The 2021 French Open at Roland-Garros is expected to take place between May 24th and June 13th. With the wait for the tournament nearly over, here is what you can expect to see in Paris.
The King of Clay
Rafael Nadal had an excellent tournament in 2020, winning his 13th French open whilst equaling Federer’s record of 20 major titles. It was also the Spaniard’s 4th consecutive French Open title, and he did it in style – not losing a single set, and losing only seven games in total.
French Open aside, 2020 was actually a disastrous year for Nadal, and his form continues to fluctuate. Nadal, however, always brings his a-game in Paris, so you can expect to see some killer performances that earned him his illustrious nickname.
While the number of fans in attendance at sporting events has fluctuated since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the French Tennis Federation has confirmed that fans will be welcome at this year’s tournament. 1,000 fans were permitted to attend the men’s and women’s finals last year, with the same number able to attend this year for the first 10 days. Subject to government restrictions, it is hoped that number will increase to 5,000 from June 9th, which coincides with the start of the quarter-finals.
If you’re not one of the lucky few to make it to the in-person games, you can catch all the action with this Tennis Channel promotion.
Nadal – Djokovic Semi-Final
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic met in last year’s final, with the Spaniard beating Djokovic in straight sets. However, given Nadal’s recent form and the fact he’s faced some sterner opposition on clay, he is expected to be the 3rd seed at this year’s tournament. This could see him face world number 1, Novak Djokovic, in what would be a huge semi-final showdown.
Federer’s Grand Slam Return
Roger Federer has selected the French Open to make his long-awaited return to Grand Slam tennis. The Swiss star hasn’t competed in a Grand Slam event since the Australian Open in 2020, and has only just returned to tournament tennis after sitting out a year due to two knee operations.
Whilst clay has never been Federer’s preference, the tennis legend is preparing for Paris with an appearance in the Geneva Open, so expect to see some quality serves from the Swiss superstar.
Świątek beat Sofia Kenin on Court Philippe-Chatrier in the 2020 women’s final to become the first-ever Polish player to win a Grand Slam single’s title. She went into the tournament ranked 54th in the world by the WTA, and came out as the 2020 Women’s single’s champion.
She also made it to the semi-finals of the double’s tournament, and she’s expected to feature in Paris once again.
Naomi Osaka’s clay performance
Osaka is a four-time grand-slam winner, but she has never managed to progress beyond the third round at Roland Garros. While the 23-year-old admitted, she finds it harder to adapt to playing on clay, could this be the year we see it all change?
With the sporting world regaining some normality, the French Open will see some hugely exciting battles and events take place.