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Ricky’s Picks • French Open Draw • Zverev, Thiem, Djokovic, Nishikori All In Bottom Half Away From Rafa Nadal

Photo by Daisy @10sBalls

 

 

By Ricky Dimon

 

It’s not like Rafael Nadal needed any help from the French Open draw. He got it anyway.

 

When the draw ceremony was held on Thursday evening in Paris, Dominic Thiem, Novak Djokovic, Kei Nishikori, David Goffin, Stan Wawrinka, and Stefanos Tsitsipas–among plenty of others–all landed in the bottom half of the bracket with Alexander Zverev instead of in the top half with Nadal.

 

Zverev, Thiem, Nishikori, Wawrinka, and Tsitsiapas all find themselves in the same quarter that also includes Lucas Pouille and 2017 Roland Garros fourth-round performer Karen Khachanov. Thiem could run into Tsitsipas (second round) and Nishikori (fourth round) before even reaching the quarterfinals.

 

An absolutely loaded bottom half also features Djokovic, who awaits a qualifier before possibly facing David Ferrer in the second round and Roberto Bautista Agut in the third. Goffin (2016) and fellow one-time French Open quarterfinalist Pablo Carreno Busta (2017) are also in the third quarter along with Grigor Dimitrov, Nick Kyrgios, Fernando Verdasco, and Gael Monfils. Verdasco upset Zverev in the first round last year.

 

Nadal, who opens with Alexander Dolgopolov, may not have anything remotely interesting on his plate en route to the semifinals aside from a potential fourth-round showdown against Denis Shapovalov.

 

Possible semifinal adversaries for the 10-time champion include Marin Cilic, Juan Martin Del Potro, John Isner, and Kyle Edmund. Cilic and Edmund are on a collision course for the last 16, although the Brit may have a difficult opener on his hands in the form of Alex de Minaur.

 

Other first-rounders to watch are Verdasco vs. Yoshihito Nishioka, Pouille vs. Daniil Medvedev, Joao Sous vs. Guido Pella, Philipp Kohlschreiber vs. Borna Coric, Adrian Mannarino vs. Steve Johnson, Marton Fucsovics vs. Vasek Pospisil, Tomas Berdych vs. Jeremy Chardy, Nicolas Jarry vs. Jared Donaldson, and Sam Querrey vs. Frances Tiafoe.

 

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

 

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