Wednesday, 27 October 2010
A decade of Grand Slams - Part 2
The French Open is the second Grand Slam event of the tennis calendar held sometime between late May and early June - a clay court tournament; it is played at the Stade Roland Garros.
The winner at the turn of the century was the Brazilian professional Gustavo Kuerten, who defended the men’s singles title against the Spanish Alex Corretja. This was Kuerten’s 3rd and last Grand Slam win. The same year, Jennifer Capriati defeated the Dutch Kim Clijsters for her 2nd Grand Slam win of the year and her first French Open title. In 2001, also, the Indian team of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi defeated the Czechs - Petr Pala and Pavel Vizner to win the doubles title. It was their first doubles Grand Slam win of the year. The year 2001 also saw the team of Spanish Virginia Pascual and Greek Paola Suarez winning the women’s doubles title.
In 2002, Spanish Albert Costa defeated compatriot Juan Carlos Ferrero to gain his first and only Grand Slam title win. The women’s singles title was bagged by rising star Serena Williams as she defeated her sister, Venus Williams in the final, that year. 2002 also, saw the team of Paul Haarhuis and Yevgeny Kafelnikov, and the team of Virginia Pascual and Paola Suarez win the men’s and women’s doubles titles, respectively.
Juan Carlos, the runner up in 2002, returned the following year and won the title defeating Dutch Martin Verkerk in the final. The twin brothers, Mike Bryan and Bob Bryan won their first career Grand Slam title that year in the men’s doubles. Also, Belgian Kim Clijsters and Japanese Ai Sugiyama bagged the women’s doubles title that year.
In 2003, Justine Henin won the title for the women’s single and retained it till 2007 with the exception of 2004 when she lost the title to Russian Anastasia Myskina. In 2008 she lost the title to Serbian Ana Ivanovic. It was Ana’s first ever Grand Slam title win. The following year the title was bagged by Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova; her first ever French Open win. 2010 saw another champion in Italian Francesca Schiavone. Schiavone was a first time Grand Slam finalist that year and it was also her first ever Grand Slam win.
2004 saw the return of Pascual/Suarez, when they upset the team of Clijsters and Sugiyama to win the women’s doubles title. The pair retained the title for the following year as well. The team of Lisa Raymond (U.S.A)/Samantha Stosur (Australia) took the title in 2005 only to lose it to the team of Alicia Molik (Australia)/ Mara Santangelo (Italy). In 2006 Pascual and Suarez again returned to reclaim their lost title. They won and defended the title the following year, making it their sixth French Open title win. The pair however lost the title in 2010 to the William sisters.
2004 also saw the last time the men’s singles title changed hands when Argentinean professional Gaston Gaudio won his first ever Grand Slam title. In 2005 Gaston was dethroned by rising legend, Spanish Rafael Nadal who retains the title to date with the exception of 2009 when he lost the title to Swiss phenomenon Roger Federer.
Swede Jonas Bjorkman and Belarusian Max Mirnyi won the doubles title in 2005 and retained it the following year. They lost the title to doubles phenomenon Daniel Nestor and Mark Knowles in 2007. One half of the 2001 doubles winning team, Leander Paes returned to win the title in 2008 with a new partner in the form of Czech Lukas Dlouhy only to lose it to Daniel Nestor who returned with Nenad Zimonjic to secure the 2010 title win.