Rafael Nadal shocked all fans yesterday, after he withdrew from Roland Garros because of wrist injury.
Rafael Nadal passed the first two rounds of the tournament with flying colors. He defeated Groth in less than 80 minutes, which was his most convincing victory on Paris clay and he then defeated Facundo Bagnis in the second round, also without any problems. Although he didn’t have tough opponents, his performances reminded spectators of his long lasting dominance in Roland Garros and fueled talks about the historic 10th title in Paris, since both Djokovic and Murray didn’t play well in the first two rounds.
However, before the third round match against fellow compatriot Marcel Granollers, Nadal had a press conference during which he announced he was withdrawing from the draw! The reason is the wrist injury which has been bothering him for quite some time. Nadal used pain blockers to continue playing so we didn’t notice a performance drop – on the contrary, it seemed that Nadal was in the best shape in the past two years, but after every practice and every match the pain returned stronger than before. The doctor told the Spaniard he must withdraw, or else he could even suffer a fracture and the whole season would be in question. Nadal stated that he would continue playing if he had any chance to win the tournament, but with increasing pain in his wrist that would be impossible, so he decided to exit tournament before it was too late.
After this announcement, Novak Djokovic practically has a clear road to the finals, with only Berdych still in draw out of the first ten seeds, so nobody thinks he will have major problems to reach the final again. However, young guns Dominic Thiem and Borna Coric are in his part of the draw, so it will be interesting to see if they can challenge the world number one and shock the world with a surprising victory against him.
Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray stayed the biggest favorites for the final from the bottom half of the draw. Neither of the players had a spectacular start of the tournament, but in the third round they had their best matches, so their form is going up.
Before the tournament Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic were certainly the biggest favorites for the crown and in both outcomes we would have a historical outcome in Paris – 10th title for Nadal, or the first Paris title and completion of all Grand Slam titles for Djokovic.
Djokovic now stands alone as an absolute favorite to win the crown. We will see whether the pressure will be too much for him to handle.