Poll: Who’s The Second Favorite Behind Nadal To Win The French Open?
by Staff | May 22nd, 2018, 8:44 pm
  • 108 Comments

Rafael Nadal has made picking the favorite at the French an afterthought once again, but with just two other former champions in the field – Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka – who both are question marks and only one other to have made the final (David Ferrer), there’s a good chance we’ll see someone new battling Nadal in the title match on the last Sunday.

Dominic Thiem has made the semifinals in Paris before, but hasn’t had a stellar clay run-up. Alexander Zverev is second only to Nadal this year on the clay, however he’s never advanced to the last eight of a Slam.

After them, it’s Kei Nishikori who hasn’t been to the semis, Juan Martin del Potro who might not even play and Grigor Dimitrov who enters off a poor clay season so far.

David Goffin is quietly playing well after injury. Marin Cilic is also in form and the from the young gen, Denis Shapovalov, Hyeon Chung, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Borna Coric will likely lead the way.

The draw will be released on early Thursday afternoon ET.


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108 Comments for Poll: Who’s The Second Favorite Behind Nadal To Win The French Open?

The Arrogant Goat Says:

There is no such thing as a second favorite for the French Open. Favorite: Nadal. Everybody else is just a player at the French, not second, not favorite, nada.


chofer Says:

Depends on the draw.

But, Zverev.


AndyMira Says:

I think i agree with TAG….If Roger,Novak,Andy,Stan[all of them r healthy of coz] are there…they’re certainly the 2nd fav…

But,i still don’t trust the nextgen to win it…It’s still a big question whether they can go through even to the final in slam..that’s my opinion..


gonzalowski Says:

Thiem beat him days ago, Zverev almost the same, they could make it, but I voted for Novak, just being a little better than past week could challenge Rafa imo.


bstevens Says:

So basically we are trying to figure out who has the honour of losing to Nadal in the final, right? Zverev has never gone deep in a slam so he still has a lot to prove in best of five play. My pick would be Djokovic but he would need a favourable draw. Thiem has the game to challenge Nadal and it would be an interesting match to watch.


bstevens Says:

gonzalowski,

You mentioned the exact same players I noted in my comment. If only I posted it one minute sooner :)


Van Persie Says:

Am sure, we will have Nadal, Djoko and Thiem on the same half of draw. Nishikori might also land there.

Not sure Zverev will make it to the final. Would be good for him to make it to the 2nd week.


Van Persie Says:

I would say, Thiem could challenge Rafa and be a 2nd fave for the FO. But he would have to play his best tennis and Rafa should not be in best form.
Honestly, Rafa from Rome was not as good as the Rafa from Monte Carlo, ok, players were also not yet very accommodated to the clay in Monte Carlo, one could say.


Van Persie Says:

^^ to add, also, Rafa from Madrid showed he might be vulnerable, but I expect him to be very determined at the FO.


Van Persie Says:

Rafa from 2006-2013 would have whipped the floor with the Djoko from Rome 2018 and perhaps even with Zverev.


gonzalowski Says:

bstevens, yes same insight here :) A loss against Noel would be harder, too.

VP, I’d prefer you’re not right about draws…


j-kath Says:

I agree with Andy-Mira re. Next-Gen. vis-a-vis their ability to win a 5-setter YET. Depending on the draw, Nole could reach the final vs. Rafa – if that happens the win would be Rafa’s but it would show Nole’s getting close to his best.


Van Persie Says:

Gonza,

“A loss against Noel would be harder, too.” LOL…I would love it to happen, but not possible. Nole might get a set from this Rafa, though, as Nole has the ability to play one wonderful set atm.
Also, I wish I am wrong also regarding the draw..

J-K,

Nole in Final? also LOL…even if he should be in the other half, with his stamina atm, very unlikely. Would be very happy to be wrong :)

P.S. Chung just withdrew from the FO due to injury


Van Persie Says:

Good luck to Andy,

When he will be back, I assume it will not be very easy for him.


j-kath Says:

VP: Reverse psychology? As a fan, understandable – but is not a given…..Rafa, Nole and a few others know better than most how to husband their energy and use grit and determination through long matches.


