French Open: Djokovic braced for ‘sad’ Nadal and Roland Garros demons | Tennis Information

PARIS: Novak Djokovic will renew his love-hate relationship with Roland Garros within the information that it’s himself slightly than seemingly unsettled 12-time champion Rafael Nadal who may pose the best risk to successful a second French Open title and 18th Grand Slam crown.
The one man to beat Djokovic in 2020 is Djokovic himself, after the Serb’s hair-trigger mood prompted a sensational disqualification from the US Open.
The 33-year-old arrives within the French capital with a 31-1 report this yr after his New York brain-fade was adopted by a report 36th Masters title in Rome.
Djokovic’s 2016 triumph at Roland Garros allowed him to turn out to be solely the third man after Don Budge and Rod Laver to carry all 4 Grand Slams on the identical time.
Not even Nadal, the holder of 19 majors, or Roger Federer, with a report 20 Slams, can match that staggering achievement.

Federer will miss the French Open as he rehabs his injured knee whereas Nadal has performed simply three matches since February, a ring-rustiness evident in his quarter-final exit in Rome.
Nevertheless, Djokovic refused to get carried away by his probabilities at Roland Garros forward of Sunday’s begin in a moist and chilly Paris.
“It is Nadal,” insisted the world primary when pushed on who’s the favorite. “You simply cannot put anyone in entrance of him.”
Djokovic is correct to be cautious after experiencing quite a few low factors on the purple clay of Paris.
Within the 2012 ultimate towards Nadal, having gained eight video games in a row, he was up a break and pushing to degree the match at two units apiece when rain introduced an in a single day suspension.
Play resumed the next day however Djokovic’s momentum was misplaced and a double-fault on championship level accomplished his distress.

Twelve months later, Djokovic was poised for a semi-final win over Nadal with only a routine putaway required to assist in giving him a 5-Three ultimate set lead and an opportunity to serve for the match.
Nevertheless, he selected a smash slightly than a soothing contact. He tumbled into the web, shedding the purpose and Nadal pounced to finally take the tie after 4 hours and 37 minutes.
In 2018, he misplaced a quarter-final to world quantity 72 Marco Cecchinato whereas final yr he was crushed within the semi-finals by Dominic Thiem.
That match took two days to finish, featured quite a few rain stoppages and winds so robust {that a} courtside umbrella was despatched flying throughout courtroom.
Djokovic will begin his event towards Sweden’s Mikael Ymer, the world quantity 80.
NADAL UNHAPPY
Nadal, who skipped the defence of his US Open title attributable to fears over coronavirus, eyes a 13th French Open.
Since his title-winning debut in 2005, the Spaniard has solely misplaced twice at Roland Garros in 95 matches – to Robin Soderling in 2009 and Djokovic in 2015.
The 34-year-old could seem like under-cooked after his last-eight exit in Rome to Diego Schwartzman.
Nevertheless, the final time he suffered such an early departure from the Italian capital was in 2017 — simply weeks later he was lifting a 10th French Open with out dropping a set.
Nadal lower an unsettled determine at a pre-tournament press convention on Friday the place he admitted the chilly and damp situations pressured him to face his “most tough ever Roland Garros”.

He’s additionally sad about utilizing a brand new model of ball.
“For the well being of the gamers, the ball is tremendous heavy and turns into harmful for the elbow and for the shoulders,” he mentioned.
Nadal begins his marketing campaign towards Egor Gerasimov, the 83rd-ranked Belarusian.
The weird sight of Roland Garros being performed within the autumn additionally means radically completely different situations to these anticipated in its regular time slot of Might and June.
That would swimsuit newly-crowned US Open winner Thiem who has misplaced the final two finals to Nadal in Paris.
The world quantity three Austrian has 17 profession titles with 10 of these on clay.
4 of his 5 wins over Nadal have come on clay with three of 4 victories towards Djokovic carved out on the game’s most testing floor.
This yr, Thiem might be in the identical half of the draw as Nadal and begins towards Marin Cilic, the 2014 US Open winner and a former world quantity three.
World quantity 5 Daniil Medvedev has but to win a match on the event in three visits whereas sixth-ranked Stefanos Tsitsipas made the final 16 in 2019, shedding a five-set marathon to 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka.
Wawrinka faces fellow three-time main winner Andy Murray within the first spherical on Sunday in a rematch of their 2017 semi-final epic, a tie which Murray described because the conflict which “ended his hip”.

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