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With Just Over a Month to go Until the French Open, Here's Our Predictions
Thursday, 04/28/2022
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The countdown to the second installment and the first European leg of this year’s tennis majors calendar is well underway. The fortnight of action will commence on Sunday May 22 at Roland Garros Stadium and in anticipation, we take a look at this year's likely contenders.

The History of the Event
The French Open has been held at Stade Roland Garros in West Paris’ since 1928 and is so inseparably linked to the tournament, that it is often used as a byname of the event itself. Named after the pioneering French aviator of the early 20th century, the 30,000 strong capacity venue can be found in Paris’ 16th arrondissement on the periphery of the Bois de Boulogne.

The proceedings are broadcast in over 220 countries worldwide and the 2021 final between Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas was viewed by 2 million people on NBC alone – where the favorite Djokovic came away with the title after going two sets down.

The stadium will also be a key venue at the 2024 Paris Summer Olympic and Paralympic games where it will not only host the tennis and wheelchair tennis events but also boxing and sitting volleyball.

Of the four tennis Grand Slams, including January’s Australian Open at Melbourne Park and August’s US Open at Flushing Meadows, the Brits would say The Championships, Wimbledon that begins at the end of June is the title with the most prestige and many players would agree. But each host nation would lay stake to that claim, and the French Open is gaining on Wimbledon in terms of social media performance.

The Roland Garros is recognized for its iconic red clay (that often ends up adorning the white attire of the competitors), of which there are 18 courts available. Clay is the slowest of the tennis surfaces – the ball bouncing higher and sitting up during rallies – favoring baseline players who are good at utilizing spin.

Grass, like at Wimbledon, is the fastest of the surfaces where powerful serve volleyers tending to dominate. Hardcourt surfaces at the US and Australian Open are classified by the International Tennis Federation as anywhere from medium-slow to medium and medium-fast; these courts are popular among all-rounders.

The advantages offered to different play styles across the variety of surfaces is what makes achieving the Grand Slam – winning all four consecutive Grand Slam titles – such a rare and monumental feat. Time2play takes the guesswork out of where the best place is to pick your winners from each competition, curating a list of the best online betting sites available in the US.

A Calendar Grand Slam is where all titles are won in the same calendar year. In the singles division, Steffi Graf was the last to achieve this in 1988 (where she also won the Olympic Gold, an accomplishment dubbed the Golden Grand Slam) and Rod Laver, way back in 1969, was the last man to do so. A non-calendar year grand slam was won by Serena Williams in 2002-3.

Predictions for This Year’s French Open

Men’s Singles
Novak Djokovic will of course be eager to retain the men’s singles title and add his name to the trophy for the third time but Rafa Nadal is in great form off the back of his recent Australian Open win in January. Nadal has an unprecedented 13 French Open wins to his name.

Djokovic goes into the tournament as top seed and is currently number one on the ATP men’s singles rankings also. Daniel Medvedev of Russia, responsible for dispatching Djokovic in straight sets at the US Open last year and in doing so derailing the Serbian’s attempt at the calendar Grand Slam, looks more than dangerous as second seed. 

18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz is also one to watch, moving up to a world ranking of 11 after winning his first ATP Masters 1000 title in Miami, defeating Norwegian Casper Ruud in straight sets. Alcaraz is tipped as one of the next phases of tennis superstars who could dethrone the Nadal, Federer, Djokovic triumvirate that dominated the world tour for over a decade.

Women’s Singles
Poland’s Iga Swiatek is in blistering form, establishing herself at the top of the WTA rankings with 17 wins without defeat. And she will be looking to lift the trophy for a second time, her first being in 2020 which was also her first grand slam title.

Naomi Osaka continues her resurgence through the rankings after a noted slump. The former number 1 lost out to Swiatek in the final of the Miami Open and in doing so, gained 35 positions in the rankings from which she was perilously close to falling out of the top 100.

Czech Barbora Krejčíková is the current title holder and comes fresh from a runner-up placing at the Sydney International 2022, but the safe money is certainly on Swiatek who, at present, can seemingly do no wrong.

As well as the excitement of the singles events, the mens’, womens’ and mixed doubles each bring their own thrills and spills, headlines, and upsets. Bahrami will return with his Legends trophy that brings 24 men and women tennis stars from yesteryear to compete in equal parts impressive expertise and inevitable hilarity.