Roland Garros: French Open 2016:
Can Serena get her groove back? Will she win the title??
Bangzlore, May 22,2016
After winning Wimbledon last year she seemed certain to match Steffi Graf's calendar year Grand Slam from 1988 - but that didn't happen, and in her last two Grand Slams she has suffered surprise defeats, first to Robert Vinci at the US Open and then to Angelique Kerber in the final of the Australian Open.
The game’s most dominant player hasn’t won a major in 10 months, but Williams is coming off her first win of the year at the Italian Open. The defending French Open champion did not have an easy go in 2015, overcoming illness and determined challengers to win her 21st Grand Slam title. The French Open is the one Grand Slam Williams hasn’t won back to back, and she’ll be battling a bit of extra fatigue as she’s also slated to play doubles with her sister, Venus.
A French Open victory would be Williams’ 22nd singles Grand Slam, tying her with Steffi Graf for the most singles Slam titles of all time and two away from Margaret Court’s 24.
One of the recurring themes of the women's tour in recent years has been the absence of a consistent challenger to Serena. In many ways that remains the case today, with none of the likes of Kerber, Victoria Azarenka or Garbine Muguruza doing enough week in week out to suggest they can usurp Williams as the world's best. This year it has been Kerber, with her Australian Open triumph, and Azarenka, winner of the 'Sunshine Double' at Miami and Indian Wells, who have looked the most likely to take that step, but both come into the French Open with doubts.
Some ofthe consistent challengers to Serena in the French Open 2016 are:
The German's victory at the Australian Open at the start of this year was an inspiring and wonderful story for a charming and exciting player,and her performance in a thrilling final was mesmerising. But as nice as it would be to see her repeat the fairytale, we have to assume that it was a blip: at the age of 28 she was extraordinarily late in winning her maiden Grand Slam title – the seventh-oldest in the open era. Of those who were older at the time of their first win only Li Na has gone on to win a second Slam. Throw in the fact that she's never been past the quarter-finals, and only been that far once, and it's hard to see Kerber making a splash.
the world No3 Kerber has not made it past the fourth round at Roland Garros since reaching the last eight in 2012 and she was powerless to resist a determined comeback from Garbiñe Muguruza, the world No4, in the third round last year.
However, she will draw on the memories of that unforgettable win over Williams in times of crisis. If she finds herself struggling, it will do her no harm to think back to her unflappable calm on that January evening in Melbourne.
Spain's most exciting player in years enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2015, reaching the Wimbledon final with some superb tennis as well as enjoying a string of other good results that catapulted her into the world's top 10. Since last July, however, her results have dipped. The fact that she's only 17th on the Road to Singapore leaderboard speaks volumes about her 2016 form – yet a run to the semi-finals in Rome last week suggests that she's finally getting back to her best, and the French Open has historically been her best slam.
A French Open finalist in 2014; a surprise second-round loser in 2015. What does 2016 hold in store for the world No6? She clearly has the talent but the diminutive Romanian is yet to make her grand slam breakthrough and can be unpredictable.One of Halep’s biggest challenges will be keeping inconsistency at bay. She can be her own worst enemy at times. But if she can manage that, the 24-year-old is capable of beating anyone.the inconsistency is a bigger issue. Case in point: after winning in Madrid a few weeks ago she went out in the first round in Rome. Still, a combination of some decent form and a long rest should help her get deep into the second week, and quite possibly even see her make the final again
The Polish star is one of the world's most consistent players, yet she is still to win a Grand Slam title. That's not to say she can't carry off one of the sport's biggest prizes – her victory in last year's WTA Tour Finals proves that, even though it happened in the absence of Serena Williams. But it's unlikely to come on clay: Radwanska was a junior French Open champion back in 2006, but has only won two tournaments on the sport's slowest surface (neither of them at big events) and admits that she finds it "hard to move" and "slippery".
Some of the players may give pressure to Sereena are:
The veteran star, having a place in the world's top 11 as she approaches the age of 36 is quite extraordinary, but after a good 2015 she's done nothing of note this season - and she's not made the quarter-finals in Paris for a decade.
Britain's No 1 Johanna Konta remains just outside the world's top 20 (she is currently 22) but with no ranking points to defend at Roland Garros, she could break that barrier in the next couple of weeks. Though clay is not Konta's favourite surface, she recorded an emphatic victory over world No. 7 Vinci in Rome to show she can produce excellent tennis on the surface. After reaching the semi-final at the Australian Open and regularly racking up wins over top 10 players, Konta will go into the tournament confident of another run into the second week of a grand slam.
3. Madison Keys:
The 12th seeded american was defeated by Sereena in the WTA Rome Final last month. She has some pottential and in good form. She may reach the semis this year.
This year's French Open victory would be Williams’ 22nd singles Grand Slam, tying her with Steffi Graf for the most singles Slam titles of all time and two away from Margaret Court’s 24.
Who will meet her in the final this year??
Prediction: Radwanska to reach the final and be easily beaten by Williams and claim her 22nd grand slam and equal Steffi Graf's haul
Some interesting facts why Serens is under pressure to win this title??
Margaret Court has 24 singles majors, an all time record. In 1970, Court became
the first woman during the open era to win the singles Grand Slam. Steffi Graf – winner of 22 Major titles, and the only person to win the Golden Slam (1988).Serena Williams is the winner of 21 Major titles, second in the Open Era.
Margaret Court has 24 singles majors, an all-time record. In 1970, Court became the first woman during the open era to win the singles Grand Slam.Steffi Graf – winner of 22 Major titles, and the only person to win the Golden Slam (1988).
Serena Williams is the winner of 21 Major titles, second in the Open Era
The "open era" began in 1968 when the Grand Slam tournaments agreed to allow professional players to compete with amateurs.Before 1968, only amateurs were allowed to compete in the Grand Slam tournaments and other events organized or sanctioned by the ILTF, including the Davis Cup.
The French Championships at Roland Garros was the first Grand Slam tournament to become "open" to professionals
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THANKS: Pictures shown here are adopted from world wide web sources.