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Roland Garros 2020: What’s at stake for the 4 men's semifinalists?

Novak Djokovic (L) and Rafael Nadal (R)
Novak Djokovic (L) and Rafael Nadal (R)
Gaurav Moghe
ANALYST
Modified 09 Oct 2020, 12:20 IST
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The men’s semifinal lineup at the 2020 French Open is set. While we have the familiar faces in Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, we also have the new and younger ones in Diego Schwartzman and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Each of these men will have a shot at making history by winning the Roland Garros title. With higher stakes at play, it will be exciting to see who will come out triumphant.

As we move towards the final weekend of Roland Garros, here’s a peek at what’s at stake for the four men semifinalists.

1. Diego Schwartzman - Winning his first ever Grand Slam title

Diego Schwartzman after sealing victory over Dominic Thiem
Diego Schwartzman after sealing victory over Dominic Thiem

Though the least favored among the four semifinalists to win Roland Garros, Diego Schwartzman’s inspired play against the No. 3 seed Dominic Thiem suggests he’s a force to reckon with. It should also not be forgotten that the Argentine defeated Rafael Nadal on clay just a few weeks ago in Rome.

If Schwartzman wins Roland Garros, he will become the first Argentine since Juan Martin del Potro to win a Grand Slam and the first Argentine since Gaston Gaudio to win Roland Garros.

2. Stefanos Tsitsipas - Becoming the first Greek ever to win Roland Garros

Stefanos Tsitsipas aims to become the first Greek to win Roland Garros
Stefanos Tsitsipas aims to become the first Greek to win Roland Garros

It wasn’t a great start at the tournament for Stefanos Tsitsipas, as he found himself trailing two sets to love in his first-round match against Jaume Munar. But since then he has steadied the ship, and now looks stronger than ever.

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During his semifinal run, Tsitsipas became the first Greek player ever to reach the final eight at Roland Garros. And now he has the chance of becoming the first Greek to lift the title.

Though he is widely considered a distant third favorite to win the title - after Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic  -  his solid performance against Andrey Rublev suggests he has the wherewithal to go all the way.

3. Rafael Nadal - Winning a record-extending 13th French Open title

Rafael Nadal is yet to lose a set at Roland Garros 2020
Rafael Nadal is yet to lose a set at Roland Garros 2020

There is no elaboration needed here; everyone knows Rafael Nadal has some truly ridiculous records at Roland Garros. No player in the Open era  -  man or woman  - has ever won a single Grand Slam tournament even 12 times, and now Nadal is on the verge of winning his 13th.

Not only that, but if Rafael Nadal wins the 2020 title, he will also register his 100th victory on Parisian clay. That would make him only the second man in the Open era after Roger Federer to win 100 matches or more at a single Grand Slam tournament.

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Roger Federer (L) and Rafael Nadal
Roger Federer (L) and Rafael Nadal

Speaking of Roger Federer, his all-time record of 20 Slams is also under threat. Rafael Nadal is currently just one short of the Swiss' mark, and if he wins Roland Garros this year he will equal the record - with a great chance to break it next year.

If the inevitable does happen, it will once again break open the floodgates of the GOAT debate. With the head-to-head record in his favor, Nadal could well be called the GOAT by many in the tennis community come Sunday.

4. Novak Djokovic - Completing his Double Career Grand Slam

Novak Djokovic after booking his spot in the semi-final
Novak Djokovic after booking his spot in the semi-final

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has been in imperious form since the return of the tour post the COVID-19 lockdown. A victorious return at the Cincinnati Masters meant that he completed his Double Golden Masters, and now he’s two matches away from bringing home the unprecedented Double Career Grand Slam.

If Novak Djokovic manages to clinch his second Roland Garros title, it will be a feat of historic proportions. The Serb knows that too, which makes him hungrier than ever to win yet another Grand Slam title.

Published 09 Oct 2020, 12:20 IST
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