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French Open 2022: 5 unseeded players who could shake up the draw

Lorenzo Musetti could cause an upset at 2022 Roland Garros.
Lorenzo Musetti could cause an upset at 2022 Roland Garros.
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The 2022 French Open draw has placed 13-time champion Rafael Nadal in the same quarter as defending champion Novak Djokovic. The duo are slated to meet in a blockbuster quarterfinal only a year after their memorable semifinal, which Djokovic won in four sets.

The top half of the draw also has Alexander Zverev, Spanish sensation Carlos Alcaraz, two-time finalist Dominic Thiem and 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka. The bottom half, relatively light on star names, could see Daniil Medvedev or Andrey Rublev potentially take on Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semifinals.

Are you ready for this? πŸ₯πŸ”₯ @rolandgarros | #RolandGarros https://t.co/zwcwoadPn6

However, there are a lot of dangerous floaters in both halves of the draw who might not win the title but could cause a few major upsets. Here's a look at five such players:


#1 David Goffin

David Goffin at the 2020 French Open - Day One
David Goffin at the 2020 French Open - Day One

Currently ranked 48th in the world, David Goffin is not one of the seeded players at this year's French Open.

The 31-year-old has one title to his name this year, winning in Morocco. He has had a decent claycourt campaign thus far, making the last 16 in Monte-Carlo and Madrid. Facing Nadal in the Spanish capital, Goffin squandered match points in the third set tie-break in a match that could have gone either way.

The Belgian beat Hubert Hurkacz in his opener in Rome, before losing in straight sets to Jenson Brooksby.

Goffin will start his Roland Garros campaign against Jiri Lehecka. If he beats the World No. 77, the Belgian could set up a second-round meeting with 24th seed Frances Tiafoe. Goffin has won three of his four meetings with the American and is more capable on the surface.

Keep calm and carry on to a 3rd set!Nadal saves 4 match points to force a decider vs Goffin ➑️ bit.ly/2hreurW #NittoATPFinals https://t.co/fplI3RTydU

Given that Goffin is projected to face Hurkacz in the third round, he will fancy his chances of reaching the second week at Roland Garros for a fourth time. He will likely take on Casper Ruud in the last 16


#2 Aslan Karatsev

Aslan Karatsev at the 2021 French Open - Day Five
Aslan Karatsev at the 2021 French Open - Day Five

Aslan Karatsev lost in the second round to Philipp Kohlschreiber on his French Open debut last year.

The World No. 39 will open his campaign this year against Argentina's Camilo Carabelli, ahead of a potential meeting with ninth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime.

The Russian won his lone meeting against Auger Aliassime in the fourth round at the Australian Open last year. In the process, he became the first player in 25 years to reach the quarterfinals on his Grand Slam debut.

Aslan Karatsev is the 7th man in the Open era, which began in 1968, to reach a QF in his Grand Slam debutThe other six, courtesy of the ITF: https://t.co/5bQaLmfp7x

Although he has won just one of his five matches on clay this season, Karatsev could reprise his giant-killing role at the French Open and cause an upset.


#3 Lorenzo Musetti

Lorenzo Musetti was on the cusp of a huge upset at the 2021 French Open - Day Nine
Lorenzo Musetti was on the cusp of a huge upset at the 2021 French Open - Day Nine

Lorenzo Musetti was on the cusp of a monumental upset last year, leading eventual champion Novak Djokovic by two sets to love in the fourth round. However, the Italian, hindered by an injury, ran out of steam and had to retire four games down in the fifth set.

Musetti, ranked 59th in the world, faces a tough test against tournament favourite Stefanos Tsitsipas at the French Open this year. However, the Italian could draw inspiration from his runs to the round-of-16 in Monte-Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid and make an impact in Paris.

Djokovic Defies Musetti!An unfortunate end as Musetti is forced to retire, meaning @DjokerNole seals the comeback win 6-7 6-7 6-1 6-0 4-0 in Paris#RolandGarros @rolandgarros https://t.co/gSjUSgv8sq

The 20-year-old has lost both his meetings with the Greek, including one on clay in Lyon last year. Nevertheless, if the in-form Tsitsipas fails to hit the ground running, Musetti will fancy his chances of an upset.


#4 Holger Rune

Holger Rune at the BMW Open by American Express 2022 - Day 9
Holger Rune at the BMW Open by American Express 2022 - Day 9

Holger Rune has been one of the surprise packages on the men's tour this year. The 19-year-old Dane won his first career singles title on clay in Munich.

Touted as one of the most promising young players at the moment, the 59th-ranked Rune will make his French Open debut against 14th seed Denis Shapovalov.

πŸ‡©πŸ‡° @holgerrune2003 joins the winner's circle in Munich πŸ† https://t.co/yWcaeMUXsP

Shapovalov has struggled for consistency on clay despite beating Rafael Nadal in the third round in Rome last week. The 23-year-old has historically struggled at Roland Garros, with a second-round appearance twice in his three appearances being his best result.

Shapovalov has won four of his seven matches on clay this season, but Rune has racked up seven wins on the surface. The young Dane will fancy his chances of beating Shapovalov in the pair's first meeting.


#5 Sebastian Baez

Sebastian Baez at the Internazionali BNL D'Italia 2022 - Day Four
Sebastian Baez at the Internazionali BNL D'Italia 2022 - Day Four

Sebastian Baez lifted his first ATP title at the ATP 250 event in Estoril earlier this year. The 21-year-old Argentine, ranked 38th in the world, has had a good run on clay this season. Baez is 6-3 in the European clay swing, with five of these wins coming in his triumphant campaign in Estoril.

πŸ† Baez triumphs in Estoril! πŸ†@sebaabaez7 wins his FIRST ATP title beating Frances Tiafoe 6-3 6-2!@EstorilOpen | #EstorilOpen https://t.co/R5Fyp6AMa5

After failing to qualify for the main draw last year, Baez will make his French Open debut against Serbia's Dusan Lajovic. Although the pair haven't met on tour before, Baez's recent form should see him prevail over the former World No. 23. Lajovic is 2-4 on clay this season.


Edited by Keshav Gopalan
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