French Open: Marion Bartoli expects ‘widest open’ Roland Garros since Rafael Nadal’s domination | Tennis News

This year’s men’s French Open could be won by five players in the “most comprehensive Open” Grand Slam since Rafael Nadal’s dominance, according to Marion Bartoli.

With 14-time champion Nadal sitting out part of the season ahead of a potentially spectacular performance next year, the Spaniard’s hopes at the French Open now rest on the shoulders of Carlos Alcaraz.

The 20-year-old claimed her maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open last summer but was forced to sit out the Australian Open due to injury, so will enter as a first-time Slam champion.

He has overtaken Novak Djokovic as the top seed after winning back-to-back titles in Barcelona and Madrid.

Can Alcaraz take Nadal’s crown?

Spanish tennis fans shouldn’t feel too sorry for themselves because the heir to Nadal’s place at the top of the sport is already here. Just 20 years old, Carlos Alcaraz has already won his first Grand-Slam title at the US Open and regained the world No. 1 ranking this week. Confident on a court as hard as clay, Alcaraz is an astonishing athlete, while his all-round play and calm demeanor befit a far more experienced player. There is a lot of hype but son, is it justified.

Men’s Quarterfinals Predicted by Seeding

(1) Carlos Alcaraz vs. (5) Stefanos Tsitsipas

(3) Novak Djokovic vs (7) Andrey Rublev

(6) Holger Runev vs. (4) Caspar Rude

(8) Jannik Sinner vs. (2) Daniil Medvedev

Speaking to Sky Sports, Bartoli said, “It’s going to be the biggest open Roland Garros since Nadal dominated.”

“I have picked five names who can win this year and they are Djokovic, Alcaraj, Holger Roon, Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas. I still think one of those players will be the winner but picking five names who can win the men’s tournament Were never happened in the past in about 20 years.

“It was always Rafa, Roger Federer or Djokovic.

“To have one of those guys have a great shot at winning Roland Garros is pretty amazing.”

Alcaraz could potentially face Djokovic in the semi-finals, while his rapid rise and instant popularity are a gift to the sport as it faces the loss of all its longtime figureheads.

Bartoli, the 2013 Wimbledon champion, said, “Alcaraz is one of the favourites, but he is not the overwhelming favourite. No, I don’t think so. No player is that different in the pack.”

skysports marion bartoli tennis 6166089

Djokovic is not 100 per cent so we will have to see how he physically deals with his minor elbow injury and finds some form as the tournament progresses.

Marion Bartoli on Novak Djokovic

Daniil Medvedev has overtaken Djokovic to claim the second seed by winning his first tour title on clay at the Italian Open last weekend.

He had lost in the first round of his first four encounters at Roland Garros before reaching the quarterfinals in 2021 and the fourth round last year.

“Rome came and it came out of the blue for Daniil Medvedev to win it in very slow conditions, as it had been raining for two weeks in the Italian capital,” said Bartoli, who made it to the semi-finals of the 2011 French Open.

“He’s capable of grabbing titles and you might think he’s made for fast surfaces, he’s still capable of winning on slow clay-courts and beat Roon to go to the title.

“You can think of players who you wouldn’t normally get a chance to actually get a chance this year and it’s something new.

How fit is Djokovic?

Novak Djokovic has two French Open titles on his CV, but how many more would he have if he hadn’t clashed with Nadal? It would appear to be a golden chance not only to win again in Paris but to surpass his great rival and become the first man to reach 23 Grand Slam singles titles. All has not been well with the Serbian since he won the Australian Open again, and he goes into the tournament with an elbow problem in doubt.

“Djokovic is not 100 per cent so we will have to see how he physically deals with his minor elbow injury and finds some form as the tournament progresses.”

Will Swiatek be able to make it a hat-trick of titles?

Women’s tennis has been dominated by Inga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina with seven major victories.
Burying the legend of instability at the top of the women’s game after Serena Williams has taken the season title and all four Slam trophies to her name.

It would be a big surprise if Coupe winner Suzanne Lenglen doesn’t come from the trio and Swiatek, who cruised to her second Roland Garros title last year.

