PARIS: A glance at the French Open, the third and final Grand Slam tennis tournament of 2020:
Red clay courts
The 15-day tournament begins Sunday. The womens singles final is Saturday, Oct. 10; the mens singles final is Sunday, Oct. 11. The French Open normally starts in May but was postponed this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
LOOKAHEAD TO SUNDAY
The French Open starts Sunday with only 1,000 spectators allowed on site, questions about whether France’s coronavirus cases will continue to rise and the expected debut with rain forecast of the new $55 million retractable roof atop Court Philippe Chatrier. The most-anticipated matchup on Day 1 in the main stadium will be Andy Murray vs. Stan Wawrinka in a contest between two men with three Grand Slam titles apiece. Back in 2017, they squared off in the French Open semifinals and neither has really been quite the same since, each requiring multiple operations. For Murray, now 33, the trouble spot was his hip; for Wawrinka, 35, his knee. Also on the schedule in Chatrier: No. 1-seeded Simona Halep, the 2018 champion. Over on Court Suzanne Lenglen, 16-year-old American Coco Gauff faces a tough task in her French Open main-draw debut against No. 9 seed Johanna Konta, whose trio of major semifinal appearances include getting that far in Paris last year. I feel quite comfortable on clay, Gauff said. I mean, in my junior career, I had good results on clay. The 29-year-old Konta on the matchup: Im very clear on the fact that Im going (to be) playing another professional tennis player who is one of the best-ranked in the world. It doesnt matter if shes 14 or 40. I think shes there for a reason. Also on the Lenglen schedule: U.S. Open runners-up Victoria Azarenka and Alexander Zverev.
Rain. High of 61 degrees Fahrenheit (16 Celsius).
2019 WOMENS SINGLES CHAMPION
Ash Barty of Australia (who is not entered this year)
2019 MENS SINGLES CHAMPION
Rafael Nadal of Spain (who will be trying to win a 13th French Open title this year and 20th Grand Slam title overall to equal Roger Federer’s record for men)
93-2 Rafael Nadals career record at the French Open
Total: 38.4 million euros (about $44.8 million), down from about 42.5 million euros (about $48 million) in 2019.
Mens and womens singles champions: 1.6 million euros each (about $1.9 million), down from 2.3 million euros each (about $2.6 million) in 2019.
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