The 2023 French Open draw was announced on Thursday, and somewhat surprisingly, Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic in the same half of the group. That sets them up for an epic encounter in the semifinals, which would be only the second time they’ve faced each other.
Alcaraz’s positioning in the group was a foregone conclusion – as the number 1 seed, he was automatically placed on top. The bracket makers then had two options for the placement of Djokovic, the No. 3 seed: in the top half with Alcaraz, or in the bottom half with No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev. They chose to put Djokovic on top, denying him and Alcaraz the chance to meet in the final. But this setup makes for tougher competition as Djokovic and Alcaraz, who can be stiflingly good, are cut to half. That means someone other than Djokovic and Alcaraz actually has a chance of making it out of the bottom half of the draw.
The only other time Alcaraz and Djokovic played each other was in the semifinals of the 2022 Madrid Open. (Alcaraz had beaten Rafael Nadal before in the tournament.) Alcaraz won, making him one of the few people to win both Nadal as Djokovic defeated in the same clay-court tournament.
Here’s the full men’s draw.
Iga Swiatek has challenging road to final
It is quite normal for the number 1 seed to have a rough road to the finals. But Iga Swiatek’s path is hilariously difficult.
To win, Swiatek will likely have to cross rackets with Barbora Krejcikova, 2021 French Open champion, in round 4. Then in the quarterfinals, it’s Coco Gauff, who lost to Swiatek in the 2022 French Open final a year ago. She will then face the 2022 Wimbledon champion and 2023 Australian Open runner-up Elena Rybakina in the semifinals. defeated in the final of the Italian Open.
Swiatek isn’t on the same kind of ridiculous “I will destroy you” winning streak she came into the 2022 French Open with, but she doesn’t need it to win. But with such a road ahead of her, no one could blame her for wanting it even a little bit.
Here’s the full draw for the ladies.