August 22, 2019
Latest News

Nadal on the hunt for his 12th French Open title

 Rafael Nadal of Spain in action against Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece during their men's singles semi final match at the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome, Italy, May 18, 2019. EPA-EFE FILE/RICCARDO ANTIMIANI

Rafael Nadal of Spain in action against Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece during their men's singles semi final match at the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome, Italy, May 18, 2019. EPA-EFE FILE/RICCARDO ANTIMIANI

By Luis Miguel Pascual

Paris, May 25 (efe-epa).- No triumph at the French Open is routine anymore as every success Spanish star Rafael Nadal accomplishes involves a surprise, a new record or a new chapter to be written in history books.

In 2019, the so-called king of clay is on the hunt for his 12th French Open and crown himself the player with the wins in a single Grand Slam, breaking a tie with Australia’s Margaret Court, who won the Australian Open 11 times between 1960 and 1973.

Such an achievement has to be seen within the context of his strong competition.

In his bid for Gallic flory, Nadal faces the possibility of coming face to face with an ever-green 37-year-old Roger Federer, who is returning to Paris after three years of absence with the aim of increasing his record tally of Grand Slams to 21.

Not to mention Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, world No. 1, who seems to have overcome the ups and downs he struggled with last year and now will seek out his fourth Grand Slam title back-to-back.

A new generation of tennis players, led by Dominic Thiem of Austria, is also a danger Nadal cannot afford to overlook. Thiem came runner-up to Nadal in the 2018 French Open.

But Nadal knows how to dominate the French Open. The clay court, the best of five sets, the speed of the tournament and the dimensions of the court have been his allies over the years.

Nadal’s domination has been so firm that only three French Open titles have slipped through his fingers since winning his maiden trophy in 2005.

Federer managed to win the French Open in 2009 when the Spaniard conceded his first defeat by Robin Soderling of Sweden, Djokovic got to win it once in 2016, when Nadal had to withdraw due to a wrist issue and Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka hoisted the trophy in 2015, when Nadal was handed his second defeat.

He has been defeated in the French Open just twice since his first title and his career seems to be programmed to reach the peak just in time for Roland Garros.

And this year has been no different, as the Spaniard has been handed three defeats during the clay swing, while he arrived in Paris with only one loss in each of the previous two clay court seasons.

He lost to Fabio Fognini of Italy in Monte Carlo semifinal, Thiem in the Barcelona Open semifinal and Stephanos Tsitsipas of Greece in the Madrid Open last 4.

Nadal, however, manages to dispel any doubt about his form with his successful run at the Italian Open, which saw him prevail over Djokovic in the final.

Despite the Italian Open defeat to Nadal, the Serb remains one of the serious contenders in Paris, especially when taking into consideration Rome was his second clay-court final in a row having won the Madrid Open a week before the Italian Open got underway.

Djokovic, who has the top spot of the ATP rankings secured regardless the outcome of the French Open, has a challenge ahead of him; to win the four Grand Slams back to back, which would reaffirm him as officially over the blip he went through after claiming the French Open title in 2016.

The Serb dreams of his second Roland Garros title at the expense of an in-form Nadal, to move a step closer to leapfrogging the Spaniard as the second most successful player in the Grand Slam, behind Federer.

Federer, meanwhile, decided not to skip the clay court season and to take part in the French Open after three years of absence with the hope of claiming his second trophy in Paris, which would bring his overall tally to a record-extending 21 titles, 20 years after his French Open debut.

He will play Nadal in the semifinal, should they both make it that far, while at the same stage Djokovic could face off against Thiem, who is spearheading the new generation of players edging closer to a Grand Slam.

The old guards do not look to keen on handing over power just yet, though. EFE

News history
Torres prepares to bid farewell to soccer with final match against Iniesta

Tokyo, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- Spanish forward Fernando Torres is set to play his last ever professional match on Friday in a Japanese first division clash for...

Bolivian siblings say passion for tennis at root of Pan Am Games success

By Gina Baldivieso

Elkeson first non-Chinese soccer player to be called up for national team

Shanghai, China, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- Brazil's Elkeson de Oliveira Cardoso will be the first soccer player without Chinese ancestry to play for China, local...

Race walker Bakulin handed 8-year ban over doping

Moscow, Aug 21 (efe-epa).- Russian race walker Sergey Bakulin has been handed an eight-year ban by the International Association of Athletics Federations...

