French Open 2023: When is it, how to watch, what is the draw and who is Novak Djokovic playing?

·7 min read
French Open 2023: When is it, how to watch, what is the draw and who is Novak Djokovic playing? - Alex Pantling/Getty Image
French Open 2023: When is it, how to watch, what is the draw and who is Novak Djokovic playing? - Alex Pantling/Getty Image

World No 1 Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic are projected to meet in a blockbuster semi-final at Roland Garros, after both landed the same half of the draw on Thursday.

With defending champion Rafael Nadal's absence, top seed Alcaraz and 22-time major champion Djokovic will have top billing in the men's tournament, which begins on Sunday.

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Djokovic, 36, who is the third seed, last won in Paris in 2021 and is on the hunt for a record-breaking 23rd major trophy.

Since Alcaraz, 20, became world No 1 and lifted his maiden grand slam trophy in New York last September, he and Djokovic have been like ships in the night, rarely playing at the same tournaments. Their only previous meeting was on the clay courts of Madrid last spring, where Alcaraz emerged the victor after an engrossing three sets of tennis.

France’s scrum-half Antoine Dupont drew the names from the Suzanne Lenglen Cup during Thursday's draw, and delivered the potential for the tastiest semi-final possible - and their first best-of-five sets match-up.

Djokovic begins his tournament against American Aleksandar Kovacevic, who is ranked 114th, while Alcaraz faces a qualifier.

The Spaniard will then likely need to get past British No 1 Cameron Norrie and former finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals in order to play Djokovic. Norrie, the 14th seed, faces controversial Frenchman Benoit Paire in the first round, and is projected to face Alcaraz in the last 16.

French Open 2023: When is it, how to watch, what is the draw and who is Novak Djokovic playing? - AP/Thibault Camus
French Open 2023: When is it, how to watch, what is the draw and who is Novak Djokovic playing? - AP/Thibault Camus

On the other side of the draw, Rome champion and second seed Daniil Medvedev is projected to face either Italy's Jannick Sinner or Danish talent Holger Rune in the semi-finals.

As for the rest of the Britons, Dan Evans landed a tough first-round draw against Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis, whose last major appearance was an epic late-night encounter with Andy Murray in Melbourne in January. Meanwhile, Jack Draper plays 46th-ranked Tomas Etcheverry of Argentina.

Defending women's champion and top seed Iga Swiatek did not get the kindest draw either. She opens the tournament against Spain's Cristina Bucsa, and may need to beat three major champions if she wants to get her hands on the trophy for the third time.

From the fourth round onwards, her path to glory could include facing 2021 Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova, last year's finalist Coco Gauff, Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka, who won the Australian Open in January.

Belarus's Sabalenka, the second seed in Paris, will play Ukraine's Marta Kostyuk in her opening match.

The most eye-popping first-round encounter is unquestionably former world No 1 Victoria Azarenka being drawn against 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu.

French Open dates

The tournament begins at Roland Garros on Sunday, May 28 and finishes on Sunday, June 11.

French Open draw

How to watch the French Open 2023 on TV

In the UK, Eurosport has the broadcasting rights to live action from Paris. 273 live hours will be shown on Eurosport 1 and Eurosport 2 complementing the digital offering on discovery+ and the Eurosport App - where every match will be available to watch live throughout the tournament.

Every qualifying, wheelchair, junior and legends match will be available to watch live as well as the main draw on May 25.

Eurosport’s on-site presentation team includes multiple Grand Slam winners Mats Wilander, Chris Evert and John McEnroe, who join Alex Corretja, Laura Robson and Alizé Lim in Paris. World No 4 and 2022 finalist Casper Ruud will also offer his insights. Tim Henman and Barbara Schett will anchor coverage from the mixed-reality Cube studio in London before presenting live from Paris from the semi-final stage of the tournament.

To watch on discovery+, an entertainment and sport pass is £6.99/month or £59.99/year. In the United States the tournament is broadcast on ESPN.

When is the French Open 2023 final?

Women's final

The women's final will take place on June 10.

Men's final

The men's final will take place on June 11.

French Open 2023: How to watch on TV in the UK - Getty Images/Mustafa Yalcin
French Open 2023: How to watch on TV in the UK - Getty Images/Mustafa Yalcin

Which British players will be involved?

British No 1 Cameron Norrie, recent Barcelona Open semi-finalist Dan Evans and Jack Draper will be in the main draw.

Britons are notably absent on the women's side, after a dreadful qualifying tournament and due to the absence of Emma Raducanu through injury. It is the first time since 2009 that zero British women will feature in the main draw at a major.

Why is Andy Murray not playing in Paris?

Andy Murray withdrew from this year's French Open to prioritise the grass-court season in the build-up to Wimbledon.

Murray was beaten in the first round of the Italian Open and made another early exit on clay after losing to Stan Wawrinka at an ATP Challenger event in Bordeaux.

The 36-year-old is understood to still be considering which tournaments to target and they may include Surbiton from June 4-11 and then Queen's from June 19-25.

Latest news

The French Open is offering players at this year's tournament free access to a tool that will filter hateful messages on their social media platforms in a bid to prevent cyberbullying and harassment, organisers said on Monday.

The French Tennis Federation (FFT) said that artificial intelligence would be used to moderate comments players receive on posts in real time - with responses analysed in less than 200 milliseconds - and care will be taken about what is censored.

"As part of its strategy to take care of the players' mental health, the FFT decided to collaborate with 'Bodyguard' to fight against cyberbullying," the FFT said in a statement.

"A team of linguists creates word patterns that enable the system to be updated in real time according to what is posted on social media, in order to generate a more contextual analysis."

The FFT added that the technology would be used to protect all official FFT and Roland Garros social media accounts as well as those of players who opt for it for the duration of the Grand Slam and at least a week after the tournament has ended.

Social media platforms that will be monitored are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok and Discord.

"We will not accept any form of violence at our tournament," FFT director Caroline Flaissier said.

"We're very proud to be the first Grand Slam tournament to offer players a solution that efficiently protects them against cyberbullying.

"We want to protect players from this damaging behaviour, to enable them to be in peak mental condition when they compete in the tournament."

What is the French Open prize money?

The French Open total prize pool is €49.6 million (£43.2 million), up 12.3 per cent on 2022. The singles champions will each take home $2.975 million, so just over £2.47 million.

The men's and women's singles champions will each receive £2m and the finalists will earn £1m.

Who are the defending champions?

Last year, Rafael Nadal became the first man to win 22nd Grand Slam titles after sweeping aside eighth seed Ruud 6–3, 6–3, 6–0.

Iga Świątek solidified her status as the world's best when she overwhelmed Gauff, who was playing in her first Grand Slam final, 6–1, 6–3.

What are the latest odds?

Men's singles:

  • Carlos Alcaraz 13/8

  • Novak Djokovic 13/5

  • Holger Rune 10/1

Women's singles:

  • Iga Swiatek 10/11

  • Aryna Sabalenka 13/2

  • Elena Rybakina 7/1

  • Barbora Krejcikova 20/1

Odds correct as of May 25

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