FRENCH OPEN 2023: No Nadal or Federer in Paris for 1st time since 1998; Swiatek defending champ
PARIS (AP) — A glance at the French Open, the second Grand Slam tennis tournament of 2023:
Play begins Sunday at the only Grand Slam tournament that lasts 15 days (the other three are 14-day events). There are day and night sessions. The women’s singles final is Saturday, June 10; the men’s singles final is Sunday, June 11.
Defending champion Iga Swiatek will be seeded No. 1 in the women’s bracket, with Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka next, Jessica Pegula at No. 3, and reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina at No 4. Carlos Alcaraz will be No. 1 in the men’s draw — his first time on the top line at a major tournament — followed by Daniil Medvedev at No. 2, two-time French Open title winner Novak Djokovic at No. 3, and 2022 runner-up Casper Ruud at No. 4.
2022 WOMEN’S SINGLES CHAMPION
2022 MEN’S SINGLES CHAMPION
Swiatek beat American teenager Coco Gauff 6-1, 6-3 in the women’s final for her second French Open trophy and third Grand Slam title overall. Swiatek grabbed a 4-0 lead and never looked back, compiling more winners and fewer unforced errors than Gauff. The victory extended Swiatek’s winning streak to 35 matches, one more than the best unbeaten run ever compiled by Serena Williams. Nadal overwhelmed Casper Ruud in the men’s final, taking the last 11 games of a 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 victory for his record-extending 14th French Open championship. The win, accomplished despite chronic pain in his left foot that required nerve-numbing injections, made Nadal the oldest men’s title winner at Roland Garros at age 36.
WHO IS MISSING
This is the first French Open in a quarter of a century without Nadal or Roger Federer in the field. Federer made his tournament debut in 1998; Nadal in 2005. Federer announced his retirement last year; Nadal said last week that he will miss the trip to Roland Garros for the first time since he started entering the event because of a lingering hip injury. He also said next season probably will be his last on tour. Other big-name players who will be missing from the bracket include 2018 champion Simona Halep (provisional doping ban), 2016 champion Garbiñe Muguruza (taking a break from the tour), four-time major winner Naomi Osaka (pregnant), three-time Grand Slam champ Andy Murray (focusing on the grass-court season and Wimbledon) and 2022 Wimbledon runner-up Nick Kyrgios (injured).
3 — Past French Open women’s champions slated to be in the tournament: Swiatek (2020, 2022), Barbora Krejcikova (2021), Jelena Ostapenko (2017).
22 — Grand Slam singles titles for Djokovic, tied with Nadal for the men’s record and one away from the overall Open era mark held by Williams.
Total prize money for the 2023 French Open is rising to a tournament-record 49.6 million euros — about $54 million. The two singles champions each will receive the pre-pandemic amount of 2.3 million euros — about $2.5 million — that was paid out in 2019, before dipping for the next two years.
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