Djokovic, Nadal bid to derail Alcaraz hype at French Open | Dailytrust

Djokovic, Nadal bid to derail Alcaraz hype at French Open

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, with 41 Grand Slam titles between them, will attempt to derail the growing hype surrounding teenage sensation Carlos Alcaraz at the French Open from Sunday.

All three have been placed in the top half of the draw, meaning only one will make the Roland Garros final.

Defending champion Djokovic is seeded to face 13-time winner Nadal in the quarterfinals. Alcaraz is a potential semifinal opponent.

“I feel I am always in contention to fight for any Grand Slam trophy,” said Djokovic, who arrives in Paris fired up by his inability to defend his Australian Open title in January when he was deported over his vaccination status.

“Reliving the memories from last year is something that obviously gives me goosebumps and motivation to try to replicate that.”

Djokovic, who turns 35 on Sunday, captured a second French Open title in 2021.

He did it the hard way, coming from two sets down to beat Lorenzo Musetti in the last-16, winning an epic four-set semifinal against Nadal before needing to overturn another two-set deficit to see off Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final.

Djokovic has played only five tournaments in 2022 but arrives in Paris buoyed by a sixth Italian Open title, becoming just the fifth man to win 1 000 career matches in the process.

It was his 38th Masters triumph, two more than Nadal at the top of the all-time list.

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