Andy Murray bowed out in the opening round of what is likely to be his final French Open appearance, following a straight-sets defeat by Stan Wawrinka.

The Swiss ran out a commanding 6-4 6-4 6-2 victor in two hours and 19 minutes on Court Philippe-Chatrier, and could play Murray's compatriot Cameron Norrie in round two.

Murray was facing Wawrinka for a third successive match at Roland Garros, having lost out to the latter in the 2020 first round and 2017 semi-finals.

The 2015 champion stole an early advantage this time around, too, breaking in the opening game and subsequently holding to win the first set.

A single break was also enough in the second set as Wawrinka doubled his lead.

Murray has repeatedly said he is approaching the end of his career, revealing in February that he does not "plan on playing much past this summer".

However, the 2016 runner-up's chances of extending what is potentially his French Open swansong were all but ended as Wawrinka broke twice in the third set for a 4-0 lead, before the 39-year-old rounded off a dominant win.

Data Debrief

Wawrinka (39) and Murray (37) locked horns in the second-oldest match-up at Roland Garros this century, behind the 2019 first-round showdown between Ivo Karlovic (40) and Feliciano Lopez (37).

And the Swiss was not to be denied, as he became the oldest man to win a match at the French Open since compatriot Roger Federer three years ago.

Naomi Osaka admits it would be "a very big honour" to play Iga Swiatek at the French Open, ahead of a potential second-round showdown at Roland Garros.

After a 15-month maternity break, the four-time major winner marked her return to the French capital with a hard-earned three-set victory over Lucia Bronzetti in the opening round.

That potentially sets up a meeting with Swiatek in round two, should the reigning champion overcome Leolia Jeanjean on Monday.

And Osaka is thrilled by the prospect of facing the world number one, who has lifted Coupe Suzanne Lenglen three times in the past four years. 

"I'm really excited," she told reporters during her post-match press conference. 

"I watched her a lot when I was pregnant. I think it's an honour to play her in the French Open, because she's won more than once here. It's a very big honour and challenge for me."

After beating Bronzetti 6-1 4-6 7-5, Osaka (75.3 per cent, 58-19) now only trails Swiatek (81.4 per cent, 70-16) among active players, for the highest winning percentage in women’s singles matches at major events.

The Japanese was made to work hard for her victory. After a dominant opening set, Osaka was taken to a decider, in which she was pegged back from 4-0 up, but eventually got over the line.

"The match really was like a rollercoaster," she added. "I felt like I was extremely focused in the first set, and maybe I let it go a bit.

"I came back in the third, but then I let it go a bit, and I just got really tight from there. I'm really glad I was able to regroup and win."

Novak Djokovic admits he needs to "lower the expectations" as he prepares to defend his French Open title.

The Serbian has failed to reach a final so far in 2024, having fallen at the semi-final hurdle in Australia, Monte-Carlo, and most recently Geneva with a defeat to Tomas Machac.

Djokovic also suffered shock defeats to Alejandro Tabilo in Rome and world number 123 Luca Nardi at Indian Wells in the round of 32.

Despite questions surrounding his recent form, the 24-time Grand Slam winner is looking to draw on his vast experience to end his trophy drought this season.

"I would say that I know what I'm capable of, and particularly in the Grand Slams I normally play the best tennis, at least I aim always to play the best tennis, and I was most of my career able to do that, so that's the goal," said Djokovic on his arrival in France.

"I have been saying, you know, for quite a while that in terms of clay, I want to peak here in Paris, in Roland Garros. Last year I had an amazing year, and particularly here in Roland Garros, and hopefully, I can have a great tournament.

"My hopes and goals are always the same, but I have to lower the expectations. When I say that I mean, you know, maybe not thinking too much ahead in advance in terms of the tournament and who I might face in the later rounds, but really taking it day by day, step by step, and really building my game.

"Because that's what I have really been struggling with, not really playing in a consistently good level."

Djokovic will play French wildcard Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the first round on Tuesday. 

Carlos Alcaraz put any concerns over an arm injury to one side after easing into the French Open second round on Sunday.

The world number three cruised to a straight-sets victory over J.J. Wolf on Court Philippe-Chatrier, dropping just four games en route to a convincing triumph.

Spain's Alcaraz had worries over featuring at Roland-Garros, where he was defeated in the semi-final last year, due to a troublesome arm injury.

The 21-year-old played through his first-round victory with a supportive sleeve on his right arm, though that issue did not cause Alcaraz any problems on his emphatic return.

