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Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz in same half of French Open draw

FILE - Spain's Rafael Nadal shakes hands with compatriot Carlos Alcaraz after their ATP Tour Madrid Open tennis tournament singles quarter-final match at the Caja Magica in Madrid on May 6, 2022. Photo: Oscar del Pozo/AFP

FILE - Spain's Rafael Nadal shakes hands with compatriot Carlos Alcaraz after their ATP Tour Madrid Open tennis tournament singles quarter-final match at the Caja Magica in Madrid on May 6, 2022. Photo: Oscar del Pozo/AFP

Published May 19, 2022

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Paris — Defending champion Novak Djokovic, 13-time winner Rafael Nadal and new teenage star Carlos Alcaraz were drawn in the same half of the French Open on Thursday.

World number one Djokovic and Nadal, ranked five, are seeded to meet as early as the quarter-finals.

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Alcaraz, 19, is bidding to become just the eighth teenager to win a Grand Slam men's title.

He could face either Djokovic or Nadal, who holds a record 21 majors, in the semi-finals in a top-heavy draw for the second Grand Slam of the season.

"I am very motivated to play my best tennis," said two-time French Open champion and 20-time major winner Djokovic.

"In Paris, I always play very strong. Last year, it was the toughest major that I had won."

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Djokovic had to twice come from two sets down last year to beat Lorenzo Musetti in the last-16 and Stefanos Tsitspas in the final having also beaten Nadal from a set behind in a bruising semi-final.

"Musetti, Rafa, Tsitsipas — every match lasted more than three hours, a lot of sets. It was exhausting but I loved the outcome."

AFP

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