French Open: 5 QuestionsMay 15, 2015

The 114th edition of the French Open, the second Grand Slam tournament of the year, will begin on May 24. What makes this major event more exciting than the other three (Australian, Wimbledon, US) is its unpredictability. Tennis fans only need to go back to the tournament's last thirty years. Michael Chang was the unheralded champion in 1989, with a dramatic five-set victory over Ivan Lendl, the three-time winner, in the fourth round. Pete Sampras not reaching the finals despite winning the Italian Open, one of the warm-up events, in 1994. Gaston Gaudio and Guillermo Coria playing in the finals in 2004. The women's side is no less memorable; fans can't forget Steffi Graf's come-from-behind win over Martina Hingis in 1999. The Swiss, winner of 5 Grand Slam singles titles, will be the favourite in the women's doubles. Let's not forget Sam Stosur's first major finals appearance five years ago.

The favourites (to win the singles titles) didn't differ from last year. If you think it's boring, then look again. Here are the five questions:

Will Novak Djokovic win his first men's singles title? Or can Rafael Nadal lift his tenth Coupe des Mousquetaires? This brings fans back to 2011. Djokovic was in dominant form, beating Nadal in Madrid and Rome. But the Serb suffered his first loss (of the year) to Roger Federer in the semifinals of the French Open. The scenario is no different this year, except the Serb skipping the Mutua Madrid Open. Many believe it hardly matters, as the high altitude in Madrid makes the tournament different from Roland Garros. The possibility of Djokovic dominating the ATP Tour, like Federer did many years ago, is high. (Only Andy Murray can be a legitimate challenger, but Ivan Lendl is not on his side.) But red clay is another thing. There are no signs of Nadal hanging up his racket anytime soon, so expect a Djokovic-Nadal finals. Unless they end up in the same bracket.

Can another male player be a first-time Grand Slam winner in Roland Garros? The answer is yes. Gaudio is the last one to achieve the feat, and it's been eleven years. Kei Nishikori is on the top of the list. Under Chang's guidance, the Japanese reached the finals of the US Open last year and broke into the Top 5 of the ATP ranking. And he's no slouch in the red dirt. (He successfully defended his Barcelona Open title.) A favorable draw might help him.

Will Serena Williams achieve a calendar Grand Slam? We are rather getting ahead, but winning the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen might do it. The American may not be the most dominant player in the WTA Tour these last few years, but she's hard to beat in the biggest events. Only an injury will spoil her bid for history. There are also a handful of players who can score an upset. Caroline Wozniacki, who recently hired three-time champion Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario. Simona Halep, last year's finalist. Maria Sharapova, the defending champion.

Will a homegrown player reach the second week? History proves otherwise. But Richard Gasquet won his 12th singles title in Estoril. Alize Cornet, one of the grittiest players in the WTA Tour, beat Halep in the opening round in Madrid. Luck might be a factor.

Is there any chance that an Aussie player go deep into the draw? Nick Kyrgios reached his first ATP Tour finals in Estoril. He beat Federer in Madrid. Say what you can about his behavior, but he knows how to play in the big stage.

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