"I would have loved to have played more matches," Alcaraz said after his dominant performance in Paris. 

"I don't need too many matches to get to 100 per cent. I think I prepared well these past two weeks before coming to Paris.

"I felt well moving. My forearm is getting better and better. That is something good for me.

"I think I don't need too many matches to play my best."

Alcaraz claimed a 12th win from his opening 15 matches at Roland-Garros. Since 2000, only two players have claimed more from that opening span of matches – Rafael Nadal (15) and Juan Carlos Ferrero (13).

The powerful Alcaraz also boasts a record of 21-1 against players ranked outside the top 50 at major events, with his only such defeat inflicted by Mikael Ymer at the 2021 Australian Open.

"I am really happy to be back here and back here in Paris," Alcaraz added. "To compete again has been a difficult month for me. I love competing and playing tennis. To stay away from that was hurting for me.

"I tried everything I could do to be here at 100 per cent. I think I showed my best tennis today. I'm really, really happy to show my best tennis again.

"I love playing here in Paris. The energy from the crowd here is something special. Seeing the full stadium in the first round is amazing. It's great for tennis to have a lot of people come into the tournament. I'm trying to make the people enjoy as well."

Carlos Alcaraz breezed into the French Open second round after easing to a straight-sets victory against J.J. Wolf on Sunday.

The Spaniard reached the last four at Roland-Garros last year, losing to eventual winner Novak Djokovic, and started his 2024 campaign in impressive fashion after 6-1 6-2 6-1 triumph.

Jack Draper or Jesper de Jong await in the next round for Alcaraz, who headed into this tournament as the youngest player in the Open Era to reach the round of 16 at seven consecutive majors.

The world number three hammered America's Wolf in the first set on Court Philippe-Chatrier, securing a 1-0 lead after just 37 minutes of action in Paris.

Wolf held his serve for the first time in the second set but soon fell 5-1 behind, with a comeback never seeming likely against the dominant 21-year-old.

A string of eye-catching winners helped Alcaraz twice break the struggling Wolf in the thrid set as the two-time major winner made light work under the roof with rain pouring in the French capital.

Data Debrief: Alcaraz remains perfect in first rounds at majors

Lucky loser Wolf was aiming for the first top-10 win of his career but came unstuck against Alcaraz, who has triumphed in all 13 of his first-round clashes at grand slam tournaments.

The imperious Alcaraz also boasts a record of 21-1 against players ranked outside the top 50 at major events, with his only loss coming to Mikael Ymer at the 2021 Australian Open.

Andrey Rublev booked his place in the French Open second round after battling past Taro Daniel in four sets at Roland Garros.

The sixth seed, who is a two-time quarter-finalist at the season's second major, prevailed 6-2 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 7-5 in just over three hours on Court Simonne-Mathieu.

Rublev triumphed on clay at the Madrid Open earlier this month and dominated the opening set, though his Japanse opponent pegged him back in a second-set tie-break.

However, the 26-year-old was not to be denied, taking the next two sets to book a showdown with either Pedro Martinez or Thiago Agustin Tirante in the second round.

Data debrief

It is now 10 years since Rublev was crowned the boys' singles champion at Roland Garros, while he reached the first of his two men's quarter-finals in 2020.

One of the most consistent players in recent years, he has now won 223 ATP matches since the start of the 2020 season, with only Daniil Medvedev (225) registering more during that time.

Naomi Osaka returned to the French Open with a bang after overcoming Lucia Bronzetti to set up a potential meeting with Iga Swiatek.

Former world number one Osaka made her Paris comeback after a 15-month maternity break, battling to a 6-1 4-6 7-5 first-round victory over Bronzetti on Sunday.

Now ranked 134th in the women's standings after her long lay-off, the four-time major winner had little trouble in finding her feet and did not face a break point during a dominant first set.

World number 48 Bronzetti responded by holding three consecutive serving games in the second set on Court Philippe-Chatrier, staving off two break points to clinch a 4-3 lead.

Osaka managed back-to-back breaks to seize a 4-0 advantage after the Italian forced a deciding set, though was forced to hold off a late comeback to triumph in the French capital.

Returning to Roland-Garros for the first time in two years, Osaka could now meet Swiatek in the second round if the defending champion overcomes Leolia Jeanjean on Monday.

Data Debrief: Osaka hot on Swiatek's tail

Among active players, Osaka (75.3%, 58-19) now only trails her potential next opponent, Swiatek (81.4%, 70-16), for winning percentage in women’s singles matches at major events.

