French Open Draw has Djokovic and Nadal in Same Half for 7th Consecutive Event

The only event where Djokovic and Nadal were not in the same half this season was Doha where Nadal did not play. That is seven consecutive events in the same half which have a probability of 1/128 of happening.

In other words a 0,78% chance. Extremely slim. Freak accidents are possible but when you see that they have also been in the same half of the French Open five consecutive times and 8/10 possible times you start to wonder.

Other than that it is a pretty balanced draw. Murray got Del Potro in the third round but Del Potro’s participation is in doubt due to more injury problems. Alexander Zverev is also in Murray’s quarter who could come through that quarter, given the form of Murray and Nishikori, who lost today to Mischa Zverev in Geneva.

Zverev will play Wawrinka in the final who is finding form again at just the right moment. I can easily see him going on a 2015-like run in Paris again in which case he would make the final at least.

Nadal got Paire in the first round who has zero chance of beating him. Although nothing is certain in tennis it is as certain as it gets that Nadal will make semis. There Djokovic can stop him if he plays like he did against Thiem in Rome.

Djokovic’s draw looks pretty good until the quarterfinals where he could face Thiem or Goffin. Thiem appears to be a good matchup for Djokovic and although Goffin can be tricky Djokovic leads him 5-1 in the head-to-head.

I think Djokovic’s chances looks pretty decent for semis and if he can get there in good form he can take Nadal out. During the clay court season Djokovic improved with every tournament and if he keeps that up he will have his chances of defending his title.

Djokovic surprised everyone by the manner in which he defeated Thiem in Rome and if he keeps improving he will shock everyone by defeating the favorite for the title.

  • Djokovic and Agassi Hits It Off Well in Paris

Something else that is working in Djokovic’s favor I think is his new relationship with Agassi which started in Madrid and Rome already as they discussed Djokovic’s matches over the phone.

Agassi can’t stay the whole tournament but it is great to see him back in Paris and as Djokovic’s coach at that. The two clearly has chemistry and that will already mean a lot to Djokovic. Djokovic has been looking for inspiration and change for some time now and it looks like he just found the ideal answer.

Personally, I couldn’t think of a better fit in terms of game styles, personalities, and career similarities. One doesn’t expect Djokovic to start winning everything all of a sudden but it is not impossible either.

Agassi’s input over the phone may have already helped Djokovic in Madrid in Rome and even having Agassi in Paris just for a few days could provide Djokovic with enough inspiration to defend his title.

Some relationships just hit it off from the beginning and judging from Djokovic’s quote that I posted that is exactly what happened. All of a sudden you almost feel like there is two of you instead of one. Especially when you and the other person have so much in common.

Djokovic and Becker was a great match but they took some time to find each other. I think Djokovic and Agassi is one of those rare relationships where there is no need for finding each other. It just clicks from the beginning.

And again, that is why I wanted Agassi to be his coach when I first heard he was looking for a new coach because I know both players very well and I knew how much they had in common. It is no surprise to me that they feel like they have known each other forever.

In the interview with Agassi I posted, he also says that he thinks Djokovic can be better than he’s been which is hard to believe given the level Djokovic reached but very exciting for Djokovic fans nonetheless.

I don’t doubt Agassi either. He is not the kind of guy who makes statements for hype. He is a very intelligent guy(like Djokovic) and also very serious. I think his input will prove to be absolutely invaluable for Djokovic and as a fan of both I am so excited that I don’t even care about what happens at the French Open.

I just can’t wait for them to make a long-term arrangement and to see what the future holds for their partnership.

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Posted in French Open, Grand Slams.

3 Comments

  1. Ruan, I wrote some comments about doping the other day, and I was outspoken, although I share your hesitation to point at specific players, since fans often tend to point at the foes of their favorites.
    I’m also fairly convinced that the so called random draw isn’t always that random. A Finnish mathematician even wrote a thesis a couple of years ago about that subject, and she came to the conclusion that the laws of probabilities suggest that tennis might have a problem. There also was the ESPN article a couple of years ago which suggested that the US Open computer generated draw of first round opponents for the top players clearly was instructed to pick lower ranked players for the big stars in order to prevent premature upsets.
    The curious coincidence of Nadal and Djokovic being so often in in the same half goes back way longer than just this year’s tournaments btw, and I have a certain nasty suspicion who might be interested in preventing them to meet in the final.

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