French Open: Nadal To Battle Djokovic For History

The men’s singles final for the 2020 French Open is set. It will be the fifty-sixth meeting between these two.  The odd makers are probably favoring [1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) despite his “professed injuries”.  [2] Rafael Nadal (ESP) and his team know that his nemesis will not simply roll over and give him the trophy.

Head-to-Head Favors Djokovic

Despite winning twelve Roland Garros titles, the pundits still tend to favor Djokovic over the Nadal. Why? Djokovic leads their overall head-to-head 29:26 and dominates on grass, hard, and indoors (22:9).  The king of clay still has the advantage on clay though as he dominates the Serbian 17:7; yet a lot is at stake on Sunday.  If Nadal wins, he will not only win his thirteenth Roland Garros title, he will tie Roger Federer for the most major titles, twenty.  Thus, there will be added nerves because of the significance of what winning this title would mean to Nadal and his team.

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Is Djokovic Really Hurt?

Djokovic has taken a beating from battling the heavier ball and weather conditions.  I am a bit skeptical as I have seen too many players try to mess with the head of their opponents.  However, he seemed a tad off in his match against [5] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE), so perhaps he is injured.  Injured or not, Djokovic will come prepared to battle for this title.  The Serbian has made it clear; he is playing to accumulate titles and the more major titles the better.

More History On The Line For Rafa

We have gotten spoiled watching Nadal play on clay.  Like Federer was dominant on grass, Nadal is his equal on clay.  Many characterized him as “only a clay courter”; however, Nadal has proven them all wrong.  After all, he has seven major titles on the other surfaces and Djokovic and Federer each only have one major clay title. Will the king continue his reign on Sunday, or will Djokovic dethrone him? Nadal fans, myself included, are hoping NOT!

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