With Novak Djokovic winning every match he’s played so far in 2011, the chances of him winning the 2011 French Open are really really good. He has already proven himself on the red clay twice against the King of Clay, Rafael Nadal.
This takes me to the technical aspect of Djokovic taking the 2011 French Open Title from Nadal. Historically, we all know that Nadal is almost unbeatable in Paris, 38-1 with the one loss in 2009 to Robin Soderling; whereas Djokovic is currently unbeaten in 2011 38-0 and holder of 7 titles (Australian Open, Dubai, Indian Wells Masters, Miami Masters, Serbia Open, Madrid Masters, and the Rome Masters).
Head to head, the two have met 27 times, and Nadal taking 16 of the meetings. The most important factor of the whole equation is that Djokovic has dismantled Nadal on the red clay twice this year, in Madrid 7-5, 6-4 and Rome 6-4, 6-4.
What could possibly prevent Djokovic winning the French Open? 5 set matches. Of course that is if Djokovic has an off day or isn’t rested, and if he doesn’t face many 5 set matches. Fitness has been an issue for Nole in the past as well as other health issues, allergies, nasal passages, and general fatigue. However, in 2011 Novak looks healthier and stronger than ever! Not to mention his current win streak as a huge motivator to take himself to the breaking point to get the wins. Of course there’s Rafa, he’s healthy, strong and motivated to defend his 2010 French Open Title. If Djokovic were to make it to the finals (win or lose), he would take Nadal’s #1 ATP spot. Talk about motivation for both players!
It’s hard to tell who the spectators will be behind this year, the French love Nadal, however; it’s hard not to love the win streak that Novak is on. It’s almost impossible not to admire what he’s doing right now, the other person to have such an insane win streak is John McEnroe in 1980 (42-0). So that will play a small role in the deciding champion.
So all in all, can Djokovic top Nadal? Probably, but I say that very loosely, since both players are equally capable to win the French Open. Nadal has the experience of going toe to toe with the best tennis players in the world and winning, and so does Djokovic. Of course this is all depending on Djokovic making it to the finals. He has a long way to go and so does Nadal. Either way, if they were to meet in the finals, I promise it will be a thrilling match and probably go 5 sets.