Day)
A rematch of the finals of the recent World Championships. While Lin Dan defeated Sony in straight sets, Sony is still a formidable opponent, stretching Lin to deuce in the second set. Lin Dan is most vulnerable in early rounds, when he is not really warmed up yet. His disappointing Olympics 2004 defeat to Ronald Susilo in the first round when he was the first seed proved that. Overall a tight fight, but Lin Dan will eventually prevail in 2 sets.

Chen Hong vs. Boonsak Ponsana
While I cannot be sure whether Chen Hong has fully recovered from his slump in his career since leaving the National team, Ponsana is not particularly going through a confidence high either. After being defeated in Odsense in the first round by Prezymyslaw, the Singapore Open champion must win this match to make up for the disappointing lost in Denmark to gain adequate ranking points for Olympic qualification. Tough to call.

Ronald Susilo vs. Peter Gade
The famous Peter Gade takes on Indonesian born giant killer Ronald Susilo. On paper, Peter is on top, and should easily win this match. In reality, although I have not heard from Susilo from a long time, I think he would pose a credible challenge to Gade. However, I still think Gade's superior skills will enable him to win it in 2 sets.

Wang Chen vs. Wong Mew Choo
After suffering a demoralising defeat in the hands of a European based Chinese second stringer, Mew Choo cannot afford another first round defeat if she wants to qualify for the Super Series Finals or the Olympics. However, World Championship silver medalist Wang Chen is no easy meat, and the fifth seed is showing no signs of weakening because of her age. Although she lost a tough 3 setter against Zhang, Wang's confidence is still at an all time high, and unfortunately for Malaysians, Wong will lose this match.

Yip Pui Yin vs. Yao Jie
The big smasher Yip is the underdog in this match, but Yao Jie, who suffered an unfortunate injury in her home Dutch Open, isn't at full form. Tough opponent for Yao, and Yip has played some of the best badminton of her life in Odsense. Tough match, but I think Yip will prevail eventually in this titanic struggle.

Lee Chong Wei vs. Kenneth Jonassen (Match not confirmed due to possible injury)
After a credible opposition put up by Jonassen in last week's Denmark Open against Lin Dan in the semifinals, Kenneth is riding on one of his confidence highs. Lee, on the other hand, has a knee injury that might tamper his chances in Paris. On paper, Lee would win easily. But with this tough first round opponent, Lee must be careful not to let his guard down and be complacent. Lee in 2 tight sets, or Jonassen in 3 sets, judging by the injury Lee is sustaining.

With the possible withdrawal of two of Malaysia's best Men's Singles players, Malaysians will pray for he best tomorrow.

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