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Novak Djokovic was truly phenomenal in the Italian capital this past week. He managed to win his first Masters 1000 title of the season by dispatching Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets on Sunday. And to be perfectly honest, he seemed head and shoulders above the competition for pretty much the entire week. This allowed him to claim the sixth Rome Masters title of his career, and he didn’t even drop a set en route to the trophy.
In typical Djokovic fashion, his motivation seemed to double once the doubters started talking. He stepped it up and showed once again why he is the best player in the world. Along the way, he beat Karatsev, Wawrinka, Auger-Aliassime, Ruud, and Tsitsipas, with the latter two both being tipped for a shot at winning the 2022 French Open.
Of course, this has been a seriously impressive week from the world’s number one. But rather than focus on his victory in Rome, I wanted to focus on the impact that this victory will have on the upcoming French Open.
Where Do We Stand for Roland Garros After the Rome Masters?
The best time to look at the potential winners for the French Open is always after the final clay-court Masters of the season. And now that the 2022 Rome Masters has finished, we have a clear picture of how things are shaping up ahead of Roland Garros. Following Djokovic’s victory, some clear points have emerged that I’d like to discuss right now:
Djokovic Is Now the Favorite
Prior to the Rome Masters, Djokovic was actually the third favorite to win the French Open. Nadal was the favorite according to the odds at most bookmakers. And Carlos Alcaraz was fixed in the second position, which he still is. But now that Djokovic has won the Rome Masters and beaten many top players on the way, he has shot forward as the main favorite to win in Paris. In my opinion, given the form that he showed last week, he certainly has a fighting chance of winning his 21st Grand Slam at the French this year.
Nadal Drops Into Third
As stated above, Nadal was the main favorite to win Roland Garros prior to Rome. However, he lost to Shapovalov in the round of 16. This was not expected, despite the fact that Shapovalov did have match points against Nadal in Rome in 2021. Regardless, he lost to Shapovalov, and he also showed signs of his niggling foot injury too. This could potentially play a huge factor in Nadal’s French Open chances.
Tsitsipas Remains in Fourth
The final thing that I want to point out here relates to the runner-up, Tsitsipas. This man really did have a great week in Rome, beating guys like Zverev, Sinner, and Dimitrov. However, Tsitsipas certainly looked far off from the kind of tennis that Djokovic played in the final. And given that he lost the final rather heavily, he has remained in fourth place concerning Roland Garros favorites.
This will likely hold true until the French Open begins next week too!