The second Grand Slam tennis event of the calendar year is here, as the French Open rolls in on the clay courts of Roland Garros in Paris. Can World Number 1 Andy Murray go one better than last year?
Last year saw Serbia’s Novak Djokovic defeat Andy Murray in 4 sets to lift the men’s title, whilst Spaniard Gabine Muguruza beat Serena Williams in straight sets to lift the women’s.
Starting on Sunday 28th this will be the 116th French Open Championships.
Although Murray is ranked World Number 1 it is an event has hasn’t really fared well in in the past. A couple of quarter finals, three semi’s, and last year’s runner up spot is the best he has ever done.
In contrast World Numbers 2 and 3 – Djokovic and Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka have won the previous two French Opens, and 4th seed Rafa Nadal has long been considered the ‘King Of The Clay’ – having a run of 9 tournament victories in 10 years at Roland Garros – the most of any player of the modern era.
There are 16 trophies on offer over the fortnight of action, with the winner of both the men’s and women’s tournaments taking home just shy of £1.8 million each – this is where the pour exchange rate actually helps someone as it worked out at £1.3 million last year.
Due to the slower playing surface (compared to hard court and grass) the event is widely considered to be the most physically demanding tennis tournament in the world. For example some of the advantages of big servers and serve-and-volleyers.
A lot has happened in the months since the end of the last major (the Australian Open) at the end of January. Andy Murray hasn’t fared well – he’s failed to make it past the 3rd Round at any of the 4 World Tour Events he’s taken part in, and 18-time Grand Slam champion (and World Ranked No. 5) Roger Federer decided not to take part. The 35-year-old 4 time runner up and 1 time winner has avoided the clay court season as a whole in a bid to concentrate on the grass and hard court seasons.
And the winner of the Female singles title in Oz; Serena Williams will be out indefinitely as she announced that she is pregnant – she was actually 8 weeks pregnant when she won the title by defeating her sister Venus and winning her 23rd Grand Slam Title (a new open ear record) into the process.
The French Open runs through to 11th June.
For further information on the event please head to the official website here.