Djokovic and Alcaraz in identical half of French Open draw

Novak Djokovic may face world primary Carlos Alcaraz within the semi-finals of the French Open after each gamers had been positioned in the identical half of the draw on Thursday.

Djokovic is chasing a document twenty third males’s Grand Slam title within the absence of the injured Rafael Nadal, who will miss the event at Roland Garros for the primary time since his 2005 title-winning debut.

The third-seeded Djokovic, Roland Garros champion in 2016 and 2021, meets 114th-ranked Aleksandar Kovacevic of the US within the first spherical in Paris — the primary French Open since 1998 with out Nadal or the now retired Roger Federer. 

The 24-year-old Kovacevic is making his Grand Slam major draw debut.

Djokovic, who turned 36 on Monday, has been bothered by a recurrence of a proper elbow damage which has disrupted his clay-court season.

He did not transcend the final eight at any of the three occasions he performed on clay this spring, dropping his primary spot to Alcaraz.

Djokovic has additionally fallen behind Daniil Medvedev within the rankings after the Russian succeeded him as Italian Open champion final weekend.

US Open champion Alcaraz and Medvedev each begin their Roland Garros campaigns towards a qualifier or fortunate loser.

Alcaraz can be on observe to play 2021 French Open runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas within the quarter-finals.

Reigning girls’s champion Iga Swiatek begins her title defence towards Spain’s Cristina Bucsa, the world quantity 67 who was overwhelmed by the Pole within the third spherical of this 12 months’s Australian Open.

The highest-ranked Swiatek, bidding to turn out to be the primary back-to-back girls’s champion on the French Open in 16 years, is coming off a thigh damage which compelled her to retire in Rome.

She is seeded to fulfill 2022 runner-up Coco Gauff within the quarter-finals and will face Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, final week’s Italian Open winner, within the final 4.

“That is my favorite event. I at all times get this further motivation to practise more durable right here. I am actually excited to be right here,” Swiatek mentioned in the course of the draw ceremony.

Aryna Sabalenka, who received her maiden Grand Slam crown in Melbourne, performs Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine in spherical one. Sabalenka has by no means acquired past the third spherical in Paris regardless of making no less than the semi-finals at the entire different three majors.

Third seed Jessica Pegula has a tough opening match towards fellow American and 2022 Australian Open finalist Danielle Collins, whereas Rybakina will get a qualifier or fortunate loser first up.

Ons Jabeur, seeded seventh, is a possible quarter-final opponent for Rybakina, who defeated the Tunisian within the 2022 Wimbledon ultimate. Jabeur additionally completed runner-up to Swiatek on the US Open. 

Djokovic and Alcaraz in identical half of French Open draw