2019 French Open Expert Picks: The Men

2019 French Open Expert Picks: The Men

Are we giving Novak no respect?

View the entire men's bracket at our Roland Garros tournament page.



Best-of-five still remains an overwhelming obstacle for Nadal’s opponents to conquer. With heaps of positives to take away from Rome, Rafa is primed to move within two Slams of Federer’s total.

STEVE FLINK: Novak Djokovic

He will peak for the occasion and beat Nadal in a blockbuster final.


Picking anyone besides the King of Clay to win this tournament is simply bad math. 

ED MCGROGAN: Rafael Nadal

Rafa could have lost in Rome and he'd still be the pick. He couldn't have received a better draw if he made it himself.


His clay season didn't kick off the way he would have liked, but the reality is that Nadal will hoist his 12th trophy.

NINA PANTIC: Rafael Nadal

If it ain't broke, don’t fix it. Yes, Rafa has shown he’s human this clay season, but he also destroyed the field in Rome, leaving bagels strewn in his path. He’ll always be the favorite at Roland Garros.


The 11-time French Open champion enters the tournament peaking at the perfect time.

STEVE TIGNOR: Rafael Nadal

What could make an 11-time champ an even bigger favorite? A draw where none of his recent nemeses—Fognini, Thiem, Tsitsipas, Kyrgios—are anywhere near him.

Dark Horse (Seeded No. 20 or lower)


The No. 32 seed has slowed since his surprise Monte Carlo final run, but opens with a qualifier. Kyrgios and Zverev could possibly follow, but he has a solid Paris pathway.

STEVE FLINK: Stan Wawrinka

He's always more dangerous in best-of-five-set matches, and he reached the Roland Garros final two years ago.

CALE HAMMONDChristian Garin

At 6'1" and near 190 pounds, Garin is a tank, built for best-of-five sets on clay. Given his 18-5 record on the surface this year, reaching the second week of Roland Garros feels more like a probability than a possibility. 

ED MCGROGAN: Nick Kyrgios

He's the ultimate wild card, and has already said the French Open "sucks." But name me another player that could actually reach the final four outside of the top four seeds.

ASHLEY NDEBELEFelix Auger-Aliassime

The Canadian teen has put together the best season of his fledgling career by reaching the Rio final and Miami semifinals. This will be his first Slam as a seed.

NINA PANTIC: Felix Auger-Aliassime

There’s nothing to not like about the young Canadian. He cracked the code at the ATP level with a final run in Rio, and a Grand Slam breakthrough is on the horizon.

JORDAAN SANFORD: Felix Auger-Aliassime

This 25th seed is a player to watch and could be on the brink of a major breakthrough.


The Serb is seeded just 31st, but he won a title on clay earlier this year, and he’s in a relatively soft corner of the draw.

Bust (Seeded No. 10 or higher)


Seeded seventh, Nishikori could meet Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round. Should that happen, the two-time semifinalist will ride his home advantage to spring the upset.

STEVE FLINK: Alexander Zverev

Sascha has been his own worst enemy all year long and has not yet been beyond the quarters at any major. He could easily lose in an early round.

CALE HAMMONDAlexander Zverev

Zverev has struggled to string wins together all year. He has not won more than two consecutive matches in a tournament since Acapulco in February. Confidence is key, and Zverev appears to have none of it at the moment.

ED MCGROGAN: Juan Martin del Potro

He has the game to win it all, but doesn't have the body—nor good luck. He'll have a very difficult third-round opponent, should win his first two matches.


His clay-court campaign has been uninspiring, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see him go down in the early rounds.

NINA PANTIC: Alexander Zverev

It’s a bit of a cop-out choosing Zverev, given his state of mind and lack of any deep runs since Acapulco in February. But he’s also not known for peaking at the majors.

JORDAAN SANFORD: Alexander Zverev

The German is having a disappointing clay-court season, losing early in both Rome and Madrid, and he's in the same quarter as Djokovic.

STEVE TIGNOR: Fabio Fognini

The No. 9 seed starts with a tricky match against a countryman, Andreas Seppi. His title run in Monte Carlo may be enough for him this spring.