Poll: Rafael Nadal Or Novak Djokovic, Who’s Your Early Favorite To Win The French Open?
by Staff | May 18th, 2014, 2:00 pm
  • 53 Comments

The French Open begins a week from today and following the big win by Novak Djokovic over Rafael Nadal in the Rome final, the tournament has never been this open for speculation.

Nadal is an 8-time French Open champion with a 59-1 mark at the event, but this season the Spaniard’s only won one of his four European clay events and has lost to Djokovic the last four times they’ve played.

The motivation for Djokovic is high with a career Slam on the line in Paris. With the wrist injury now behind him he’s been the hottest player since Australia winning 19 of his last 20 matches.

So who’s you pre-draw favorite to win at Roland Garros?


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

Humble Rafa Says:

I have hit balls beyond the half court. Spin, moonball, scramble..recipe for success


andrea Says:

too early to say although both are clearly contenders. let’s face it, if nishikori hadn’t had to retire, its likely nadal wouldn’t have any clay titles heading into the french but best of 5 is still a challenge for most against nadal. still only one guy to have taken him out there.

wawrinka is hot and cold, seems like andy’s back won’t hold up over 5 set grinders, who knows if novak’s wrist will start to bother him again. fed and ferrer have small chances, but only if they don’t play nadal at some point. be nice to see milos make it all the way.


vox Says:

Please, Support Serbia!!! Sorry, Sean I know it’s off topic, but it’s really important. We are affected by worst floods in history. Obrenovac, town of 80.000 people is under water. People are still being evacuated. Many drowned.. Many towns are without water and electricity..
Support country which will hopefully give many more champions, tennis and life champions.
Abillity to draw your attention to this horrid dissaster that struck our country is why Noles win mattered now more than ever. He couldn’t stop the rain but he did what he could to help. Now it’s our turn..
There are GOATs in tennis, and we all have our version of that story, but there are GOATS in helping those in need. The one more important is not measured in titles and is not a game.


Hippy Chic Says:

Vox very sad news indeed,puts all this silly bickering about sport into perspective that is for sure :((….


Hippy Chic Says:

Also why doesnt Novak donate his prize money,thats if he hasnt already,i know it wont completely solve the problem as it would be the tip of the iceberg,but its a start,and every little helps as they say?


vox Says:

@hippy chic: estimated cost is about 1 billion EUR or around 1.4 billion USD. Nole will have to be bussy bee on tour to earn all that..to win all of it for 50 years.. I would love that but its’s not very realistic, isn’t it? :)
There is a rummor that he donated it already, but nor confirmed. And hey, I enjoy your silly bickering about sport, just don’t have much time to post, so i just read regularely. But this is special case..unfortunatelly..
This is not request for anyone in particular on this forum, just please spread the word to people who would like to help.
Hope that next time we will talk just tennis and RG.


Hippy Chic Says:

Vox i know but every little would help is all im saying,i donate to various charities all the time,which is small change but again every little helps,as i said on the other thread i work with a girl whom has family in Tacloban in the Philipines,not in the effected area thankfully but its the same thing and still very sad none the less?


kriket Says:

Novak gives a lot of money to charity here. In fact he has his own charity fund (Novak Đoković Foudation), and he is a UNICEF ambassador.


Bad Knee Rules Says:

I don’t think anybody realises how bad and how tragic the flooding in the Balkans is. I certainly didn’t until I saw this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSDozve-LqI


Okiegal Says:

I thought I had read that Novak did give help for the cause.


Susan Says:

I heard commentators say he would give full prize money.


vox Says:

Hippy Chic, even little is very much if it is the most you can afford. it’s just important to do your best..


Daniel Says:

Last year Nadal came with cobfident winsback to back in Barcelona, Madrid and Rome. He entered RGjust the way he liked with the lone lost to djoko in MC in the past on his mind.

This time he enters RG nit winning a match point title on european clay (Nishikori retired) having losses, balyong badly tmost of the time, winning a few matches he couldhave lost but got his mojo back in Rome half through the touney. But this loss to Djokovic on the eve of RG, 4th final in a row even when he won the first set (whihc usually is a trend for Nadal, when he wins the first set his chamces versus Novak increases) I will do the bold one and say: if they meet in the final Djoko will win. And I say more, if Djoko wins the first set in their RG meeting it will not even be as close as last year. He is 8-1 in seta played, 4-4 on clay against Nadal since 2011, 4-3 in finals.
I knowbest of 5Nadal is a different animal but game wise, Djoko is far superior now 12-6 after 2011 and there was one point in 2009 Nadla lead 14-4, Djoko is 15-8 after that. He baiacally wins 2 out of 3 nowadays.
Unless Djoko chokes, feel the pressure he is bound to RG. The problem for him I think is not Nadal itself but the other players. I think Wawa, Fed (depending on form) or mybe Murray (in a possible quarters) has a best change of beating Djoko in this year RG than Nadal. No offense meant, just evaluating what is happening the last 8 months.


