It is the final we all hoped before the tournament began, with world #1 Novak Djokovic set to take on 12-time champion Rafael Nadal for the title in Paris. It is a match that is likely to have enormous impact on the race to finish with the most Grand Slam titles and promises to provide plenty of thrilling action. As always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions, with Jim Smith, Pablo Mosquera, Yesh Ginsburg, Damian Kust and Andrew Watson.
French Open Final Predictions
Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal
Jim: Nadal will surely have been delighted to see Djokovic throw away his two-set lead against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semifinals. Not because of the extra physical exertion, the impact of that seems likely to be minimal. But the mental lapse was hugely concerning for fans of the Serbian. It was a match he should have won in the third and the fourth sets, before he finally finished it off in the decider. The Greek wasn’t good enough to punish those lapses. The Spaniard certainly will be.
Prediction: Nadal in 4
Pablo: In 2011, Djokovic entered Roland Garros undefeated and with an aura of invincibility, but a stellar Roger Federer halted his progress in the semifinals. Fast forward nine years and the Serbian has arrived to the deciding battle in Paris without losing a completed match all season. The world #1 seems ready to challenge Nadal in the most difficult scenario: Court Philippe Chatrier.
The 12-time champion has yet to drop a set this fortnight, but looked quite vulnerable for two sets against young gun Jannik Sinner, whose baseline game resembles that of Djokovic, but the Italian crumbled under pressure. Nadal has won the three most recent meetings on clay and is the odds-on favorite to win, but Djokovic has been serving lights out against the Spaniard lately and Nadal will be unable to dominate off the return as often as usual.
Prediction: Djokovic in 4
Yesh: Djokovic is playing better than Nadal right now, but his walkabout for two sets in the semifinal gives serious pause. Still, the conditions suit him and the form suits him. Also, Djokovic wants redemption for how his US Open ended. It will be a brutal battle, but the World #1 will come through in the end.
Prediction: Djokovic in 4
Damian: This is the big one, the one we were all waiting for. Nadal has stormed through the tournament without being threatened at all. But that might hurt him. In 2019 at Australian Open, Nadal was coming back from a long break and was not ready for Djokovic, allowing the Serbian to dictate off the ground.
But this is Nadal at Roland Garros, a tournament where he has lost just twice. If Djokovic was in imperious form, he might be able to pull off the upset. But his matches against Carreno Busta and Tsitsipas were not entirely convincing and I think Rafa will raise his level when needed. Regardless, we’re in for a blast (I hope).
Prediction: Nadal in 5
Andrew: Nadal was no doubt tucked up nicely in bed with a big smile on his face and his water bottles placed neatly by his side when Djokovic was finally saw off Tsitsipas’ resistance. To be fair to the Serbian he looked relatively fresh, if a little annoyed, at the end but surely that will have taken more out of him than he would’ve liked.
Pre-tournament I thought Djokovic was favourite but no doubt that the semifinals will have an effect here. I will still just about side with Djokovic, it would create history to beat Nadal but Djokovic will be so pumped for this. It could be his crowning moment.
Prediction: Djokovic in 5
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