Nadal Pulls Out of French Open

Well well, isn’t this a surprise? It must be pretty bad if it’s going to be ‘broken’ in a couple of days. That said, I’m never surprised when Nadal gets injured given he has the most taxing game style in the history of our sport.

I’m just surprised that his body lasted this long. This is, of course, pretty good news for Djokovic although I didn’t have any doubt myself that he would have defeated Nadal if they met. He pummelled him 7-5, 6-3, 6-1 last year and won the last seven matches and 15 sets against him.

Someone like Thiem may provide him with stiffer competition anyway. So no, there will be no asterisk here if Djokovic wins the title. I know Fedal fans desperately wants to believe it but it is just not true.


If anything Djokovic deserves this bit of good fortune after all the years of being cursed. This could be a sign that the stars are finally aligning for Djokovic. Let me also dispell the myth that this would be anything like 2009 was for Federer if Djokovic wins the title.

Djokovic did his due last year when he destroyed Nadal. Federer was never able to even take Nadal to five sets at the French. Nevermind win in straight sets. Last year was the year that Djokovic deserved to finally win the title but he got screwed over by the schedule and draw.

So it would only be fitting if he wins it this year!

  • Top Half

Thursday it was the turn of the top half again and Djokovic was far from his best against Darcis but got the job done in straights 7-5, 6-3, 6-4. I thought that was about as bad as Djokovic can play but I guess you have to give credit to Darcis as well.

He has a good slice which seemed to bother Djokovic somewhat but only because he was playing poorly by his own high standards. One of the fascinating things about Djokovic is how he beats high-quality opponents with ease without being at his best.

Djokovic got broken twice in the match. I only remember once though and that was in the third set when he led 2-0. One of the times he got broken he got broken to love as well if I recall correctly. There were just many uncharacteristic unforced errors from him.

But a win is a win and he now plays Bedene who you’d expect him to beat in straight sets as well. As we have seen so many times from Djokovic he brings his best form when it matters most. He is a master at saving his form.


So that is the way I view the match against Darcis. He still had Nadal ahead of him when he played Darcis and he would have wanted to save as much good form for that match as he could. The worse he can play without losing sets the better for him in a way.

Sure it is nice to destroy everyone 6-0, 6-0, 6-0 but then when you come up against a good opponent you may get a shock. I would say Djokovic’s road to the final looks pretty comfortable now but nothing is guaranteed.

I would like to see a better performance from him against Bedene now that Nadal has withdrawn. Thiem had a good straight-set win over Garcia-Lopez as well and he will play Zverev tomorrow who he also played and defeated in Nice.

With the withdrawal of Nadal, this is now a big opening for him that he must cash in on after some very good form this year. He should make at least his first slam quarters here but hopefully semis. I’d love to see him play Djokovic in the semis.

  • Bottom Half

Today was the bottom half’s turn and for once Murray won in straight sets when he beat Karlovic 6-1, 6-3, 7-6(3). He will now play Isner who defeated Gabashvili in five sets. I don’t expect Murray to have any problems there either but in the quarters, he could well be eliminated.

Kyrgios lost in straight sets to Gasquet today which was somewhat surprising although with Kyrgios you never know. Good win for Gasquet anyway. Verdasco pushed Nishikori to five before Nishikori prevailed 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 2-6, 6-4.

In the third quarter, Stan continued to look good when he straight-setted Chardy 6-4, 6-3, 7-5. Winning Geneva did indeed give him the confidence boost he needed and it looks like he is going on another hot run.


The physical side may still be a question but if he keeps winning in straight sets he will get plenty of rest. So maybe we are looking at a rematch of last year’s final?

I actually wouldn’t mind that because that would give Djokovic a chance at revenge after a fair draw and schedule. Raonic is also still advancing smoothly and it looks like it will be a quarterfinal between him and Stan.

Looking forward to tomorrow’s action!

  • Highlights


Posted in French Open, Grand Slams.


  1. Ru-an, I have been following you since you start following Novak. I couldn’t agree with you more that if Novak win RG there shouldn’t be any asterix to his win as he already has upper hand on Rafa for quite some time.. It is unfortunate that Rafa had to pull out as we would witness yet another great match, something that we are accustomed when these two great champions play. Let’s hope that Nole elevate his game and whatever is bugging him he puts behind and focus on his game and continue winning. He still has to be careful but I think he should not have a lot of problems completing Nole’s slam.


    Ru-an Reply:

    Thank, Goran. Yes, I would have preferred that Nadal did not pull out so Novak could beat him again but it also gives Thiem a chance who is one of my favorite players.


  2. I honestly didn’t see this coming. Based on what I’ve seen of Nadal there wasn’t any sign that he was struggling with an injury. Looked very solid, and had a much better season than last year, so I thought he was gonna at least have a good run at RG this year. But like you said, all the strain he has put his body through over the years was bound to catch up. Gotta say I’m a little disappointed, was hoping for Djoko-Rafa semi. It’s hard to imagine anything stopping Djokovic now. It’s not like he really needed this either, but he certainly deserves a lucky break. Still a long way to go though and anything can happen.


    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah still a long way to go BE. Nole already lost the first set vs RBA. Set all and 4-1 now, though. About Nadal maybe he was scared to get another beatdown like last year at the hands of Nole?


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