Less than eight months after the successful organization of the 2020 edition of Stade Roland Garros, among the most difficult circumstances, the French Open is back and this time is fighting a generational battle in the men’s singles category. The Big Three – defending champions Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer – found themselves in the same half of the draw for the first time in a Grand Slam race, while potential next-generation threats in Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev and two runners-up in the runners-up. – were united together in the second half of the draw, which was launched on Thursday night.
Still, the inevitable question remains – can Nadal overcome the chances of once again lifting an unprecedented 14th on the bat la terre?
So far, he has not had a favorable clay season – failing to reach the quarter-finals in the Monte Carlo Masters, losing at home to the Serbia Open in the semi-final, dominated by Nadal in the Italian Open final and now awaiting his fate in the Belgrade Open final. Still, Djokovic is emerging as a clear favorite to reach the semifinals in the first quarter, and his journey looks like a walk in the park. He faces Tennis Sandgren in his first game, and the other seeds in the quarter are – Hugo Humbert, David Goffin, Alex de Minaur, Mario Beretini, Felix Auger-Alicasime, Taylor Fritz.
The only potential threat he faces on the way to the semifinals is from Federer, who is at the other end of the same quarter. Although the two were inseparable in their eight matches on clay, which includes a victory at the French Open, the Serbian has won four of the last five ATP matches.
As unconvincing as it sounds, the 13-time French Open champion is ranked third, one under Daniil Medvedev, who has not won a single Paris Clay match in his four appearances, and this has given him probably the toughest draw. in a career at the French Open. But Nadal, who is 100-2 at Roland Garros, remains restless and has focused on Djokovic’s potential clash in the semi-finals. “I see him as completely normal. I’m not worried about that. I have a lot of work ahead of me to play a potential match against Djokovic. [in the semi-final]he said on Friday.
Nadal will start his campaign against Alexei Popirin, whom he convincingly defeated in the third round of the Madrid Open. He could face Hugo Gaston or Richard Gasquet in the next round, Lorenzo Sonega in the third, Yannick Siner in the fourth and Andrei Rublev in the quarters. The Russian had beaten Nadal in Monte Carlo earlier this clay season.
The third quarter throws a potential repeat of the US Open from the 2020 season. The team kept its nerves to survive Zverev’s big serve in 2020, which gave the first winner of the Grand Slam outside the Big Three since 2014.
But from the final, the two stars of the next generation took a contrasting path. The team lost in the quarters of the French Open this fall and failed to reach the quarters of the Australian Open. During the clay court season, he lost to Zverev in sets in Madrid, Sonega at the Italian Open and Cameron Nori at the Lyon Open. Zverev, on the other hand, defeated Nadal, Thiem and Beretini at the Madrid Open on their way to their fourth Masters 1000 title.
Zverev, who is starting his campaign against a qualifier, has a much safer path to the quarters than Team, who faces Pablo Andujar in his new instrument and has possible threats from Fabio Fognini in the third round and Casper Ruud in the fourth.
The only threat to Nadal that could reach the semi-finals without any obstacles is Stefanos Tsitsipas, who finds himself in the last quarter of the French Open 2021. The Greek heads to Stud Roland Garros on the back of an impressive clay season, where he wins The Monte Caro Masters nearly beat Nadal in the final in Barcelona and pushed Djokovic to the extreme in the quarters of the Italian Open. He will start his campaign against Jeremy Chardy and may face Pablo Careno Busta in the quarter.
The only other player with first place in the same draw, Medvedev, who considers clay to be “the worst surface in the world”, has 11-20 surface records and 0-4 at the French Open.
Semi-final prediction: Nadal beats Djokovic, Zverev beats Tsitsipas
Final forecast: Nadal beats Zverev