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French Open review: Novak Djokovic marches to record 23rd title

History was made at the French Open as Novak Djokovic reigned supreme for a third time, a victory that saw him become the most decorated male player of all-time with 23 Grand Slam successes.

Djokovic had been level with Rafael Nadal on 22 Major wins, but the 36-year-old set the roared ahead in the French capital as he became the first player to capture all four Grand Slams on at least three occasions.

It was a case of deja vu in the women's event as world number one Iga Swiatek maintained her French Open dominance with her third title in the last four seasons.

Swiatek is 1/1 to retain her Paris crown in 2024, while Djokovic is a 9/4 chance to add a fourth French Open title to his long list of accolades.

What2024 French Open
WhereParis, France
WhenSunday 26th May - Sunday 9th June 2024
How to watchbet365 Sports Live Streaming and Eurosport
OddsCarlos Alcaraz 6/4, Novak Djokovic 9/4, Rafael Nadal 4/1, Holger Rune 8/1, Stefanos Tsitsipas 10/1

Djokovic shows no substitute for experience

Having been crowned French Open champion on 14 occasions, Rafael Nadal's absence was a big blow to the spectacle in Paris.

However, one person happy to see the Spaniard missing from action was Djokovic and he took full advantage of his old foe being sidelined through injury.

The 36-year-old had kickstarted the season with victory at the Australian Open and he will now harbour hopes of completing a calendar Grand Slam after claiming the title in Paris.

Clay is considered to be the Serb's most vulnerable surface, but he rose to the challenge in the French capital, taking the title with an authoritative 7-6 6-3 7-5 win over Casper Ruud in the final.

Djokovic had also outclassed Carlos Alcaraz in a four-set semi-final, showing the Spanish youngster that experience counts for plenty when competing on the biggest stages of them all.

Not only has the Serbian returned to world number one with that win, but he is also now the most decorated player of all-time with 23 Grand Slam triumphs.

It was a third French Open success in the barnstorming career of the veteran, meaning he has now won each of the four Grand Slam competitions on at least three occasions.

Despite his advancing years, Djokovic remains on a different level to the rest when fully tuned-up, with his steely defence and shot-making ability allowing him to thrive in any environment.

Alcaraz is the real deal

Things may have not gone to plan for Alcaraz in his semi-final defeat to a determined Djokovic as he struggled with body cramps and lost in four sets.

However, there were moments in the contest which highlighted why the 20-year-old Spaniard had already tasted Grand Slam success and his quarter-final win over Stefanos Tsitsipas was further evidence that he is the real deal.

Tsitsipas was runner-up at the French Open in 2021, but was unable to live with the constant blows from Alcaraz, who eased to a 6-2 6-1 7-6 victory.

The Spaniard has claimed seven of his ten career titles on the clay and it is only a matter of time until he gets shot at some French Open silverware, with him 6/4 to win next season's event.

Swiatek digs deep to defend crown

Swiatek lived up to her billing as world number one in Paris, successfully defending her crown to claim a third French Open title in the space of just four seasons.

But, having eased to the final without dropping a set, a run which included routine wins over Coco Gauff and Beatriz Haddad Maia, the Pole was made to work hard for her rewards in the final against Karolina Muchova.

Things appeared to be going swimmingly for Swiatek, who eased to the opening set 6-2, but the rejuvenated Czech displayed her class to level matters by winning the second set 7-5.

However, with her back against the wall in the decider, Swiatek showed why she is the best around and won the final three games, breaking Muchova twice, to reign supreme.

Swiatek now has four Grand Slam titles to her name and at only 22 years of age, there is plenty of time for the world number one to add many more Majors to her CV.

Sabalenka and Rybakina pose biggest threat

Swiatek may be threatening to take women's tennis by storm, especially the French Open, but Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina look like the two biggest rivals to her supremacy.

Sabalenka is the world number two and had eased into the semi-final without dropping a set, although she was overhauled by Muchova in a deciding set in their last-four encounter.

However, it highlighted that the Australian Open champion can translate her best form to the clay and, having defeated Swiatek to take a slow-court title in Madrid in May, there is hope that the Belarusian can one day be successful in Paris.

She is 7/1 to win the French Open in 2024, but those looking to take on Swiatek next season may also want to consider Rybakina at 10/1.

The Kazakh world number three won a clay-court event in Rome in the build-up to Paris and was looking strong until being forced to withdraw prior to her third-round clash with Sara Sorribes Tormo with injury.

The 23-year-old won her maiden Grand Slam at Wimbledon last year and there is no reason why she can't oblige in the French capital.

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