One of the foremost tennis tournaments has started its 114th edition in Paris’ Stade Roland Garros. It is the second Grand Slam competition of the year after the Australian Open. The importance of the event springs from its being one of the four biggest championships of the game, with a total prize money purse of €28m.
In the 2015 competition, Spanish player Rafael Nadal tries to maintain the title which he monopolised for the past five years. Nadal is the player who has won the Paris title the most times, holding the precious title nine times. He set the record by winning the championship in 2006, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014.
World number one player, Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, dreams of robbing Nadal of the title for the first time ever, after losing to the Spaniard last year in the final game with score of 6-3, 5-7, 2-6, 4-6.
Nadal still has strong competitors for the title, including his arch-rival and world number two player Roger Federer, who seeks to stop Nadal’s series of cascading victories, as he did in 2009. In that year, Federer reaped the title after Nadal left the competition in the quarter finals at the hands of the Argentinean Juan Martín del Potro.
World number three player, Britain’s Andy Murray, also aims to strengthen his position and seize his third Grand Slam title by winning at Roland Garros, having already won the 2012 US Open and the 2013 Wimbledon titles.
The world number two female player, Russian Maria Sharapova also seeks to maintain the title for the second year running, to have a total of three titles after winning it in 2012 and 2014. Sharapova has won five titles in the Grand Slam through her professional career.
The Czech Simona Halep, world number three female player, left the competition early in the second round when she lost to the Croat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni. Halep was among the most prominent candidates for the title after making it all the way to the finals last year against Sharapova.
The top candidate for the title this year is the American Serena Williams, the world number one female player. Williams held the Roland Garros title twice before in 2002 and 2013, she also has 19 Grand Slam titles.