In Nadal’s absence, here are the top 5 contenders who can win French Open 2023 | Tennis News

In Nadal's absence, here are the top 5 contenders who can win French Open 2023 | Tennis News

Rafael Nadal’s decision to withdraw from the 2023 French Open due to injury has created a sense of unpredictability in the men’s singles event, setting up one of the most uncertain editions in nearly two decades. However, a new generation led by world number one Carlos Alcaraz is ready to seize this rare opportunity.

Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz(AFP)

Nadal, the record 14-time champion at the clay-court Grand Slam event since his first victory in 2005, cited a lingering hip issue that has plagued his season since the Australian Open as the reason for his withdrawal.

As Roland Garros prepares for an unusual edition without the presence of the 22-time major champion, let’s take a look at the five top contenders for the men’s singles title at the French Open 2023:


Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz

Before the 2022 French Open, Carlos Alcaraz was everyone’s favourite up-and-comer, dripping with potential and touted for greatness.

A year later, the Spaniard has surpassed all expectations, having won his maiden Grand Slam title at the U.S. Open and bagging back-to-back clay court titles in Barcelona and Madrid in recent weeks. He also became the youngest world number one.

The 20-year-old suffered a shock exit from the Italian Open at the hands of qualifier Fabian Marozsan earlier this month, after which he spoke of the need for a mental reset, but few would bet against the world number one resuming normal service in Paris.


Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts during his quarterfinals match of the Men’s ATP Rome Open tennis tournament against Denmark’s Holger Rune, at Foro Italico in Rome on May 17, 2023. (Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP)

With Rafa Nadal out of the picture, Novak Djokovic will be hoping to win his third French Open title and take his Grand Slam tally to a men’s record 23.

However, the former world number one has had a less than ideal build-up to the tournament, suffering quarter-final defeats in Rome and Banja Luka, as well as a third-round exit in Monte Carlo and an injury-enforced withdrawal from Madrid.


Denmark’s Holger Rune

Rune won three singles titles last season and has been in fine form during his clay court outings, reaching finals at Monte Carlo, Rome and Munich, where he won his fourth career title, dropping just one set in the process.

Despite being only 20, the Dane has an impressive resume and boasts clay court wins over Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Casper Ruud and Stefanos Tsitsipas, making him a dangerous prospect at the tournament.


Russia’s Daniil Medvedev

Medvedev has always said that clay is his least favourite surface to play on, but the Russian might be tempted to change his mind after claiming his first-ever title on the surface at this month’s Italian Open.

In a sign of his marked improvement on clay, the 27-year-old put in a masterful display to clinch a 7-5 7-5 victory over Denmark’s Rune in Rome, indicating the former world number one may finally have the tools needed to go all the way in Paris.


Casper Ruud enjoyed a remarkable 2022, which included runners-up finishes at the French Open, U.S. Open and ATP Finals. The Norwegian appeared set to make the step up to a first Grand Slam title this season, but the year began on a comparatively underwhelming note for Ruud, he was eliminated from the Australian Open in the second round and failed to string together back-to-back wins on hard courts in the first three months of the season.

However, his form has seen significant improvement in the clay court tournaments, with a title win at Estoril in April and a run to the semi-finals in Rome giving him cause to believe.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top