French Open 2021 – A Curtain Raiser
Set in the city of lights, the French Open is one of the most aesthetic tennis tournaments, both in sports and outlook. It is popularly known as the Roland-Garros, named after the French aviator; Eugene Adrien Roland Georges Garros. It is played on clay and has the highest point value for rankings amongst the players.
The schedule for the French Open 2021 is shifted by a week and will be played from 24 May to 13 June (Qualifiers- 24 May to 28 May; Main draw- 30 May to 13 June). The champions will gather at Stade Roland-Garros (Roland-Garros Stadium) with necessary Covid protocols laid out for the audience.
It is the second of the four major Grand Slams: preceded by the Australian Open and succeeded by Wimbledon.
Rafa’s to lose
Rafael Nadal holds the most significant number of wins in the French Open with 13 championship trophies. For the past four years, The King of Clay has been bagging the Roland-Garros title. As a result of which experts believe that the Spaniard is automatically the first choice in every bookie’s books. But in this year’s tennis season, he seems to be a little out of form. There is a chance that he might not be the second seed in this tournament.
His uncle, Toni Nadal, also commented on his tennis form, stating that it hasn’t been all that great in 2021. After bagging his 20th Grand Slam title at the Roland-Garros in 2020, Rafael Nadal is tied with Roger Federer for the ‘Most Grand Slam titles,’ according to ATP’s (Association of Tennis Professionals) list. If Nadal manages to win the French Open 2021, it will be his 14th title at the tournament. He is high on hope after winning the Italian Open by defeating World No 1, Novak Djokovic.
Major absentees and Roger’s return
After undergoing two knee surgeries and playing just one tournament in 2021, Roger Federer is finally set to make his comeback in this tournament. “Hi everyone! Happy to let you know that I will play Geneva and Paris. Until then, I will use the time to train. Can’t wait to play in Switzerland again,” he tweeted.
Despite having bagged 20 Grand Slam titles, he has only been able to claim the French Open once in 2009. His decision to play the French Open 2021 is a means of helping him to polish his match skills before Wimbledon. He also said that this is a way to test how much workload his body can handle and also his knee’s condition. This will be a stepping stone to the tennis season for Federer.
Andy Murray is reportedly not participating in this edition of the French Open. He is going to focus on training for Wimbledon and the upcoming grass-court season. The three-time Grand Slam champion was expected to receive a wildcard for the tournament. However, the 2016 French Open finalist has decided to instead focus on the grass-court section of the calendar this summer.
The current defending championship in Women’s Singles is Iga Świątek. Chris Evert, the former American tennis star, holds the most significant number of Roland-Garros titles. Iga Świątek and the 2018 title holder, Simona Halep, are the favorite picks to bag the Roland-Garros. The probabilities are still unreliable, considering that Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams have been the only two to bag the title in the past decade more than once.
Needless to say that Spaniard Rafael Nadal is the defending champion with 13 Roland Garros trophies in his cabinet. Novak Djokovic was the last man other than Nadal to win the tournament and the Serbian is also one of the favorites to win this tournament this year.
Considering the irregularity in all sports forms due to Corona, this tournament seems like the most ordinary event in 2021. It’s something to look forward to with both the spirit of competition and entertainment. The beauty of Paris mixed with the intricate beauty of all the players is bound to blend into brilliant games and beautiful moments.