The French Open official website counts down the days, hours, minutes, and seconds until the event. Following the Australian Open, the second Grand Slam tournament of the year outbreaks next Sunday. The best of world tennis stars will be fighting their hardest for key points in the most physically demanding tournament in the world
Many questions are in the air, the expectations from the players are high. Will the history from last year repeat? Will the winners of the Australian Open continue with their triumphs? Will US break the rule of last 10 years, and finally win the pure silver Coupe?
Many looks are fixed at Roger Federer. He has a lot to prove. Despite the fact that he is one of the best players of the history, red-clay court is not for him. He has been having problems dominating on this surface for last four years.
But then Rafael Nadal is a different story. He smoothly beat Federer last year to grab his fourth French Open Mousquetaire, and makes the Swiss player lose a 6-0 set. This had not happened to Federer since 1999. The results indicate that Nadal has become Federer's real hassle and “courtmare.”
They have contested seven Grand Slams finals (Nadal won five), and have met at Roland Garros four times since 2005. The Spanish player has been keeping Federer from winning the Mousquetaire to complete his career Grand Slam. Only five men have accomplished it so far.
As Nadal has become the first Spanish man to win the Australian Open by beating Federer this year, the world No.2 seems to be on his losing streak with Spanish No.1.
Ana Ivanovic, currently ranked world No.8, will be defending her first Grand Slam victory from last year. The tennis players usually drop their rackets when they get upset with their performance. But this Serbian 22-year-old talent did it, after winning the matchpoint, and beating present world No. 1 Dinara Safina from Russia.
Ivanovic advanced to the final in 2008 after overcoming her Serbian mate Jelena Jankovic in three-set battle. Jankovic is now ranked world No.5, and possible matchup with Ivanovic could appear as an interesting and close game.
With the third year at the French Open, there is no doubt Ivanovic wants to show the whole world that her victory last year was no happenstance. The first time playing at the biggest red-clay tournament in the world in 2007, she lost to now retired Justine Henin from Germany.
Another dangerous competitor for the Serbian champion could be Serena Williams. The American 10 Grand Slam winner seems to be in a good form and ready for the French strive over the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen. She won the Australian Open this year after beating Svetlana Kuznetsova, and says that her goal is to do in Paris better than last year—she was eliminated in the third round, just like her sister Venus.
The last US player who won the Coupe de Mousquetaire was Andre Agassi in 1999. No US victory has happened since then. Many wonder what is going on with US players.
Andy Roddick won his first and so far the last Grand Slam title at the US Open in 2003. Due to back injury, he missed French Open last year. Maybe he will convince this year, that still have a lot to show. Maybe world No. 16 James Blake will surprise too.
But the most bets for the next champion of the famous red surface point at Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, or Novak Djokovic. The women potential champion might be Ana Ivanovic, Dinara Safina, Maria Sarapova, or Serena Williams.
We will find out in a few weeks.