Whilst the second Grand Slam of the year, the US Open, has just gotten underway at Flushing Meadows in New York, over in Paris, they are gearing for the French Open – and last year’s champion Rafael Nadal is the favourite, according to the French Open tennis odds.
However, due to the global coronavirus pandemic, these Grand Slams are like no other! For the first time in its history, the US Open is being held without spectators, whilst the French Open is operating at 60% capacity – albeit months behind schedule.
The 124th edition of the clay court tournament will get underway on September 27th, a mere two weeks after the conclusion of the US Open, meaning several of the world’s top players, both male and female, have had to make a tough decision in regards to which tournament to play.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at who we will, and won’t, see that this year’s French Open.
Rafael Nadal – Will See
It wouldn’t be a French Open without the Spanish maestro, would it? So, it’ll come as no surprise that Rafa Nadal has picked Paris over New York this year! The former World Number 1 has won the French Grand Slam a whopping 12 times in the last 15 years, making a name for himself as the ‘King of Clay’, and, if the odds are anything to go by, the Spaniard will be lifting his 13th title at the Roland Garros this year – which will make him level with Roger Federer on 20 career Grand Slams!
Roger Federer – Won’t See
Speaking of the Swiss legend, unfortunately, he won’t be making an appearance in Paris for this year’s edition of the French Open. The current World Number 4, who won the Grand Slam in 2009, beating Sweden’s Robin Söderling in three straight sets, has been ruled out for the remainder of 2020 due to injury. Federer and Nadal have built up a fierce rivalry at the Roland Garros, with the Spaniard beating the 20-time Grand Slam winner in four finals and a further two semi-finals.
Andy Murray – Won’t See
Britain’s Andy Murray is another big name we won’t be seeing in the French capital for the 124th French Open. The three-time Grand Slam winner is currently on the mend from a career-threatening hip injury, and despite taking part in the US Open, two challenging Grand Slams, in the space of a matter of weeks, just isn’t worth the risk when your playing days are on the line! The Scot reached his only French Open final back in 2016, and lost 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 to Novak Djokovic.
Novak Djokovic – Unconfirmed
Despite the tournament starting in little under a month, World Number 1 Djokovic is yet to actually confirm whether or not he will be competing in this year’s Grand Slam. The 17-time Grand Slam winner is currently taking part in the US Open, as he looks to win his fourth title in New York. Djokovic has reached the final of the French Open four times, losing to Stan Wawrinka and Nadal (twice), before beating Murray in 2016 – in what was his third successive final.
Dominic Thiem – Unconfirmed
World Number Three Dominic Thiem is another player who is yet to confirm if he will be making an appearance at the Roland Garros. Despite some of his best tennis being played on clay, the Austrian has recently won the US Open, where he has failed to do better than reach the quarter-final.
The 26-year-old is tipped to take over as the ‘King of Clay’ from Nadal after reaching the final of the French Open for the last two years in a row. However, it doesn’t look like he’ll be making an appearance in France this year after claiming, last month, that he would need to ‘sacrifice’ one of the two grand slams!
World Number 10 David Goffin has confirmed he will be taking part in this year’s French Grand Slam, whilst controversial Australian Nick Kyrgios is yet another name to pull out.