Tue, 05 Dec 2023

Paris [France], May 26 (ANI): The World No.1 Iga Swiatek aims to defend her title as world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz and legendary veteran Novak Djokovic look to take advantage of 14-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal's absence.

The French Open 2023 starts on Sunday in Paris with the final set to take place on June 11.

The 14-time French Open champion Nadal announced his withdrawal from the Grand Slam last week stating that he will also miss the upcoming months on tour as he continues to recover from injury. After fighting a hip injury over the past four months, Nadal stated that he could not compete.

Nadal's absence from the tournament meant the men's event will be a big opportunity for world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz and two-time champion (2016, 21) Novak Djokovic - among others to win the clay-court crown.

Djokovic will be aiming to go for Grand Slam number 23, which would see him overtake Nadal and join Serena Williams with the Open Era record mark.

Alcaraz and Djokovic have landed in the same half of the Roland Garros draw.

Alcaraz and Djokovic lead that charge in the men's tournament, though the two are in the same half of the men's singles draw when Daniil Medvedev leap-frogged Djokovic in the rankings to No. 2 after his Rome win.

The World No.1 in women's rankings Iga Swiatek comes in as defending champion with three majors titles to her name, having won the US Open last year, as well. Defending French Open champion Swiatek and Elena Rybakina find themselves in the same half of the bracket, while Victoria Azarenka and Bianca Andreescu are scheduled to meet in a first-round matchup.

Playing at home, Caroline Garcia will carry home hopes on her shoulders. (ANI)

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