The red clay tennis courts at Roland-Garros Stadium make the French Open one of the most recognizable events in sports. Being the only one of the four Grand Slam events to use clay courts makes it a fan-favorite for players and spectators alike.
The second of four annual Grand Slam events, this year’s French Open will take place beginning May 26 and run through June 9. These highly-televised tournaments are a great opportunity for parents to sit down with the young tennis fans in their family and learn about the game together. Not only does the play on the court provide an opportunity to discover something new about the game, but many of the athletes are great competitors for young players to look up to.
The King of Clay, Rafael Nadal, is the defending champion, securing his 11th French Open title over Dominic Thiem last year. One more victory for Nadal would bring his win total to 2x the next person on the list — Björn Borg’s has won 6 Open Era titles. Simona Halep won her first Grand Slam women’s title last year over Sloane Stephens. It was the first time since 1992 that both the men’s and women’s singles events were won by the top seeds.
Novak Djokovic is coming off an impressive showing at the Australian Open in January, capped by a straight-set victory over Nadal in the championship. The two could be headed for a highly anticipated rematch in this year’s French Open final. In the women’s field, Naomi Osaka has won the last two Grand Slams. However she has struggled at the French Open, reaching only as far as the third round in both 2016 and 2018.
The tournament will be televised by the Tennis Channel and NBC, however some matches may be on tape delay because of the time difference between Paris, France and the United States. We only briefly touched on the favorites in the Singles events, but the French Open also features doubles, mixed doubles, juniors, legends, and a wheelchair tournament. There will be plenty to watch as the tennis world turns its eyes to Paris.
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