Surprise, surprise: it’s the world’s number one Novak Djokovic and the ‘King of Clay’ Rafael Nadal amongst the serious favorites for the 2022 French Open. Both players have been there and done it when it comes to winning titles at Roland Garros and the pair might well be on a collision course once again in Paris.
Djokovic Has Rivals Worried
Having capped off his preparations for the French Open with victory at the Italian Open, Djokovic has been earning plenty of admirers ahead of the second Grand Slam event of the year. Currently priced at odds of +188 according to the markets, for those into tennis betting online, Djokovic is understandably many people’s favorite to win the title in Paris this year. The clay surface has not always been the Serbian’s most favored in the past, as he had enjoyed more success on grass and hard courts. However, victory at the French Open last year, which was his second title at Roland Garros, shows Djokovic has improved his form on clay and is most certainly still a formidable opponent on this surface.
Victory in the Italian Open was further evidence of why the 34-year-old is expected to challenge when it comes to the business end of the French Open this year. Djokovic saw off the 2015 French Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka on his way to winning the title in Rome, which can only have come as an added confidence boost to the 20-time Grand Slam champion. Djokovic is top of the men’s world rankings for a very good reason and he will take some stopping to be denied the title in Paris. However, there is another serious contender looking to cause an upset.
King of Clay Wants Crown Back
You can’t doubt Nadal’s credentials when it comes to the French Open, with 13 titles at Roland Garros already to his name. The talented Mallorcan has been a dominant force in the competition since he won his debut title in Paris back in 2005. A chronic foot problem has hindered Nadal’s preparations for the next Grand Slam event and all eyes will be on the Spaniard to see how he copes with the injury.
A fit and firing Nadal would himself take some stopping to be denied what would be an astonishing 14th French Open crown and a 22nd Grand Slam title of his glittering career. However, the man himself spoke of the pain he is having to play through following his exit in the last 16 rounds of the Italian Open on May 12th. Fans of Nadal and lovers of tennis, in general, will be hoping the 35-year-old can manage his injury over the course of the competition and produce the kind of tennis that has made him an iconic figure at Roland Garros over the years.
Djokovic and Nadal might be just two of the contenders for the French Open this year but if any other player is to win the title, it’s likely they will have to get through the world number one or the King of Clay.
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