PARIS (AP) — Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz all were placed on the same half of the French Open men’s bracket in Thursday’s draw for the clay-court Grand Slam tournament.
Djokovic, who is the defending champion and seeded No. 1, could meet 13-time champion Nadal in the quarterfinals at Roland Garros. Djokovic beat Nadal in the semifinals a year ago.
Nadal leads the Grand Slam title standings among men with 21, one ahead of Djokovic and Roger Federer. This will be Djokovic’s first major tournament since last year’s U.S. Open; he was not allowed to play in the Australian Open because he has not been vaccinated against COVID-19.
If that Djokovic-Nadal showdown happens, the winner could face No. 6 seed Alcaraz in the semifinals. Alcaraz is just 19, recently won the Madrid Open on clay and became the youngest man to break into the top 10 in the rankings since Nadal in 2005.
Alcaraz could meet No. 3 seed Alexander Zverev in quarterfinals. The potential quarterfinals on the other half of the bracket are No. 2 Daniil Medvedev against No. 7 Andrey Rublev in a matchup between two Russians who will not be allowed to compete at Wimbledon because of that country’s invasion of Ukraine, and 2021 runner-up Stefano Tsitsipas against No. 8 Casper Ruud.
The women’s draw was scheduled for later Thursday.
The tournament begins Sunday.