French Open 2020: “Nadal and Djokovic are the favourites, but Thiem is obviously the third guy,” says McEnroe

Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem are the top contenders for John McEnroe. However, these different conditions will play an important role at the slam this year and trouble players.

Dominic Thiem, Novak Djokovic & Rafael Nadal

The French Open 2020 is going to be much more exciting this year. The clay courts are anyway trickier and with a halt in play, players will have a hard time adjusting to the clay so soon. With its main draw beginning on Sunday, the slam will have big players in action.

Meanwhile, John McEnroe predicts the men’s matches at the slam. The American himself never won a French Open title, but makes a list of the three players he expects to win it this year. They are Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem.

Rafael Nadal returns in tough conditions

John McEnroe, Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal was unsuccessful to defend his Italian Open title this year. He will now be at the French Open attempting another defense on yet another title he won in 2019. However, John McEnroe has analysed the changes in the conditions that will trouble Rafa.

“Usually in Paris it cools off and it gets a little bit chilly at night and it depends on the scheduling,” McEnroe said, as quoted by Tennis 365.

“I’m sure that Rafa won’t be suggesting he plays a lot of night matches and I don’t know how that’s going to play out. Obviously, the weather is very unpredictable but presumably, in the autumn, the balls are not going to jump up as much as it normally does which will make life more difficult,” He added.

Rafa plays heavy topspin which requires the Spaniard to reach the ball and contact it from below. Brushing it upwards he makes the ball heavier with topspin. However, if the ball will bounce low, as suggested, the efforts to add topspin will have to be more.

Related: I would put Novak Djokovic ahead of Rafa and Thiem: 7-times GS champion picks his Roland Garros favourite

McEnroe suggests stronger contenders for the years last slam

Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem

The American legend has pointed Rafa’s comeback could be hard with Dominic Thiem and Novak Djokovic playing phenomenal. The Spaniard is the oldest of the three and may not be as good as he was earlier.

“Also, the law of averages I suppose – Rafa’s won it 12 times so you would think at some point he’ll cool off a little bit and not be able to produce as amazingly as he has so I think the door is open, particularly since this crazy pandemic has been going on,” McEnroe said.

“Nadal and Novak Djokovic are clearly the favourites, but I think Dominic Thiem is obviously the third guy, there’s no doubt about it,” he added.

McEnroe is positive that Novak and Thiem will give a tough competition to Rafa. But the King of Clay has claimed, he can make a comeback. It will be interesting to see how things turn out.

Also Read: Rafael Nadal optimistic to triumph French Open 2020 title like ‘so many comebacks’


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