French Open 2019 - Best Of The Brits
The flag bearer of British tennis over much of the last decade has been former world number one, and three-time Grand Slam winner, Andy Murray. But Murray is one Brit who definitely won't be playing at the upcoming French Open, taking place at Roland Garros from Sunday, 26th May, 2019 to Sunday, 9th June, 2019. The 2016 runner up is battling his way from hip resurfacing surgery, and freely admits he may not play at the highest level again. But there looks likely to be several other British entrants to the upcoming tournament, and here we weigh up their chances of success.
Kyle Edmund 100/1* might be seen as the leading British contender at the French Open. The current British number one has reached the third round for the last two years and will be hoping to make it to at least the last 16 this time out. Ranked number 23 in the world at the time of writing, Edmund can expect to be seeded for the event, meaning the start to his French Open could be mapped out nicely. He won his first title on the main ATP Tour in October at the Belgium Open, and in March of this year picked up another title on the Challenger Tour at the USA's Indian Wells tournament. At 24 years old, the man with the big forehand is coming into the prime of his career, and the 2019 French Open is another chance to show that he can take British tennis forward.
Cameron Norrie 250/1* is the current British number two, and his joint best Grand Slam finish to date came in last month's French Open, when he made it to the second round. It would be a huge achievement if the 23-year-old could progress further as he looks to carve out a career at the top level of the sport. Norrie is seen as a hard court player, but he has proved he is competitive on clay and won the Men's Doubles at last year's Estoril Open in partnership with Kyle Edmund.
Can Konta conquer the clay?
Joanna Konta 33/1* is Britain's top-ranked woman and has three WTA singles titles under her belt. The 27-year-old has performed much better on the hard courts and grass than she has on clay so far - while Konta has never gone past the opening round in the French, she has got as far as the Semi-Finals at Wimbledon and the US Open, underlining her pedigree. But there are signs that Konta is getting to grips with the surface. At the time of writing, she has made it as far as the Semi-Finals of the Moroccan Open, her best performance on clay thus far. Could the 2019 edition mark a turning point in Konta's fortunes at Roland Garros?
Other leading ladies
Katie Boulter is the current British number two. The 22-year-old is still green, but she has made progress over the last few months, progressing to the second round of both Wimbledon and the US Open. Now, it is time for Boulter to continue the roll by qualifying for the main French Open tournament, which she is yet to do. Will we see a potential future star of British tennis in action at Roland Garros?
Heather Watson, the British number three, is likely to be known more than Boulter by many fans, due to her Wimbledon exploits, where she has reached the third round on several occasions. The first task for the talented Watson will be to qualify for the tournament and tame the clay surface to progress further than her second round best thus far. Watson is a tenacious competitor at her best, and if she can get over that second hurdle, who knows how far she can go?
Without Murray, the British challenge certainly looks a lot going into this year's Roland Garros. However, this is a chance for some of the UK's budding talents to gain more Grand Slam experience and shine on the biggest stage. Whoever can produce a positive French Open display will be able to carry the momentum into Wimbledon, the British tennis showpiece, later in the summer.
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