Aurélie Sacchelli, Media365, published on Thursday January 12, 2023 at 08:16
The Australian Open draw was held this Thursday in Melbourne, and it placed Rafael Nadal in Stefanos Tsitsipas’ draw and Novak Djokovic in Casper Ruud’s draw.
The best tennis players in the world are fixed! They now know what their next two weeks could look like, after the draw this Thursday in Melbourne for the first Grand Slam tournament of the year, the Australian Open. Rafael Nadal, the defending champion and world No. 2, is placed at the top of the table following the withdrawal of No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, and his path promises to be strewn with pitfalls if he wishes to keep his trophy. Nadal, who is not in great confidence at the start of the season, will start his tournament against the young Briton Jack Draper (21 years old, 40th), semi-finalist of the last NextGen Masters. In case of victory, he will face an American: Brandon Nakashima (21 years old, 47th) or Mackenzie McDonald (27 years old, 63rd). If the logic is respected, it will be the turn of the seeded n°31, the Japanese Yoshihito Nishioka, to challenge him in the third round, before a round of 16 as revenge, against Frances Tiafoe who had eliminated him from the last US Open, at the same stage (unless Karen Khachanov eliminated the American before?). If he clears the obstacle, Rafael Nadal would then have an appointment in the quarter-finals, always if the classification is respected of course, against the winner of the eighth between Hubert Hurkacz and Daniil Medvedev. Not easy … In the half, it could then be Stefanos Tsitsipas (if the Greek defeats Jannik Sinner in the eighth) or then Cameron Norrie or even Felix Auger-Aliassime. Will Nadal be there for the final on January 29?
A half Djokovic-Ruud?
In the other part of the table, it is Casper Ruud who is the highest ranked player, but it is of course Novak Djokovic who looks like an ogre in this part of the table, despite muscle pain. The Serb and the Norwegian, if they pass all the rounds, will face each other in the semi-finals. Before that, Ruud will start against the Czech Machac, before challenging the Australian O’Connell or the American Brooskby, then the Spaniard Davidovich Fokina, before a round of 16 against Matteo Berrettini, or even a quarter against Taylor Fritz or Alexander Zverev. Djokovic, meanwhile, will start against Spaniard Carballes Baena, then face Bolivian Dellien or French qualifier Enzo Couacaud, then Grigor Dimitrov or Aslan Karatvev. In the eighth, the Serb could challenge Pablo Carreno Busta, before a quarter against Andrey Rublev or Holger Rune. What to play a tenth final in Melbourne?
Gasquet – Humbert entry
And the French in all this? They will be thirteen on the starting line, including two from qualifying, and there will be at least one tricolor in the second round since, like last year, Richard Gasquet and Ugo Humbert will do battle from the start. At the top of the table, Quentin Halys was unlucky in inheriting entry Tsitsipas, no more than the young Lucas Van Assche, who will face Norrie. Corentin Moutet (against Wu), Constant Lestinne (against Monteiro), Grégoire Barrère (against Etcheverry) and Arthur Rinderknech (against a qualifier) can skip at least one round. At the bottom of the table, Adrian Mannarino will face John Isner, leaving for a new season at almost 38 years old, Laurent Lokoli (qualified) will play Goffin, Benjamin Bonzi will start against the Italian qualified Bellucci and Jérémy Chardy will make his big comeback in Grand Slam against the Colombian Galan.
The theoretical round of 16
Hurkacz – Medvedev
Tsitsipas – Sinner
Norrie – Auger-Aliassime
Rublev – Rune
Carreno-Busta – Djokovic