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Three things we learned at the French Open

 This French Open is done and like with any grand slam, tennis fans learn a lot from the results. Here are three things fans learned.

Rafael Nadal the “God” of Clay 

Even the most casual tennis fan by now knows how great Rafael Nadal is on clay. He continues to rewrite history every time he steps on the red clay. Sunday was no different. Rafa won a historic 11th French Open. He the only tennis player to win 11 titles at three different tournaments. He won his 11th Monte Carlo title, as well as his 11th Barcelona title.

It was a rather easy French Open for Rafa. He only lost one set in the quarterfinals to Diego Schwartzman. In the finals, he faced Dominic Thiem, who is the only player to defeat Rafa on clay the past two seasons. Although the scoreline may appear routine 6-4, 6-3, 6-2, there were many grueling rallies between the two players. The match ended up passing the three-hour mark. After the match, Thiem acknowledged the feat Rafa accomplished, stating to him, “What you have done – to win this tournament 11 times – is one of the greatest things in sport.”

Simona Halep can win in the big moments

A couple of seasons ago Simona Halep had a reputation for being a player that would crack under pressure. Players knew that if the longer the match went, the greater chance there was of Simona going away.  Last year Simona made strides in turning that reputation around. When losing a set or being down a break she did not go away, instead, she fought to the bitter end. Unfortunately for Simona, those battles would usually end in defeat. That is until Sunday.

Simona was down a set and a break, to a smooth-sailing Sloane Stephens. Then she did what she learned to do best: fight. Simona began to hit balls down the middle and she became a wall of defense. She would eventually get the better on Sloane, winning the match 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.

With Simona winning her first grand, she is the clear number one. Now that the monkey is off her back, who knows how many grand slams, Simona will be able to win.

Serena is getting close to her form

Although Serena was considered a long shot to take the title, many were interested to see where the 23- grand slam champion was in her game. Though she struggled in her second-round match against the crafty Australian, Ash Barty, Serena was close to being herself in the third round. In dominant fashion, Serena defeated the eleventh ranked Julia Gorges.

Serena’s fourth-round opponent was the resurgent Maria Sharapova, which was the setup of a blockbuster match. Despite the lopsided wins in favor of Serena (18-2), the match was highly participated because of the off-court drama between the two WTA stars. In a press conference at the French Open, Serena said she was “disappointed” in some of the things Maria said about her in her book.

In the end, it was all for naught. Serena had to pull out of the match citing a pectoral injury. Serena later said on social media, the injury would not keep her out long. Her coach said that Serena would be ready for Wimbledon. Despite being injured, it seems like Serena is starting to play well and that she should be winning soon in the foreseeable future.

 *Honorable Mention

Coco Gauff beings’ stages of Stardom

Tennis fans unfamiliar with name Coco Gauff better get to hear the name often. The 14-year-old, African-American, player became the youngest since Martina Hingis to win a junior grand slam. Gauff defeated fellow American Caty McNally 1-6, 6-3, 7-6. Prior to winning the French Open, Coco was the youngest junior grand slam finalist at last year’s US Open.


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