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Shock contender for Roland Garros glory served up by respected tennis voice



The battle for glory at Roland Garros has never been more open, according to respected tennis broadcaster Marcus Buckland.

With doubts over the fitness of Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz and question marks over the form and appetite of world No 1 and defending champion Novak Djokovic, the door is open for a shock contender to emerge from the pack and claim the title at Roland Garros.

When former Sky Sports and Amazon Prime presenter Buckland assesses his French Open contenders, he leans on words of advice from his sons for some tips.

“You could make a good argument for six or six players in the men’s draw coming out on top,” Radio Roland Garros presenter Buckland told Tennis365 in an exclusive interview.

“We don’t know what shape Alcaraz and Sinner are in, but we also know that they are massive contenders if they are anywhere near their best.

“Then you look at Novak Djokovic and we don’t know what to expect from him. It’s been a few years since we said that about Novak, but he has had a strange year.

“My predictions are always so appalling, so chatting to my sons about who they fancy for Roland Garros and one of them goes for Djokovic to win both Roland Garros and Wimbledon and the other thinks Hubert Hurkacz will come through and win in Paris.

“You can see how all of those players could put together a run, but it is great that the men’s draw is so open this year and it’s new because we have been so used to seeing the same players winning the Slams each year.

“For what it’s worth, I have Djokovic down to win Wimbledon, but Roland Garros is wide open.”

READ MORE: Novak Djokovic’s early French Open exit among our bold Roland Garros predictions

Buckland is leading the commentary team at this year’s French Open and Wimbledon for the radio broadcasts that will complement both tournaments on their official apps, with the broadcaster relishing the chance to take tennis to such a vast audience over the hectic summer of tennis.

“It is effectively internet radio and it means that anyone anywhere in the world can get the news for Roland Garros,” said Buckland.

“Very few countries in the UK will have a dedicated audio service that runs all day and that’s why Radio Roland Garros is so popular with audiences around the world.

“Download the official Roland Garros app and it is there at the touch of a button for you for free. It’s a bit of a hidden gem.

“We have seen with the Wimbledon viewing figures for their version of this that it attracts a huge audience. The figures for Radio Wimbledon are often approaching 50 million over the course of the two weeks and that shows the reach.

“When you are on site at the French Open or Wimbledon, you don’t know what’s going on around the grounds and these radio services give you that.

“Also, it’s already great to get messages when we get messages from people who say they are halfway up Mount Everest or I’m in a monastery in Zimbabwe and they are enjoying what we are doing in Paris or Wimbledon. It’s always so rewarding.”

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