Nadal and Djokovic Bidding for French Open Glory

The French Open at Roland-Garros in Paris is the next opportunity for the world’s leading tennis players to win a Grand Slam event. The clay court event has been dominated in recent years by Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, and those two legends will be bidding for more success in 2023.

Nadal has won the French Open a record 14 times, with his last victory coming in 2022. Success this year would see the Spaniard claim the record for the most Grand Slam titles, as it would put him one ahead of Djokovic on 23 wins.

Preparation Has Not Been Ideal for King of Clay

The defending champion has not had ideal preparation for the French Open this year. However, he remains one of the men at the top end of the betting on tennis for the event. Nadal is +350 to prevail in the tournament once again.

Nadal was eliminated in the second round of the Australian Open in Melbourne earlier this year. He has since missed a lot of tennis, including the leading clay court tournaments heading into the French Open.

In 115 matches, Nadal has lost just three times in the French Open. Robin Soderling became the first man to beat him when he eliminated the champion in the fourth round in 2009. Djokovic defeated the King of Clay in straight sets in the last eight in 2015, while two years ago, Djokovic knocked him out again in the semi-finals.

Nadal will be hoping he gets to the French Open free of injury. If he does return to full fitness in time, he will be confident of another big run in the event.

Djokovic Vying for Hat-Trick of French Open Titles

Former world number one Djokovic has reached the quarter-finals or better at the last 13 French Open tournaments. In what has been an impressive stretch of consistency, he was victorious in the finals in 2016 and 2021.

Djokovic’s first triumph in 2016 ensured he completed the set of the Grand Slam titles. It was his fourth final in Paris, and he had wins over Tomas Berdych, Dominic Thiem, and Andy Murray en route to the trophy.

More recently, the Serbian was at his very best when he prevailed in the 2021 tournament. His clash with Nadal in the semi-final was one of the best French Open matches of the modern era. He scored in four sets in the contest.

Djokovic began 2023 with victories in the Adelaide International and Australian Open. The latter was his recording-extending 10th success in the Grand Slam event. It keeps him with a chance of prevailing in the Calendar Grand Slam this year.

The two-time French Open winner has appeared in two clay tournaments in the build-up to the Grand Slam. He was beaten in his second game of the Monte-Carlo Masters, while more recently, fellow Serbian compatriot Dusan Lajovic defeated him in three sets in the Srpska Open in Banja Luka.

The first round of the 2023 French Open begins on May 28 and it will run through to the men’s final on June 11.

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