Van Persie Says:

J-Kath,

No, not reverse psychology here. I am really realistic. I just saw, how he looked like when he got in a 3rd set at the last tournaments. He did lose 3 after surgery and looked really tired in the 3rd against Kei in Rome.


AndyMira Says:

Yeah JK….I know many intrigued with next gens whipped the Tour atm…but none of them proved that we can count on them when it comes to slam…The farthest they got only semis…Thiem made it 2 times[FO],Chung 1,Kyle 1,Sascha 4th Rd…Sascha should make it to the final based on his hot form & confidence atm..but very interesting too to see whether he can overcome the mental block that he suffered at slam so far…

Also very agree with u JK that Nole could make it to the final[if he is on the other side of the draw from Rafa]…I think he will be very motivated from his perfomance in Rome to do well at FO..


gonzalowski Says:

Gasquet, about Rafa:
“Rafa is a tennis player loved in France. He is a great guy, a good person, he has a good attitude on the court. He has won Roland Garros many times, yes, but he has never had an arrogant gesture towards the spectators. Everyone considers him a normal boy and they value ​​what he does”

nice photo:

https://e00-marca.uecdn.es/assets/multimedia/imagenes/2018/05/22/15270103983653.png


AndyMira Says:

Gonza!…Nice photo?Who?Gasquet?Not Rafa surely!hahaha….


Humble Rafa Says:

Rafa from Madrid showed he might be vulnerable

Madrid conditions are nothing like Paris.


Humble Rafa Says:

Gonza!…Nice photo?Who?Gasquet?Not Rafa surely!hahaha…

I see innocence and humility in my photos.


gonzalowski Says:

AM, yes Richard and Rafa. Tarbes, 1999, Gasquet had just eliminated Rafael Nadal on Tournoi des Petits As.


Markus Says:

In his last few tournaments, Zverev seemed to settled in well in his position as a top-ranked player. However, I think he has played so much leading to the Frenc that he may lose early again. I don’t think Thiem is a majors material. Nobody else looks capable. Djokovic won’t last three sets against Nadal, let alone five. The only one who can derail Nadal is his most powerful nemesis, Mr. Injury.


Giles Says:

Chung out of FO.


Amit Says:

Zverev has an outside chance of winning FO.. Thats all.. Rafa will surely not lose to djokovic in FO.. but atm Rafa is the only fave for FO..


j-kath Says:

Markus: Not sure who Mr. Injury is….there are still a few out and new ones joining as we speak e.g. Del Potro; Chung and one of the Frenchies I think.


Markus Says:

j-kath Mr. Injury is the toughest of all to beat. He is the friend of Mr. Old Age. If one does not get you, the other will.


AndyMira Says:

Gonza!….Thanks for the info!:)..

HR!…Hahaha…Yeah!..Very true!


Humble Rafa Says:

Chung out of FO.

No statistics to go with it? You know we don’t believe anything without numbers.


skeezer Says:

When was the last time there was such a pathetic weak competitive lineup of players?
Last years FO.
Bring on Wimby.


Margot Says:

Bstevens @3.49: LOL that is exactly what we are trying to figure out on here, and the jury seems out. Of course Nole, Pretty Boy, Kei and Dom could all be in the same half, Rafa’s, and then what? I think it would take a minor miracle and a load of luck for Stan to be there but, if JMDP can stay injury free for half a minute, his chances could be good.


j-kath Says:

Markus: Here’s my last attempt at answering:

It must be Stan Wawrinka…Three cheers I hope.

PS: Not sure Stan is playing – if so, he’s not playing well elsewhere at the moment. As for his friend Methuselah- (with the golden balls) – he’s no show at FO – he prefers the living stuff below his feet.


Humble Rafa Says:

When was the last time there was such a pathetic weak competitive lineup of players?

I can remember about 20 times in the last 15 years.


skeezer Says:

I can remember about 20 times in the last 15 years.
_
What a most ingenious memory, you were in most of those 20 times.


Giles Says:

Skeezer. Wait your turn. We are still discussing clay, not grass!


skeezer Says:

Giles,
Grass Grass Grass Grass Grass Grass.
Your turn.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

No one.

