The French Open is one of the most decorated Grand Slams in a calendar year, but one of the all-time greatest players, Roger Federer, will miss the event. Nine-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal has backed Federer's decision to skip the competition.
With Federer not featuring in the tournament, Nadal will be a huge favourite to win his 10th title at the Roland Garros, and dominate the clay court event. He has been in stunning form, winning three titles on clay already this year, and it would take an astounding effort from any player to show him the exit doors.
Talking about clay court tournaments this season, Federer did not play a single competition, and for Nadal, it is logical for Federer to forego on playing the French Open. It is always a huge task to walk onto the red surface straight away, which has never been Federer's favourite, and hit the balls to perfection from Day 1.
"Everybody does what feels better for them. If he doesn't play one tournament before the French (Open), it's normal that he finally skip the French, no?," AFP quoted Nadal as saying.
"Probably he had that decision before. Probably he didn't want to announce before. But thinking in a logical way, it would be strange if you don't play on clay in one event and then you start on the biggest one, playing best of five."
Federer fans will definitely miss the rivalry between the Swiss and the Spaniard, which has been one of the best in the last decade or so.
However, their rivalry should resume on the grass court and the hard court season, which follows the clay court season. Federer, after a stupendous resurgence in the hard courts earlier, will hope to maintain that form in the next two Grand Slams — Wimbledon and US Open.
Nadal, on the other hand, will only think of winning the French Open as of now, and then worry about the future Grand Slam events.