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Paris | French Open | Roland Garros 2019 • Rafa Nadal And Roger Federer In Same Half Of The Draw

A general view of court Philippe Chatrier as Rafael Nadal of Spain plays Dominic Thiem of Austria (front) during their men?s final match during the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 10 June 2018. EPA-EFE/YOAN VALAT

By Ricky Dimon @Dimonator


The French Open draw ceremony was held on Thursday evening in Paris, where Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer will soon be plodding their way through the same half of the bracket. Nadal and Federer are on a collision course for the semifinals, while No. 4 seed Dominic Thiem landed in Novak Djokovic’s half.


An 11-time champion at Roland Garros, Nadal is on course to meet a qualifier in each of his first two matches. His nearest seed is a struggling David Goffin, while Nikoloz Basilashvili and Richard Gasquet are possible fourth-round foes. Kei Nishikori is the second-ranked Spaniard’s 5-8 seed.


Federer’s path to the quarterfinals is a friendly one, but at that point either Stefanos Tsitsipas, Marin Cilic, or Stan Wawrinka could stand in his way of a showdown with Nadal.


There’s a long way to go before Federer vs. Nadal, and even longer before a possible Nadal-Alexander Zverev tilt. That wouldn’t come until the final, as Zverev is in the Djokovic-Thiem half.


“Before thinking about Rafa, I have to get there,” said the fifth-ranked German, who is currently competing in Geneva (semifinals). If I had to play against him, l would be in (the final). First, I have to beat all the others. I need good preparation; it’s very important. I had a very good one last year; I won a lot of matches but an injury (in the QFs against Thiem) stopped me in Roland Garros. I’ll have another opportunity this year.”


Are there opportunities for people not named Nadal this time around? Maybe…but maybe not.


“It’s very difficult to win three sets to Rafael,” Nadal’s uncle, Toni, assured. “He won the title 11 times and it’s very tough to cope with him. He plays…calmer [at Roland Garros]. I think Djokovic will be his ultimate rival there; he played very well in Madrid and he will always be his maximum opponent both on hard and clay.”


Djokovic, who lost to Nadal in the recent Rome final, kicks off his Paris campaign against a fast-rising Hubert Hurkacz.


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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