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Nadal’s slump could open way for Djokovic

PARIS: For years and years — a full decade, in fact — Rafael Nadal ruled the French Open the way no one had ever dominated any Grand Slam tournament, winning 66 of 67 matches and collecting nine championships, including the last five in a row.This year, his far-poorer-than-usual results on red clay and acknowledged crisis of confidence are generating talk that his reign at Roland Garros might be about to end.When the season’s second major tournament begins on Sunday, the lefty from Spain will not be the favourite, despite what he’s done in the past.Instead, Novak Djokovic is considered the man to beat, as he bids to complete a career Grand Slam and extend a terrific season that includes the Australian Open title and a current 22-match winning streak.There are other story lines to watch, as always. What is Roger Federer still capable of at age 33? Can Andy Murray stay unbeaten as a married man? Could Serena Williams become the third woman with 20 major titles? Could Maria Sharapova win a third French Open championship in four years?






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