Roland Garros without a favorite, the last dance for the king of Paris?

The second Grand Slam of the season begins - as rarely in recent years with many open questions

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The sacred tennis venue in Paris is ready for another spectacle, Photo: Reuters
The sacred tennis venue in Paris is ready for another spectacle, Photo: Reuters
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

Back in 2005, when his sneakers got dirty in the dirt of Paris for the first time, it was clear that a special bond was born between Rafael Nadal and Roland Garros.

That year, as a debutant, he first knocked down Rafa on his 19th birthday Roger Federer, then in the final Marijana Puerto and won the Musketeer Cup for the first time.

Everything after that was history. Nadal was the best at Roland Garros a total of 14 times, setting all-time records, but it seems that the time has come for Rafa's last dance in his kingdom. Although the Spanish legend has not yet officially confirmed everything.

Roland Garros
photo: Graphic News

- If I have to say that this is 100 percent my last Roland Garros, I'm sorry - I won't do it, because I can't predict what will happen - emphasized Rafa.

The second Grand Slam of the season starts today, Nadal is not the favorite for the first time since 2005, but it seems that no other tennis player is this year.


Rafa arrives in Paris after a second break and unconvincing games in the last few tournaments, but today's best tennis player did not shine too much Novak Đoković.

Ever since the defeat of Janika Siner in the semi-finals of the Australian Open, the world's number one racket could not find the right form, so he left the tournaments in Indian Wells and Rome early, and he did not even have success in Geneva at the 250 series tournament.

- Of course I'm worried, I haven't been playing well all year - Djokovic said before the start of Roland Garros.

- You can't think about tennis when you have other things going on - I just hope I'll be fit for Paris.

Djokovic defends the crown and attacks the 25th Grand Slam title
Djokovic defends the crown and attacks the 25th Grand Slam titlephoto: Reuters

In addition to Novak, Siner is also in decline due to a hip problem, and due to an injury Karlos Alcaraz - another favorite - skipped the recent Masters in Rome.

However, bookies say that it is the young Spaniard who is closest to winning the title.

- Honestly, I'm worried about my hand injury, especially with the forehand, but for now it's good that I don't feel pain and that I can hit the ball without any problems. This is Roland Garros, one of the reasons why I train every day - explained Alkaras.

They must not be forgotten either Daniil Medvedev and especially Alexander Zverev who is perhaps in the best shape and who already plays against Nadal in the first round (Monday).

- I am sure that Djokovic would not like to play against Nadal in the first round, nor Alkaras, nor Siner. I didn't either, but that's how it is - says Zverev.

Djokovic will have an additional motive in Paris this spring, who by defending his title would reach the 25th Grand Slam Cup and thus send a legend into history. Margaret Court, which stopped at 24 cups from the biggest tournaments.

The first obstacle on the way to history for Djokovic will be a local player on Tuesday Pierre-Igs Erber.

Everything is ready for the battles on clay - Nadal for the 15th time, Djokovic for the fourth or it's time for a new name among the kings of Paris clay.


Unlike men, the name of the first favorite seems to be known to the ladies - Iga Sfjontek will try to win Roland Garros for the third year in a row.

Of course, the great Pole will have serious rivals like Arine Sabalenka, a finalist from two years ago Koko Goff, Jelena Ribakina...

If Iga manages to celebrate, she will become only the third tennis player in history to be the best in Paris for three years in a row - after the famous Monile Seles (1990-92) and Zastin Enan (2005-07).

Bonus video: