Roland Garros hosts the second Grand Slam of the professional tennis season as the French Open commences tomorrow in Paris.
Rafa Nadal has been the King of clay forever it seems like. He has won 56 of his 78 career titles on clay, 11 at Monte Carlo, 11 at Barcelona, 5 at Hamburg/Madrid, 8 at Rome and a record 10 at in Paris. His record at the French is 79-2. He has won 97.5% of his matches at Roland Garros. With Roger Federer sitting this one out after winning the Australian Open for his 20th Slam and now preparing for Wimbledon, this one looks like Rafa's for the taking once again. But there are some threats. Djoker looks to be getting back to form. Twenty four year old Austrian Dominic Thiem is a factor, and 21 year old German Alexander Zverev won at Madrid 3 weeks ago defeating Rafa on the way to that title. He lost to Rafa in the final at the Italian Open 2 weeks ago. He's becoming an elite player.
On the women's side, it's pretty wide open and unpredictable. Serena Williams is back. Can she compete at the level she's used to and win an improbable 24th major. That's a big ask after having a baby five months ago. She's arguably the best of all time though I'd put Chris Evert, Billy Jean King, Martina Navratilova, and Steffi Graf in that company as well because I'd say the competition was tougher when those respective women played. But there are some up and comers on the women's side, and players who are established stars like Maria Sharapova and Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniaki along with 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens. So it's wide open in the women's.
TV: First through the Fourth rounds: 4 AM-2 PM CT, Tennis Channel, NBC.
Quarters: Tuesday, June 5th, Wednesday, June 6th, 6 AM-12 PM CT all on Tennis Channel;
Semis: Women's, Thursday, June 7th, 7 AM-1 PM CT; Men's Friday, June 8th, 5 AM-1 PM CT. Tennis Channel and NBC.
Finals: Women's, Saturday June 9th, 8 AM-12 PM CT, NBC
Men: Sunday, June 10th, 8 AM-1 PM CT, NBC
I'm going to take the 28 year old left hander from Bilovec, Czechoslovakia, where the Urban Assault Vehicle got captured in Stripes, and Bill Murray and Harold Ramis remarkably maneuvered themselves out of enemy lines. Dewey Oxburger and Sergeant Hulka had a big part in the rescue. She is a major champion, having won Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014, and just won the Madrid Open 3 weeks ago, so she's poised to break out on the clay courts in Roland Garros.
Petra Kvitova' over Maria Sharapova (who defeats Serena in the fourth round)
7-5, 4-6, 6-4
Is there any way Rafa can be stopped from winning his 11th Roland Garros title and his 17th Slam to move to within 3 major titles of Roger? The simple answer is no. He's unstoppable and just won 2 weeks ago at Rome. I do think he'll be challenged in the final by the young German stud, Zverev though. This 21 year old is for real. Like the KIng of Clay to once again assert his dominance at the French.
Rafa over Alexander Zverev
6-4, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3