Melbourne, Australia, 25 May 2024 | Leigh Rogers

Todd Woodbridge and Sam Stosur are optimistic that Australian players can perform well at Roland Garros 2024.

The clay-court Grand Slam tournament, played in the French capital of Paris, is traditionally considered the most difficult major for Australians to win.

However, Stosur believes that narrative is changing.

“There’s no reasons why Aussies can’t do well (at Roland Garros),” Stosur declared when talking to media in Melbourne this week.

“We do have clay courts here, our juniors are starting to play on it more and more. I never saw a clay court until I was 15, but that’s certainly not the way it is now.”

Stosur went on to become one of Australia’s greatest clay-court players, advancing to four singles semifinals at Roland Garros and winning the women’s doubles title in 2006.

“I’d like to think all the Aussies feel like they can contend at Roland Garros,” said Stosur, a women’s singles finalist at Roland Garros in 2010.

“My results, the results of Ash Barty who won the tournament, I’d like to think that does give a little bit of a boost and hopefully (sets) the bar to try and get to in years to come.”

> READ: Australians handed challenging draws at Roland Garros 2024

Roland Garros
Australian champions in the Open era
Event Titles won Most recent champions
Men’s singles 2 Rod Laver (1969)
Women’s singles 5 Ash Barty (2019)
Men’s doubles 8 Todd Woodbridge/
Mark Woodforde (2000)
Women’s doubles 4  Alicia Molik with Mara
Santangelo (ITA) (2007)
Mixed doubles 8 Casey Dellacqua with Scott
Lipsky (USA) (2011)
Boys’ singles 2 Alexei Popyrin (2017)
Girls’ singles 1 Lesley Hunt (1968)
Boys’ doubles 6 Nick Kyrgios/
Andrew Harris (2012)
Girls’ doubles 3 Jessica Moore with Polona
Hercog (SLO) (2008)
Quad wheelchair singles 3 Dylan Alcott (2021)
Quad wheelchair doubles 1 Dylan Alcott (2019)

Woodbridge, a two-time doubles champion at Roland Garros, believes Alex de Minaur is Australia’s best chance in this year’s singles competition.

“Alex can go deep,” Woodbridge predicted of the world No.11, who is yet to progress beyond the second round in Paris.

“He’s had enough wins against top players on clay that if (the draw) opens up the right way he could sneak through. We’ve had the likes of Pat Rafter reach the semifinals (in 1997) before on the men’s side, so it can be done.”

The 22-time Grand Slam champion is most impressed with the way De Minaur has “upped the ante in terms of pace off the ground” this season.

“He’s got bigger, he’s got stronger but he hasn’t lost any speed,” Woodbridge noted. “He’s taking on a much more front-foot attitude and taking it to his opponents.

“It’s not his favourite (surface), but his mindset is as good as anybody’s.”

De Minaur is among nine Australians in this year’s men’s singles main draw, the highest representation in 25 years.

> READ: Australian men to set 25-year high at Roland Garros 2024

Main-draw action at Roland Garros 2024 begins on Sunday 26 May. It will be broadcast live in Australia on the Nine Network and Stan Sport.

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