35 Americans to compete in French Open singles, most since 1995

French Open
The men’s trophy, left, and the women’s trophy are presented during the French Open tennis tournament draw at the Roland Garros Stadium, Thursday, May 25, 2023 in Paris. Play begins at the French Open on Sunday, May 28, 2023 and runs until Sunday June 11,2023. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Thirty-five Americans are set to compete in the singles main draws of the French Open starting next week, the most since 39 competed in 1995.

There will be 19 American women and 16 American men in the French Open draw, now that qualifying is complete. While we’ll break down some of the big names below, you can see the complete women’s draw here and the full men’s draw here

While only 16 American women had been expected to compete, three additional women qualified for the main draw — the most since four did so in 2004. That gave the U.S. 19 women competing in main draw singles at the French Open for the third time in the last six years. The last time 20 or more American women competed was in 2003. 

Jessica Pegula is the highest-seeded American woman, taking the number three seed, but she is set to face fellow American Danielle Collins in the first round. 

Coco Gauff is the next highest-seeded American woman, coming in as the 6th seed, but her form this year has been concerning, going just 4-4 in her last four tournaments. Her draw is also tough, being in the same quarter as the number one player Iga Swiatek. However, Gauff would also have to face Rome finalist Anhelina Kalinina in the French Open third round and maybe Veronika Kudermetova in the fourth round.

Gauff needed a third-set tiebreaker to beat Kudermetova earlier this year. 

There are some health questions surrounding two-time champion Swiatek, who would have been a huge favorite before she suffered a thigh injury last week at the Italian Open. Now, the draw seems a bit more wide open, so perhaps Gauff, Pegula or 20th-seed Madison Keys. 

Iga Swiatek is a favorite at the French Open
Defending champion Poland’s Iga Swiatek attends the French Open tennis tournament draw at the Roland Garros Stadium, Thursday, May 25, 2023 in Paris. Play begins at the French Open on Sunday, May 28, 2023 and runs until Sunday June 11, 2023. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Meanwhile, the 16 men competing is the most U.S. men in the French Open singles main draw since 19 in 1995.

It hasn’t been a great clay season for the top American men, which is no surprise. Taylor Fritz, the 9th seed, made the semis in Monte Carlo and rose as high as 5th in the world earlier this year, but he has only been beyond the second round in Paris once in six tries.

He will face fellow American Michael Mmoh in the first round but has a decent chance to get into the fourth round if he can avoid costly mistakes. 

Frances Tiafoe, who is close to breaking into the top 10, won a clay event in Houston against a pretty weak field but has gone just 2-3 in Europe in the lead-up to the French Open. Coming in as the 12th seed, Tiafoe has a good chance to reach the third round, where he would likely play Alexander Zverev, the 22nd seed, who has made steady progress since returning from a major ankle injury he suffered against Nadal in last year’s semifinal.

Ben Shelton, the 20-year-old American who made the quarters at the Australian Open, has also had a difficult time in his first tour season on clay, posting a 4-7 record. He is seeded 30th but has a tough first-round matchup with Lorenzo Sonego, a former top-25 player who is very capable on clay.

Tommy Paul will also come into Roland Garros seeded 16th and has a decent shot to make the third round where he will face a stiff test between – likely – 21st seed Jan-Lennard Struff or inconsistent but talented Jiri Lehecka.   

French Open play will begin on Sunday, and the big story on the men’s side will be the omission of Rafal Nadal, who is resting to get healthy for one final year in 2024. That has set up a potential semi-final matchup between number one ranked Carlos Alcaraz and 3rd-sed Novak Djokovic. 

For more French Open coverage, visit amNY Sports

Novak Djokovic is a favorite at the French Open
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic leaves at the end of the quarter final match against Denmark’s Holger Rune at the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Wednesday, May 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)