Roland Garros Unveils Second Retractable Roof for French Open and Olympics

Roland Garros Unveils Second Retractable Roof for French Open and Olympics

Roland Garros Unveils Second Retractable Roof for French Open and Paris Olympics

The French Open, one of the four Grand Slams in tennis, is set to unveil its second retractable roof on the opening day of the tournament next month. The roof over the 10,000-seat Suzanne Lenglen court will be inaugurated on May 26, providing greater flexibility in scheduling matches and ensuring play for fans and viewers worldwide.

The new roof complements the retractable roof over the main 15,000-seat Philippe Chatrier court, which was installed in 2020. Tournament director Amélie Mauresmo hailed the new roof as a “most visible new feature” of the 2024 Olympic tournament, which will be held at Roland Garros from July 27 to August 4.

The two roofed courts will ensure that the Olympic tournament remains on schedule, avoiding disruptions caused by weather conditions. At the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, matches in open-air courts were affected by extreme heat and humidity.

Mauresmo also addressed the status of Rafael Nadal, the record 14-time men’s singles champion at Roland Garros. Nadal has expressed doubts about his participation due to injuries, but Mauresmo expressed hope that he would be ready. However, she ruled out any special seeding for Nadal, who has dropped to No. 512 in the rankings.

The French Open is expected to be a sell-out event, with daily crowds of 75,000 anticipated in the first week. The tournament will also host boxing finals during the second week of the Olympics, adding to the excitement and demand for tickets.

Djokovic Withdraws from Madrid Open, Targets French Open

Djokovic Withdraws from Madrid Open, Targets French Open

World number one Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the Madrid Open, citing a desire to focus on preparing for the upcoming French Open. The 36-year-old Serbian star has struggled for form this season, winning only one match in four tournaments.

Djokovic’s withdrawal from Madrid marks the third time in four years that he has pulled out of the tournament. He is a three-time champion at the event, but has not won a title since 2019.

The Serb’s decision to skip Madrid is part of a broader strategy to lighten his schedule and prioritize the Grand Slams. Djokovic has played only four tournaments this year, and has not yet found his best form.

“This year has been a bit different for me, I haven’t yet found my best level of tennis and I hope I will at Roland Garros,” Djokovic said.

Djokovic’s withdrawal from Madrid opens the door for other players to challenge for the title. Reigning champion Carlos Alcaraz is hoping to be fully fit after a forearm problem, while Jannik Sinner is the top seed in Djokovic’s absence.

Veteran Rafael Nadal will also be in action in Madrid, as he continues his comeback from injury. The 37-year-old Spaniard will face 16-year-old American Darwin Blanch in the first round.

Carlos Alcaraz Withdraws from Barcelona Open with Forearm Injury

Carlos Alcaraz Withdraws from Barcelona Open with Forearm Injury

Carlos Alcaraz, the reigning US Open and Wimbledon champion, has withdrawn from the Barcelona Open due to a persistent injury in his right forearm. This setback casts a shadow over his preparation for the upcoming French Open, scheduled to commence on May 26.

Alcaraz, currently ranked third in the world, has been sidelined since his quarterfinal defeat to Grigor Dimitrov at the Miami Open last month. The 20-year-old Spaniard has been battling the forearm injury since then, forcing him to miss the prestigious Monte Carlo Masters.

The Barcelona Open, a clay-court tournament, holds special significance for Alcaraz, who triumphed there in both 2022 and 2023. His absence from this year’s edition is a major blow to the tournament and his own preparations for the French Open.

Alcaraz’s withdrawal raises concerns about his fitness ahead of the second Grand Slam of the season. Last year, he reached the semifinals at Roland Garros, where he was eventually defeated by eventual champion Novak Djokovic.

The French Open is a tournament where Alcaraz has shown great promise. In 2021, he reached the quarterfinals as an 18-year-old, becoming the youngest player to reach that stage since Rafael Nadal in 2005.

