|via Live Tennis Guide|
And yet, the Clay King and current World #1 suddenly seems vulnerable. Nadal usually steamrolls his way through the appetizer tournaments on the clay court swing but ONLY managed two titles this year: Rio de Janeiro and Madrid. He failed to take home the big prizes in Monte Carlo, Barcelona or Rome - tournaments he has won at least seven times each. He hadn't lost in Barcelona since 2003. A recent interview with Time magazine hints at flagging confidence. Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic (Serbia) is breathing down his neck for the top ranking and is surely motivated to win in Paris to complete his own Career Slam. Moveover, the Djoker has won their past four head-to-head meetings, including the recent Rome final on clay. If ever there were a year to pick against Nadal at the French, this would seem to be it.
But I can't do it. One day, the King's reign will end - just not quite yet.