Poll: Rafael Nadal Or Novak Djokovic, Who’s Your Early Favorite To Win The French Open?
by Staff | April 23rd, 2013, 10:53 pm
  • 70 Comments

With a month before the start of the French Open, once again Paris appears to be a two-horse race between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. Rafa is the 7-time champion at the French, but Djokovic, who may have won his first title there a year ago if not for the rain, just whipped the King of Clay Nadal convincingly in Monte Carlo over the weekend.

Nadal may still not be at full strength after so much inactivity and the knees remain an ever question mark over the long haul. And Rafa will unlikely be seeded higher than No. 4 at best in Paris, meaning he could draw Djokovic in the semifinals, maybe even in the quarters if he doesn’t run the clay table from here and win Barcelona, Madrid and Rome.

Djokovic of course has never won the French and a win would give him the career Slam, but he’s beaten Rafa on clay (they’ve split their last six on the dirt) and with the ankle apparently no longer an issue, he appears to be in excellent shape going forward. Though he’ll need to somehow keep that form another 45 days or so when he may be confronted with the toughest task in tennis: beating Nadal over five sets on red clay.


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70 Comments for Poll: Rafael Nadal Or Novak Djokovic, Who’s Your Early Favorite To Win The French Open?

Michael Says:

It is a difficult one to pick. But I will stick my neck out and predict that Novak will be the new Champion. I want him to be one since he will be winning it for the first time in his career and will also be completing the coveted grand slam to be clubbed along with legends like Laver, Roger and Nadal.


nadalista Says:

Oh dear, the ABN (Anyone But Nadal) season is well and truly upon us…..

Enjoy the salivatings, boys and girls!!


Giles Says:

http://alturl.com/rmu93
Johnny Mac on Rafa’s seeding at FO.
On the one hand it may be beneficial for Rafa.
On the other hand should it not materialise not so beneficial for the big guns!
Either way, Rafa is the winner!
VamosKing


Sirius Says:

Nadal


alison Says:

I dont know if he will,but it would be great for Rafa to win a GS this year any GS,even if its not the FO,would be great to see someone break the record of winning a GS for 9 consecutive years,Vamos Rafa give it your best shot,do your best thats all anyone can ask of you.


Giles Says:

Vamos Rafa!


Michael Says:

Alison,

Break the record of winning a GS for 9 consecutive years ? Has anybody done that before ? Way back, I think William Renshaw made 7 straight Wimbledon titles but in those days if you win your first, you will only be required to face the Challenger in the finals. Even Rafa had a break in 2009 when he lost to Soderling.


Ahsan Najeeb Says:

Based on Monte Carlo result, I think Nole has a better chance… In fact if Rafa was asked which surface would he like to face Nole on if he had an option, he would go either for MC or RG. Nole has already conquered MC and that would certainly give him mental edge going into RG IMO.. However, you can never write Rafa off on clay and results of Madrid + Rome are also vital to determine who will have a better chance… If Rafa can even win one of the two matches which can take place b/w the two he will be the fav to win his 8th FO trophy


Lilia Says:

Montecarlo was a hiccup. He will win the French again…


Sirius Says:

@michael,

u misinterpret alisons post. She meant 9 CONSECUTIVE YEARS WINNING AT LEAST 1 MAJOR. The current record is 8 consecutive years which rafa shares with borg and federer. If he manages to win any of the 3 remaining slams of this year he will have that record


alison Says:

Thanks Sirius that is what i meant Michael sorry.


Thomas Says:

Nadal may be the winner this year. BUT I am absolutely certain that Novak WILL the French Open at some point in his career.(barring some career ending injury/illness) Maybe not this year, but definitely within the next 2 seasons(maybe 3)


skeezer Says:

i cannot pick in this poll because you left out Geezer Federer.

:(


Ben Pronin Says:

Tursonov just beat Ferrer 6-1 in the third in Barcelona!! There’s hope for Nadal to be seeded 4th after all.


the DA Says:

^ Just saw that. Incredible. Ferrer having a topsy-turvy year. He’ll lose 300 points right?


Ben Pronin Says:

I love how this poll gives you 3 options: 2 players, don’t know, and don’t care. Why is “don’t care” an option? If you don’t care, you’re not going to vote. It should be replaced with “other” at least, so that you can indirectly vote for another player besides the two given.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

In a 5-set format, I still believe Nadal would be a better player on clay. But after many years, there is a likely chance of a 5-set final if Nadal and Novak meet in the finals. Atlast Nadal seems to have found a player who could beat him consistently on clay if Novak forms hold good. This is great for tennis.