Now 5-3 on clay at WTA events in 2024, Osaka has claimed five seasonal match wins on clay for the first time since 2019, when she held the WTA's number-one ranking.

Jannik Sinner and Iga Swiatek are the favourites in their respective draws to triumph at the French Open.

That is according to Stats Perform's Win Probability Model, which saw Swiatek regain her Roland-Garros crown in 20 per cent of simulations, ahead of nearest challenger Elena Rybakina (nine per cent).

The Pole is aiming to become the third player in the Open Era to win the women's singles title at Roland-Garros for three consecutive years, after Monica Seles (1990-92) and Justine Henin (2005-07).

Swiatek claimed a third women’s singles title at Roland-Garros from five appearances in the main draw at the event. In the Open Era, only Margaret Court (three out of four, 75 per cent) holds a better title win rate from main draws entered at the tournament.

In the men's competition, Sinner is the narrow favourite in Stats Perform's predictions, with his 13 per cent chance just clear of Novak Djokovic's 10.

Sinner has the highest winning percentage of any player so far in 2024 (93.3 per cent, 28-2), though third-favourite Carlos Alcaraz still has a six per cent likelihood of winning in Paris.

World number three Alcaraz has yet to reach a French Open final, but is the youngest player in the Open Era to reach the round of 16 at seven consecutive majors.

Meanwhile, Djokovic is out to overtake Court's record of 24 majors and become the outright leader for grand slam titles across men's and women's singles events.

Aged 36 years and 20 days, Djokovic became the oldest winner of the men's singles at Roland-Garros in the Open Era when he triumphed last year.

Casper Ruud played twice on Saturday to win the Geneva Open, as he heads into Roland-Garros in fine form.

With his semi-final against Flavio Cobolli having been postponed on Friday due to rain, Ruud returned to the court to seal a 1-6 6-1 7-6 (7-4) victory.

The Norwegian was swiftly back in action in Switzerland, taking on Tomas Machac, who stunned Novak Djokovic on Friday, in the final.

And the world number seven made light work of Mahac, winning 7-5 6-3 to become the first three-time champion at the Geneva Open, which he also won in 2021 and 2022.

Data Debrief: Clay court specialist 

Ruud has now claimed an 11th ATP event title on clay since the start of the 2020 season.

He is the only player to win 10+ titles over that span on the surface, with Carlos Alcaraz (seven) the next best.

Rafael Nadal refused to rule out returning to Roland-Garros in the future, suggesting this French Open may not be his last after all.

Nadal is widely anticipated to retire after the 2024 season, meaning this year's French Open would be his final appearance at a major he has won a record 14 times.

The Spaniard has been handed a tough draw, with Nadal going up against Alexander Zverev in the first round.

However, ahead of that tie, Nadal told reporters this may not in fact be his last showing at Roland-Garros.

"If I have to tell you it's 100 per cent my last Roland Garros, sorry but I will not, because I cannot predict what's going on. I hope you understand," Nadal said.

"I don't want to close 100 per cent the door, because it's a very simple thing.

"First, I'm enjoying playing tennis, more or less healthy and playing without limitation.

"Maybe in one month and a half I'll say 'OK, it's enough, I can't keep going'. But today I cannot guarantee that it's going to be the last one."

Nadal has endured an injury-hit few seasons, but after playing in Barcelona, Madrid and Rome, feels he is getting closer to true fitness.

"I'm feeling better. That's the truth," Nadal added, appearing more cheerful than he has in recent months.

"Probably because we did things to try to feel better and we have been working without a stop to keep going with the process, to try to arrive here in a proper way."

Nadal's tally of 112 matches won at the French Open is more than any other player has managed when it comes to match wins at a single major, seven ahead of Roger Federer's tally of 105 at Wimbledon.

He expects a tough test against Zverev, though a potentially good omen is that he is the only player with over 10 wins against top-five opponents at Roland-Garros since the ATP Rankings were published in 1974, with 20 such victories.

"It's a super-tough first round. Maybe I go there and I repeat the disaster of Rome. It's a possibility. I don't want to hide that," Nadal said.

"But in my mind is something different, play much better and give myself a chance to be competitive. I didn't play against this level of opponent in a super-long time.

"The rest of the things are just talking and talking, and in the end don't matter. It's about my feelings and my feelings are better. I want to enjoy that match."

Carlos Alcaraz says he is feeling better ahead of the French Open, but still has concerns about ongoing issues with his right forearm.

