For almost twenty years, never has an edition of Roland-Garros seemed so uncertain. Undisputed master of the place with fourteen victories on Parisian clay, Rafael Nadal no longer advances with the status of immense favorite that he has known since his first coronation, in 2005. Reduced by various injuries in recent years, the Spaniard of 37 years old is present, and it is already a great source of satisfaction for his fans. For what could be his last participation at Porte d’Auteuil, the “Taurus of Manacor”, now 276th player in the world, learned on Thursday May 23 at the end of the draw for the 2024 edition that he will face the formidable Alexander Zverev (4th) from the first round.

The last clash between the two men dates back to 2022, already in Paris, where the German was forced to retire in the middle of the semi-final following an ankle injury. The premature end of this highly contested meeting frustrated the entire tennis world. Even if the balance of power is no longer the same between the two players, this 2024 version of the rematch promises to be exciting.

If the men’s draw is open, it is also because Novak Djokovic does not arrive in France full of certainties. The record holder for victories in Grand Slam tournaments (24) has not won a tournament all year and was recently beaten by players with modest performances. Winner three times at Porte d’Auteuil, the Serb will try to get back on track against Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert (143rd).

There are many candidates for the coronation. Seeded – a status that protects the top 32 players, preventing them from facing each other before the third round – Jannik Sinner (2nd), Carlos Alcaraz (3rd), Casper Ruud (7th) and even Stefanos Tsitsipas (9th). ) are serious contenders for the title. They are all chasing their first title at Roland-Garros and will respectively face Eubanks (43rd), a player from qualifying, Mensik (76th) and Fucscovics (53rd).

A Monfils-Djokovic in the third round?

For the moment, 16 French people are in the final draw (qualifying is not yet complete). If the chances of seeing one triumph like Yannick Noah in 1983 are tiny, certain results suggest good results.

Although ocher is not his favorite surface, Ugo Humbert (17th) will, for example, be eagerly awaited by the public. He will start his fortnight against the Italian Lorenzo Sonego (50th). Author of a spectacular rise in the rankings, the “darling” Gaël Monfils (38th) will have his say in the competition. If he wins his first round against Thiago Seyboth Wild (58th) and the following match, he could cross paths with a certain… Novak Djokovic in the third round.

Aged 19, Arthur Fils, considered the future of French tennis, will try to continue his streak on clay after his victory at the Bordeaux Challenger last week. Sébastien Grosjean’s protégé will face Matteo Arnaldi (36th). His compatriot Luca van Assche (101st) will have a good fight to compete against the Canadian Denis Shapovalov (123rd). Arthur Cazaux (77th), Corentin Moutet (79th), Hugo Gaston (104th) and Harold Mayot (121st) will have quite a challenge to face since they will all face a top seed for their entries into the running.

Another shock of the first round will oppose two former glories: the Swiss Stan Wawrinka (39 years old), winner of the tournament in 2015, will face the former world number one Andy Murray (37 years old), now 75th in the ATP.

For her last, Alizée Cornet against the 8th player in the world

In the women’s table, the suspense is less. Triple winner Porte d’Auteuil (in 2020, 2022 and 2023), Iga Swiatek, world No. 1, is the overwhelming favorite to succeed her. The 22-year-old Pole recently won on clay in Madrid and Rome. Each time, she beat Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, world number two, and winner of the Australian Open in January in the final. In the first round, she will face a player from the qualifications, while Aryna Sabalenka will face the young and talented Mirra Andreeva (38th).

Only Serena Williams has achieved a Madrid-Rome-Paris hat-trick in 2013. If Swiatek is crowned for the fourth time at Porte d’Auteuil on Saturday June 8, she will become, tied with the Belgian Justine Hénin, the third most crowned player at Roland-Garros since the start of the Open era in 1968.

Number three in the WTA rankings, the American Coco Gauff, who reached the final in 2022, will try to defy the predictions. Her victory at the US Open, the first Grand Slam of her career, makes her a credible outsider. She will meet a player who came out of qualifying in the first round.

In the French camp, the latest performances of the French players do not encourage optimism. Best French chance, Caroline Garcia, 23rd in the WTA rankings, will have a start within her reach against a player who has passed through qualifying. She remains on a defeat in the round of 16 in Rome against the American Danielles Collins. Second highest ranked Frenchwoman, Clara Burel (43rd) will take on Anna Kalinskaya (25th). His best result at Porte d’Auteuil is a 3rd round in 2020.

Down to 107th in the world and benefiting from an invitation, Alizé Cornet is preparing to play her last Roland-Garros. For her 69th consecutive Grand Slam in singles – a record – the Frenchwoman did not suffer a singles draw: she will face the Chinese Zheng Qinwen, seeded no. 7. Another Niçoise entered at Porte d’Auteuil, Diane Parry (61st), who caused a sensation at Roland-Garros in 2022, by beating the defending champion Barbora Krejciokova, will face her compatriot Fiona Ferro (142nd).