French Open 2022: Nadal-Djokovic, Alcaraz-Zverev on the cards as draws made
- The draws for the 2022 French Open have been made
- Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal could face each other in the French Open quarter-finals
- Madrid Open-winner Carlos Alcaraz could face Alexander Zverev
Defending champion Novak Djokovic and 13-time French Open winner Rafael Nadal were drawn in the same half of the tournament on Thursday, and could potentially face each other as early as the quarter-finals.
Along with the two veterans, 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz, was also drawn in the same half, and could face either of the two serial winners in the semi-finals of the French Open, if he can overcome his likely opponent, number 3 seed Alexander Zverev.
Alcaraz, who recently won the Madrid Open by beating his childhood icon and tennis legend Nadal, is looking to become the first teenager to win a Grand Slam. World number one Djokovic and world number five Nadal, meanwhile, will be looking to extend their already otherworldly records.
Djokovic, in particular, has a point to prove, having missed several tournaments - including the Australian Open where he was the defending champion, the Indian Wells Masters, as well as the Miami Open - due to his anti-vaccination stance.
The Serbian's absence from competitive tennis allowed Russia's Daniil Medvedev to briefly replace him as the world's number one. It also allowed Nadal to win the Australian Open: the Spaniard's 21st Grand Slam win took him past both Djokovic and Roger Federer, with whom he had shared the record earlier.
Speaking ahead of the tournament, Djokovic expressed his determination to get back to winning ways, telling the press that he was "very motivated" to play his "best tennis."
"In Paris, I always play very strong. Last year, it was the toughest major I won. Musetti, Rafa Tsitsipas -- every match lasted more than three hours, a lot of sets. It was exhausting but I loved the outcome," the two-time French Open winner and 20-time Grand Slam winner added.