You can go to a lot of websites to figure out who are the favorites to win the 2018 French Open, taking place May 21-June 10 at State Roland Garros in Paris.
But here at SmashDown Sports, were providing another kind of French Open prediction: the players most likely to do SmashDown style fist pumps during the tournament.
 
After all, fist pumps are as much a part of tennis as racquets, balls and controversial umpire calls. They are the symbol of success, a brief explosion of emotion brought out after winning a long rally, a big point or even the tournament. And, as in the case in all sports, some players are more prone to this type of spontaneous behavior than others. In Smashdown Sports terminology, they are the ones who “put the Smashdown” in the game.
 
So as you’re watching the French Open, be sure and watch out for a lot of fine fist pumps from these players.
1.) Rafael Nadal
 
Fist pumps from 10-time winner Nadal is a given. His fist pump was called the best in sports by Bleacher Report because it seems so natural. Going for an 11th win at Roland Garros will pump him up with extra emotion, especially after he was recently upset in a warmup clay court tournament, the Madrid Open, by Dominic Thiem. 
2.) Novak Djokovic
 
This emotional player fist pumps his dad, who then fist pumps back at his son. If he gets in another final with Nadal, it will be a true “Smashdown.” 
 
3.) Dominic Thiem
 
After Thiem put the smashdown on clay court specialist Nadal in Madrid, he’s probably flexing an elbow and practicing clenching his fist in preparation for a plethora of smashdown pumps at Roland Garros. If he pulls off an upset in Paris, then he may be fist pumping all the way down the Champs Elysees. 
 
4.) Alexander Zvevev
 
The Madrid winner is primed to pump it up in Paris. He comes in with momentum and has the right smashdown temperament produce a lot of camera-clicking moments.
 
5.) Maria Sharapova
 
Sharapova, who is seeking to return to her previous tennis productivity, does fist pumps almost as often as she grunts. If she advances even as far as the quarterfinals, then she will have more fist pumps than anyone during the two-week tournament. We call this the "Sharapova smashdown." 
 
6.) Serena Williams
 
Returning from maternity leave has the 3-time winner excited to be back on the clay and she will be full of spirited emotions throughout the French Open. One has to wonder if she’s secretly been teaching daughter Alexis Olympia to do fist pumps in anticipation of a fourth championship. Perhaps we’ll even see one out of Alexis during the tournament. 
7.) Petra Kvitova
 
Kvitova is fresh off a win in Madrid and the mild-mannered Czech gives subtle fist-pumps, so watch for it carefully during her matches.
 
Do Your Own Fist Pumps
 
If you want to do your own fist pumps during the tournament that’s fine, of course. And to look the part, head over to our merchandise page and order our tennis-themed “It’s Time To Put The Smashdown” shirts, available for both men and women.