Novak Djokovic could level Rafael Nadal in Paris. With the French Open well underway, many are looking towards the final already. With Roger Federer and Andy Murray both missing, focus moves to the remaining two from the original “big four”.
Novak Djokovic set to equal Nadal
Novak Djokovic is the World #1, so on seedings is the favorite for the trophy. Of course, Djokovic will need to make the final first. The Serbian’s progress to the fourth round has been, well, a stroll. Having destroyed Yoshihito Nishioka in the first round, Djokovic laid down the marker.
Slovakian Alex Molcan was more of a test for the world number one. Molcan forced a tiebreak in the third set, after Djokovic had eased through the first two sets. The Slovakian fought, but Djokovic edged through in to the third round, again in straight sets.
Third round pitched Djokovic against Slovenian (and one time Brit) Aljaž Bedene. The Serbian had little problem overcoming Bedene, who has never progressed beyond the third round of a Grand slam. Djokovic has yet to drop a set in Paris. The Serbian has yet to play a seeded player.
However, this changes on Sunday, when Djokovic is against 15th seed Diego Schwartzman. The Argentine has not had a smooth route to the fourth round, but will relish the opportunity. The Argentine has a good record in Paris, reaching the quarter final in 2018 and last year. Schwartzman made the semi final in 2020, the only player that stopped him going further? Rafael Nadal.
Djokovic v Nadal again?
As both the Serbian and Spaniard are due to meet in the quarter final, if the matches go to seedings. With Nadal on the comeback and his ranking down to number five, this would be an exciting matchup. However, both have to win their fourth round matches first. Djokovic is favourite for the match against Schwartzman. It won’t be a walkover though. In 2017 the Argentine took the Serb the distance before ultimately losing. Schwartzman has improved since then, so Djokovic will need to be prepared.
Djokovic is playing really well, so should get round the Argentine in five sets, and into the quarterfinal and a match up with Nadal. Whoever wins that meeting will go on and win the entire tournament; based on rankings this should in theory be Djokovic, who will then pull level with the Spaniard in the number of Grand Slam titles they hold.
Main Photo from Getty.