French Open draw 2022: Novak Djokovic, Naomi Osaka cop horror draw with Rafael Nadal

Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Naomi Osaka all face an uphill battle to go deep in Paris after the French Open draw threw up some curveballs.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic, 13-time winner Rafael Nadal and new teenage star Carlos Alcaraz have been drawn in the identical half of the French Open on Friday morning.

World primary Djokovic and Nadal, ranked 5, are seeded to fulfill as early because the quarter-finals.

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Alcaraz, 19, is bidding to turn out to be simply the eighth teenager to win a Grand Slam males’s title. He may face both Djokovic or Nadal, who holds a document 21 majors, within the semi-finals in a top-heavy draw for the second Grand Slam of the season.

“I am very motivated to play my best tennis,” mentioned two-time French Open champion and 20-time main winner Djokovic.

“In Paris, I always play very strong. Last year, it was the toughest major that I had won.”

Djokovic needed to twice come from two units down final 12 months to beat Lorenzo Musetti within the last-16 and Stefanos Tsitsipas within the closing having additionally crushed Nadal from a set behind in a bruising semi-final.

“Musetti, Rafa, Tsitsipas — every match lasted more than three hours. It was exhausting but I loved the outcome.”

Djokovic, who celebrates his thirty fifth birthday on Sunday, the opening day at Roland Garros, faces 94th-ranked Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan within the first spherical.

Djokovic defeated Nishioka in straight units within the Australian Open third spherical in 2020.

He can be fired as much as defend his title having been deported from Melbourne in January due to his refusal to get vaccinated.

Nadal begins in opposition to Australia’s Jordan Thompson as he appears to be like to increase his French Open document of solely three defeats in 108 matches on the event since his title-winning debut in 2005.

Nadal arrived at Roland Garros trying to shake off the recurrence of a long-term foot damage which noticed him limp to an early defeat in Rome final week the place Djokovic claimed a sixth title within the Italian capital.

The Spaniard may face 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka within the second spherical. Alcaraz, who has a season-leading 4 titles in 2022 together with Masters crowns in Miami and Madrid in addition to Rio and Barcelona, begins in opposition to a qualifier.

The teenager knocked out Djokovic and Nadal on his strategy to victory within the Spanish capital. Alcaraz’s potential opponent within the final 32 is Sebastian Korda who shocked him within the first spherical in Monte Carlo in April.

Second seed Daniil Medvedev, the US Open champion, faces Argentina’s Facundo Bagnis in his first spherical.

Third-ranked Alexander Zverev meets a qualifier whereas Tsitsipas has a tricky opener in opposition to Musetti.

Tennis commentator Jose Morgado mentioned on Twitter the loaded prime half of the draw was “crazy”.

Osaka to face Australian Open conqueror

In the ladies’s draw, four-time main winner Naomi Osaka, a former world primary however now down at 38, returns to Paris 12 months after she pulled out forward of the second spherical, citing psychological well being points.

She had additionally been threatened with expulsion and fined by organisers over her refusal to attend press conferences.

The 24-year-old, the world’s highest-earning sportswoman, faces American twenty seventh seed Amanda Anisimova, a semi-finalist in Paris in 2019.

Anisimova knocked Osaka out of the Australian Open within the third spherical this 12 months, making it an especially robust take a look at for Osaka first up.

Meanwhile, world primary Iga Swiatek, the 2020 champion, is on a 28-match profitable streak and has pocketed 5 successive titles this season.

The 20-year-old Pole begins in opposition to a qualifier whereas second seed and defending champion Barbora Krejcikova faces France’s Diane Parry.

“The courts are incredible. The clay is different from the other tournaments but it suits me,” Krejcikova mentioned on the draw ceremony at Roland Garros.

Third seed Paula Badosa of Spain begins in opposition to France’s Fiona Ferro whereas fourth-seeded Maria Sakkari additionally has a French opponent in Clara Burel.

Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur, seeded six and the champion on clay in Madrid final month, takes on Magda Linette of Poland in her first spherical conflict.

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