Tennis fans are primed for an edge-of-your-seat battle royale in this year’s French Open, May 16 – June 5. Major players like Djokovic, Nadal, Williams, and Kerber promise a tournament tennis fans will remember.
The favorite story of this year’s Roland Garros event is that of Novak Djokovic, who has the chance to win a once-in-a-generation tennis Grand Slam this year—a feat no one has achieved since Rod Laver in 1969. He’s won four of the last five slam events and the French Open will be the last slam he needs to achieve a career Grand Slam.
But standing between Djokovic and the Grand Slam is Rafael Nadal—gloriously dubbed the “King of Clay.” Nadal has only been defeated twice on the clay at Roland Garros: first in 2009 by Robin Soderling and last year by Djokovic in the quarterfinal of last year’s French Open. Although Nadal has been recovering from several debilitating injuries, many believe he can overcome Djokovic and take back his title.
On the Women’s side, it’s a tournament ripe for the taking. Serena Williams is still a threat, but the French Open tends to be her worst tournament. Many point to Angelique Kerber as a likely winner, considering her upset victory over Williams in the Australian Open finals, but Kerber also tends to fair poorly on clay. Simona Halep, who is the second best female player on clay, has emerged as a possible champion as well and seems to have her eyes on the prize.