In the vein of Jon Wertheim at SI.com, I thought I'll start a random observations thread here on TW. Let's try to keep these balanced and objective (i.e without too much fanboy observations) and make it entertaining for all to read ATP - Let's address the elephant in the room first. Frankly, I did not think at the start of this tournament that Roger Federer would make it past the semis. Like everyone else, I thought Djokovic was the better player on clay going into the tournament. Just goes to show that the Slams are a different beast and tennis is an unforgiving sport - one loss and you're out of contention; There are no brownie points for recent performances. Congrats again to Roger who had to fight and claw his way to this first French Open title and in the process showed us his heart, desire and astounding consistency over the last 5 years. - Let's hope Rafa Nadal is not really injured but is taking this time to "regroup" as John McEnroe said on TV. I think we should stop and applaud the incredible run he's had on clay for the past 4 years. What's even more amazing is that he's done all this at such a young age. I think credit goes to the sagacity of his camp which keeps him grounded and humble. - "Nole" Djokovic and Andy Murray need to step up their game. While they deservedly hold their respective positions on the ATP ladder, its a shame that come time for the majors, they've disappointed by not performing up to their potential. Of course credit goes to their opponents for not letting them play their game, but that's where these young guns need more consistency. - Props to Juan Martin Del Potro for his great run at this year. For someone who doesn't even rate clay as their best surface, he gave a great account of himself. A couple of years ago when all these tall players started making an appearance on the tour, I marginally expected JMDP to be the one who would break out and make a mark for himself, but I think he's done better than I thought. Watch out for this kid! - Hope Robin Soderling does not go the way of Fernando Gonzalez. When Gonzo lost to Roger a couple of years ago at the AO, he was on a hot streak having discovered a high percentage game to assist that blistering forehand. We all know how that story turned out. Not only has Gonzo not been able to produce any memorable results since, I think he's shown himself to be a man of questionable judgement with his on-court behavior. Hopefully Robin's bad boy days are behind him because he's too good a player to waste the good will and confidence he's gained at the FO this year. - What can you say about the French contingent - Gael Monfils, Jo Wilfried Tsonga, Gilles Simon and Paul Henri Matthieu? Its got to be hard being a fan of French players. Its not like they're lacking in talent, skills, charisma or support, yet these guys seem to always find a way to disappoint at some stage. I don't want to be as hard on Monfils and PHM because I thought they played well against the eventual champion, but you have to wonder if its the expectations. - How ironic that when Safin really wanted in, he got left out the door by an unknown French player (sorry fans of Ouanna). I wish his career had gone better, but hey, it is what it is. Donno about you, but I think part of Roger's haul of 14 GS titles over 6 short years could've been smaller if a certain Mr.Nalbandian and Mr.Safin had their heads and hearts in the right place. Coulda, woulda, shoulda.... another reason why Roger deserves every bit of respect he gets in the locker room and on center courts around the globe. That's it for me for now. I will post one the WTA side and the Tournament in general later.