The second major tournament of 2017 gets underway in France as Britain will hope to have some success after disappointment in Australia. We’ll be showing the competition live in Sportsters, but to keep a firm eye on matches and timings, please visit @ http://www.eurosport.co.uk/watch-eurosport.shtml#watch-schedule__wrapper.
Britain’s main hope will continue to be World Number 1, Andy Murray. His last tournament victory came back in March as he won the Dubai Tennis Championships but since then he’s failed to the reach the final of his last three competitions, suffering shock defeats at Indian Wells, Monte-Carlo, and Barcelona. On his current form and having only reached the final on one occasion (2016), he will perhaps not be the favourite to win the tournament. However, he has become a big-game player and he’s not World Number 1 for no reason. He knows that winning the French Open at his peak would be a huge boost in his chance to win all four Grand Slams.
His competition will come in the form of old foes. Rafael Nadal, a nine-time winner of the French Open will be tough to beat after reaching the Australian Open final and winning his last two tournaments at Monte-Carlo and Barcelona. Roger Federer is also on top form having won the Australian Open in January, Indian Wells and the Miami Open. Both players will be keen to add to their fantastic tally of trophies in the later stages of their careers.
World Number 2, Novak Djokovic, will also provide tough opposition despite his poor performances of late. The former Number 1 hasn’t progressed past the quarter-finals of a tournament since the Qatar ExxonMolin Open back in early January, but his quality will make him one to watch and avoid for Murray. Attention should also be paid to the home stars for France including, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, Lucas Pouille, Gael Monfils, and Richard Gasquet who are all ranked inside the top 25 players in the world.
Other Brit’s to watch will be Dan Evans (51 in the world) and Kyle Edmund (41 in the world). Neither have ever passed the last 64 of the tournament, but young Edmund is a rising talent within the game.
In the Women’s section, there is also hope for Johanna Konta. She’s ranked 7th in the world and her form in 2017 has been strong. She won the Sydney Open before being knocked out by Serena Williams in the quarter-final of the Australian Open. Since then she has won the Miami Open and sets herself up well for the tournament.
A huge benefit to all will be the news of Serena Williams’ pregnancy meaning she will not compete at Rolland Garros. However, there will be plenty of competition for the title with a varying number of potential winners.
Finally, there is also hope in the Men’s Doubles section with Jamie Murray and his partner Bruno Soares of Brazil. The pair were the number one ranked doubles team in the world at the end of 2016 but have slipped slightly down to fourth in the world. Their competition will come from various pairs including the Bryan brothers, the French duo of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, and the number 1 ranked Henri Kontinen and John Peers.