The ATP’s French Open quarterfinals are set. Here are our predictions for where each member of the last eight will finish this week in the remaining two rounds.
The ATP’s last eight at the French Open are set and contains a wide range of players. The 2020 Big 3 – Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Dominic Thiem – have all booked their spots without dropping a set. Underdog Jannik Sinner is having a career week after reaching the quarterfinals in his debut, and former NextGen stars Andrey Rublev and Stefanos Tsitsipas also sit in the last group. Here are our predictions for where each of the remaining players will finish in Paris.
1. Rafael Nadal
2020 French Open finish: CHAMPION
Rafael Nadal’s entire tournament rides of his next match. He hasn’t faced a player inside of the top 70 and is set to face this week’s hottest player: Jannik Sinner. Coming fresh off of a career win over Alexander Zverev, he’s the first player since the King of Clay himself to reach the quarterfinals in his French Open debut. If Nadal is able to overcome the young hotshot, his chances to take the title definitely increase.
Keep in mind, Nadal has yet to lose a set this week and, with a win, will likely face a hobbled Dominic Thiem in the semis. Thiem struggled to push past Hugo Gaston in his 4th Round match and has shown moments of a nagging injury (most notably covered last month in New York). If Thiem goes through another tough matchup with Diego Schwartzman, Nadal will have the rest to be able to overcome his red clay rival.
If Nadal is able to get through, he’ll have the potential to face none other than the virtually undefeated Novak Djokovic, who’s been ripping through his half of the draw. While Nadal is 7-1 in Paris versus the current World #1, it’s really a toss-up this year given Nadal’s early exit in Rome in comparison to Djokovic’s title there. Best-of-three is a completely different animal than the no-tiebreak, best-of-five format that Roland Garros uses, though, so expect a battle like no other.
2. Novak Djokovic
2020 French Open finish: FINALIST
I simply don’t think there’s anyone that can give Novak Djokovic a fight in his half of the draw. Stefanos Tsitsipas has put on an extremely solid show so far in the deepest French Open run of his career but simply isn’t at the same level. The same can be said for Andrey Rublev, who, like Tsitsipas, is a very talented player but not near the level needed to take down Djokovic at a Grand Slam.
Before matching up with one of those two, Djokovic will face the only man who’s taken him down so far in 2020: Pablo Carreno Busta. While it was defaulted win instead of a full match, it still counts in the record. Since then, however, Djokovic has gotten back to exactly where he left off and is poised to rip through both Carreno Buta and the rest of his half.
A meeting with Nadal at this point is inevitable. The pair have faced off eight times in Grand Slam finals and have split them, 4-4. Nadal has two of his titles in Paris (the other two came at the US Open), whereas Djokovic has captured all four of his titles on hard courts. So far, the edge in this hypothetical matchup should be given to Djokovic because of his 2020 success but Nadal’s many records at Roland Garros are what draws him even and ultimately gives him the match. It’ll be his 20th Grand Slam and 13th at Roland Garros.