'Some good players don't really believe they can beat Novak Djokovic & Rafael Nadal'



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'Some good players don't really believe they can beat Novak Djokovic & Rafael Nadal'

Former two-time French Open runner-up Robin Soderling says he sees some good players who have the game to beat the top guys but they don't seem to believe enough in themselves. The Big Three -- consisting of world No.

1 Novak Djokovic, second-ranked Rafael Nadal and record 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer -- have been dominating the game over the last decade and a half. Federer will soon 39, Nadal and Djokovic are 33 but they don't seem to be slowing down as they are still dominant forces in the game.

The Big Three have been absolutely dominating the Grand Slams for the past three years as there hasn't been a Major champion outside the group since Stan Wawrinka won the US Open title in 2016. Dominic Thiem was beaten in the last two French Open finals by Rafael Nadal, before he lost to Djokovic in this year's Australian Open final.

"Today, I have seen many good players, they go on the court to play Novak or Rafa, and you can almost see that they don't really believe that they can win," Soderling told The Times of India in a telephonic chat.

Robin Soderling says Nadal the top favorite to win this year's French Open

The French Open didn't start in its traditional late-May date as the tournament was rescheduled for a late September start due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The French Tennis Federation is doing everything what they can to stage the event in its rescheduled date from September 20 - October 4. "I don't really think that it will change anything. Of course, Dominic Thiem is playing really well, Novak is extremely difficult to beat on any surface, but if I just had to pick one player, I would say Rafa.

And that might be the case the next year also and the year after, you never know," Soderling said. "He won 12 times, but it's possible that he could win 13 or 14 times. It's kind of actually likely, which is just crazy."

After picking up a straight-set defeat in the 2018 French Open final against Nadal, Thiem performed better in last year's final but that wasn't enough as the Spaniard won in four sets. Robin Soderling made the French Open final in 2010, before he lost to former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal.