Rafael Nadal is being quoted at even money to win a 10th French Open after he bundled his old rival Novak Djokovic out of the Madrid Masters in straight sets.
In a season dominated by old-stagers, Nadal has won 14 out of 14 matches since the start of the clay-court season, and will play for a third successive title on Sunday.
Should Nadal lift the trophy in Madrid, he will overhaul his other greatest rival Roger Federer in the rankings table and return to the world’s top four.
Nadal’s superiority, on top of Federer’s three titles in the 2017’s biggest hard-court events to date, supports the curious impression that men’s tennis is stuck in a 10-year timewarp.
He certainly looked like his old self as he beat Djokovic 6-2, 6-4 in their 50th meeting on the tour.
After a run of seven straight defeats in their rivalry, dating back to the 2014 French Open final, this can only be described as a statement victory.
As the players move on to Rome this week for the final big event before Paris, Djokovic and world No 1 Andy Murray are still searching for the form that might set them up for a convincing challenge.
Culled from The Telegraph