French Open 2022: Djokovic returns to defend crown, Nadal eyeing 14th title


Photo: AP

Paris: The second Grand Slam of the year, the French Open, will have plenty on the line for the world's best tennis players.

The Parisian clay will see defending men's singles champion Novak Djokovic take on a strong field that includes the record 13-time winner Rafael Nadal. The main draw at Roland Garros runs from May 22 to June 4.

The top-seed Djokovic will have the chance to catch up to Nadal and get back on level terms with his long-time nemesis on the men's Grand Slam leaderboard. Success on Court Philippe-Chatrier would give the Serb a record-equalling 21st Slam trophy, and would further ignite the battle for Grand Slam supremacy in the men's game.

Meanwhile, 13-time Roland Garros winner Nadal has the opportunity to widen the gap between himself and Djokovic and Roger Federer if he manages to walk away with the Coupe des Mousquetaires.

Another name in the reckoning is Carlos Alcaraz - the Spaniard has added his name to the record books on several occasions these past few months and the 19-year-old arrives at Roland-Garros ranked a career-high No.6 in the world, and having won a tour-leading four titles in 2022, including two at the Masters 1000 level.

His run in Madrid saw him become the first ever player to defeat Djokovic and Nadal at the same tournament on clay and the youngest player in the history of the ATP (since 1990) to beat three of the world's top five at the same event.

In women's singles, all eyes will be on top-seed and world No.1 Iga Swiatek who enters Roland-Garros with a sensational 28-match winning streak and having won her last five consecutive tournaments.

Should she pick up a second title on Paris' terre battue -- to go with her maiden Grand Slam success in 2020 -- Swiatek would match Venus Williams' streak of 35 consecutive victories from the year 2000, which currently stands as the longest unbeaten run on the women's tour this millennium. (ANI)

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