American tennis fans love to see their compatriots getting ready for the Grand Slams.
The French Open starts on May 28, and Francis Tiafoe and Coco Gauff were spotted practicing together on the red clay.
Practice time for Frances Tiafoe 💪@FTiafoe | #RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/6YWK0y8ggw
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) May 24, 2023
Tiafoe and Gauff are among the Americans trying to end the long drought at this year’s French Open.
Tiafoe advanced to the second round in 2021 and 2022, his career-best finishes at the tournament.
The red clay has not been a friend to American tennis players in recent years.
Andre Agassi is the last American man to win the title in 1999, and Serena Williams won her third and final French Open in 2015.
Can an American bring home the French Open title in 2023?
Anything is possible, but it will take playing at a level unprecedented in their careers for top Americans Taylor Fritz, Jessica Pegula, Tiafoe, or Gauff to accomplish it.
Why Do Americans Struggle At The French Open?
The Europeans grow up around more clay courts so they excel more so than Americans.
Clay is unique to any other surface because the ball tends to move slower on clay courts, and the footing is tricky with sliding being a skill that is heavily utilized.
American players generally struggle on clay, but Gauff could be the exception.
She had her career-best result at the 2022 French Open, losing in the final to Iga Swiatek.
FRENCH OPEN RUNNER-UP | Coco Gauff gave a great account of herself in her first ever Grand Slam final, coming up short against the world No 1 Iga Swiatek.
Beyond proud of this exceptional 18-year-old who continues to be a remarkable example both on and off the court.
📸 | Getty pic.twitter.com/1pvR7k5kyp
— Black Spin Global (@BlackSpinGlobal) June 4, 2022
Doubles Could Be Where The American French Open Drought Ends
The American drought at Roland Garros also exists in doubles.
Gauff made it to the finals in women’s doubles in 2022 with partner Jessica Pegula but lost to the French pair Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic.
FRENCH OPEN RUNNERS-UP | Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula were unable to get past home favourites Kiki Mladenovic and Caroline Garcia in the women’s doubles final.
The American duo, both accomplished singles players, put on for the doubles game in Paris this year! 💫
📸 | Getty pic.twitter.com/OptBFyVScA
— Black Spin Global (@BlackSpinGlobal) June 5, 2022
The last American doubles teams to win were siblings: the Bryan brothers in men’s doubles in 2013, and the Williams sisters in 2010.
What a team 😍
Wishing the Bryan brothers a very happy birthday 🎂@Bryanbrothers @Bryanbros pic.twitter.com/peQDhCVGXD
— ATP Tour (@atptour) April 29, 2021
Doubles has never seen a force like the Williams Sisters.
🎤: @Questlove | #USOpen pic.twitter.com/9RTtR4dnM8
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 1, 2022
Each of those powerhouse American doubles teams only won two French Opens.
Gauff and Pegula could avenge the very long French Open title drought.
But just like anything with professional tennis, no one knows what the two weeks of play will bring.
There are usually some surprises, and maybe this year it will be American champions who deliver the biggest surprise of all.
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