The tennis world is buzzing with anticipation as the 2023 Roland Garros, also known as the French Open, approaches. Scheduled to take place at the iconic Stade Roland Garros in Paris, France between 28 May-11 June, this Grand Slam event promises two weeks of intense competition, thrilling matches, and unforgettable moments.
As the clay court season reaches its peak, the world's best male and female tennis players are preparing to showcase their skills on the renowned red clay courts.
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The battle for the prestigious titles in Men's Singles and Women's Singles is expected to be fierce, with players leaving no stone unturned in their quest for victory.
It also marks the final time in two years that there will only be one visit to Paris with the 2024 Olympics meaning that Paris will host two tournaments next year on these courts.
Djokovic and Alcaraz lead the way in Men’s Draw, no Nadal for first time since 2004
In the Men’s Draw, Novak Djokovic will be the leading light alongside Spaniard, Carlos Alcaraz who many see as the heir to the throne of fellow compatriot, Rafael Nadal. Nadal has withdrawn from the tournament for the first time since 2004.
He has decided to likely see 2024 be his final year meaning that a 15th title will only be in his grasp one more time. As well as the leading duo, Daniil Medvedev also stands out after winning Rome on a surface that he is well known to detest.
Becoming an all-round player now instead of a hard-court specialist, Medvedev will look to spring a surprise win given his previous words about the surface. Casper Ruud, Holger Rune, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Taylor Fritz among others will aim to provide resistance too.
As well as Nadal, Andy Murray, Matteo Berrettini, and Nick Kyrgios also miss out due to mainly injury with the former deciding against playing in Paris due likely to the impending grass court season with his usual Wimbledon homecoming.
Kyrgios injured his foot on the other hand after his knee surgery following his mother being held at gunpoint after his Tesla was stolen.
His participation despite surgery was always in doubt despite him saying his girlfriend, Costeen Hatzi had talked him around to playing due to her wanting to visit the city.
Compared to the WTA draw, it hasn't thrown up as many tantalising first round ties with many of the top names playing qualifiers or Lucky Losers. But Auger-Aliassime-Fognini, Norrie-Paire, Korda-Macdonald and Davidovich Fokina - Fils are certainly ones to watch outside of the seeds.
But overall will it present a big opportunity for Djokovic to add to his Grand Slam haul or will another player rise in Nadal's absence?
Swiatek’s dominance pressured for the first time
Iga Swiatek on the women’s side will be the leading light but under increased competition from a new so called Big Three alongside Swiatek in Aryna Sabalenka who won Madrid and Elena Rybakina who won Rome.
Swiatek lost to Rybakina in Italy and her clay court dominance has waned slightly from the previous few years where she has swept aside many of her competition with little issue.
As well as the leading trio though, the likes of Jessica Pegula, Ons Jabeur, Coco Gauff, Maria Sakkari, Caroline Garcia among others will look to star. This alongside clay court specialists such as Jelena Ostapenko, Barbora Krejickova and Martina Trevisan.
2023 French Open Roland Garros ATP and WTA Prize Money and Points Breakdown with €49.6m on offer
Azarenka-Andreescu in first round as Raducanu, Kenin, Badosa among others out
Intrigue as ever will be behind a host of well-known names such as Victoria Azarenka and Bianca Andreescu, who miraculously returned after a horrific injury in Miami and they will face each other in the main first-round clash.
Marta Kostyuk faces Aryna Sabalenka in a tie that is bound to have spice, but for off court reasons due to their views on the Russia-Ukraine invasion and also the latter now being best friends with her former BFF Paula Badosa.
Danielle Collins also faces Jessica Pegula, while Maria Sakkari will receive a tough first tie against Karolina Muchova.
WTA Draw confirmed for 2023 French Open Roland Garros including Swiatek, Sabalenka, Rybakina, Gauff, Jabeur and Pegula
Emma Raducanu is one of only a few names who will not play the tournament due to surgery meaning she will likely be out until at least the US Open. Simona Halep will also not play due to doping failures that have yet been rectified.
Jennifer Brady was set to make her return for the first time in two years but had to withdraw with Ajla Tomljanovic too withdrawing on the eve of the draw.
Elina Svitolina will also play her first Grand Slam since becoming a mother but will encounter clay court specialist Martina Trevisan in her opener.
Paula Badosa is also the latest to withdraw due to injury in a blow to the tournament and will miss the coming months after good early form.
Paula Badosa out of Roland Garros due to stress fracture, Wimbledon also in doubt with 8-12 week recovery time
But for former finalist and Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin, she lost out in the first round of qualifying meaning she will not be involved.
Venus Williams also seems to be training on grass ahead of a potential Wimbledon grass court season return so with Serena Williams retirement, neither of the famous sisters will descend on Paris.
Beyond the singles events, the tournament will also feature thrilling doubles matches, showcasing the incredible teamwork and chemistry of some of the best doubles players in the world. The mixed doubles category will add an extra layer of excitement as players team up and display their versatility on the clay.
As ever the likes of Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula will star, albeit amid the cloud of the Madrid Open fiasco with the lack of speeches.
Amelie Mauresmo as tournament director will aim to avoid any controversy this time around.
Madrid Open organizers cut speeches for Gauff/Pegula v Azarenka/Haddad-Maia final as Jabeur calls it 'sad and unacceptable'
Fans from around the globe will flock to the Stade Roland Garros, eagerly anticipating the atmosphere and drama that only a Grand Slam can provide. From passionate crowds to the breathtaking beauty of Paris, the tournament will undoubtedly deliver an unforgettable tennis experience.
As the players step onto the clay courts of Roland Garros, the stage is set for an exhilarating battle, where skill, determination, and mental fortitude will determine who will emerge as the champions of the 2023 Roland Garros.