French Open: Djokovic And Nadal Could Meet In A Mouthwatering Semifinal Showdown

Whoever comes through to reach the final at the French Open (May 28-June 11) over the next fortnight will have done it the hard way. Why is that? The draws for the second Grand Slam event of the year threw up some intense encounters -- the potential of Novak Djokovic vs. Rafael Nadal in the semifinal, for starters -- some tricky first-round matches and paths littered with obstacles. Here's how the draw shook out for Andy Murray, Alexander Zverev and Venus Williams, among others, and what it might mean for them.
Djokovic and Nadal could meet in a mouthwatering semifinal showdown at the French Open. Defending champion Djokovic, whose win in 2016 completed a career grand slam, opens against Marcel Granollers of Spain on May 28. Things look fairly straightforward until the quarterfinals, where he is seeded to face seventh seed Austrian Dominic Thiem, the runner-up in Barcelona and Madrid. Fourth-seeded Nadal, who won the most recent of his nine titles in 2014, will begin with a testing encounter against Frenchman Benoit Paire. Another Frenchman, Gilles Simon, is likely to be waiting in the third round, and Nadal's path to the last four features Simon, Jack Sock and Milos Raonic.
World No. 1 Andy Murray will be glad to have been drawn in the top half, away from Djokovic and Nadal. The Scot, runner-up to Djokovic 12 months ago, faces world No. 85 Andrey Kuznetsov of Russia in the first round and will need to hit the ground running with Slovakia's Martin Klizan, a possible second-round opponent, and Juan Martin Del Potro, a likely foe in Round 3. American John Isner or Thomas Berdych are seeded to come through to meet Murray in the last 16, with Kei Nishikori or rising star German Alexander Zverev, a possible quarterfinal opponent. Third-seeded Stan Wawrinka, the winner two years ago, is positioned to make it through to a semifinal clash.
Rafael Nadal will open his quest for a 10th French Open title against Benoit Paire, with the possibility of a semifinal clash vs. Novak Djokovic looming.


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