2021 Roland Garros: 8 men to reach the quarters

While he’s No. 2, Danill Medvedev doesn’t like clay, so he could go down in the first week. Roger Federer is just starting again, and while he is very intelligent, he needs another month to be totally respectable.

Stefanos Tsitsipas
Stefanos Tsitsipas

Here are eight players who will reach the middle of the second week.

Novak Djokovic
Yes, the consistent, smart and his phenomenal backhand might make him the best player ever. His serve can be a weapon, he can bend down at the net for winners and put it away and hit ground strokes with the best. Even though he likes clay, but he his better on the hardcourts. He has won RG only one time, which is good, but not great. To beat Rafa Nadal on the dirt, the No. 1 will have to reach the heights. Maybe he will never win again in Paris.

Rafa Nadal
The Spaniard as won it 13 times, which is one of the sports most amazing records. His forehand is very hefty, he can spin it, and shatter it. He can knock it crosscourt, down the line, and in the center right at the chest. His serve is cold-blooded and he can twist it to the left, and to the right. Over the past month, he looked decent, but not great. Still, Nadal is a huge favorite once again.

Dominic Thiem
The Belgian really thinks that he can win it for the first time in Paris. He reached the final twice. He can be confident, but Nadal beat him and can do it again. Over the last couple years, he certainly became substantially better. He added with more game. He could win this event, but he has to play 100 percent in the final to bag it.

Stefanos Tsitsipas
The Greek has become thoughtful and more focused. This year, he has beaten some excellent players, ponding then with his heavy strokes. He is alert, he can be locked in, and he finally likes to slide. He really believes that he is one of the best players currently. Maybe he will be, eventually, but to become No. 1, he has to win a Slam or two.

Alexander Zverev
You never know how well the German will play. He can be phenomenal, and then, he can be ticked off when he isn’t playing well. From the backcourt, he can run for a long time, and he can be super consistent, and he can punch for a winner. He did that when he won in Madrid a few weeks ago. Yes, he was close to winning a Grand Slam when he fell to Thiem at last year’s US Open  and he has won a few ATP 1000s. So, in a sense, he is right there. Eventually, he can win a major soon, but at RG in June? Not quite yet.

Andrey Rublev
The Russian was on fire in the first three months, but in April, he beganto skit. He became more aggressive and stronger. But, he can be very good, and bad, winning and losing. He is only 22 years old, so he is trying to be more consistent. He probably will, as long as he can find a more complete game. And learn.

Matteo Berrettini
The 25-year-old Italian has become a very terrific player, upsetting Thiem, Rublev and Gael Monfils. In 2019, he won a lot of matches, on the clay, grass and the hard courts . The No. 9 is very tall and he can rip the ball, but he needs to step it up a little bit. On clay at RG, if he wants to go deep, he has to take more chances.

Casper Ruud
The Norwegian just won Geneva. The week before in Madrid he lost in the semis, to  … guess who? Yes, Berrettini. That is very close. Once again, he is only 22 years old, and he likes to hustle, and he is pretty consistent. To go much further though, he has to push himself more.