PARIS — Carlos Alcaraz and a man just replaced at the top of the ranking22-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovicwere placed in the same half French Open field in Thursday’s draw and can face each other in the semi-finals.
Alcaraz is seeded No. 1 in a Grand Slam tournament for the first time and automatically moved to the top of the bracket. Djokovic is No. 3, so he could have finished in both halves – if he landed bottom, he and Alcaraz might not meet until the final at Roland Garroswhere the 14-time champion Rafael Nadal he will be absent for the first time since his clay-court debut in 2005.
The game starts on Sunday.
Usually last year’s singles champions are invited to the draw, so 2022 women’s winner Every Christmas was present on Thursday. Still of course not. Despite this, he was the first player mentioned at the beginning of the ceremony by French Tennis Federation president Gilles Morreton, who remarked, “Unfortunately, he cannot play in the tournament this year.”
Swiatek did not appear to show any ill effects from an injury to her right thigh that saw her sidelined in the third set of last weekend’s quarter-final match in Rome. Almost immediately, she made it clear that the problem would not prevent her from competing in Paris, where she won two of her three major trophies.
“This is my favorite tournament of the year, so I’m always happy to come back,” said Świątek, who has been ranked number one for over a year. “Before the tournament, I get extra motivation to train harder to make things better.”
Alcaraz, who just turned 20, and Djokovic, who just turned 36, have only played each other once, in the semi-final of the Madrid Open in May 2022. Alcaraz won that match 6-7(5), 7-5, 7-6(5) – a day after defeating Nadal in the quarterfinals, becoming the first player to defeat both Djokovic and Nadal at the same clay court tournament. Alcaraz won the title there, winning in straight sets Alexander Zverev In finale.
It was Zverev who ended Alcaraz’s 14-fight win streak in the quarterfinals of the French Open last year. This was also the round where Nadal stopped Djokovic in the four-set, four-hour thriller.
This time in the men’s quarterfinals, seeded Alcaraz, the reigning US Open champion, will face No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas, two-time Slam finalist; Djokovic against No. 7 Andrei Rublev; No. 2 Daniil Medvedev2021 US Open winner, against #8 Jannik Sinner; and No. 4 Kacper Ruudrunner-up at the French Open and the US Open last year, against No. 6 Holger Rune.
Other women’s matches in this round could be No. 4 Elena Rybakinareigning Wimbledon champion, against No. 7 Our Jaber, two-time main finalist; No. 2 Aryna Sabalenkawho won the Australian Open in January against No Carolina Garcia; and No. 3 Jessica Pegula versus no. 8 Maria Sakari.
One player who would be seeded 29th ranked Paul Badosshe withdrew before the draw, saying she suffered a fractured spine at the Italian Open.
Świątek will start his tournament with a meeting against Krystyna BuczaThe 67th ranked Spaniard whose French Open career is 0-1.
Some intriguing first round matches include Sabalenka vs Marta KostyukPegula against the 2022 Australian Open finalist Danielle CollinsAND Victoria Azarenka against Bianca Andreescu in a duel between former Grand Slam champions.