French Open 2012: Rafael Nadal Is Surefire Favorite to Win Title

Luis BatlleContributor IJune 2, 2012

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 31:  Rafael Nadal of Spain serves during his men's singles second round match against Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan during day five of the French Open at Roland Garros on May 31, 2012 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

He might be No. 2 in the world, yet dominant play at the 2012 French Open will soon have him back within striking distance of No. 1.

Rafael Nadal has been the most impressive talent at Roland Garros through two rounds of play, putting forth two straight-set victories to kick things off en route to what will be an impressive seventh French Open title.

Nadal has gotten off to just the start he needs in the tourney. He has been dominant on serve and especially efficient with his winners, there is no question 

These are the three reasons why Rafael Nadal has to be the outright favorite heading into the third round of Roland Garros.


Dominating Competition Through Two Rounds

Nadal has been a force since the start of the 2012 French Open, crushing both Simone Bolelli and Denis Istomin in the first two rounds of play.

What makes the run all the more impressive is that Nadal has not only failed to lose a set, but has allowed no more than two games to opponents in any set in the tournament.

Other tournament contender Novak Djokovic has also failed to give up a set, yet has gone to tiebreak once and given up four games twice.

Talk about some impressive play so far from Spain's finest.


Has Taken Care of Business Against Murray, Tipsarevic and Ferrer

The three fiercest opponents on Nadal's side of the draw are also three talents Nadal has beaten handily. Andy Murray, Janko Tipsarevic and David Ferrer are all at the mercy of Nadal in this tournament.

TOKYO, JAPAN - OCTOBER 09:  Rafael Nadal of Spain speaks after the Men's Singles final against Andy Murray of Great Britain during the day seven of the Rakuten Open at Ariake Colosseum on October 9, 2011 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Image
Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Nadal is 15-4 against Ferrer, 13-5 against Murray and 3-0 against Tipsarevic.

What makes these numbers all the more impressive?

He is a whopping 18-1 against all three of these talents on Clay. The only loss Nadal ever faced on clay to either one of these tennis talents was to Ferrer in their first match played against each other in 2004.

The numbers are mind-boggling to say the least.


All He Does is Win, Win, Win at the French

A 47-1 record all-time at the tourney, six Roland Garros titles and within reach of a seventh championship to break the tie with tennis great Bjorn Borg says it all.

Nadal is known for his dominance on the clay surface, as this year's open has proven to be no different. 

In his first two rounds of play, Nadal failed to drop a single set and has given just nine games the entire tournament.

The winner of last year's tournament and three of the last four French Opens will undoubtedly be pushing for another in 2012.