'These are conditions that don't suit Rafael Nadal', says former No. 1



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'These are conditions that don't suit Rafael Nadal', says former No. 1

It was a particular year with most of the tennis season blocked by the pandemic but one of the things that tennis players care most about is certainly the ATP ranking. Often athletes tend to trivialize this ranking followed a lot by fans and insiders but in reality anyone has the goal of reaching the top of the ranking.

Currently the leadership is of Novak Djokovic who wants to increase record after record and perhaps aims to reach Roger Federer's record of weeks. On his way the Serbian will have to pay attention to Rafael Nadal, charged for the French Open and with the desire to conquer the first place in the standings.

In addition to them, there is also Dominic Thiem, the new winner of the last Us Open and ready to climb the general classification. Djokovic's record of weeks is one of the career goals of the Serbian who, in addition to dethroning Federer of the Slam record (or at least that is his not-so-hidden dream), will try to overcome the Swiss and thus become the tennis player with the most weeks in top of the ranking of the world ATP ranking.

Boris Becker said Rafael Nadal is the favorite at Roland Garros, but that other players have a better chance than usual. Nadal would have played only three matches in nearly six months going into the French Open due to the tennis shut-down.

Becker on Rafael Nadal

"Even a Rafael Nadal needs match practice, and that's missing this year. He remains my number one for the title, but I think the others' chances are much better this year," Boris Becker said.

"He usually plays Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid and Rome and comes to Paris with a lot of match experience. This year is different," he added. Becker also believes that the French Open being held in chilly and heavy October instead of the usual warm and sunny May could impact Nadal's play.

"These are conditions that don't suit Nadal," Becker said. Novak Djokovic won a record-breaking 36th ATP Masters 1000 title at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, but the World No. 1 is not ready to name himself the favourite for Roland Garros next week.

“It’s [Rafael] Nadal. Even though he lost this week, I still think a lot of people will agree, he's the No. 1 favourite and the record that he has there, the history of his results, you just can't put anybody in front of him,” Djokovic said.

“Definitely Diego showed that Nadal is beatable on clay. The conditions that they played on, obviously heavy clay, not much bounce, humid, night session, we are going to have that as well in Paris."