Saturday, April 20, 2024

French Open from today

None is an outright favourite
The Roland Garros Grand Slam event (colloquially and more commonly known as the French Open) begins today and this one offers all kinds of interesting possibilities for the world’s top three men — Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
Nadal already has a jointly-held record six titles on the Paris dirt, and will look to go one ahead of Bjorn Borg, who won his titles in the 70s and early 80s. Djokovic is looking to complete a career Grand Slam by adding the French trophy to his collection of three Australian, one Wimbledon and one US Open win. One the other hand, Federer is aiming to add to his already 17 titles and his first in two years in Paris.
The French Open marks the end of the claycourt leg of the ATP World Tour, which is based primarily in Europe, and for over half a decade, it has been the part of the tour where Nadal rises head and shoulders above the rest. This year has been no exception.
After the four Grand Slams, and possibly the year end World Tour Finals, the nine Masters Series events are the most prestigious events in tennis. Three of those — Monte Carlo, Madrid and Rome — are played on clay as lead-ups to the French Open. Nadal claimed titles at Monte Carlo and Rome recently, as well as at a less prestigious event in Barcelona and has a 16-1 record going into the tournament. His only loss came on the controversial blue claycourts of Madrid.
Djokovic’s only dalliances on clay this year has been at the three masters events (season record 10-3). He finished runner-up to Nadal in Monte Carlo and Rome — reversing the results of the previous year’s tourneys — and like Nadal, failed on the blue clay. The Serb has his own possible date with destiny in Paris. He currently holds the Australian Open, the US Open and the Wimbledon crown, and victory at the French will make him the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four major titles simultaneously, as well as the only man to do so on more than two surfaces.
Federer’s record on clay for the season reads 8-2. He skipped Monte Carlo, triumphed on blue Madrid, and fell convincingly to Djokovic in Rome (his other loss came to John Isner in a Davis Cup rubber).
How are things likely to play out?
Nadal, ranked two in the world, starts as the favourite. 2011 marked the first time since 2004 that he did not lift at least two of the three Masters events held on clay, courtesy of Djokovic, who was in the process of building a seven match winning streak against the Spaniard. Nonetheless, he triumphed in Paris. This year, he is back to winning ways, has stopped the rot against the World No. 1 with successive straight-sets wins in the finals of Monte Carlo (record 7th title) and Rome (record 6th title). Having been beaten in the last three Grand Slam finals, he will be particularly keen to nail his supremacy on clay.
Djokovic lost just one match on clay in 2011, to Federer in the semifinal stage in Paris. This year, he has been a clear number two behind Nadal, but the relative ease with which the Spaniard dispatched him in Rome and Monte Carlo does not inspire confidence in the world No. 1’s prospects of reigning supreme over all the Grand Slams. The clinical way that he has overcome all others however, bode well for his chances of reaching the finals. Federer is a possible semifinal opponent, but Nadal lies in the opposite half of the draw.
Federer’s chances are the poorest among the big three. Victory on Madrid’s blue clay speaks to his superb ability to adapt, but the surface has little in common to the clay of Roland Garros. A good head-to-head record against Djokovic stands in his favour, but a win over Nadal in the final will go against both history and current trends.

-With The Daily Star input

Related News

Carlos Alcaraz defeats Novak Djokovic in thrilling final to claim his first Wimbledon title

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Carlos Alcaraz defeated seven-time champion Novak Djokovic in a thrilling final to win his first Wimbledon title, on Sunday. The defeat was Djokovic’s first on Center Court since 2013 Alcaraz won 1-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-1 3-6 6-4 to end the Serbian’s dominance at Wimbledon. The Spaniard looked very nervous throughout the ... Read more

Djokovic into 14th Wimbledon quarter-final

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Novak Djokovic reached the Wimbledon’s quarterfinals for the 14th time by eliminating Hubert Hurkacz on Monday. The World No. 2 edged out 17th-seeded Pole 7-6(6), 7-6(6), 5-7 and 6-4. It was the Serb’s 100th match at the tournament. “Big credit to Hubert for playing an amazing match – tough luck for ... Read more

Novak Djokovic reaches Italian Open quarterfinals for 17th straight year

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Novak Djokovic booked his place in the Italian Open quarter-finals for the 17th straight year with a 6-3 6-4 victory over British No.1 Cameron Norrie in Rome on Tuesday. World No.1 Djokovic, the defending champion in Rome, complained about the quality of the courts in the build-up to the match but ... Read more

Emma Raducanu to miss French Open and Wimbledon due to recurring hand and ankle injuries

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com British tennis star Emma Raducanu said she will miss this year’s French Open and Wimbledon Championships after undergoing surgery on her wrists and ankle. Taking to Twitter on Wednesday, the 2021 US Open champion revealed the blow in a hand written note posted to her feed alongside a picture of her ... Read more

Djokovic Able to Play at US Open as Vaccine Mandate Set to End

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com World number one Novak Djokovic will be able to compete at the US Open this year after the US government said on Monday it will end its COVID-19 vaccination requirements for international travelers on May 11. Djokovic, one of the most high-profile athletes unvaccinated against COVID-19, missed the US Open in ... Read more