Daniel Says:

Djoko is due t win RG snce 2011. Fed prevented that year.
2012 he won 8 staright games under rain.p in his first final and was leading 4th set. Match was interrupted and Nadal regrouo, last year he was leading fift set and got an unlucky net touch. Nadal regrouped. Eventually his lucky will change there, law of averages;-)


Okiegal Says:

@Daniel

Glad someone else believes in the law of averages other than Chic and myself. 8 FO titles and going for number 9?? Yeah, law of averages not on Rafa’s side, for sure! He is in need of a rest…..best of luck to him! VAMOS RAFA!!


Hippy Chic Says:

Kriket i know he has his own foundation as many other players do,i just dont choose to make a big thing about it,what i meant was did he give to this particular cause,and he did so good for him?


contador Says:

@Bad Knee Rules.

Thanks for that link. I think of Novak every time I hear of the flooding in Serbia and felt he would be doing his part to help his people. Was just hoping (selfishly) that he would win Rome and not get side-tracked. Glad now that he is finding a balance to help and keep winning!

Ajde Nole!


contador Says:

Even though I know better than to get my hopes up too high, of course, I want this to be Nole’s year at RG. It is a tall order, though. This year there are more threats in the draw is what I feel. Usually I just think come on, Nole, beat Nadal and Federer but this year….

…this year is trickier than in many years, is what I think. The early rounds have me licking my lips. Can’t wait!


Hippy Chic Says:

I agree with much of Daniels posts above,the only thing i find irritating and i here it time and time again,is posters saying Novak was unlucky in that 5th set with that bloody net touch,when in fact Rafa was actually serving for the match in the 4th set,and shouldve won it there an then,likewise the imaginary final in 2011 between Novak and Rafa that never happened,and the rain delay that spoiled Novak chances in 2012 especially when both players wanted the match to stop,seriously Novak may go on to win RG this year and i will be the 1st to congratulate him if he does,but many of us dont get what we are due or what we deserve in this world,we get what we earn?


Daniel Says:

HC,

As much as irritates the other side, it is 3 misfortunes in 3 straight years. All credit goes to Nadal, but serving for the set or match is no guarantee of winning, because this are the moments they feel the pressure the most. But a net touch which would give an adv point and he being 1 point away for a 5-2 lead is something that we would never know.

That’ s why some of us mention this “lucky” events because they create doubt of the possible outcome. Nadal serving for the match and not being able to close it is a fact, no guarantee that he should have won just because he serve for it. Imagine how many matches where opponents serve for sets against him and end up losing?! I think if we count the number of matches where he was behind and won he will be undisputed #1 in this category. Is part of the beauty of the game, being behind, losing 1-5 second set and able to reverse and win the third.

But you can’t be discredit the lucky aspect of it, because it creates this doubts and usually several tennis matches changes in a point, with momentum swings and etc.

For example, Djoko could have won in 2 yesterday had he level the first set 4-4 when he had 0-40.

Also, Djoko winning that net point last year and even if he went 5-2 would be a guarantee of victory, it’s just that it left an sour taste.

Same as for you Rafa fans that missed AO passing BH DTL when Nadal was 40-15 4-2 in fifth set. This are “lucky” points that are not forgotten and that’s why some of us remember them till today years later.

I still remember Fed drop shot in 2011 French first set 5-2 versus Nadal; that amazing return Djoko hit in US Open 2011 versus Fed semis; the next forehand on match point Fed hit the net; Roddick missing a volley 6-2 tiebreak Wimby 2009 final second set and so many others…

Maybe we are just separated by people that move on and by people like me, who remembers this shots and particularities of circumstances. Lucky is part of life and it translate to sports, weather you like it or not:-)


Daniel Says:

Sorry, this sentence: Shpould be “Also, Djoko winning that net point last year and even if he went 5-2 would’NT be a guarantee of victory, it’s just that it left an sour taste.”


