Carlos Alcaraz and his freshly ousted opponent Novak Djokovic from the top of the men’s rankings remain in the same sector after Thursday’s French Open pairing draw and could face each other in the semi-finals. There is
Alcaraz was top seeded at a Grand Slam for the first time in his career, and the Spanish prodigy was automatically top seeded. The third-seeded Djokovic could play in either half, and had he been in the bottom half, Serbia and Alcaraz would only have met in the Roland Garros final.
The Grand Slam on clay opened on Sunday with the notable withdrawal of Rafael Nadal, the tournament record holder of 14 titles. It will be the first time the Spanish star has not played at Roland Garros since he made his Roland Garros debut in 2025.RELATED
Djokovic will seek his 23rd major singles title to beat Thailand, who shares Nadal’s all-time leading men’s rankings at majors.
The 2022 women’s champion, Iga Swiatek, was present at the ceremony, as the previous champions are usually invited to the draw. Nadal, of course, couldn’t do it. However, he was still the first player to be ousted by French Tennis Federation president Gilles Moreton, who said, “Unfortunately, he won’t be able to play in this year’s tournament.”
Siwiatek showed no signs of a problem with his right thigh, causing him to withdraw in the third set of the quarter-finals in Rome last weekend. The Polish player was quick to point out that the discomfort would not prevent him from playing in Paris. He has won two of his three majors in Paris.
“It’s my favorite tournament of the year, so I’m happy to be back,” said Siwiatek, who has been world number one for over a year. “Before a tournament, there is a special motivation to train harder and make everything better.”
The draw could see her face Coco Gauff (seeded No. 6) in the quarterfinals, which could have been a repeat of last year’s French Open final.
Alcaraz, who just turned 20, and Djokovic, who just turned 36, have only met once in the semi-finals of the Madrid Open in May 2022. Alcaraz won 6-7(5), 7-5, 7-6(5). ) — The day after defeating Nadal in the quarterfinals, he became the first player to beat both Djokovic and Nadal in the same tournament on clay. Alcaraz stole the title after defeating Alexander Zverev in straight sets in the final.
Zverev was tasked with ending Alcaraz’s 14-game winning streak in last year’s Roland Garros quarter-finals. It was the round in which Nadal beat Djokovic in four sets and four hours.
This time, the reigning U.S. Open champions Alcaraz will face Stefanos Tsitsipas (No. 5) in the seeding quarterfinals. Djokovic faces Andrei Rublev (7th). Daniil Medvedev (2nd) vs Yannik Sinner (8th). Casper Ruud (4th) vs. Holger Roon (6th). Ruud lost to Nadal in last year’s final.
Other potential crosses in that round of the women’s draw: Jelena Ryvakina (4th and current Wimbledon champion) vs. Onz Jabbar (2 major finalist at 7th). Alina Sabalenka (2nd, current Australian Open champion) vs. Caroline Garcia (5th). Jessica Pegula (3rd) vs. Maria Sakkari (8th).
Spain’s Paula Vadossa (ranked 29th), who was supposed to be seeded, suffered a spinal stress fracture during the Italian Open and withdrew before the draw.
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