Covid vaccination status: ‘No regrets’ over missing US tournaments, says Djokovic

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Ace tennis star Novak Djokovic said he had no regrets about missing tournaments at Indian Wells and Miami due to his COVID-19 vaccination status. But the Serbian star – who was not allowed to compete at Indian Wells and Miami due to his refusal to be vaccinated – still hopes that ... Read more

Andy Murray pulls out of Dubai due to ‘hip injury’

Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray has pulled out of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, due to a “recurring hip injury”. Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Andy Murray has withdrawn from the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships due to a hip injury after his run to the Qatar Open final. The former world number one ... Read more

Novak Djokovic wins Australian Open and matches Nadal record

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Novak Djokovic defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in the 2023 Australian Open final 6-3, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5), to win his 22nd Grand Slam title (5). The victory in Melbourne means that Djokovic matches Rafael Nadal’s record of 22 Grand Slam titles, and the Serbian celebrated this one with a huge grin after ... Read more

Sabalenka wins Australian Open for first Grand Slam crown

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com On Saturday, Aryna Sabalenka won her first Grand Slam by defeating Elena Rybakina 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the Australian Open final. The Belarusian tennis sensation won the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup and $2 million after coming from a set down. It wasn’t an easy climb for Sabalenka. She started the game ... Read more

Martina Navratilova has breast and throat cancer

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Navratilova has breast and throat cancer. The 66-year-old Czechoslovakian, who was diagnosed this week, told Tennis.com that the ailment is treatable. The tennis legend was diagnosed with cancer again after 2010 when she was clear after six months of his initial diagnosis. “The double whammy is serious, but fixable, and I’m ... Read more

Naomi Osaka tops Forbes’ Highest-Paid Female Athletes list again

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Forbes lists Naomi Osaka as the highest-paid female athlete in 2022 for the third consecutive year, earning $51.1 million. Serena Williams made $41.3 million after her. Eileen Gu, who became famous during the 2022 Beijing Olympics, earned $20.1 million, including $20 million in endorsements. In total, the 25 highest-paid female athletes ... Read more

Djokovic hoping for a send-off like Federer’s

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Novak Djokovic said he wants his fiercest rivals by his side when he ends his career, similar to Roger Federer’s heartfelt farewell to the sport last week. Pictures of Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal sitting together and crying after Friday’s Laver Cup doubles loss at London’s O2 Arena went viral on ... Read more

Roger Federer announces his retirement from competitive tennis

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Roger Federer, a legendary tennis player from Switzerland, has announced his retirement from competitive play at the age of 41, citing signals from his body. Federer has recently had to deal with surgeries, injuries, and a burgeoning field of new stars. “I have played more than 1,500 matches over 24 years,” ... Read more

US Open 2022: Iga Swiatek beats Ons Jabeur to win US Open

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com World number one Iga Swiatek defeated Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur to win her second Grand Slam title of the year with a straight sets victory in the US Open final on Saturday. Polish star Swiatek overcame a spirited second set fightback from fifth seed Jabeur to win 6-2, 7-6 (7/5) in 1hr ... Read more

Maria Sharapova announces she is pregnant with first child

By Dhaka Mirror: dhakamirror.com On Tuesday, Maria Sharapova celebrated her 35th birthday, posted on Instagram to her 4.2 million Instagram followers, but the reaction to this particular birthday post will supersede any previous one, after she announced she was expecting her first child with fiancée Alexander Gilkes. She wrote: “Precious beginnings!!! “Eating birthday cake for two ... Read more

Serena Williams hints at tennis return

Serena Williams, has dropped her first hint that she could return to action at Wimbledon later this year. It comes after her long-time coach Patrick Mouratoglou announced he would work with Simona Halep on a ‘full-time’ basis. Williams, 40, has not played since retiring from her first-round match at Wimbledon last

Ashleigh Barty retires from professional tennis at age 25

Ashleigh Barty is retiring from professional tennis, she announced in a post on Instagram. In a surprise announcement, world number one Ashleigh Barty on Wednesday said she is retiring. “Today is difficult and filled with emotion for me as I announce my retirement from tennis,” the Australian said on Instagram. “Thank you to everyone who ... Read more

Naomi Osaka exit in tears after heckling during Indian Wells defeat

Naomi Osaka fought back tears after exiting Indian Wells in the second round as she said a heckler in the crowd affected her. The Japanese star, playing just her third event since taking a break in September to concentrate on her mental health, was taunted in the second game of the match after losing her ... Read more

Novak Djokovic ‘willing’ to sacrifice trophies than get Covid vaccine

Novak Djokovic has said he would rather miss out on future tennis trophies than be forced to get a Covid vaccine. In an interview with BBC, Novak Djokovic, the 34-year-old world No 1 said he is willing to skip the French Open and Wimbledon over his stance, but said he is not part of the anti-vax ... Read more

Barty lands first home Australian Open triumph in 44 years with victory over Collins

Ashleigh Barty beat Danielle Collins to win the Australian Open title, ending the home nation’s 44-year wait for a Grand Slam women’s singles champion. Barty took the first set in routine fashion but came within two points of dropping her first set of the tournament when the American took a 5-1 lead but