The 126th edition of the French Open, the second of four annual major tennis tournaments, will be held from May 22 to June 5 in Paris, France.

The tournament, officially known as Roland Garros, is played on outdoor clay courts.

Roland Garros offers a 128-man roster in singles, a 64-team roster in doubles and a 32-team roster in mixed doubles.

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FILE PHOTO: General view of the sunset over the Philippe-Chatrier court at Roland Garros in Paris, France. – GETTY IMAGES

The French men’s singles championships were first held in 1891 and the women’s event was added six years later. The French Tennis Federation opened the event to foreign players in 1925.

The Roland Garros stadium first staged the tournament in 1928. In 1927, four French tennis musketeers – Jean Borotra, Jacques Brugnon, Henri Cochet and René Lacoste – stunned the United States in their own backyard to win the Davis Cup. The rematch, set up in 1928, was to be held in Paris and a new stadium was built for it. The stadium was named after one of the most renowned former members of Stade Français, Roland-Garros, who died about a decade earlier. Roland-Garros was a pilot who, on September 23, 1913, became the first man to fly an airplane over the Mediterranean.

In 1968, French Open became the first Major to join the Open Era, allowing amateurs and professionals to participate in the event.

How was last year’s edition

The 125th edition of the tournament was held from May 30 to June 13, 2021, after the original schedule was postponed by a week due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For the first time, Roland Garros held formal night sessions, but games after 9 p.m. local time were played behind closed doors as spectators were banned after 9 p.m. due to a nationwide curfew. From June 9, the curfew was moved to 11 p.m. and the number of spectators allowed was reduced from 1,000 to 5,000 on the main courts.

After a year’s absence, the mixed doubles event has also returned to center stage.

On the men’s side, Serbian Novak Djokovic came on after two sets to beat Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7(8), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in the final to claim his second Roland title -Garros. and 19th major overall. Djokovic beat defending champion Rafael Nadal in an epic four-set thriller semi-final in which then-French Prime Minister Jean Castex called on organizers to make a waiver and let spectators stay. inside the stadium after the night curfew until the end of the match. finished.

The win also made Djokovic the first man in the Open Era to win all four Grand Slams at least twice.

In women’s singles, Czech Barbora Krejcikova, who had never reached the quarter-finals of a Major before, won the title beating another first-time Major finalist, Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 2- 6, 6-4. Krejcikova became the first Czech woman to win the singles title at Roland Garros since Hana Mandlikova in 1981.

The following day, Krejcikova also won the women’s doubles title with compatriot Katerina Siniakova, the feat last achieved at the tournament in 2000 by French player Mary Pierce.

Scenarios for this year

Women

World No. 1 Iga Swiatek of Poland will be the undisputed favorite to lift the trophy. Swiatek heads to Roland Garros after five straight titles and a 28-game unbeaten streak. The 20-year-old won the title at Roland Garros in 2019 when she was ranked 54th in the world.

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Women’s preview of Roland Garros 2022 – NEW GRAPHICS

It will be interesting to see if Krejcikova steps onto the court to defend her title. The Czech player has been out since Doha with an arm injury.

Over the past 15 years, Roland-Garros has seen nine first-time major winners, including Swiatek and Krejcikova, which means players like Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur (won 11 of his last 12 matches on clay), the Greek Maria Sakkari and Spaniard Paula Badosa. can also imagine their chances.

Men

World number one Djokovic will seek to equal Nadal’s record of 21 major titles by defending his crown at Roland Garros. Djokovic was not allowed to participate in the Australian Open 2022 because he had not taken the vaccine against COVID-19. Nadal, who had tied with Djokovic and Switzerland’s Roger Federer at 20 Grand Slams, took the lead after beating Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in the Melbourne final. Djokovic enters this year’s tournament having won the title in Rome, his first of 2022.

Thirteen-time champion Nadal, who turns 36 on June 3, could become the oldest French Open winner, a record currently held by compatriot Andres Gimeno who lifted the trophy in 1972 at the age of 34. .

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Men’s preview of Roland Garros 2022. – NEW GRAPHICS

All eyes will also be on Spanish teenage sensation Carlos Alcaraz, who had to qualify for the main draw in 2021 thanks to the qualifying rounds. This year, world number 6 Alcaraz enters as one of the favorites after his title runs in Barcelona and Madrid, the latter including victories over Nadal and Djokovic.