HR and Skeeze are both right– a rare agreement, though they say it in different ways:

HR is right that there is no second favourite.
Skeeze is right that it is a historically weak field.
You can’t really say one is true and not the other.

Can anyone name another year Rafa was THIS far favoured to win the French?


Daniel Says:

Indeed TV, there was never a year it was such a sure thing as this year.

After we take a look at the draw tomorrow, we may start betting on the second half finalist.


SG1 Says:

Hoping Dimitrov can put together a decent run here. Not sure he can beat Rafa but I think he can make things competitive if he’s playing well enough to get to the final.

Zverev is the obvious No.2.


fred stone Says:

Wasn’t there a story about the FO using a 25 second clock this year? If the chair umpires do their job, the King of Delay will be defaulted right out of the tournament.
#NoMoreGamesmanship


Humble Rafa Says:

King of Delay

People who rush things are either very old or never learned to do it properly.

Slow is good.


Annie Says:

I don’t think joker is in good enough shape to make it to the final let alone win it. Didn’t he just go out in the 1st round of couple recent tourneys?
RAFA never seems to play well in Madrid bc of the altitude.
Yes he was behind Alex Z in Rome but figured out a way to turn it around. He is the ultimate “problem solver”! It’s his fight or die mentality. He goes into overdrive. VAMOS RAFA!!!
Let’s get to the final for a chance to win # 11!!! If anyone can do it, it’s U!!! Luv U Babe;) ;)


skeezer Says:

People who rush things are either very old or never learned to do it properly.

Slow is good.
_

Slow is good? Maybe for you, but not for the fans. I don’t expect to sit and watch someone bounce the ball a gazzilian times, wipe everywhere that can be wiped(including areas that shouldn’t be), in between each point. That whole process can last longer than the actual point played. Get up there, bounce the ball, toss it in the air and get on with the play so fans can watch Tennis already!


Humble Rafa Says:

Skeeze,

You need to watch Tallner play Tallovic. Everything is fast and is over quickly, giving you more time for other things (which I will not mention here).


Margot Says:

No HR you are wrong, when Extremely Tall Tallner played Quite Tall Tallovic at Wimbledon the match lasted several months.


jalep Says:

It just doesn’t look like there are any surprises coming and there’s absolutely no one going to RG that has beaten Rafa at RG except Novak and Stan and each of them are far from their best. So my second fave is the inexperienced Zverev – Thiem beat Rafa in Madrid but we all know about Rafa and Madrid court conditions being meaningless to Rafa’s ability to win FO.

It’s weak competition for Rafa at RG, no doubt. But there will be plenty of interesting match-ups in ATP and WTA as usual and I’m used to Rafa winning this GS. It would be nice to be surprised on the men’s side, but I don’t expect it. WTA will be a surprise – there’s that!


Markus Says:

Nadal will win because he is good, not because the field is weak. That’s just the way it is. To discredit a winner because of the field is a fool man’s tool to discredit a winner.


Markus Says:

…foolish man’s …


jalep Says:

I didn’t say that to discredit Rafa!

It’s a weak field. The circumstances are just that.


jalep Says:

There is no one good enough make good competition for Rafa. That’s not Rafa’s fault. LOL


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Its a weak field.

And Rafa’s good.

The Big 5 have had complete ownership of Slams for 10 years. You can’t take 4 of of the 5 out,, leaving NO ONE except Rafa with Slam credentials, and claim it doesn’t matter. Just look at the top 16 seeds. Tell me that’s a slugger’s row….


jalep Says:

Thank you TV. I wasn’t discrediting Rafa. It just so happens there appears to be no one even close to Rafa’s level in this clay slam.

The question is who comes in 2nd! or Who can get a set. Or can anyone push Rafa to 4 or 5 sets? I don’t think so. Rafa could win every match in straight sets — it’s more like how many games can one get.

That’s simply how far he is above the rest this year.


skeezer Says:

Rafa is really really good. No denyimg that. But no denyimg this is a weak field. I mean c’mon man.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

When you combine the greatest clay court player of all time with (could it be?) the weakest Slam field in modern times…

There is no second favourite.


chofer Says:

“Tennis is tennis in Grand Slams or Masters 1000s or in any event. When you’re able to win Masters 1000s, not having a great result in a Grand Slam is all a coincidence. It’s impossible to not have a great result in a Grand Slam when you have the level that he has,”

Rafael Nadal.

