French open kicks off with osaka and alcaraz as nadal eyes possible farewell.

The French Open commenced on Sunday with Naomi Osaka and Carlos Alcaraz taking center stage at Roland Garros, amidst speculation that this could be Rafael Nadal’s final appearance at the tournament.

Naomi Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam champion, opened the show on Court Philippe Chatrier against Italy’s Lucia Bronzetti. Despite her impressive resume, Osaka has struggled in Paris, never advancing past the third round. Following a turbulent relationship with the tournament, which included a withdrawal in 2021 to focus on her mental health and a first-round exit in 2022 before taking a break from tennis to start a family, Osaka returns with a new perspective. Now ranked 134th in the world, Osaka aims to adapt her aggressive style to the demands of clay. If she overcomes Bronzetti, she is likely to face top seed and defending champion Iga Swiatek in the next round.

Carlos Alcaraz, the reigning Wimbledon champion, began his campaign against JJ Wolf, a lucky loser from the United States. Alcaraz, ranked third in the world, made it to the semi-finals last year but was defeated by Novak Djokovic after experiencing severe tension that led to cramps. Wolf, ranked 107th, has had a challenging year, with just one tour-level win in 2024.

The night session featured Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka, both three-time Grand Slam champions, in their 23rd career meeting. Wawrinka, the 2015 French Open champion, and Murray, the 2016 runner-up, continued their storied rivalry, which has included two semi-final clashes at Roland Garros. Murray is in his final season on tour, while the future remains uncertain for Rafael Nadal.

Nadal, who turns 38 on June 3, has not committed to retirement but acknowledged the possibility that this could be his last French Open. He missed the tournament in 2023 due to injury and enters this year unseeded, facing a daunting first-round match against fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev. Despite his recent struggles, including a ranking drop to 276 due to limited play from injuries, Nadal remains hopeful. With 22 Grand Slam titles, second only to Djokovic’s 24, Nadal’s legacy at Roland Garros is monumental, having won 112 of 115 matches since his 2005 debut.

Nadal’s participation in the French Open this year is a testament to his resilience. “I have been going through a long process of recovery with a very difficult injury, almost two years of suffering, but I feel better now,” Nadal stated. “I have fewer limitations than three, four weeks ago, without a doubt.”

As the tournament progresses, all eyes will be on these tennis stars, with fans and analysts keen to see how the narratives unfold at this year’s French Open.