French Open: Djokovic, Alcaraz and Nadal all on same side of draw at Roland Garros

By Sports Desk May 19, 2022

Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz are all on the same half of the draw at the French Open, while women's world number one Iga Swiatek will face a qualifier in the first round at Roland Garros.

Djokovic, who will make his Grand Slam return having missed the Australian Open, opens in Paris against Yoshihito Nishioka, while record 21-time grand slam winner Nadal meets Australia's Jordan Thompson.

The veteran pair of Djokovic and Nadal could challenge each other in the quarter-finals in the top half of the draw, where Alcaraz could come across world number three Alexander Zverev.

Alcaraz faces a qualifier in the first round and has won 16 of his last 17 matches, with the one blemish on his remarkable run coming against Sebastian Korda, who the Spaniard could meet in the third round.

Daniil Medvedev will have to get past Argentine Facundo Bagnis in the first round, while Lorenzo Musetti stands in the way of last year's runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Medvedev and Tsitsipas are joined in the wide-open bottom half of the draw by Casper Ruud and Andrey Rublev, who meet home favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and South Korea's Soonwoo Kwon respectively.

In the women's draw, 2020 champion Swiatek comes in as favourite and will look to continue her 28-match winning streak when she faces a qualifier in the first round, as does US Open winner Emma Raducanu.

The Brit will then take on Aliaksandra Sasnovich or Wang Xinyu before a potential last-16 meeting with Ons Jabeur, who first has to get past Poland's Magda Linette.

Meanwhile, Karolina Pliskova – who has a first-round clash with France's Tessah Andrianjafitrimo – could set up a quarter-final meeting with Swiatek, but the Pole may have to get past Simona Halep in the fourth round first.

Defending champion Barbora Krejcikova starts against Diane Parry, while Naomi Osaka was drawn against the in-form Amanda Anisimova, who beat the Japanese in the third round of the Australian Open.

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    The 27-year-old defeated Jubb 3-6 6-1 7-5 6-7 (3-7) 7-5 and hit 67 winners but after a drama-filled three hours and five minutes, his prompting of a line judge to speak to the chair umpire and demands for some fans to be removed were punctuated by spitting towards a section of the crowd upon victory.

    Earlier this month, tournament organisers in Stuttgart investigated when Kyrgios claimed he was racially abused by sections of the crowd during a match.

    At his post-match news conference, Kyrgios jousted with journalists on the capacity of older line judges to make accurate calls, but primarily focused on the perceived normality of on and off-court abuse.

    "A lot of disrespect was being thrown today from the crowds," he said. "I’m just starting to think that it’s normal when it’s really not.

    "I didn’t say anything to the crowd until they started just every time I came down to the far end, people just going. It’s just I don’t know if it’s normal or not.

    "Just pure disrespect, just anything. Someone just yelled out I was s**t in the crowd today. Is that normal? No. I just don’t understand why it’s happening over and over again.

    "Have you ever gone to a supermarket and just started berating someone scanning the groceries? No. So why do they do it when I’m at Wimbledon? Why is that?"

    In a testy news conference, Kyrgios was himself accused of lacking respect, but he lamented over not being able to respond to the abuse he receives on the court without some kind of punishment.

    The world number 40 insisted he has no regrets on spitting towards an unruly fan after his win.

    "Today, as soon as I won the match, I turned to him," Kyrgios said. "I’ve been dealing with hate and negativity for a long time, so I don’t feel like I owed that person anything.

    "Like, he literally came to the match to literally just, like, not even support anyone really. It was more just to, like, stir up and disrespect. That’s fine. But if I give it back to you, then that’s just how it is.

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    Williams went down 7-5 1-6 7-6 (10-7) on Centre Court in her first singles match since being forced to withdraw in the opening round of last year's tournament at the All England Club, when she suffered a hamstring injury during a contest with Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

    The seven-time Wimbledon champion's much-heralded comeback proved to be an almighty battle and it was the SW19 debutant from France who came out on top late on Tuesday evening.

    It took outsider Tan three hours and 11 minutes to claim a huge scalp, winning what could prove to be the great Williams' final singles match at Wimbledon.

    Tan broke three times in a back-and-forth first set, with Williams unable to keep her at bay during the seventh game despite the world number 115 seeing three break points come and go before winning the fourth.

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    Williams was able to force a tie-break after saving a match point, and surged into a 4-0 lead - but Tan rallied once more to seize back the momentum, and celebrated a famous win after her legendary opponent netted a forehand.

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