Last week marked the beginning of the two-week international tennis competition known as the French Open or Roland Garros (after a French aviator of the same name).
As one of the few sports worldwide women dominate, it is no surprise that the first week of matches saw some incredible plays from top female athletes from all over the world. The competition was generating a lot of hype centered around two athletes in particular: 36-year-old American athlete Serena Williams and 31-year-old Russian athlete Maria Sharapova. The two were set to play against each other this week, before Williams was forced to withdraw from the competition due to injury.
Williams and Sharapova were both making a long-awaited return to the court, Williams after giving birth nine months ago, and Sharapova after a 15-month ban from playing due to a failed drug test. While both deny having any negative feelings towards each other, their “rivalry” has been a recycled headline, likely as a kind of proxy for current political disputes between Russia and the US.
With Williams out of the race, Sharapova might be able to pull of a third French Open Grand Slam. But regardless of winners and losers, this is sure to be one spectacular show.