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Ricky’s picks for the men’s singles Grand Slams and Olympics in 2024

The 2024 tennis season is less than a week away; the Australian Open is less than a month away. As such, it’s time to make my picks the upcoming year’s Grand Slam events (and the Olympics).

Here we go.

Australian Open: Novak Djokovic

Djokovic has not lost at the Aussie since the 2018 fourth round against…wait for it…Hyeon Chung. Until he loses again, it’s pretty much criminal to pick against him at Melbourne Park. It is true that the amount of legitimate slam contenders is growing, with Carlos Alcaraz now a two-time GS champ, Jannik Sinner closing the gap, Alexander Zverev back to his pre-injury self, and even Rafael Nadal plotting his comeback. Nonetheless, Djokovic is the undisputed king Down Under and if 2023 was any indication the 36-year-old is not slowing down any time soon.

French Open: Carlos Alcaraz

At only 20 years old, Alcaraz is already halfway to the career Grand Slam. If not for cramping against Djokovic in the SFs of the French Open this past season, the Spaniard may be three-fourths of the way there. Alcaraz had a real shot to win the French and has also proven his mettle on clay with two Madrid Masters triumphs plus multiple titles at the Barcelona ATP 500. Although Djokovic is great on all surfaces, it’s arguably more realistic to beat him on clay than on hard courts or grass.

2024 Paris Olympics: Rafael Nadal

This is without question a longshot pick, but if Nadal has a chance to win anything huge in 2024 his best shot is probably the Olympics. Getting the best of him in three-out-of-five on clay used to be the most difficult task in tennis, but given Nadal’s age (37) and physical state it’s probably easier to defeat him over five sets as opposed to only three. That’s why I think he has a better chance at Roland Garros in the Olympics as opposed to in the French Open. Nadal will be extremely motivated for what could be his last appearance in Paris and perhaps even the final event of his illustrious career.

Wimbledon: Jannik Sinner

Surprisingly, Djokovic’s lone slam loss in 2023 came at Wimbledon. Now that he is no longer invincible at the All-England Club, challengers will have at least some semblance of belief against him. Nobody other than Djokovic (and defending champion Alcaraz) will have more confidence than Sinner. The Italian fell to Djokovic in straight sets in the semis this past summer, but he extended the Serb to five in the 2022 quarters–in a year when Djokovic was pretty much dominant against every other opponent at the AELTC. Sinner’s time is coming. And it may be coming soon.

U.S. Open: Daniil Medvedev

Medvedev is outstanding at the U.S. Open. There’s no other way to say it. New York is the scene of his lone slam triumph (2021) and he also advanced to the title match in 2019 (lost to Nadal in five sets) and 2023 (lost to Djokovic). Medvedev’s 2023 run featured an impressive beatdown of Alcaraz in the SFs. The Russian went under the radar to some extent throughout the 2023 season because of the excellence of Djokovic, Alcaraz, and Sinner, but he was quietly very good–as usual. Medvedev is a self-proclaimed hard-court specialist, so a second success in NYC would hardly be come as a shock.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on Twitter at @Dimonator.