Home » Essential guide to the 2024 clay court season

Essential guide to the 2024 clay court season

We’re fast approaching April and with that comes a shift in gear from the hard courts to the European clay court swing in the lead up to the second Grand Slam of the year at Roland Garros.

While Roland Garros is often considered the pinnacle of the clay court season, there are plenty more tournaments to get excited about in the lead up and we’re here to tell you everything you need to know.

This year’s stint on the clay gets underway on 1 April, following the conclusion of the ‘Sunshine Double’ at Indian Wells and the Miami Open, and runs until the end of Roland Garros on Sunday 9 June.

Clay tennis courts

Clay is vastly different from the other surfaces across the tour and creates unique challenges for the world’s top tennis stars.

The ball will bounce higher and sit up more, making the pace of play much slower and allowing you more time to reach your opponent’s shots.

The loose surface you get with clay also offers you the chance to slide into positions around the ball – meaning you can push off and change direction much quicker than the grass or hard courts.

2023 clay season recap

The 2023 clay court season saw multiple players across the men’s and women’s game claim victory on the surface.

World No.1 Iga Swiatek continued to dominate on her favourite surface with the Pole picking up the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix title before being crowned back-to-back champion at Roland Garros, while Novak Djokovic reigned supreme in Paris and Carlos Alcaraz successfully defended his titles on home soil at the Barcelona Open and Mutua Madrid Open.

Last year also saw world No.2 Aryna Sabalenka, Frances Tiafoe, Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev and Belinda Bencic take home the silverware at some of the biggest events of the calendar.

Must-watch tournaments of the clay season

The clay season brings some of the most highly anticipated events of the year. With so many tournaments set to hit your screens from April through May, here are some of the can’t-miss events that are certain to have you on the edge of your seat.

Credit One Charleston Open (WTA 500, 30 March-7 April)
Monte Carlo Masters (ATP Masters 1000, 6-14 April)
Porsche Tennis Grand Prix (WTA 500, 13-21 April)
Barcelona Open (ATP 500, 13-21 April)
Mutua Madrid Open (WTA & ATP 1000, 22 April-5 May)
Rome Masters (WTA & ATP 1000, 6-19 May )
Internationaux de Strasbourg (WTA 500, 15-25 May)
Roland Garros (Grand Slam, 20 May-9 June)


Players to watch out for in the 2024 clay season

Rafael Nadal needs little to no introduction when it comes to the clay. With 63 titles to his name on the clay alone, the Spaniard has claimed a record-breaking 14 French Open titles across his 18 appearances at the tournament and has lost only three out of 115 matches at the Stade Roland Garros. However, defending champion Novak Djokovic will certainly be looking to put a stop to Nadal’s domination in Paris, with the Serbian hungry to clinch his first Slam title of the year.


With seven titles on the surface already under his belt at just 20-years-old, Alcaraz is tipped as a favourite to shine once again. The reigning Wimbledon and 2022 US Open champion will be hoping to go one further than his semi-final appearance at Roland Garros last year to lift his first major title on the dirt.

Sticking with the sport’s young stars, Swiatek will be gunning to make her return to her favourite surface this spring. The 22-year-old has collected a haul of nine titles on clay, including three Roland Garros crowns. Having proved to be a formidable force over the last few years, many will be looking to break her rhythm including world No.2 Sabalenka, who last year became a two-time Mutua Madrid Open champion, and Daria Kasatkina who ranked third for the most clay court match wins on the WTA tour in 2023 (12).

Over on the wheelchair side Britain’s Alfie Hewett will certainly be one to watch as he sets his sights on a 27th major title. Last year saw the world No.1 list his first singles title on the clay since 2021 when he won the NEC Wheelchair Singles Masters and also sealed three titles alongside fellow Brit Gordon Reid at the Tram Barcelona Open, French Open and the ITF Wheelchair Doubles Masters. With the all-British team dominating the doubles field on the Uniqlo Wheelchair Tour, we can expect them to be favourites for a number of tournaments across the next two months.

Past British success on the clay

Former world No.1 Andy Murray earned his first clay trophy in Munich back in 2015, which he later backed up by defeating Nadal to lift the Madrid Open title just weeks later. A year later in the most decorated year of his career, Murray sealed a maiden ATP Masters 1000 title in Rome before finishing runner-up to Djokovic at the French Open.


Cam Norrie could be another Brit to keep on your radar over the coming months. The British No.1 claimed his first clay title back in 2022 at the Lyon Open where he defeated Alex Molcan in three sets. Norrie has proven his talents on the surface across the South American clay swing as well, with the 28-year-old lifting the Rio Open title in 2023 and making the semis at the tournament once this year as well.

A host of British doubles stars have also been victorious on the surface in recent years. Four-time Grand Slam winning duo Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram have claimed two trophies during the European swing in Lyon (2023) and at the ATP 1000 Monte-Carlo Masters (2022), while Neal Skupski secured the title in Budapest alongside his brother Ken Skupski in 2019, before etching his name onto the silverware at the Mutua Madrid Open in 2022.


Wheelchair tennis star Hewett has amassed a total of 14 singles titles and nine doubles titles on the clay across his career so far. Eight of his doubles titles have been won alongside fellow Brit Gordon Reid with four Roland Garros trophies amongst their ever-growing collection. Meanwhile, Lucy Shuker has also tasted success on the surface, having clinched four singles and seven doubles titles over the years.

How to watch the 2024 clay court season

All WTA and ATP matches across the clay court season will be available to stream exclusively on Sky Sports Tennis and Now TV.

The 2024 French Open will be streamed on Eurosport with multi-court coverage on Discovery+.