Rafael Nadal opened his 2016 campaign on a sour note following his first round exit at the Australian Open.
To make things worse, he’s projected to bomb out once again before the semifinal round at the French Open, according to Bleacher Report writer Merlisa Lawrence Corbett.
Nadal not reaching the semifinal of the French Open anew is definitely one of the most shocking early Roland Garros projections Corbett predicted in his latest piece on B/R.
Nadal, a nine-time French Open winner, failed to reach the semifinal round last year after losing in straight sets to Novak Djokovic in their quarterfinal showdown.
Last year, knee troubles and inconsistency haunted Nadal during the clay court, leaving him without a title in any of the tournaments he used to dominate.
Corbett believes this year won’t be any different for Nadal, insisting that the road to glory for the Spaniard will be tougher than ever, especially now that Djokovic appears to be unbeatable on all surfaces.
“The French Open has been good for the King of Clay, who is a nine-time winner at Roland Garros. However, Nadal’s woes of late have not been surface-specific. Last year, he failed to win any of the major French Open clay-court tuneups.
More trouble awaits this year. Nadal will fail to reach the semifinals.”
Speaking of Djokovic, Corbett thinks the Serb will be making history this year.
“Djokovic’s win at the Australian Open put him in the company of such names as Bjorn Borg, Rod Laver and Roy Emerson. However, despite his recent success, Djokovic remains linked to these names: Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Stefan Edberg, Boris Becker and Pete Sampras—tennis greats who never won a French Open.
This year, Djokovic finally leaves that exclusive club and wins his first French Open.”
As what the title suggests, Corbett’s early French Open projections are apparently ‘too early’ to determine who will be the eventual winners.
Nadal might be out of sync to start the year, but ruling him out as a contender in a tournament he won nine times without assessing his performance in the French Open tune-up tourneys is simply absurd.
No doubt, Djokovic is on fire. Yet, the Serb also understands that overlooking Nadal would be foolish. Ladies and gentlemen, there’s a reason why Rafa is called the King of Clay.
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