Outdated Pal Awaits Novak Djokovic as Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz Star at French Open

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Reigning champion Novak Djokovic will come up towards his long-time former coach when he performs Slovakia’s Alex Molcan within the second spherical Wednesday at Roland Garros, whereas Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz look to maintain their French Open title ambitions on the right track.

World primary Djokovic cut up from Marian Vajda after final 12 months’s ATP Finals having labored with the Slovakian coach since he was a youngster in 2006. They took a break from every in different in 2017 however reunited the following 12 months.

Molcan and Vajda began working collectively earlier this month.

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Djokovic eased to victory in spherical one in his first Grand Slam match since dropping final 12 months’s US Open ultimate, however standing in the best way of a record-equalling twenty first main are each probably Nadal and Alcaraz within the second week.

“The draw is the draw. You’ll be able to’t actually have an effect on it. It’s a matter of luck or another drive interfering with who’s going to return to which aspect and quarter and semi and no matter,” stated Djokovic.

“I did have a look at the draw. I believe all of us do. However on the finish of the day, you all the time have to show your consideration to solely the following problem.”

Chasing a 14th French Open title, Nadal goes up towards French wildcard Corentin Moutet within the night session. Moutet knocked out 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka in spherical one.

Nadal started the 12 months with a 20-match successful run, capturing a second Australian Open title to say a report twenty first Grand Slam and transfer forward of Djokovic and Roger Federer.

The 35-year-old’s report on the French Open stands at a staggering 106 wins and simply three losses since his 2005 title-winning debut, however he’s with no title on clay this season after coping with rib and foot accidents.

“In fact the boldness is increased once you win Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid, or Rome,” stated Nadal.

“If you find yourself successful extra matches and extra tournaments you’ve got higher confidence. The opponents feels that too, and on the finish, you might be extra used to the extent that it’s essential play to win matches.

“When this isn’t the case, issues are totally different.”

Alcaraz, 19, is trying to turn out to be simply the eighth teenager to seize a significant males’s title, and extensively tipped to interrupt the stranglehold of Djokovic and Nadal.

He’s the tour’s dominant participant in 2022, posting a 29-3 report and successful a season-leading 4 titles.

Three of his triumphs have come on clay in Rio, Barcelona and Madrid the place he defeated Nadal, Djokovic and world quantity three Alexander Zverev to hoist the trophy.

He faces fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas for a spot within the final 32.

Zverev, a Roland Garros semi-finalist in 2021, takes on Sebastian Baez of Argentina. The 21-year-old Baez gained his maiden title at Estoril initially of the month.

Greek fourth seed Maria Sakkari, who was a degree away from reaching the ultimate right here 12 months in the past, takes on Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic.

Reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu performs Aliaksandra Sasnovich in spherical two, whereas Bianca Andreescu, the 2019 winner at Flushing Meadows, faces Olympic champion Belinda Bencic.

Two-time former Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka meets Germany’s Andrea Petkovic, who made the final 4 in Paris eight years in the past.

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