Spectators lined up in large numbers under panama hats and umbrellas as the French Open kicked off in bright sunshine at Roland Garros on Sunday.
After a record 50,000 people – compared to 29,000 last year –attended the qualification EVENTS this week, there was chaos on court Philippe Chatrier because Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine refused to shake hands with world number two Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus after losing, 6-3, 6-2.
Kostyuk warned that he would not shake hands with Russian and Belarusian players because of Moscow’s invasion of its neighbor, and the people of Paris responded with jeers and jeers.
With a temperature of 22 degrees and expected to reach 26 in the afternoon, the water vending stands are busy.
In a men’s tournament without 14-time winner and defending champion Rafael Nadal due to injury, 2021 runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas will be the biggest name in action on Sunday.
“Of course, it’s a big miss. My son really wanted to see Nadal but now we will support (Carlos) Alcaraz,” said Gerald Furst, who runs a tennis club in the south of France.
“I like (Novak) Djokovic too, he is an amazing player. I think it will be a semi-final between Alcaraz and Djokovic. We want to see this match.”
Serbian Djokovic is bidding for his third French Open title.
“It is very bad for the tournament that Nadal is not there. We hope he will be here next year. I am happy that a new guy will be the champion, but for me Nadal is the best on this surface,” said Ragis Poiet.
“It will be difficult for Djokovic if he plays Alcaraz but I think he can win.”
(FRANCE 24 with Reuters)