French Open 2023: Draw puts Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz on collision course for semifinals

The 2023 French Open draw was announced Thursday, and somewhat surprisingly, Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic are in the same half of the bracket. That sets them up for an epic meeting in the semifinals, which would be just the second time they've faced each other.

The positioning of Alcaraz in the bracket was a foregone conclusion — as the No. 1 seed, he was automatically placed in the top. The bracket makers then had two options for the placement of Djokovic, the No. 3 seed: in the top half with Alcaraz or in the bottom half with No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev. They chose to put Djokovic in the top, which denies him and Alcaraz the chance to meet in the final.

This arrangement allows for a more robust competition since Djokovic and Alcaraz, who can be suffocatingly good, are confined to one half. That means someone who isn't Djokovic or Alcaraz actually has a chance of making it out of the bottom half of the draw.

Novak Djokovic (left) of Serbia greets Carlos Alcaraz of Spain after their meeting in the men's singles semifinal at the 2022 Madrid Open. (Photo by Meng Dingbo/Xinhua via Getty Images)

The only other time Alcaraz and Djokovic have played each other was in the 2022 Madrid Open semifinal. (Alcaraz beat Rafael Nadal earlier in the tournament.) Alcaraz won, making him one of the only people to beat both Nadal and Djokovic in the same clay-court tournament.

Here's the full French Open men's draw.

Iga Swiatek has challenging road to final

It's pretty normal for the No. 1 seed to have a difficult path to the final. But Iga Swiatek's path is hilariously difficult.

To win, Swiatek will likely have to cross rackets with Barbora Krejcikova, 2021 French Open champion, in Round 4. Then in the quarterfinal, it's Coco Gauff, who lost to Swiatek one year ago in the 2022 French Open final. In the semifinal, she's likely up against 2022 Wimbledon champion and 2023 Australian Open runner-up Elena Rybakina. Finally, there's Aryna Sabalenka, the 2023 Australian Open champion who beat Swiatek the last time they faced off in the final of the Italian Open.

Swiatek isn't on the kind of ridiculous, "I will destroy you" winning streak that she was riding into the 2022 French Open, but she doesn't need that to win. However, with that kind of road ahead of her, no one could blame her for wanting it just a bit.

Here's the full French Open women's draw.