As we approach the 2021 French Open tournament there are many questions surrounding the influence of the players who have been at the top of the sport for so many years. In terms of the men’s game, we are talking about Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer.
Nadal is the king of the clay court and holds the record for Grand Slam tournament wins at the French Open, with 13 to his name. The Spaniard recently defeated Djokovic in the final of the Italian Open, winning 2-1 but he has not had things all his own way on clay this season. Nadal failed to reach the semi-finals at the Monte Carlo Masters for just the second time in his last 16 appearances at the event. He was defeated by Andrey Rublev, which was a huge shock.
Fast forward to the Madrid Open, another top clay event and Nadal lost to Alexander Zverev for the third successive time. There is no doubt the aura surrounding Nadal on clay has been diminished in recent weeks and we could be about to see a changing of the guard at the French Open. Nadal remains the favourite with the bookmakers and could raise his game at Roland Garros. If you believe he has what it takes, you could back Nadal with a wager or even chance your arm at a live dealer online casino game if you are feeling lucky.
Djokovic and Federer do not have a great record at the French Open, mainly thanks to the dominance of Nadal. However, it has become apparent how both players, along with Nadal, have failed to reach the title match at the ATP Finals for the past two years. The fact Djokovic defended the men’s singles title at the 2021 Australian Open suggests he is still at the top of his game and Federer could be the first man to fall from the legendary trio.
Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, Andrey Rublev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Daniil Medvedev are all waiting to step up and take over men’s tennis. If Nadal falls early at the 2021 French Open, this could be the year we see a changing of the guard at the pinnacle of men’s tennis.
Switching to the women’s game and we come to Serena Williams. With 23 Grand Slam singles titles to her name, the most by any player in the Open Era, the American is without doubt one of the greatest tennis players of all time. However, you must go back to 2015 to find the last time Williams won the French Open and 2017 for her most recent Grand Slam success, which came at the Australian Open.
Williams reached the semi-final of the 2021 Australian Open but was eliminated from the Italian Open in the second round and the Challenger Parma tournament in the Round of 16. One glance at the 2021 French Open odds shows 19-year-old Iga Swiatek as the favourite and defending champion. In truth, Williams has not been at the top of women’s tennis for some time and as she approaches her 40th birthday, could this be her last year in professional tennis?