While a local favorite, Gaël Monfils, will not participate this year because he goes under the knife to fix a problem with his right heel, another in Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is about to retire from the sport after this Open of France.

Prize money

The two men’s and women’s singles champions will walk away with a prize money of €2,200,000 (approximately $23,03,455).

Trophies

According to the official website, the five trophies awarded at Roland Garros were all designed by La Maison Mellerio, a famous Parisian jeweler since the 17th century.

FILE PHOTO: Rafael Nadal of Spain poses with the Mousquetaires Cup trophy after his victory over Serbian Novak Djokovic in the French Open final at Roland Garros June 11, 2012 in Paris, France. – GETTY IMAGES

The winner of the men’s singles receives the Coupe des Mousquetaires, named in honor of four Musketeers of French tennis: Jean Borotra, Jacques Brugnon, Henri Cochet and René Lacoste. Awarded to winners since 1981, the trophy, a silver bowl edged with vine leaves around the edge and adorned with two swan-shaped handles, is mounted on a marble base that bears the names of all champions since 1891.

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FILE PHOTO: Czech Republic’s Barbora Krejcikova, winner of the 2021 French Open women’s singles, with the Susanne-Lenglen Cup. – GETTY IMAGES

The women’s singles champion receives the Suzanne-Lenglen Cup, named after the six-time Roland-Garros champion. Awarded to winners since 1979, the trophy is an almost exact replica of the cup offered at the time by the City of Nice to Lenglen, and is kept at the National Sports Museum.

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FILE PHOTO: Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut of France celebrate with the Coupe Jacques-Brugnon after winning the men’s doubles final of the 2021 French Open. – GETTY IMAGES

The winners of the men’s doubles receive the Jacques-Brugnon Cup, named after one of the four Musketeers of French tennis, a doubles specialist. The trophy, created in 1989, is designed with appliques and its base is adorned with repetitive ornaments in relief, otherwise known as fluting.

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FILE PHOTO: Katerina Siniakova and Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic pose with the Simonne-Mathieu Cup after winning their women’s doubles final at the 2021 French Open at Roland Garros. – GETTY IMAGES

Women’s doubles champions are awarded the Simonne-Mathieu Cup, named after clay court specialist Simonne Mathieu who won the singles title twice, in 1938 and 1939, and also won eight titles in women’s doubles and mixed doubles. The trophy, created in 1990, is adorned with two small handles in the shape of swans and decorated with leaf moldings.

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FILE PHOTO: Desirae Krawczyk of the United States and Joe Salisbury of Great Britain pose with the Marcel Bernard Cup after winning their mixed doubles final match at the 2021 French Open at Roland Garros. – GETTY IMAGES

Mixed doubles winners receive the Marcel Bernard Cup, named after the 1946 Roland-Garros champion who was also president of the French Tennis Federation from 1968 to 1973. Presented to champions for the first time in 1990, the trophy is oval and features turned and inset moldings, a carved frieze and two handles, while the base has two turned moldings.

Most successful players at Roland-Garros (Open Era)

Women

  • Chris Evert (USA): 7 titles (1974, 1975, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1986)
  • Steffi Graf (Germany): 6 titles (1987, 1988, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1999)
  • Justine Henin (Belgium): 4 titles (2003, 2005, 2006, 2007)
  • Margaret Court (Australia): 3 titles (1969, 1970, 1973)
  • Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (Spain): 3 titles (1989, 1994, 1998)
  • Monica Seles (Yugoslavia): 3 times (1990, 1991, 1992)
  • Serena Williams (USA): 3 times (2002, 2013, 2015)

Men

  • Rafael Nadal (Spain): 13 titles (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)
  • Bjorn Borg (Sweden): 6 titles (1974, 1975,1978, 1979, 1980, 1981)
  • Mats Wilander (Sweden): 3 titles (1982, 1985, 1988)
  • Ivan Lendl (Czech Republic): 3 titles (1984, 1986, 1987)
  • Gustavo Kuerten (Brazil): 3 titles (1997, 2000, 2001)

Notable absentees

  • Women – Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Elina Svitolina, Sofia Kenin
  • Men – Roger Federer, Gael Monfils, Matteo Berrettini, Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori

Title contenders

Women – Iga Swiatek, Maria Sakkari, Ons Jabeur, Simona Halep

Men – Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Carlos Alcaraz

Where to watch:

In India, viewers will be able to watch the live broadcast of the matches on the Sony Image Network (SPN) and stream matches live on the Sony Live application.
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