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Djokovic Could Meet Nadal In Roland Garros Semi-Finals

Paris, France

Nadal, Sharapova© AFP/Getty ImagesRafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova, the defending champions, at the Roland Garros draw ceremony.

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic was drawn in the same half of the Roland Garros draw as seven-time champion Rafael Nadal in Paris on Friday. Of the top three seeds, Djokovic appears to have the trickier draw.

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Top seed Djokovic, who is looking to become the eighth player to complete the Grand Slam of all four major titles, will play David Goffin in the first round. Last year, Goffin qualified and reached the fourth round when he lost to Roger Federer in four sets. Djokovic is attempting to join Fred Perry, Don Budge, Rod Laver, Roy Emerson, Andre Agassi, Roger Federer and Nadal. The Serbian captured his sixth major title at the Australian Open (d. Murray) in January.

Djokovic would meet the player who beat him at the Mutua Madrid Open, No. 26 seed Grigor Dimitrov, in the third round. Alexandr Dolgopolov, the No. 22 seed, or No. 16 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber may be fourth round opponents. Eighth seed Janko Tipsarevic, who plays Nicolas Mahut in the first round, or No. 12 seed Tommy Haas could face Djokovic in the quarter-finals.

Third seed and three-time defending champion Nadal, who has a 52-1 record at the Paris major, starts his campaign against Daniel Brands. Nadal is hoping to sink his teeth into his 12th major crown. Spanish players have won the Roland Garros title in 12 of the past 20 years.

Nadal may face Lukas Rosol, who won their 2012 Wimbledon clash, or No. 27 seed Fabio Fognini in the third round. Seventh seed Richard Gasquet, who takes on Sergiy Stakhovsky in the first round, or No. 9 seed Stanislas Wawrinka, who lost to Nadal in the Madrid final, may be quarter-final opponents. 

Djokovic has a 15-19 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Nadal. The pair last met in the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters final in April, which Djokovic won. Nadal, who beat Djokovic in last year’s Roland Garros final 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5, has a 6-3 record against the Serbian in major championship clashes.

Second seed Federer, who captured the 2009 title over Robin Soderling, will face a qualifier in his first and second round matches. The Swiss is bidding to capture his 18th major championship title. Federer could challenge No. 30 seed Julien Benneteau in the third round. Last year, Federer narrowly beat Benneteau in the Wimbledon third round. He could play No. 15 seed Gilles Simon or No. 18 seed Sam Querrey in the fourth round. Sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who plays Aljaz Bedene in the first round, or No. 10 seed Marin Cilic may be quarter-final opponents for Federer.

Fourth seed David Ferrer, a semi-finalist in 2012, is in Federer’s half of the draw. Ferrer will play Marinko Matosevic in the first round. Fifth seed Tomas Berdych, a semi-finalist three years ago, challenges Gael Monfils in his opener. Berdych may play Ernests Gulbis in the second round. Ferrer and Berdych could meet in the quarter-finals.

This year marks the 30th anniversary since Yannick Noah lifted the trophy. He is the last Frenchman to secure a Grand Slam title.

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