French Open 2023: Alcaraz and Djokovic could set up a semifinal matchup; Sabalenka plays Svitolina

June 4, 2023  -PARIS (AP) — The tennis world has been waiting for a showdown between Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic. It will happen at the French Open if both can win their quarterfinals.

First Djokovic, the 22-time Grand Slam champion who is seeded No. 3, plays No. 11 Karen Khachanov in Court Philippe Chatrier on Tuesday. Then, at night, No. 1 Alcaraz, who won last year’s U.S. Open, takes on No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas, a two-time runner-up at major tournaments.

The winners of those two matches will face each other in the semifinals.

Alcaraz, 20, and Djokovic, 36, have had one previous match on tour. Alcaraz won at the clay-court Madrid Masters last year.

In Tuesday’s women’s quarterfinals, Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka will play Elina Svitolina, and 2021 French Open finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova goes up against Karolina Muchova.

Sabalenka is from Belarus, and Svitolina — playing in her first major since becoming a mother — is from Ukraine. Belarus aided Russia in its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, and the war continues. Like other players from Ukraine, including Sabalenka’s first-round opponent last week, Svitolina has not been shaking hands with players from Belarus or Russia after matches.

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