What to watch out for in the French Open 2017
Posted on: May 15th, 2017
If you are a tennis fanatic, chances are you’re gearing up to watch the 116th edition of the French Open, held in Stade Roland Garros, Paris from 28th May to 11th June, 2017. This classic event is part of both World Tour calendars under the Grand Slam category and invites the world’s finest sporting talent to battle it out in singles and doubles events, as well as mixed doubles events. The Open also welcomes under 18s events (tennis stars of the future) and the Wheelchair Tennis Grand Slam. With so much to take on board during the Open, it’s hard to keep track of all the action. As well as some world class tennis, here’s what we’ll be looking forward to this year.
Who are the favourites to win?
After winning the Australian Open in January (her 23rd Grand Slam) Serena Williams was the clear favourite for the women’s singles. However, it was revealed that Williams won the Grand Slam whilst 8 weeks pregnant. While that is an amazing achievement, it does mean the women’s favourite will not be competing at Roland Garros and this opens up the court for other players.
Odds are favourable for Garbine Muguruza, the Spaniard who defeated Williams in the 2016 final. Also, Simona Halep – runner up in 2014 – has consistently placed in the top 5 in women’s singles since then. The short-statured Romanian player will need to handle the high topspin she’s struggled with recently, and some precision play to make her first Grand Slam title in 2017.
Of course, the King of Clay, Rafael Nadal, is favourite to win at what is considered the highlight of the spring clay court season, and the UK’s own Andy Murray trails behind after a disappointing performance earlier this year. If Murray pulls it out of the bag, as he did in 2016 when he finally beat Novak Djokovic, he may well have a chance! It’s worth noting, Djokovic himself has a good shot at the Grand Slam title this year. Very tense indeed!
The 35 year old winner of 18 grand slam titles is keeping his cards close to his chest, and the world is watching to see if Federer takes a break from his break and appears on the clay courts of Roland Garros 2017. Federer did return victorious from the Australian Open in January, but this is not a guarantee of him returning to pro tennis for good. Federer is still dealing with knee problems and back pain, and these injuries will be the final decider in whether he competes, despite his obvious desire to do so. Watch this space.
Maria Sharapova: the Wild Card
After a 15 month doping ban, it’s hard to return to a sport with your head held high and an eagerness to win. Maria Sharapova has met with derision from fans, the press and fellow sportsmen and women, but everyone is intrigued to see where she goes next.
After a defeat by Kristina Mladenovic, which denies Sharapova an automatic place in the French Open qualifiers, her only chance is to be chosen as a wild card. It is unlikely for Sharapova to be chosen as the qualifiers wild card, and even less likely as a main draw wild card, but the possibility is keeping the press and the Twittersphere a-buzzing. Who knows, 2017 could be the year of dramatic returns, close matches and, of course, lots of red dust at the French Open.
What are you looking forward to most about the 2017 French Open?
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