Expert picks: Who will win the 2024 French Open?

The French Open begins on Sunday and although the 14-time champion Rafael Nadal and defending champion Novak Djokovic with both competing, there are many questions about whether either will challenge for the title. On the women’s side, Iga Swiatek looks unstoppable, but can she seal the deal? We asked our experts to weigh in.

Who will win the men’s singles title?

Pam Shriver: Rafael Nadal. I’m picking the 14-time champion because of me again Maybe picking the greatest clay court player in history and because there are so many question marks surrounding the true favorite on the men’s side. Carlos Alcaraz, Sinner Jannik and Djokovic both had too many questions to comfortably choose any one of them.

Do I really think Nadal can win a 15th Roland Garros title? No, but in the past 20 years Nadal has done countless things that I thought were impossible. Even with an extremely difficult first match with Alexander Zverev, I still have to name Nadal as the winner again. Nadal’s first-round opponent was probably your real favorite on paper, before the draw even began.

Brad Gilbert: It feels like the men’s field, for the first time in 20 years, is very open and it is difficult to pick a winner, whereas in recent years, Nadal has been absolutely dominant. So far, Djokovic has yet to win a tournament in 2024 and will usually be the favorite at every Slam. Added to this are injury concerns for Sinner and Alcaraz, who hope they are both fit now.

The fact that Nadal was not seeded is a myth, as is the fact that he meets Zverev in the first round. I think there will be two tournaments: The first week, we’ll see how many of the top seeds make it through, and then the second week tournament. There may be good opportunities for Stefanos Tsitsipas, Casper Ruud and Zverev if he surpasses Nadal. I can easily see something very unpredictable happening 17 days from now.

Bill Connelly: If you are Zverev, Tsitsipas, Ruud or Holger Rune, or anyone else hoping that the top ranking will increase at some point and give you a shot at a real Slam title, your odds are probably as good as they’ve been in a while quite a long time (or will continue to increase). Now is your chance.

However, I wouldn’t choose any of those people. If Sinner hadn’t injured his hip, I would have kept riding that wave. Instead, I’ll give this guy Djokovic a chance. I heard he’s pretty good in the best matches.

Tom Hamilton: This should be the most open field in a while. Sinner comes into this match recovering from a hip injury, Nadal has yet to get back on the ice, Djokovic will likely sweep the court, and then there’s Alcaraz, who is recovering from an arm injury. And don’t look down on others like Zverev, Andrey Rublev, Rune and Ruud. So, after sitting comfortably on the fence, I’d pick Alcaraz — if he’s healthy. If he doesn’t reach 100%, then I think Djokovic has a great chance, but it could also be Ruud’s turn, in his third attempt here.

D’Arcy Maine: I don’t think I’ve ever had such difficulty predicting a men’s champion in a professional tournament. There are plenty of contenders — and probably more questions about almost all of them. Before the draw, I thought Sinner had a good chance, assuming his hip was at or near 100%, but his path to the final could be too difficult due to injury there.

So instead I’ll choose Ruud, who has reached the final of Roland Garros in the past two years. He won the title in Barcelona this year and reached the final in Monte Carlo. He needed to get past Djokovic in the quarter-finals, but he beat him in Monte Carlo for the first time in six tries and now knows he can do it.

Who will win the women’s singles title?

Trimmer: Swiatek will win Roland Garros for the fourth time. She has begun to be compared to Nadal for her success in Paris, and with Swiatek having won both Madrid and Rome, she is the obvious choice to win her fifth major. Swiatek’s idol is Nadal, so it’s nice to pick them both again.

Connelly: ESPN BET listed Swiatek as the betting favorite over the rest of the field combined. If she wins, she will have as many French Open titles at age 23 as Nadal, aka the greatest clay court pitcher ever. How the hell are you supposed to fight that? I can’t anyway.

Hamilton: We’re passing the baton – from a dominant force in Nadal to the next champion on clay: Swiatek. As great as the final in Madrid was, the final in Rome was ominous in terms of how well Swiatek could play. We’re starting to see a great rivalry forming here between her and Aryna Sabalenka, but Swiatek cuts differently on clay. She finds her zone on this surface, blocks out all distractions and simply switches to higher speeds.

Her opponents will hope someone finds one Elena Rybakina-kind of performance, similar to when she overcame Swiatek in the semi-finals in Stuttgart, but let’s face it, Swiatek is the one to beat.

Maine: Swiatek. She has proven herself to be the best in the world on clay, but she has separated herself even further this season from the rest of the field. She passed a very tough test against Sabalenka in a special final in Madrid and then completely demolished the world number 2 in the final in Rome two weeks later. Barring injury, I don’t see anyone beating Swiatek – who seems to grow more confident with each win – at Roland Garros this year.


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