Djokovic, Swiatek, Alcaraz… Who are the favorites at Roland-Garros?

DECRYPTION

Will the 2022 edition of Roland-Garros hold any surprises? As the tournament begins on Sunday, a few of them wear the suit of title contender, in the women’s draw as well as the men’s draw. On the men’s side, Novak Djokovic, winner in Rome, seems to have regained his level of play from last year, while the young Spanish prodigy Carlos Alcaraz, winner in Madrid, is ready to take over from his idol Rafael Nadal, who appeared decreased last week.

On the women’s side, the Polish Iga Swiatek, titled in 2020, seems invulnerable in recent days, even if other players can create the feat like previous editions. Europe 1, radio partner of Roland-Garros, lists the main favorites of the tournament this year.

>> Follow the 2022 edition on Europe 1, radio partner of Roland-Garros

The returning Djokovic in form, the nugget Alcaraz on the lookout

The master of the place, Rafael Nadal (5th in the world), can he regain his feelings at the Porte d’Auteuil? Suffering from a “chronic and incurable” disease in his left foot, the Spaniard, 13 times winner of Roland-Garros, is more than ever plunged into doubt. One man can take advantage of this situation: his Serbian rival Novak Djokovic, defending champion. After a start to the season marked by his Australian misadventures, the world number one regained his splendor in Rome, a tournament he mastered from start to finish.

By winning his first title of the year, the Serb reminds us that he is still the best player in the world, and clearly positions himself as the favorite for the 2022 edition of Roland-Garros. However, another Spaniard is knocking at his door: the phenomenon Carlos Alcaraz (6th). At 19, the Murcian, considered “the future Nadal”, is the big revelation of the season. He won a number of tournaments, including the Masters 100 in Madrid, on clay, during which he dismissed the Serb in the semi-finals. A performance which now legitimately makes him one of the favorites of Roland-Garros.

Tsitsipas, Zverev: these outsiders ready to do battle

Behind them, many outsiders stood out during the clay court season. The first of them, the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas (4th), finalist of the previous edition, is strong with a new title in Monte-Carlo in April and a final in Rome, last Sunday. Coming from the same generation, the German Alexander Zverev (3rd) showed him that he was comfortable on clay, even if he bowed heavily in front of the nugget Carlos Alcaraz in the Madrid final. Conversely, the world number 2, Daniil Medvedevhas so far never managed to master the game on clay.

Finally, if the Swiss Roger Federer, winner of the tournament in 2009, will not take part in the Parisian Grand Slam, a return is eagerly awaited: that of the Austrian Dominic Thiem. Double finalist at Roland-Garros, in 2018 and 2019, the one who fell to 194th place in the world after a long absence will be keen to shine again, in a tournament he has always dreamed of winning.

Iga Swiatek, new queen of tennis

As for the ladies, a name comes up systematically: that ofIga Swiatek. Surprise winner of the tournament at 19, in 2020, the Pole who became world number one after the retirement of the Australian Ashleigh Barty literally walks on her opponents lately. She has 28 consecutive wins, current streak, and she will be looking to increase that number in Paris.

After the Polish, they are some to approach the tournament as main outsiders. This is first the case of the Tunisian Ons Jabeur (6th in the world), who shines with his elegant style of play and his results. The Francophone won her first title in the Masters category, on clay in Madrid. She will be the main opponent of the Polish. Finally, the Greek Maria Sakkari (4th) and the Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka (7th) have the weapons to go far in the table.

Why the women’s tournament remains uncertain

If a big favorite is emerging among the ladies, previous editions of Roland-Garros have taught those curious about tennis to beware of making any predictions. Since 2014, the Parisian Grand Slam has known different winners, and sometimes ranked quite far in the world hierarchy. Thus, the title holder Barbora Krejcikovatoday number 2 in the world, was out of the top 30 when she won the tournament. The finalist, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkovawas she the 32nd seed in the table.

It is therefore difficult to know the identity of the future winner of the Suzanne-Lenglen Cup. It will be necessary to wait for the first lessons of the tournament, which begins on May 22. One certainty: no French player approaches the 2022 edition in the costume of favorite or outsider, especially after the package of Gaël Monfils.

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