French Open 2023: When is it, how to watch, what is the draw and who is Novak Djokovic playing?

Novak Djokovic (L) Rafael Nadal (R) - French Open 2023: When is it, how to watch, what is the draw and who is Novak Djokovic playing? - Getty Images
Novak Djokovic (L) Rafael Nadal (R) - French Open 2023: When is it, how to watch, what is the draw and who is Novak Djokovic playing? - Getty Images

World No 1 Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic are projected to meet in a blockbuster semi-final at Roland Garros, after both landed the same half of the draw on Thursday.

With defending champion Rafael Nadal's absence, top seed Alcaraz and 22-time major champion Djokovic will have top billing in the men's tournament, which begins on Sunday.

Djokovic, 36, who is the third seed, last won in Paris in 2021 and is on the hunt for a record-breaking 23rd major trophy.

Since Alcaraz, 20, became world No 1 and lifted his maiden grand slam trophy in New York last September, he and Djokovic have been like ships in the night, rarely playing at the same tournaments. Their only previous meeting was on the clay courts of Madrid last spring, where Alcaraz emerged the victor after an engrossing three sets of tennis.

France’s scrum-half Antoine Dupont drew the names from the Suzanne Lenglen Cup during Thursday's draw, and delivered the potential for the tastiest semi-final possible - and their first best-of-five sets match-up.

Djokovic begins his tournament against American Aleksandar Kovacevic, who is ranked 114th, while Alcaraz faces a qualifier.

The Spaniard will then likely need to get past British No 1 Cameron Norrie and former finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals in order to play Djokovic. Norrie, the 14th seed, who appeared injured in a match on Friday, faces controversial Frenchman Benoit Paire in the first round, and is projected to face Alcaraz in the last 16.

French Open 2023: When is it, how to watch, what is the draw and who is Novak Djokovic playing? - AP/Thibault Camus
French Open 2023: When is it, how to watch, what is the draw and who is Novak Djokovic playing? - AP/Thibault Camus

On the other side of the draw, Rome champion and second seed Daniil Medvedev is projected to face either Italy's Jannick Sinner or Danish talent Holger Rune in the semi-finals.

As for the rest of the Britons, Dan Evans landed a tough first-round draw against Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis, whose last major appearance was an epic late-night encounter with Andy Murray in Melbourne in January. Meanwhile, Jack Draper plays 46th-ranked Tomas Etcheverry of Argentina.

Defending women's champion and top seed Iga Swiatek did not get the kindest draw either. She opens the tournament against Spain's Cristina Bucsa, and may need to beat three major champions if she wants to get her hands on the trophy for the third time.

From the fourth round onwards, her path to glory could include facing 2021 Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova, last year's finalist Coco Gauff, Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka, who won the Australian Open in January.

Belarus's Sabalenka, the second seed in Paris, will play Ukraine's Marta Kostyuk in her opening match.

The most eye-popping first-round encounter is unquestionably former world No 1 Victoria Azarenka being drawn against 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu.

French Open dates

The tournament begins at Roland Garros on Sunday, May 28 and finishes on Sunday, June 11.

French Open draw

How to watch the French Open 2023 on TV

In the UK, Eurosport has the broadcasting rights to live action from Paris. 273 live hours will be shown on Eurosport 1 and Eurosport 2 complementing the digital offering on discovery+ and the Eurosport App - where every match will be available to watch live throughout the tournament.

Every qualifying, wheelchair, junior and legends match will be available to watch live as well as the main draw on May 25.

Eurosport’s on-site presentation team includes multiple Grand Slam winners Mats Wilander, Chris Evert and John McEnroe, who join Alex Corretja, Laura Robson and Alizé Lim in Paris. World No 4 and 2022 finalist Casper Ruud will also offer his insights. Tim Henman and Barbara Schett will anchor coverage from the mixed-reality Cube studio in London before presenting live from Paris from the semi-final stage of the tournament.

