As the 2nd Grand Slam of the year commences at Roland Garros on Sunday (May 22) in the Parisian clay, followers and aficionados are not seeking further than the Massive Two for title challengers.
Having said that, India’s previous No 1 tennis player Gaurav Natekar has a diverse acquire and has selected his decide on for the match.
French Open: Djokovic, Alcaraz and Nadal all on exact aspect of attract at Roland Garros
“The top half of the men’s draw is intensely loaded. Rafa (Nadal), Novak (Djokovic), Carlos (Alcaraz), Stan (Wawrinka), Diego Schwartzman… are all on the exact same 50 % of he attract. It continues to be to be found who’ll can come by means of.
“With Nadal and Djokovic drawn on the identical 50 %, a desire remaining is out of query now. And never take it for granted that the Large Two are heading to meet in quarterfinals. Consequently a bunch of fascinating children who can produce an upset,” Natekar explained to a select group of journalists in a virtual media conversation hosted by Sony Athletics Network, who have the official broadcast rights of French Open 2022 in India.
So, does Natekar see a potential dim-horse who can arrive as a result of from the base half, primarily thinking about the truth that French Open up is recognized for unheralded champions? Natekar feels so, and thinks Stefanos Tsitsipas is the person to do it.
“I experienced stated a pair of several years in the past that Stefanos is the greatest among the the emerging gamers and I nonetheless stick to my stand. He arrived shut to successful a Grand Slam last yr (The Greek participant shed to Djokovic in French Open 2021 closing despite successful the first two sets). However he’s coming off an damage, he has plenty of expertise to acquire it. If there’s 1 participant who can upset the applecart then it is almost certainly Tsitsipas,” Natekar, the double gold medalist at 1994 Asian Online games, stated.
Significantly has been said about Alcaraz, after the 19-yr-old’s recent exploits which saw the Spaniard earn Madrid Open up, where he defeated both of those Nadal and Djokovic en route to the title. Some pundits have even tipped Alcaraz to go the length in Paris, although Natekar diffe.
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“Carlos has by no means progressed further than the 3rd-round in a Grand Slam. So to start with, he ought to get the monkey off his again. Taking part in a Grand Slam requires a pretty various mentality and French Open is the toughest of the Grand Slams.
“He’ll dig deep in Roland Garros, But I will not see him winning the event. His time will come, but he has to wait around. I’m absolutely sure in the years to arrive, he’ll be the flag-bearer of men’s tennis.”
Seven-time countrywide champion Natekar, mentioned Russian Daniil Medvedev could also pose a obstacle.
“The great thing about Medvedev is that he performs and wins matches when he is just not on sort. Clay may perhaps not be his favourite surface area. But, nonetheless he can be really dangerous,” Natekar mentioned.
Djokovic is one particular title away from equalling Nadal’s history 21 Grand Slams and has sounded early warning to his rival by winning in Rome, wherever he beat Tsitsipas in the final.
Natekar mentioned the Serb will end up with minimum amount 25 Grand Slams in his job.
“Djokovic has a handful of extra a long time and Grand Slams to play as opposed to Nadal. So he’ll effortlessly conclusion up with say, a thing like 25 Grand Slams.
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“As considerably as Rafa is concerned, for him, it’s going to be like a single match, or instead a person set at a time, due to the fact he’s coming back again from an personal injury,”
Natekar was location on when questioned to choose the favourite in the women’s draw.
“Any individual who does not choose Iga Swaitek as the favorite just isn’t living on this earth. The Pole has had an wonderful operate in latest instances. Iga has already won the French Open when, is the WTA world No 1 and is on a 28-match successful streak.
“Players like defending champion Barbora Krejcikova, Paula Badosa all have a possibility, but Iga definitely has the edge. There is large amount of depth in women’s tennis. We have viewed that in some years, the 4 Slams are received by 4 various gamers,” he additional.
Former environment No 1 Naomi Osaka is again in Paris, after battling her recent concerns associated with mental strain. While sympathising with the Japanese star, Natekar mentioned challenges pertaining to mental pressure have been plaguing the activity for many yrs.
“It has been there just before as very well. Only distinction now is that it has come extra to the forefront and multiplied quite a few folds mainly because of social media. Stress is element and parcel of the activity.
“Just one has to strike a balance in this article as which is the elegance of any sport – be it tennis, golf, badminton or swimming – you are actively playing towards by yourself in your head right after a specific place and you will have to be in a position to take care of all those external variables,” Natekar concluded.
Observe French Open up 2022 Reside from Roland-Garros Are living (May perhaps 22 to June 5) on SONY Six, SONY 10 2 (English), SONY 10 3 (Hindi) and SONY Ten 4 (Tamil & Telugu) channels.
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