Rafael Nadal seems to be the run away favourite for the French Open looking at his present form. He has been certainly helped by the drastic dip in form of Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. The World No.1 has only won 1 title out of the 7 tournaments he has played in, which has been a really sub-standard performance from the Brit, compared to last season.
Murray’s performance on clay so far has raised many eyebrows on the Brit’s claim to an elusive French Open. Last year’s runner up at Roland Garros, Murray needs some serious damage control after dismal performances at Madrid, Monte Carlo and now here in Rome.
But Nadal was rather optimistic about Murray’s form and said, “He is one of the best players currently. He is an unbelievable player and he has 10 days to prepare for the French Open. He is definitely one of the top contenders.”
The Spaniard will play American Jack Sock in the pre quarters of the Rome Open and spoke before the match, “I don’t think being World no.1 affects your mentality, rather it could be tiredness. Playing at the level that he plays, it is difficult to churn out wins after wins every week. He played dream tennis last year, especially towards the end of last season and won almost all matches. That is tough, both physically and mentally.”
Murray reached the semi finals of the Barcelona Open, where he suffered a shock defeat and that is the farthest he has went on clay this season. With 10 days left for the French Open, Murray would certainly want to tighten the screws.