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French Open tennis: Djokovic's hard path, Swiatek's streak highlight draw

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French Open tennis: Djokovic's hard path, Swiatek's streak highlight draw
Iga Swiatek of Poland is the favorite to win the women's singles title at the 2022 French Open. File Photo by David Silpa/UPI | License Photo

May 20 (UPI) -- Novak Djokovic may need to beat Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz if he wants to get to the final of this year's 2022 French Open, which recently revealed men's and women's singles draws.

The top-ranked Serbian earned the No. 1 seed for the clay-court Grand Slam. The tournament starts Sunday and runs through June 5 at Roland Garros in Paris. Tournament action will air on NBC, Tennis Channel and Peacock.

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Djokovic, ranked No. 1, won the last three French Open titles and is the favorite to claim another men's singles crown. No. 1 Iga Swiatek of Poland is a heavy favorite for the women's title.

The men's and women's champions will receive $2.3 million apiece.

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"I feel like I'm always in contention to fight for any Grand Slam trophy," Djokovic told reporters Friday. "I believe in my own abilities to get far and fight for one of the most prestigious trophies in the world of tennis."

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Djokovic will face qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan in his first-round match. The winner of that match will battle Argentine Federico Coria or Slovakian Alex Molcan in the second round.

Nadal, the No. 5 seed, will face Australian Jordan Thompson in the first round. The Spaniard is in search of his 14th crown at Roland Garros and 22nd overall Grand Slam title, which would both extend records.

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"My real goal is just to practice well, put myself in a position to be competitive from the very first round, and then let's see what can happen," Nadal said.

Nadal and Djokovic, who won the last three men's titles in Paris, could meet as early as the quarterfinals. They also share a quadrant with No. 9 Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada, No. 15 Diego Schwartzman of Argentina and Americans Reilly Opelka, Jenson Brooksby and Marcos Giron.

Alcaraz, the No. 6 seed, shares a half with all of those players, but can't face them until the semifinals. The Spaniard will play a qualifier in the first round. He could face American Sebastian Korda as early as the third round.

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No. 2 Daniil Medvedev of Russia will face Argentine Facundo Bagnis in his first-round match. Medvedev's quadrant also features countryman Andrey Rublev, the No. 7 seed, and No. 11 Jannik Sinner of Italy. He also shares a half of the draw with No. 3 Alexander Zverev of Germany, No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece and No. 12 Hubert Hurkacz of Poland, but can't play those potential foes until the semifinals.

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Djokovic is the favorite for the men's title. Alcaraz, Nadal, Tsitsipas and Zverev also are expected to contend.

On the women's side, Swiatek will look to extend her 28-match winning streak. The top-seeded singles player and tournament favorite will face a qualifier in her first-round match. The winner of that match will battle American Alison Riske or Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine in the second round.

Swiatek could face No. 8 Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic or No. 11 Jessica Pegula of the United States as soon as the quarterfinal round. She also shares the top half of the bracket with No. 3 Paula Badosa of Spain, No. 7 Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus and Americans Madison Keys and Danielle Collins.

Collins, the No. 9 seed, is the top-seeded American in the women's or men's brackets. She will meet a qualifier in the first round. The winner of that match will face American Shelby Rogers or Tereza Martincova of the Czech Republic in the second round.

No. 2 Barbora Krejcikova, the defending women's singles champion, will take on Diane Parry of France to start her title defense. She could face No. 5 Anett Kontaveit of Estonia, No. 10 Garbine Muguruza of Spain or No. 18 Cori "Coco" Gauff of the United States in the quarterfinals.

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No. 4 Maria Sakkari of Greece, No. 6 Ons Jabeur of Tunisia, No. 12 Emma Raducanu of Britain and No. 14 Belinda Bencic of Switzerland are among the top players in the same half of the draw as Krejcikova.

Unseeded Naomi Osaka of Japan also is in the bottom half of the women's draw. The four-time Grand Slam champion will face No. 27 Amanda Anisimova of the United States in the first round.

"I think it's better for me to play her in the first round than when [she] gets warmed up," Osaka said of Anisimova. "It's easier for me to play a seed in the first round than in any other round. I think we both will draw from the experience."

French Open (all times EDT)

Sunday

First round from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tennis Channel; 1 to 4 p.m. on NBC

Monday

First round from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tennis Channel

Tuesday

First round from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tennis Channel

Wednesday

Second round from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tennis Channel

Thursday

Second round from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tennis Channel

May 27

Third round from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tennis Channel

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May 28

Third round from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tennis Channel; 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on NBC; 2 to 6 p.m. on Peacock

May 29

Fourth round from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tennis Channel; noon to 6 p.m. on Peacock

May 30

Fourth round from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tennis Channel; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on NBC; 3 to 6 p.m. on Peacock

May 31

Quarterfinals from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tennis Channel

June 1

Quarterfinals from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tennis Channel

June 2

Women's semifinals from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tennis Channel; 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on NBC

June 3

Men's semifinals from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tennis Channel; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on NBC

June 4

Women's final from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on NBC

June 5

Men's final from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on NBC

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