French Open Tennis preview- Will Rafael reign again?

Barely two weeks after one Slam is completed, we have another one coming up this weekend. The French Open at Roland Garros will be the final Grand Slam of the year.

All eyes of the tennis world will be on Paris from Sunday 27th with the third Slam of the year.

Some lucky fans will able to watch the tournament

Unlike the US Open where no fans were allowed in to watch, Roland Garros will have some in attendance. Originally 11,500 fans would have been allowed in to attend, but due to Covid issues in France this has been decreased.

Only 5,000 fans will be allowed in each day because of surging coronavirus figures in the country.

Can anyone stop the king of clay?

In the men’s event Rafael Nadal will be seeking to win his 13th major title on clay.

Nadal decided not to contest the recent US Open, instead focusing his preparations on his favourite Grand Slam. He made his return in the Italian Open in Rome where he suffered a quarter final loss to Diego Schwartzman.

However, in terms of the French Open Nadal just loves this event. Having won the title in the last three years, he is aiming to equal Roger Federer’s record of 20 Grand Slam titles.

No Federer due to injury

The Swiss star will be missing from Paris due to injury and so opens the chance for the Spaniard to succeed once again.

Novak Djokovic was in a prime position to win the recent US Open before an act of petulance cost him.

Djokovic back to his best again

Warming up for the French Open has seen Djokovic reach the final of the Italian Open. Unlike most Slams, the French hasn’t seen the best of the Serbian.

His only success was back in 2016 when he defeated a certain Andy Murray in four sets.

Thiem looking for back to back Slams

Dominic Thiem finally made the breakthrough at a Grand Slam by winning the US Open. He had to do it the hard way after coming from two sets down to beat Alexander Zverev.

The Austrian was troubled by an achilles problem during the event at Flushing Meadows and that may still hamper his chances in Paris.

Thiem has reached the last two finals at Roland Garros and injury permitting must be a big threat to Nadal.

The chances of Russian Zverev are likely to hinge on his serve. In the final of the US Open his serve deserted him at key times.

Daniil Medvedev, Stanislas Warwinka and Denis Shapovalov must also come into consideration.

Shapovalov was a semi-finalist in Rome and clay is a good surface for the Canadian.

Halep looking to win the French again

In the women’s event as always in previous Slams it is another tournament that is wide open.

Simona Halep has already lifted the Trophy once in her career and is favourite to do so again.

The Romanian won the Prague Open on clay in August and recently skipped the US Open.  Halep last won the French in 2018 and has reached the final on two previous occasions.

Barty deciding not to defend her title

With defending champion Ashleigh Barty withdrawing from the tournament, she looks the one to beat.

Like Halep, Garbine Muguruza enjoys playing on clay. Her pre-lockdown form was exceptional having beaten Coco Gauff, Johanna Konta and Victoria Azarenka.

The Spaniard has a wonderful record at Roland Garros, reaching the last eight in four of her last six attempts. She also won the tournament in 2016.

Azarenka rolling back the years

Victoria Azarenka is certainly back to her best form which at one time saw her reach the Number 1 spot. Azarenka rolled back the years in New York recently to get to the final, only to be defeated by Naomi Osaka.

Back in 2012 she reached the coveted number 1 ranking and already this shortened year is back to her best. She has been excelling on recent clay court events and even at 31 will be a big threat.

Chance for Serena to equal record

Serena Williams blew a big chance to equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slams after defeat in S.F’s of US Open.

Williams has won the French Open on three previous occasions, with her last success back in 2015. The American hasn’t won a Grand Slam since 2017 and is time starting to catch up with her.

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