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May 2024

May saw the Rome event play out, as well as the start of the second Grand Slam of the year: Roland Garros.

Zverev and Swiatek triumph in Rome

The men’s side was missing two of the top three in the world, with Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz sidelined due to injury. World number 1 Novak Djokovic did play, having missed Madrid, but was beaten by Alejandro Tabilo in his second match of the week. With defending champion Daniil Medvedev losing to Tommy Paul in the Fourth Round, and Andrey Rublev losing to Alexandre Muller in the Third Round, it left the event wide open. Nicolas Jarry took full advantage, beating Stefanos Tsitsipas and Paul to make a first Final at Masters level. Alex Zverev also reached the Final after beating Taylor Fritz in the Quarter Finals and Tabilo in the Semi Finals. Zverev beat Jarry in the Final 6-4 7-5 to win his second title in Rome, and first Masters title since 2021.

On the women’s side, Danielle Collins continued her brilliant form this year with a run to the Semi Finals, where she was beaten by Aryna Sabalenka. However, as per usual on clay, Iga Swiatek proved too strong for the rest of the field, not dropping a set on her way to the title. This included wins over Coco Gauff in the Semi Finals and Sabalenka in the Final. 

In an unusual occurrence, Djokovic decided to accept a wildcard into the Geneva ATP 250 event, in a bid to find some form before Roland Garros. However, he was beaten by Thomas Machac in the Semi Finals. Casper Ruud would win the title.

Nadal beaten in potential final Roland Garros, Swiatek saves match point

Whilst Rafael Nadal hasn’t ruled out playing beyond 2024, it seemed likely that this would be his last Roland Garros, an event which he has dominated in a fashion that will probably never be seen again in this sport. He was drawn against 4th seed Zverev in a blockbuster First Round. Whilst Nadal played well, particularly compared to previous weeks, Zverev was too good and able to get past the Spaniard in straight sets. He became just the third person to beat Nadal here, after Robin Soderling and Novak Djokovic. The highest seed to fall early on the men’s side was 6th seed Andrey Rublev, beaten by Matteo Arnaldi in the Third Round.

One of the matches of the year occurred in the Second Round, with two four-time Grand Slam champions facing off: Iga Swiatek and Naomi Osaka. The Japanese player, who missed all of last year due to giving birth, put in a sensational performance to push Swiatek all the way, and even had a match point. But Swiatek proved why she is so tough to beat on clay, and particularly at Roland Garros as she came through and kept her title defence alive. 

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