French Open 2009.
If you don't like tennis you can stop reading.
At this point some of you might ask yourself why I'm writing a blog entry about TENNIS, but let me tell you: With regard to the quality of tennis played, this sport has never been better than now - at least in men's tennis. The sheer amount of great players is astonishing. Now I'm guessing everyone enthusastic enough about tennis to actually read this blog already knows all the big players, so let me point out a few perhaps less known players, which I hope will do well.
First and foremost:Gilles "Mulles" Müller, Luxembourg
Currently seeded #75 in the world, this guy is Luxembourg's only remaining hope when it comes to tennis. There used to be a female player called Anne Kremer (once the #18 of the world), but she's on her way to retirement and will most likely not participate in any more grand slams, except for Wimbledon, perhaps.
So anyway: The French Open are a clay court tournament, and clay has always been the worst surface for Gilles Müller. He already participated in the French Open twice before (2005 & 2006) and always lost in the first round. But, looking at his recently played Grand Slams, there might be hope for Mulles. At the US Open in Aug./Sept. of 2008 he made it all the way to the 1/4-Final (after beating Tommy Haas, Nicolas Almagro, Nikolai Davydenko and eventually losing to Roger Federer) and also made it to the third round of the Australian Open 2009 (eventually losing to Juan Martin del Potro, currently #5 in the world).
But Müller's first opponent is not an easy one: Mikhail Youzhny from Mother Russia (currently #45). Not easy, but doable! Allez Mulles! Roude Léiw, huel se!Ernest Gulbis, Latvia
This guy (seeded #41) is like the Latvian version of Novak Djokovic. They both attended Nikola Pilic's tennis academy in Munich and they both came out pro on the other end. While nowhere near as successful as Djokovic (yet?), Gulbis does seem like he's on his way up, and clay is also his best surface. He made it to the 1/4-Final of last year's French Open, to this day his best grand slam performance. Earlier this year he played in some big clay tournaments, and despite never getting very far, he DID beat notable players such as Almagro (clay, Rome) and Tursunov (clay, Zagreb) as well as Djokovic (hard, Brisbane). He's a polite, funny young gun from Latvia (not exactly a tennis-nation) and plays spectacular tennis. First round game vs Sam Querrey, gonna be tough!Berhard Tomic, Australia
Seeded at #358 in the world, this guy isn't exactly famous or successful, but his big days are still to come. And they WILL come. Being 16 years old, this guy recently made history by becoming the youngest player ever to have won a senior's game at a grand slam. He beat Italy's Potito Starace at the Australian Open before losing his round two game against nobody less than Gilles Müller. Nevertheless, his performance impressed the organisers of the French Open, so they gave this guy a wildcard since he didn't actually qualify. He is going to have to play Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber (#29) in the first round, so I'm not sure he should even unpack at the hotel, but who knows, maybe he's in for a surprise. But well, even if he doesn't do well this time, Bernard Tomic is a name you won't need to memorise as we'll surely hear a lot of him in the future. With Lleyton Hewitt not being the gun he used to be, Australia has found its new hero.Other players I'm looking forward to seeing:
And of course:
And who is going to win the French Open 2009? I'm going to say Roger Federer. Chances are slim, but I really want him to beat Sampras' record. Also, I prefer chocolate to Paella.
Furthermore, I would like to invite all tennis enthusiasts to #ibh on QuakeNet
. It's where the few QW playing tennis nerds (sassa, latency, zeus, spoink, etc) hang out. Lots of tennis-talk there usually, so come join us!