French Open 2021: Rafael Nadal the man to beat, Serena Williams chases record - watch live

Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan will be the only Indians in action at Roland Garros. Watch French Open live in India.

By Naveen Peter
Picture by Getty Images

The tennis world will turn its attention to Paris this coming fortnight with the French Open 2021 — the season’s second Grand Slam — starting on Sunday.

The ‘King of Clay’ Rafael Nadal is undoubtedly the man the beat on the Parisian dirt, but with the likes of world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev in the mix, the Spanish legend will be in for a tough run.

The Big Three — Nadal, Federer and Djokovic — are drawn in the same half of the competition this time with the semi-finals seeing a possible repeat of last year’s title match between Nadal and Djokovic. 

Serbian ace, Djokovic, could face Federer and Nadal may run into world No. 7 Andrey Rublev in the quarter-finals. It must be noted that Roger Federer has played just three matches in the past 15 months with injuries keeping him away from the court.

Meanwhile, in the other half of the draw, international tennis’ GenNext is expected to rule the roost with quarter-final meetings between Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev, a possibility.

Medvedev is a two-time Grand Slam finalist — the latest coming at the Australian Open this year — while Thiem is the reigning US Open champion and a two-time runner-up at Roland Garros.

Chasing a record-extending 14th French Open crown, Rafael Nadal has had a topsy-turvy run on clay this season. Though he pocketed titles at Rome and Barcelona, he suffered losses at Monte Carlo and Madrid.

French Open women’s singles, too close to call

Like it’s been in the recent past, the women’s singles at Roland Garros could throw up some exciting results.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, defending champion Iga Swiatek, 2019 winner Ashleigh Barty and Aryna Sabalenka will be some of the top names in action.

Swiatek and Barty are in hot form with both the players enjoying a fine run in the build-up to the Paris event. 

Barty won in Stuttgart and finished runner-up at Madrid, while Swiatek was impressive in her title win in Rome where she beat the former world No.1 Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 6-0 in the final.

Defending champion Iga Swiatek is in top form coming into the French Open 2021.
Picture by Getty Images

Serena Williams, meanwhile, will continue to chase the record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title.

Indians at French Open 2021

Unfortunately, the singles event at Roland Garros will not have any Indian participation with Sumit Nagal, Ramkumar Ramanathan and Ankita Raina bowing out in the qualifiers.

Indian interest will be restricted to the doubles segment where Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan are set to team up with the Tokyo Olympics fast approaching.

The French Open 2021 will be the last event before the cut off date for Olympic qualification. ATP and WTA rankings as of June 14 will establish Olympic entries.

French Open 2021 schedule for India

Broadcast of the French Open 2021 main draw matches in India starts from 2:30 PM IST (India Standard Time) on Sunday, May 30, and will run till Sunday, June 13.

Sunday, May 30 - First round

Monday, May 31 - First round

Tuesday, June 1 - First round

Wednesday, June 2 - Second round

Thursday, June 3 - Second round

Friday, June 4 - Third round

Saturday, June 5 - Third round

Sunday, June 6 - Round of 16

Monday, June 7 - Round of 16

Tuesday, June 8 - Quarter-finals

Wednesday, June 9 - Quarter-finals

Thursday, June 10 - Women’s semi-finals

Friday, June 11 - Men’s semi-finals

Saturday, June 12 - Women’s finals/ men’s doubles final

Sunday, June 13 - Men’s finals/ women’s doubles final

Where to watch the French Open live in India?

A few select French Open matches will be telecast live in India on the Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports Select 2 and Star Sports Select 2 HD TV channels.

Live streaming of the French Open in India will be available on Disney+ Hotstar.