Wed, 28 Oct 2020

Having been pushed back four months to September to escape the worst of the coronavirus, the Dzumhur wrote on Instagram.

On the red clay of Paris itself, where he has only lost twice in his career, Nadal will target a 13th title in what will be just his fifth tournament of 2020.

The 34-year-old arrives a little under-cooked with a quarter-final exit in Rome last week prompting speculation that a dethroning is imminent.

However, the Spaniard knows that when he lost at the same stage in the Italian capital in 2017, he quickly swept to a 10th French Open without dropping a set.

"It's a completely special year and unpredictable year," said Nadal whose Rome appearance was his first on the tour since February.

Djokovic, meanwhile, remains Nadal's biggest threat even if recently-crowned US Open champion Dominic Thiem begs to differ having finished runner-up to the great Spaniard in Paris in the last two years.

Having been defaulted from the US Open, Djokovic bounced back in Rome with a final victory over Diego Schwartzman - the conqueror of Nadal - giving the world number one a record 36th Masters crown.

Djokovic now has four trophies in five events in 2020 with a win-loss record of 31-1.

Victory in Rome came on the day that he notched up his 287th week as world number one, passing Pete Sampras on the all-time list and with just Roger Federer on 310 ahead of him.

There is no Federer in Paris this year as the Swiss star continues to rehab after knee surgery which forced him to write-off his 2020 season.

Also missing is US Open winner Naomi Osaka, yet to get beyond the third round in the French capital, who is nursing a thigh injury.

Serena Williams is scheduled to play as the 38-year-old continues her quest for an elusive 24th major.

However, the 2002, 2013 and 2015 Roland Garros champion hinted she was undecided after organisers insisted that all players stay in tournament hotels.

Williams says she prefers to use her Paris apartment instead.

Meanwhile, Roland Garros will debut its new retractable roof on the showpiece Philippe Chatrier Court.

Fading light - a real issue with the event ending this year on 11 October - should at least be compensated by having four floodlit courts.

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