Stefanos Tsitsipas reveals his French Open favourite as he backtracks on wild prediction

Ewan West
Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece trains on Day Four of the Mutua Madrid Open 2024 tournament at La Caja Magica
Stefanos Tsitsipas during a practice session

Stefanos Tsitsipas has revealed he considers Novak Djokovic the favourite to win the 2024 French Open despite his struggles this year. 

The world No 9 also believes Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner remain among the leading contenders despite the injury concerns over the duo.

In his pre-tournament press conference, Tsitsipas gave a surprise answer when asked if he thinks there is one clear favourite to win at Roland Garros.

“I would probably say Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. I’m serious (smiling),” replied the Greek.

Naming world No 32 Davidovich Fokina, who has lost four of his five matches on clay this year, was certainly an interesting choice. Tsitsipas was beaten 6-2 in a practice set by the 24-year-old Spaniard ahead of the tournament and was clearly impressed with his level…

The 25-year-old defeated world No 54 Marton Fucsovics 7-6(7), 6-4, 6-1 in the opening round at the French Open on Monday.

Read More: Novak Djokovic’s early French Open exit among our bold Roland Garros predictions

Following his victory, Tsitsipas was again asked for his thoughts on the favourite to win the men’s event and went back on his Davidovich Fokina pick in favour of 24-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic.

“Well, I think it’s split equally from all sides. There is not one particular player that is perhaps — you know, like thinking about it now, I would say probably it’s Novak Djokovic is still the favourite, because he has won here a few times,” he said.

“I would still believe that he’s considered someone, despite maybe not the best results from his side in the last few weeks in terms of we were used to Djokovic winning almost every week, and it hasn’t happened in the last few weeks. But I still consider him the favourite.”

Djokovic will face Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the opening round at Roland Garros as he begins his quest for a fourth title at the Paris Grand Slam. The world No 1 is the defending French Open champion.

Tsitsipas added on Alcaraz and Sinner: “Obviously Carlos Alcaraz always remains the favourite, and so does Jannik Sinner.

“I feel like these are opponents that can play all-around equally on all surfaces, and they have incredible shots and of course speed on the court. They have what it takes to play good on clay. And a few other players that I haven’t mentioned, as well.”

Alcaraz and Sinner both won their respective first round matches against Americans Jeffrey John Wolf and Christopher Eubanks in straight sets.

Tsitsipas is also among the contenders for the men’s title as a Roland Garros runner-up in 2021 and a three-time Monte Carlo Masters champion.