Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal

‘Nadal still big Roland Garros favourite, but we’ve seen he’s beatable on clay,’ says Djokovic

Novak Djokovic says Rafael Nadal is still the favourite to win the French Open, although he thinks conditions will give others a better chance than usual.

Nadal has 12 French Open titles to his name, but he made what many would consider a disappointing comeback to tennis this week in Rome, losing in the quarterfinals to Diego Schwartzman.

Djokovic does not think that is enough to doubt the Spaniard, but it has raised hopes Roland Garros may not be as much a foregone conclusion as it usually feels.

“It’s Rafael Nadal,” Djokovic confidently declared when asked who goes to Roland Garros as the favourite.

“Even though he lost this week, I still think a lot of people will agree, he’s the number one favourite and the record that he has there, the history of his results, you just can’t put anybody in front of him.”

However, Djokovic also said he saw enough in Rome to believe Nadal may not be as comfortable as he usually is in Paris.

“Definitely Diego showed that Nadal is beatable on clay. The conditions that they played on, obviously heavy clay, not much bounce, humid, night session, we are going to have that as well in Paris.

“I’m pretty sure that he does not prefer that to a high bounce. I know he likes the high bounce.

“He likes the hot and warm and fast conditions, where he can use his spin a lot. Let’s see. It’s going to be interesting.

“I think even though he’s the favourite, I think there are players that can win against him there.”

Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.