- I did not write about the dust up between Federer and Wawrinka this past Saturday because it was so minor. In a team sport, it would not even have registered. I think the individual nature of tennis made this into a bit of fodder for many tennis sites, but if Boris Becker and Michael Stich could win the 1992 gold in doubles when they hated each other at the time, Stan and Roger should be able to function in France.
- France has a deep team. I think France was and is capable of beating Switzerland before Federer had any concerns about his back and is in my mind at worst a mild underdog. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga crushed Federer at Roland Garros in 2013. He also beat him at Toronto on hard courts in July.
- Switzerland struggled and lost when it played on indoor clay in front of Swiss fans in 2012.
- Wawrinka snapped out of a patch of poor play in London.
Day 1 Predictions
Stanislas Wawrinka vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
This match could set the tone. If Stan wins, Monfils is the only thing standing between the Swiss and a 2-0 lead. If Tsonga wins, the crowd may come crashing down on Federer as it did in the 2012 gold medal match. Tsonga should be well rested. Wawrinka should feel good about his form. I think Wawrinka’s return to form in London will be of great help to him in this match. The two players are 2-2 on clay. I think if this match is close and gets into an extended situation the home crowd will benefit Tsonga. Still, Tsonga has not done much since Toronto. I think if Stan grabs a lead and keeps the crowd on its hands, he wins.
My Prediction: Wawrinka d. Tsonga 7-5, 6-2, 6-4
Roger Federer vs. Gael Monfils
Monfils is capable of beating Federer. They had two entertaining matches at Roland Garros in 2008 and 2009. Gael managed to win one of seven sets in those two matches. Gael had Federer in deep trouble at the US Open not too long ago. That should give Gael some confidence. The crowd may also help Monfils. Still, if Federer is healthy (that may be a big if), Roger should win this match.
My Prediction: Federer d. Monfils 6-4, 6-3, 6-4