The two French Open favourites will be playing on Philipp Chatrier on Monday, as Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic go back to back on the main court. Djokovic will be facing the rising Pole, Hubert Hurkacz in his opener. The World No.1 is currently riding a 21 match slam winning streak, hoping to hold all four slams for the second time in his career.
Djokovic’s warm up for this tournament has been pretty impressive. He won Madrid before making it to the final in Rome. After rain delays and long matches late in the week, it was less than ideal prep going into his match with Nadal on the Sunday. While the match went three sets, he will be concerned by the way he had little impact on Nadal for large parts. “I felt like I had a fantastic couple weeks in Madrid and Rome, and I probably ran out of gas a little bit in the finals with a couple of long matches and late-night finishes in the quarter-finals and semi-finals.” he said
While Djokovic is clearly a heavy favourite, there are much easier unseeded players to open the tournament with. At 6ft5, the Pole wields some decent power and a booming serve. His better results have come on hard courts so far, picking up some impressive wins this year including Dominic Thiem and twice against Nishikori. On the clay, there has not been much to shout about other than a round of 16 in Madrid.
Djokovic always remains ultra-focused but the dream of a second time with all four slams is obviously a strong motivator. “For me, there is an extra motivation and incentive to win Roland Garros because of the opportunity to hold all four Slams, something I did three years ago in my career, and that gives me obviously enough reason to believe I can do it again,” he said.
Prediction – Novak Djokovic in straight sets