Our event of the Day sees the continuation of the French Open at Roland Garros as Day 3 gets underway. This tournament is always earmarked in the players’ diaries, being the second of the four majors, and the unpredictable clay courts always seem to provide some thrilling moments throughout the fortnight. Since 2005, Rafael Nadal has been almost unstoppable at this historic competition, with the Spaniard winning 11 of the last 14 editions, and he remains the favourite to notch a 12th title this time round. Meanwhile, the women’s tournament has not been monopolised in recent years as the men’s has, instead there has been 10 different winners since 2005. The reigning champ is Simona Halep, and she headlines the day’s action in the French capital. Halep will get her title defence underway today as she takes to the court with Croatian-born Australian Ajla Tomljanović, who has been dumped out in the round of 128 in the past two years. The world number 3 Halep meanwhile will be hoping to build upon last year’s success and reach her third straight final at this competition. Standing in her way will be world number 1 Naomi Osaka who is also in action today as she takes on Anna Karolina Schmiedlova from Slovakia. It is no secret that Osaka’s best form comes on the hard courts, with the Japanese player sweeping both hard court majors in the US Open and Australian Open. Osaka has admitted that she is far from an expert when it comes to competing on clay, but if she finds her stride, the 21-year-old has proven she can overcome any player in the women’s game.
Every year when the French Open rolls around, there is only ever one name on the lips of the supporters. Rafael Nadal is the greatest clay court player of all time having won 55 titles in clay court competition, including 11 French Open titles. He also set the record for longest winning streak on any single surface when between April 2005 and May 2007 the Spaniard won 81 straight games on the clay. No wonder, then, he is odds on favourite to lift the title next Sunday after impressing in his opening round tie against Yannick Hanfmann. With Nadal away from the spotlight today, the rest of the men will have their chance to stake their claim, including home-crowd favourite Gaël Monfils, who will do battle with Taro Daniel of Japan. Juan Martín del Potro is also in action today against Nicolás Jarry; though the Argentine has just one career major to his name, he is an expert at cultivating deep runs at the biggest tournaments, and he will hope for another one in Paris this fortnight. German superstar, Alexander Zverev, also takes to the clay courts today and is up against Australian John Millman. It is all set-up for a thrilling day of tennis.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to Stage 16 of Giro d’Italia, a 226km ride from Lovere to Ponte di Legno. This stage is one of the most daunting for the riders, with 4,800m of vertical gain and gradients of up to 18% representing just some of the challenges they will have to overcome. Current leader Richard Carapaz will look to tighten his stranglehold over the field, but nipping at his ankles are several riders looking to close the gap, including Stage 15 winner Dario Cataldo. Elsewhere, there are more World Cup warm-ups in the cricket as New Zealand take on the West Indies at Bristol County Ground whilst Bangladesh do battle with India at Sophia Gardens. There is a huge game of football in the Dutch Eredivisie as the Europa League playoff final second leg takes place between Vitesse Arnhem and FC Utrecht at the GelreDome. Finally, in the MLB, the Seattle Mariners take on the Texas Rangers at T-Mobile Park as the hosts go in search of their first win in seven games.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by Roland Garros
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