Roland Garros Review
By Jack Davies for Surrey Tennis
Just eight months since the 2020 edition of Roland Garros, the 2021 tournament has ended. Novak Djokovic has claimed his 19th Grand Slam title – meaning he’s just one behind Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer – and the unseeded Barbora Krejčíková claimed the women’s singles and doubles titles with fellow Czech Kateřina Siniaková. The last woman to win both the singles and doubles at Roland Garros was Mary Pierce in 2000.
Joe Salisbury continued to do Surrey proud by winning the mixed doubles tournament with partner Desirae Krawczyk from the USA. Sadly, it wasn’t to be in the men’s doubles and Salisbury and Rajeev Ram lost in the second round. The men’s champions were French pair Nicholas Mahut and Pierre Hughes Herbert, who beat Alexander Bublek and Andrey Golubev in three sets.
Other British players at Roland Garros included Cameron Norrie who continued his great season in 2021 before losing in the third round against the Prince of Clay himself, Rafael Nadal. While Johanna Konta, Dan Evans and Heather Watson all lost their first-round matches against Sorana Cirstea, Miomir Kecmanović, and Zarina Dyas respectively.
This year’s Roland Garros had many stand out matches, including Djokovic and Nadal’s 58th tour level meeting in the semi-final, Stefanos Tsitsipas’s near victory, Maria Sakkari beating last year’s champion Iga Świątek, as well as the return of Roger Federer who withdrew after reaching the fourth round.
Now it’s time for the British summertime to shine (or not, as the case may be) as players from all the world have travelled to Britain for the grass season. Speaking from absolutely no experience whatsoever, as I’ve never played on clay, I wonder how well the players who reached the second week of Roland Garros will transition onto grass. Fingers crossed the early exits for the British players have given them a head start in preparation for Wimbledon.
Konta has hit the grass running and already won five straight matches to pick up the trophy in Nottingham, and as I write the WTA players are battling it out in Birmingham and their ATP counterparts are playing at Queen’s Club in London. The tours join up at Eastbourne in Sussex next week – which is a favourite of mine and will be the first time I’ve seen live tennis since 2019 – before players don their whites and compete at the All England Club in SE19.
While the ongoing coronavirus pandemic may prevent us enjoying The Championships like we normally would, I hope some members of the Surrey Tennis community (especially me) will be lucky enough to grab a ticket to the oldest and best tennis tournament in the world.
Wimbledon 2021 starts on Monday the 28th of June and runs through to Sunday the 11th of July. Here’s hoping for some decent weather!