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French Open - Tennis: Men's Preview

The men's draw for the French Open was confirmed on Thursday and with the top half stacked, there is a chance for a surprise to come from elsewhere.

Paris in the spring is always something to be enjoyed and the second Grand Slam of the season, tucked amongst the leafy suburbs of the 16th arrondissement is one of the highlights of the sporting calendar.

Can Novak Djokovic defend his title at 9/4? Will Rafael Nadal claim a record-extending 14th French Open? Or, will the changing of the guard continue with a new winner?

It is sure to be a fascinating tournament, with all the action available on our Sports Live Streaming platform.

Problematic path to the final

Nadal's slip to fifth in the rankings meant it was always going to be a stacked top half of the draw, with the Spaniard, Djokovic and Alexander Zverev on a collision course.

All being well, the former two will meet in the quarter-finals, with Zverev lurking in the last four.

Defending champion Djokovic gets his campaign underway against Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka. The left-hander is 20/1 to cause an upset but has played just one main-draw match on clay this season and is 1/4 to lose in three sets.

For so long the French taunted Djokovic but he won it for a second time last year and seems to have found a way to play consistently on clay, defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas in last Sunday's final in Rome.

Gregor Dimitrov is also in Section 1 but has never made it past the fourth round in Paris, while in Section 2, Nadal gets his competition underway against Australian Jordan Thompson.

Augur-Aliassime could provide Rafa worry

The real danger for Rafa, 4/1 in the outright, could be the emerging Felix Augur-Aliassime, who is 66/1 in the outright but was a quarter-finalist at this year's Australian Open.

The ninth seed lost in the quarter-finals in both Madrid and Rome, going down to Zverev and Djokovic, respectively, and it will be compelling viewing should he meet Nadal in the fourth round.

Zverev looks on course to face last year's quarter-finalist Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the third round. The German reached the last four in 2021 and could be a value price at 25/1, considering he made the final in Madrid.

Temperament is always the 25-year-old's downfall but after winning gold at last year's Olympics, he is surely ready to win his maiden Grand Slam.

Related French Open News

French Open - Tennis: All You Need To Know

French Open - Tennis: Five players to look out for

Draw hurts Alcaraz

The man who won in Madrid was the next great hope of Spanish tennis, Carlos Alcaraz.

Alcaraz is 11/5 to win the French Open and beat Nikoloz Basilashvili on his way to last year's third round in Paris. Few will ever burst onto the scene like Nadal and while the Murcian is still some way from that impact, the similarities are there.

Both thrive on the red dirt and the maturity with which the youngster has played this year means it would be no surprise to him seamlessly slip into 'King of Clay' territory.

However, with him part of that stacked top half, will it prove too much too early for the sixth seed?

Tricky opener for Tsitsipas

One of those in the bottom half is last year's beaten finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas but the fourth seed is unlikely to have it all his own way in Section 6.

The Greek opens his campaign against Italy's Lorenzo Musetti, a player cut from a similar cloth with a graceful single-handed backhand and someone who pushed Djokovic to five sets last year.

Tstisipas could then face wildcard and local hero Lucas Pouille, while Dan Evans, Alex De Minaur and Denis Shapovalov are also lurking in what is an unpredictable part of the draw.

On ranking, the Tsitsipas should make it through and is 4/1 to go one better than last year but Daniil Medvedev may prove his biggest obstacle. Always his harshest critic, the second-seed mentioned earlier this week that he struggles for confidence on clay.

Daniil even doubts himself

The Russian does have the innate belief that he can win a Grand Slam, though, having done so at last year's US Open but clay is his weakest surface and he lost his only previous competitive match on the dirt this year to Richard Gasquet in Geneva.

Medvedev is 33/1 to win the tournament and could come unstuck early on with the bottom quarter, and his Section 8, in particular, featuring a potential breakout star.

Miomir Kecmanovic has come into his own since teaming up with former world No.3 David Nalbandian earlier in the year, reaching the quarters in both Indian Wells and Miami.

The Serb also pushed compatriot Djokovic to three sets on clay in Belgrade and then made the semi-finals in Munich.

After opening the season ranked 69th, the 22-year-old is up to 31st in the rankings and at 1/8, will expect to get off to a winning start against Argentina's Tomás Martín Etcheverry, with a match with Medvedev looming in the third round.

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