Three days after the start of the tournament, Roland Garros carried out this Thursday the draw for the main pictures in an act of minimal profile, without any staging or protagonists through. Behind closed doors, the French great’s system drew up the routes for the next two weeks in the Bois de Boulogne and the final result offered a certainty: Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will not reissue last year’s final. The Spanish, third seeded (according to the ranking current) and aspiring to achieve his 14th trophy, which would be his 21st major, fell on the same side as the Serbian, number one.
What does this mean? That in case of progress, both could meet in a previous season, the semifinals, after the recent fight for the title of Rome (7-5, 1-6 and 6-3 in favor of Nadal). “It may sound crazy, but I would like them to coincide in the painting. Novak would play better than last year, it’s a psychological question, “he said a few days ago in an interview with the newspaper. L’Équipe Croatian Goran Ivanisevic, a member of Nole’s coaching staff. Therefore, curves are looming on that route that poses Alexei Popyrin as the first obstacle for the Mallorcan, who landed on Wednesday in Paris and this Thursday was already rallying at full capacity.
Nadal, 34, exercised for two hours at the Philippe Chatrier and in the afternoon he learned what would be its hypothetical route, from which names such as Richard Gasquet or Hugo Gastón would appear, always according to the happy logic ( 2nd round), Lorenzo Sonego (3rd), Yannik Sinner (eighth), Andrei Rublev or Diego Schwartzman (fourth) and Djokovic himself in the semifinals. As a starting point, Popyrin, a 21-year-old Australian (62nd in the world) who hits the ball hard, and whom Nadal already reduced three weeks ago (double 6-3) on the sand of the Caja Mágica in Madrid.
Meanwhile, the Serbian will make his debut against the American Tennys Sandgren and the equation of the draw would match him with Roger Federer in hypothetical quarters, as long as the legendary Swiss -39 years old and with only one match on clay in the preparatory tour, three in the entire course – managed to overcome the first four obstacles. For now, the Basel player will start against a player from the qualifying phase and, he has made it very clear in advance, his priority is to arrive in the best conditions at Wimbledon; In other words, Paris means a reengagement for him, not a goal.
Regarding the female team, the draw brought steep ramps for the main Spanish representative, Garbiñe Muguruza. The woman from Caracas, currently 13th on the WTA list, will make her debut against the young Marta Kostyuk (18 years old) and will meet on her way to a hypothetical final with rivals such as the Polish Iga Swiatek (eighth), champion of the year past, the American Sofia Kenin (fourth) or the number one most regular in recent times, the Australian Ashleigh Barty (semifinals). In the last edition, Muguruza, winner of the tournament in 2016, lost in the third round against Danielle Collins.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.