The 2023 Roland Garros (French Open) is coming up, and we can’t wait to see what the second Grand Slam tournament of the season has in store for tennis fans. The stakes at the French Open are higher than ever, as the total money for the tournament increased to $54.6 million. This is a 12.3% increase from the $46.7 million purse at the 2022 French Open. The winners of the women’s and men’s singles titles will earn a cool $2.51 million apiece.
The French Open will take place at the legendary Stade Roland Garros from May 22 to June 11. Roland Garros has hosted the French Open since 1928. The legendary red clay courts at Roland Garros are known for being the toughest courts to play on out of the four Grand Slam courts.
Leading up to the French Open, all eyes will be on Novak Djokovic and Aryna Sabalenka, the winners of the Australian Open (the first Grand Slam of the season) to see if they’ll be able to win consecutive Grand Slams to kick off the season.
Rafael Nadal is, by far, the most decorated player in the history of the French Open. The 36-year-old Spanish tennis legend has won a whopping 14 French Opens in his storied career. Nadal won five of the last six French Opens, including four titles in a row from 2017 to 2020. However, Nadal suffered a hip injury in January while playing in the Australian Open, and he’s going to miss this year’s French Open. 2023 is the year that Nadal’s dominance of the French Open finally ends.
To help us get ready for the incomparable French Open, let’s dive into some of the favorites to take home the $2.51 million purse.
Find out French Open schedules, how to watch and more with our Roland Garros Watch Guide.
Women’s singles players to watch
Sabalenka is coming off the best Grand Slam performance of her career. Her win at the 2023 Australian Open was the first singles Grand Slam title of her career. However, we can’t forget about her dominance on the doubles circuit leading up to that title. Sabalenka actually won the doubles title at the 2021 Australian Open, which led to her being ranked No. 1 in the doubles rankings.
Gauff is the next American tennis superstar, and the 2022 French Open was her coming out party. At last year’s French Open, Gauff played like a Grand Slam veteran despite being just 18 years old at the time. She reached the French Open finals for both singles and doubles (with Jessica Pegula). Gauff lost to Iga Świątek in the singles finals and Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic in the doubles finals, but she firmly cemented herself as a tennis star with her amazing performances. It’s clear that Gauff is one of the best tennis players on clay, and the French Open is the perfect environment for her style of play to shine.
Sabalenka and Gauff are amazing tennis players, but Świątek is the clear-cut favorite to win the women’s singles title at Roland Garros. Świątek is ranked No. 1 in the world among women’s singles tennis players. Also, she’s the defending French Open champion. In 2022, she defeated Gauff in straight sets to win the French Open. She won the French Open in 2020 as well. Unsurprisingly, Świątek is the runaway favorite to win the French Open again. It would be shocking to many tennis fans if Świątek didn’t take home her third French Open title. If she wins at Roland-Garros again this year, it’d be fair to start debating whether or not Świątek can end up becoming the most dominant women’s singles player in French Open history. At just 21 years old, it’s within the realm of possibilities that Świątek can end up winning more than ten French Opens in her career. That’s a perfect segue into the most dominant player in the history of Roland Garros…
Men’s singles players to watch
Similar to Nadal, Djokovic is a living legend who’s been going through some injury issues. Luckily for Djokovic, it looks like he’s almost back to full health. After winning the Australian Open, it’ll be exciting to see whether Djokovic can pull off winning consecutive Grand Slams. If he’s able to win at the French Open, it’ll be the third time in Djokovic’s career that he’s won the Australian Open and French Open in the same season. He pulled off the impressive feat in 2016 and 2021. Also, Djokovic has something else riding on this tournament: If he wins, he’ll break his tie with Nadal for most career Grand Slam men’s singles titles. Djokovic and Nadal are currently tied at 22 Grand Slams.
On the heels of a huge victory over Djokovic at the Italian Open, Rune has a ton of momentum going into the French Open. The 20-year-old Danish tennis player has looked like the next clay court superstar. Last year was his first appearance at the French Open, and he made it all the way to the quarterfinals. The Italian Open is played on a clay court, and Rune showed how great he is on clay during his upset of Djokovic. We wouldn’t be surprised to see Rune make it all the way to the finals at the French Open.
Nadal and Djokovic may have won the most Grand Slams in the history of men’s tennis, but they aren’t the favorite to win the 2023 French Open. Alcaraz, who just turned 20 years old on May 5, is the favorite to win the tournament. The young Spaniard has long been considered the heir apparent to the Spanish legend Nadal. He made his way all the way to the No. 1 ranking in the men’s singles rankings after winning the 2022 US Open. Alcaraz winning his first French Open would further solidify tennis fans’ thought that he’s the next Nadal.
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