Aug/20

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Top Contenders for Roland Garros 2020

The 2020 edition of French Open will begin in late September, and will feature Rafael Nadal making a return to Roland Garros in the hope of extending his French Open Grand Slam wins to thirteen. He beat Dominic Thiem in the finals of 2019 edition for the second consecutive year. That win also earned him his 19th Grand Slam win, thus reducing the gap between him and Roger Federer to merely one title.

As Roger Federer underwent knee surgery earlier in February this year, the Swiss champion will not be playing at Roland Garros this time. Rafa on the other hand will begin his campaign as a top-favourite once again, aiming to live up to his ‘King of Clay’ tag yet again. If he manages to win this time, it would be his fourth consecutive French Open championship victory. Let’s look at the top contenders for the 2020 French Open men’s championship, beginning with Rafael Nadal.

Rafael Nadal

Nadal, 33 years old in 2019, was going at 11/10 odds to win the French Open before the start of the tournament. Yet again, the greatest player of clay court tennis is going at impressive odds of 17/20. Not only does he rule the real-life bookmaking market, but virtual sports betting markets too. To give you an idea about his current form, the Spanish legend has dropped just three sets in the last three editions of the tournament. Two of these sets he dropped in the 2019 campaign alone, including one to Dominic Thiem in that memorable final. That’s how amazing he has been on the clay all along! But it’s no news that Nadal has been nursing a knee injury over the past few years. As long as he plays safe running up to this year’s tournament, and maintains good health, it will be very hard to keep him away from the 13th French Open win.

Novak Djokovic

2016 was the only year when Djokovic won the only French Open title of his tennis career. Unsurprisingly, that was also the year when Nadal had to withdraw in the third round owing to a wrist injury. Other than that, the Serb has managed to reach the quarter-final stage almost every year since 2010, losing to Dominic Thiem in that memorable five-setter in 2019 semi-finals. There is a good chance of Djokovic featuring in the opposite draw against Nadal this time; a reason why he’s being offered at odds shorter than Thiem’s.

Dominic Thiem

Dominic Thiem reached his career-high ranking of 3 a few months ago in February this year. He has long been considered the player with the ability of finally replacing Nadal as the King of Clay. But his performance hasn’t been up to the mark in the last two French Open finals. Regardless, the talented Austrian has beaten Rafa on clay year after year since 2016, only losing at Roland Garros. It’s worth noting that out of the 5 title wins he scored in 2019, 2 came on clay. There’s a good chance that he will win his first-ever French Open title if he brings his top-game to the tournament in September this year

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6 comments

  • JohnnyTD · August 9, 2020 at 1:28 pm

    I agree about Thiem, I’m even more scared of him this year, many said he wasn’t that great last year and Rafa would have beaten him even without the Djoko match but i’m not sure about that.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 9, 2020 at 5:29 pm

    I would not bet against Thiem, two years of final failure, he’s too good too smart to blow it again. His day is coming.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 9, 2020 at 10:46 pm

    I just did a long phone interview with Justin Gimelstob. It was great to hear him talking about tennis again and answering my questions and he shared some details about his life post resignation from ATP. He misses it but also is embracing his life now taking care of his late dad’s business which is now his business and taking care of his son, who is 6 and plays all different sports. Look for the interview coming this week, I’m sure you will enjoy it like I did.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 10, 2020 at 9:09 am

    I see some other players possibly emerging to do major damage in Paris. Stefanos Tsitsipas is ready to make a major semi or final and once there I can see him seizing the moment. Shapovalov has been working hard all of the hiatus, with coach Youzhny in Bradenton in April and May. I’m sure he will be at the top of his game. I like Moutet, I can see him shocking the world with a second week run. The kid has the right mindset, he’s far more Hewitt mentally than Gasquet. Keep an eye on Garin, Schwartzman, young Alcazar, Opelka, Stan, Coric. Absolutely thrilled to see this Roland Garros.

  • Sam · August 14, 2020 at 7:11 am

    This should be the most interesting Roland Garros in ages. While Nadal is the favorite (duh 😉 ), I don’t think he’s the shoo-in he’s been the past few years.

    Incidentally, I was looking at some of the betting odds, and the ones for the U.S. Open still list Nadal and Federer. That’s really strange.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 14, 2020 at 8:32 am

    Nadal should go for US Open, could he be feeling vulnerable to skip US Open to focus all his energies on RG? I think Thiem will finally slay Rafa on Chatrier and I think Djokovic will too. I see Nadal’s dominance in Paris ending. But I’m not betting against Nadal )

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