French Open 2022: who are the rising stars at Roland-Garros? Carlos Alcaraz to Taylor Fritz

Carlos Alcaraz and Holger Rune look ready to upset the status quo at Roland-Garros.

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The second Grand Slam of the year is underway in the French capital and is it arguably one of the hardest tournaments on the ATP and WTA tour.

The French Open takes place on clay courts, meaning the athletes not only having the heat of France to endure but the men also play a best of five sets as opposed to the best of three - the standard in ATP titles.

Clay courts are often considered slow because the balls lose a lot of their initial speed when contacting the surface making it harder for players to deliver unreturnable shots.

Roland-Garros is the only Grand Slam to use such courts, making it one of the most exciting on the tour.

While the world will be on tenterhooks to see if Novak Djokovic can retain his French Open title, there are many other rising stars who could begin competing to win their first ever Grand Slam title.

Carlos Alcaraz

The 19-year-old Spaniard has burst onto the ATP scene with extreme ferocity this year. At the Madrid Open Alcaraz beat both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic on his way to the final - he’s the only player to have beaten both these sporting giants on clay in the same tournament.

He has modelled much of his technique on his Spanish tennis hero, Nadal, and with Nadal known for his triumphs on clay, Alcaraz will be looking to one day take his hero’s crown on the surface.

Holger Rune

Rune has already upset the order at the French Open by knocking at Denis Shapovalov in straight sets.

The Canadian beat Nadal just a couple of weeks ago but has now been defeated by an unknown 19-year-old from Denmark.

Holger Rune beat Denis Shapovalov in first round at French OpenHolger Rune beat Denis Shapovalov in first round at French Open
Holger Rune beat Denis Shapovalov in first round at French Open

Rune already has an ATP title under his belt after winning in Munich and has also beaten the world number three, Alexander Zverev.

It may not be long before the next great rivalry in tennis is between Carlos Alcaraz and Holger Rune.

Iga Swiatek

The 20-year-old has already taken the number one world ranking in the world after Ashleigh Barty announced her retirement earlier this year.

In 2020, Poland’s Swiatek seemed an unlikely contender to win the French Open, but she has excelled in recent months, winning both the Miami Open and Indian Wells tournament.

At such a young age, Swiatek is already well established on the WTA circuit, and as the likes of Victoria Azarenka, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova may soon be nearing the end of their careers, the rising Polish superstar is set to take over the reins in true style.

Daria Saville

Saville has had to battle with injuries for the past two-years and work her way up the WTA ladder once more.

In 2017, the 28-year-old Australian was ranked 20th in the world but has since dropped out of the top 100.

However, in February 2022, Saville was ranked at 627th and is already now at 134th.

Her most recent success saw her reach the quarter final of the Miami Open and despite being knocked out in the early stages of the Australian Open Saville will be desperate to make a more permanent mark on her next Grand Slam.

Taylor Fritz

The 24-year-old from San Diego looks to be coming into his own this year after winning his first ever Masters 1000 title of his career.

Fritz won Indian Wells earlier this year as well as reaching the quarter finals of the Monte-Carlos Masters and ATP Houston and reaching the last 16 at the Miami Open.

At 6ft 5inches, Fritz possesses a hugely dominant serve, reaching speeds of up to 149mph and is a strong ability to hit sharp angle cross-court shorts on both the backhand and forehand.

America will hope that it won’t be long before they see a homegrown player win a men’s singles Grand Slam tournament again.

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