Who will be the next king of the clay court?
The French Open, the second major tennis tournament of the year, kicks off today (Aug. 28) at Roland Garros Stadium in Paris, France, for 15 days of action.
This time around, the men’s singles will be a completely different story.
Two of the “big three” who have dominated the men’s game for four and a half decades will be absent.
Roger Federer (SUI) retired last year, and Rafael Nadal (#15-Spain), who has been battling a hip muscle injury since the beginning of the year, has announced his withdrawal from the tournament and his intention to retire next season.
As a result, only Novak Djokovic (No. 3-Serbia) of the Big Three will be competing at the French Open.
Federer-Nadal fading into history.
It will be the first time in 25 years that the French Open has been played without Federer and Nadal since 1998.
The French Open is especially special to Nadal. In his 18 years at the tournament, Nadal has won 14 titles, been dubbed the “King of Clay” and the “Clay God”. No other player has won as many titles at one of the four majors as Nadal.
The most prominent candidate to succeed Nadal as King of Clay is his fellow Spaniard, World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, who has been dubbed the “next Nadal.
He became the youngest player to win back-to-back titles at the Miami Masters and Madrid Masters last year and has emerged as the frontrunner to succeed the Big Three.
World No. 1 Alcaraz
He was particularly impressive at the Madrid Masters, knocking off his idols Nadal and Djokovic in straight sets.
This year, Alcaraz has won four ATP Tour titles, including two Masters-level events in Madrid and Indian Wells.
However, in terms of recent momentum, Danil Medvedev (No. 2-Russia) has taken a slight lead over Alcaraz.
Medvedev won his first career clay-court title at the Rome Open, a precursor to the French Open.
In total, he has won five tour events this year. He is especially strong on the big stages, reaching the final of three Masters-level events and winning two.
Medvedev won the 2021 US Open. He has always been a hard-court player, but his clay-court game has improved this year.
Nordic tennis’ “two-headed horse” Holger Lune (No. 6-Denmark) and Kasper Lund (No. 4-Norway) are also among the favorites스포츠토토.
Lune has emerged as a top-level player at the tender age of 20, combining quick feet and endurance with a powerful serve.
He has won his last two matches against Djokovic in straight sets. However, one of his downsides is that he often gets emotional, arguing with the umpire.
Rood learned to play tennis at the Rafael Nadal Academy in Mallorca, Spain.
Rune is prone to temper tantrums.
Like Nadal, Rune is strong on clay. He has won 10 titles on tour, nine of them on clay.
Lourdes made it all the way to the final of last year’s tournament to face Nadal, falling short 0-3.
Djokovic, who is tied with Nadal for the most career major titles with 22, will be looking to break the record.
Djokovic has been struggling since winning the Australian Open. A problem with his right elbow has prevented him from hitting as many powerful shots as he used to.
Sibyon Tech won the French Open last year.
In the women’s singles, all eyes will be on world number one and 2020 and last year’s champion, Iga Cibionte (Poland), to win her third career title.
Strong server Elena Rybakina (No. 4-Kazakhstan), last year’s Wimbledon winner and this year’s Australian Open runner-up, and Australian Open winner Arina Sabalenka (No. 2-Belarus) will round out the top three.
However, it will be interesting to see how well she is back to full fitness after withdrawing from the Rome Open with a knee injury.
Meanwhile, South Korea’s Hong Seong-chan (Sejong City Hall), Han Na-rae (Bucheon City Hall), and Jang Soo-jeong (Daegu City Hall) all failed to qualify.