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Three Things to Pay Attention to at the French Open

The second major of the year kicked off Sunday and as always there is a lot for tennis fans to focus on. Here are three things fans should be paying attention to at the French this year:

3. Serena’s Return

Though Serena Williams made her official return at Indian Wells and followed it up in Miami. Her participation on the WTA tour since then, has been scarce. Williams pulled out of two European clay tournaments because of her disbelief in being prepared to win on tour. She is now back playing in her first grand slam since winning it in all in Australia.

Though most experts consider Williams’ chances to be winning a long shot, being that she is unseeded, most would agree never count her out. Williams has proven throughout the years that she does not need a lot of matches to find her game. Given she was given a manageable draw, it is possible that she will build up enough momentum that allows her to play her championship level form. If that were to happen, then all the other players should be on guard.

*It should be noted that Williams could face her rival Maria Sharapova in the fourth round. It also, should be noted that she intends to play doubles with her sister Venus (who already lost in singles).

2. Seeing if Djokovic Can Return to Form

Novak Djokovic returned to tour from a six-month absence at the Australian Open. Though he started strong in that tournament, he would eventually lose in the fourth round to rising star, Hyeon Chung. The next couple of months saw Djokovic take a break for an “intervention” on his elbow, sever ties with coach Andre Agassi, and continue to lose in early rounds at Master 1000 tournaments.

It was at the tournament in Rome where Djokovic showed a glimpse of his dominant self, making it to the semis and giving the King of Clay, Rafael Nadal, all he could handle in two tight sets. Now that he has reunited with his old coach, Marian Vajda, he seems ready to get back to his winning ways. Though it seems very unlikely he would be able to beat Rafa, given his commanding form, tennis fans know when Djokovic plays his best, the sky is limit.

1. Watching Rafa Continue to Make History

Rafael Nadal continues to rewrite history on the red dirt. There are not enough superlatives to describe how good he is on clay. But one word that everyone can agree on when it comes to Nadal on clay is: dominant. This clay season proves just that. Like last year, Nadal has lost just one match out of the four tournaments (oddly enough to the same person, Dominic Thiem). He won his 11th Monte Carlo title, 11th Barcelona title, and eighth title in Rome.

Foregoing injury, it seems that Nadal is on track to win a record breaking eleventh French Open. Though it is possible players like Dominic Thiem, Sasha Zverev or even Djokovic could derail Nadal from winning another French Open, most would not bet on it. Rafa is difficult to any surface three out of five set. But on clay, the task is as daunting as it gets.

The French Open stands to be an exciting tournament this year. Though most fans and tennis experts like to think that they know what will happen, anything is possible. The only way to know for sure is to stay tuned.

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Ricardo is the lead Tennis Analyst here at
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