2021 French Open: Who Could Reach the Final?

Iga Swiatek Rome 2021

With the French Open dawning upon us, it’s Grand Slam time again, this time on the beautiful red clay. Who will reach the finals of the men’s and women’s events? Read on to find out our predictions.

Women’s final prediction – Iga Swiatek vs Aryna Sabalenka

Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka (and Ash Barty) are the form players at the moment. Barty may struggle with an injury cloud hanging over her head. I believe that she erred playing too many lead up matches and should’ve pulled out of Rome.

Anyway, back to the finals. Swiatek and Sabalenka are both athletic and powerful players, so it is going to be a terrific match-up. The result will come down to this. Can Sabalenka reduce keep her unforced errors to a minimum and hit through Swiatek or will Swiatek’s heavy ground strokes be too much for the Belarusian?

The dark horse

The dark horse for me in this tournament is the Spaniard Paula Badosa Gibert. She has had wins over the likes of Ash Barty and Belinda Bencic and won a title in Serbia recently. Whether she has the fire power to stop the likes of Swiatek and Sabalenka is another question, however I believe she can really shake things up.

And the winner is…

I believe Iga Swiatek will win her second Roland Garros title. She has too many weapons in her arsenal on the clay especially. In particular, the defensive side of her game is much more developed than many other players in her draw.

Men’s final prediction –  Rafael Nadal vs Stefanos Tsitsipas

For the first time in a many years, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are all stacked in the same half of the draw. This means that only one of them can make the final. Given recent results, though he hasn’t been quite as dominant as in the past, I will still pick Nadal to make an absurd 14th French Open Final. He looks hungry to get back to the top of the rankings and is peaking at the right time, with a wonderful performance in Rome.

Both Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas have shown great form in the lead-up to the French Open and both deserve to be considered favourites behind Nadal. However, I give the edge to the Greek, as he has no real weaknesses in his game. Zverev’s serve on the other hand is a liability and can cost him in big moments, particularly at the Grand Slams.

The dark horse

The Italian Matteo Berrettini doesn’t get as much of the spotlight as fellow young guns, Medvedev, Tsitsipas and Zverev, but that might change in the future. He won the title in Belgrade, and has been consistent in the lead up to the French Open. But he is a top ten player and will put a lot of pressure on Novak Djokovic should they meet in their projected quarter-final.

And the winner is…

Nadal. He will win 14th French Open and his 21st Grand Slam in total, edging past Federer in the overall Grand Slam count in the process. The likes of Zverev and Tsitsipas will be able to get their hands on the trophy soon, but not this year. Nadal is just too good.

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