French Open men’s preview: History will be made, but by who?

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By Leighton Ginn

Will Novak Djokovic become the first player since Rod Laver to win four consecutive majors for a Grand Slam?

Or will Rafael Nadal become the first player to win 10 singles title at a major. Well, he’s the only one to win nine, but 10 is an impressive number.

Or will someone else unseat the two favorites to score one of the most unlikely titles of the year like Stan Wawrinka did last year.

This could be one of the most important French Opens in a long time.

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Nadal has dominated the red clay like no other, only losing to Djokovic last year in the quarterfinals and Robin Soderling in 2009. But if Nadal does get to the final, he is 9-0.

However, this year, Djokovic and Nadal are pitted for a semifinal showdown, if they can get through the draw.

That might work out OK for Djokovic because when Nadal gets to the finals, he’s 9-0.

For Djokovic, the French Open is his missing link. A win this year, and his first title would come in the most spectacular way.

Djokovic would become the first player to complete a Grand Slam since Rod Laver in 1969. That is an impressive accomplishment considering Roger Federer, Nadal, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Bjorn Borg are among the names who couldn’t do it.

Getting to the final hasn’t been a problem for Djokovic as he was in the last two finals, and three times in the last four years.

Getting over the hump has become a big mental block for Djokovic, despite all the success he’s had. Losing to Stan Wawrinka was the biggest upset on the men’s side all year. Will it have a residual effect on Djokovic, knowing that if he didn’t let the French Open title slip, he would be sitting on top of the world?

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If you go by quality of play and success, Djokovic is the clear favorite. Nadal is playing well enough where he can capitalize on his Roland Garros magic.

After that, the French Open is open.

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Andy Murray won Rome and reached the finals of Madrid, splitting the finals against Djokovic. He and Djokovic have the most momentum going into Roland Garros. And the draw works in his favor with Nadal and Djokovic on the other side.

 

Defending champion Wawrinka is 18-7 , but has fallen off dramatically after winning two tournaments before March.

If people are looking for a dark horse, there’s David Goffin, who has made the most noise among the young players the ATP is trying to promote.

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The French Open should be a fun and interesting show.

 

 

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