2023 French Open: When does it take place, who are absent, draw, daily schedule, TV channels, prize money
The 2023 French Open is around the corner and we have all the ins and outs that you need to know ahead of the red-dirt Grand Slam in Paris.
When does the 2023 French Open take place?
The 127th edition of the French Open – officially known as Roland Garros – will start on Sunday May 28 and the grand finale will be on Sunday June 11 with the men’s final (the women’s final takes place on Saturday June 10). The qualifying tournament gets underway on Monday May 22.
This year will mark the 93rd time it is played as a Grand Slam and it will comprise of singles, doubles and mixed doubles as well as junior, wheelchair legends tournaments.
About the venue for the red dirt Grand Slam…
The magnificent Stade Roland Garros in Paris has hosted the French Open since 1928 and the modern-day facility boasts Court Philippe Chatrier, Court Suzanne Lenglen and Court Simonne Mathieu as its three main show courts.
Court Philippe Chatrier – previously known as Court Central – can host up to 15,225 spectators and it has a retractable roof and floodlights, which was first used in 2020. Chatrier will once again host night sessions following its introduction in 2021.
Court Suzanne Lenglen has a capacity of 10,068 spectators while Court Simonne Mathieu can host 5,000 people. Court Simonne Mathieu underwent a major renovation ahead of the 2019 edition and was constructed four metres below ground level with greenhouses on all four sides.
Who are the defending champions?
Rafael Nadal won a record-extending 14th French Open title last year when he brushed aside Casper Ruud 6–3, 6–3, 6–0 in the final. He also defeated Novak Djokovic in the quarter-final. Of course, he won’t be back to defend his title (more on that below).
Iga Swiatek won her second Grand Slam and second title in Paris when she defeated first-time major finalist Coco Gauff 6–1, 6–3 in the women’s final.
Salvadoran Marcelo Arévalo became the first Grand Slam winner from Central America when he teamed up with Jean-Julien Rojer from the Netherlands to win the men’s doubles while there was home delight in the women’s doubles as French duo Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic won the title. Ena Shibahara and Wesley Koolhof won the mixed doubles.
Which big-name players are absent from this year’s tournament?
As mentioned above, defending champion Rafael Nadal won’t be in the main draw at Roland Garros for the first time since he made his debut in Paris in 2005. The Spaniard is struggling with a hip injury, but hopes to return in 2024.
And in case you didn’t know, this will be the first time since 1998 that there will be no Roger Federer (who retired last year) or Rafael Nadal at the French Open.
Nick Kyrgios is another player who will be absent as he has a foot injury, which he sustained during an armed robbery at his house (!).
Andy Murray became another withdrawal on the Sunday before the tournament was due to get underway as he opted to focus on the grass-court season.
In the women’s draw, former champion Simona Halep is still out as she continues to fight her doping suspension while Emma Raducanu is recovering from surgery.
When does the main draw take place?
The singles main draw for the 2023 tournament will take place on Thursday May 25 at 14:00 local time (13:00 BST).
What about the seeds for the 2023 event?
Carlos Alcaraz headlines the main draw after returning to No 1 in the ATP Rankings following his second-round win in Rome. He is followed by Daniil Medvedev, who usurped Novak Djokovic after winning the Italian Open, Djokovic, Casper Ruud, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev, Holger Rune, Jannik Sinner, Taylor Fritz and Félix Auger-Aliassime.
In the women’s draw, defending champion Iga Swiatek is the top seed and Aryna Sabalenka, Jessica Pegula, Elena Rybakina, Caroline Garcia, Coco Gauff, Ons Jabeur, Maria Sakkari, Daria Kasatkina and Petra Kvitova complete the top 10.
What about the British interest?
Cameron Norrie is the highest-ranked British player and he is seeded 14th with Dan Evans 22nd with Jack Draper also set to play.
Jodie Burrage, Katie Boulter and Harriet Dart will have to come through qualifying if they are to play.
More about qualifying…
Former Australian Open semi-finalist Aslan Karatsev is the top seed in the men’s qualifying draw with the likes of Fabio Fognini, Denis Kudla and Great Britain’s Liam Broady also in the draw.
2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin is the biggest name on the women’s side.
What does the daily schedule of play look like?
As is the case with all tennis tournaments, the order of play for each day is released the night before.
Play officially gets underway either at 11:00 local time (10:00 BST) except for May 28 and June 2 when play starts an hour earlier.
Court Philippe Chatrier, of course, is the exception as well as play only starts at 12:00 (11:00 BST) every day. The night sessions from May 29-June 7 will start at 20:30 (19:30 BST).
Both the ladies’ and men’s finals will start at 15:00 (14:00 BST).
Which TV channels will broadcast the tournament?
Roland Garros will be available on Eurosport, the Eurosport app and on-demand on discovery+ for those in the UK as well as the rest of Europe, with France the exception. France TV Sport and Amazon Prime Video is the go-to broadcaster in the host country. Austria (Servus TV), Belgium (RTBF) and Switzerland (SRG SSR) will also have their own coverage.
NBC, Peacock TV, Tennis Channel and Bally Sport have the broadcasting rights for the United States while RDS and TSN will air the event in Canada.
ESNP has the rights in Latin America while BeinSport, SuperSport and Canal+ will broadcast the French Open in places like Asia, the Middle East, North America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Australia (Channel 9), China (CCTV), Japan (WOWOW), India (Sony Ten) and New Zealand (Sky) all have different broadcasters.
What about the prize money?
French Open organisers will hand out €49.6 (roughly £43m) in prize money this year and the men’s and women’s singles champions will each walk away with a €2.3m (about £2m) cheque.
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