The Roland Garros tournament starts with notable absences, but also with exceptional participations. First of all, Roger Federer returns to Paris after a long absence, this year being probably the last one in which we will see the Swiss at the French Open. Secondly, Simona Halep, the best female player on clay will miss Roland Garros due to an injury.
To add more drama, the three great players of the last 20 years (Djokovic, Nadal and Federer) have all fallen in the same top half of the draw, which means that a Djokovic-Nadal final is ruled out.
In the women’s competition, Halep’s absence will somewhat ease the competition for the other favorites, but even so there are a lot of possible tough matches, even from the first rounds.
French Open 2021 Live Streaming
By far, the best choice for live streaming the French Open is to use a bookmaker. In this way, you will catch the whole tennis season. However, there are some people who cannot access this offer. Alternative platforms for French Open live streaming are Eurosport Player (if you live in Europe) and Peacock (for USA). In France, the tournament will be available on Amazon Prime, while in the UK you can watch it via iTV streaming.
French Open 2021 TV Channels
Europe: FranceTV & Amazon Prime (France, Eurosport (all other countries), iTV (UK).
North Africa & Middle East: beInSports.
Latin America: ESPN.
Brazil: BandSports, Sportv.
USA: Tennis Channel, NBC Sports, Peacock, BallySports.
Canada: RDS, TSN.
Asia: Star Sports Select (India), CMG (China), Fox Sports (South-East Asia), WOWOW & TV Tokyo (Japan), Nine (Australia), Sky (New Zealand), TVN (South Korea).
French Open 2021 Prize Money
The players’ prizes decreased in 2021, compared to the previous edition. The biggest decrease is seen in the winner’s prize money (€ 1,400,000), which now stands at -12% compared to 2020. The semifinalists will receive a prize of € 750,000 (-6% compared to 2020). The doubles prize money was even more affected by the pandemic, falling -23% compared to the previous year.
The prize money reward system has been designed especially to protect the income of players who are not in the Top 10 or Top 20. Therefore, for participating in the first two rounds the cash prizes remained intact, as many players outside the top 20 fail to make it through the first two rounds.
As a side note, Roland Garros is still the lowest paying Grand Slam.
French Open Preview
Everyone is now talking about the draw that piled the 3 tennis legends in the top half of the table: Federer, Djokovic and Nadal. As we said above, the draw eliminates from the start a final between the world’s first two players (Djokovic and Nadal). The chances for Federer to get somewhere near the quarterfinals are very thin. The Swiss did not manage to play well in the first match on the clay of the season, in Geneva, where he lost in three sets. However, it is possible that the Roland Garros crowd will help Federer, so the Swiss’ tournament will not stop in the first round.
A closer look at the first half of the draw reveals Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer can meet in a quarterfinal, but it is unlikely that the Swiss will get that far. Rather, Djokovic will probably play against Berrettini. Nadal’s quarter-table looks much simpler, and the Spaniard will probably have an extremely easy journey to the last eight.
Daniil Medvedev opens the bottom half of the draw, but the Russian does not seem to count too much on clay. Instead, the focus will be on Zverev and Tsitsipas. In an interesting way, the draw seems to sift through the best of old and young players, giving us a final between different generations.
Tsitsipas seems to be in a better position, having a relatively easy course. For Alexander Zverev, the presence of Dominic Thiem will be the turning point as both can meet in a future, dramatic quarterfinal.
Simona Halep, probably the best clay player on the circuit, will be absent from this year’s edition due to an injury. On the other hand, Bianca Andreescu will appear on the grounds of Roland Garros after her recovery from Covid-19.
In the first half of the draw we have the winners of the last editions, Ashleigh Barty and Iga Swiatek. For Barty, the road to the semifinals could be very difficult, having to face opponents like Elina Svitolina or Karolina Pliskova, both very good on clay.
Iga Swiatek has a relatively easier course, but even so she could meet Sofia Kenin (last year’s finalist) or Garbine Muguruza, another player with good performances at the French Open.
In the lower half of the draw, things are even more complicated, because there we find Serena Williams, Aryna Sabalenka, Bianca Andreescu, Naomi Osaka, Petra Kvitova and other very good players. For now, we don’t know anything about Bianca Andreescu’s form, but the Canadian has accustomed us to surprises. Naomi Osaka has never been a good player on clay, so we could look at the fittest player on this part of the draw, namely Aryna Sabalenka.
Another player who could advance a lot is Petra Kvitova, the Czech being able to reach the final. For that, she should go through a possible semifinal against Sabalenka. Along with Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka is definitely the most fit clay player of the moment.
Featured photo: © Christophe Guibbaud/FFT