Guess who was he talking about.


Humble Rafa Says:

When the King is this strong, all others are weak. This simple logic is not something that can be drilled into some.


skeezer Says:

When all others are weak, it is easy to be King. Simpler logic.


Van Persie Says:

^^ Just ask Fed: 2004-2007 :)


Okiegal Says:

I love slow……… I can get so much done during the match! Lol! 😛😛😛


Okiegal Says:

@Van Perdue 1:28…….🤠🤠🤠


Margot Says:

OKiegal: When Andy’s not playing I often just start watching at crucial parts of the match. When Andy’s not playing….I especially like tie breaks…;)


Van Persie Says:

Okie,

Van Perdue, haha :)See I get a French name for the RG


gonzalowski Says:

weak field, not so much, they are the last champions and GS winners, Rafa, Nole, and Wawa, some other very good players… Fed from a lot of time ago is not favourite, and almost could say the same of Murray (who anyway has beaten Rafa on clay some time).


skeezer Says:

VP,
Oh you mean the period when Rafa and Novak were in the field ? ;)


Van Persie Says:

Yep Skeezer, but Rafa and Novak were teenagers, not at their peaks. Roger could not even beat Rafa the kid in a FO final :D


Okiegal Says:

@Van Persie……..I am so sorry about getting your name wrong! Perdue popped up on the stupid spell check………. please forgive!


Van Persie Says:

No worries, Okie, sounds funny :)


j-kath Says:

As long as you don’t get “lost” VP – we’d hate to lose you at the FO or elsewhere…..


skeezer Says:

^ my point just got stronger, not weaker.

I wouldnt call GS winners Safin, Hewitt, Roddick, Agassi a weak field. They weren’t “missing”.
Novak & Nadal were pushing 2o with Nadal winning 3 Slams.


Van Persie Says:

J-Kath,

I think I will get “perdue” after the French ;)

Skeezer,

Whatever, I still think there was not much of a competition from 2003-2007. Have to be honest, I used to find tennis a bit boring in that period of time, enjoyed it more afterwards.

Agassi was old, did not do much, Safin was inconsistent(but he looks good ;)), a sort of Wawa, I considered Roddick and Hewitt weak.
Liked and still like the generation of Rafa, Djoko, Andy, DelPo , Wawa much more. Also consider them better players.


skeezer Says:

Me too, But most of those likable players(novak playing but head is no mas) are not at FO, except king of delay of course.
I think your guy will be ready to go the distance at this years USO…


Okiegal Says:

King of Da-lay??? Lucky Xisca!! Woot woot!! 😘😘😘


Okiegal Says:

@Van Persie…….Thanks for being a gracious sport! Some years back I sent a comment to Madmax and spell check translated it as Madman….Madmax was not happy and she told me about it. I guess she thought I did it on purpose which I didn’t l, but the damage had
already been done……..FYI…….proofreading all monikers…….. LOL! PERFECT…..👌


Humble Rafa Says:

When you win 10 of anything, it shows the King is strong. Not that others are weak. 10 years spans more than a generation (of players and cats). You will find out how competitive clay can be once I retire in 2045.


skeezer Says:

Why have 10 of anything when there is 20 of everything?
#simplemath


gonzalowski Says:

^ King of Da-lay??? Lucky Xisca!! Woot woot!! 😘😘😘

——

😄😄😄😄 hmmm….


j-kath Says:

VP/Skeezer:

Me too.

VP: Not too much “perdue” – there’s a lot more tennis in Nole.

PS: To “UK-ites” – we are blessed – TV4 is showing FO from Sunday on!!!


Humble Rafa Says:

Why have 10 of anything when there is 20 of everything?

20 of everything. Elaborate, genius.

10 monte carlo, 10 barcelona, 10 FO, etc..is 10 of everything.


skeezer Says:

Elaborate, genius.10 monte carlo, 10 barcelona, 10 FO, etc..is 10 of everything

That is not 10 of EVERYTHING. Oh you mean 10 of YOUR everything. Your math is similar to your counting shot clock time. Errored.


