It’s under two weeks until the French Open gets underway as Iga Świątek bids to defend her title just nine months after winning her maiden Grand Slam.
Unlike the men’s competition, which has seen Rafael Nadal continue to dominate in recent years, the women’s event has had six different winners in a row.
And, with the majority of the world’s top names set to compete –– plus the likes of Serena Williams still chasing a record-equalling 24th major, this year’s tournament promises to entertain from start to finish.
Here’s everything you need to know about the second Slam of the year:
What is it?
The French Open is a major tennis tournament for both men and women, with seven rounds in total.
Often considered the most physically demanding competition in the world, it is the only one of the four Grand Slams to be played on clay.
Where is it?
Played in Puteaux, Paris from its inception in 1891, the tournament has been held at the Stade Roland-Garros, also in Paris, since 1928.
The Phillipe-Chatrier court, which hosts the final for both the men and women, holds more than 15,000 people –– making it the seventh-largest tennis stadium in the world.
A new 5,000 seater stadium was opened in 2019 and named Court Simonne-Mathieu, after France’ second highest achieving female tennis player.
When is it?
Generally, the tournament is held in late May, though, the most recent edition was held last September because of the coronavirus pandemic.
This year, qualifying begins on Monday 24th May through to the 28th. The main draw then gets underway on the 31st and runs until the 13th June.
Most of the game’s top names will be in action, including Naomi Osaka and Williams.
The 39-year-old is chasing her fourth French Open title and 24th major in total but has struggled for form in the build-up to the event.
World number one Ashleigh Barty retired from the Italian Open last week with an arm injury but is expected to be fit.
Meanwhile, Romania’s Simona Halep tore her calf at the same event and is set to be absent.
Who has previously won the competition?
Polish teenager Iga Świątek is the reigning champion, having won last year without dropping a set.
A different winner has been crowned six years in a row now, with Justine Henin the last player to win back-to-back titles in 2007.
Chris Ever is the most successful woman in the history of the competition, having won on seven occasions in the open era.
How to watch?
The tournament will be available to watch on ITV4 and online via the ITV Hub, with the final to be shown live on ITV.
Eurosport will also show coverage throughout the two weeks. Customers can purchase a seven-day free trial via Amazon Prime Video.