Carlos Alcaraz holds a perfect 4-0 ATP Head2Head record against Stefanos Tsitsipas.

'Game On!' Tsitsipas Relishes Alcaraz Battle; Djokovic vs. Khachanov

Alcaraz aims to stay perfect vs. Tsitsipas in evening showdown

The quarter-final stage is set at Roland Garros, and the high-stakes action will begin on Tuesday with three of the Top 5 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings set to compete.

In the Court Philippe-Chatrier evening session, world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz will take on fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, against whom he holds a 4-0 ATP Head2Head record. The day session on the show court will see two-time Roland Garros champ Novak Djokovic face Karen Khachanov, who is bidding for his third straight Grand Slam semi-final.

ATPTour.com breaks down the two marquee matchups on the Tuesday schedule, which also includes two men's doubles quarter-finals.

[1] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) vs. [5] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE)

Alcaraz's path to superstardom took a major leap at the 2021 US Open, when he announced himself at the game's highest level with a five-set stunner against Tsitsipas, sealed with victory in a final-set tie-break. Since then, Alcaraz has won three more matches against the Greek, including a straight-sets result six weeks ago in the Barcelona final.

When the Roland Garros draw was revealed, a potential rematch in the quarter-finals was one of the most hotly anticipated possibilities in the men's singles draw — not least for Tsitsipas himself.

"The clash we've all been waiting for," the 24-year-old said with a laugh to open his presser following a straight-sets win against Sebastian Ofner. Asked to elaborate, Tsitsipas remained succinct: "I think I said everything I had to say. I think everyone was expecting it, weren't they? And it's here. It's game on."

Alcaraz did not yet know his opponent when he spoke with the media following his dominant win against Lorenzo Musetti — a result which earned him a measure of revenge after a defeat to the Italian in last year's Hamburg final. But the Spaniard shared his respect for the game of Tsitsipas, who has taken just one set off him in their past three meetings. 

"We have played great matches. I won every match that we have played," said Alcaraz, who is seeking his first Roland Garros semi-final. "But it doesn't mean that I'm going to win every match that we are going to play. I have to be really focused. He's a really tough opponent. But of course his game is a good game from my side."

Alcaraz has overwhelmed Tsitsipas with his power from the baseline in his victories, with the Greek saying he had never seen someone hit the ball so hard after their US Open meeting. His power has also opened up the drop shot as a particularly effective weapon against Tsitsipas, as it has proven to be against all comers on the ATP Tour.

Data from Tennis Insights explains some of the key factors in the wins and losses this season for both players. For Alcaraz, he is at his best when his forehand is firing and he is able to attack. In his wins this season, he has spent 24 per cent of rallies in attacking positions, compared to 18 per cent in defeats.

For Tsitsipas, his best results have come when he is able to steal points from defensive positions. The Greek has stolen 35 per cent of points from defence in his wins this year, compared to 28 per cent in losses.

Putting those numbers together, we can anticipate one key factor that will go a long way to deciding Tuesday's winner: How often will Alcaraz be able to gain an attacking advantage in the rallies, and how often will Tsitsipas be able to fend off those attacks to steal points?

Of course, the Greek will be keen to attack as well. He said that he likes the bouncy conditions of the day sessions in Paris, when the ball has more "acceleration and pop" to aid his aggressive swings. But those same conditions benefit Alcaraz's power game, leaving Tsitsipas unsure as to who the evening air will favour.

"I can't answer whether that would be more beneficial for me or him," the Greek said, noting that the pair has never played at night. "I will still need to find ways to bring my A game against him and do the best I can."

[3] Novak Djokovic (SER) vs. [11] Karen Khachanov

As is always the case with Djokovic at the Grand Slams, there is a lot on the line for the Serbian this fortnight. He is chasing not only a record 23rd men's singles major title — which would break a tie with Rafael Nadal at 22 — but also the No. 1 spot in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, which he would reclaim with his third Roland Garros title. 

Through to a record 17th quarter-final at the clay-court major, Djokovic has no interest in looking that far ahead.

"My attention is already in the next match. Obviously quarter-finals, Khachanov, I know what my goal is here," he said. "I'm trying to stay mentally the course and of course not look too far."

The rest of his response will not make for easy listening in the Khachanov camp: "Obviously the performance of today gives me a great deal of confidence about how I felt, about how I played," he continued. "So I'm looking forward to the next match."

After a tough three-setter against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the third round, a match that needed three hours for two opening sets decided by tie-breaks, Djokovic levelled up against Peru's Juan Pablo Varillas with his best performance of the tournament in a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory.

While Djokovic has earned all four of his victories this fortnight in straight sets, Khachanov has only one such result. He escaped a two-set hole against France's Constant Lestienne in the opening round and won four-setters against Thanasi Kokkinakis and Lorenzo Sonego to reach the quarters.

Now up against his first seeded opponent, the 11th seed will seek to snap a seven-match losing streak against Djokovic, who owns a decisive 8-1 edge in their ATP Head2Head.

"Against him, you need to play really good chess," Khachanov said, carrying on the theme of a previous response. "He's one of the toughest tasks, toughest opponents, and you cannot count him out. So at the same time I have ultimate respect, but I'm focused, I'm pumped to do well, and let's see if I can make it or not this time."

The 27-year-old reached the semi-finals at both the US Open and the Australian Open for his two best major appearances. To make it three in a row, he will need to beat a Top 10 seed for the first time across those three events.

Doubles QFs

Two doubles quarter-finals will be played on the Roland Garros show courts. On Court Simonne-Mathieu, top seeds Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski meet 10th seeds Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos. Koolhof/Skupski have not lost a set in their three victories as they bid for the first Grand Slam title overall and first tour-level crown of 2023.

On Court Suzanne-Lenglen, fourth seeds Austin Krajicek and Ivan Dodig face 11th-seeded Germans Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz. Krawietz won back-to-back Roland Garros titles with fellow German Andreas Mies in 2019 and 2020 and is seeking his first title with Puetz.