Nine to watch at Roland Garros

Aslan Karatsev

The Russian’s meteoric rise has been nothing but incredible. Having stumbled in qualifying 9 times he then debuted in Melbourne and made the semi-finals of the Australian.

His form continued, he went onto win the doubles in Qatar with Rublev, won his first title in Dubai and was runner-up in Serbia but has beaten: Rublev, Djokovic, Schwartzman, Medvedev, Sinner, Evans, Dimitrov and Felix amongst others.

He will be seeded following his rise up the rankings and it is unknown for the Russian despite all he has done this year but he is never fazed by anything.

Coco Gauff

In the last few weeks the teenager has began to find her form on the clay. The work she does on the practice court is showing, double faults were a problem but it is something the American seems on top of at the moment.

Coco has found form of late on the clay. The 17 year old has won her 2nd singles title and her fifth doubles title both in Parma and also was a semi-finalist in Rome. She has the confidence in what she does and I don’t see why she couldn’t go on a deep run in Paris.

Hugo Gaston 

He will be back again this year, Hugo Gaston had a capped crowd cheering him on as he saw off Stan Wawrinka in five sets last year in Paris.

The Frenchman who then lost to Dominic Thiem in five sets is back as a wildcard once again this year, form has been difficult for the Frenchman of late but hopefully with a home crowd he can find that incredible tennis we saw towards the back end of last season once again.

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina

We have seen some good tennis from Alejandro this clay court season, sadly his time in Monte-Carlo ended with injury but I felt he has bounced back ok during the rest of the clay court season.

I find with Alejandro is to expected the unexpected, expect fireworks from his tennis. That consistency is just missing at the moment, he puts on good performances but is still looking for a breakthrough and a consistent run. He has won 10/16 matches on clay this year but has won just 15/31 in his career on the surface and 31 of his 61 matches on tour.

Casper Ruud

I like a lot of what Casper Ruud is doing right now, career high ranking, Masters 1000 semi-finalist and second career title in Geneva the 22 year old has a lot to shout about.

His game is coming into its own of late, he will be a seeded player to keep an eye on. I remember seeing him against Federer in Paris a few years back, he played well and that growth in his game and particularly the strength behind his backhand is improving. I hope for a big couple of weeks from Casper. 

Paula Badosa

Paula has had an impressive clay court season, it has been a surprise but the Spaniard beat Barty in Charleston making the final four to kick off her clay court season in good.


At home in Madrid where her debut back in 2015 ended in an early exit injured the Spaniard went on a fairytale run this year all the way to the semi-finals before falling to Ash Barty.

The good form from Charleston and Madrid continued into Belgrade this last week where the Spaniard won her first WTA title with a 6-2 2-0 win over Ana Konjuh who retired with a thigh injury that was bothering the Croat in her semi-final win over Osario Serrano. 

Cam Norrie

The Brit has had a very good run on the clay so far this season, 14 wins in 18 and the third most wins on the tour this year. It has been an impressive few weeks for Cam, he has beaten some top players including Goffin, Khachanov, Thiem and Cilic in good runs across Europe.

Cam did come close to winning his first title in Estoril but slipped up at the end and recently lost a two set final to Tsitsipas in Lyon. Cam has been hitting the ball well, his lefty forehand has been a big weapon but as has his flat backhand. The different pace and spin he can put on the ball does make him someone who could cause some trouble in Paris.

Maria Camila Osario Serrano

The 19 year old from Cucuta in Colombia which is on the Venezuelan border has had a wonderful season so far. The teenager won her first career title on her WTA debut at home in Bogota as a wildcard! Since then we have seen her make the semi-finals in Charleston and then a few weeks ago came through qualifying in Belgrade to make the semi-finals losing a close match to Ana Konjuh.

I like the way Maria plays on clay, she has big powerful groundstrokes, her slice and movement at the back of the court to extend rallies is a key weapon of hers as is her drop shot. She has good disguise on it and is a very confident in her game and is a joy to watch.

I am very pleased she came through a tough qualifying draw, she did not deserve to be stuck in qualifying one bit but this is the way Roland Garros do their wildcards…

Seb Korda

I like this guy, he made his name in Paris last year and has played what I would describe as a very smart schedule. He opted against going to Australia where he could have played  to do his own thing.

His game is soo clean, powerful and ruthless. It is fantastic to watch the American on hard or clay courts really dig at opponents. He made it to the final eight in Miami and this last week has been playing some good tennis out in Parma.

Seb of course made it to the fourth round in Paris where he lost to his idol who he even named his chat after Rafael Nadal…

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