A look at the American Men at the 2022 French Open

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American men is strongly represented in the singles draw at the 2022 French Open. The next generation has been a force on the ATP Tour during the 2022 season, leading to seven American men being seeded in Paris this year. This is the highest number of seeds American men have ever totaled at Roland Garros and the first time any country has had at least seven seeded players since 2015.

The United States leads the ATP Tour with 13 players ranked in the Top 100 and eight in the Top 50. The USTA is seeing some of its most robust success of the century and is hoping that success translates onto the Grand Slam stage.

With that said, the last time an American man reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros was in 2003. It will be very intriguing to watch this group of men who have historically struggled on the clay.

A look at the American Men at the 2022 French Open

Taylor Fritz (#13 seed)

Round 1: Santiago Fa Rodriguez Taverna

Ceiling: Quarterfinal

Floor: Round of 32

24-year-old Taylor Fritz has emerged as the top American of the next generation after a very impressive title earlier this season at Indian Wells. 13th is the highest Fritz has ever been seeded at a Grand Slam. He has played in just two clay-court events this season but reached the quarterfinals in both of them. His Round 1 match against World #201 Santiago Fa Rodriguez should give him a good opportunity to find his footing. Fritz has a very winnable first three matches before running into Sascha Zverev in the Round of 16. He has proven he can beat Zverev in the past, but I don’t see him getting past the big German in this one.

Prediction: Round of 16 loss against Alexander Zverev

Reilly Opelka (#17 seed)

Round 1: Filip Krajinovic

Ceiling: Round of 16

Floor: Round 1

Reilly Opelka earned the #17 seed at this year’s French Open, his highest ever seed at a Grand Slam event. The 6-foot-11 American is looking to advance past Round 3 of the French Open for the first time in his young career. Opelka holds a 6-4 record on the surface this season, including a title in Houston. His Round 1 matchup against Filip Krajinovic could bring some problems. Krajinovic took down Andrey Rublev two weeks ago. If Opelka gets passed this Round 1 test, he will likely play clay-court ringer Alejandro Tabilo before setting up a Round 3 match against #9 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime. This is where I see Opelka’s tournament ending.

Prediction: Round of 32 loss against Felix Auger-Aliassime

John Isner (#23 seed)

Round 1: Quentin Halys

Ceiling: Round of 16

Floor: Round 1

In what is a field filled with young Americans, the 37-year-old John Isner refuses to move out of the way. The North Carolina native has strung together a good season and is currently 5-3 on the clay. Isner has made the Round of 16 three times at Roland Garros in his illustrious career. His Round 1 match against Frenchman Quentin Halys is a tricky one. Halys has dominated the Challenger Tour this season and will have the support of the home crowd. I ultimately see John Isner winning two matches before a Round 3 exit against fellow American Taylor Fritz.

Prediction: Round of 32 loss against Taylor Fritz

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Frances Tiafoe (#24 seed)

Round 1: Benjamin Bonzi

Ceiling: Quarterfinal

Floor: Round 1

Frances Tiafoe is seeded in a Grand Slam for the first time in his career after putting together a solid first half of the 2022 season. The 24-year-old is 0-6 in his career in the main draw at Roland Garros. With that said, I have a lot of confidence in Tiafoe’s fight in best of five-set matches. He is 7-5 on the season on the clay but has dropped his last three matches. The American has a tough Round 1 test against World #52 Benjamin Bonzi. If he can get past that test, I believe Tiafoe has a great chance to make a deep run in Paris. A very interesting potential match against Hubert Hurkacz awaits him in Round 3.

Prediction: Round of 16 loss against Casper Ruud

Sebastian Korda (#27 seed)

Round 1: John Millman

Ceiling: Quarterfinal

Floor: Round 1

Many in USTA circles believe 21-year-old Sebastian Korda will ultimately become the best American in this next generation. Korda, who is seeded for the first time at a Grand Slam event, is looking to repeat his Roland Garros Round of 16 run back in 2020. The young American can come out in some matches and look flat, which is a cause for concern when predicting his success. I like his chances to get past John Millman in Round 1 which would set up a very interesting Round 2 match against the winner of Lloyd Harris and Richard Gasquet. After that, all bets are off as Korda would likely face phenom Carlos Alcaraz. With that said, Korda did hand Alcaraz one of his three losses on the season back in Monte Carlo.

Prediction: Round of 32 loss against Carlos Alcaraz

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Tommy Paul (#30 seed)

Round 1: Cristian Garin

Ceiling: Round of 32

Floor: Round 1

Unlike most of the aforementioned Americans, Tommy Paul does not use a massive serve and forehand to extinguish his opponents. The 25-year-old New Jersey native uses a variety of shots led by a strong and flat backhand to keep opponents off balance. Paul is in the midst of a career year but has struggled mightily on the clay. He is just 2-5 on the surface this season. On top of that, he has the toughest Round 1 match of the seeded Americans when he takes on Cristian Garin of Chile. Garin was seeded at the last two French Opens and is a clay-court specialist. He and Paul should do battle on the first Monday of the tournament. Even if the American can sneak by Garin, his portion of the draw does not get much easier.

Prediction: Round 1 loss to Cristian Garin

Jenson Brooksby (#31 seed)

Round 1: Pablo Cuevas

Ceiling: Round of 32

Floor: Round 1

Jenson Brooksby burst onto the ATP Tour scene last summer and has had very little let up since. Week in and week out the 21-year-old seems to be frustrating another opponent with his quirky but effective style of play. This will be just the fifth Grand Slam main draw Brooksby has competed in. He is 0-1 at Roland Garros. A Round 1 matchup against veteran clay-courter Pablo Cuevas could become tricky, though, I do see the American making his way to Round 3 before being dispatched by #1 seed Novak Djokovic. Brooksby is just 2-4 in his young career in tour-level clay-court matches.

Prediction: Round 3 loss to Novak Djokovic

The other eight American men in the draw are Maxime Cressy, Bjorn Fratangelo (Q), Marcos Giron, Steve Johnson, Denis Kudla, Mackenzie McDonald, Brandon Nakashima, and Michael Mmoh (WC).

The names to watch out for in that bunch are Marcos Giron, Steve Johnson, Mackenzie McDonald, and Brandon Nakashima.

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