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French Open 2012: Why Novak Djokovic Will Fail at Roland Garros

ROME, ITALY - MAY 21:  Novak Djokovic of Serbia plays a forehand in his match against Rafael Nadal of Spain in the final during day ten of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia 2012 Tennis on May 21, 2012 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images
Daniel KockContributor IIIMay 24, 2012

The No. 1 player in men's tennis has yet to win the French Open, and don't expect that to change this year due to the strong competition.

Novak Djokovic is clearly one of the most dominant players in tennis, but he still lacks a win at the French Open—the one Grand Slam event he has yet to win.

In fact, he has never reached a final in the event.

The Djoker won the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open but was bounced in the semifinals at Roland Garros in 2011.

Djokovic is a great player, but there are better players on tour on the clay surface.

Rafael Nadal, whose game seems to fit perfectly with the clay surface, has dominated the French Open the past seven years. He has especially found a comfort zone at Roland Garros. Nadal holds an 11-2 advantage over Djokovic when they've met head to head on clay surfaces and defeated Djokovic recently at the Rome Masters.

And, as he's been dominated by Nadal, Djokovic's other main competitor, Roger Federer, has been a consistent performer against the Serbian, as well.

Federer's game translates to all surfaces, as was shown in his win a few weeks ago at the Madrid Open—a clay surface. Federer uses more of a tactful style of play to gain an advantage over Djokovic. He is a veteran player who has used his poise to post a winning record against Djokovic on all surfaces.

Federer knocked Djokovic out of the 2011 French Open with a 7-6, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 victory and has consistently performed at a high level at Roland Garros.

Djokovic has dominated men's tennis recently winning four of five Grand Slam events. However, he has continually failed at Roland Garros against Nadal and Federer. His high-power game doesn't translate naturally to the clay surface like his top competitors.

The trend will continue in 2012. He will not win the French Open, and that is a failing for the No. 1 player in the world.

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