20-year-old Jelena Ostapenko completed her Roland-Garros fairytale against Simona Halep.
After what Roger Federer himself described as a “very exciting“ start to the season, it is time to take a look at who has been grabbing the headlines over the past few months, and whom it is worth keeping a very close eye on in the run-up to Roland-Garros. Here are ten pretenders to the crown and at least as many reasons why this could be their year.
Rafael Nadal – the master
Who else to begin this very early pre-preview with than the 10-time winner of the Paris Grand Slam? While he is currently out of action due to a recurrence of the hip injury that forced him to withdraw from his Australian Open quarter-final with Marin Cilic, Rafael Nadal hopes (and so do we) that he will be fully fit by the time that the European clay season comes around. In other words, at Monte Carlo on 16 April. A return to his favourite surface could certainly be just what the doctor ordered for the Majorcan, who has four titles to defend on clay (Monte-Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid and Roland-Garros).