As Volkl Tennis ushers in 50 spectacular years in tennis, history was once again made at this year’s Roland Garros on numerous fronts over the course of the fortnight in Paris (photo included courtesy of Ray Giubilo).
Two days after celebrating his 36th birthday, Spaniard Rafael Nadal surpassed Djokovic and Federer in yet another Slam win by claiming his 22nd Grand Slam title and his 14th on the vibrantly rich red clay. Nadal defeated first-time Grand Slam finalist Casper Ruud of Norway in straight sets to win his second consecutive Slam after January’s Australian Open men’s singles win. As if that statistic were not superhuman enough, WTA world No. 1 Iga Swiatek has remained unbeaten since February, one of the longest winning streaks in modern day. The French is her second Grand Slam title, the first of which she claimed back in 2020 at the height of the pandemic – so this time around, the Polish star’s power, grace and athleticism were recognized in-person by thousands of fans gathering in the stands.
As far as players representing the Volkl brand this year in the only Grand Slam held on clay since the late 19thCentury, whose namesake was an aviation innovator: Kaitlyn Christian, Sabrina Santamaria and Hunter Reese all competed in the men’s and women’s doubles draws, with Christian and Reese winning their opening rounds before succumbing in the second. And backing up his first win on the dirt in Paris, Reese won a challenger event in Poland which should propel him to yet another career-high ranking on the ATP tour.
Turning back the clock during this year’s Roland Garros, legendary tennis trailblazer Billie Jean King received the highest accolade in France (called the “Legion of Honour”) from President Macron, as this year commemorates the 50th anniversary of her clinching her maiden Roland Garros singles title plus unveiling the ever-inspirational title IX—the same year Volkl entered the tennis arena in 1972.