The eight-time doubles Major champion Daniel Nestor believes Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will fight in the title match at Roland Garros. The Canadian assumes Novak Djokovic will be motivated as ever to chase the crown in Paris after that US Open accident, while Nadal is the king of clay for years.
The conditions at this year's Roland Garros are slow and heavy, and Nestor presumes it will be hard to stop Novak and Rafa before the title match. Both Djokovic and Nadal were off to a winning start, together with their main rival Dominic Thiem who ousted Marin Cilic in straight sets.
The trio should reach the semi-final where Nadal and Thiem have to cross paths and determine the finalist, who will most likely face Novak in the battle for the trophy. World no. 1 Novak Djokovic is through to the second round in Paris, beating the young Swede Mikael Ymer 6-0, 6-2 6-3 in an hour and 37 minutes.
It was Djokovic's 69th win in Paris, seeking the second title after 2016 and the 18th Major crown, suffering only one loss so far in 2020. Novak got broken twice, converting eight opportunities on the return to control the pace, firing 32 winners and 22 unforced errors to sprint into the next round.
The first set was over in 20 minutes and Djokovic was the only player on the court, dropping seven points in total and delivering three breaks for a bagel. Mikael played better in sets two and three, collecting five games but finishing his campaign in the first round, unable to challenge the world's leading player.
Daniel Nestor believes Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will fight for crown in Paris.
World no. 2 and the 12-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal also made a winning start, beating Egor Gerasimov 6-4, 6-4, 6-2. The Spaniard produced a rock-solid performance, delivering impressive numbers on serve and creating enough damage on the return to seal the deal in straight sets.
It was Nadal's 94th victory from 96 matches in Paris, extending dominance at his beloved Major and setting the second-round meeting with Mackenzie McDonald. Hitting 32 winners and 20 unforced errors, Rafa lost only 17 points behind the initial shot, getting broken once and converting all five break opportunities to race into the next round.
"With the way the US Open unfolded, I think Novak Djokovic will be more motivated than ever. Rafa is the king of clay, but Djokovic has 51% chances and Nadal 49%. I would be very surprised if they don't reach the final.
They are the two best defenders, by far, and with the court conditions being so slow and heavy, I think it's so difficult to beat them in those conditions," Daniel Nestor said.