The clay season has kicked off and all eyes are on just one person – Rafael Nadal. Who else would the clay turf look at other than its most beloved son? After all, Rafa has won the French Open a record 11 times. The question is, will he be able to make it 12? It certainly wouldn’t be easy and the Spaniard will have to bring his A-game.
Rafael Nadal will certainly fancy his chances at Roland Garros. There was a slight hiccup though when the wonder boy – Stefanos Tsitsipas – defeated Nadal in the semi final of the Madrid Open. But Nadal did what champions do the best – stage a comeback. He showed the young Greek his true colours when he met Tsitsipas within a week in the semi final of Rome Masters.
He also managed a straight set defeat and a place in the finals against the World No. 1, Novak Djokovic. Tennis pundits were glued to this match for it could also be a potential French Open final. Nadal indeed treated it as one and defeated Djokovic without breaking much of a sweat. Will Rafa’s form continue into the French Open? We will see.
After a hiatus of four years, Roger Federer is back in the French Open. The prelude to the Grand Slam was not all that rosy though. Federer had to retire due to a leg injury and give a walkover to Tsitsipas in the Rome Masters. His rivalry with Nadal is legendary and along with Djokovic, the trio remains the best bet to win the Slam.
The young guns are breathing down the neck of the veterans. With the likes of Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev and the gentle giant, Juan Martin Del Potro, Nadal will have an uphill task to defend his title.