Rafael Nadal is rightly called the king of clay as he has an amazing record. Nadal recently won his 12th Barcelona Open title by defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas in gruelling three sets after sweating hard for three hours and 37 minutes. Thus, Nadal made a sublime return to the game after Australian Open and continued his domination on clay.
The lefty also won his 450th match on clay court and thus became the first player to register 450 wins on two different surfaces. The Spaniard has won 490 matches on hardcourt.
On the other hand, Roger Federer returned back to action after a long hiatus of 13 months in the Qatar Open but he looked rusty and was knocked out in the quarterfinals. Since then Federer has been working hard on his fitness for the grass season. After a lot of thinking, he has decided to participate in the French Open in Paris.
However, former American Tennis player Patrick McEnroe believes with Nadal at the top of his game on clay, it would be difficult for Roger Federer to win Roland Garros. Thus far, Federer has won a solitary Roland Garros title which he won back in 2009 whereas Nadal has won 13 titles.
Patrick McEnroe said, “On hard courts, there’s a good number of players who can upset Roger; while on grass, especially at Wimbledon, there’s not that many of them with the tools to beat him. The French Open probably belongs to Nadal, and none of the young guys are very good on grass yet. Roger wouldn’t be showing up in Paris if he didn’t think he could perform well. But I don’t think he is really going there thinking he could win the tournament. Even when Roger was at his highest level, he was the world’s second-best clay-court player, which is saying something. I don’t think we can say that right now, especially after returning from such an extended break”.
Federer is currently not at the top of his game and it will be interesting to note how he performs in the French Open. The second slam of the year will begin from 24th May.