Polo Says:

I agree with Daniel, there will always be an element of luck in all of sports. Once it gets to the finals of any sports event, those who get there definitely have the skill. That is when you may need a little bit of luck to smile on you.


Okiegal Says:

What was so weird about the net touch is the fact that Novak didn’t think he had done anything wrong….go figure that one out. A seasoned player like he is, I would have thought he would have known the rules better. Rafa was on it in a second. Was I the only one in tennis land that was shocked by his reaction?? Then another incident happened in another match…..hitting the ball on the wrong side of the net??? Can’t remember exactly what went down but there was a controversy. I think we should take the wins and the losses as such and move on w/o all the ifs, ands and buts……it’s a sport and anything can happen!


Giles Says:

“3 misfortunes in 3 straight years”. Oh dear, my heart bleeds ….. NOT! And how about Rafa and AO? How many misfortunes has he had there since winning in 2009?


Giles Says:

@Okiegal. Yep, the last net incident against Andy was not very nice. Cost Andy the match for sure. He knew the rules alright just used selective memory in pleading ignorance. Even juniors know the rules.


Hippy Chic Says:

Daniel lucky in this match,lucky in that match,would haves,could haves,should haves,ifs and buts, serving for the match is no guarantee you will win exactly,niether is been a break up,or match point up,you win what you win its as simple as that really,ok to speculate but it changes nothing,its past history….


Hippy Chic Says:

Probably the reason why i enjoyed Rafas USO victory over Novak,as there was no astericks against the win,he was the better player period?


Hippy Chic Says:

Daniel i have never brought up the AO final in 2012 till now,for the simple reason Novak shouldve won the match in the 4th set,same as Rafa in the 4th at RG 2013,again all wouldve,couldve,shouldves….


Daniel Says:

See the difference HC, that was a “clean” match and I prefer those too. The ones who have this incidents are spoiled by them, but also creates all this controversy.

For example, giles above is saying that what happen to Murray x Djokvic in US cost Murray that match, which is not true, cost him a break in that set, which would not guarantee that he would win that set anyway. Of course, it has the element of him getting pissed but he as a pro have to move on. And giles, I mentioned Rafas AO 2012 as one of those iffy matches. They have more drama, precisely due to this particularities.
In the old days players use to lose their temper more often, nowadays they regroup pretty fast and move on to the next point.
Agree HC we have to move on, but they are in our minds and we will remember them some more than others.

My point is that with Nadal in RG if we compared the first set of 4 titles (2005-2008) to the second set (2010-2013) the difference in how he won it is major. He still did it with some extra help.
Similar to Fed in Wimby. Hiss lucky start changing in 2007, lost a close one in 2008, 2009 won a difficult match and 2012 was helped by roofs closed, complete different from the way he was winning 03′-06′. It happens to ever player and it gets more and more difficult to win them. This is what Nadal is facing now with RG. He still is the favorite, and as his most successful tourney most are expecting when his ‘lucky’ will change. So far it happen once,.when he was having some knee problems together with a player having a once in a life performance. Until someone shift the trend we can only anticipate, but that the ‘air’ is a bit different this time around, it definitely is.


Hippy Chic Says:

Daniel ok fair enough,and you do make good points….


Hippy Chic Says:

Anyway i hate astericks,but have to ask was Murrays Wimbledon win an astericks,given Djokovic played a long 5 setter against Delpoo the Friday before the final,as was quoted by certain people at the time?


contador Says:

No astericks, imo. Murray won, Wawa won, Delpo won…all GS winners won. But some sore loser, whiner fans will suck on sour grapes and beat their dead horse excuses until the bitter, sour, end.


contador Says:

Having a good memory, like Daniel, is different than an ** by a name.

Having a bad memory for events I feel are forgettable comes in handy. I choose to forget Wimbledon 2008. I love RG 2009.

Nadal still is the favorite for RG this year. That does not mean I have to vote for him :D I choose to think someone else wins – like I do every single year since I can remember while following this weak clay era 2005-present.


Hippy Chic Says:

^Well exactly my point,whats done is done?^


Hippy Chic Says:

And TBH i havent voted for Rafa either i havent actually voted,none of this Sean Randall curse BS either as there aint such a thing,i think this could be Novaks year time will tell?Rafa has nothing to prove at RG anymore so i will just enjoy it for what it is and see what happens,its all good for me?


