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Federer, Nadal, Serena and Halep in the 2019 French Open

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    The 2019 French Open really comes down to these 4 athletes to me - Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams and Simona Halep. If one of their names isn't called to hold up the trophy at the end of the single's matches, it will be a let down or at least a pretty big upset.

    Of course that doesn't mean the competition won't be stiff. Novak Djokovic is still playing. Would it surprise anyone if he wins? And on the women's side you have the up-and-coming Naomi Osaka who has already won 2 straight Grand Slams. And of course Petra Kvitova and Kiki Bertens are favorites for this tournament as well.

    But, come on, all eyes will be on Roger Federer first and foremost. This will be the first French Open for him since 2015. So it will be fascinating to see how he makes his way through what I would expect to be at least the quarter and semifinals.

    And then defending champ Rafael Nadal. If he wins this year, he will extend his record of French Open wins with 12. That's insane. He owns this court and this event so he is and should be the odds-on favorite to win.

    And then you have Serena Williams. She will going for her 24th grand slam win, and 4th at Roland Garros. I really hope its possible and see her and Simona Halep in the finals. Not sure if the bracket will allow that but even it its just in the semis, that'd be a highlight.

    My prediction is Nadal and Halep repeating. Yessir, defending champs again. That's what I would like to see anyways... How do you think it'll play out? Any others you think can beat out the favorites?

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    Would age play a role in this too? Federer and Williams are both 37 years old. I might not know much about professional tennis, but I have heard in passing how much age and past injuries can have an impact on a tennis player. I would think Naomi Osaka (21), who really hasn't done too shabby as of late would definitely stiffen up the competition for Williams. I read somewhere where it said in regards to Osaka "Let Her get to the quarterfinals, and you're doomed." Does anyone agree with that? Then there's Djokovic who is a tad younger than Federer at 32. I don't think it would be surprising if either one of them or both came out on top of Federer and Williams. So does age really matter, or am I off my rocker?
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    Age definitely plays into it. Federer being 37 means he only has a few grand slams left in him, you would think. And Serena is also 37.. so same deal.

    Those two are arguably the best in tennis, maybe ever. So we are kind of in a situation where we are seeing the end of their pinnacle in the sport. That definitely adds to me paying the most attention to them. That, and they are still the ones to beat having proved the most in their careers to this point.

    But Djokovic and Nadal are both 32 and have at least a half a decade left of elite play in them. So for Nadal its just about how great he is in the French Open in particular. Since 2005 Nadal has won the French Open 11/14 times. Not sure a more dominant stat exists for a single player or team in any sport. It's at least up there with the most impressive ever.

    And Simona Halep is only 27. This headline sorta says it all - Osaka may be No.1 but Halep is the favorite in Paris.

    Another great thing about Roland-Garros compared to the other grand slams is the court. Its a clay court, the hardest court to play on. Some thrive and others just for whatever reason play down to their ability vs grass or hard courts. I wrote a blog on why this court is more difficult here - French Open's Roland Garros - Toughest Grand Slam Of Them All.

    I think Nadal and Halep thrive on clay courts. And Federer and Serena might be the best ever and have certainly won at the French Open (Federer just once, Serena three times). So it's really a combination of yes, age, and also the difficulty of the clay court.

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    Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams just got knocked out in the 3rd round. That was very surprising.

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    We will have a Federer/Nadal semifinal! Djokovic is the quarterfinal as well. A Djokovic/Thiem semi would be perfect, we would see the top 4 ranked in the world in the semis.
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    Ended up being Nadal v Thiem in the final. And Nadal just rolled over Thiem. Was hoping for a more competitive men's final, but I didn't expect anything less from Nadal at the same time. Have another thread going on just how dominant he is at Roland-Garros and this 12th win just underscores it even more.