The second Grand Slam tennis event of the calendar year is here as the French Open slides onto the clay courts of Roland Garros in Paris. With Rafa Nadal and Jelena Ostapenko aiming to retain their titles Britain’s best hopes come in the form of Kyle Edmund and Johanna Konta.
Starting Sunday 27th May and running until the 10th June this will be the 122nd French Open.
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, and that is the reason that the recently replaced World Number 1, and current Australian Open Champion Roger Federer has chosen not to take part in this or any of the clay court season for the second year in a row. His replacement in the Number 1 spot has gone to the ‘King of Clay’ Rafael Nadal, whose record of 10 French Open’s in the last 13 years is nothing short of phenomenal.
He holds a playing record for the tournament of 79-2 (he withdrew after his 2nd Round victory in 2016 with a wrist injury).
There are 16 trophies on offer over the fortnight of action, with the winner of both the men’s and women’s tournaments taking home just over £1.9 million each – an increase of a cool £100,000 from last year.
With Andy Murray not taking part (but nearing a return to action), the main British men’s hopes fall on the now current British Number 1 and 16th ranked (although World number 17) Kyle Edmund.
Whatever happens Edmund has already had a year to remember. After a marked improvement in 2017 he started the year as World Number 50, but this improved as he knocked out Kevin Anderson and Grigor Dimitrov en route to the Semi Finals of the Australian Open.
He followed that up by reaching his first ATP Final a couple of months later in Marrakesh, before winning the doubles title with compatriot Cameron Norrie at the Estoril Open at the start of this month, and then beating the former World Number 1 Novak Djokovic the next week in the Madrid Open.
In contrast the Women’s British Number 1 Johanna Konta has struggled with form so far this year that has seen her fall from 4th in the World to currently 22nd, and is entering the one Grand Slam tournament that she has never advanced out of the first round in.
All of the action can be seen on ITV 1 and ITV 2, as well as British EuroSport.
For further information before and during the tournament please visit the official website here.