French Open starts under sunny skies at Roland Garros


Spectators were lining up in massive numbers under panama hats and umbrellas as the French Open started in bright sunshine at Roland Garros on Sunday.

After a record 50,000 people - compared to 29,000 last year - attended the qualifying event this week, Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus opened proceedings on court Philippe Chatrier against Ukraine's Marta Kostuyk as the fashionably late fans queued to get their seats.

In a men's tournament without 14-times winner and defending champion Rafael Nadal who is injured, 2021 runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas will be the biggest name in action on Sunday.

"Of course, it's a big miss. My son really wanted to see Nadal but now we will be supporting (Carlos) Alcaraz," said Gerald Furst, who runs a tennis club in the south of France.

"I like (Novak) Djokovic as well, he's an amazing player. I believe it will be a semi-final between Alcaraz and Djokovic. We want to see this match."

Serbian Djokovic is bidding for his third French Open title.

"It's very bad for the tournament that Nadal is not there. We hope he'll be here next year. I'm happy a new guy will be the champion, but for me Nadal is the best on this surface," said Ragis Poiet.

"Djokovic will find it difficult if he plays Alcaraz but I think he will be able to win."

More from Sports

Coming Up on Dubai Eye

  • The Business Breakfast

    6:00am - 10:00am

    The Business Breakfast is the day’s must listen for the UAE’s business leaders, and those who aspire to be.

  • The Agenda

    10:00am - 1:00pm

    Broadcasting every weekday, Georgia Tolley goes beyond the headlines to speak to government ministers, decision makers, analysts and local experts to find out how the news will impact those of us living in the UAE.


On Dubai Eye

  • Flying Taxis

    It sounds like an episode of The Jetsons, but the sight of flying taxis whizzing around our cities could be much closer than you think.

  • Tough penalties for deliberate tax evasion

    The UAE has said that tougher penalties will come into force from 1st August for not keeping proper corporate tax records.