The world number three reached the semi-finals at Roland Garros 12 months ago, losing out to eventual champion Novak Djokovic, but his preparations have been far from ideal this time around.

Alcaraz has been dogged by an injury to his right forearm during the clay-court season, which forced him to withdraw from Barcelona and Rome, while his fitness struggles were evident in his Madrid Open quarter-final defeat by Andrey Rublev.

The Spaniard admits he may have to adapt his game plan against J.J. Wolf in the opening round, but he was optimistic on media day in the French capital.

"I'm feeling better," he smiled. "At least I can practise and hit balls without pain. That's a really good point for me. I came here to this tournament with not as many matches as I wanted, but I'm focusing on practice.

"I'm not feeling any pain when I step on the court in practice, but I'm still thinking about it when I am hitting forehands. I'm a little bit scared about hitting every forehand 100 per cent, so I have to change it in my first match.

"It's Roland Garros, and it's a really special tournament. Everybody wants to have good results here. This tournament is one of the main reasons that I'm practising every day. I want to be a better player, to be able to win these kinds of tournaments.

"I'm practising well. I'm getting in rhythm. I'm getting confidence [from] the practice and that is really important, and I think I don't need too many matches to get to my 100 per cent level."

Alexander Zverev is preparing to face a Rafael Nadal at the peak of his powers when they collide in the first round at the French Open.

The fourth seed takes on the 14-time winner in the most eye-catching tie of the opening round at Roland Garros, where they memorably locked horns in the 2022 semi-finals.

It looked set to be a classic encounter on Court Philippe Chatrier until Zverev suffered a horrifying ankle ligament injury at the back end of the second set, following which he was forced to retire.

The German admits that will be in the back of his mind two years on, and the three-time semi-finalist is fresh from claiming his first ATP Masters title in three years at the Italian Open last time out.

Nadal, meanwhile, has suffered an almost endless battle with injuries since that last-four clash, but stepped up preparations for his Roland Garros swansong with successive appearances in Barcelona, Madrid and Rome.

Nevertheless, Zverev is ready to face an inspired Spaniard, who boasts an incredible 112-3 record at this event.

"In my mind, I'm going to play peak Rafa Nadal," the 27-year-old said. "That's what I expect him to be. I expect him to be at his absolute best. I expect him to play the best tennis he's played in a long time on this court.

"I wanted to play Rafa again in my career, in his career, because I didn't want my last memory of me playing against Rafa to be me leaving the court in a wheelchair.

"Ideally, I would have liked to play him in the later stage of the tournament, but it is how it is now. He is unseeded this year. I am seeded. It's a tough draw, but it's a tough draw for both of us. We'll see how it goes on Monday."

Rafael Nadal is about to step out at Roland-Garros for the final time.

The Spanish great - a 22-time grand slam champion – is set for his farewell appearance at the French Open, which he has won a record 14 times.

It seems unlikely the soon-to-be 38-year-old will extend that record on Court Philippe-Chatrier over the coming two weeks, though of course you never know.

Familiar foe Novak Djokovic goes in with better odds than Nadal, as the world number one aims to retain his crown.

Yet, there is the new generation of superstars looking to take control, and on Nadal's farewell appearance at the tournament he has dominated, it would be fitting if the baton was handed over to Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner or another star of the next generation.

Let's dive into the data ahead of the 2024 French Open.

 

Rafa's last dance

We couldn't start anywhere else. What an icon Nadal has been, especially at Roland-Garros, and you would be a brave punter to bet against anyone matching or bettering his haul of 14 titles in Paris.

Nadal is one of two players to have won 10 men's singles titles at a single major, along with Djokovic at the Australian Open (10 titles).

The Spaniard holds a 100 per cent winning record in the French Open final, while he has also taken the Roland-Garros crown on four occasions without dropping a single set (2008, 2010, 2017 and 2020).

His tally of 112 matches won at the French Open is more than any other player has managed when it comes to match wins at a single major, seven ahead of Roger Federer's tally of 105 at Wimbledon.

Indeed, Nadal's win percentage at Roland-Garros (97.4 per cent) is the best of any player at a single grand slam. He has only lost three of his 115 matches at the French Open and only two opponents have managed to beat him there – Djokovic (twice) and Robin Soderling.

Nadal's best consecutive run of matches won at the French Open is 39, which is only bettered by Bjorn Borg at Wimbledon (41) and Federer in the US Open and Wimbledon (40 at each tournament) in the Open Era.