Hippy Chic Says:

I wouldnt mind a GS for him somewhere else other than RG now,and would love to see Murray bag more GS too especially another Wimbledon….


contador Says:

Yeah. Not that I would cheer for either part of Fedal winning a GS, but having the tables turned ( Nadal winning a different GS and someone new winning RG) does make it more interesting.

My pick is Novak Djokovic. I would like to see him win RG this year and see him have all four GS titles before he retires to have a bunch of kids.


Hippy Chic Says:

Would love to see Rafa and Andy in a GS final,both are my favorites,so i would love to see that permatation in a final,its one we havent had yet….


Kimberly Says:

I am a Rafa fan and perhaps wearing Rose colored glasses and not looking at evidence right before my very own eyes but…

I voted for Rafa.

Anything else feels like betting against the House.


Kimberly Says:

anyone interested in me putting together a bracket challenge? Men, women etc?


Hippy Chic Says:

Kimberly and he could still do it again who knows?


Hippy Chic Says:

Kimerly yes indeed egarly waiting for it with baited breath,bring it on….


Why I’m Picking Novak Djokovic To Win The French Open; Thoughts On Rafa’s Regression Says:

[...] According to this poll, I’m not the only one thinking this is the year Novak Djokovic finally busts through to win the French Open. Minus a bum wrist, the Serb has been dominant since the Australian Open collecting three Tennis Masters titles capped by a virtuoso performance yesterday in a scintillating triumph over arch rival Rafael Nadal in Rome. [...]


calmdonplease Says:

`Anyway i hate astericks,but have to ask was Murrays Wimbledon win an astericks,given Djokovic played a long 5 setter against Delpoo the Friday before the final..`

What?
Please, big deal he had a major 5 setter before in Oz against Muzz and it didn’t stop him winning against Nadal in a 6 hour marathon afterwards.
Not comparable to wawa as Nadal was clearly injured there.


Hippy Chic Says:

^Exactly thanks for proving my point CDP,i take it your actually a Murray fan BTW?^.


Okiegal Says:

Thanks, CDP, nice to hear that someone, other than a Rafa fan, is unbiased enough to make a comment that Rafa was really injured at the Aussie Open…….appreciate that!! Friends 4 ever!! LOL


calmdonplease Says:

@hippy chic
You bet missy!
@Okiegal
What? are people actually saying that Nadal wasn’t injured?
You don’t `pretend` if it means you lose in a blow out surely!
Why?


Hippy Chic Says:

CDP Murrays my second favorite,and im a Brit and my late mother was half Scottish,really really want him to defend Wimbledon ;-)),love the missy bit BTW ha ha….


contador Says:

Wawa was the best man, the fittest in the match. He earned that AO win fighting through a tough draw. It is not Stan the man’s fault that Nadal was hurt himself and was down for the count!

A win is a win …no freaking **

Forget Rafa winning that AO – he was a lame duck who needed to retire injured but waddled across the finish line. Stanislaw threw the knock – out punches perfectly and put Rafa on the ropes. Kudos to Stan. Same goes for Federer back in 09 – Rafa wins fair and square even though it was perfectly clear Roger injured his back. Does not matter, the strongest and fittest wins.


contador Says:

Yes @Kimberly – Wouldn’t your Colin like to play a bracket, too?

That would be fun for RG – both ATP and WTA.


Okiegal Says:

I totally agree that Wa Wa won it fair and square. I don’t want anyone on this forum to think I think otherwise. Rafa was outplayed, end of story….but he still had a back issue later in the match. Good for Stan. I’m anxious to see if he can defend his title. Will be interesting. I think about how soon the AO will be here…….after Christmas……everyone knows how fast Christmas comes!! LOL


calmdownplease Says:

^Yeah I will add that i thought Wawa was spanking Rafa in the first set but clearly there was something stopping Nadal from really making a match of it towards the end.
Anyway thats sport and Nadal had some recompense at Madrid at least


Okiegal Says:

^^^^Thank you again, Calmdonplease, u r so right!

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ATP - Nov 17 WTA - Nov 17
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Roger Federer2 Maria Sharapova
3 Rafael Nadal3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 Kei Nishikori5 Ana Ivanovic
6 Andy Murray6 Agnieszka Radwanska
7 Tomas Berdych7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Milos Raonic8 Caroline Wozniacki
9 Marin Cilic9 Angelique Kerber
10 David Ferrer10 Dominika Cibulkova
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