seven players to see

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The 2022 edition of Roland-Garros will be held from May 22 to June 5. France 24 offers you seven names to follow for the tournament, between the old guard who resists and the promising youngsters.

The eternal Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are still there but the new generation has long teeth for this Roland-Garros which opens on Sunday 22 May. In the women’s draw, Iga Swiatek looks unbeatable.

Rafael Nadal

The Spaniard Rafael Nadal, May 16, 2021 in Rome. © Filippo Monteforte, AFP

When it comes to compiling a list of sensations to watch for Roland-Garros, the name of the Spaniard is always the first on the paper. And for good reason: the Mallorcan has won 13 editions of the French Open – a record – and is even sculpted at the entrance to the venue. This record, along with his 21 Grand Slam titles, makes him a natural favorite.

However, Rafael Nadal arrives at Porte d’Auteuil without certainty. His last tournament, the Masters 1000 in Rome, ended with terrible images: a titan with a grimace, the victim of an unbearable awakening of the pain associated with his chronic and incurable injury to his left foot (Muller-Weiss syndrome). His first workouts in Paris suggest that the pain has subsided. Enough to lift a 14i Musketeers Cup?

Iga Swiatek

Iga Swiatek during his victory in Rome in May 2022.
Iga Swiatek during his victory in Rome in May 2022. © Andreas Solaro, AFP

Since Serena Williams in 2015, no player has won more than one edition of Roland-Garros. However, it is difficult to see how the title could escape this year from Iga Swiatek, in sports levitation since the beginning of the year. Full of confidence, the terribly aggressive Polish player has only lost one set (in nine games) since the start of the clay court season. He also has 28 straight games unbeaten.

At almost 21 years old (May 31), Iga Swiatek confirms that ocher is his kingdom. The first title of his career – at Roland-Garros, simply – has made you guess. Since then, he has collected half of his titles on clay.

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic celebrates his victory in the semifinals over Rafael Nadal in 2021.
Novak Djokovic celebrates his victory in the semifinals over Rafael Nadal in 2021. © Gonzalo Fuentes, Reuters

After an end to 2021 with a fish tail, with a double early elimination at the Olympics and a failure in the Grand Slam home stretch of the calendar at the US Open, then a first quarter of 2022 stopped by lack of vaccination against Covid- 19, we thought Novak Djokovic was over.

But in a month, the Serb has returned to orbit on clay and is presented as the main favorite at Roland-Garros, where he is the reigning champion. Dubbed by Rafael Nadal in the race for the Grand Slam trophy record (21 vs. 20) at the Australian Open in his favorite backyard, Djokovic wants to return the favor of the Spaniard to his beloved homeland. Towards a remake of last year’s Dantesque semifinal?

Ons Jabeur

Ons Jabeur, during the Indian Wells Tournament, October 9, 2021, in California.
Ons Jabeur, during the Indian Wells Tournament, October 9, 2021, in California. © Tim Nwachukwu, Getty Images via AFP

What if she was? The rise of the 27-year-old Tunisian never ends. Ons Jabeur is the first player in the Arab world to win the WTA 1000 in Madrid, the most prestigious category of the tournament after the Grand Slams. He was still in the final of the Rome tournament before Roland Garros.

It remains at number 6 in the world to confirm the Grand Slam. So far, he has never made it past the quarterfinals (Australian Open 2020 and Wimbledon 2021). At Roland Garros, Ons Jabeur has the means to delve a little deeper into the history of Arab tennis.

Carlos Alcaraz

Carlos Alcaraz in his final against Casper Ruud, on April 3, 2022, in Miami.
Carlos Alcaraz in his final against Casper Ruud, on April 3, 2022, in Miami. Geoff Burke, USA Today Sports

“I’m not afraid to say I’m ready to win a Grand Slam (tournament). From the age of 19, Carlos Alcaraz has shown unwavering confidence. qualifications, to the rank of contender for the trophy.

>> Read also: “Who is Carlos Alcaraz, the new prodigy of Spanish tennis?”

It must be said that “Carlitos” is having a terrifying spring: he won his first two Masters 1000 trophies, in Miami in early April and in Madrid in early May, and in the meantime he was crowned in Barcelona. In the Spanish capital, he impressed by knocking out Nadal, king of the ocher, and Novak Djokovic, number 1 in the world, in quick succession in the same clay court tournament. Beyond that, he has only had three defeats in 2022, with 28 wins and four titles.

Clara Burel

Clara Burel at the Miami Open in March 2022.
Clara Burel at the Miami Open in March 2022. © Mark Brown, Getty Images, AFP

In a struggling French tennis, Clara Burel still represents a hope for her good season 2021. The one that aims today at 95i The place in the WTA rankings had been revealed to the public eye in the third round as the last French representative at Roland-Garros in 2020.

However, the reindeer has not been at the party since the Grand Slams. The 20-year-old lost in the first round of all the Seniors except Wimbledon, where she spent one more round. Going back to the land of your first feats can allow you to take a step forward.

Jo Wilfried Tsonga

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the first round of Wimbledon, July 2, 2019.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the first round of Wimbledon, July 2, 2019. AFP

This is the last dance of “I”. In early April, the former world number 5 announced that Roland-Garros 2022 would be his last appearance on the tracks. Le Manceau will have been the flagship of the generation of the Four Musketeers who, with Richard Gasquet, Gaël Monfils and Gilles Simon, have thrilled French fans for fifteen years.

>> Read also: “Tennis: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the brightest of the four musketeers”

Since 2018, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, however, has only been a shadow of the player who was facing a cascade of injuries: meniscus crack, tummy tear, abdominal tear, back pain, diagnosis of sickle cell anemia. .. But, driven by the magic of the audience, the musketeer is able to surpass himself to say goodbye to tennis to his size.

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