It may be Wimbledon’s Centenary in 2022, but never has such speculation swirled around the build-up to Roland Garros. With the tournament set to stream live on Showmax Pro in select African countries, courtesy of SuperSport, tennis fans will be able to catch all the action starting 22 May 2022.
In the lead-up to the Clay court spectacle, 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz has taken Rafa Nadal, the entrenched Roland Garros bull, by the horns and tossed him onto the side-lines, railroading his quest to win a sixth Madrid title and his 14th French Slam.
With perhaps less ease, Alcaraz then dispatched World No 1, Novak Djokovic, admittedly not fully fit, after a much scrutinised, self-inflicted time away from the Tour. Thereafter, the lesser task accomplished by this teenage phenomenon was to beat physically depleted World No 3, Alexander Zverev.
The unprecedented Madrid victory has catapulted Alcaraz from rank outsider to second favourite at Roland Garros, and the pending winner for this Slam too, long dominated by one reigning king (Nadal), has become as difficult to predict.
French defending champion, Djokovic, will have to avoid a repeat performance of his resounding US Open loss to World No 2, Daniil Medvedev, and resurrect the game plan whereby he exacted revenge, volleying Medvedev off the court at the Paris Masters.
In the women’s field, Barbora Krejcíková will be aiming to defend her title after defeating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova during last year’s final. Iga Swiatek goes into the tournament like the World No 1 after Ashleigh Barty’s recent retirement.
It’s no surprise that former No 1 Naomi Osaka, who controversially pulled out of the French Open last year after a first-round victory, announced she’ll compete in Paris. However, with a recent withdrawal from the Italian Open with an Achilles injury, the global superstar is set to head to Paris as somewhat of an unknown quantity.
While it cannot be predicted who will take the crown in what is shaping up to be a very open-ended battle of the clay court, the ultimate prerequisites for those in line for the title will be staying on top of their game, laser focus, soft hands at the net and a Teflon temperament.
All the action from the much-anticipated tournament can be live streamed and enjoyed by Showmax Pro Subscribers in Africa, excluding those in South Africa, Lesotho and Mauritius.