The long wait is finally over, as the French Open is set to begin on Monday. Going by the clay tournaments preceeding the grand slam, we can expect to see some really close and thrilling matches leading to the finals of the French Open. So, have you all picked your favourite for the French Open 2017 already ?
The 2017 French Open will be the 116th edition of the famous Grand Slam tournament. Before the tournament begins, let’s take a look at the players (Men’s Singles Draw), we fancy have a good chance at wining the French Open this year.
(01) Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal owns this tournament! Although the 30-year-old King of clay, Rafa has not tasted gold at the French Open over the past two seasons, but something tells us that he’ll be back at the top this season. Rafa’s record at RG speaks for itself! Nadal enters Roland Garros with three wins in four appearances on clay courts this season.
Its Needless to say that The 9-time French Open winner seems to be back to his best. Nadal loves the clay and has already won tournaments on the surface in 2017. With his fitness and confidence back, Nadal will definitely be a favourite.
For Rafa, it’s the only grand slam where he’s never lost a final. Nadal hasn’t won this tournament since 2014, but if he keeps up his form then we can see him being crowned as the winner of the French Open for the record 10th time.
(02) Novak Djokovic
In 2017, Novak seems to have lost his magic. Novak completed the career Grand Slam by winning this tournament last year but things haven’t been going his way ever since then. He has won only one title (Doha) and he was beaten by 20 years old Alexander last week in Italian open final. Alexander defeated Novak in comfortable two sets.
Nevertheless, we still can’t ignore the fact that Djokovic is the Defending French Open champion, and his 13 titles and 80-percent winning percentage on clay still gives him a considerable edge over his competitors.
Last week, he announced that Andre Agassi will be his coach for the RG.What this blockbuster pairing is capable of is yet to be seen. But he upheavaled his entire coaching staff last month including his coach, who had been with him for 10 years. Djokovic calls it a ‘shock therapy’, however it remains to be seen if it will have the desired impact – a positive change in his game this year.
The challenge for Djokovic in this year’s Roland Garros will probably come from himself!
(03) Andy Murray,
Nowadays, World Number one, Andy Murray is fighting to keep his Top spot. Murray has struggled this year and failed to get beyond the Round of 16 in Paris, Monte-Carlo and Madrid this season.
Murray ended up as runners up in the 2016 French Open as he was beaten by Novak.The world number one has gotten better each year so it wouldn’t surprise me if he improved his 2016 French Open performance and won this grand slam this year.
(04) Stan Wawrinka
Wawrinka has already won the French Open in 2015 and that too by beating the World number two Novak Djokovic in the final. Even in 2016, Wawrinka made to the Semi-finals before losing to the World number one Murray. In three of the last four French Opens, Wawrinka has made at least to the quarterfinals. In nine of the last 11 grand slams overall, Wawrinka has made till the quarterfinals. So one can easily get the picture. As long as Wawrinka avoids an early round upset and finds his best form at the right time, only amfew can beat him. He becomes almost invincible when he’s playing his A-game tennis and hitting at the right spots.
Wawrinka has also never lost a grand slam final. So as I have mentioned, if he makes to the final, it could be really tough task for his rivals.
(05) Kei Nishikori
We haven’t heard much of World No. 9 Kei Nishikori for quite some time now.
But For this season, Nishikori has two final-round appearances and has yet to lose to a top-10 opponent. Nishikori also plays better on clay than on other surfaces, with his 67-27 record and his winning percentages on both hard (68.4 percent) and grass (59.6 percent) turfs.
(06) Dominic Thiem
We mentioned earlier that Nadal won three of his four tournaments on clay season. Guess who Rafa lost to in that one other affair? Yup, it’s none other than 23-year-old Dominic Thiem, who handed Nadal his first and only loss on clay this year in the quarterfinal round of the recently-concluded Italian Open.
For over half a decade, Thiem flew under the radar as an upstart professional tennis player that had a ton of promise. This 2017 season, however, has a different feel to it for the young Thiem. Thiem has made to the quarterfinal round or better in nine of his 13 tournaments. His superb 17-4 record on clay this year makes him another favourite.
When he’s on, Thiem has shown he can play with anybody in the world. So If you’re looking to bank on a non-Big Five contender from the field at Roland Garros, look no further than seventh-best male tennis player in the world himself.
(07) Alexander Zverev
One of the youngest Tennis players to win an ATP 1000 Master series, Zverev is the last but not the least entry to this list of favourites. Just last week, at Rome Open, he defeated two of the top ten Tennis players – Milos Raonic and Novak Djokovic. His emphatic win helped him to break into the top 10 in the world and achieve his career best ranking right before moving to the 2nd Grand Slam of the year.
Although, Zverev has not been able to manage a victory over the king of clay – Nadal, we fancy he still has as good a chance as any other experienced player. His game has definitely won him a few fans who would be rooting for his win at the French Open.