French Open: Men’s ‘big 3’ — Nadal, Djokovic, Federer — in same half of draw


Posted at May 28 2021 08:12 AM

French Open: Men’s ‘big 3’ — Nadal, Djokovic, Federer — in same half of draw 1
Switzerland's Roger Federer in action at the ATP 250 Geneva Open during his Round of 16 match on May 18, 2021. Denis Balibouse, Reuters

PARIS—Thirteen-time champion Rafael Nadal, 20-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer, and world No. 1 Novak Djokovic were placed in the same half of the French Open draw on Thursday.

The three most successful players in the history of the men's game have won 17 of the last 20 Grand Slam titles between them and Federer and Djokovic are on a quarterfinal collision course.

Title holder Nadal, who starts against Australian Alexei Popyrin, could face Italian prospect Jannik Sinner, the 18th seed, in the fourth round a year after beating him in the quarterfinals.

In the other half of the draw, two-time runner-up Dominic Thiem's path leads to a potential quarterfinal clash with German sixth seed Alexander Zverev.

In the women's draw, defending champion Iga Swiatek will start her campaign against Kaja Juvan while one of the matches to watch will feature last year's runner-up Sofia Kenin, the fourth seed, against 2017 champion Jelena Ostapenko.

Kenin could face Swiatek, who turns 20 on Monday, in the quarter-finals.

After missing last year's event, second seed Naomi Osaka will make her comeback against Maria Patricia Tig.

The Japanese player, who said she would not speak to the media throughout the tournament for mental health reasons, is in the other half of the draw.

She could take on American Serena Williams in the semifinals with the seventh seed bidding for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title.

World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty of Australia starts her campaign against American Bernarda Pera and faces a possible semifinal against Swiatek. (Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Toby Davis)


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