French Open 2020: A preview of the Tournament that Shook Things Up

Originally set to take place in May, the French Open will have a much cooler feel to it this year. Drawing some controversy and shade from the other tournaments, Roland Garros rescheduled their play to late September, meaning that just weeks after the US Open, players are getting ready to play another Grand Slam, on a different continent.

Absent Players in the WTA Top Ten

Just like the US Open, there are some faces that will be missing from the French Open. Most recently, Bianca Andreescu pulled out of the clay swing, as well as the rest of the season.

“I have come to the difficult decision to skip the clay court swing this year and will be taking the remainder of the season off to focus on my health and training…”

Bianca Andreescu/Twitter

As one of the emerging Canadian stars, this was certainly a blow to her fans. 

Another absent star will be the defending champion from last year, Ashleigh Barty. The number one player in the WTA rankings has chosen to drop out of yet another grand slam while staying in quarantine within Australia. This is from a statement she put out:

“It has been a challenging year for everyone and although I am disappointed on a tennis front, the health and well-being of my family and my team will always be my priority.”

Ashleigh Barty/Instagram

With Barty not being able to defend the title, Simona Halep has a chance to win her 3rd grand slam and regain the number one ranking. Halep has won 3 titles in a row this year, just coming off of a win in Rome. She is known as the queen of clay, and she will definitely try and push for that second Roland Garros title, having previously won it in 2018. 

Lastly, another woman’s top 10 player withdrew from the tournament: Naomi Osaka. After being the top story at the US Open, Osaka revealed that her hamstring was still sore after her injury and that she would not recover in time for the French Open. With 3 of the top 10 players out, the woman’s side is shaping up to be a little more interesting.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

Thiem’s Time to Shine?

With Thiem finally grabbing his first Grand Slam in the States, he looks to make another run at the French Open. All that stands in front of him are two more rivals, one of which he is familiar with. 

Novak Djokovic, the number one seed, is looking unstoppable this year (excluding THAT default) which would be very intimidating to his opponents. It seems like no one can overcome Djokovic, but if anyone can do it, it might as well be Dominic Thiem.

Thiem has won 2 out of the last 3 matches against Djokovic, with the only loss being in the Australian Open Final in January. Thiem is definitely a player who can challenge Djokovic, and he is no stranger to success on clay.

He has made it past the quarterfinals of the French Open several times, and has met Nadal in the final twice, losing both times. Despite the losses, he has gained enough experience on clay, against the king of clay, including beating him 4 times on clay and once on hard court.

Dominic Thiem will certainly be the player to watch in this year’s French Open. 

Projected Predictions

Without any major upsets, this is the projected draw for the quarterfinals and on for both the Men and the Women:

Quarter-finals

[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs [7] Matteo Berrettini (ITA)

[4] Daniil Medvedev (RUS) vs [5] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE)

[8] Gael Monfils (FRA) vs [3] Dominic Thiem (AUT)

[6] Alexander Zverev (GER) vs [2] Rafael Nadal (ESP)

Semi-finals

[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs [4] Daniil Medvedev (RUS)

[3] Dominic Thiem (AUT) vs [2] Rafael Nadal (ESP)

Predicted championship outcome

[2] Rafael Nadal (ESP) defeats [1] Novak Djokovic (SRB)

Quarter-finals

[1] Simona Halep (ROU) vs [5] Kiki Bertens (NED)

[3] Elina Svitolina (UKR) vs [6] Serena Williams (USA)

[8] Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) vs [4] Sofia Kenin (USA)

[7] Petra Kvitova (CZE) vs [2] Karolina Pliskova (CZE)

Semi-finals

[1] Simona Halep (ROU) vs [6] Serena Williams (USA)

[4] Sofia Kenin (USA) vs [2] Karolina Pliskova (CZE)

Predicted championship outcome

[1] Simona Halep (ROU) defeats [2] Karolina Pliskova (CZE)

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