The stars are aligning for two-thirds of the famed Big 3 as Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have eased their way to the later rounds of the French Open.
Both were initially pegged as the hot favourites to win in the men’s division according to the French Open 2020 odds, and so far they didn’t disappoint as they’ve run roughshod over their less-heralded counterparts.
Such is also the case in the women’s division as Simona Halep, Kiki Bertens, and Elina Svitolina rolled past their opponents – making them the heavy favourites.
Meanwhile, Coco Gauff and Serena Williams are now out of the tournament for different reasons.
After defeating the ninth-ranked Johanna Konta in the first round, Coco Gauff crashed out of the French Open with a shocking loss against Martina Trevisan, who barely entered the tournament via the qualifiers.
Serena Williams’ quest for no. 24 would have to wait for now as she had to withdraw due to a lingering Achilles injury.
With the race to the championship heating up, they storylines just keeps getting better and better.
And as always, SBOTOP has you covered by providing you the latest French Open 2020 updates.
Nadal and Djokovic remain dominant, young turks on the rise
Rafael Nadal may very well be on his way to equal Roger Federer’s record of 20 Grand Slams, as he’s shown no signs of rust whatsoever in the first few rounds of the French Open.
The 12-time Roland Garros titlist made quick work of Egor Gerasimov, Mackenzie McDonald, and Stefano Travaglia to make it into the Final 16 of the competition.
“I think today I played the best match this year at Roland Garros,” said Nadal after dispatching Travaglia, 6-1, 6-4, 6-0, in just 95 minutes of action.
The Mallorca native will face another relatively easy opponent in Sebastian Korda for a quarterfinals spot. The 20-year-old American is the 213th-ranked player in the ATP and is the son of 1998 Australian Open champion Petr Korda.
The young Korda defeated Pedro Martinez as he became the first player outside of the top 200 to make it to the French Open Final 16 since Arnaud di Pasquale 18 years ago.
On the other hand, Novak Djokovic continues to run hot in form by beating Mikael Ymer and Ricardas Berankis in the first two rounds. The Serb will face Tennys Sandgren next in the third round.
While much of the attention is focused on the big-time players, we shouldn’t overlook the youngsters who have done well in this tournament.
Hugo Gaston, 20, scored one of the biggest upsets of the competition when he defeated 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka in a rain-filled grinder, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-0.
The 239th-ranked ATP player will face Dominic Thiem next, who was the runner-up to Rafael Nadal in the Roland Garros in the past two tries.
Jannik Sinner, 19, made history by becoming the youngest player ever to reach the fourth round of the Roland Garros since Novak Djokovic in 2006.
The Italian youngster defeated Federico Coria in the last time out, but he will face a vaunted opponent in Alexander Zverev next. Sinner is the 75th-ranked player in the ATP.
Halep’s bid growing stronger, Serena Williams retires
French Open favourite Simona Halep got over the hump by annihilating Amanda Anisimova, 6-0, 6-1, to move on to the next round.
It can be noted that Halep was upset by Anisimova in the same tournament last year, which is why the former made sure to come away with a statement win.
“I was very aggressive and I knew from last year I had to change something and I did that today. I took the game in my hands,” said Halep after the match.
The 2018 French Open champion will meet 19-year-old Iga Swiatek for the quarterfinals spot. Halep is the heavy favourite not only to win against Swiatek, but also in the whole competition with the absences of Ashleigh Barty, Naomi Osaka, and Serena Williams.
Speaking of Serena Williams, the 39-year-old superstar has withdrawn from the French Open due to an Achilles injury.
“I was able to get it somewhat better, but just looking long term in this tournament – will I be able to get through enough matches? For me, I don’t think I could. Struggling to walk, so that’s kind of a telltale sign I should try to recover,” said the 23-time Grand Slam champion.
Williams’ Achilles was bothering her during her semis loss against Victoria Azarenka in the US Open. She made the decision to withdraw from the French Open during warmups before facing Tsvetana Pironkova.
The abrupt exit further extends Williams’ drought. She has been looking to draw level with Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slams since she won the 2017 Australian Open.
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