Even if Serena Williams, probably the biggest name in tennis, were playing in Paris, the French Open is still Rafael Nadal’s domain. With Williams out (happily, as she’s pregnant) and Roger Federer skipping to save his legs for his far better chances at Wimbledon, it’s even more of a Nadal fest than usual at Roland Garros. The great Spaniard has won the French Open nine times (the last in 2014) and appears to be back near top form after finishing second at the Australian Open in January and continuing with a strong spring clay season. Nadal is probably the chief reason Federer decided not to play.
— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) May 24, 2017
Nadal’s great rivals Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray enter the French as the #2 and #1 seeds. The two faced each other for the French title last year, with Djokovic winning in four sets. But it’s a reinvigorated Nadal in Paris this year. He’s the #4 seed — Swiss Stan Wawrinka captured #3 — and he’ll open against unlucky Frenchman Benoit Paire in the first round. If Nadal returns to the place he occupied for a decade, he will play in the French Men’s Final on Sunday June 11. Though he’s on a collision course with Djokovic in the semifinals. Nadal fans know that while he may be the #4 seed, no on else on the premises is within shouting distance of nine titles. In Paris in June, nine is likely to mean a lot more than four. Tune into FOX Sports for the championship match.