Roland-Garros is heating up, with the first round delivering plenty of surprises.
After a few months of waiting, The French Open has finally begun. We’re in the thick of things, too; the tournament has already served up great match after great match (sorry). There are a whole lot of developments to recap from this Open, from the history made to the breakout performances. But true to form for the WTA, there’s a big reason why this tournament is shaping up to be one for the ages …
Another Grand Slam tournament, another batch of thrilling upsets. As of Tuesday, five tennis greats have crashed out of the first round in France, blowing the fight for the trophy wide open.
Sunday provided two thrillers for the price of one. First, it was Tunisian legend Ons Jabeur who fell to Magda Linette, just weeks after the former’s triumph at the Madrid Open. Linette showed incredible fight to control the game after a dropped first set against Jabeur. And since that fight paid off, the World No. 6 and previous tournament favorite is now out of the competition altogether.
Disappointed for sure. But we will be patient, strong and believe that great things will come true.— Ons Jabeur (@Ons_Jabeur) May 22, 2022
Thank you for your support guys. 🇹🇳
Time to rest a little and bounce back! I'll see you soon! ✌️ pic.twitter.com/wzyYhw0iI4
Over on Court Simone-Mathieu, another shocker was playing out around the same time as Linette’s victory. Despite sitting in the WTA’s top ten, Spanish great Garbiñe Muguruza wasn’t doing too hot in the buildup to the tournament. It was unfortunately more of the same for her in Round One; what started out as a dominant lead over upset master Kaia Kanepi quickly turned into a drawn-out collapse.
The Pentagon of Mess™ was completed on Monday, with defending champion Barbora Krejčíková, World No. 5 Anett Kontaveit, and tennis icon Naomi Osaka all getting eliminated from the tournament. Whereas Osaka and Kontaveit were bounced in straight sets, Krejčíková suffered a come-from-behind defeat similar to Jabeur’s and Muguruza’s. It’s a bit tough to watch all five of these talented athletes struggle in such a major tournament. But look on the bright side: with these results, the dynamic of this year’s Open has changed in a very intriguing way.
Roland-Garros is far from over, and plenty of excitement lurks around the corner. While it’s tempting to open 50 tabs on your computer and watch every upcoming match at the same time, here are a few games to keep an eye out for as the tournament progresses.
Iga Świątek vs. Alison Riske (May 26th) – The current world No. 1 and 2020 French Open champion needs no introduction, and should be on every WTA fan’s watchlist for the near future. But don’t count out her opponent, Alison Riske: she has more than a few moments of greatness in her, and could help spice up this match.
Danielle Collins vs. Shelby Rogers (May 26th) – Collins––known to some as the 2022 Australian Open runner-up––is the highest-ranked American in the WTA … whereas Rogers is a master at pulling off upsets against top-ranked opponents. Grab your popcorn.
Diane Parry vs. Camila Osorio (May 25th) – Fresh off of beating Krejčíková in her previous match, Diane Parry will hope to continue her breakout tournament campaign into the third round. Add that to a home advantage against Copa Colsanitas champion (and fellow youngster) Camila Osorio, and we’ve got a match that might warrant a few replays.
Elise Mertens vs. TBD (May 27th) – Okay, this might be a controversial one. But part of this match’s allure lies in the question of whether Mertens will benefit from a few extra days of rest, granted to her via an unfortunate second-round walkover. She already has a pretty consistent singles record in Grand Slam tournaments, so it’s hard not to anticipate the fireworks that this upcoming game might bring.
But no matter what matches fans choose to watch, one thing can’t be denied: things are about to get even more interesting in France.
Also, Elise Mertens winning the tournament via walkovers in almost every round would be nothing short of iconic. But that probably won’t happen, right?
A full schedule of the French Open (also known as Roland-Garros) can be found here.