What's at stake at Roland-Garros 2022?

 - Reem Abulleil

Records, streaks and new milestones are on the line this upcoming fortnight in Paris

Novak Djokovic, Rome 2022© Ray Giubilo/FFT

The second Grand Slam of the year is upon us and all eyes will be on Roland-Garros, with plenty on the line for the world's best tennis players.

There are records ready to be broken, milestones to be unlocked, and history to be rewritten.

Here is an idea of what is at stake this upcoming fortnight on Parisian clay.

Men's all-time Grand Slam record

When Rafael Nadal made his move and captured an unlikely Australian Open crown last January, just a couple of months after contemplating retirement due to a chronic foot injury, the Spaniard steered clear of his 'Big Three' rivals Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer to sit atop the men's Grand Slam leaderboard with a record 21st major title.

Djokovic, the defending champion at Roland-Garros, now has the chance to catch up to Nadal, and get back on level terms with his long-time nemesis. Success next month on Court Philippe-Chatrier would give the Serb a record-equalling 21st Slam trophy, and would further ignite the battle for Grand Slam supremacy in the men's game.

Meanwhile, 13-time Roland-Garros winner Nadal has the opportunity to widen the gap between himself and Djokovic and Federer if he manages to walk away with the Coupe des Mousquetaires in a couple of weeks' time.

Novak Djokovic et Rafael Nadal / Roland-Garros 2021©Philippe Montigny / FFT

Swiatek's streak

World No.1 Iga Swiatek enters Roland-Garros carrying a sensational 28-match winning streak and having won her last five consecutive tournaments.

Should she pick up a second title on Paris' terre battue -- to go with her maiden Grand Slam success in 2020 -- Swiatek would match Venus Williams' streak of 35 consecutive victories from the year 2000, which currently stands as the longest unbeaten run on the women's tour this millennium.

A Swiatek triumph in the French capital would also make her the first woman to win six tournaments in a row since Justine Henin swept six straight titles from the second half of 2007 to the start of 2008.

Iga Swiatek / Roland-Garros 2021©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT

Djokovic's top spot under threat

With just 680 points separating Djokovic from Daniil Medvedev at the summit of the world rankings, the Serb will have to play defence in Paris to ensure he stays as No.1 by the end of Roland-Garros.

Medvedev replaced Djokovic as No.1 for three weeks earlier this season before the soon-to-be 35-year-old wrestled back his top spot.

Djokovic needed to reach the semi-finals last week in Rome in order to fend off Medvedev and he went one better by lifting the trophy at the Foro Italico.

Medvedev, who is contesting his first clay event of the season this week in Geneva having been out of action for five weeks recovering from a hernia procedure, will once again have the chance to rise to the top if Djokovic doesn't go deep at Roland-Garros.

But the 26-year-old must also defend his quarter-final points from last year to keep the pressure up on Djokovic.

Daniil Medvedev, Roland-Garros 2021 third round© Nicolas Gouhier/FFT

Alcaraz's mission

He's the most talked-about young talent on the men's tour at the moment and with good reason.

Carlos Alcaraz has added his name to the record books on several occasions these past few months and the 19-year-old arrives at Roland-Garros ranked a career-high No.6 in the world, and having won a tour-leading four titles in 2022, including two at the Masters 1000 level.

His run in Madrid saw him become the first ever player to defeat Djokovic and Nadal at the same tournament on clay and the youngest player in the history of the ATP (since 1990) to beat three of the world's top five at the same event.

Alcaraz says he feels ready to win a major and is considered one of the top contenders for the title in Paris.

If he does indeed taste victory at Roland-Garros, he would become the youngest man to win a Grand Slam since Rafael Nadal lifted his first Coupe des Mousquetaires in 2005 at the age of 19 years and three days.

Carlos Alcaraz / Madrid 2022©Antoine Couvercelle / FFT