'These guys can stay with Rafael Nadal but I’m just not sure...', says expert
by SIMONE BRUGNOLI | VIEW 6678
Another Grand Slam is upon us and the stakes continue to rise for the stars of the ATP and WTA tours. Below are some records and milestones that could be achieved in the next two weeks in the French capital. The all-time men's slam record at stake The Big Three are back together in a major for the first time since the 2020 Australian Open, meaning the battle for Grand Slam supremacy will intensify in Paris.
Last fall in the French capital, Rafael Nadal equaled Roger Federer's men's record of 20 majors won before Novak Djokovic cut the deficit and claimed the 18th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open three months ago. Nadal could step up and take sole possession of the record should he capture an unprecedented 14th Roland-Garros trophy in a couple of weeks.
Federer, who has only played three matches in the last 16 months, has downplayed his chances on the terre battue, while Djokovic has a chance to close the gap with his rivals should he take a 19th major. Iga looks for a rare repeat Since 2008, 11 different women have hoisted the Coupe Suzanne-Lenglen in Paris.
This next fortnight, Iga Swiatek will look to become the first woman to defend her Roland-Garros singles crown since Justine Henin captured a third straight title, and fourth overall, in the French capital in 2007. Defending a major title has not been a common feat on the women's tour of late, with the most recent incident occurring in 2016 when Serena Williams retained her Wimbledon trophy.
Djokovic and Federer look to duplicate Djokovic is not afraid to chase records and has openly declared his desire to usurp Federer and Nadal in the Grand Slam rankings. Earlier this year, the world number one surpassed Federer's mark of most of the weeks he spent at the top of the men's rankings, one of a series of goals he has long managed to achieve.
He now has the opportunity to accomplish a feat that no other man has accomplished in the Open Age. If Djokovic adds a second Roland-Garros title to his resume, he will become the first man in modern times to win each of the four Grand Slams at least twice.
Dominic Thiem still has the ability to test Rafael Nadal in Paris
Alex Corretja, a two-time French Open runner-up, believes Dominic Thiem still has the ability to test Rafael Nadal on the Parisian claycourts. Speaking on Eurosport, Corretja explained that the Austrian's game is well-rounded, which helps him nullify some of Nadal's key weapons on the red dirt.
"If Thiem is well, then he is probably the one that Rafa can suffer the most against on clay because of the styles of games," Corretja said. "He has got a good forehand, a good backhand, a good serve – he doesn’t need to go so far back to hit his backhand." Corretja then pointed to a few other players he thinks could threaten Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros.
"There are guys out there who can [challenge Nadal]," Corretja added. "There is Novak [Djokovic] of course, there is [Stefanos] Tsitsipas, there is [Alexander] Zverev, there is [Diego] Schwartzman – all whom can play well.
Of course we see others like [Matteo] Berrettini, Casper Ruud, these guys can stay with Rafa but I’m just not sure they can over five sets," continued Corretja.