The Agony and Ecstacy of Roland Garros in 2022

The French Open aka Roland Garros may have come and gone, but we are slowing descending from the Agony and Ecstacy of this year’s Grand Slam tournament.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

The 37 year old Frenchman and 2008 Australian Open finalist, who recently announced that was going to retire from tennis, bowed out of his home Grand Slam on 24 May 2022 with a four set defeat to the 8th seeded Casper Ruud of Norway, 7-6(6) 6-7(4) 2-6 6-7(0).

Emotions ran high on Court Phillipe-Chatrier, as Tsonga received a standing ovation whilst trying to fight back the tears and stay in the match. The tears continued to flow when family and friends joined him on court afterwards for a very special farewell.

Cori “Coco” Gauff

On 21 May 2022, Coco Gauff shared some High School graduation photos with the Eiffel Tower in the background. A special moment in which she described graduating from high school whilst on the road, being more difficult than playing tennis.

The 18 year old American rose to fame at the age of 15, when she defeated the seven-time Grand Slam champion and one of her idols, Venus Williams in the opening round of Wimbledon in 2019. In the same year, she won the Linz Open and became the youngest WTA title holder since 2004.

It is three years later and Gauff continues to go from strength to strength. Not only has she already won 2 Singles and 4 Doubles titles, she also holds the record for being the youngest player in the Top 100 of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) tour.

Despite being a Finalist in both the 2022 Singles and Doubles draws (seeded 8th with countrywoman, Jessica Pegula), Gauff has sent out the warning sounds of a player on the rise.

Her hard work is paying off as she now holds the No. 13 position in the Singles draw and the No. 5 position in the Doubles draw.

Felix Auger-Aliassime

The 21 year old Canadian player, who perforned well on the Junior circuit with a No. 2 ranking, is now knocking on the ATP title door, having already been the runner-up in 8 ATP finals.

His best Grand Slam performance was during the 2021 US Open, when he lost to Daniil Medvedev of Russia.

Auger-Aliassime added another notch to his belt, when he bacame only the third player (next to Novak Djokovic and John Isner) to push Rafael Nadal to five sets in Paris. Nadal needed four hours and twenty-one minutes to brush the Canadian aside, 3-6 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-3.

With Toni Nadal on Auger-Aliassime’s coaching team, we are looking forward to the Canadian adding some trophies to his cabinet in future.

Alexander Zverev

Zverev, the 3rd seeded German player, was a hot contender next to Nadal, Djokovic and Alcaraz to lift this year’s French Open title.

After a tough quarter-final match against Alcaraz in the “Group of Death”, which included Nadal, Djokovic and Alcaraz, Zverev headed onto Chatrier to face Nadal in the semi-finals.

In a heart-stopping match, which after three hours of play, had just headed to a tiebreak (6-6) in the second set, Zverev took a nasty fall, appearing to damage his ankle and was forced to retire. Nadal had taken the first set 7-6(8).

Zverev has confirmed that the intial assessment shows multiple torn lateral ligaments in his right foot. He is back in Germany for further tests and treatment.

Casper Ruud

What a year Casper Ruud from Norway is having!

He is certainly been the most participant player for important matches in 2022, having lost to Novak Djokovic at the Italian Open (when Djokovic achieved his 1000th ATP win), defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in his final match at the French Open and then losing to Rafael Nadal in the French Open final (Nadal winning the title for a record 14th time).

Ruud has already won 8 titles and reached his highest ranking of No. 6 on the ATP rankings today.

He is dangerous on Clay courts and a player to watch going forward.

Iga Swiatek

At the tender age of 21, World No. 1, Iga Swiatek of Poland has the world at her feet.

She brushed aside Coco Gauff 6-1 6-3 to claim her second French Open Singles title on Saturday.

Swiatek, who appeared more interested in breaking Serena Williams streak of 34 consecutive wins, and is now tied with Venus Williams on 35, has not lost a match since clinching the No. 1 ranking on 23 March 2022 at the Miami Open.

Although she showed some weakness during the earlier matches, and in particular against Qinwen Zheng during their fourth round encounter, she appears flawless during the finals.

Rafael Nadal

The Spanish “King of Clay” captured his 14th French Open title and his 22nd Grand Slam title on Sunday, after defeating Casper Ruud 6-3 6-3 6-0.

Nadal, who seems immortal at the age of 36, despite dealing with multiple injuries throughout his career and living with continuous pain in his foot, has now clinched the first two Grand Slam titles of 2022.

Everyone sat with baited breath, waiting for him to announce his retirement at the trophy presentation, but as with the Australian Open, Nadal won’t commit to anything other than continuing to fight and play tennis for as long as possible.

If anyone has any doubt about Nadal’s commitment to fighting to the end, they should watch the 5th set of his fourth round match against Auger-Aliassime and his quarter-final match against Djokovic.