Rafael Nadal enters the 2011 French Open as the defending champion, and will be looking for his sixth title at Roland Garros. But even Nadal acknowledges that Novak Djokovic is the French Open favorite this year.
Nadal told reporters on Thursday that the Serbian would be the man to beat at Roland Garros.
"I think he is the great favorite," Nadal said Thursday in Paris. "He hasn’t lost a match since the start of the year and he’s playing in an incredible way. I do not fear Djokovic but you have to applaud his success since the beginning of the year. This will be very difficult to repeat. I admire what he has done."
It's hard to argue with Nadal, even though the Spaniard and clay court master has more titles at Roland Garros than Djokovic has quarterfinals appearances. Djokovic is an astounding 37-0 in 2011, including two wins on clay against Nadal.
But three of Nadal's French Open titles included wins over Djokovic. And should Djokovic and Nadal meet at this year's French Open, it will be in the final — and Nadal is 5-0 with a title on the line at Roland Garros.
French Open 2011 play begins in Paris on Sunday, May 22. Track your favorite players at Roland Garros with our full 2011 French Open TV schedule.