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Medvedev and Sinner upsets open up bottom half of the men’s draw: Who will take advantage?

With plenty of upsets in the bottom half of the draw at Roland-Garros, and Djokovic, Tsitsipas and Alcaraz all in the top, can Rune, Ruud or Zverev take advantage?

Roland-Garros upsets draw open Inside/Panoramic
French Open •Third round • completed
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It has been a drama-filled Roland-Garros so far on the men’s side, with No 2 seed Daniil Medvedev suffering a shock loss in the first-round of Roland-Garros, and No 6 seed Jannik Sinner following suit in the second round.

With Carlos Alcaraz, Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas being drawn in the top half of the Roland-Garros draw already, these upsets mean one thing: a very open bottom half of the draw.

The question is, who will capitalise on these upsets?

Bottom half of the draw at Roland-Garros blown wide open

With the loss of Medvedev, the bottom half of the Roland-Garros draw now has no Grand Slam champions.

In fact, only two players — Casper Ruud (French Open and US Open 2022) and Alexander Zverev (US Open 2020) — have progressed further than the semi-finals at a Grand Slam before.

Add in the loss of Jannik Sinner, the in-form No 6 seed – as well as the exit of Tommy Paul (16), Jan-Lennard Struff (21), Botic van de Zandschulp (25), Miomir Kecmanovic (31) and Alex de Minaur (18) – the lower half of this year’s men’s singles draw at Roland-Garros is looking wide open for any number of players to make a deep run.

The top prospects are now Holger Rune, the highest ranked player in terms of the 2023 Race to Turin, as well as former Grand Slam finalists Zverev and Ruud.

Will one of these three storm through to the final of Roland-Garros 2023, or has the stage been set for a dark horse?

Rune, Ruud and Zverev top contenders in bottom half of draw

Rune has had a smooth ride at Roland-Garros 2023 so far. After dropping one set in his opening match to Christopher Eubanks, he was the beneficiary of Gael Monfils’ retirement from the tournament and then defeatd the qualifier Genaro Alberto Olivieri, who has grinded his way past Frenchman Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard and Italy’s Andrea Vavassori. Rune will likely have a tough round of 16 encounter against Taylor Fritz, before a potential semi-final with Ruud.

Speaking of Ruud, the Norwegian won’t have to face a seed until a potential quarter-final against Rune.

Zverev, on the other hand, will need to defeat Frances Tiafoe (12), before a potential round of 16 against Grigor Dmitrov (28) and quarter-final with Borna Coric (16).

Casper Ruud R3 RG
Casper Ruud | © AI / Reuters / Panoramic

What are the chances of a dark horse making the Roland-Garros final in 2023?

With such an open bottom half of the draw, could a dark horse make the final this year?

If there was to be, it would likely be one of Daniel Altmaier, Frances Tiafoe or Borna Coric.

Coric and Tiafoe, on the other hand, have more credentials to their names. Coric is a Masters 1000 winner and former Grand Slam quarter-finalist, who made the semi-finals in Madrid this year. Tiafoe made his first Grand Slam semi-final in 2022, and has a title already in 2023.

While any of these four players, as well as Zverev or Ruud, could all make deep runs at Roland-Garros 2023, there’s one big problem and it’s called Holger Rune.

The Dane is 28-10 for the year, and comes into Roland-Garros off the back of a final in Rome. If anything, this year feels like a coming of age opportunity for the 20-year-old to make his first Grand Slam final.

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