2022 French Open: When does it take place, the defending champions, who are absent, TV channels, prize money
It is that time of the year where players get their clothes dirty at the clay-court Grand Slam, Roland Garros. Here is all you need to know about the 2022 French Open in Paris.
When is the 2022 French Open?
The main draw of the 126th edition of the French Open will start on Sunday May 22 and will culminate in finals weekend on June 4-5 with the women’s final taking place on the Saturday and the men’s final on the Sunday.
Qualifying gets underway on May 16.
It is the first time since 2019 that the event will take place in its traditional timeslot as in 2020 it was pushed back to September-October due to the coronavirus while last year it started a week later than usual, also due to Covid-19.
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) May 15, 2022
About the venue for the red dirt Grand Slam…
Stade Roland Garros in Paris has been the venue of the French Open since 1928 and the modern-day facility boasts three show courts namely Court Philippe Chatrier, Court Suzanne Lenglen and Court Simonne Mathieu.
Court Philippe Chatrier’s new retractable roof was first used in 2020 while last year Roland Garros introduced flood lighting on all courts. Chatrier will once again host night sessions following its introduction in 2021 with at least one match starting 21:00 local time.
The 5,000-seated Court Simonne Mathieu, which was constructed four meters below ground level with greenhouses on all four sides, replaced the old Court 1 in 2019.
Who are the defending champions?
After winning a record-extending 13th title at Roland Garros in 2020, few would voted against Rafael Nadal last year, but Novak Djokovic was sublime as he beat the defending champion in the semi-final before coming from two sets down to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 6–7 (6–8), 2–6, 6–3, 6–2, 6–4 in an epic in the final.
There was another surprise winner in women’s event as Barbora Krejcikova lifted her first Grand Slam, just weeks after winning her maiden singles title on the WTA. She beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6–1, 2–6, 6–4 in the final.
Krejcikova also became the first player to win in both the singles and doubles events at the same Major since Serena Williams at Wimbledon 2016 as she teamed up with fellow Czech Katerina Siniakova to lift the women’s doubles trophy.
French pair Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut gave the local crowd plenty to cheer about as they were crowned men’s doubles champions while Great Britain’s Joe Salisbury and Desirae Krawczyk from the United States won the mixed doubles.
Who are absent from this year’s tournament?
Former champion Roger Federer is the biggest name missing in the men’s draw, but it hardly came as a surprise as he remains on the injury list following knee surgery last year.
World No 9 Matteo Berrettini is the highest-ranked player who will the event due to injury while Kei Nishikori is also absent.
Nick Kyrgios has once again opted to skip the French Open in order to focus on the grass-court season.
Three-time women’s champion Serena Williams won’t feature as it remains to be seen when she will return to action while 2020 finalist Sofia Kenin is injured. Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina withdrew as she opted to take a break following Russia’s invasion of her home land and later announced she is expecting her and Gael Monfils’ first child.
What about the seeds for the 2022 event?
It was touch and go with regards to who will be top seed in the men’s draw as Novak Djokovic had to reach at least the semi-finals of the Italian Open last week to edge Daniil Medvedev, but the man from Serbia went all the way as he won the title and cemented his place as world No 1.
After Djokovic and Medvedev, it’s Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz, Andrey Rublev, Casper Ruud, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Cameron Norrie.
The in-form Iga Swiatek – who has won five titles in a row and is on a 28-match unbeaten run – leads the way in the women’s draw ahead of defending champion Krejcikova, Paula Badosa, Maria Sakkari, Anett Kontaveit, Ons Jabeur, Aryna Sabalenka, Karolina Pliskova, Danielle Collins and Garbine Muguruza.
More about qualifying?
The qualifying tournament will take place from May 16 to 20 at Porte d’Auteuil and 16 men and 16 women will book their places in the main draw.
Speaking of the main draw…
The main draw usually takes place the Thursday before the start of the French Open and, although not confirmed yet, it is likely to be May 19.
The men’s and women’s singles draws each consist of 104 direct entries, 16 qualifiers and eight wild cards. There will be 32 players seeded in each of the draws.
What is the daily schedule of play?
The order of play for each day is released the night before, but play gets underway at 11:00 local time (10:00 BST) on all courts except Court Philippe Chatrier where play starts at noon.
There will be one night match per day on Chatrier, starting at 20:00 local time (19:00 BST), from March 23 until June 3.
Both the ladies’ and men’s finals will start at 15:00 (14:00 BST).
Which TV channels will broadcast the tournament?
ITV’s free-to-air TV coverage of the French Open came to an end in 2021 and the event will be available on Eurosport, the Eurosport app and on-demand on discovery+ for those in the UK.
It is also available on Amazon Prime Video with a seven-day free trial of the Eurosport add-on plus a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime.
France TV and Amazon Prime are the broadcasters in the host country, France, with Eurosport available in the rest of Europe.
Channel 9 and their streaming service Stan will show the French Open in Australia while in the United States, NBC and the Tennis Channel will deliver the coverage and TSN and RDS are your go-to stations in Canada.
ESNP has the rights in Latin America and BeinSport, SuperSport and Canal+ will broadcast the French Open in places like the Middle East, North America and Sub-Saharan Africa.
What about the prize money?
This year’s overall prize money for the 2022 French Open is €43.6m (roughly £37m), up 25% from the €34m from 2021 when it was still affected by the coronavirus pandemic. When compared to the 2019 tournament – the last event before Covid-19 – it is a 6.8 per cent increase.
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