Andy Roddick predicts the most open Roland Garros in 25 years

Monday, 13 May 2024 at 21:30
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Former world No. 1 Andy Roddick predicts that the upcoming French Open will be the most open men's Grand Slam in the last quarter-century. According to the 2003 US Open champion, as many as 15 players could contend for the title at Roland Garros.
Rafael Nadal's 14 titles from 2005 to the present have prevented other players from shining at Roland Garros in recent years. Only Novak Djokovic (3), Roger Federer, and Stan Wawrinka have clinched the title in the last two decades.

Open field in the men’s draw

Starting from Sunday, May 25th, the men's main draw will commence, featuring a long list of contenders for the title, as Roddick commented. The top seed is Novak Djokovic, who has had an inconsistent year and recently suffered a painful defeat on clay at the Rome Open against Alejandro Tabilo without even having a break point in his favor, something that had only happened once before in his career.
Youngsters Jannik Sinner (No. 2) and Carlos Alcaraz (No. 3) are dealing with physical issues and did not participate in the Rome Open, leaving uncertainty about their presence and the level they can display at Roland Garros. Additionally, the 4th seed Daniil Medvedev also recently suffered an injury that forced him to withdraw from the Madrid Open:
“Every single person in the top four has some sort of injury concern going in,” he said, as he added Daniil Medvedev to the list of players carrying injury concerns after he was forced to pull out of the Madrid Open earlier this month.
“I don’t know that we have had a lot of Grand Slams in the last 25 years, certainly on the men’s side, that we can say; this is wide open. We haven’t had that conversation for such a long time,” Roddick added. “Our favourite is a guy who is dealing with a forearm injury and hasn’t played two out of the three Masters events going in.”
“By the way, whatever the odds might say, Medvedev, (Andrey) Rublev and (Casper) Ruud would also like a word here. Taylor Fritz… you have to put him in that conversation.”
“We are not even talking about Rublev and he won in Madrid and there are so many names out there this year. All of sudden, we are talking about 12 or 15 guys for the first time in a long time,” Andy Roddick added. “Opportunity is knocking for a lot of names that you may not consider to be top of the favourites list.”
Rublev won his second Masters 1000 title last week at Madrid Open

Questions about Nadal's level

The perennial favorite, Rafael Nadal, arrives without being at his physical peak, and what he can achieve in the tournament remains uncertain following his performances at the Rome Open and Madrid Open: Principio del formulario
“You can see today on the court how difficult is and now there are two ways,” said Nadal after he lost against Hubert Hurkacz las Saturday. “Probably one is to say, okay, I am not ready, I am not playing enough well. Then is the moment to take a decision in terms of not playing Roland Garros,” Nadal said.
“Another is to accept how I am today and work the proper way to try to be in a different way in two weeks. The decision, as you can imagine, is not clear in my mind today. But if I have to say what’s my feeling and if my mind is closer one way or the other way, I going to say be in Roland Garros and try my best,” the 14-times French Open champion added.
Despite Nadal's pessimism, Roddick expects him to compete in the tournament: "Time is undefeated and the last two years have not been kind to his body. You can't take injury after injury after injury and then pull up at 37 or 38 years old and say I'm as good as I always was," he said. "Rafa doesn't feel good enough to actually play. I hope he does, I'm sure he will."

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