Roland-Garros – Nadal, Djokovic, Thiem and the others: all the favorites scrutinized

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Favorites rating

  • 5 stars : Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic
  • 4 stars : Dominic Thiem
  • 2 stars : Alexander Zverev
  • 1 star : Denis Shapovalov, Daniil Medvedev, Diego Schwartzman, Stefanos Tsitsipas

Rafael Nadal: 5 stars

Country: Spain
Age: 34
ATP ranking: 2nd
Roland-Garros 2019: Victory
Best result: Victory (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019)

Visually, the last line is overflowing. No need to explain why, once again, Rafael Nadal is favorite for the final victory in this tournament, which has become his home and his first obsession when planning his season. If he skipped the US Open, it is also to better focus on his annual conquest.

Its preparation did not follow the usual ritual, however, with a season of truncated clay where its physical and tactical set-up had to be accelerated. His quarterback defeat in Rome caused confusion: will Nadal arrive short of Porte d’Auteuil? This is perhaps the biggest doubt that surrounds him,. With three small matches played since February, the machine is not quite settled. When we know the need for Rafa to chain efforts to ramp up, this late Roland Garros arrives almost too early in its truncated season.

Still, his natural lead over ocher is such that it should allow him to adjust the sights for the 8th where a duel against Fabio Fognini could await him. The next possible? Zverev in the quarters, Thiem in the half and Djokovic in the final. Heavy but nothing insurmountable for a confident Nadal. After all, he is at home here: in 95 Porte d’Auteuil matches, he has lost only twice (Söderling in 2009 and Djokovic in 2015). We know the expression never two without three. But with Rafa, not sure that she knows a reality in Roland.

Novak Djokovic: 5 stars

Country: serbia
Age: 33 years old
ATP ranking: 1st
Roland-Garros 2019: Semi-final
Best result: Victory (2016)

Yes, there are indeed two favorites in this particular Roland-Garros. Because if Nadal is the legitimate candidate, Djokovic is the logical candidate. The nuance is fine but very real: the Serbian is the best player in the world today, without possible discussion. His margin on the rest of the circuit is such that even a few concentration jumps or momentary empty passages are not enough to bring him down.

When Djoko goes into Djoker mode, nothing can resist him. And the US Open did not ultimately change much to the equation: he remains undefeated in 2020, only beaten by an unfortunate gesture on his part. Comfortable on earth, the Serbian won the only big preparation tournament and was especially reassured about his ability to regain his level on ocher. The use of the roof is also likely to help him as he often struggled with Roland’s exterior conditions (reorganizing the psychodrama of his half last year).

Privilege of the number one seed, his table seems frankly clear until the final. To possibly find a cador from the surface: Nadal or Thiem. Djokovic is waiting for that.

Dominic Thiem: 4 stars

Country: Austria
Age: 27
ATP ranking: 3rd
Roland-Garros 2019: Finale
Best result: Final (2018, 2019)

The quest is over. Not necessarily where he expected it the most but it doesn’t matter: Dominic Thiem finally has a Major in his pocket. When we know the obsession that such a mission can represent for some, he is freed of a weight. The one who made his arm tremble so much in the US Open final against Alexander Zverev.

It is therefore a new man and another player who presents himself at Porte d’Auteuil this year. But in what state ? This is the whole point. Lover of clay, the double finalist of Roland-Garros will not take long to acclimatize to the playing conditions. The fact remains that he has not retouched the racquet in competition since Flushing and that his rehabilitation on earth, especially this will take a little time.

Another concern: if he was able to seize the unique opportunity of a Major without Djokovic, Nadal and Federer in the semifinals, things should return to “normal” at this Roland Garros. With a sequence Nadal-Djokovic which awaits him if everyone holds his place. A double exploit will therefore be necessary. So far, he has never succeeded.

Alexander Zverev: 2 stars

Country: germany
Age: 23 years old
ATP ranking: 7th
Roland-Garros 2019: Quarter-final
Best result: Quarter-final (2018, 2019)

For a long time, it was at Roland Garros that Alexander Zverev achieved his best Grand Slam performances. Since then, the German has put behind him his Grand Slam complex. At Flushing, he even managed to reach the final by being frankly average in terms of quality of play. And did not go far from winning the bet with the same strategy.

It will take a little more Porte d’Auteuil. Because the German is still clearly behind the three men mentioned above. Also because his painting (Thiem, Wawrinka, Monfils and Nadal) is much higher than others. Still, he will be one of the men to watch in this tournament.

Alexander Zverev (Roland-Garros 2019)

Credit: Getty Images

Stefanos Tsitsipas: 1 star

Country: Greece
Age: 22 years old
ATP ranking: 6th
Roland-Garros 2019: round of 16
Best result: Round of 16 (2019)

Where is Tsitsipas? Last year, we had high expectations and we got our money’s worth with a legendary match against Wawrinka. But that was not necessarily what he hoped for after an exceptional Masters campaign on clay. This season, after his misstep in Rome, he has restarted the machine in Hamburg, where conditions will almost resemble those of Roland. His table is lenient and could lead him to a quarter against other opponents of the Next Gen (Daniil Medvedev, Denis Shapovalov). To monitor.

Daniil Medvedev: 1 star

Country: Russian
Age: 24 years old
ATP ranking: 5th
Roland-Garros 2019: 1st round
Best result: 1st round (2017, 2018, 2019)

Let’s be honest: if the Russian is in this ranking, it is because he performed again at Flushing (half) after his final last year. The Russian does not like clay and it is difficult to see how, with so little preparation, he could do much better than in the past. But, with him, you must never say never.

Diego Schwartzman : 1 étoile

Country: Argentina
Age: 28
ATP ranking: 13th
Roland-Garros 2019: 2nd round
Best result: Quarter-final (2018)

The investigator on duty. Magnificent self-sacrifice in each of his outings, Schwartzman arrives swollen with confidence after his Roman final where he will have pushed Djokovic to his limits. His typical clay court game and his experience will make him a hell of a customer. In front of him, the half-measure will be prohibited. Good luck to anyone who wants to eliminate it, especially on this heavy earth that suits it perfectly.

Denis Shapovalov: 1 star

Country: Canada
Age: 21
ATP ranking: 10th
Roland-Garros 2019: 1st round
Best result: 2nd round (2018)

No, Denis Shapovalov is not a cador, nor a clay court specialist. But the promise seen on the side of Rome (half) and a form of linear progression make him a spectacular outsider, as always with him, of this final table. By reaching the quarters of the US Open, he passed a glass ceiling. But he still seems a bit tender and not patient enough for the three-set clay game.

Denis Shapovalov in Rome in 2020

Credit: Getty Images



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