Rafael Nadal: Breaking Down Rafa's Chances to Dominate the French Open

Breana PittsContributor IIIMay 22, 2012

ROME, ITALY - MAY 21:  Rafael Nadal plays a backhand against Novak Djokovic of Serbia in their final match during day ten of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia 2012 at the Foro Italico Tennis Centre on May 21, 2012 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Rafael Nadal is a huge favorite to win the 2012 French Open at Roland Garros for the seventh time in his career. The King of Clay will dominate the men's singles on outdoor clay courts in Paris.

Rafa won the French Open last year for the second-straight time and the sixth time overall in his career. Nadal already picked up a trio of clay court titles this year, including a pair of victories against No. 1 Novak Djokovic in a pair of Masters 1000 finals at Monte Carlo and Rome. While Djokovic has been considered the best player in the world since 2011, he is not a favorite to win the French Open, where he has yet to reach a final.

Nadal is a remarkable 45-1 at the French Open, with his only loss coming at the hands of Robin Soderling in the fourth round three years ago. It's important to note that Rafa was dealing with sore knees during the match, which became one of biggest upsets in tennis history at the time.

According to ESPN, Nadal leads everyone in terms of ranking points earned on clay this season. Two victories over Djokovic have secured Nadal's dominance on the clay courts. In addition, after beating Djokovic at the Italian Open, Nadal became the clear favorite to win the French Open.

If Nadal has to play No. 1 Djokovic, he will get the win. Nadal doesn't have to worry if he is matched up with No. 3 Roger Federer either. The Spaniard is 12-2 against Federer on clay.

The odds are in Nadal's favor to win the 2012 French Open. He's been in this position many times before, and continues to prevail. He has history at Roland Garros, which combined with his preferred clay surface, will equate to Nadal taking home his seventh French Open title.