RafaNadal is the favourite to lift the French Open this year.

The Spaniard excelled in Barcelona to sealed his tenth title. He defeated Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-1 to continue his fine form in the hard courts. He was trading games with the Austrian and it seemed the game might enter a tie breaker as they both remained resolute.

Nadal, who was playing in a court that has been named after him, showed his consistent superiority over his peers in clay courts. In eleven years, he won nine titles in Barcelona. He dug deep to prevail in the rally against Thiem to win the set. As they resumed the second set, Nadal lost just a game as he cruised to victory. Thiem seemed to give up at some point in the second set as he kept making errors.

In Nadal’s second tenth title – after his Monte Carlo brilliance – he did not drop a set in the week-long tourney. Thiem is still the future of clay. He got past World No. 1 Andy Murray in the semi finals and his victory over Nadal on clay in Buenos Aires remains memorable. He was desperate to get another past the aging player but Nadal remain methodical in his approach.

Murray has not shown as much great stuff this year and he is working his way back up from injury; the defending champ Novak Djokovic has been struggling of recent; And Roger Federer paused his games until Paris. Nadal would have to prove his recent surge against Djokovic despite losing recent meetings, even on clay court.

If Nadal meets Djokovic, it would surely be one memorable match in Paris. For now, Nadal has the momentum and he is the favourite ahead of the event.