Novak Djokovic

Nadal, Alcaraz, Tsitsipas, Djokovic … Four aces favorites


Who will win the 121st edition of Roland-Garros? After two months on the ground, the best tennis players on the planet meet at the Porte d’Auteuil for the second Grand Slam of the season. And one thing is for sure, this year’s tournament is going to be tempting.

After 4 consecutive championships from 2017 to 2020, Rafael Nadal relinquishes his crown in favor of his big rival, Novak Djokovic. Again this year the Spanish and Serbian are favorites for the championship but watch out, the young guard, even the very young guard come and play spoilsport.

Behind the two legends who will soon be 36 and 35 years old, Stefanos Tsitsipas has proven himself to be one of the biggest dangers in the clay court circuit. Even more dangerously, young genius Carlos Alcaraz, just 19 years old, rose through the ranks faster than John Isner could serve. Here are our 4 favorites for the title.

Is Nadal facing his biggest challenge?

Rafael Nadal in Rome on 12 May 2022

Credits: ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP

“I didn’t hurt myself, “I’m a player living with this injury.”. The chilling words of Rafael Nadal, who was eliminated in the 16th round of the Masters 1000 in Rome last week, limped off the match due to the foot pain he had been dragging for months. Thus, for the Porte d’Auteuil with 13 titles, this 121st edition can be declared as: hardest to approach Roland-Garros since the beginning of his career.

Will he be able to physically endure it in a 3-set win format and as the strain builds up? Nadal is marching through Paris with a small sword of Damocles above his head. But if some buried him in this race for the 22nd Grand Slam, he will remain one of the favorites of the HIS tournament as long as he participates.

Is Alcaraz already in the big leagues?

Carlos Alcaraz at the Madrid tournament on May 8, 2022

Carlos Alcaraz at the Madrid tournament on May 8, 2022

Credit: PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP

When we question Rafael Nadal, he refuses to consider himself the big favourite, but gives the role to another Spaniard 17 years younger than him: Carlos Alcaraz. “Carlos is great. Roland-Garros favorite Compared to everything he’s done this year,” Rafa told France Télévisions. In history the actor has only managed to do it on the ground.

Alcaraz, who has already collected 4 titles this season, including two Masters 1000s, is the best player in form this year. If he’s very quick in his moves, the young Spaniard has nothing of the stereotypical Iberian game on clay: he plays with straight, powerful hits close to the baseline. Likewise, watch out for this enthusiasm of 19 years, which may lead him to make a certain number of non-essential mistakes. If he faces a good booster like Medvedev or Djokovic, will he go the distance in a 3-win set? First of all, will he have enough mental strength against players much more used to Grand Slams than he is?

Will Tsitsipas turn the corner?

Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Masters 1000 final in Rome on 15 May 2022

Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Masters 1000 final in Rome on 15 May 2022

Credit: Andreas SOLARO / AFP

Defeating Djokovic and Nadal on the ground is Stefanos Tsitsipas’ dream. Despite winning once in mustard against the Spaniard in Madrid in 2019, Tsitsipas is battling in duels against two legends. But after an impressive start to his career in hardcore, the young Greek (23) won for 2 years. as one of the most consistent players in the clay court circuit. “Tsitsipas is one of the two or three best players in the world on soil,” Novak Djokovic said at a press conference before facing him in the Masters 1000 final in Rome on May 15.

He showed convincing elements in the second set if the Greek lost 6/0 7/6 against the Serb. At Roland-Garros, Stefanos Tsitsipas wants to confirm his progress, a semi-finalist in 2020, then a finalist in 2021, losing to the same man each time: Novak Djokovic. The 4th player in the world will definitely have to play his best tennis if he wants to pass this milestone and claim his first Grand Slam title.

Is Djokovic full of confidence?

Novak Djokovic at the Masters 1000 final in Rome on May 15, 2022

Novak Djokovic at the Masters 1000 final in Rome on May 15, 2022

Credits: Tiziana FABI/AFP

Definitely not far from playing at his best. Return to clay after very complex beginnings, especially to be disabled for two months (he couldn’t play because he wasn’t vaccinated), Novak Djokovic secured the semi-final in Madrid without losing anything. against Alcaraz in early Mayand the next week in Rome, 38. career where he reached the Masters 1000 (record). In the Italian clay, the Serbian did not lose a single set, found wasteful lines of play from the back of the court and tightened the game in critical moments.

Now the question: Physical form in matches in 3 win setsThe person who had some glitches at this point in April in Monte-Carlo and Belgrade. But world No. 1 reassures at a press conference: “In the period between the Belgrade tournament and the start of the Madrid tournament, I spent hours improving my physical condition. and i felt better. I had a lot of problems in Monte Carlo and Belgrade, but they were related to my illness, so now I feel completely fine.”

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