Djokovic, Nadal On SF Collision Course At Roland Garros – ATP World Tour

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Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are on a semi-final collision course in the top half of the draw at Roland Garros. In the bottom half of the draw, defending champion Stan Wawrinka is joined by second seed Andy Murray.

After missing out in the final three times previously, Djokovic is again looking to add the elusive Roland Garros crown to his Grand Slam collection, having won his 11th major title at the Australian Open (d. Murray) at the start of the year.

World No. 1 Djokovic opens his bid to become the eighth player in tennis history to complete the career Grand Slam when he faces Yen-Hsun Lu in the first round. He would face a qualifier in the second round. The first seed Djokovic is projected to meet is No. 31 Federico Delbonis in the third round.

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Roberto Bautista Agut, the No. 14 seed, is a potential fourth-round opponent for Djokovic, but must come through a section featuring a first-round clash between Borna Coric and Taylor Fritz, who are both a part of the ATP’s #NextGen. Coric trained with Djokovic on Court Philippe Chatrier on Friday.

Another all-#NextGen first-round contest in the top quarter of the draw sees Hyeon Chung take on French wild card Quentin Halys. Seventh seed Tomas Berdych headlines that section of the draw and is projected to take on Djokovic in the quarter-finals. But the Czech must first overcome a 0-2 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Vasek Pospisil in his opening match. Spaniards David Ferrer and Feliciano Lopez could also both stand in Berdych’s way of a quarter-final berth, as potential fourth-round opponents for the Czech.

Nine-time champion Nadal is attempting to capture his first major title since lifting the trophy at Roland Garros in 2014 (d. Djokovic). But he has a testing draw. The Spaniard, who will celebrate his 30th birthday during the fortnight, opens against big-serving Australian Sam Groth and could face a third-round clash with Fabio Fognini, who beat Nadal three times last year.

Fast-rising Austrian Dominic Thiem could lie in wait for Nadal in the fourth round, though he finds himself in the same section of the draw as #NextGen Alexander Zverev, who joins Thiem in the Nice semi-finals today. Thiem defeated Nadal in the Buenos Aires semi-finals in February and tested the Spaniard in Monte-Carlo last month.

Nadal is projected to face sixth seed and two-time former semi-finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarter-finals, though the Frenchman would first need to get by 12th seed David Goffin in the fourth round.

Murray comes into Roland Garros fresh from winning his third ATP World Tour clay-court crown in Rome, de-throning Djokovic in the final. The Scot, who pushed Djokovic to five sets in a memorable semi-final last year, opens his campaign against a qualifier and the first seed he could face is No. 27 Ivo Karlovic.

Potential fourth-round opponents for Murray include 15th seed John Isner and No. 19 Benoit Paire, while Murray’s countryman and #NextGen star Kyle Edmund is also in that section. The Scot is projected to face fifth seed Kei Nishikori in the quarter-finals, but the Japanese finds himself in a tough section of the draw, which could see him face Nick Kyrgios or Richard Gasquet in the fourth round.

Wawrinka lifted his second Grand Slam trophy at Roland Garros last year, and looks to be finding his form on the eve of his title defence, currently through to the semi-finals in Geneva after early exits in Madrid and Rome. The third seed opens against Lukas Rosol, his opponent today in the Geneva semi-finals. He could face Taro Daniel or Martin Klizan in the second round, with No. 30 Jeremy Chardy his expected third-round opponent. Gilles Simon, Viktor Troicki and Grigor Dimitrov will all vie to play Wawrinka in the fourth round.

Eighth seed Milos Raonic joins Wawrinka in the third quarter of the draw and could face the Swiss in the quarter-finals. The Canadian faces Janko Tipsarevic in the first round – the Serb is set to play his first tour-level match since the 2015 US Open after being sidelined with injury. Fast-improving Frenchman Lucas Pouille is the first seed Raonic could face, in the third round, with Marin Cilic or Jack Sock seeded to face the Toronto native in the fourth round.

Djokovic, Nadal On SF Collision Course At Roland Garros – ATP World Tour