French Open ’18: From Serena and Rafa to rain, what to know

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first_imgWinfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Main-draw action begins Sunday in what would be Williams’ first Grand Slam tournament in more than a year.The owner of 23 major singles titles, a record for the 50-year Open era, Williams hasn’t played on one of her sport’s most prestigious stages since winning the Australian Open in January 2017, while pregnant. She gave birth to a daughter on Sept. 1, then dealt with medical complications, and while she originally had hoped to be back on tour by the Australian Open this January, that did not work out.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownWilliams, a 36-year-old American, has played only four official singles matches in the early portion of her comeback and pulled out of clay-court warmup events in Madrid and Rome in May. She is ranked 453rd this week.“It’s going to be great to see if she’s back,” defending French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko said. Skipping the French Open worked out well for 2009 champion Roger Federer in 2017, so why not do it again? He’s healthy but sitting out this portion of the season for the second straight year in a bid to be rested and refreshed for the grass, instead of putting his 36-year-old body through the grind required on the clay. Andy Murray, the 2016 runner-up, is recovering from hip surgery.MORE RETURNSMaria Sharapova will be getting back on the clay of Paris for the first time in two years, after missing the 2016 tournament while serving a drug suspension, then being denied the wild-card entry she would have needed in 2017 because her post-punishment ranking was too low to earn an automatic berth in the field. Given that she’s won the French Open twice, part of a career Grand Slam, and won a trio of three-setters this month in Rome, including against Ostapenko. Another familiar face back in the draw: Victoria Azarenka, who gave birth to a son last year.DJOKOVIC’S FORMIt’s been a while since the world has seen Novak Djokovic at his best after a series of right arm problems interrupted a career that hit its zenith at the 2016 French Open, when he won his fourth Grand Slam title in a row. After taking half of last year off, then struggling a lot so far this year, Djokovic looked a lot closer to himself in Rome, where he competed well before losing to Nadal in their 51st career matchup. “I don’t think that there was too much of a difference,” Djokovic said after that setback, “which is great for me, great news for me.”RAINING ON THE PARADENow that the U.S. Tennis Association is going to inaugurate a second retractable roof at this year’s U.S. Open, and the All England Club is working on a second such setup for Wimbledon — allowing those two sites to join the at-the-forefront Australian Open as Grand Slam tournaments with multiple courts that can be covered, the French Open really seems behind the times when it comes to dealing with rain. The French tennis federation has talked about fixing this for years, and there are supposedly firm plans finally in place, but there still is no way to play when rain gets heavy at Roland Garros.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ MOST READ Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award LATEST STORIES Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations FILE – In this May 19, 2018, file photo, Spain’s Rafael Nadal, left, hugs Serbia’s Novak Djokovic at the end of their semifinal match at the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome. Nadal’s attempt to extend his record by winning an 11th title in Paris will be the main focus of the men’s draw. It’s been a while since the world has seen Djokovic at his best after a series of right arm problems interrupted a career that hit its zenith at the 2016 French Open. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, File)PARIS — As usual, all eyes are on Serena Williams, no matter what — whether she’s attending the most talked-about wedding of the year or practicing at Roland Garros.That she recently engaged in those two activities on consecutive days, in different countries, highlighted what a star she is, in and out of tennis, and added to the buzz that Williams will, indeed, return to play at the French Open, which is what her coach has vowed.ADVERTISEMENT Simmons, Mitchell unanimous picks for NBA All-Rookie team Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Everyone surely will be watching.Here is what else to know about before play starts on the red clay courts of the year’s second Grand Slam tournament:DOES IT GO TO 11?Rafael Nadal’s attempt to extend his record by winning an 11th title in Paris will be the main focus of the men’s draw. No other man has won more than six French Open titles in the professional era. The man nicknamed the “King of Clay” has been nearly unbeatable on the surface, even winning 50 sets in a row until a recent setback. Nadal turns 32 on June 3, but he’s never looked better on red clay.NO FEDERER, NO MURRAYADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img

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