As most players enjoy a well-merited respite before the French Open fortnight, we cast our minds towards the first Slam that will be covered by this blog. Based largely upon the events of Monte Carlo, Stuttgart, Rome, and Madrid, our preview will identify contenders, pretenders, and dark horses at the event that starts in less than a week, as Tennis Channel’s “Countdown to Roland Garros” chronically reminds us. Under “contenders” are the tournament favorites, while “pretenders” feature high-ranked players who likely will falter well before the finish line; “dark horses” comprise the reverse phenomenon of low-ranked players who might perform above their rankings (but won’t win the title). The ATP edition follows below, and the WTA edition will be released on Thursday. All things come in threes, according to the cliché, but here they come in fives.
Check out the fab five, the not-so-fab five, and the maybe-fab five here in words and pictures. As always, thanks for reading, and stay tuned for the WTA edition in two days or so!