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French Open 2018: 4 players who can beat Rafael Nadal

Kshitij Tayal
CONTRIBUTOR
Top 5 / Top 10
725   //    31 May 2018, 17:56 IST

It's been a much expected month and a half with the World No.1 Rafael Nadal dominating the clay court season in usual fashion. Emerging as the winner in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome, he suffered his only loss at the Madrid Masters.

The "King of Clay" has been handed a dream draw at Roland Garros as most of the fierce rivals, including the likes of Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem, and Alexander Zverev are in the other half of the draw. With his arch nemesis Roger Federer skipping the French Open yet again, the Spaniard is poised to defend his title on the red dirt.

Nadal might face his old friend and foe Richard Gasquet in a potential third round(3R) match. With quite a lot of hours on the court already, the Spaniard's knees need to hold up for another grueling couple of weeks.

Let us look at the top contenders to challenge Nadal in the French Open this year:

NOVAK DJOKOVIC

2018 French Open - Previews

The former Roland Garros champion is seeded as low as 20th for the first time since 2006. The Serbian showed glimpses of returning to his old form in Rome, where he posted a stunning victory against Kei Nishikori and gave Nadal a tough fight. Nole stills leads 26-25 in their head to head meetings.

The duo have played some epic encounters at the French Open in the past and Djokovic has the game to topple Nadal and deny him another title. Novak might potentially face Thiem or Zverev at the penultimate stage. If he manages to get past the first week, then he can prove to be a real challenger as it will boost his confidence tremendously.

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Kshitij Tayal
CONTRIBUTOR
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