Tennis

Nadal looks to be the favourite heading into Roland Garros.

Five people who could overcome Rafael Nadal at the French Open

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The French Open is beginning on Sunday, and Rafael Nadal will be looking to add a 10th title at Roland Garros to his current record of nine.

The Spaniard ace has been in imperious form as of late and, to many, is the undisputed king of clay.

After losing out on the title to Novak Djokovic last year, Nadal will be hoping to regain his crown this time around.

Nadal is undoubtedly the favourite to walk away with the French Open trophy, especially after he has won three titles on clay this year already, beating Djokovic in the Madrid semi-final just a couple of weeks ago.

Nadal's quality on clay is awesome, but one question remains: Can anyone spoil his party and walk away with the title?

We'll take a look at the five most likely players to stop Nadal claiming his 10th Roland Garros title in just a couple of week's time.

Stan Wawrinka

Wawrinka has spent his whole career living in the shadows of Roger Federer, but he has so often thrived under the pressure of being the second-best tennis star Switzerland has to offer.

He is the reigning US Open champion and won the French Open in 2015, beating Djokovic in the final.

The Internazionali BNL d'Italia 2017 - Day Four

While his form this year has been patchy, you can count on Wawrinka stepping up when the pressure's on in the big games.

If he makes it through the opening week, Wawrinka will be a force to be reckoned with.

Alex Zverev

The young German gun taking the tennis world by storm right now, Zverev could be in for a potential title push at the French Open.

He's only 20 years old and has his best years ahead of him, but this year he has already beaten Djokovic in the Rome final to claim his first Masters title - the first of many for this talented young German tennis ace.

2014 Australian Open Junior Championships

Winning the French Open will be a big step up considering all the big names on show, but an upset could be on the cards if his draw is favourable.

One to look out for.

Dominic Thiem

Thiem has a genuine shout here. His form on clay is very strong.

This year, he has beaten Andy Murray in their Barcelona semi-final, and reached the final of two tournaments - rising up to seventh in the world rankings.

The Internazionali BNL d'Italia 2017 - Day Seven

Although he lost to Nadal in both Barcelona and Madrid, the clay court looks like the natural and preferred surface of the young Belgian.

He'll be looking to go one step further than last year and reach the final of Roland Garros this time around.

Grigor Dimitrov

Despite never prospering on clay, Dimitrov's natural ability has served him well enough, but there is always a feeling that he could be doing more with it.

The Bulgarian needs to start turning his great ability into title successes, and why couldn't he do it at the French Open?

The Internazionali BNL d'Italia 2017 - Day Two

He was unfortunate to lose out to Nadal in their Australian Open semi-final earlier this year and will be desperate to build on this in Paris.

Hyeon Chung

Another potential star in the making on clay is Hyeon Chung.

The 21-year-old South Korean has been something of a revelation during this year's clay court season.

He reached the semi-finals in Munich and the quarter-finals in Barcelona, where he lost a hard-fought battle with Nadal.

BMW Open - Day 6

While it may seem like a long-shot to suggest that he could go on and win the French Open, Chung could cause an upset or two in his fledgling career.

Outside of these five players, you will find the likes of Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, who you can never rule out despite the two sharing a slightly poor year thus far.

Djokovic, in particular, who is the defending champion of Roland Garros.

In all honesty, it seems unlikely that anybody will be able to beat Nadal this year, but all of the players mentioned above could have a shot at winning the title.

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Topics:
Tennis
Rafael Nadal
Roger Federer
Novak Djokovic
French Open
Stanislas Wawrinka
Andy Murray

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