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Jun 12, 2019, 12:59:00 PM

Key takeaways from the French Open

While the women’s side of the French Open saw a new Grand Slam champion emerge, everything was a lot more settled in the men’s side as the top four seeds all made it to the semis. Here are the key takeaways.

Nadal is still the King of Clay

Many thought that this could finally be the year when his crown would be challenged, and somebody might be able to rival him on clay. To be fair, he looked beatable until the Rome Open, the last big Masters tournament before Paris, when it suddenly all clicked and he flew into top gear.

After that, he barely looked like dropping a set, and to be fair to Dominic Thiem, he made enough of an effort to wrest one set off him, never mind a whole match. In the semi-final against Roger Federer, he was in no mood for mercy throughout.

His rankings spot as world number two has stretched away from three and four thanks to this win, and now he will feel that he can creep back up to where he was before the injury that curtailed the final months of 2018. If he stays fit, many believe that there is no reason why he cannot compete on grass, and missing out on warm-up tournaments for Wimbledon has the feeling of Federer or Serena Williams in the last couple of years. It might just work.

What next for Serena?

The 23-time Grand Slam winner is no longer seen as one of the sports betting favourites for any Grand Slam now, and it begs the question of what she could do next. It could simply be a case of lots of talented players finally breaking through. However, a rising injury list, and the fact that she made it to two major finals last year suggests that something different is also at play.

She is exiting at majors in the third round with little fanfare or excuse. Her defeat to the unseeded Sofia Kenin in round three at Roland-Garros underlined just how big a fall she has had recently. Whether she has it in her to climb back up to the top remains to be seen, but right now there are others in the frame.

Tsitsipas v Zverev

The best of the NextGen battle appears to be won by Stefanos Tsitsipas right now, and attitude is being labelled as the main reason. Alexander Zverev lost to the world number one but seemed accepting of his fate, whereas Tsitsipas left in tears after losing out in a five-set thriller with Stan Wawrinka. The young Greek star is quickly winning more fans.

Words: Danielle Nixon

Images: PA