What's at stake at Roland-Garros 2020?

 - Chris Oddo

Standout milestones that can be reached and records that could be broken this fortnight in Paris

Novak Djokovic, Roland Garros 2020, practice© Clément Mahoudeau/FFT

What’s on the line at Roland-Garros in 2020? The biggest names in the sport are bidding to etch their names in the record books as they seek to solidify their legacies and write additional chapters into their already thrilling narratives.

Nole chasing double 

Novak Djokovic seems to rewrite the history books every time he plays a tournament. Just last week in Rome he broke the all-time record for Masters 1000 titles and passed Pete Sampras in second place on the ATP’s all-time weeks at No.1 list.

Here in Paris Djokovic could do something even more remarkable. The world No.1 is bidding to become the first men's player in Open Era history to win each of the four Grand Slam titles at least twice. Only Roy Emerson and Rod Laver have achieved the feat previously.

Rafa’s century mark 

There are not many records that the King of Clay does not own at his familiar Paris stomping grounds, but here’s one: Nadal is the all-time win leader at Roland-Garros, but he has yet to reach the 100-win mark. If the 12-time champion wins the tournament without encountering a walkover, Nadal will improve his sparkling Roland-Garros record to 100-2 lifetime.

Rafael Nadal, Roland Garros 2020, practice© Nicolas Gouhier/FFT

Top spot on the horizon

Simona Halep has spent 64 weeks at No.1 during her illustrious career, and won two major singles titles, including Roland-Garros in 2018. But the Romanian has not held the WTA’s top ranking since January of 2019. She can change that in Paris. 

Halep enters the tournament 1570 points behind Ashleigh Barty in the rankings, and can pass the Aussie and reclaim the No.1 ranking by winning her second Roland-Garros title. Halep’s current total of 64 weeks at No.1 ranks 10th in WTA history.

Roger's record up for grabs 

Since Roger Federer claimed the Wimbledon title in 2003, he has always held a lead over Rafael Nadal in terms of Grand Slam titles.

That could change at the end of the Paris fortnight as the Spaniard is bidding for a record-equalling 20th major crown that would get him on level terms with the Swiss.

If Nadal does lift the Coupe des Mousquetaires he will join Margaret Court (24), Serena Williams (23), Steffi Graf (22) and Federer (20), becoming the fifth player in history to win 20 or more Grand Slam singles titles.

Courting Court 

For the 10th time since Serena Williams gave birth to baby Olympia, the American legend will take her talents to the Grand Slam stage.

The first nine appearances have provided tennis fans with a stirring reminder of Williams’ ability to produce her best tennis at the majors, and yet despite reaching four Grand Slam finals, the 39-year-old has been unable to tack on that elusive 24th major to tie herself with Margaret Court at the top of the all-time list. 

The quest for 24 continues in Paris, where Williams will open against American Kristie Ahn in first-round action.

Backing it up

No man in the Open Era has ever followed up their first Grand Slam title by winning the very next major.

Austria’s Dominic Thiem, who claimed his maiden Grand Slam at the US Open earlier this month, will attempt to become the first man to do so this year in Paris.

The Austrian also seeks to become the 10th man in Open Era history to win the US Open and Roland-Garros in the same season.

Dominic Thiem© Nicolas Gouhier / FFT