No Nadal at the French Open… What’s next for clay shoes?

The French Open kicks off today스포츠토토 (Aug. 28) at Stade Roland Garros in Paris, France. With 14-time champion Rafael Nadal (Spain) withdrawing from the tournament, it will be a battle to find the next big thing.

The French Open is the only one of the four major tournaments to be played on clay courts, and the ball slows down on the surface, making it a tournament that requires both technical and physical excellence.

Carlos Alcaraz (Spain), the ‘second Nadal’, who became the youngest world No. 1 and is scheduled to return to No. 1 next week, will be the first to take center stage. The Spaniard’s momentum is frightening, having won his first major title at the US Open last year at the age of 19, following the Miami Open and Madrid Open. He is strong on clay, having won three titles this year alone.

Second-ranked Danil Medvedev (RUS) has been adapting better to clay lately. His victory last week at the Rome Open, a precursor to the French Open, was his first claycourt title. “Until now, my main sport was hardcourt, but now I’ve decided that I like clay as well,” he said, so he has high hopes for the French Open.

There are plenty of other big names in the field. World No. 4 Kasper Lourdes (NOR) is a true heir apparent, if only in nationality, as he is a product of Nadal’s Rafael Nadal Academy in Mallorca, Spain. He lost to Nadal in the final of the French Open last year, but he has earned the title of ‘dirt specialist’. Holger Lune (DEN), who recently won his second consecutive title against Novak Djokovic, is also an up-and-coming player, as is 2021 French Open runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE).

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