Women’s Quarterfinals Projected by Seeding

(1) Iga Swiatek vs. (6) Coco Gauff

(4) Elena Rybakina vs. (7) Our Jabur

(8) Maria Sakkari vs. (3) Jessica Pegula

(5) Caroline Garcia vs. (2) Aryan Sabalenka

“Swatec should be able to do it again,” Bartoli said. “She’s been able to win at Roland Garros on several occasions and she’s the favorite this year, so it’s about handling the pressure.

“You can see the tension and stress-related shots on her face when she faces big-hitters like Sabalenka and Rybakina, but for her it’s a way of being able to tackle the favorite tag and stay calm to counter-attack.” It’s about finding power hitters.”

Swiatek hat-trick?

Last year it seemed inevitable that Iga Swiatek would win a second French Open title, and she duly brushed off all comers on an unbeaten run that eventually ended at 37 matches. Although this season has been different. Dhruv has struggled at times with the expectation on his shoulders, while also having physical problems. A WTA Big Three is emerging that includes Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina, and the 21-year-old’s No. 1 ranking could soon be under threat.

Which British players will compete at the French Open?

Cameron Norrie

Cameron Norrie of Britain returning the ball to Novak Djokovic of Serbia at the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome, Tuesday, May 16, 2023.  (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Cameron Norrie has reached the third round in Paris the last two years

The British No 1’s form has faltered after a promising start to the season, which included wins over Nadal and Alcaraz – the latter costing him his second biggest title at an ATP Tour event in Rio. Norrie’s heavy, rotating forehand and athletic prowess make her well-suited to clay and her position in the top 16 keeps her away from the big guns in the early rounds. A place in the second week will be his goal.

Dan Evans

Dan Evans of Britain celebrates after defeating Jeremy Chardy of France in their second round match at the Australian Open Tennis Championships on Thursday, January 19, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia.  (AP Photo/Asanka Brendan Ratnayake)
Dan Evans won his first match at Roland Garros last year

A committed ‘clayphobe’ for most of his career, Evans has found his feet on the red stuff over the past few seasons and finally won his first match at Roland Garros last year. After a difficult spell following the Australian Open when he lost five matches in a row, Clay has seen the 33-year-old hit form, with runs to the semifinals of ATP events in Marrakech and Barcelona to keep him in the top 25.

jack draper

Jack Draper of Britain celebrates winning a point against Daniel Evans of Britain at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament on Saturday, March 11, 2023 in Indian Wells, California.  (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Jack Draper will make his Roland Garros debut

There have been more glimpses this season of what the 21-year-old left-hander could be, including wins over Andy Murray and Evans at Indian Wells. But disappointingly he has again been restricted by physical problems, the latest being a stomach injury that has plagued him for two months. Like her good friend Emma Raducanu, the most important priority for Draper, who is making her Roland Garros debut, is making sure her body isn’t her toughest opponent.

Kyle Edmond

Kyle Edmund of Britain reacts after losing a point to Janic Sinner of Italy during their round of 32 match at the Adelaide International Tennis Tournament on Tuesday, January 3, 2023 in Adelaide, Australia.  (AP Photo/Kelly Barnes)
Kyle Edmund will play in the French Open for the first time since 2019

Returning from a longstanding knee injury that required three operations has been slow for Edmond, who is ranked 445. A protected ranking of 48 has allowed him to enter the French Open for the first time since 2019 and he will hope for a more favorable draw than in recent major tournaments. The former world number 14 is yet to win a tour-level match this year, but has found some success at lower levels and at 28, he still has time, if his knees allow.

pulls a wheelchair

Gordon Reed and Alfie Hewett react to victory against Nicolas Pfeiffer and Stéphane Houdet during the wheelchair men's doubles final match at the 2020 US Open, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, in Flushing, NY.  (Pete Staples/USTA via AP)
Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett lead the charge for the Brits in both the wheelchair singles and doubles events

Reigning men’s doubles champions Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid are set to lead Britain in both the singles and doubles events.

Hewett – the three-time champion at the tournament – will be motivated to claim his second singles Grand Slam title of the year, while Reid will be hoping to challenge his doubles partner for the title.

After winning their 16th Grand Slam title together at the Australian Open, the pair are set to join forces for the doubles draw.

Meanwhile, British No. 1 Lucy Shuker could lead the British line in the singles draw, and Andy Lapthorne will be hoping to win the title in the quads draw.