It is missing less and less at the start of Roland Garros 2021, the second Grand Slam of the year and the key event for the season on red. All the spotlight will be on Rafael Nadal, who will try to win his 14th title in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. A possible triumph in Paris would also allow him to hoist himself to 21 Majors, bypassing the eternal rival Roger Federer for the first time in his career. His main antagonist should be world number 1 Novak Djokovic, a recent finalist at the BNL Internationals of Italy, where his race stopped in the final against Nadal. The Serbian veteran wants to take revenge after the terrible blow he suffered last year, when he sadly left Philippe Chatrier without being able to do battle. Behind them must be mentioned Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev, who have shown that they have approached the Big 3 also in the Grand Slam tournaments. In a recent conversation about ‘Tennis Majors’, well-known New York Times correspondent Ben Rothenberg expressed his opinion on the upcoming Roland Garros.
Ben Rothenberg opens up on the French Open
“I think these two guys (Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic) are peaking when it matters most,” Ben Rothenberg said. “They were largely absent lately, both literally and in terms of their peak form earlier in the season. We’ve seen Rafa do this many times. I think the Next Gen is still a ways off and still has something to prove if they’re going to disrupt these two on clay.” Former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli further stressed that Novak Djokovic sorely needed the positive showing at the Italian Open, given that he had endured a lackluster start to his claycourt campaign. “And I think that was for him the main point because obviously skipping Madrid and not arriving with a lot of confidence on clay, not doing well in Monte Carlo and Belgrade was really for him a big question mark whether this year he would still be able to play well on clay,” Bartoli continued. “So I think that tournament (Rome) for him was crucial for his confidence to go to Roland Garros and knowing he can do it.” All the best players in the world are part of this magnificent event. However, Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal is the favorite to lift the title for a record 14th time. On the women’s side, defending champion Iga Swiatek will be a tough competitor, and World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty is expected to go deep into the tournament. Unfortunately, former French Open champions Stan Wawrinka and Simona Halep have pulled out of the event due to injuries. Olympic Gold medalist Andy Murray has also joined the list of absentees.