Alcaraz’s absence from the Barcelona Open is a reminder of the challenges faced by young athletes in managing their physical and mental health while competing at the highest level. The injury setback is a temporary hurdle, but it underscores the importance of rest and recovery for athletes who push their bodies to the limit.

As Alcaraz focuses on his rehabilitation, the tennis world will eagerly await his return to the court. His talent and determination have made him one of the most exciting players to watch, and his absence from the Barcelona Open and the French Open will be keenly felt.

WTA French Open Futures: Swiatek Remains Favorite, Sabalenka, Gauff, Rybakina in Contention

WTA French Open Futures: Swiatek Remains Favorite, Sabalenka, Gauff, Rybakina in Contention

The French Open, the pinnacle of clay-court tennis, is fast approaching, and the WTA’s top stars are gearing up for the challenge. While the ATP throws players into the clay-court fire early, the WTA takes a more gradual approach, with a 500-level event in Stuttgart and the Mutua Madrid Open, a WTA 1000, serving as warm-ups.

The Big Four

Iga Swiatek (+100) remains the overwhelming favorite, having won the French Open three times already. Her exceptional break percentage on clay (51.6%) and world-class baseline play make her a formidable opponent.

Aryna Sabalenka (+460) is another Grand Slam champion with a strong record on clay (51-24). Her power and ability to chase down balls on slower courts give her a shot at Roland Garros glory.

Coco Gauff (+900) has proven her clay-court prowess by reaching the 2022 French Open final. Her relentless baseline play and exceptional backhand make her a threat, but consistency issues have hindered her progress.

Elena Rybakina (+1400) may be an underdog, but her Wimbledon title and strong clay-court record (42-19) make her a contender. Her reliable serve and ability to mix in comfortable holds give her a solid foundation.

Don’t Sleep On…

Jessica Pegula (+5000) is an intriguing outsider. Her all-court game and recent form make her a potential dark horse. A run to the semifinals in Charleston and a runner-up finish in Madrid in 2022 demonstrate her clay-court capabilities.

Indian Badminton Duo Satwik and Chirag Triumph in French Open for Second Time

Indian Badminton Duo Satwik and Chirag Triumph in French Open for Second Time

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty have once again proven their dominance in badminton, capturing the French Open title for the second time. The Indian duo outplayed Chinese Taipei’s Lee Jhe-Huei and Yang Po-Hsuan in straight games (21-11, 21-17) in the men’s doubles final in Paris on Sunday.

This victory marks the Indian pair’s first crown of the season and their seventh BWF World Tour title (Super 300 events and above). They have not dropped a single game throughout the tournament, showcasing their exceptional form.

The Indian duo’s triumph in Paris is particularly significant as it comes at the same venue that will host the 2024 Olympic Games. Chief coach Pullela Gopichand has expressed confidence that Satwik and Chirag are strong contenders for the Olympic gold medal.

“It feels really sweet. Paris has always been special for us, and we have always played good badminton here,” said Chirag. “It is a test venue for the Olympics, but that is still some months away.”

Satwik and Chirag’s victory was a testament to their sharp attack and solid defense. They forced their opponents into errors and controlled the rallies from the start. Their traditional celebration, with Satwik lifting Chirag in his lap and dancing with his racquet, added to the joyous atmosphere.

“We wanted to give our 100 percent and enjoy,” said Satwik. “Even Mathias (Boe) kept telling us to have fun, and we got back our rhythm and the momentum changed.”

The Indian duo’s success in Paris is a continuation of their impressive performances in recent months. They finished runners-up at the Malaysia Super 1000, India Super 750, and China Masters Super 750. Their victory in Paris is a testament to their consistency and determination.

Indian Badminton Duo Rankireddy and Shetty Storm into French Open Final

Indian Badminton Duo Rankireddy and Shetty Storm into French Open Final

India’s top-ranked men’s doubles pair, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, have reached the final of the French Open Super 750 tournament after a dominant performance against South Korea’s Seo Seung Jae and Kang Min Hyuk. This marks their third consecutive final appearance of the year and their third in this tournament.

