The French Open in Paris starts the tournament with all tennis stars

Wwelcome to this year’s most spectacular tennis tournament! Welcome to Paris! Yes, it’s true: The traditional Wimbledon lawn tournament is not the sporting benchmark for all tennis this year, nor are the other two Grand Slam tournaments in Melbourne and New York. Only Roland Garros offers everything that has status and reputation and the very best views from this Sunday.

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With the gentlemen, there was general meeting of favorites that had not been seen for a long time. These include: record holder Rafael Nadal, aiming for his 14th triumph in Paris; the resurrected defending champion Novak Djokovic, who was able to catch up with the Spaniard with his 21st Grand Slam title; the dreaded teenager Carlos Alcaraz, who has smashed all the big ones on his way to four tournament wins this season; a challenger who is seasoned on clay like Stefanos Tsitsipas, who was in the Paris final in 2021 and has won more matches on the ATP Tour this year than almost any other player; and two pursuers such as Alexander Zverev and Daniil Medvedev, who were able to oust Djokovic from the world top.

And for the women, an excellent Iga Swiatek plays to set a two-decade-old record from Venus Williams after 28 fights and five WTA titles in a row and to win her second French Open title after 2020. You can not get much more tennis on. a place.

“Every Grand Slam is a marathon”

The fact that the fifteen days in Paris are of particular importance this time is also due to the fact that the other three Grand Slam tournaments this year will not have any sporting attractions. Australia had in January denied vaccine denier Djokovic entry and thus a start in Melbourne for security reasons, so Herrenfeld had to do without the industry leader.

Under political pressure, Wimbledon will not allow players from the striker’s and his friends ‘country due to Russia’s war against Ukraine – which will exclude Russia’s Medvedev (world number two) and Andrei Rublev (seventh) in June, as well as Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka (seventh) and Victoria Azarenka (fifteenth). And because stricter corona rules apply in the US than in France, for example, the US Open will probably take place again without Djokovic in late summer.

So all eyes are on Paris! “Every Grand Slam is a marathon, but especially Roland Garros,” said Greek Tsitsipas, who led 2-0 against Djokovic in last year’s final and still lost: “He drains the most mentally and mentally.” Every other day over three Playing winning sets, at best seven times to win the “Coupe des Mousquetaires”, and do it all on clay, where rallies take longer, requires more energy than most tennis pros can muster.

Tsitsipas’ upcoming marathon initially seems to be free of the most serious obstacles. The fourth place in the world rankings is the lone favorite in the lower half of the men’s tableau, mainly because the nominally higher ranked Medvedev can hardly play for his forces in the slow underground and recently had to pause for several weeks.

“Top half pretty packed”

In turn, the top half of the tableau already created a “wow effect” during the draw Thursday night. The ATP rankings had largely specified the seed list. But as the names of the biggest favorites can be read in black and white in a cramped space, much has been whispered in Roland Garros.

If the stars do not stumble in between, Djokovic and Nadal as well as Zverev and Alcaraz will meet in the quarterfinals; the respective winners then fight for entry to the final. A constellation that Zverev also finds breathtaking. “The top half is pretty packed,” the Olympic champion told reporters Friday: “I think that’s where the Roland Garros champion comes from.”

Two others are favorites for the third in the world rankings: Djokovic, who has overcome his mysterious spring fatigue, won the Masters tournament in Rome last Sunday, saying he was “positively surprised by myself”. And Nadal, who Zverev was amazed at again in recent training days in Paris: “The place here gives him something that makes him 30 percent better.” There were no signs of the Spaniard’s chronic foot problems.

And Zverev? He has yet to win a tournament this year. Two weeks ago, he was eliminated by young Alcaraz in the Madrid final, after which he lost to Tsitsipas in the semi-final in Rome. But his form has improved from tournament to tournament, the 25-year-old claims: “If I win here, I will be more than happy with my clay court season.” A surprising German victory would crown the Parisian spectacle.

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