Tennis - Doubles legend Todd Woodbridge says that Rafael Nadal and Simona Halep are his picks to win the French Open this year. The Australian doubles standout told TenniSmash that Nadal's early loss in Rome will help him in Pars.
"I’ve said all along that Rafael Nadal will be the man to beat at Roland Garros. He lost early in Rome, but I believe that that was a good thing (I was an advocate for him not playing there at all). The fact that he got that loss out of the way will be a relief to him; he is not carrying that unbeaten story around.
He now goes in to Roland Garros ready, and is playing better tennis than we have seen from him in over three years. Of course, a lot depends on his body and whether he is fit enough to get through those seven matches, but it will be really hard to stop him." Woodbridge also says that Nadal's biggest rivals in Paris would be second-ranked Novak Djokovic and former champion Stan Wawrinka as both have the ability to beat him on clay.
Speaking on the youngsters in the draw, Woodbridge said it may be too early yet for Alexander Zverev and Nick Kyrgios to win in Paris. On the women's side, Woodbridge says Halep, who won in Madrid and reached the final in Rome, is the player to watch out for.
"The player with the pedigree and form is Halep. This is her time. She’s great on clay and has had a good lead-up. She’s had a bit of an injury, but that might actually help release some of the pressure she would put on herself.
As strange as that sounds, an injury may act as a release valve for some of the pressure." Besides Halep, Woodbridge also spoke about Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic and Elina Svitolina as players to watch out for while adding that defending champion Garbine Muguruza is struggling with injuries and confidence issues.