By News Team
25th September 2020
We aren’t long removed from the US Open where Dominic Thiem won his first Grand Slam title. We now head to Paris for the third and final Slam of the year, the French Open, where a certain two players look set to dominate proceedings once again.
We’ve previewed the tournament, which gets under way on Sunday.
Will the King of Clay rule again at Roland Garros?
Rafael Nadal and the French Open are a match made in heaven. The Spaniard has made the only clay Grand Slam of the season his own since making his debut in 2005 and his win there last year was remarkably his 12th at the event – the only man to achieve that feat.
Since he ventured onto the courts in Paris 15 years ago, Nadal has played 95 matches at the French Open and has won a quite ridiculous 93 of them, with his two defeats coming to Robin Soderling in 2009 and then to Novak Djokovic six years later.
Nadal obviously didn’t play at this year’s US Open with his main focus for the remainder of the season clearly on retaining his title here, but he did look a tad rusty in the Rome Masters last time out. He was surprisingly beaten by Diego Schwartzman in the quarter-finals there and that defeat will raise a few questions as to whether he’s beatable at Roland Garros this year, particularly given his lack of competitive tennis.
He’s very much the one to beat still, though, and he’s the even-money favourite for a 13th French Open title.
Djokovic out to keep good form going
To say Novak Djokovic’s US Open exit was out of the ordinary would be quite the understatement after being disqualified for hitting a line judge with a ball. Many thought he was unbeatable at Flushing Meadows and it would take something as unforeseen as what happened to stop him winning the tournament for a fourth time. The world number one was clearly stung hard by his misdemeanour, but that’s in the past now and with plenty more tennis to come in 2020, he’ll be keen to right the wrong for the remainder of the campaign, starting in Paris.
The Serb comes into the third and final Grand Slam of the year in great form having won the aforementioned Rome Masters and bar his disqualification at the US Open, he’s still yet to lose a match in 2020. That’s top-class form and he’s by far the best player in the world at the moment, but that might not matter given Nadal’s prowess on the clay.
As mentioned, Djokovic has beaten Nadal at Roland Garros before and you feel if he’s to win a second French Open title, he’ll need to do that again in 2020. The 33-year-old is 2/1 for victory in Paris as he seeks to win a second Grand Slam title of the year.