Notwithstanding all the concerns surrounding them the past 12 months, the top two performers of the French Open in the past 10 years, #Rafael Nadal and #Novak Djokovic, are back in familiar territory; the quarter-finals. The annual status of the two great champions has been akin to Paris' weather this fortnight, unpredictable and far-from-perfect; However, both men have been able to steady the ship at the right time and give themselves another shot at winning 'La Coupe des Mousquetaires'.

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The considerable point to discuss is how much does winning the #Roland Garros 2017 mean to either man's career and legacy? Moreover, what would this change in how the rest of this season pans out?

'La Decima' looming large for Rafa

Rafael Nadal can win his 10th French Open championship and this will be one of the greatest records in tennis history. He is considered the heavy favorite for this year's Roland Garros title and why not? Who can bet against a man that has lifted the trophy 9 times already and has already won 3 titles on clay this year?

Rafa has earned this position definitely, but he will need a few more excellent performances if he is to lift the trophy on Sunday. The main obstacle in his way, many believe, will be his semi-final opponent whether it be the rejuvenated Serb or the rising Austrian. Many Rafa fans consider Djokovic a bigger threat and you can't blame them as it has been a rare scene for them to see Rafa get a set from Novak, let alone a match in the past few years.

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Uncle Toni, however, seems to have a stronger short-term memory as he hinted that Thiem would pose a stronger challenge.“Thiem is ready to win,” said the elder Nadal. “Out of the last eight, he is the one player with more probabilities to have success."

Favorite or not, everything will be decided on the court and it depends on who wants it more and feels more the thirst after the drought. The last time Nadal won a major title was three years ago when he defeated then World No.1 Djokovic.

Since then he has had a rough patch in Grand Slams. He came within 3 games of winning at this year's Australian Open, only to see his hopes dashed by #Roger Federer. Since then, he has been waiting for this weekend to prove the critics wrong and to show that he has more glory in him. Adding to the above-mentioned reasons is the prospect of becoming Year-End World No.1. Adding 2000 points to his already impressive achievements would put him too far ahead to catch up with.

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How hungry is Novak?

The man who shook the tennis world in 2011 by dismantling the 'Fedal' and replacing them atop the throne for the better part of the last 5 years, has approved that tennis is not his first priority in life anymore. The soon to be father-of-two has not shown the same level of focus on the tennis courts, since achieving his childhood dream of winning the French Open last year. So much has changed in the span of 12 months that instead of focusing on the prospect of winning the Calendar-Grand-Slam, the analysts are questioning whether he is capable of winning more majors.

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He thinks he can and that is a big bonus to really believe in your abilities. Adding Agassi to his team has also helped him find the right balance on and off the court once again. He is willing to do whatever it takes to show the world, once again, that he is still the best tennis player of this decade.

#RafaelNadal #NovakDjokovic #FrenchOpen

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