Only Djokovic, Margaret Court (24 each) and Serena Williams (23) have won more major titles than Nadal, while only Djokovic and Federer have appeared in more grand slam men's singles finals than Nadal in the Open Era.

Yet, if he is to dazzle the Paris crowd in one last dance at Roland-Garros, he is going to have to do it the hard way, having been drawn against world number four Alexander Zverev.

The German is coming off the back of claiming his second Italian Open title, becoming the third player since 2000 to win that tournament on multiple occasions, after Nadal (10) and Djokovic (six).

A good omen for Rafa, perhaps, is that he is the only player with over 10 wins against top-five opponents at Roland-Garros since the ATP Rankings were published in 1974, with 20 such victories.

Should he make it beyond Zverev, Nadal could have a relatively kind run to the last 16, in which Holger Rune may be waiting. Daniil Medvedev or Alex de Minaur would be the quarter-final opponent before a potential semi against Djokovic, and a possible final against Nadal's heir apparent in Alcaraz.

Nadal is not the only modern great who is set to make his farewell French Open appearance. Andy Murray has indicated he will retire in the coming months, too.

Djokovic the defender

The spotlight might be on Nadal, but Djokovic is the defending title and is out to make history, as he bids to surpass Court's record of 24 majors and become the outright leader for grand slam titles across men's and women's singles events.

Aged 36 years and 20 days, Djokovic became the oldest winner of the men's singles at Roland-Garros in the Open Era when he triumphed last year. Djokovic is one of two players in the Open Era aged 35 or over to win the event, along with Nadal (2022).

Since the start of the 2020 season, three players have registered 50 or more men’s singles match wins at grand slam events, with Djokovic leading the way (86), ahead of Medvedev (59) and Zverev (56). 

Djokovic is out to become the second player in the Open Era to secure a major singles title after turning 37, along with Ken Rosewall at the Australian Open in 1972.

In the event he reaches the quarter-final barring walkovers, Djokovic will surpass Federer (369) for the most men's singles match wins at grand slams in the Open Era. Djokovic is currently on 366. 

At least one of Federer, Nadal or Djokovic has made the men's singles final at Roland-Garros since 2005. Expect the three-time French Open champion to go on a deep run again.

The contenders

Alcaraz can't be discounted. The world number three has yet to reach a French Open final, but is the youngest player in the Open Era to reach the round of 16 at seven consecutive majors.

Competing against the two-time grand slam champion is Sinner, who is now above Alcaraz in the ATP rankings.

He is the player with the highest winning percentage so far in 2024 (93.3 per cent, 28-2), and is also only the second Italian in the Open Era to hold a top-three seed in the men's singles at Roland-Garros after Adriano Panatta (1977), who was defending champion that year.

Zverev is in fine form, Medvedev is always dangerous and Casper Ruud is strong on clay.

Only three unseeded players have won the men’s singles title at Roland-Garros in the Open Era – Mats Wilander (1982), Gustavo Kuerten (1997) and Gaston Gaudio (2004). Do not expect that to change this time around. 

Novak Djokovic admits he is concerned by his performance levels this season ahead of launching his title defence at the French Open.

The world number one's wait for his first silverware of 2024 continued following a semi-final defeat by Tomas Machac in Geneva on Friday.

He also fell in the last four in Melbourne and Monte Carlo, while suffering a shock defeat at the hands of world number 123 Luca Nardi in the last 32 at Indian Wells.

Therefore Djokovic, who split from long-term coach Goran Ivanisevic earlier in the campaign, can be forgiven for not being full of confidence ahead of his latest quest for a record-breaking 25th grand slam singles title at Roland Garros.

"Of course, I am worried. I haven't been playing well at all this year," he said after his defeat to Machac.

"It's not enjoyment when you are suffering on the court feeling this way. You're not able to focus on tennis when you have other stuff happening. I just hope I can be fit and ready and prepared for Roland Garros.

"I don't want to take anything away from his win, he deserved it. I don't know what to think about this match, to be honest. I want to forget about it and move on to Paris.

"It was good that I could come here and play more than one match. I played three. I just need to feel better."

Djokovic will become the fourth man in the Open Era to make 20 or more main-draw appearances at the French Open when he begins his campaign against local wildcard Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

A run to the quarter-finals at Roland Garros - without walkovers - would see him surpass Roger Federer for the most singles match wins at majors.

Although, an early exit could see the 37-year-old surrender top spot in the ATP rankings, with world number two and reigning Australian Open champion Jannik Sinner breathing down his neck. 

