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Wednesday, April 24, 2024
HomeOther SportsDjokovic looks to make history at the French Open, as Swiatek begins...

Djokovic looks to make history at the French Open, as Swiatek begins his championship defence


Djokovic, a seasoned Serbian player, will not be the favourites to win the championship, nevertheless, because of an elbow ailment.

Iga Swiatek will seek to become the first woman to defend the championship in 16 years, while Novak Djokovic will attempt to win a record-breaking 23rd Grand Slam title in a French Open without his old nemesis Rafael Nadal for the first time since 2004.

Due to his elbow injury and inability to go past the quarterfinals in any of his three clay-court competitions thus far this season, Serbian veteran Djokovic will not be the favourites to win the championship.

In order to surpass Novak Djokovic as the number one player in the world, Carlos Alcaraz won the Barcelona and Madrid Opens. Daniil Medvedev, who won his first clay-court match in Rome, is seeded second for Roland Garros.

The Serbian veteran Djokovic will not be one of the favourites to win the title because of his elbow ailment and the fact that he has not progressed past the quarterfinals in any of his three clay-court events thus far this season.

Carlos Alcaraz won the Barcelona and Madrid Opens to overtake Novak Djokovic as the world’s best player. Daniil Medvedev is ranked second at Roland Garros after winning his first match on clay in Rome.

But Djokovic will be aware that this is a huge opportunity to break his tie with 14-time French Open champion Nadal for the most men’s Slam singles championships ever.

The two-time winner has lost eight of their ten encounters at the French Open against Nadal, who will not compete this year due to a hip injury sustained during the Australian Open.

Djokovic admitted after his Italian Open semifinal loss to Holger Rune, “I know I can always play better.”

“I look forward to focusing on many parts of my game and my physique and hopefully getting myself in top condition. That is the aim.

Due to their placement in the same half of the draw, Djokovic and Alcaraz are expected to face off in the semifinals.

The 36-year-old could possibly have to defeat Andrey Rublev, the winner of the Monte Carlo Masters, in the quarterfinals.

Although he has never advanced past the quarterfinals on the Paris clay, in-form Medvedev is the highest seed on the other side of the draw, which seems to be quite open.

Before reaching the quarterfinals in 2021, the Russian lost in the first round on each of his first four occasions.

After defeating Rune in the Rome final, Medvedev remarked, “I would never (have) dreamed I would be able to make this (win a clay-court championship).

However, I have to admit that a Grand Slam is always more significant.

In a replay of their heated encounter from a year ago, in-form youngster Rune, who unexpectedly advanced to last year’s quarterfinals, might face Casper Ruud in the last eight.

Ruud later lost to Nadal in the championship match and to Alcaraz in the US Open’s marquee event.

The fourth-ranked player in the world, a Norwegian, has had a tough year, only finishing in the quarterfinals in two of the ten competitions he has entered.

The longest he has gone without a championship in a season since 2018 is Stefanos Tsitsipas, who lost the 2021 final against Djokovic after leading by two sets. He will be among the likely contenders.

The favourite to win the women’s singles are Aryna Sabalenka, Elena Rybakina, who won the Australian Open, and Swiatek, who is now the defending champion.

Together, they have won the last four Grand Slam competitions, and this season, they have each participated in a WTA 1000 final at least once.

Swiatek, who turns 22 during the competition, will be the favourite in search of a third triumph at Roland Garros and the first successful women’s championship defence since Justine Henin won the third straight French Open in 2007.

Despite practising at Roland Garros on Wednesday, the Polish star withdrew from her quarterfinal match against Rybakina at the Italian Open due to a thigh ailment.

Rybakina, the 2023 Wimbledon winner who is ranked fourth, has already won the Rome and Indian Wells championships and might play Swiatek in the semifinals of the Roland Garros tournament.

She expressed hope that she will succeed in the French Open. “I enjoyed my time there as a player.

It’s a little bit simpler and (gives me) a little bit more confidence now that I’ve played more matches on clay.

The runner-up from the previous year, Coco Gauff, the Tunisian Ons Jabeur, and world number three Jessica Pegula are among contenders for the championship.



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