The action at the 2019 Roland Garros is right around the corner, and we can’t help but wonder, Can anyone dethrone Nadal and lift the Musketeers’ cup? The Spanish Bull comes to the Italian Open without a title on the season – for the first time in 15 years. By this point in the clay season, Nadal’s usually talking about how his game is peaking ahead of the French Open.

However, things are different for Nadal this year, and after his recent slump and three defeats on clay, the French Open looks more … well, open. The question now arises, Who can challenge Nadal, the greatest clay court player of all time and an 11 French Open title holder? The sports analytics team at Betting Sites has come up with some predictions, so please, take a look.

Novak Djokovic

The Serbian superstar is the undisputed king of tennis at the moment. He’s number one in the world and appears to be unbeatable at Grand Slam events. After collecting his 33rd Masters title in Madrid without dropping a set, he has reminded the tennis world why he’s regarded among many sports journalists and fans as the second greatest clay court player ever.

After winning the third consecutive Grand Slam title in Melbourne, Djokovic hit a few road bumps and suffered early round exits in Indian Wells, Miami, and Monte Carlo. But with the French Open just around the corner, Djokovic has started to elevate his form, and his victory in the Madrid Masters 1000 is proof of that.

Nadal is an 11-time French Open champion, whereas Djokovic was able to capture only one Roland Garros title when he defeated Andy Murray back in 2016. However, we must give credit where credit is due – Novak has made it to the finals four times, and it took a legendary performance by Stan Wawrinka in 2015 to prevent him from capturing the Nole Slam, a year earlier than it happened. People also forget the fact that Djokovic has beaten Nadal on clay seven times, and that Novak is the only second player (besides Soderling) who was able to beat Nadal in the French Open, not to mention the only player to do it in straight sets.

So can Djokovic win the 2019 French Open and keep piling up arguments for the seemingly never-ending GOAT debate? The answer is absolutely yes. Nadal may be the king of clay, but Djokovic is on fire right now, and he will undoubtedly fight until the last breath to keep his Calendar Grand Slam record alive.

Dominic Thiem

The Austrian tennis star has proven on multiple occasions that he is a force to be reckoned with, especially on clay, his most successful surface. Last year at the French Open, Thiem came the closest that he has ever been to capturing a Grand Slam title, but Nadal prevailed once again, without dropping a single set in their finals matchup. Thiem did manage to get bittersweet revenge in Barcelona, where he bested Nadal in the semifinals. But winning against Nadal in a best-of-five-sets match is almost mission impossible. However, if we consider Thiem’s form as of late and Nadal’s questionable health status, we can safely put Thiem on the very short list of potential candidates to knock off Nadal and win the whole thing.

Alexander Zverev

According to many people, Zverev is the next big thing in men’s singles tennis. He has already solidified himself among the top five players and as someone who, when playing at his best, can beat anyone, even the members of the Big Three.

Zverev has been struggling to find his form in 2019, having some devastating second-round upsets on five different occasions. His best result of the season was in Mexico, where he lost to Nick Kyrgios. However, he shouldn’t be underestimated, especially on clay, where he’s won two Masters 1000 titles and managed to beat Thiem and Djokovic in the process.

Does Zverev have what it takes to make a strong push at the French Open? It remains to be seen, but one thing is certain – Zverev is one of the most promising rising stars in men’s tennis. What better way to gain respect from the tennis world than to triumph in Paris, where Nadal has been decimating his opponents for 15 years?


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