2023 French Open draw: Bad news for Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic

Carlos Alcaraz celebrations

The good news for Carlos Alcaraz after the 2023 French Open draw is he will face a lucky loser or a qualifier in his opening match in Paris, but the bad news is he is in the same half of the draw as Novak Djokovic.

Roland Garros marks Alcaraz’s first Grand Slam as a top seed and you would expect a player of his calibre to get through the first week with 26th seed Denis Shapovalov likely to be the first big-name player he faces in the third round.

Things will get tricky after that as he is projected to meet 14th seed Cameron Norrie in the fourth round, although it would not be a big surprise if 17th seed Lorenzo Musetti reaches the last 16.

If Alcaraz gets to the quarter-final then he is projected to meet fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas – who will open his tournament against Jiri Vesely. Tsitsipas, though, has a potential meeting with 10th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in the fourth round.

A tasty Alcaraz-Djokovic semi-final is on the cards though as the 22-time Grand Slam winner headlines Section 3. Djokovic kicks off his bid for a third title in Paris against Aleksander Kovacevic and he is projected to meet 13th seed Hubert Huikacz in the fourth round with Andrey Rublev likely awaiting in the quarter-final.

Seventh seed Rublev faces Laslo Dere first up and if the seedings hold then there will be an all-Russian fourth-round clash against Karen Kachanov.

World No 2 Daniil Medvedev was the big winner in the draw as he avoided some top names. The Italian Open champion starts off against qualifier or a lucky loser while he could face 15th seed Borna Coric in the fourth round and eighth seed Jannik Sinner in the quarter-final.

Italian Sinner, though, will likely have to get past 28th seed Grigor Dimitrov in the third round and either Alexander Zverev – who reached the semi-final last year – or 12th seed Frances Tiafoe in the fourth round.

Casper Ruud – who also faces a qualifier or a lucky loser in the first round – is the favourite to emerge from Section 6 and 16th seed Tommy Paul and 28th seed Jan-Lennard Struff are the men who could prevent him from reaching the quarter-final.

Should the Norwegian get through that then he will likely be involved in a Scandanavian battle in the last eight as Holger Rune is projected to come through from Section 5.

The Dane, who finished runner-up at the Italian Open, faces American Christopher Eubanks first up with ninth seed Taylor Fritz his projected fourth-round opponent.

Of course the winner is likely to face Medvedev in the semi-final with either Alcaraz or Djokovic projected to come through from the top half.

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