The French Open produced two astonishing results. In the women’s draw it was little known Latvian Jeļena Ostapenko who not only claimed her first tour title but did so in claiming a Grand Slam. A phenomenal achievement in itself.
On the men’s side, it was a familiar face once again. Rafael Nadal was so far ahead of the rest all tournament and claimed an incredible 10th French Open crown. It’s a feat that I’m sure many agree, will never be beaten. Many saw Stan Wawrinka as a tricky opponent in the final, he is a former winner in his own right, but Rafa made it look too easy en-route to claiming title number 10.
Rafael Nadal – Made the rest of the men’s draw look amateurish. Didn’t drop a single set and only dropped 35 games for the entire tournament. Without doubt the best clay courter of all time. A sensational effort given his struggles with injuries in recent years.
Dominic Thiem – I’ll forgive Dominic for his poor showing in the semi-final as he was playing Nadal. Up until the then he had not dropped a set and thrashed defending champion Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals. I’d be very surprised if we didn’t see him one day holding up the trophy at Roland Garros.
Jeļena Ostapenko – Not many players win their first title by being victorious in a grand slam. Ostapenko was super impressive all tournament. She constantly entertained the crowd with some amazing shotmaking and aggressive tennis. Has only just turned 20 so has a huge future ahead of her. I think she will only be better on the quicker surfaces.
Timea Bacsinszky – A great run by the 30th seed to make the semi-finals. Was bundled out in 3 tight sets by the eventual winner in Ostapenko but she should take confidence from this result moving into the grass-court season.
Petra Kvitová – It was fantastic to see Kvitová back on the big stage. Whilst she only made it to the second round, it was remarkable effort less than a year after being stabbed during an invasion at her home in The Czech Republic. She will only get better and her favourite tournament in Wimbledon lies just around the corner.
Novak Djokovic – On paper a quarter-final appearance at a grand slam doesn’t look particularly bad but the way he was defeated by Dominic Thiem was very un-Djokovic like. He seems to have been in a significant slump over the last 12 months and may find it difficult to drag himself out with the return to form of Federer and Nadal.
Alexander Zverev – Won the lead-up tournament in Rome and many had him as a genuine contender only to be knocked out in the first round. As disappointing as the result was for Zverev, he has plenty of upside and I expect him to bounce back well leading into Wimbledon.
Angelique Kerber – Similar to Novak Djokovic, Kerber has found herself in a significant form slump after such a terrific year in 2016. The number 1 seed was convincingly dispatched by Ekaterina Makarova first up and I like many expected much more from her. To cut Kerber some slack, clay is her least favourite tournament and I expect her to fare far better at Wimbledon.
Johanna Konta – The number 7 seed was once again defeated in the first round at Roland Garros. She is still yet to progress beyond the first round at the French Open and will no doubt be looking forward to a change of scenery at her home tournament at Wimbledon.
Where to Next…
The tour moves into the grass-court season and on to Wimbledon in just under 4 weeks time. The grass season is a short one but not without some big tournaments at Queens, Halle, Birmingham and Eastbourne.
The return of Roger Federer in the men’s game will be much anticipated as he shapes as one of the big favourites for Wimbledon after his superb start to the year.