Nadal, Federer on French Open collision course

Ruben Hill
May 24, 2019

World No.1 Naomi Osaka, defending champion Simona Halep, and three-time champion Serena Williams all landed in the top half of the women's singles draw as the 2019 Roland Garros opening matches were revealed on Friday. And if he makes it to the second round of the clay-court Grand Slam, another qualifier will be waiting.

"I had my first training today and I had good sensations", said Nadal, who was given a tour of the renovated stadium by tournament director Guy Forget after winning his first claycourt title of the season at the Italian Open.

Nadal has hit form at the flawless time heading into the French Open after a slow start to the season on clay that saw him suffer semi-final defeats in Madrid, Barcelona and Monte Carlo.

There will be no shortage of challengers, as this year's French Open field also includes past champions Novak Djokovic, Roger Federrer and Stan Wawrinka. Federer, in his first French Open match since 2015, will face Lorenzo Sonego of Italy and could face Stefanos Tsitsipas in a potential quarterfinal matchup.

One of the first-round clashes to watch is 2017 champion Jelena Ostapenko against two-times Grand Slam victor Victoria Azarenka, with the victor likely to take on Osaka in the second round.

Federer withdrew before the 2016 French Open with a knee injury, and has opted out of the event to focus on the grass court season over the past two years.

Nadal, who a year ago became the first male player to win 11 titles at the same Grand Slam tournament, could meet his old foe Roger Federer in the semifinals.

Organizers announced before the draw that Tomas Berdych and Milos Raonic had withdrawn from the tournament, which starts on Sunday.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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