Cameron Norrie will face Benoit Paire and Dan Evans takes on Thanasi Kokkinakis in the French Open first round with the British pair in the same half of the draw as Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz
- Cameron Norrie has beaten Benoit Paire in both of their previous meetings
- The British No 1 could meet US Open champions Carlos Alcaraz in round four
- MIKE DICKSON: This could be the most thrilling French Open in several years
British No 1 Cameron Norrie will meet France’s Benoit Paire in the first round of the French Open.
Though an unpredictable prospect on the court, Paire has twice been beaten by Norrie in their only two meetings on the ATP Tour.
Their most recent meeting – at the 2022 US Open – saw the Brit come out on top in a strange encounter that finished 6-0, 7-6 (7-1), 6-0, notable for the fact that Paire appeared to throw in the towel prematurely and drop his effort levels at times.
Dan Evans faces Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis, with both Britons in the same half of the draw as Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz.
Evans has only ever met the Australian once, with Kokkinakis coming out on top in that clash.
British No 1 Cameron Norrie will face French star Benoit Paire and could potentially meet Carlos Alcaraz in the Fourth Round
Dan Evans has been drawn against Thanasi Kokkinakis, who Andy Murray defeated in five sets at the Australian Open
Tow-time winner Novak Djokovic could meet Alcaraz in the semi-finals after both were named on the same side of the draw
Kokkinakis was beaten by Andy Murray in five sets at the Australian Open, with the former World No 1 coming from two sets down in memorable fashion, and will be hoping to better his Third Round finish in 2015.
Jack Draper plays Tomas Martin Etcheverry of Argentina in the second half of the draw.
Two-time champion Djokovic will play American Aleksandar Kovacevic.
Alcaraz, the US Open champ, and second seed Daniil Medvedev will each face a qualifier or a lucky loser.
French Open champion Iga Swiatek will begin her title defence against Spain’s Cristina Bucsa.
The No 67 seed lost their only past meeting at the Australian Open, but faces a stern test in her opener, having never progressed past the First Round at the tournament.
The world number one could face Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina in the semi-finals after the fourth seed was placed in her half of the draw.
Second seed and Aryna Sabalenka will face Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk in the opening round.
Paire has a fearsome backhand but his temperament has been called into question
Britain’s Kyle Edmund has been forced to withdraw through injury.
The 28-year-old, who has battled knee problems for the past couple of years, now has a wrist injury.
There are no British women in the main draw after Emma Raducanu pulled out.
The 2021 US Open champion ruled herself out of the competition, as well as July’s Wimbledon tournament, undergoing surgery on both wrists and her ankle in a bid to treat niggling injuries.
The 20-year-old had three operations, with injuries plaguing the British No 1 ever since her stunning Grand Slam win at Flushing Meadows and seeing her fall out of the top 100 rankings.
Three-time Grand Slam champion Murray will also be absent from the clay, having pulled out earlier in May.
Emma Raducanu ruled herself out of the French Open and Wimbledon to undergo three surgeries
14-time champions Rafael Nadal will also be absent for both the French Open and Wimbledon
A total of six British women failed to make it through the qualifiers in a perhaps eye-opening turn of events which will surely raise questions over the state of British female tennis.
The First Round of the clay-court tournament will get underway on Sunday at Roland Garros.
Defending champion and 14-time winner Rafael Nadal pulled out of the competition earlier in May, citing injury problems.
He will also be absent from Wimbledon in July as a result of a hip issue, and has stated his intentions to retire in 2024, 19 years after lifting the first of his 22 Grand Slam titles.
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