Roland Garros 2018

PAUL GRAY

The French Open, otherwise known as Roland Garros, takes place at the Stade Roland Garros in Paris from 27 May to 10 June. This year’s version of the Grand Slam sets up to be a highly contested one, with the return of Serena Williams to Grand Slam tennis after the birth of her child.

In the men’s competition, Rafael Nadal, the current World number one, returns to defend his title. This seemed improbable after a wrist injury as well as a bout of bad form but having recovered from the injury and a couple wins on clay court under his belt pits him to be a serious contender. If he does win the French Open, he will break a record for eleven wins. The Sunday Express shows how monetary gain could be a spark to get the defending champion ready for the tournament, “Rafael Nadal could walk away with a cheque for €2,200,000 if he takes victory at the French Open”.

The French Open is in its 127th year and is the only Grand Slam held on clay. Its slow playing surface and seven-rounds make it one of the most demanding tennis tournaments to participate in. These particular conditions make for interesting tennis, as it takes away the potency that big servers and serve-and-volleyers have on other surfaces.

World number two, Roger Federer, has withdrawn from the tournament, leaving breathing room for Nadal, as well as other contenders eyeing the trophy, featuring the likes of Jean Martin Del Potro and Alexander Zverev. South Africa’s Kevin Anderson, who is currently placed eighth on the ATP ranking, is also someone to look out for. In the WTA, possible contenders could be last year’s winner, Jelena Ostapenko, world number one, Simona Halep, and Caroline Wozniacki, who won the 2018 Australian Open.

With various injuries, recoveries and a shift in dynamics of the ATP and WTA player rankings, the French Open is set to be a great two weeks of tennis action for viewers and participants alike.

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