May 22, 2024

Tennis legend Novak Djokovic chose Rafael Nadal over himself as the 2024 French Open favorite. In other news, Serena Williams rejected claims of hostility towards Maria Sharapova.

Meanwhile, Caroline Wozniacki’s father Piotr expressed outrage at the French Open for denying a wildcard to his daughter. Emma Raducanu revealed the impact of her “pushy” parents on her life and tennis.

Also, Iga Swiatek and Courteney Cox partnered up for a friendly tennis match amid the Pole’s French Open kit reveal.

On that note, here’s a recap of today’s top tennis news:

Novak Djokovic backs Rafael Nadal as favorite for the French Open

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at the 2022 Laver Cup
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at the 2022 Laver Cup

Novak Djokovic ranked Rafael Nadal as the top contender for the 2024 French Open men’s singles title, followed by himself and others like Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Djokovic told the media at the Geneva Open that the competition is tougher this year, as Nadal is recovering from an injury and the clay season had different winners. The World No. 1 said that all four clay champions this season (Tsitsipas, Casper Ruud, Andrey Rublev, and Zverev) have a good shot at the French Open, but Nadal is always the best bet as long as he plays there.

“This year is more open. Casper Ruud is surely one of the five players who are candidates to win. You have Alexander Zverev, Andrey Rublev, Stefanos Tsitsipas — all the players who won a major tournament on this surface this year,” Novak Djokovic said.

“But when you talk about Roland-Garros and Nadal is there, hesis always the biggest favourite for me. After everything he has done on the courts at Roland-Garros court, it’s normal, respectfully to put him as the biggest favourite,” Djokovic added.

Novak Djokovic is the top seed at the ATP 250 tournament. The Serb received a bye into the Round of 16, where he will face Yannick Hanfmann.

Serena Williams dismisses personal feud with Maria Sharapova

Serena Williams clarified that her rivalry with Maria Sharapova was not personal but competitive.

Williams, who has a dominant 20-2 head-to-head record against the Russian, said that the “beef” between them stemmed from their intense competitiveness and drive to win, not personal dislike.

“Not anymore. I mean, was there ever beef? I guess. It was just competitive. She was winning. I was winning, you know, we both wanted to win, and I don’t think it was personal. It was just, ‘Do you want to win?'” Williams said while unveiling ‘The Serena Collection’ of trading cards (at 4:40).

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