Roland Garros 2022: Day 1 picks

We made it, the opening day of 2022’s second slam and for two weeks at least we will have some reprieve from politics and can focus upon all things on-court. Media Day in Paris was almost de-railed by the ATP, WTA and ITF tours’ joint but not joint announcements regarding their response to Wimbledon’s ban of Russian and Belarussian players. To remove ranking points across all competitions at Wimbledon is of course a gross overreaction and contradictory to the Tours’ stance on other tournaments. Wimbledon is right to do this and the whole thing is becoming ugly.

Once again, Sportswashing is alive and well everywhere we look, but at least tennis hasn’t been stained quite so blatantly as say Newcastle Utd and that third kit. Oh dear!

There is so much to look forward to on the red Parisian clay this next two weeks; the significant return of Naomi Osaka to the arena that scarred so many last year. I – like so many others – handled the fallout badly last year, and I will be following her progress closely, however brief that will be as the Japanese is clearly not 100% fit.

For the first time in a long time, we have a clear favourite on the women’s side of things, Iga Swiatek has been bulletproof for so long now that the 2020 champ is the safest bet around. The men will be a different story, not least as both Djokovic and Nadal are on the same side of the draw and will potentially have to get through the hottest property from the last 12 months – Alcaraz. I am also interested in how the Brits do, but unlike the all-too-predictable UK media, I won’t contribute to the pressure cooker that Emma Raducanu remains trapped inside ever since her monumental, remarkable triumph last September. I will leave any other predictions until the latter stages, but let’s look at today’s highlights:

Day 1 best match-ups

Kanepi vs Muguruza

Mladenovic vs Fernandez

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