In a thrilling semifinal encounter, Rankireddy and Shetty showcased their exceptional skills, winning 21-13, 21-16 in straight games. The Indian duo controlled the pace of the match, dictating the rallies and forcing their opponents into errors.

However, India’s campaign in the tournament suffered a setback as Lakshya Sen’s hopes of reaching the final were dashed by reigning world champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand. Kunlavut emerged victorious in a hard-fought battle, winning 20-22, 21-13, 21-11 in an hour and 18 minutes.

In the men’s doubles final, Rankireddy and Shetty will face Chinese Taipei’s Lee Jhe-Huei and Yang Po-Hsuan, who defeated Japan’s Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi in their semifinal. The Indian pair will be aiming to avenge their loss to the same Korean duo in the India Open final earlier this year.

Rankireddy and Shetty’s impressive run in the French Open is a testament to their consistent form and world-class abilities. They have established themselves as one of the most formidable pairs in the world and will be determined to add another title to their growing collection.

Srikanth Triumphs in French Open Opener, Prannoy Bows Out

Srikanth Triumphs in French Open Opener, Prannoy Bows Out

India’s Kidambi Srikanth emerged victorious in the men’s singles first round of the French Open Super 750 badminton tournament, while HS Prannoy faced an early exit. Srikanth, ranked 24th in the world, displayed his prowess by defeating 14th-ranked Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei in a thrilling 66-minute encounter. The match witnessed a fierce battle, with Srikanth ultimately triumphing 21-15, 20-22, 21-8.

Srikanth’s victory marks his third win over Chen in seven meetings. The Indian shuttler showcased his dominance in the first game, securing a 14-point lead after trailing 5-7. However, Chen fought back in the second game, forcing a decider. In the final game, Srikanth regained his momentum, securing nine consecutive points to leave Chen trailing.

In the adjacent court, Prannoy’s hopes of advancing were dashed by China’s Lu Guang Zu. Prannoy initially held a 5-2 lead in the opening game, but Guang Zu gradually closed the gap and eventually took the game 21-17. The second game followed a similar pattern, with Prannoy struggling to maintain his lead. Guang Zu capitalized on Prannoy’s errors, securing the second game 21-17 and ending the Indian’s campaign.

Srikanth’s victory sets him up for a second-round clash against China’s Lu Guang Zu, who defeated Prannoy. The Indian shuttler will be aiming to continue his winning streak and secure a spot in the quarterfinals.

Indian Badminton Stars Aim for French Open Glory

Indian Badminton Stars Aim for French Open Glory

Former world champions Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will embark on their quest for a maiden French Open title at the USD 850,000 Super 750 tournament starting Tuesday. The Indian duo, ranked No. 1 in the world, have been tantalizingly close to victory in recent tournaments, finishing as runners-up at the China Masters Super 750, Malaysia Open Super 1000, and India Open Super 750 events.

The French Open will provide an opportunity for the Indian shuttlers to familiarize themselves with the conditions at the Adidas arena at Porte de la Chapelle, which will host the badminton competitions at the Paris Olympics. Rankireddy and Shetty, who won the French Open in 2022, will be the favorites to reach the weekend once again.

Two-time Olympic medalist PV Sindhu will also be in action, making her return to the circuit after four months. Sindhu, ranked No. 11 in the world, will face Canada’s Michelle Li in her opening match. A win could set up a clash with three-time former world champion Carolina Marin of Spain, their first meeting since their ill-tempered match at the Denmark Open semi-final.

In men’s singles, world No. 7 HS Prannoy will look to build on his semifinal appearance at the India Open. He will face China’s Lu Guang Zu in his opening match. Lakshya Sen, who has slipped to world No. 19, will also be in action, taking on Japan’s Kanta Tsuneyama. Former world No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth will face a tough challenge against Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen, while young Priyanshu Rajawat will have an opportunity to create an upset against world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen.

In a crucial turn of fate, two Indian women pairs — Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand, and Tanisha Crasto and Ashwini Ponnappa — who are vying for an Olympic berth, will face off in the opening round.

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