Tennis

French Open 2024: 5 Top Storylines From Roland Garros This Year Ft Nadal's Swansong

Can Novak Djokovic get past shaky form to achieve new heights? Will Iga Swiatek continue to dominate? Will Rafael Nadal weave his magic in Paris again? Here are the top five storylines to keep an eye out for in French Open 2024

Nadal after his record 12th French Open tennis tournament title win against Thiem in 2019.
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The French Open main draw is set to start from Sunday, May 26 and narratives that will dominate the season are coming out from the Roland Garros. (More Tennis News)

Can Novak Djokovic get past shaky form to achieve new heights? Will Iga Swiatek continue to dominate? Will Rafael Nadal weave his magic in Paris again? Here are the top five storylines to keep an eye out for in French Open 2024.

A Class Apart

World number one Novak Djokovic is currently at 24 singles majors. One more Grand Slam trophy will see him get past Margaret Court’s tally of 24 and establish a league of his own.

The Serb legend is also aiming to venture into new heights of greatness by becoming the first player to win all four Grand Slams at least four times.

What better than to do it all at the French Open 2024 by defending his title. 

Fitness and recent form may put hurdles against him, but the 37-year-old has gotten past way bigger roadblocks in his career. A record-breaking title would elevate him to levels no player has been able to achieve.

'Three'Iga Swiatek?

Just like Djokovic, the top-ranked woman Iga Swiatek is also aiming at multiple records when she continues her fine form at the Roland Garros.

The Polish superstar has won the French Open in 2022 and then defended her crown last year to become the first woman since Justine Henin (2007) to do so. This year, Swiatek will again try to match Henin by becoming the first woman to win three back-to-back titles in Paris since 2007.

Swiatek would also try to match Chris Evert, Steffi Graf and Justine Henin to become the fourth woman to win four titles at the Roland Garros.

Entering the French Open on the back of victories in Rome and Madrid, Swiatek starts her campaign as a huge favourite to become the first women since Serena Williams in 2013 to win three consecutive titles at a major.

Sinner Chases History... And Djokovic

Ranked number two currently, Jannik Sinner is on the heels of Novak Djokovic to dethrone the Serb from the top spot. The 22-year-old will be assured of the top spot if he reaches the final. If he is able to do so, Sinner will become the first Italian to rise to the top of world rankings.

The current Australian Open winner is also gunning to become the first man in the Open era to win their first two majors in succession. A French Open victory will help him create this history.

Advantage Alexander Zverev?

In the last three years, Alexander Zverev has marked his attendance in the French Open semifinals but has failed to go further. This year, he has a real chance.

The top three in the world, Djokovic, Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz, are all currently either battling form or injury. Clay king Rafael Nadal is in the twilight of his career. All this paves way for Zverev to finally get his hands on a majors title. A win in the Italian Open in the build-up to the Roland Garros has only boosted his credentials.

A better finish than his last three is a natural expectation.

End Of An Era?

All good things come to an end and however we may not want it, it seems we are inching towards the end of Rafael Nadal’s love affair with the Roland Garros.

No one has won even half of Nadal’s 14 titles in Paris. No one has won 100 games on the Parisian clay while Nadal has won 112. Only three times in his entire career has the 22-time Grand Slam winner lost at the French Open and never has he lost back-to-back matches in the tournament. His record list at the Roland Garros is limitless, but the body has its limits.

We could be seeing the last of Nadal in Paris and it is unlikely that the Spaniard will be at his best. But can the King Of Clay weave his magic for one last time? Can his body perform the miracles that his mind tells it to do?

Even if he does not, just to see Nadal at his favourite hunting ground for one last time will be a blessing for all tennis fans.

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