Four contenders; Dominic, Rafa, Novak & Stefanos

Following last week in Madrid I have come to a conclusion that there are four contenders for Roland Garros this year but who are they and who do I just not think will contend?

Dominic Thiem

Favourite? Strong word to use.

Who has played the best clay court tennis so far this year? Thiem has. There are some flaws in his game in all honesty which were picked up in a good week in Madrid where he made singles semi-finals and was runner-up in doubles final.

His first set against Federer it was erratic and messy, I didn’t enjoy what I was watching I didn’t feel there was a plan to going that early break down at all. His defeat to Djokovic will annoy him as he did play better but on the big points in the tie-break blew it.

For me he is a big favourite, keeping concentration and a level head with his game is key and he needs to stay away from the doubles and focus on singles!

Early exit in Rome has provided questions but with Thiem it does seem a case of expect the unexpected.


Novak Djokovic

First title since Melbourne when he won in Madrid. He looked sharp still not at his best but played a very good week of tennis.

For me he is always the contender whether he turns up on a four match losing streak he is still the best out there. Roland Garros is a big obstacle for him as there are better all-round clay performers but this man holds the last three majors at the moment and I wouldn’t rule out a fourth.

Rome run to the final as well as Madrid win is what he needed.

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Do I think he could win it? Potentially.

Do I think he is dangerous? Very much so!

I love watching him play and watching him in Madrid was incredible. He is fearless and his game is courageous and just spectacular on clay. I like his never give up attitude and his detail.

What I enjoyed watching was the serve and volley and in the two matches against Nadal and Djokovic I saw him live he never missed one.

Rafael Nadal

No one has won it more than Rafa.

Time to worry? Absolutely not.

The good thing about a Grand Slam is that you get that day off and that fact we have seen improvement since Monte-Carlo has kept people on their toes.

You wouldn’t want to play Rafa here, crowd are with him and history is.

It will take something special to knock him out and something sustainable on clay over five sets is a bigger challenge in itself.

Winning in Rome has shaken off that going into Paris without a title tag and he looked very very good in Rome, streets ahead of the rest!

Who did I miss?

Two big names I missed were Sascha and Roger. I don’t think Sascha right now is in a place to contend to Grand Slam or get to a second week to be honest.

Roger, this clay court return is great but is being over-played for me. He’s done what I’d expect on clay to be honest but if he’s going to be considered a contender at Roland Garros he will need to pull up trees and I don’t see it happening.

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