These two might give us the greatest quality tennis we had seen for past 10 years if they can be healthy for next 2-3 years.


the DA Says:

I’ve worked it out, Rafa can only overtake Ferrer if he reaches the SF at Madrid and defends Rome. Daveed is only defending 540 points up until RG. Possible.


skeezer Says:

Daveeed , always willing to help out a bro ;)


Giles Says:

DA . Doesn’t sound right. The difference now is 685 with Ferrer losing. Rafa has to win Barca and Rome to defend his points. If Daveed defends his 540 pts in Rome and Madrid Rafa needs to pick up 685 points and he won’t do that by reaching semis of Madrid which is only 360 points.


Steve 27 Says:

Djoker will win the French Open but next year. RG 2013 is for Nadal, no doubt it. As allison said, he will be the fist in open era and in history I think, to win the same Grand 8 times and the first winning a major for at least 9 years! Vamos Nadal, I know you can and yo will have the last smile.


Giles Says:

Steve 27 All good wishes for Rafa gratefully accepted by his fans.
#Vamos7TimeRGChampion


the DA Says:

@Giles – that’s the problem with working things out quickly in my head. It looks like he needs to also win Madrid. My bad.


jane Says:

I hope you’re right about Nole winning it at some point Steve27; it would be so awesome to see him complete the full set of slams. And in a way it makes sense; he was the youngest player ever to reach the semis or deeper at all the slams, so he’s always been able to play on all the surfaces – I truly think he enjoys clay too. (Still wondering if Serbia will choose clay for the DC semis). Agree that Rafa is definitely still the favourite to win it this year.


Giles Says:

DA Or Ferrer failing to defend his points, which is very unlikely.


Ben Pronin Says:

Ferrer just got thumped by Tursonov. Anything is likely.


Giles Says:

Jane. “He was the youngest player to reach the semis or deeper at all the slams”. Are you sure? He reached the semis at RG for the first time last year at age 25.


Steve 27 Says:

jane,
The youngest reaching the four sf: Djokovic with 20 years and 8 months.
The youngest reaching the four finals: Courier with 22 years and 11 months.
The youngest reaching the four championships: Nadal with 24 years and 3 months.
All in open era, of course.
Don Budge and rod Laver are the youngest to win the 4 majors.
22 years and 11 months: Budge
24 years and 1 month: Laver


Giles Says:

PS He reached the semis of RG at age 24 (in 2011).
How does Rafa compare in this scenario)


jane Says:

Steve27, so I was correct yes? Nole was in the semis at RG in 2007, the semis at Wimbleon in 2007, the finals at the FO in 2007 and then he won the AO beginning 2008. I believe he reached the semis of the FO again in 2008?


Ben Pronin Says:

Giles, you know Djokovic reached the semis of RG in 2008, right?


Ben Pronin Says:

Oh yeah, and 2007.


Giles Says:

Ben. Yes, sorry just couldn’t think that far.


jane Says:

^ Sorry @11:36 meant the finals of USO in 2007.


alison Says:

Agree with Thomas even if Nole does not win the French Open this year,i believe he still will at some point.


cindy Says:

I would love to see Nadal take another bite out of the La Coupe des Mousquetaires!!!! It may sound boring to the non Nadal fans, but I’m hoping he will find his best clay match to date and win with style and grace. Borg’s legacy lasted for several years and I hope Nadal’s would last even longer. VAMOS El Rey de Clay!


steve-o Says:

With his record Nadal is the favorite at RG until proven otherwise. Only an idiot (and Nadal himself) would say anything different.

Nadal may still not be at full strength after so much inactivity and the knees remain an ever question mark over the long haul

You’re kidding me, right? 3 titles out of five finals, first hard-court title in two and a half years, and you think he’s not at his best?

You’re really busting my balls, here, Staff. Put down the Nadal PR team Kool-Aid.

Nadal’s in 100% tip-top shape. His knees are fine (they were always fine, no matter whatever nonsense he spewed) and he’s playing great. It’s just that he has Djokovic breathing down his neck these days.


alison Says:

Cindy Rafa has already surpassed BB at the FO,whatever happens now is gravy,if he were to win it this year with Novak breathing down his neck then i think that would be all the sweeter.


nadalista Says:

Massacre in Germany! Totally agree with you, Tipsy, Germans are playing sick football:

RT @TipsarevicJanko: “2 nights in a row they are shownig Adult Movies way to early….#GermanFootball”

Are they mad at something? The dud Euro, maybe?

#GermanyRising
#WTF


nadalista Says:

Rafa must be spitting feathers right now…..


Giles Says:

^^^ He sure won’t be a happy bunny’


Steve 27 Says:

Lew4ndonski!
Mourinho-Team wurde gedemütigt und seinen Traum von der zehnten zunehmend distanziert. Dortmund feiert!


Wog boy Says:

“Are they mad at something? The dud euro, maybe?

No, they just play better football then Spaniards, they always did!


Miki Says:

I hope Djokovic gets it this time, however, Nadal is certainly the real favorite and he will be probably for the next 2/3 years, if he stays healthy. But why are we assuming it’s a given thing that one of them will win? “The Soderling scenario” could happen again, and we know what happened in 2011 to Nole. Of course, they are the heavy favorites, but who can really tell for sure what’s gonna happen?


