Five storylines for Roland Garros

Ahead of the French Open Grand Slam which starts at Roland Garros in Paris, France, on Wednesday (4 June), here are five storylines to follow. 04 Jun 2014
Stephane Houdet

France's Stephane Houdet serves in a match against Argentina's Gustavo Fernandez.

ⒸLuc Percival
By Andrew Cross

The world’s top seven women and men’s players plus two wildcards will take part in the competition which is the second Grand Slam of 2014. Japan’s Shingo Kunieda and Germany’s Sabine Ellerbrock were the winners of the Australian Open men’s and women’s titles in Melbourne, the first Grand Slam of the year.

1. Stephane Houdet will be aiming for his third consecutive Roland Garros men’s singles title after beating Japanese star Shingo Kunieda in the last two finals. Should he win then Houdet would join Kunieda in winning a Grand Slam three consecutive times.

2. The wildcard picks for this year’s Grand Slam are the French pair of Nicolas Peifer and Charlotte Famin. Peifer, 23, last played at Roland Garros in 2011 when he won the men’s doubles with Kunieda. Famin on the otherhand will be playing at Roland Garros for the first time.

3. At the age of 41 years, Famin, who is currently ranked 15th in the world, will be making her Grand Slam debut in Paris and is the only Frenchwoman competing in this year’s tournament.

4. After recently losing her world No.1 ranking, Sabrine Ellerbrock returns to the tournament where she won her maiden Grand Slam last year. The German became the only other winner of the woman’s singles title after the Netherlands’ Esther Vergeer dominated the Championship for so long.

5. The Frenchman are expected to do well in this year’s Roland Garros after they won their third successive World Cup title. Houdet and Peifer both won their singles games in straight sets to beat the host nation and second seed Netherlands 2-0.