French Open 2020 Pre-Tournament Winner Predictions – Tennis Column #54

This season is different. French Open is the third, not the second Grand Slam tournament of the season and is played in October instead of May. Will we also see different winners?

French Open 2020 Men’s Singles draw

French Open 2019 winner: Nadal
Our pre-season French Open 2020 Winner pick: Thiem
Readers poll: (as of 09/21/2020) Nadal 57%, Djokovic 22%, Thiem 17% – for actual results, go here

With all respect to Diego Schwartzman and his spectacular performance in Rome, the French Open 2020 title discussion is limited to three names only.

Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Dominic Thiem.

Any other winner would be a huge, but really huge surprise. And I do not think it will happen this year.

The pressure of Grand Slam is not easy to handle (say hello to Sascha Zverev or Danil Medvedev), and that is why I will look just at the players mentioned above.

Though, picking the one who will win is a much more challenging task.


Rafael Nadal won the French Open twelve times. He defeated Thiem in the last three seasons at Roland Garros courts (2018 and 2019 in Finals, 2017, in semifinals).

Nobody doubts Nadal is the biggest favorite every time he showed up on clay court. But this time, there are some reservations.

French Open is played in October, the weather and humidity are much different to his favorite May conditions. We saw in Rome how the high humidity caused a lot of problems to him, resulting in a loss with Schwartzman in the quarterfinals (in two sets!).


Novak Djokovic looked like the sure winner of the US Open till the unfortunate strike. Now he looks for redemption.

He likes hard courts more than clay, but he proved many times he can defeat anyone on clay too.

Rome tournament, the only major before the French Open, was not an exception.

Did Djokovic struggle there? Yes, he did.

Did he win at the end? Yes, he did.


Dominic Thiem was my pre-season pick. I believed he would reach the title in Paris in May.

Now the situation is a bit different. He is already a Grand Slam winner.

And he did not play a competitive match after his triumph in New York.

Fortunately, the first-week opponents could give Dominic a needed time to adjust to clay.

Thiem is the naturally born clay player. He was twice in French Open final (2018 and 2019, both lost with Nadal).

I would say, now it is time, but can he win two Grand Slams in a row? That is a challenging task, reserved for the best of the best (Nadal, Federer, and Djokovic).

In the end, I will stay with my pre-season pick. This season is different.

Roland Garros is played in October. We saw a new Grand Slam winner this season.

We can easily have a new Roland Garros winner too.

My winner pick: Dominic Thiem

Looking for Daily Tennis Tips from Experienced Tipsters? Check out Best Tennis Tipsters

French Open 2020 Ladies Singles draw

French Open 2019 winner: Barty
Our pre-season French Open 2020 Winner pick: Halep
Readers poll: (as of 09/21/2020) Halep 53%, Williams Serena 14%, Someone Else 12% – for actual results, go here

Picking the winner of any WTA tournament is almost impossible. The number of potential winners is exhaustively wide.

We will miss the defending champion Barty and US Open winner Osaka in Paris. Unfortunately, that does not make our task easier.


Simone Halep is the natural favorite. She plays tennis that fits clay in every sense.

She played just two tournaments after the corona break, and she won them both (Prague, Palermo). Both of them were on clay.

On the doubt side, she is not always the clear winner. A lot of times, she needs one more set to claim victory in the match.

Someone Else

There are a few names that come to my mind. Pliskova, Mertens, Svitolina, Muguruza, Vondrousova.

All of them have their bright moments on the clay. But can they show excellent performances for two weeks?

When I compare Halep with the players mentioned above, I see a slight advantage for Simone.

And that is the reason I am staying with my pre-season pick.

My winner pick: Simone Halep

More about French Open 2020: Rackets used at Roland Garros courtsFrench Open 2020 Winners Poll




Posted in BLOG, Predictions, Tennis Column and tagged .

Tennis Pro Guru

Simon is the leading editor of from 2015. He is an avid tennis player from age of 5, however, he never reached the pro level. Still, he likes playing tennis on different courts, with different rackets, and against different opponents. In his free time, you can find him watching all possible tennis matches he can find on the web or tv. Challenger or Grand Slam? It does not matter, just tennis matters.

He currently plays with:
Racket: Wilson Shift 99 V1
Strings: Babolat RPM Blast
Grip: Head Xtreme Soft
Shoes: Asics Gel Dedicate 7 (for hard outdoor and indoor courts) & Asics Gel-Game 5 Clay (for clay courts),
Balls: Dunlop Fort All Courts and Head Championship
Bag: Axiom Backpack

One Comment

  1. Despite all, I still believe Rafa will make it the 13th time.

    Yes Djoko made it in Rome. He struggled though; but Roland Garros is different, it’s a 5 setter and 7 matches for the final. Would he be able to make it? I don’t think so.

    Thiem, has the game for a winner on clay. If he meets Nadal in the final, Nadal will win.

    That’s my opinion.

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