The French Open, also known as Roland Garros, is one of the most prestigious and highly anticipated tennis tournaments in the world. Held annually in Paris, France, this Grand Slam event showcases the remarkable talent and skill of professional tennis players from around the globe. Roland Garros has a rich history dating back to 1891 and is played on clay courts, adding a unique challenge to the players.
The tournament captivates fans with its thrilling matches, intense rivalries, and breathtaking displays of athleticism. With its picturesque setting and passionate crowds, Roland Garros creates an unforgettable atmosphere, making it a must-watch event for tennis enthusiasts worldwide.
The 2023 Roland Garros men’s tennis tournament could be an occasion to add another grand slam trophy to the shelf for either Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic, which would give one of those two icons a record-setting 23rd major championship. However, Carlos Alcaraz is likely to have something to say about that.
Jeremy Perry from SportsbookAudit.com is here is to elaborate why this is going to be Alcaraz’s tournament and the moment he elevates his place in men’s tennis:
Health Of Djokovic, Nadal
Alcaraz’s two main contenders for the men’s French Open championship are obvious: Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. They have met many times in late-stage matches in Paris over the years, dating back to 2007, when Nadal won in the semifinals. They have contested several French Open finals, a few semifinals – most recently in 2021 – and a few quarterfinals, one of which was won by Nadal in 2022. Djokovic won in 2015.
Either Djokovic or Nadal has won this tournament every year since 2016, with Rafa winning five times and Djokovic winning twice. The conversation surrounding the French Open might end with Alcaraz, but it has to start with Djokovic and Nadal.
Both men are not healthy right now
Djokovic has been bothered by elbow problems. He has lost two of his last four matches on clay and looks nothing like his normal self. He withdrew from the ATP Madrid tournament, which means he will have had very little match play heading into Rome, the final big tournament before the French Open.
Nadal hasn’t played in multiple months. He was injured early in the year and has taken his time coming back. He missed Indian Wells and Miami, the first two 1,000-point tournaments of the season, and then missed the 1,000-point clay tournament in Monte Carlo before – like Djokovic – skipping Madrid due to lingering health concerns. If Nadal is able to play Rome, that won’t give him a lot of time to prepare for Paris. Both Djokovic and Nadal are going to be squeezed in terms of preparation time, which really helps Alcaraz.
Other Contenders Haven’t Measured Up
The various non-Djokovic, non-Nadal contenders other than Alcaraz aren’t impressing, or at least, they aren’t impressing enough to be seen as the equals of Alcaraz. Jannik Sinner lost to Holger Rune in the Monte Carlo semifinals. He continues to lose important matches great players find ways to win. He doesn’t have quite as much belief as Alcaraz does. Alcaraz easily handled Stefanos Tsitsipas, the 2021 Roland Garros men’s runner-up, in the Barcelona final this past Sunday.
If Alcaraz plays Tsitsipas in a French Open semifinal, Alcaraz will be a heavy favorite. Andrey Rublev, Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev, Taylor Fritz, and other notable ATP players don’t have anything close to the reputation Alcaraz has on clay. Medvedev is an elite hardcourt player, but clay is a different story. Alcaraz is already more developed on clay than those other players are.
Alcaraz Knows What The Pressure Feels Like
Carlos Alcaraz struggled at Roland Garros last year. There was a lot of pressure placed on his shoulders. Expectations were high. Yet, Alcaraz did not have any prior experience in terms of playing a major tournament with legitimate championship expectations.
It was all very new for him. Now, having had a year under his belt, Alcaraz is going to be a lot more seasoned and prepared for his next go-round in Paris. He should be able to deal with outside pressure a lot better. That will make a world of difference for him.