World number one’s Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams are still considered top favorites coming into the 2016 Roland Garros Open commonly known as the French Open Tennis Championships, despite rumors that moments of their stint in the recent Italian Open would haunt them when the tournament comes in full swing from May 22nd to June 6th.
Djokovic hopes that his luck will not run out as he tries to win the title this year. The 28-year old Serbian finished runners-up to Rafael Nadal in 2012 then to Nadal again in 2014 while landing second to Swiss national Stan Wawrinka in 2015. Djokovic hopes to break his “bridegroom” curse this year and hopes to bounce back from his sorry loss to Andy Murray in the recent Italian Open.
Djokovic will be seeded number one followed by Murray while Swiss nationals Roger Federer and Wawrinka are in third and fourth seeds, respectively. Completing the top ten seeds are Rafael Nadal, Kei Nishikori, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Tomas Berdych, Milos Raonic and Richard Gasquet.
Tennis legend Martina Navratilova as reported by IBTimes stated that as Djokovic has yet to win the French Open, he will still be the man to beat, competing with Nadal as the wild card. He added that the tournament will be an interesting one as the world’s best are coming to play for the title as well.
“Rafael Nadal is the big wild card, and Djokovic will hope he isn’t in the same half, but even though Djokovic has yet to win the French Open, he is still the favorite. I would not be betting against him,” Navratilova said.
Navratilova also stated that even Serena Williams should not be discounted in the tournament since she is the defending champion, despite skipping the Rome Masters due to illness, Williams will still stand out of her field that includes Agnieszka Radwańska, Angelique Kerber, Garbiñe Muguruza, Victoria Azarenka, Simona Halep, Roberta Vinci, Timea Bacsinszky, Venus Williams and Petra Kvitová.
“To those people doubting Serena Williams, writing her off – do not do that to a champion. It was quite a drought, and she hasn’t played that much this year, but she came back with a vengeance, played great tennis, as well as she has on clay, and she is the big favorite going into the French Open. Serena has been at the top, winning Grand Slams more than anyone consistently, for the last four years. When she loses it’s an exception. When the other players win, it’s an exception. Serena is now healthy, hungry, eager and fresh. She’s match-tough after Rome, but still fresh, that’s a tough combination, and it will be hard for anyone to beat her,” Navratilova explained.
The women’s field will be missing former world number one Caroline Wozniacki has pulled out of the French Open because of injury while world number eight Belinda Bencic of Switzerland has also withdrawn because of a back injury. She will be replaced in the main draw by Lauren Davis of the United States, who reached the second round at Roland Garros in 2012.
The 2016 French Open will be played on outdoor clay courts at the Stade Roland Garros. It will be the 115th edition of the French Open and the second Grand Slam event of the year. Wawrinka is the defending champion in the Men’s Singles, and Williams is the defending champion in the Women’s Singles.
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