SG1 Says:

When Rafa’s right physically and mentally, it doesn’t really matter what field is out there. He’s gonna win the FO…period. There’s no point in arguing about weak fields (…or strong fields) or the number 10. In about 16 days, short of an injury, Nadal will have another FO.


gonzalowski Says:

Nole, Nishikori, Wawa, Thiem, in the other half of Rafa


gonzalowski Says:

Rafa smiling, looking to the draw on the ceremony


Margot Says:

^ Just what I predicted :0 No Sascha v Rafa final then.


gonzalowski Says:

not Dimi nor Goffin on Rafa’s half

Rafa with Shapo, and Cilic or Delpo on SF


gonzalowski Says:

very good draw for Rafa, only Schwartzman or Shapovalov on his quarter,

Delpo or Cilic SF

the rest on final :)


Van Persie Says:

Wow. I am very surprised. Good draw for Nole too


Van Persie Says:

Predict Rafa-Dom final


Daniel Says:

Wawa just got bageled in his home. He may “be” at RG, but he is actually not there at all. It’s just a name with former champion, as in reality he has zero chances to win it or make any noise.


Margot Says:

And Thiem struggling against Garcia-Lopez. Feel he should’ve rested this week, playing too much. Do you want to revise your prediction, Van Perdue?….;) Love your new moniker BTW sounds like a French love song.


Van Persie Says:

Margot,

Since my fave is so lovely lately , I should be too ;)

Ok, my heart wants a DelPo-Nole final at this FO :)


j-kath Says:

Stan – usually one of my favourites, has not been winning much for a while and Del Potro has current problems also.


The Arrogant Goat Says:

The real weak field are the numbnuts here who keep looking at the draw, analyzing it (as if it really matters), dropping names of contenders, even possible winners not named Rafa (those of the dumbest). Use your brains (if you have them, maybe not). HR is a genius compared to all of you.


Van Persie Says:

^ kind of 2004-2007 revisited, U mean?


Van Persie Says:

But I said something stupid, between 2004-2007 there was hope Fed might beat Rafa at the FO. That’s missing now


skeezer Says:

VP,
You’re LP seems stuck. Might want to give it a nudge.


j-kath Says:

Oh my, such exciting new posters on Tennis-X – we are so blessed.


Van Persie Says:

Skeezer,

Come on, it is obvious it is not the strongest field. But it is not different from AO 2018. You did not complain then about this. Same situation: big names, but not much of potential to make noise there, as Daniel told.


Tennis fan Says:

Skeezer, the field is weak no doubt but Still your Champ doesn’t have the balls to play in the tournament.


The Arrogant Goat Says:

I see people who back-up their stupid posts from the past with even stupider posts today. Stupid posts in the past: Federer, you are too old and will never win again. Retire already.
Stupider posts today: Federer, you have no balls. Play every tournament.


The Arrogant Goat Says:

Where was Nadal during the earlier hardcourt season this year? Oh, he played sick. No balls. Now that its clay, he is back, instantly and miraculously cared. His balls keep coming up (undescended testes) during hard court season and normal (back down in their sac) for clay.


The Arrogant Goat Says:

miraculously cured! (Nadal’s balls in clay season)


The Arrogant Goat Says:

The main purpose of balls is to have children. You know which one does not have any.


Tennis fan Says:

look at your name’ The Arrogant Goat’ lol and ur talking about stupid .


Tennis fan Says:

Where was nadal during early hard court season- he got injured when leading 2 sets to 1 in quarterfinal. Federer is a great great champion that’s why whatever he achieves is awesome but don’t bring weak field n all that crap when others are winning. Skeezer was the one that brought this argument first.Where the hell were u then?


Giles Says:

Lol. Balls for children but no balls for facing Nadal on clay. That’s the truth!


skeezer Says:

VP,
C’mon yourself. A018?
Fedal was at least in that draw remember? AND…. you had Wawa, Tsonga, Delpo ( way good player on HC ), Djoker, Kyrgios, Roanic..you want to go over the FO field in detail? Probably not.


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