Americans have traditionally struggled to find their best tennis on the clay with few exceptions. The men in particular have struggled mightily to conquer the red clay and the last American man to win the Roland Garros title was Andre Agassi in 1999. The last American woman to win the French Open title was Serena Williams in 2015. In fact, three of Williams’ twenty-three major titles come from Roland Garros.
With Williams just getting back into the game, it is very likely that this will be another year that there is no American singles champion at Roland Garros.
While all bets are being placed on Rafael Nadal winning his eleventh Roland Garros title, there is no such certainty on the women’s side. The defending champion, Jelena Ostapenko, has not won a title since September of last year; however, she did make it to the final of the prestigious Miami Open earlier this season. Simona Halep is considered the favorite on clay; however, she struggles to handle the pressure of expectation. Perhaps she may surprise us this year and win her first major in Paris.
Despite the fact that the odds favor Nadal overwhelmingly; there are a few players that can possibly upset the apple cart, especially if they catch him early in the draw. Simone Bolelli was once ranked as high as number thirty-six and if he gets hot he can push Nadal. If Pablo Cuevas can play at his potential, he is a legitimate threat. Then there is the always dangerous Fabio Fognini. However, the real danger may come from the bottom half of the draw, Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, and David Goffin to name a few.
AMERICANS IN THE 2018 ROLAND GARROS DRAW.
RANKINGS USED FOR THE DRAW (DOES NOT REFLECT RECENT CHANGES DUE TO RANKING POINTS GAINED FROM ANY TOURNAMENT JUST PLAYED PRIOR TO THE FRENCH OPEN).
|MEN (11)||WOMEN (19)|
|9..JOHN ISNER||9..VENUS WILIAMS|
|12..SAM QUERREY||10..SLOANE STEPHENS|
|14..JACK SOCK||13..MADISON KEYS|
|STEVE JOHNSON||15..COCO VANDEWEGHE|
|TENNYS SANDGREN||DANIELLE COLLINS|
|RYAN HARRISON||TAYLOR TOWNSEND|
|JARED DONALDSON||BERNARDA PERA|
|FRANCES TIAFOE||SACHIA VICKERY|
|TAYLOR FRITZ||JENNIFER BRADY|
|RANKED BELOW 100||CHRISTINA MCHALE|
|DENIS KUDLA||VARVARA LEPCHENKO|
|NOAH RUBIN||SOFIA KENIN|
|RANKED BELOW 100|
SOURCE OF IMAGES: serveandrally