Hermoso, Felipe to be on Atletico’s defense vs Leganes

Madrid, Aug 21 (efe-epa).- Atletico Madrid defenders Mario Hermoso and Felipe Monteiro might be the La Liga side’s new defense in the upcoming league game...

Pollution levels in Tokyo Bay spark concerns for organizers of 2020 Olympics

Tokyo, Aug 21 (efe-epa).- Excessive levels of bacteria detected in the waters of Tokyo Bay have reignited concerns over their possible impact on the...

Yamaguchi crashes out of badminton World Championships; Prannoy upsets Lin

Basel, Switzerland, Aug 20 (efe-epa).- Japanese world No. 1 Akane Yamaguchi lost her opening women's singles match at the 2019 BWF World Championships,...

Soccer great Cristiano Ronaldo admits payment to rape accuser

Washington, Aug 20 (efe-epa).- Attorneys representing soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo acknowledged that the Portuguese striker paid $375,000 to a woman...

Pogba target of racist slurs for missing penalty against Wolverhampton

London, Aug 20 (efe-epa).- Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has been subjected to racist insults on social media after missing a penalty in the...

Brahim Diaz sustains new injury

Madrid, Aug 20 (efe-epa).- Brahim Diaz, Real Madrid's promising talent, suffered a new injury just 10 days after returning to the team’s training sessions...

Dembele adds to Barça’s attacking woes ahead of Betis game

Barcelona, Aug 20 (efe-epa).- Barcelona on Tuesday continued its preparations for the upcoming La Liga match against Real Betis struggling with injury woes...

Alonso tests new Toyota car

Madrid, Aug 20 (efe-epa).- Spanish Formula1 champion Fernando Alonso is to rejoin Toyota Gazoo Racing and carry out several tests with the team’s new car,...

Alonso tests Toyota Gazoo Racing new car, competes in 2019 Harrismith 400

Madrid, Aug 20 (efe-epa).- Spanish Formula1 champion Fernando Alonso is to rejoin Toyota Gazoo Racing and carry out several tests with the team’s new car,...

Messi among 10 candidates for FIFA's best goal award

Madrid, Aug 19 (EFE).- A goal by Barcelona’s Argentine star Lionel Messi against Real Betis was nominated on Monday for the FIFA Puskas Award, a recognition...

Barcelona to make offer to get Neymar on loan

Barcelona, Aug 19 (EFE).- FC Barcelona intends to make a written offer to Paris Saint-Germain in order to get Brazilian star Neymar Jr. on a season-long...

Man United drop points against Wolverhampton

Wolverhampton, England, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Manchester United managed only a 1-1 draw here Monday against Wolverhampton as Paul Pogba failed to convert a...

11-time world canoe champion Vincent-Lapointe suspended for doping

Madrid, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Canadian canoer Laurence Vincent-Lapointe, an 11-time world champion, has been temporarily suspended after testing positive to a...

Momota cruises into 2nd round of badminton World Championships

Basel, Switzerland, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Japanese world No. 1 Kento Momota breezed into the second round of the 2019 BWF World Championships with a 21-9,...

Coutinho: I hope I can stay at Bayern for a long time, win lots of trophies

Berlin, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Brazil midfielder Philippe Coutinho on Monday was unveiled at Allianz Arena after being loaned to Bayern Munich, stating he was...

Djokovic still leads ATP rankings, Bautista reaches Top-10 for 1st time

Madrid, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Serbia tennis star Novak Djokovic - winner of 16 grand slams- maintained the No. 1 spot of the men's Association of Tennis...

Justin Thomas wins BMW Championship, climbs to No. 1 in FedEX Cup standings

Medinah, USA, Aug 18 (efe-epa).- American golfer Justin Thomas won the BMW Championship at the Medinah Country Club near Chicago on Sunday, finishing with a...

Atletico Madrid starts off La Liga season by blanking Getafe 1-0

By Iñaki Dufour

Paola Espinosa, miracle worker in platform diving going for medal in Tokyo

By Gustavo Borges

Chelsea's winless drought under Lampard goes on with 1-1 draw vs. Leicester

London, Aug 18 (efe-epa).- Frank Lampard's Chelsea on Sunday went winless for the third encounter in a row as the London side played to a 1-1 draw at home...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.