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.”
Exclusive – Meet the brothers who grew up alongside Stefanos Tsitsipas and are now teaching the Mouratoglou way
Two of Stefanos Tsitsipas’ former adversaries in the junior ranks have given us the inside story on his rise.
Andy Murray set for huge rankings collapse after Indian Wells exit
Former world No.1 Andy Murray has been…
Moment of history for Ons Jabeur as she seals last four spot in Indian Wells
Ons Jabeur sealed her place in the BNP Paribas Open’s final four with a straight-sets victory over Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit.
Grigor Dimitrov gives his verdict as he secures another big win in Indian Wells
Dimitrov’s revival continues as he battled past Hubert Hurkacz in a deciding set tie-break.
Cameron Norrie reaches first ATP Masters semi-final as Indian Wells win sees him become new British No 1
Cameron Norrie saw off Diego Schwartzman in the last eight.
‘I look forward to returning to the Tour in the next couple of weeks,’ says Emma Raducanu after withdrawing from WTA event
Emma Raducanu won’t be heading to Russia next week.
Billie Jean King Cup
‘I have made the decision to not play the BJK Cup Finals,’ says Leylah Fernandez
Leylah Fernandez won’t represent Canada at the upcoming Billie Jean King Cup Finals.
Exclusive – New ITF World Tennis Number set to revolutionise the game around the globe
Britain’s LTA has played a leading role in the development of the new ITF World Tennis Number.
Rafael Nadal following a very ‘specific plan’ following foot injury as he provides fitness update
“You have to be a little cautious, look a little in the medium term.”
WATCH: Tennis’ rooftop stars spend time at Rafa Nadal Academy as Roger Federer keeps his promise
Roger Federer keeps his promise as youngsters spend time at Rafa Nadal Academy.