Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz and Stefanos Tsitsipas in the top-half. Daniil Medvedev, Holger Rune, Casper Ruud and Jannik Sinner in the bottom-half. These seem to be, at least on paper, the main suspects for the final victory at Roland Garros.
Ruud will try to exploit the experience he gathered last year in Paris, when he was able to push himself to the last act of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time. On that occasion, however, Rafael Nadal gave him no hope.
This year, it hasn't happened since 2004, the Spanish legend will not participate in the Parisian Grand Slam.
Ruud: "Alcaraz is the big favourite"
Ruud, in the press conference on the eve of the tournament, explained: "It will be an open tournament.
Obviously there are Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz at the top of the draw, who are the big favorites to reach the semi-finals. But we must not forget Stefanos Tsitsipas, who has already played in a final at Roland Garros.
Daniil Medvedev is the number two seed and has shown that he can play well on both hard and clay. He won the Rome Masters 1000. Holger Rune also poses a threat: he plays fearlessly. Obviously I like to think that, if I play well, I'll have chances to go far.
On my side of the draw is Jannik Sinner. Every time I see him play it's a pleasure, he hits lots of winners and is dangerous on all surfaces. For me, Alcaraz is the big favourite. Djokovic has won so many Grand Slams, so we can't rule him out.
Perhaps he didn't expect a season on clay like this, but I'm sure he will have great confidence. Nadal? Last year I lost to him in the final, but I could have lost to anyone else. Regardless of his absence, everyone is hoping for a chance to win the tournament.
It's sad not to see him here, of course. My first tennis-related memory is Rafa's first win in Paris. This is how my dream of becoming a professional tennis player started. I guess it's been about 18 years, and for the first time he's not here. It's strange, but the tournament goes on. No player is bigger than sports."
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