2020 ATP Roland Garros fantasy tennis preview: Can Nadal win his 13th crown?
AFTER an entertaining clay court season, the final stanza is here with Roland Garros set to take place over the next two weeks. Led by world number one and 12-time winner, Rafael Nadal the tennis world will converge on France as the best players look to win a major in this fantasy tennis Grand Slam.
Rafael Nadal (Spain)
There could be no one else who takes the title of favourite in France with the 12-time Roland Garros winner back to try and make his most recent string of successes a three-peat. Back in the number one seeding, Nadal takes on qualifier Marius Copil in the first round, with Philipp Kohlschreiber and Casper Ruud in the first three rounds. Juan Martin del Potro or Fabio Fognini could be a fourth round opponent, while Diego Schwartzman or Stan Wawrinka looms as his quarter finals clash. It’s a tough draw, but Nadal is the best.
Dominic Thiem (Austria)
Last year’s runner-up came close but fell short for a second straight year, and he has ended up in the opposite half of the draw to Nadal in 2020. It means he could be looking at a Novak Djokovic semi-final if he gets there, but a potential fourth round clash with either Filip Krajinovic or Nikoloz Basilashvili – who are both in great form – make it hard for him to lock in a final four appearance just yet. He is second favourite at this event, but stranger things have happened.
Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
The world number two will be hoping to continue the form from the Rome Masters where the Serbian star toppled Nadal for the second time in a final this year. Last year he bowed out in a tight five-set semi-final loss to Thiem and will be hoping to turn the tables on his younger opponent this year. He takes on qualifier Santiago Giraldo in the first round, and could face Hubert Hurkacz and Roberto Bautista Agut on his run to the latter stages of the tournament, but it will be no surprise to see him go deep again.
Stefanos Tsitsipas (Greece)
Tsitsipas has had an up-and-down formline of late, but has shown that if he can get past a first match, then he can go deep in a tournament. At Roland Garros, Tsitsipas is seeded sixth and he reached a quarter final here last year before going down to Wawrinka. A first round clash with Paolo Lorenzi eases him into the draw which sets him up for tough third and fourth round potential matchups with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils respectively.
Stan Wawrinka (Switzerland)
Falling to compatriot Roger Federer in the quarter finals last year, Wawrinka will be more confident this time around having beaten the Fed Express in the last start out at Rome. Up to 10th in the world, Wawrinka takes on French up and comer Antoine Hoang in the first round, before a tough encounter next up with either Pablo Cuevas or Lorenzo Sonego. Drawn in the same eighth as Schwartzman and then a potential quarter final with Nadal, Wawrinka will have to earn his run to the final.
Andy Murray (Great Britain)
Yet to win a title this year, but Murray has gone well in every start thus far. He has no points to lose which means the world number 21 will almost certainly bolt into the top 20 after the tournament. He has Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka in the first round, and could lineup against Matteo Berrettini in the Round of 32. With Krajinovic or Basilashvili in the fourth round, Murray will have his challengers, but expect him to be a real chance in the biggest clay tournament of the year.
Cristian Garin (Chile)
A real breakout year for the up and comer who has really impressed throughout the clay court season. Now seeded 19th in the world, Garin will be hoping to go better than his disappointing straight sets exit in the second round last year to Wawrinka – where he won just five games – when he gets out on court this time around. He takes on Radu Albot first up, with a fairly comfortable draw for the most part. His big challenge may come in a fourth round clash with Federer.
Juan Martin del Potro (Argentina)
Recent performances have seen the Argentinian return to the top 100 after a long layoff with injury. He was the eighth seed here 12 months ago, reaching the fourth round before going down to 10th seed Karen Khachanov. In 2020, del Potro has a tough draw with Jan-Lennard Struff his first round opponent, likely followed by Fognini and then in the same eighth as Nadal. He will need to be at his absolute best to cause an upset, which makes for a fascinating first few rounds.