The 2015 French Open begins Sunday, and the entire field is hoping to put an end to one of the most impressive runs in Grand Slam history.
Rafael Nadal has won five straight men’s singles titles at Roland Garros and nine times overall. Unfortunately for Nadal, becoming the first player ever to win 10 singles titles at one Grand Slam tournament won’t be easy because his quarter of the bracket is loaded with quality opponents.
Here are some predictions for the top players in the men’s bracket.
It’s difficult not to pick Nadal in this tournament given his past success.
That said, a potential quarterfinal matchup with Novak Djokovic likely would be too tough of a challenge for him. Djokovic has five tournament wins this season, including the Australian Open in January. He’s also dominated clay courts in 2015.
If Nadal were to beat Djokovic, he likely would have to play Andy Murray in the semifinal. That’s a tough road for a player who’s been battling disappointing performances and injuries over the last two years.
Prediction: Knocked out in quarterfinal
Federer, the greatest champion in the history of the sport with 17 Grand Slam singles titles, received a very favorable draw at Roland Garros. He won’t have to play Djokovic, Nadal or Murray until the final, which gives him one of the easiest possible roads to a championship.
Federer has one French Open title (2009) on his record and hasn’t reached the final since 2012, but his relatively easy path to this year’s final and encouraging results on clay this season suggest the Swiss star is poised for a deep run.
Prediction: Knocked out in final
The French Open is the only Grand Slam tournament in which Murray has never reached the final. In fact, he’s failed to reach the quarterfinals in three of his eight appearances.
Murray did get to the semifinal last year, and he should advance to that stage again. His path to the semifinal does not include potential matchups against Djokovic, Nadal or Federer.
That said, if Djokovic opposes him in the semifinal, it would be difficult to predict a Murray victory. Djokovic holds an 18-8 edge in the all-time series, including a 1-0 mark in Grand Slam finals (2012 Australian Open) and a 3-2 mark overall in Grand Slam play.
Prediction: Knocked out in semifinal
The French Open is the only Grand Slam Djokovic hasn’t won. He’s reached the final in two of the last three seasons and lost last year to Nadal in four sets.
Djokovic has dramatically improved his clay court play over the last five years, and he enters this tournament on a high note after beating Federer on clay in the final of the Italian Open earlier this month.
Djokovic doesn’t have a hard draw over the first four rounds, which should help him maintain his stamina for the final days of the tournament. He’s the best player in the world right now and deservedly is the favorite at Roland Garros.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@BBCsport
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