Tennis Update June 2014
We are almost halfway through the tennis season and are now in the midst of the second Grand Slam event of the year, the French Open at Roland Garros. At the time of writing, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams are each ranked Number 1, but we have news of a huge upset in the ongoing French Open. In this update, we look at the French Open so far while also looking ahead to the summer’s biggest events, with Wimbledon the major attraction.
French Open Update
Williams and Nadal were aiming to defend their French Open titles, but Williams’ attempt came to an abrupt halt as she was sensationally dumped out in the second round by Garbine Muguruza. And that’s not all. It has been a wild opening to the event, with Stan Wawrinka, the men’s Australian Open winner, and Li Na, the women’s Australian Open winner, both knocked out in the first round. This is the first time both winners of the year’s first Grand Slam have been beaten in the first round at Roland Garros.
Nadal, of course, is the eight-time champion, and it seems unlikely he will lose his crown this year. He has coasted to a pair of straight set victories to reach the third round, though Federer, Murray, and Djokovic have all made it to the same stage. On the women’s side of the draw, Number 3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska is already the highest-rated player left, and with Williams and Li Na out of the way, we could be in for a surprise winner.
The world’s elite players have little or no time to rest, because the Wimbledon championship, the year’s third Grand Slam, begins just 15 days after the conclusion of the French Open. It promises to be another epic tournament, just like the 2013 edition, which saw an emotional victory for local hero Andy Murray and a surprise win for Marion Bartoli in the women’s event.
While Murray will hope to fare well at Roland Garros, he is realistically targeting Wimbledon as his best chance to win a Grand Slam this season (though he is excellent on hard courts too). Serena Williams will be eager to get back to her winning ways after her French Open disaster, but of course we will not see Bartoli, as the French star shockingly announced her retirement last year just five weeks after her amazing triumph in London. We hope to have a Wimbledon update or a review next month.
The AEGON Championship takes place just before Wimbledon and should play host to some of the world’s best players, though we assume those who make the latter stages of Roland Garros may elect to sit out of the event. Nonetheless, it is an excellent way to prepare for the grass courts of Wimbledon. It certainly aided Andy Murray, as he won the men’s event en route to claiming his first grass court Grand Slam. On the other hand, his female counterpart, AEGON Classic winner Daniela Hantuchova, did not fare as well and was knocked out in the first round at Wimbledon last year.