5 players who can beat Rafael Nadal at the 2018 French Open
The stiffest challenge in men’s tennis is to take down Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros. Over the years, only Robin Soderling and Novak Djokovic have managed to pull off the unimaginable upset. While certain players have managed to live with him over three sets in other clay tournaments, they have struggled to deal with the Spaniard’s sheer brutality at the French open over five sets.
To get the better of Nadal at the French Open one should play an extremely high-risk game and hope it’s their day or Nadal should have a terribly off day.
Currently, Nadal is going through a purple patch on clay, winning 43 consecutive sets and making life difficult for the opponents. However, there are some effective players who can cause the Spaniard some trouble on the Parisian clay.
Dominic Thiem is arguably the second best player on clay after Nadal and his game is best suited to this surface. Having beaten Nadal twice on this surface the Austrian is capable of upsetting Nadal on his day if he executes his game plan to perfection.
One of Thiem’s best performances on clay came against Nadal last year at Rome where he defeated the Spaniard in straight sets. Thiem played a high-risk game and it paid dividends for him, however, he couldn’t replicate the same performance at the French Open when he faced Nadal in the semis. Thiem would be hoping to change his fortunes this time around when he faces the king of clay.