Robin Soderling believes tennis break ‘may even help prolong’ Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s careers
Robin Soderling says Rafael Nadal will still be the favourite to win the French Open despite its switch to September while he also believes the current tennis hiatus could help prolong the Spaniard as well as Roger Federer’s careers.
Roland Garros 2020 was initially scheduled to take place from May 24 to June 7, but with tennis on an enforced break until July 13, the French Tennis Federation moved the tournament to September 20 to October 4.
It means the clay-court Grand Slam will start only one week after the conclusion of the US Open, which might leave a lot of players undercooked for the red dirt.
Soderling, who was the first man to beat Nadal at Roland Garros when he defeated the Spaniard in 2009, says Nadal will still be the player to beat and feels the hiatus will help the 12-time French Open winner as well as Federer.
“Of course it’s going to be a completely different tournament but Rafa on clay – it doesn’t matter if it’s in June or September – for me, if he’s healthy, he’s still going to be the favourite,” he told Sky Sports’ Raz Mirza.
“There are a couple of players who I actually feel can win the French Open. I think Thiem and Djokovic can do really well on clay but it’s just amazing to see Rafa as the favourite again.
“I can’t believe it’s been 11 years since I beat him at Roland Garros, but it just shows you how good he has been for so long. He won his first French Open title in 2005 and he’s still the favourite which is amazing.
“If this break is not going to be too long, it will help Rafa and Roger (Federer) recover. It may even help prolong their careers.”
On This Day in 2016: Maria Sharapova reveals positive drugs test
The five-time Grand Slam winner would ultimately be banned from tennis for 15 months.
Francisco Cerundolo eyeing remarkable family first ahead of Argentina Open final
Cerundolo is looking to emulate his younger brother Juan Manuel by winning his first ATP title.
Classy Petra Kvitova in dominant form as she eases to Qatar Open title
Petra Kvitova stormed to her 28th career title and second at the Qatar Open win with a 6-2, 6-1 rout of Garbine Muguruza in Doha.
WATCH: Roger Federer practices in Doha as he learns his fate in the draw
Roger Federer could face a clash against Britain’s Dan Evans in the first match of his comeback event in Doha.
Andrey Rublev’s stunning run of form continues as beats Stefanos Tsitsipas
Andrey Rublev stirmed into his fourth straight ATP 500 final with a 6-3, 7-6(2) victory against Stefanos Tsitsipas in Rotterdam.
Roger Federer sends fans crazy with a social media post ahead of his return to action
The moment Roger Federer fans have waited almost a years to see is nearly here as he prepares to return to action next week.
Garbine Muguruza into the final in Qatar after Victoria Azarenka pulls out
Victoria Azarenka withdrew ahead of the Qatar Total Open semi-finals to send Garbine Muguruza.
Stefanos Tsitsipas sets up showdown with Andrey Rublev in Rotterdam
Stefanos Tsitsipas is into the semi-finals of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.
Lawn Tennis Association determined to show commitment to inclusion and diversity
Seven people from diverse backgrounds have been appointed to the LTA Council.
Andy Murray’s tips on how to make sure you stay injury-free when tennis resumes after lockdown
Andy Murray is back with some tips.