French Open 2022 Tennis Tournament: Exclusive Preview

Author: Megha


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The French Championship began with a non-French winner but has long been a purely French competition. The tournament has been around for more than a century. But what makes it so unique? As a pure amateur tennis tournament for men, the first edition of the French Grand Slam took place in the late 1800s with only five participants. It was called the Championnat de France Internationale de tennis and had only five participants. A few years later, women also participated in the tournament. 

 

Only French players won the title throughout the initial 40 years, except for the inaugural year. Players from other countries were largely forbidden to participate until 1925. In 1927, the official name was changed, and the tournament was named after aviation pioneer Roland Garros. It was played at the new Stade Roland Garros on May 19, 1928, for the first time on this name. This was the first time the signature ash red was used, which remains the hallmark of the French Open today. The stadium is located in the 16th arrondissement, one of the most exclusive areas of Paris. This time, the tournament is starting on May 22. 

 

The Favorites

 

Rafael Nadal has tennis fans worried about missing out on his dearest tournament after not being able to play in Barcelona or Monte Carlo. However, he feels he is fit enough to give a shot at the Madrid Masters, which he has won five times and most recently in 2017. While acknowledging that the preparation is difficult, Nadal said he could not refuse one of the rare opportunities to play here. However, signs that he is all set to compete with his monstrous past on the red turf (with more than 450 career victories) put him ahead of No. 1 Stefanos Tsitsipas of the week. Previously, although he had only improved his fitness from injuries, it is expected that he will almost certainly hit the purple patch once he gets to embrace competitive play.

 

Tsitipas could even drop to third in the table next week, depending on how the Madrid draw plays out. Novak Djokovic is already a few points behind Tsitsipas in our algorithm, and even a small improvement in his 2022 clay-court win rate, currently only about 58%, is likely to take him ahead of the Serb.

 

Also, it is a big step up in the rankings for Andrey Rublev, who is expected to reach the quarterfinals, assuming he is allowed to play. The Russian world No. 8 had previously criticized Wimbledon's decision to ban his compatriot from the grass-court competition, calling it discrimination, but he could now find himself disqualified from the French Open if it is reported that Roland Garros is considering a similar decision.

 

As a result of his win in Belgrade last week, he will go to Paris with at least one clay-court title to his name. It is no small feat either: he had to beat a real talent in Fabio Fognini before beating top seed Djokovic to a cheer from his home crowd in the final.

 

This was his first win against a world No. 1 and his biggest result on clay since Nadal was knocked out in Monte Carlo last year. As France relaxes protocols around Covid19, Djokovic has a chance to make a long-awaited comeback and successfully defend the French Grand Slam to claim his 21st Grand Slam title. In defending the Roland Garros championship he won in 2021, Novak Djokovic stands to benefit greatly from Rafael Nadal's injury. Compared to Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic will enter the 2022 French Championship with a fresh start and also have the opportunity to return to the Grand Slam stage.

 

This year’s French Grand Slam starts with the world’s best tennis players competing at Roland Garros Stadium in Paris. A total of about 130 ATP players will compete for the Men’s Singles title, which comes along with two thousand ranking points and a prize of €1,600,000 ($1,730,000).

 

The Dark Horses

 

1. Casper Ruud

 

Casper’s chances to win the French Grand Slam this year are considerably high, suggesting that he’s not very likely to get a hold of his first Grand Slam title this year. He might not win, but we expect him to get past the quarter-finals this year. The reason is that Casper is one of the best players when it comes to playing on clay. Moreover, he’s been excellent since the start of the year, beating such tennis heavyweights as Alexander Zverev and Cameron Norrie.

 

2. Stefanos Tsitsipas

 

With a bad beginning to the 2022 season, Stefanos made a fabulous return with a victory at the 2022 ATP Monte Carlo. He won the title by beating Fokina in the final, thus getting his second straight title in Monte Carlo. The win is significant for several reasons. First, it meant the end of his ten-month title drought. Secondly, the win served as a great beginning to his clay-court campaign. As a reminder, the Monte Carlo is played on clay and such; it’s thought of as a general warm-up for the French Open. This explains why Nadal has won the tournament a dozen times.

 

3. Carlos Alcaraz

 

The Spanish player is touted to be a future legend in tennis. At least that’s the impression we get from his performances in 2022. This year, he has already got victories in two tournaments - the Miami Open and Rio de Janeiro. Undoubtedly, the Miami Open is sweeter, but the win in Brazil is arguably even more significant. The thing is that the ATP Rio de Janeiro is played on the clay court, the same surface used at Roland Garros.

 

What is perhaps making Carlos’s chances for the 2022 French Grand Slam relatively higher is that he has a superb record against players who are better ranked than him in the ATP circuit. For instance, he has already defeated players like Matteo Berrettini, Cameron Norrie, and even Stefanos Tsitsipas, who is just behind him in the list of Roland Garros favorites.

 

4. The Bets are High this Season

 

The defending champion is Djokovic, who’s seen as the next best to win this year’s championship. The 2022 French Open bets make Spaniard Nadal the #1 favorite since the legend is this event’s record-holder with more than 12 titles in his trophy cabinet. The two tennis legends are indeed expected to lead a two-horse race for the French Championship, we may also witness some other players getting in the groove. Carlos Alcaraz’s 2022 French Grand Slam betting odds make him the #3 favorite, followed by Stefanos Tsitsipas, last year’s runner-up.

 

Conclusion

With Rafael and Novak struggling with fitness, maybe someone else could make a push for the championship? Since the early 2000s, only a few players have won the French Open. Nadal with 13 titles, Djokovic won two, while Federer and Wawrinka got themselves a trophy each. Maybe the year 2022 is when another name gets on that list? If you observe the 2022 French Championship tournament betting odds, you could also see that Tsitsipas and Alcaraz are seen as those who could end the Nadal/Djokovic supremacy.


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