The tournament will mark the 23-time Grand Slam champion’s first major since returning to the tour from maternity leave.
Coach Patrick Mouratoglou tells the WTA tour’s website, “Serena will play the French Open to win it.”
Williams returned to the tour briefly this year, after a 14-month absence to give birth to her daughter. But she withdrew from last week’s Madrid Open and this week’s Italian Open.
Mouratoglou says when Williams arrived to train with him in France late last month, “We realized that she was not ready yet. The time she lost after the delivery with all the medical issues she had to go through, was missing.”
Mouratoglou adds, “That is the reason why we decided to skip Madrid and Rome as she needed five weeks to be perfectly ready. … I am very satisfied and confident that she will be ready for Roland Garros.”
Williams, a three-time French Open champion, has not played since a first-round loss to Naomi Osaka in March at the Miami Open.
Roland Garros starts on May 27.
he (Rafael Nadal) French Open is just under a week away, as tennis heads into the busiest part of the season. Tennis fans will see three Grand Slams in a four-month period after patiently waiting since Federer’s five-set thriller at the Australian Open.
It is no secret that Nadal has a record ten titles at Roland Garros, and is easily the most successful player there of all time, in any discipline of tennis. If he’s healthy, he’s an easy favorite to take home another title. It is almost a foregone conclusion he will take home the title. He has had one of the most dominant clay seasons of his career in 2018, and looks primed to breeze through the tournament, yet again.
Only three times since 2005 had Nadal failed to win the French Open. He was famously beaten by the eventual runner-up, Robin Soderling in 2009. He would again lose to the eventual runner-up, Novak Djokovic in 2015. His 2009 loss was somewhat of an anomaly, while 2015 was arguably the worst season of Nadal’s career. While it is possible to beat him at the French open, it is very unlikely.
However, Nadal does have a long history of injuries. In 2016 he pulled out of the tournament after the second round due to a wrist injury. While this was the only time he pulled out of the French Open due to an injury, he has missed time elsewhere with back and hip problems.
It would be no fun not to speculate who could win the tournament should an injury or massive upset take place with Nadal. Below are five players who have the most potential to upset the King of Clay, or make a run should he have to withdraw.