"[I've had] some [good] matches here and there, but it is what it is," he added. "You have to accept it. I don't consider myself a favourite there. I'm going to take it match by match and see how far I can go."

Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka are at the very pinnacle of the women's game, and over the past month, have been battling it out for glory on the clay courts of Madrid and Rome.

The duo have met twice in the finals of the past two WTA 1000 events, with Swiatek coming out on top on both occasions.

Swiatek needed a third-set tie-breaker to win an epic Madrid Open final, though she got the job done in straight sets at the Italian Open, as the Pole made it eight wins to three from her 11 career contests with Sabalenka.

Since 1990, only Steffi Graf and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario have faced each other more often in WTA level clay finals (10 times) than Swiatek and Sabalenka (five), and if the top two seeds get their way at Roland-Garros, they will be vying it out for the 2024 French Open title in two weeks' time.

Sensational Swiatek hunts a treble

Swiatek, who does not turn 23 until Friday, already has three French Open titles under her belt, having won in 2020, 2022 and 2023.

The Pole is aiming to become the third player in the Open Era to win the women's singles title at Roland-Garros for three consecutive years, after Monica Seles (1990-92) and Justine Henin (2005-07).

She is one of six players in the Open Era to have won the title without dropping a set, a feat she managed at the 2020 edition. The other players on that list are: Evonne Goolagong (1971), Billie Jean King (1972), Chris Evert (1974), Steffi Graf (1988), and Henin (2006-07).

Margaret Court holds the best winning percentage in the women's singles at Roland-Garros in the Open Era, at 95.2 per cent. Among active players, with a minimum of 10 matches played, Swiatek (93.3 per cent) holds the highest winning percentage at the event.

Swiatek was 19 when she won her first French Open crown, joining Jelena Ostapenko (2017) as the only teenagers to triumph at Roland-Garros since the turn of the century.

Last year, Swiatek claimed a third women’s singles title at Roland-Garros from five appearances in the main draw at the event. In the Open Era, only Court (three out of four, 75 per cent) holds a better title win rate from main draws entered at the tournament.

Since the WTA-1000 format’s introduction in 2009, Swiatek could become only the second player to claim victory at the Madrid Open, Italian Open and Roland-Garros in a calendar year after Serena Williams (2013).

The world number one will start her campaign against Leolia Jeanjean, and has already scooped four titles this year, taking her overall tally to 21.

The omens are not great for Jeanjean. In the Open Era, the top seed in the women’s singles at Roland-Garros has lost in the opening round only once, with Angelique Kerber falling to Ekaterina Makarova in 2017.

"I feel like I keep having a target on my back, because I'm No. 1," Swiatek said on Friday.

"So, I think actually I'm more proud of what's happening right now, and winning all these titles this year already has shown that we are going on the right path."

Third time lucky for Sabalenka?

In the event that Swiatek and second seed Sabalenka meet in the final, it will be the fifth clay-court meeting between the pair as the WTA’s number one and number two, surpassing Martina Navratilova and Evert for the most meetings on the surface in the past 40 years as the WTA’s top two-ranked players. 

Given her recent misfortune against Swiatek, mind, Sabalenka will no doubt be hoping the reigning champion falters this time around, leaving her with a clearer run to glory.

The Belarusian could become the first player to claim the women’s singles titles at the Australian Open and Roland-Garros in a calendar year since Williams in 2015.

Sabalenka, who is the player with the most winners on clay in 2024 (447), has already reached four finals this season, only to come up short in three of them. Erika Andreeva is her first-round opponent.

The other challengers

It is not just Swiatek and Sabalenka that will be gunning for glory in Paris over the next fortnight.

Coco Gauff is looking to become the youngest American woman to win the singles title at the French Open since Evert in 1975, while only Swiatek (36) has won more WTA main draw matches than Elena Rybakina in 2024 (30).

World number three Gauff, who lost to Swiatek in the French Open final two years ago, could become the fourth player since 2000 to make multiple finals at Roland-Garros before turning 21, along with Kim Clijsters, Ana Ivanovic and Swiatek.

Meanwhile, either Rybakina or Marketa Vondrousova could become the fifth player since 2000 to win both Wimbledon and Roland-Garros, along with Ashleigh Barty, Garbine Muguruza, Maria Sharapova and Williams. That's not bad company to be keeping.

Having reached three grand slam finals across 2022 and 2023, Ons Jabeur has endured a frustrating season so far, dropping to world number nine just ahead of 2017 champion Ostapenko, heading into what promises to be an enthralling battle.

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