Posted by: Paul | June 3, 2010

A New Ladies Champion

Tennis post again today. Hey, I only get a few short weeks a year to write about it, so I’m taking advantage (excuse the pun).

The French Open is a funny beast. The last 10 years have produced 7 different winners in the Ladies singles, three of whom singularly failed to win any other major title, and again this year Roland Garros will crown a new champion. It’s the only Grand Slam which Serena Williams has only won once, and may have eluded Roger Federer entirely had Nadal not exited early last year. The contenders fighting it out in the semi finals this year are Italy’s Francesca Schiavone, Elena Dementieva of Russia, the Aussie Sam Stosur (watch her at Wimbledon, she’s my tip this year), and Serbian Jelena Jankovic, who won the mixed doubles at Wimbledon with Andy Murray’s brother Jamie a couple of years back.

Unlike the other slams where the Williams sisters have dominated for the best part of a decade, it’s only Justine Henin who can claim to have any grip on the clay of Roland Garros. It’s a special event, and that vibrant orange looks wonderful on TV, and cheers my soul every time I see it – as it means Wimbledon is just 4 short weeks away.

The French Open always throws up a few surprises, and none more so this year than Robin Soderling’s win over defending champion Roger Federer. Soderling thoroughly deserved the win, and last year’s beaten finalist is definitely one to watch for Wimbledon – he hits the ball crushingly hard, and on the faster grass courts of SW19 that will count for even more than on clay. Someone like Murray could also learn a thing or two about positive attitude from Soderling. Put a monkey on him!

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