This Sunday marks the start of the second Grand Slam tennis event of the calendar, the French Open on the clay courts of Roland Garros in Paris.
Last year saw Spaniard Rafael Nadal defeat Novak Djokovic in 4 sets to lift the men’s title, whilst Russian Maria Sharapova beat Simona Halep in 3 sets to lift the women’s.
Nadal’s record at Roland Garros is nothing short of frightening. He is the five-time defending champion in the men's singles, and has actually lifted the trophy in 9 of the last 10 years. Naturally this has earned him the name the ‘King Of Clay’. Maria Sharapova can’t boast a record quite as impressive, although she has been in the last 3 French Open Finals (wining 2 and losing 1).
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.
Novak Djokovic & Serena Williams enter the tournament as Number 1 seeds, although looking at the history books you’d struggle to understand why, as they have 2 French Open titles between them – both by Williams. Nadal is actually the 7th seed, and Sharapova the 2nd.
From a British point of view 3rd seed (he has risen to this after his final defeat at the Australian Open in January) Andy Murray will be hoping to do slightly better than last year where he was knocked out at the Semi-Finals stage last year in straight sets by who else than Rafa Nadal. He also got the Semi’s in 2011 where he met the same fate.