Roland Garros 2023 has set hearts aflutter…and not just those of the players!

This 2023 edition will be remembered for the singles triumph of the two tennis No.1s, Novak Djokovic and Iga Swiatek, as well as for the many beautiful moments, emotions, laughter and tears. But also, for the nostalgic, a men’s double with the champions of the 80s, including French tennis icon Yannick Noah. He was the last man to win the men’s singles final 40 years ago at Roland Garros.


The finals of the 2023 edition of Roland Garros did not disappoint its spectators.


Admittedly, with all the French players eliminated in the second round, the Paris tennis tournament had lost a little of its salt for French fans.


But for the public as a whole, it was impossible not to be bowled over by the beauty of the game and the twists and turns that brought the competition to a close.


Favourites win singles finals


In the singles finals, it was certainly the favourites who took the coveted trophies: Serbia’s Novak Djokovic defeated Norway’s Casper Ruud in the men’s final, and 22-year-old Iga Swiatek from Poland beat Czech Karolina Muchova in the women’s final. By winning this Grand Slam for the 23rd time, Novak Djokovic dethroned the record (22 times) previously held by Spain’s Rafael Nadal, who withdrew this year due to an ilio-psoas muscle injury. Now the most successful men’s tennis player of all time, Novak Djokovic has also, naturally, consolidated his position as world number one in men’s tennis.


For her part, world number 1 Iga Swiatek won her third French Open title on Saturday June 10, and her fourth Grand Slam title (along with the US Open).


Nevertheless, the two final matches, played in three sets – 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 for the women’s and 7-6, 6-3, 7-3 for the men’s – managed to keep their fans on the edge of their seats!




For the two winners both showed what the word remontada means to them…


After an easy first set, Iga Swiatek had a tough time of it in the second, won by Karolina Muchova 7 games to 5. This was enough to seriously destabilize Iga Swiatek, who hadn’t lost a single set since the start of the competition!


Leading by two to zero, the Polish player got off to a poor start in the third set. But she was able to regain her composure in time to conclude the match in almost three hours, with a final score of 7-3…


A slap in the face


The final on Sunday June 11th was no picnic for Novak Djokovic and Casper Ruud either. The 24-year old Norwegian immediately put a slap in the face of his 36-year old opponent, blowing away the first two games. In fine form against a Novak Djokovic who made a string of errors, he even came close to winning the first set at 5-4, 0-30. But the world number one’s spirits were not shaken, and he went on to win the match against a worthy opponent. But he was unable to repeat the feat of the first set, which lasted over an hour and 20 minutes!


Emotional sequence


The emotional sequence continued with the presentation of the trophies by two stars who have left their mark on tennis history: American Chris Evert and Frenchman Yannick Noah. The American player, who holds the record for seven women’s singles titles (1974, 1975, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985 and 1986) at Roland Garros, presented the Suzanne Lenglen Cup to Iga Swiatek. Yannick Noah became the icon of French tennis 40 years ago, when he won the Coupe des Mousquetaires (awarded to the men’s singles finalist at Roland Garros). The man who went on to become a singing star was able to present Novak Djokovic with the same cup. And one that no French tennis player has managed to win in four decades…


Yannick Noah wasn’t content with playing the “old hands”, and even picked up his racket again on June 11 for an exhibition doubles match on the Suzanne-Lenglen court, prior to the Novak Djokovic-Casper Ruud duel. Allied with another tennis “veteran”, the Franco-Iranian Mansour Bahrami, a former doubles star, he faced Mats Wilander, the 1983 Swedish finalist, in association with the American John McEnroe, winner of 7 Grand Slam titles. Most of them strong personalities who could almost have provided the show without the balls! And although the match, won by the second duo, lasted just two sets (6-4, 6-4), it did not fail to captivate…


Doubles finals


The “real” doubles finals also had their share of highlights.


In the men’s final, Belgium’s Sander Gillé and Joran Vliegen, playing their first Grand Slam final on Saturday evening (June 10), were no match for the Croatian duo of Ivan Dodig and American Austin Krajicek. Their fate was decided in two sets: 6-3 and 6-1, i.e. 1h20 of play.


Aged 38, Ivan Dodig had already won at Roland-Garros in 2015 in the men’s doubles with Marcelo Melo, but for Austin Krajicek, 32, it was his first Grand Slam title!


On the women’s side, the combination of 37-year-old Taiwanese veteran Hsieh Su-wei and 21-year-old Chinese Wang Xinyu beat the pair of American Taylor Townsend and Canadian Leylah Fernandez in 2 hours 12 minutes. And and, with a score of 6-1, 6-7 [5], 6-1.


Miyu Kato: from hell to heaven!


Japanese player Miyu Kato will also be remembered in particular. She played in the doubles round of 16 with Indonesian Aldila Sutjiadi against the duo of Spanish Sara Soribes-Tormo and Czech Marie Bouzkova. But she was disqualified after colliding with a ball collector, who broke down in tears.


Nevertheless, she was able to continue competing in mixed doubles with Germany’s Tim Pütz, winning the final on June 8 against Canada’s Bianca Andreescu and New Zealand’s Michael Venus. The score was 7-6, 6-2…


Proof that in tennis (as in life), nothing is ever over, as long as you fight to the end!




Featured photo : © Press

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