Boris Becker believes Rafael Nadal will likely triumph at Roland Garros for a record-extending 14th time this year, but that the Spaniard will not maintain his stranglehold in Paris indefinitely. According to Becker, it is only a matter of time before Stefanos Tsitsipas or Alexander Zverev gets their hands on the Roland Garros trophy, or Novak Djokovic lifts his second French crown.
In that context, Boris Becker claimed while speaking to Eurosport that Rafael Nadal is the "top favorite" to take home the Roland Garros title yet again. The six-time Slam champion did, however, go on to name Novak Djokovic, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev as the players likely to dethrone the Spaniard sooner rather than later.
"I'm not a clairvoyant, but the top favorite for me remains Rafael Nadal, that hasn't changed," Becker said. "At some point, the successors have to come, Rafael Nadal can’t rule Paris forever. I also see that Djokovic can win such a tournament, but Tsitsipas and Zverev are also almost on a par. For me, it's just a question of time."
I see Stefanos Tsitsipas & Alexander Zverev fighting for the crown together with Daniil Medvedev over the next few years: Boris Becker
Boris Becker then gave his assessment of the semifinal match between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev. Becker believes the Greek holds the edge at the moment given his immense mental strength.
"Now it’s a mental thing: who will stay cooler? Who has the greater will? Tsitsipas can do everything quite well," Becker said.
The German further opined that Tsitsipas has no weaknesses in his game on clay. He believes that the Greek, along with Alexander Zverev and Daniil Medvedev, will fight for the Roland Garros title in the coming years.
"I can’t find any weaknesses, especially on clay – whether it's his serve, groundstrokes or fitness. And he feels comfortable on the big stage," Becker said. "I see the two of them (Tsitsipas and Zverev) fighting for the crown together with Medvedev over the next few years. So this is just the first of many more big matches between Tsitsipas and Zverev."
Boris Becker also believes that his countryman Alexander Zverev has a trump card in the form of his raw power, which he should employ by striking the ball closer to the baseline. The 53-year-old pointed out that Zverev was not as aggressive as he should have been against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the quarterfinals.
"For me, Zverev has the most power. When he hits, there’s no stopping him," Becker continued. "But he can only do that when he's relatively close to the baseline and plays a bit more offensively. That's the difference to all the others who are still in the tournament. But he has to do it. In the quarterfinal, he was a bit too passive in my opinion, he played too long rallies."