French Open – Nadal and Djokovic in same half of draw
World number one Novak Djokovic and defending champion Rafael Nadal could meet in the 2013 French Open semi-finals.
The two pre-tournament French Open favourites are on collision course for a semi-final meeting at Roland Garros.
The two contested last year’s final at the clay court Grand Slam, with Nadal capturing his record seventh title at Roland Garros, but there can be no repeat of that final this year.
Djokovic faces a tough opening game at Roland Garros: he comes up against up-and-coming Belgian star David Goffin, who made it to the fourth round on the Parisian clay last year.
Assuming the world number one makes it through he is also lined up for a possible third-round match against talented Bulgarian youngster Grigor Dimitrov.
Nadal plays Daniel Brands of Germany in the first round, but was not too worried about the likely semi against the world number one.
“But is not in the first round, no?,” Nadal joked when asked how he felt about his potential meeting with Djokovic in a news conference.
Nadal has won five titles on clay this season after missing more than seven months of tennis and sitting out the US and Australian Opens.
“If you can ask me if I win one grand slam during the whole year or win six tournaments like I already did, I will choose win six tournaments,” he said.
Nadal could face home hope Richard Gasquet in a potential quarter-final clash as the French men look to end a 30-year grand slam title drought.
One man who will have a tough time trying to end the drought is the hugely talented but injury-ravaged Gael Monfils, who has a nightmare first round draw against Tomas Berdych having dropped down to 109 in the rankings. That match is the pick of the opening men’s ties in Paris.
Roger Federer and David Ferrer are the high seeds in the other half of the draw with Brit Andy Murray withdrawing due to an injury. Juan Martin Del Potro will also miss the event.
Federer will play a yet-to-be-determined qualifier in the opening round and has a smooth-looking path until a potential quarter-final against French sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Ferrer, meanwhile, plays Austria’s Marinko Matosevic in round one, and looks set for the smoothest of rides until a likely quarter-final against Berdych.
Djokovic hungry for career Grand Slam
Novak Djokovic has done it all in tennis, except for win the French Open. Can he change that this year at Roland Garros?