2016 champion Novak Djokovic hopes to add a second French Open title to his name this fortnight but will need to show some major improvements if he is to beat Rafael Nadal later on in the tournament. Djokovic plays against Rogerio Dutra Silva for the second time at a grand slam. The first came in New York 6 years ago, where Djokovic won for the loss of just five games in round two.
Dutra Silva, currently ranked outside the top 100, has been a mainstay of the Challenger Tour with 10 titles to his name at that level – 8 of them coming on clay. However, he is capable of beating some of the lesser players at main tour level – with two quarter finals in Istanbul and Sao Paolo coming this year. His chances to face the best in the game have been limited to the slams mostly with just one top 20 win to date in his career, beating Gael Monfils last year in Umag.
Djokovic made the semi finals of Rome earlier in the month, giving eventual champion Rafael Nadal a test but eventually falling in straight sets. It was an improvement for the former No. 1 though, with that being the best result since his return from injury. “I’ve never faced this kind of — that kind of situation before. So I thought that it’s not gonna take me long to get back on the winning ways, but it actually happened the contrary and I had to learn a lesson and accept the circumstances.” he said afterwards. “But, looking back two or three months, this is the best that I’ve felt on the court, by far.”
Prediction – Novak Djokovic in straight sets