Can Nadal Win His 18th Grand Slam Win In The French Open?
The 2019 French Open takes place from May 26 to June 11, and as always, Rafael Nadal, who has 17 grand slams, is the favorite to top the tournament.
The “King of Clay” will not only be looking to cop this third straight Roland Garros title, but also a 12th overall French Open win and an 18th grand slam victory. But can the Spaniard accomplish that goal this year?
Nitrogen Sports Blog discusses Nadal’s chances to top the field at the French Open.
Rafael Nadal’s shaky form
Nadal has not been as dominant during the clay-court season as he usually is leading up to the French Open. He did not emerge victorious at the Monte-Carlo Masters or the Barcelona Open, losing in the semi-finals to Fabio Fognini and Dominic Thiem, respectively.
In comparison, he won both titles last year and didn’t drop a single set. This year, he has dropped a total of five sets already.
There’s no need to push the panic button yet, especially since Nadal is just coming back from a recent injury so some rust was to be expected, but he will have to build some momentum in the ongoing Madrid Open — just like he did last year, when Nadal won the Italian Open before boosting his career total of grand slams at Roland Garros.
Return of Roger Federer
Unlike in the previous two seasons, Federer will be participating during the clay-court season and will begin his campaign at the Madrid Open.
That’s not to say Nadal only won the French Open because of the Swiss legend’s absence. After all, Federer has only beaten Nadal twice in 15 clay-court matches. He has also never defeated him at the French Open — only two players have.
However, Federer has won their last six head-to-head meetings, most recently at Indian Wells earlier this year. One has to wonder if that could play a factor if the two were to meet in this year’s competition.
Novak Djokovic threat
Nadal also has to worry about Novak Djokovic, one of two players who has defeated the 17-time grand slam champion at Roland Garros. While he has been in shaky form recently as well, the Serbian ace is having a heck of a past 12 months.
Having won Wimbledon, the US Open and the Australian Open, the world No. 1 is looking to once again become the reigning champion of all four Grand Slams — something he already achieved in 2016.
Despite all this, Nadal is still expected to, and should emerge triumphant in the upcoming event. Barring any major unforeseen events, the 32-year-old Nadal will turn things up another notch at the French Open to add to his collection of grand slams.
And while he may not have been 100 percent so far, he likely will by the time the French Open commences. He already spoke of feeling competitive again.
“The important thing is I’ve become competitive again, and from now I expect to be even more.” There aren’t a lot of sureshots in sports, but Nadal is one of those when it comes to the French Open.
Still, anything can happen. It’s still possible that Nadal won’t add to his grand slams at Roland Garros. We’ll be keeping an eye on Nadal and other players at the 2019 French Open.
With that said, keep checking Nitrogen Sports Blog regularly for sports news and sports betting guide pieces.