Novak Djokovic: 'Rafael Nadal is the favorite but Dominic Thiem and I will try to..'



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Novak Djokovic: 'Rafael Nadal is the favorite but Dominic Thiem and I will try to..'

The third and final Major of the season is right under the corner, with players making the last preparations ahead of Roland Garros. Due to the coronavirus, the Parisian Major will take place in October, under much different weather conditions and with the roof over Philippe Chatrier for the first time.

The 12-time champion Rafael Nadal should be the favorite, alongside Dominic Thiem and Novak Djokovic, who will play for Rome's title on Monday against Diego Schwartzman. Nadal lost to the Argentine in the quarters but for Djokovic, he is still a player to beat in Paris, calling his Roland Garros record the most impressive one at any tournament.

Still, the Serb believes him and the US Open champion Dominic Thiem will have a chance of challenging Rafa for that trophy. Novak had already won Roland Garros in the past, and Thiem has been rock-solid there over the past four years, reaching the semi-final in 2016 and 2017 and competing in the title match in 2018 and 2019.

Novak Djokovic believes he and Dominic Thiem can challenge Rafael Nadal in Paris.

In the final a year ago, Nadal defeated Thiem 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 in three hours and one minute for the 12th Roland Garros crown and 18th Major crown!

Competing at this event for the 15th time, Nadal overpowered all the rivals and cemented his status of the greatest clay-courter of all time, earning more records and even more special place among the tennis immortals. Rafa became the first player in history with 12 titles at single Major, and the fourth with four Majors won after turning 30, joining Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall and Roger Federer on the unique feat.

At the age of 33, Nadal was the third-oldest champion in Paris in the Open era after Andres Gimeno (1972) and Ken Rosewall (1968), delivering his best tennis after a challenging second set to leave the Austrian behind. "Regardless of the court, surface or tournament, every encounter between Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and me is a blockbuster.

We hope that everything will be fine at Roland Garros and that the season will come to its end without further interruptions. Our sport needs to keep going. Roland Garros is the last opportunity to win a Major this year. We all know who is the main favorite there.

After everything he has achieved there, it has to be Rafael Nadal, losing maybe a couple of matches at that tournament in the entire career. That has to be the most impressive record anybody has on any court. He has to be the favorite ahead of the rest of us.

Dominic Thiem is also right up there, playing in the final in the previous two years. Also, I like my chances if I prepare myself well. I won Roland Garros before, played in other finals and had good results since the beginning of my career.

I'm trying to focus only on that tournament and not thinking about the far future because we don't know what it brings," Novak Djokovic said.