Next Sunday marks the start of the second Grand Slam tennis event of the calendar year, the French Open on the clay courts of Roland Garros in Paris.
Last year saw Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka defeat Novak Djokovic in 4 sets to lift the men’s title, whilst American Serena Williams beat Lucie Sararova in 3 sets to lift the women’s.
This will be the 115th French Open Championships.
Now only ranked 5th in the world Rafa Nadal has long been considered the ‘King Of The Clay’ – it is justified too - he has won it 9 of the last 11 years at Roland Garros – the most of any player of the modern era.
There are 17 trophies on offer over the fortnight of action, with the winner of both the men’s and women’s tournaments taking home just shy of £1.3 million each.
Due to the slower playing surface (compared to hard court and grass) the event is widely considered to be the most physically demanding tennis tournament in the world. For example some of the advantages of big servers and serve-and-volleyers.
Novak Djokovic & Serena Williams again enter the tournament as Number 1 seeds, although looking at the history books you’d struggle to understand why, as for all they have 31 major titles between them the French Open can only account for 3 of them – all by Williams.
From a British point of view Andy Murray – who has just fallen to 3rd in the world after defeat in the Madrid Open final last week - has lost in the Semi-Final 3 times, including the last 2 years.
For further information on the event please head to the official website here.