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The current champion and maximum winner of the contest against the number 1 of the ATP have won the last two tournaments in clay, but who is really the favorite?
The Serbian Novak Djokovic and the Spanish Rafael Nadal are two professionals who are characterized by their great achievements and by always wanting to be the best in each competition. Because of this, in fact, they are considered the best tennis players in the world.
Leer en español: Un Roland Garros de ensueño: Nadal vs Djokovic
Novak Djokovic managed in 2018, after a long time without being able to participate in a Grand Slam final, to win the Wimbledon World Championship, after beating the South African Kevin Anderson 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 ( 3). According to El Tiempo, "At the age of 31, Djokovic had not played a Grand Slam final since 2016, the season in which he scored the Australian Open and Roland Garros, and his last title went back to Eastbourne, on July 1, 2017." In the same year, the Serbian also triumphed in the US Open, after defeating the Argentinian Juan Martin del Potro.
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2019 has been a very good year for the Serbian. On the one hand, he was crowned champion, for the seventh time, of the Australian Open after obtaining a 6-3, 6-2 and 6-3, in 2 hours and 4 minutes, against Nadal. On the other hand, he very recently won the Mutua Madrid Open 2019 title, his 33rd victory in the Masters 1000.
Regarding his victory at the Masters 1000 in Madrid, Djokovic told Marca that, "This victory is very important for my level of confidence, because since the Australian Open I had not been at that level, I just needed a push, and that could have been the hard game I won against Thiem, things were going well in the final, I had to take into account the difficult game that Tsitsipas played against Nadal, I knew I had to take the lead and break the service soon, and so it happened. It is an honor to conquer this great trophy again, and I hope it would be the same in Rome and reach Roland Garros at my best."
For his part, the Spaniard Rafael Nadal did not have a very good 2018, because he retired from the competition earlier than expected due to physical problems. According to the same newspaper, the tennis player said in an interview to "Vamos" of Movistar that, "I can not be happy because I've been through difficult times. The results have been very good when I have competed, but I have competed less than any other year in my career due to physical problems" and added that" I have been punished more for injuries than any other rival of mine. The good thing is that I usually come back stronger. I do not think it's a matter of kilometers (years) because when I had less I also had injuries. Nature has given me virtues and defects and injuries, especially in the knees and the foot."
The year 2019 is shaping up as a good year for Nadal, as he recently defeated Djokovic (6-0, 4-6 and 6-1, in 2h 25) at the Masters 1000 in Rome, which earned him his ninth title in the Foro Italico and its 34th win in the Masters 1000. This opens the doors to the Roland Garros, tournament that will take place at the Stade Roland Garros in Paris, France, from May 26 to June 9. The modalities in which participants will face each other are singles, doubles, mixed doubles and junior and wheelchair tournaments.
At the French Open, both players must prove who is the best, because for many the favorite is Djokovic, while for others, Nadal is the future winner of the tournament. The opinions are so many that even the Serbian referred to this favoritism by telling the newspaper Marca that "Nadal is the number 1 favorite, without a doubt. Then all the others come. It will be a great tournament, (the Austrian, Dominic) Thiem is playing very good tennis, he can win everyone, really, especially on the ground." Nadal, for his dominance on this surface and for having recently defeated Djokovic, starts with favoritism despite what the international ranking says.
LatinAmerican | Andrea del Pilar Rojas Riaño
Translated from "Un Roland Garros de ensueño: Nadal vs Djokovic"