The second tennis Grand Slam of the year- French Open got underway last Sunday at Roland Garros in Paris.The tournament is played on red clay.
Before the tournament began,hot headed Australian Nick Kyrgios pulled out citing his dis-likeness for French Open.
There were few upsets in the opening round of women’s singles as 13th seed Caroline Wozniacki was beaten by V Kudermetova.5th seed Angelique Kerber was also dumped by Potapova in straight sets in the first round.4th seed Kiki Bertens retired ahead of her second round match due to stomach flu.In the third round,world no.1 Naomi Osaka was stunned by Siniakova ending Japanese girl’s hopes of winning third consecutive Grand Slam.Second seed Karolina Pliskova’s loss to Petra Martic in the third round has opened the bottom half of the draw.There are only 2 Grand Slam champions left viz.Slaone Stephen’s and Garbine Muguruza.They will meet each other in fourth round.Top half still boasts of Simona Halep,Ashleigh Barty and Madison Keys.
With the kind of form she is in,3rd Seed Simona Halep looks a good bet for the singles title.
Unlike in women’s singles,there were no major upsets among men in the first week.5th seed Alexander Zverev had to battle for 5 sets in two out of his first three rounds on the red dirt.Zverev has still not gone past quarterfinals at any Grand Slam.World no.1 Novak Djokovic enjoyed his smooth run to the round of 16 without dropping a set.However Djokovic has some tough players in his section including Dominic Thiem and Fabio Fognini both of whom are winners of clay court events prior to French Open.Resurgent Juan Martin Del Potro who pushed Djokovic to 3 sets in semis of Rome Masters is also in the top half.
In the bottom half, Roger Federer playing at Roland Garros for the first time since 2015 showed no signs of nerve as he stormed into fourth round without any difficulty.Federer,37 also became the oldest man to reach fourth round of French Open.11 time champion and King of Clay Rafael Nadal dropped a set against David Goffin in the third round.6th seed Greek,Stefanos Tsistipas runner up at Madrid Masters is likely to meet Federer in quarterfinals.
Djokovic who is aiming to become only the second man after Rod Laver to hold all four Grand Slams at the same time twice,may provide stiff challenge to Rafael Nadal.
When Roger Federer played Casper Ruud in the third round this year,we had to go back in 1999 as Casper’s father,Christian reached third round of French Open.At that time Federer made his French Open main draw debut as 17 year old.In 2001, after his first round exit at French Open,Christian retired.Had he reached the second round,he would have played Federer in 2001.Quite interesting story.
This article published by Shailesh Padhye for Sportsnasha.com