Roland Garros (aka: the French Open) begins tomorrow. It is the second of the four majors held each season. It has been dominated on the men’s side by one man, Rafael Nadal. In contrast there has been no dominant player on the WTA side. This year the draw is even more wide open than usual and there is no clear-cut favorite for the women. The number one seed and number one ranked female player, Naomi Osaka, has made it known that clay is not her thing and she has been struggling with an arm injury.
That being the case, anything can happen if you desire it enough; thus, every player comes to the major believing this is their opportunity to win big. There is no doubt that Nadal will be looking to claim his 12th Roland Garros title; however, equally determined is the number one seed and number one ranked male player, Novak Djokovic. Djokovic is motivated by the prospect of holding all major titles at the same time and the possibility of a Grand Slam (holding all majors in the same calendar year).
Top 4 males seeds and their first round opponents
Djokovic will face Hubert Hurkacz, the forty-third ranked player from Poland, who has a decent game and could be a tricky first round match for the Serbian.
Nadal will face off against Yannick Hanfmann, who is ranked outside the top hundred; however, the German has game, question though is it enough to rattle the Spaniard. I don’t think so.
Roger Federer will play the Italian upstart, who has been playing well on clay, Lorenzo Sonego. At a ranking of seventy-three, does he have enough belief to challenger Federer? Perhaps!
Dominic Thiem, the fourth seed, will get his campaign started against the American, Tommy Paul. This could be an interesting first round match but I don’t see it happening since Paul has not really done much on the main tour lately.
Top 4 women seeds 1st round opponents
Osaka will play Anna Karolina Schmiedlova. If the Slovakian has regained her confidence, she could challenge the top seed; however, not likely since Schmiedlova has not shown much evidence recently that her confidence has returned.
Karolina Pliskova will play the often entertaining American, Madison Brengle; while the American can get streaky hot, I don’t think she can be consistent enough to upset the number two seed. Pliskova is also riding high on confidence with her recent clay title in Rome.
Simona Halep potentially can have a tricky first match. Ajla Tomljanovic, if healthy can play with the top players; she pushed Halep to three sets in their only previous encounter in 2018. So, keep an eye on this match.
Kiki Bertens is playing some of the best tennis of her career; however, did she peak too early? She will play crowd favorite Pauline Parmentier, who is another player that can be streaky. Yet, I think Bertens will handle any resistance she meets in this first round encounter with aplomb.
Who will end the tournament as the French Open champion?
SOURCE OF IMAGES: Zimbio.com (Getty Images/Europe); main image by Cameron Spencer.