Rafael Nadal backhand

‘Rafael Nadal has a massive Roland Garros advantage due to US Open decision,’ says Novak Djokovic

Rafael Nadal has a massive ‘advantage’ at Roland Garros because of his decision to skip the US Open and practice on clay instead, says Novak Djokovic.

Nadal was the defending champion for the US Open, but he opted not to defend his crown this year due to safety and scheduling concerns.

Instead, he stayed at home and put all of his time and effort into preparing for the clay season, which is his strongest surface.

That, according to Djokovic, makes Rafael Nadal a even stronger favourite than usual to win the French Open.

“Rafa decided to stay [at home and practice] and that surely gives him more advantage,” Djokovic told reporters at the Italian Open.

“But even if he didn’t practice for that long on clay he’d still be the number one favourite in Roland Garros or any other clay tournament because he’s Rafa.

“Playing on clay he’s the ultimate challenge.”

Nadal has won 12 French Open titles in his career and is widely considered to be the finest clay court player of all time.

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.