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Roland Garros

This Week in Tennis: Popcorn First Round Matches Await at Roland-Garros

It’s that time of year again. The stage is set for tennis’ clay court Grand Slam in Paris as both the men’s and women’s singles draws have been filled out with the top players in the world.

Get ready for a memorable fortnight filled with exciting storylines.

Nadal vs. Zverev Highlights Men’s Opening Round

The draw gods were unkind to 14-time champion Rafael Nadal in what is likely his Roland-Garros swan song. The ‘King of Clay’ will open against world no. 4 Alexander Zverev in a rematch of the thrilling 2022 semi-final between the two players. Zverev arrives in Paris on the heels of winning for a second time at the Rome Masters.

Other popcorn-worthy first round matches include Andy Murray vs. Stan Wawrinka in a battle of former Grand Slam champions as well as Frenchman and crowd-favourite Gael Monfils going up against Thiago Seyboth Wild who upset Daniil Medvedev last year to reach round three.


On the women’s side, former World No. 1 Karolina Pliskova is slated to meet former world no. 3 Elina Svitolina out of the gate while French veteran Alizé Cornet will begin the final appearance of her career at her home tournament against seventh-seeded Zheng Qinwen.

Swiatek and Djokovic Lead the Way

World No. 1 Iga Swiatek is the clear favourite to lift the French Open trophy for a fourth time and a different result at the conclusion of the two weeks would be considered a surprise, especially after the Pole was crowned champion in Madrid and Rome in the lead up to Paris.


Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic is the top seed in the men’s draw, but his status as the favourite is not nearly as assured considering his results this season and his lack of match play. Meanwhile, there is injury uncertainty surrounding the Serb’s two biggest rivals with Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz struggling with health issues. Will that open the door for an unlikely name to walk through and claim their first Major? Players like Casper Ruud, Andrey Rublev, Zverev, and Stefanos Tsitsipas are certainly hoping that’s the case.

There’s also a strong Canadian contingent in singles this year including Bianca Andreescu, who is returning from a nine-month injury layoff, Leylah Annie Fernandez, Félix Auger-Aliassime, Denis Shapovalov, and Gabriel Diallo, who successfully qualified for his first Grand Slam main draw.

Feature photo courtesy: Corinne Dubreuil/FFT