French Open Review
French Open Review
Novak Djokovic became the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four Grand Slam titles at the same time, whilst Garbiñe Muguruza picked up her first Grand Slam crown at this year’s French Open Championships at Roland Garros in May/June.
Djokovic achieved his major target for the year by winning his first Roland Garros, coming back from the loss of the first set to maintain the upper hand in his head to head with Andy Murray in the final. Both players used Head rackets, Djokovic used the Head Graphene XT Speed Pro racket strung with Babolat VS Team natural gut main strings and Luxilon Alu Power Rough cross strings, whilst Murray used the Head Graphene XT Radical Pro strung with Luxilon Alu Power main strings and Babolat VS Touch cross strings.
With Djokovic now halfway to achieving The Grand Slam, (winning the Australian and French Championships, Wimbledon and the US Championships in the same year), and being the holder of both the Wimbledon and US Open championships already, speculation is rife that he could become only the third man after Don Budge, (1938), and Rod Laver, (1962 and 1969), to complete the Slam. If he does it he’ll also equal Budge’s record of winning six majors in a row, (Wimbledon 1937 through to the US Championships 1938), that has stood for nearly 80 years.
Last year’s winner Stan Wawrinka held on to his title until defeated by Murray in the semi-finals, where Murray came through a tough, bruising, four set battle full of long baseline exchanges and outrageous winners. Stan played with the Yonex Vcore Dual G97 racket, strung with Babolat RPM Blast strings.
Completing the semi-final line up, and in a Grand Slam semi for the first time, was Austria’s Dominic Thiem. There was a lot of interest in Thiem’s Babolat racket, the frame of which was virtually all white with small touches of red near the handle, and black at the side of the racket head. It’s still in the prototype stage, no details are available, and, according to Babolat, it’s known as #ProjectOne7. Babolat wants tour-level input before releasing the frame, and is also seeking feedback from coaches, juniors, and recreational players. To this end Babolat will be sending out 1,017 frames globally seeking feedback over the next few months. For his run to the semis at Roland Garros, Thiem strung his Babolat #ProjectOne7 with Babolat RPM Blast.
Garbiñe Muguruza went one step further than she did at Wimbledon last year, claiming the singles title with a close fought straight sets win over hot favourite Serena Williams in the final. In a repeat of last year’s final in SW19, Muguruza became the first female Spanish Grand Slam winner this century, the first since Aranxta Sanchez Vicario also triumphed at Roland Garros back in 1998.
She played with the Babolat Pure Drive strung with Luxilon Alu Power strings. Serena Williams, who finished as runner up in a second successive Grand Slam, used the Wilson Blade 104 strung with a hybrid of Wilson Natural Gut main strings and Luxilon 4G crosses.
Former Roland Garros finalist Sam Stosur had her best Grand Slam for a long time, reaching the semi-final before going down to eventual champion Muguruza. Sam used the Babolat Pure Storm strung with Babolat RPM Blast strings. Kiki Bertens was a surprise semi-finalist, going much further than she’s ever done in a Grand Slam event, and becoming the first Dutch woman to reach a Grand Slam semi-final since Betty Stove in the US Open in 1977. Kiki played with the Wilson Blade 98 racket strung with Wilson Natural Gut.