French Open 2018 Preview, Men’s
The French Open starts in just a few days and is looking like a good tournament with a lot of players looking to challenge Nadal. Let’s look at who has a chance to pull down the 2018 clay title:
- Roger Federer – Oh wait, no he is not playing, here is a taunt from Nadal for your pleasure, “He said a couple of days ago that he would love to play against me on clay, best of five sets, so I thought he would play Roland Garros. Then in a few days he says he will not play. A little bit of a contradiction.”
- Rafael Nadal – The prohibitive favorite to win his 11th (!) French Open title. He just hit the all time record of winning 50 consecutive sets. He is the best clay court player ever and he is in great form. It just seems so likely for him to add to his trophy cabinet. The bookmakers have him at 66% to win the tournament. I would like to have a 66% chance to win a match and they have that on him winning the tournament, wow! Good luck against the king of clay everyone else.
- Alexander (Sascha) Zverev – If Nadal was not in the draw Zverev would be the favorite. After his win in Madrid and at least the Quarterfinals of Rome (as of now), he is in great form and playing excellent clay court tennis. While he has not made a Major quarterfinal, I think this is his breakthrough tournament, at least breaking that streak. This is a guy who is playing great and will continue to get better but Nadal is standing in his way. Can Zverev break through in a big way in Paris? Possibly, especially if someone upsets Nadal for him before the finals.
- Dominic Theim – I almost put him in the favorites catergory, he just beat the King of Clay in Madrid after all, but I am not sure that he can get past both Zverev and Nadal. He does have legimate chance to with the French but he needs some help to take down the favorites.
- Novak Djokovic – How the mighty have fallen. He is working back into form after his injuries and personal problems. He is currently in the Quarters of Rome, but he did lose in the second round of Madrid. I am putting him this high due to historical performance but I don’t think he can regain his championship form in this tournament. He needs some more time, I think he can do some damage at the US open but doesn’t have it all back yet.
- Marin Cilic – Playing some great tennis for a guy that people don’t think of as a clay court player. He is in the quarters of Rome and is playing quite well for someone who had to pull out of Madrid due to an injury. If he is injury free, he has a chance to contend for the title.
- Juan Martin Del Potro – Just pulled out of Rome due to an injury but if that is minor and can heal before the French Open starts then he has a punchers chance to win the title.
- Kyle Edmunds – The Brit is playing some excellent tennis with results of making the quarters in Madrid and the Round of 16 in Rome. With a decent draw he will make the second week of Roland Garros.
- Kei Nishikori – He looked really impressive in a comeback win against Gregor Dimitrov. He is more comfortable on the hard courts but he can put together a run on the clay as well.
- Americans? – Is there an American player that has a chance with the 2018 French Open? No.
- Pablo Carreno-Busta – Great clay court player that made the quarters of the French last year and will look to improve on that. I am not sure that he will be able to get past the big boys but if there are some upsets he will look to take advantage
- Stan Wawrinka – The Stanimal has not looked to be in great form this clay season but if he can start treeing he is a tough out.
Will the King of Clay take down his 11th title at Roland Garros or will Sascha Zverev break out in Paris. Will Thiem, the prince of clay, usurp the throne, or will Djokovic return to form and challenge Nadal. My pick is chalk but it really is hard to go against the way Rafa is playing. Long live the king!