French Open 2013
The French Open is one of the four Grand Slam tournaments that take place during the year. It is held in Paris and is also known as ‘Roland Garros’ after the famous French aviator. The 2013 event was the 112th edition of the tournament and the winners of the men’s and women’s titles earned 1.5 million euros which is a record amount for the event, though the overall prize fund is the lowest of the four Grand Slams! In the men’s event, Rafael Nadal was big favorite, but would face competition from his usual rivals while Serena Williams was expected to win the women’s event.
Men’s Singles & Doubles
While there were a handful of shocks in the tournament, the cream rose to the top with the #6 seed the lowest ranked semi-finalist. #5 seed Tomas Berdych was a high profile first round casualty, as he succumbed to Gael Monfils in a thrilling five set match. Janko Tipsarevic was the only other member of the top 8 seeds to be on the end of a real upset, as he was dumped out in round three.
Rafael Nadal was ominously crushing his opposition until he met world #1 Novak Djokovic in the semi-final and the result was a classic five set match that ended with a 9-7 final set victory for Nadal. He faced fellow Spaniard and #4 seed David Ferrer in the final and easily won in straight sets to claim his 8th French Open title.
In the men’s doubles, the great Bryan brothers, Bob and Mike, won the final by defeating Nicolas Mahut and Michael Llodra 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 to earn their first multiple slam set.
Women’s Singles & Doubles
The women’s singles tournament was very similar to the men’s event, in that the #5 seed was the lowest semi-finalist. Indeed, Svetlana Kuznetsova was the only unseeded quarter-finalist and gave Serena Williams a tough match before losing in three sets. As it transpired, it was to be the only set that the all-conquering Williams lost in the entire tournament, as she swept through opponents and displayed the ruthlessness that has been a notable part of her game in the last 12 months. The #2 seed Maria Sharapova opposed Williams in the final but was comfortably defeated 6-4, 6-4 as Williams won only her second French Open title, over a decade after her first.
The women’s doubles followed the pattern of the seeded players following the form book, as the top 4 seeds made up the semi-finalists, though there was a minor surprise in the final. Number 4 seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina defeated #1 seeds Roberta Vinci and Sara Errani 7-5, 6-2, as the latter failed to retain their French Open title.
It is believed that the prize money for the French Open will increase by a further 10 million euros within the next three years! Champions Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams will march on to Wimbledon full of confidence and will be hard to stop. While Nadal will face tough competition, it is difficult to see anyone preventing the juggernaut that is Serena Williams from winning yet another tournament.