This year was something everyone’s imaginations. The world got two months January and February. And then the period of the nightmare started. It’s not different in the tennis world too. Court Philippe Chatrier will not be filled this year at Roland Garros.
Jim Courier two times Roland Garros Champion was heading towards Paris to cover the tournament for tennis channel and said “Players mentally aren’t used to being on this surface this time of the year,” “So, can you be positive and look at it as an opportunity or are you grinding your way through what’s left of this year? It depends on your view but it’s a great opportunity for whoever is ready to take it.” Says Courier.
The main attraction of tennis even the US open has lost some of its major stars this year, While Roland Garros has lost fewer big names. But Courier denies saying -“As long as it’s seven matches to win and the players aren’t striking, then for me, the answer is no,”. “It’s a very different Roland Garros, but it’s not one that the champions will be looked on with any inferiority,” he says.
Bianca Andreescu, three times champion Naomi Osaka, present ruler Ash Barty will not be present in the court. But stars like Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Simona Halep will be there on the battlefield.
But the COVID 19 is not the only challenge they need to face. Players need to adapt to the dirt. And it needs proper time. Courier believes players who have experience playing on the dirt court will get an advantage.
I think if you have any trepidation about the movement on clay and it’s something that isn’t natural to you, then it’s very difficult to make the transition in such a short period of time,” Courier says. And it needs an actual amount of time.
As for Simon Halep, she is 10 match streak winner which has got her into the Roland Garros. This Romanian beauty has an acquaintance with clay court and grabbed Coupe Suzanne-Lenglen in 2018. She has her own style of playing with grace and patience. Has the ability to turn a situation in favour of her when necessary.
“She has been practising on the clay and that obviously paid dividends for her in Rome. She’s perfectly poised to do well there; doesn’t mean she will because women’s tennis has been hard to dominate in the recent years,” Courier says.