PARIS, FRANCE May 29. Novak Djokovic of Serbia in action against Diego Schwartzman of Argentina on Court Suzanne Lenglen during the singles fourth round match at the 2022 French Open Tennis Tournament at Roland Garros on May 29th 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)
Alcaraz has a fairly comfortable opening week even if an in-form Christopher O’Connell could provide the Spaniard with an awkward test in the second round. Denis Shapovalov’s erratic form means that may be another comfortable match in the third round providing the Canadian can get past Brandon Nakashima in his opening match of the tournament. Overall it would seem that Alcaraz’s potential semi-final clash with Djokovic will determine whether the world number one will be lifting his second career Grand Slam title. Considering the form that Alcaraz is in, it would be hard to predict against especially given his draw but the Spaniard is still yet to prove himself over five sets on clay so a lot will depend on how much energy he can save for the latter rounds in Paris.
Considering Medvedev has been playing with confidence and freedom on clay, the world number two will be fairly happy with his first week with Quentin Halys and Yoshihito Nishioka not expected to cause too many problems. It would seem that Borna Coric would be the biggest obstacle on his way to the final although the powerful Croatian would need to get past Dominic Thiem potentially first. The big test is expected to come in the last four against reigning finalist Ruud but with the Norwegian out of form this may be Medvedev’s best ever opportunity to reach a first Roland Garros final.
Djokovic has a favourable draw with players he has dominant head-to-head records against appearing in his section of the draw. However the Serb will look to be wary of clay court specialists and young talents such as Marco Cecchinato and Luca Van Assche who he has either lost to in the past or found it tough to break down. A potential quarter-final against either Andrey Rublev or Karen Khachanov could be a good test to see if Djokovic’s form is one that will see him lift the title or whether his injury troubles will get the best of him. Overall the Serb has a comfortable draw that should see him into the semi-finals at minimum and as history has proven once he is in the latter stages then it is hard to go against him especially when he is competing for one of the sport’s biggest titles.
Ruud enters Roland Garros in disappointing form but the Norwegian will be hoping that a return to the place where he reached his first Grand Slam final will give him the confidence needed to turn his season around.
Ruud’s Path to the Final (Ranking/Seeding)
R1: Qualifier | H2H: N/A
R2: Alexander Bublik | H2H: Ruud leads 5-1
R3: Botic Van De Zandschulp  | H2H: Van De Zandschulp leads 3-2
R4: Tommy Paul  | H2H: Ruud leads 3-1
QF: Holger Rune  | H2H: Ruud leads 4-1
SF: Daniil Medvedev  | H2H: Medvedev leads 3-0
F: Carlos Alcaraz  | H2H: Alcaraz leads 3-0
Ruud has a favourable opening week although facing Botic Van De Zandschulp won’t be an easy third round match given their head-to-head record. The real test of Ruud’s Roland Garros credentials will come against rival Holger Rune which will be a rematch of their Rome clash which Rune won. This will be a difficult test that will determine whether the Norwegian is a contender for the Roland Garros title or a pretender. Ultimately Ruud has a good opening few rounds that will allow him to gain confidence just in time to be competitive for the latter stages of Roland Garros where the competition will intensify.
Roland Garros 2023 takes place between 28 May and 11 June.
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