“Nadal Can’t Rule Paris Forever”: Boris Becker Says Novak Djokovic, Next-Gen Close to Upstaging Rafael Nadal at French Open

Published 06/11/2021, 4:50 AM CDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 9, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his quarter final match against Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman REUTERS/Benoit Tessier


He has more French Open titles to his name than any player, past or present. But if one were to go with yesteryear great Boris Becker’s assessment, Rafael Nadal could be nearing the end of his reign of supremacy at Roland-Garros.

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Speaking to Eurosport, the six-time Grand Slam champion said that while Nadal remains the firm favorite to lift his 14th career French Open title this year, it won’t be long before his era of dominance in the City of Love is finally brought to an end.

Since his debut at Roland-Garros in 2005, the Spaniard has had an enviable run of wins in the French capital, giving him the nickname ‘King of Clay’.

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Rafael Nadal has looked in ominous form at the French Open this year

Despite two slip-ups on clay this year, at Monte-Carlo and Madrid, the 35-year-old has worked himself into an ominous form on his favorite stomping ground, dropping just one set in his quarter-final win over Argentine Diego Schwartzman on the way to reaching another semi-final.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 9, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal reacts during his quarter final match against Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

However, Becker believes the Next-Generation is coming ever closer to knocking the Spaniard off his throne at Roland-Garros. He said the current World No.3 remains his top title-contender this year but the next lot of stars will eventually come in and force him to relinquish his hold over the Roland-Garros title.

“I’m not clairvoyant, but the top favorite for me remains Nadal, that hasn’t changed. (But) at some point, the successors have to come,” Becker said.

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Zverev and Tsitsipas are playing on a par with Nadal: Boris Becker

The German added that he sees Novak Djokovic, whom he coached for three years, adding to his 2016 French Open title. The Serbian, who currently tops the rankings in singles, will play Nadal for a place in the Roland-Garros final on June 13.

Becker added that Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev are also playing on a par with the Big 2 and it’s only a matter of time before they hold aloft the title at Roland-Garros.

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“Nadal can’t rule Paris forever. I also see that Djokovic can win such a tournament, but Tsitsipas and Zverev are almost on a par. For me, it’s just a question of time,” the former champion said.

The World No. 5 Greek and the sixth-ranked German are set to feature in the first semi-final later on Friday.

Watch This Link: Top Dramatic Tennis Moments From The 2021 Clay Season

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

977 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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