Carlos Alcaraz, who is seeded No.1 at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time, and 22-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic were placed in the same half of the French Open field in Thursday’s draw. This means they could face each other in the semifinals. Djokovic is ranked No.3, and Alcaraz was automatically placed in the top section of the bracket.
The draw for the French Open has been released, and it has put Carlos Alcaraz, the reigning US Open champion, against No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas, a two-time Slam finalist, in the men’s quarterfinals. Djokovic will face No. 7 Andrey Rublev. No. 2 Daniil Medvedev, the 2021 US Open winner, will face No. 8 Jannik Sinner. No. 4 Casper Ruud, runner-up at the French Open and US Open last year, will face No. 6 Holger Rune.
Alcaraz, who just turned 20, and Djokovic, who just turned 36, have only played each other once previously. They met in the semifinals of the Madrid Open in May 2022, and Alcaraz won that game 6-7 (5), 7-5, 7-6 (5). It was a day after beating Nadal in the quarterfinals, becoming the first player to defeat both Djokovic and Nadal at the same clay-court tournament. Alcaraz went on to collect the title with a straight-sets victory over Alexander Zverev in the final.
The men’s quarterfinals by seeding would have Alcaraz, the reigning US Open champion, against Tsitsipas; Djokovic against Rublev; Medvedev against Sinner; and Ruud against Rune.
14-time champion Rafael Nadal will be missing the French Open for the first time since he made his debut at the clay-court major in 2005. Nadal was the first player mentioned at the outset of the ceremony by French Tennis Federation president Gilles Morreton, who noted, “Unfortunately, he cannot play the tournament this year.”
One player who would have been seeded, 29th-ranked Paula Badosa, pulled out before the draw, saying she got a stress fracture in her spine during the Italian Open.
The Women’s Draw
The draw put Iga Swiatek, the 2022 women’s winner, in a potential quarterfinal against No. 6 Coco Gauff in what would be a rematch of last year’s French Open final. Swiatek has been ranked No. 1 for more than a year and did not appear to show any ill effects from the hurt right thigh that caused her to stop playing in the third set of her quarterfinal match in Rome last weekend. She indicated almost immediately that the issue would not prevent her from competing in Paris, where she has won two of her three major trophies.
Other women’s matchups in that round could be No. 4 Elena Rybakina, the reigning Wimbledon champion, against No. 7 Ons Jabeur, a two-time major finalist; No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka, who won the Australian Open in January, against No. 5 Caroline Garcia; and No. 3 Jessica Pegula vs. No. 8 Maria Sakkari.
Swiatek will begin her tournament with a meeting against Cristina Bucsa, a Spanish player ranked 67th whose career record at the French Open is 0-1.
Some intriguing first-round matches include Sabalenka against Marta Kostyuk, Pegula against 2022 Australian Open finalist Danielle Collins, and Victoria Azarenka against Bianca Andreescu in a showdown between past Grand Slam champions.
Swiatek said, “It’s like my favorite tournament in the whole year, so I’m always excited to come back. Before the tournament, I get this extra motivation to practice harder, to make everything better.”
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