To watch on discovery+, an entertainment and sport pass is £6.99/month or £59.99/year. In the United States the tournament is broadcast on ESPN.

When is the French Open 2023 final?

Women's final

The women's final will take place on June 10.

Men's final

The men's final will take place on June 11.

French Open 2023: How to watch on TV in the UK - Getty Images/Mustafa Yalcin
French Open 2023: How to watch on TV in the UK - Getty Images/Mustafa Yalcin

Which British players will be involved?

British No 1 Cameron Norrie, recent Barcelona Open semi-finalist Dan Evans and Jack Draper will be in the main draw.

Britons are notably absent on the women's side, after a dreadful qualifying tournament and due to the absence of Emma Raducanu through injury. It is the first time since 2009 that zero British women will feature in the main draw at a major.

Why is Andy Murray not playing in Paris?

Andy Murray withdrew from this year's French Open to prioritise the grass-court season in the build-up to Wimbledon.

Murray was beaten in the first round of the Italian Open and made another early exit on clay after losing to Stan Wawrinka at an ATP Challenger event in Bordeaux.

The 36-year-old is understood to still be considering which tournaments to target and they may include Surbiton from June 4-11 and then Queen's from June 19-25.

Latest news

Novak Djokovic counts Rafael Nadal as "one of the most impactful people" in his tennis career, and said the Spaniard will take "a part of him" when he retires next season.

Earlier this month Nadal, 36, withdrew from the French Open due to an ongoing hip injury and also confirmed that 2024 would likely be his final year as a player.

Paying tribute to his rival on the eve of Roland Garros, Djokovic's words were reminiscent of Nadal's own reaction to Roger Federer's retirement last season. He revealed that the news "came as a shock" and prompted him to get "emotional" about how much he might have left in the tank too.

"He's my biggest rival. When he announced that he's going to have his last season I felt part of me is leaving with him too, if you know what I mean," Djokovic said of his contemporary. "Because of the rivalry that we had and that we still have, I feel that he was one of the most impactful people that I have ever had in my career, the growth of my career and me as a player. Definitely a great motivational factor for me to keep playing, competing and pushing each other, you know, who's gonna achieve more, who's gonna do better.

"It made me wonder about my career and how long I'm going to play. So far I'm not going to make any announcement today, but just reflecting on it, I felt also a little bit emotional about what he was saying."

Nadal's exit from the tour will mark the end of one of tennis's greatest rivalries. Djokovic and Nadal have faced each other 59 times on tour over the years, the Serbian edging their head-to-head with 30 wins.

They both share the record for most major singles titles won, at 22 apiece, Djokovic will nudge himself ahead in the "GOAT" race if he can win Roland Garros this fortnight.

"He's definitely one of the guys that not only has made a history in terms of his records in this tournament overall, but just he won the hearts of many tennis fans around the world, and deservedly so, with his charisma and character and everything that he left in his legacy," Djokovic added, referring to Nadal's 14 French Open titles. "A lot of people retired him already 10 years ago but he kept going, which is something I respect and admire."

What is the French Open prize money?

The French Open total prize pool is €49.6 million (£43.2 million), up 12.3 per cent on 2022. The singles champions will each take home $2.975 million, so just over £2.47 million.

The men's and women's singles champions will each receive £2m and the finalists will earn £1m.

Who are the defending champions?

Last year, Rafael Nadal became the first man to win 22nd Grand Slam titles after sweeping aside eighth seed Ruud 6–3, 6–3, 6–0.

Iga Świątek solidified her status as the world's best when she overwhelmed Gauff, who was playing in her first Grand Slam final, 6–1, 6–3.

What are the latest odds?

Men's singles:

  • Carlos Alcaraz 13/8

  • Novak Djokovic 13/5

  • Holger Rune 10/1

Women's singles:

  • Iga Swiatek 10/11

  • Aryna Sabalenka 13/2

  • Elena Rybakina 7/1

  • Barbora Krejcikova 20/1

Odds correct as of May 25