Wog boy Says:

Miki,

Agree, win in MC doesn’t make Nole favorite and he is not, Rafa is. You are right that one of them, or even both, might as well not make it to final. Rafa had his Soderling, Isner (almost) and Nole got out of jail twice last year, Seppi and Tsonga, at FO.

My opinion ATM, Rafa is favorite for FO.


Steve 27 Says:

Who will win the champions league?
Was ist so gut wie sicher ist, dass geht ein Deutscher zu sein.
Auf wiedersehen Spanien


Michael Says:

Sirius and Alision,

Thanks for the clarification.


Wilfried Says:

To me Rafael Nadal is not the favorite anymore.
He lost Monte Carlo fair and square, and whoever is winning this tourney often also wins the French Open. Madrid and Rome are less important in that respect.
That’s why I think it’ll be Djokovic, regardless of what’s gonna happen there.


Ben Pronin Says:

Federer won FO in 09 after winning Madrid only. Monte Carlo might be a good indicator, but it’s not a guarantee of anything.


Humble Rafa Says:

The Arrogant One is not on the poll. Yet the followers of the saint in the forum are not complaining. I think they have accepted what has long been known to others.


Humble Rafa Says:

Every girl I know has a daddy. Now the poll has a poll daddy?


Wilfried Says:

@ Ben Pronin
What you say is correct, Ben.
It’s not a guarantee of anything.
But the likelihood of winning Roland Garros is bigger when you’ve already won Monte Carlo than when you’ve won Madrid imo.


Lulu Iberica Says:

I just want to give a belated congratulations to Djokovic and his fans on here for the Monte Carlo win. As a Nadal fan, that sucked big time! I was watching the match on a crappy stream that kept cutting out, so when Rafa was getting whipped in the first set I pretty much gave up watching. Rafa was playing meh and Nole was totally dominating, playing amazing tennis, I have to admit.

Now it’s time for Rafa to get it together and get back to his winning ways! I still think he’s the fave for RG, given his record there, but it’s obvious Nole is really gunning for the title this year.

By the way, my first child is due May 5, so I’ve been busy getting ready for that and not keeping up with the tennis so much. My little girl is due the same day Madrid starts, so who knows how much of the clay season I’ll see. Anywho, VAMOS RAFA!


Wog boy Says:

Lulu Iberica,

Thanks.

Great news, good luck, girls are the best.


jane Says:

Thanks Lulu, and congrats on your little package. ;)


Bada Bing Says:

Everyone seems to be getting along lately. Has the nut gone underground?


steve-o Says:

Congratulations on the bundle of joy, Lulu!


Humble Rafa Says:

Everyone seems to be getting along lately. Has the nut gone underground?

Someone in tennis is on a hiatus. When he returns and most importantly, starts losing, the nuts will show up. Until then, the skies are clear.


skeezer Says:

Congrats Lulu!
So names?
“Rafaela”?


Humble Rafa Says:

“Rafaela”?

Humblista


Wog boy Says:

skeezer,

I thought about that but didn’t want to put the pressure on Lulu.
It was one Raffaella that I fell in love with when I was teenager, she was older than me (I didn’t mind it) but she never returned my calls, I still love her after so many years:(

Her name was Raffaella Carra, check her out on You Tube.


Steve 27 Says:

Lulu, congratulations. Why not Xisca?


Lulu Iberica Says:

Thanks for the congrats, everyone. Yeah, I’d love to have a little Rafa namesake but my last name is so white bread it would sound ridiculous! (Also, I don’t think Mr. Lulu would like it very much :)


skeezer Says:

Lulu,

lol never thought about that.
Ever thought of…….Roger? Sweet name…. Bond like. lol (j/k)

Discussions and topics can get heated up here at times, but when u share about your expected new one, well, it makes everthing come to the center. all the best with your new babes thats coming :-)

——-

Wog boy,
hey, she’s nice!


harry Says:

Congratulations Lulu :-)


rogerafa Says:

Almost 50% of 695 voters here think Novak will win RG. The tide does seems to be turning against Rafa based on fans’ perceptions.


Julia Says:

rogerafa, the key word in your post is “fans”. The number difference is less than 30 “fans” so I don’t think it is indicative of anything more than fans on this particular site.


Julia Says:

Congrats to Lulu and your family! Best wishes and lots of sleep to you!


rogerafa Says:

@ Julia

I do not remember Rafa being anything other than an overwhelming favorite on this blog. Even Roger fanatics conceded in the past that Rafa was the favorite by a mile. Of course, fans’ perceptions do not determine on-court performances. However, I do feel it is significant that such a thing has happened. It speaks volumes about the kind of clay monopoly Rafa created and also about the kind of threat Novak poses to that monopoly at this moment.

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