French Open 2023 men's draw: Developments, upsets and new favorites after Week 1

2023 French Open - Day Six
Novak Djokovic is in the Round of 16 of the French Open

The French Open 2023 is halfway through, with the first week coming to an end. Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz started the tournament as heavy favorites, with both having done well so far.

Alcaraz, the top seed at the clay-court Major, booked his place in the fourth round after beating 26th seed Denis Shapovalov 6-1, 6-4, 6-2. Djokovic has also looked in good form and is among the four players who are yet to drop a single set at Roland Garros.

Other players who have won all of their sets at the clay-court Major include 17th seed Lorenzo Musetti, 28th Grigor Dimitrov, and Tomas Martin Etcheverry, who reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the very first time in his career by beating 15th seed Borna Coric.

Djokovic will take on Juan Pablo Varillas in the fourth round of the French Open, with the winner facing either 11th seed Karen Khachanov or Lorenzo Sonego in the quarterfinals.

Alcaraz, meanwhile, will face a tough task against Lorenzo Musetti in the Round of 16. If the Spaniard wins, he will take on either fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas or Sebastian Ofner.

The bottom half of the French Open looks quite interesting despite the elimination of second seed Daniil Medvedev. Fourth seed Casper Ruud eliminated Zhang Zhizhen to reach the fourth round of the clay-court Major and will next face Nicolas Jarry.

If Ruud wins, he could have a second-successive Roland Garros quarterfinal against Holger Rune, who will take on Francisco Cerundolo in the Round of 16.

Alexander Zverev will also compete in the fourth round after triumphing 3-6, 7-6(3), 6-1, 7-6(5) over 12th seed Frances Tiafoe. The German will face 28th seed Grigor Dimitrov.

27th seed Yoshihito Nishioka also made it to the fourth round after defeating Thiago Seyboth Wild 3-6, 7-6(8), 2-6, 6-4, 6-0. The Japanese will next face Tomas Martin Etcheverry.

Upsets so far

There have been a few upsets so far at the French Open, with the most notable being second seed Daniil Medvedev losing in the very first round. The Russian entered the clay-court Major with high expectations as he won the Italian Open. However, he lost 7-6(5), 6-7(6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 to Thiago Seyboth Wild in the opening round.

Another notable opening-round casualty was 10th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, who lost 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 to Fabio Fognini.

Eighth seed Jannik Sinner was eliminated in the second round as he lost a thriller 6-7(0), 7-6(7), 1-6, 7-6(4) to Daniel Altmaier. The likes of Tommy Paul, Roberto Bautista Agut, and Alex de Minaur were all ousted in the second round by lower-ranked opponents.

The most notable upset of the third round was seventh seed Andrey Rublev losing to Lorenzo Sonego despite being two sets up. The Russian bageled Sonego in the second set before the Italian staged a memorable comeback to win the match. Another top 10 upset in the third round was ninth seed Taylor Fritz being beaten by 23rd seed Francisco Cerundolo

Who looks like the favorite to win the French Open?

Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz are heavy favorites to win the French Open given their current form. However, only one of them can make it to the final as the two will lock horns in the semifinals if they get that far.

Casper Ruud is the next highest-ranked player and he is someone who can never be written off on clay. The Norwegian is gradually finding his form following a rocky start to 2023 and has a good chance of reaching another French Open final, especially if he is able to get past Holger Rune, who could be his opponent in the quarterfinals.

Stefanos Tsitsipas, meanwhile, is always a force to be reckoned with on clay and he should be able to reach the quarterfinals. Here, the Greek will have the tough task of facing Carlos Alcaraz unless the Spaniard loses to Musetti.

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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