The 121st French Open ended this Sunday with Rafael Nadal’s 14th coronation on his favorite clay. A 2022 edition full of emotions, disappointments, but also beautiful surprises. Overview of everything you shouldn’t miss over the past two weeks at Roland-Garros.
There it’s finished. The 2022 edition of Roland-Garros ended on Sunday with another coronation by Rafael Nadal. The second major tournament of the season had its share of significant events. From the retirement of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to the coronation of Iga Swiatek via the terrible injury of Alexander Zverev, here is everything you need to remember from this fortnight in Paris.
The winners: Nadal, as usual, Swiatek asserts himself
For the Spaniard, it’s an old habit. Seventeen years to the day after his first triumph in Paris, Rafael Nadal won a 14th trophy at Roland-Garros by outclassing the Norwegian Casper Ruud in three short sets. A success that could well be the last for the Mallorcan, suffering from a degenerative syndrome responsible for severe foot pain. By his own admission, it is impossible for him to continue playing if no solution is found.
Retirement, Iga Swiatek is very far from it. Arrival Porte d’Auteuil with five consecutive titles won on the circuit, the Pole, world number 1 since the withdrawal of Ashleigh Barty, knew how to ignore the immense pressure that weighed on her shoulders. Sometimes jostled, she never trembled during this tournament which she won with authority on Saturday against Cori Gauff.
With 35 victories in a row, she equals the record of American icon Venus Williams and confirms her status as the new queen of women’s tennis. At only 21 years old.
Emotion: Tsonga and Simon bow out
He made the heyday of tricolor tennis for more than a decade. Dropped by his body at the end of the match against Casper Ruud in the first round, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga finished with his head held high after snatching a set from the 8th player in the world. At 37, he had announced a few weeks earlier that he would retire after Roland-Garros. On the Philippe-Chatrier court, he could not contain his tears as he finished the last match of his career. Approved by the public and hailed by his peers, the Manceau, twice semi-finalist Porte d’Auteuil, turns the page.
Thank you Roland, thank you Mr Tennis, I love you pic.twitter.com/L9O4y51rAS
— Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (@tsonga7) May 26, 2022
Gilles Simon, former 6th player in the world, was also treading the Parisian clay court for the last time, before a retirement scheduled for the end of the year. Winner in particular of the Spaniard Pablo Carreno-Busta (18th in the world), the number 159 at the ATP had to surrender in the 3rd round against the Croatian Marin Cilic. A setback, accompanied, again, by moving farewells with the central public.
The match: Nadal-Djokovic, until the end of the night
As often on the Parisian ochre, this match between the two sacred monsters of tennis has kept all its promises. This year, their confrontation came in the quarter-finals for a “night session” of madness. A huge duel, both intense and stunning, won by the Spaniard after more than 4 hours of play at, 1:16 am very precisely. A grandiose spectacle that enchanted the night owls and the lucky ones of the Philippe-Chatrier court.
The controversy: Nadal-Djokovic’s programming on Prime Video
This is the big pebble that slipped into the shoe of Amélie Mauresmo, the director of Roland-Garros. By programming this Nadal-Djokovic in the evening and therefore exclusively on the Prime Video platform, the former world number 1 has drawn the wrath of the management of France Télévisions, the historic broadcaster of the tournament.
In order not to arouse the ire of viewers, the match was offered free of charge on the Amazon service, for which you normally have to pay € 5.99 per month.
The image that hurts: and suddenly, hell for Zverev
World No. 3 Alexander Zverev twists his ankle and collapses on clay in a fierce battle with Rafael Nadal. The pain snatches a cry of distress from him, leaving little doubt as to the outcome of the match. Evacuated from the court in a wheelchair, he offered a place in the final in Mallorca in spite of himself and is still chasing his first Grand Slam title.
The results of the French: mixed, but could not do better
Difficult to express regrets in front of the fortnight of the Habs. Our tennis is going through a low period and in the absence of Gaël Monfils (22nd in the world), only Ugo Humbert was in the top 50. The same is true for girls where the highest ranked is Alizé Cornet (40th). Result of the races, no French in the second week despite some exploits signed Diane Parry against Barbora Krejcikova or Léolia Jeanjean against Karolina Pliskova. An increase compared to 2021 when they were not even present in the third round, but the confirmation that with the withdrawal of Tsonga, Simon, Gasquet or Monfils, a great void is looming.
The unusual image: the Ruud-Cilic match, interrupted by an activist
We are playing the end of the 3rd set of the semi-final between Marin Cilic en Casper Ruud when a woman bursts onto the court and attaches herself to the net. Dressed in a white t-shirt with the message “we only have 1,028 days left”, she claims to be part of the climate cause.
❌ The game has been interrupted!
The arrival of a protester on the court, who clung to the net, forced the referee to bring the players into the locker room.
▶️ LIVE: https://t.co/e2xPoVyClApic.twitter.com/bOEP27sFRS
— francetvsport (@francetvsport) June 3, 2022
While waiting for his evacuation by the security forces, the two players returned to the locker room for about fifteen minutes before being able to resume the thread of the game.