After Dominic Thiem beat Rafael Nadal in Barcelona, the question regarding who should be the favourite to win the clay court grand slam, has arisen.
Theim defeated Nadal in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 in the ATP Barcelona Open semi-final. He then went on to win the tournament in the final on Sunday, 28 April 2019, when he brushed passed Russia's Daniil Medvedev 6-4,6-0. The Austrian is ranked as the number 5 seed in the world and after winning his second tournament of the year in impressive fashion, last year's Roland Garros runner up looks like the man to beat in Paris.
Other major contenders going into the second grand slam of the year include a list of the usual suspects such as Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and the number 1 seed Novak Djokovic. Federer has had a relatively strong start to the 2019 season, whilst the King of Clay looks appears to be heading back to top form. If Djokovic wins the Coupe des Mousquetaires for a second time this year, he would once again be the holder of all four grand slam trophies at the same time. This would definitely be a motivating factor for the Serb but it would seem that his issues off the court could have an effect on his performance.
The 2019 season has also brought forth big performances from those who would not typically be on the bookies radar like the Italian stallion Fabio Fognini or the Croat Borna Coric. Other players, such as Sascha Zverev, have not yet hit their stride on the clay but could be a force to reckon with come the end of May. What is certain is that this year's Roland Garros looks to be an interesting, open contest. With the build up to the French Open still underway, the next couple weeks looks to be a filled with fascinating tennis that will have us all questioning who will be crowned champ of the next major.
29 April 2019
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