The second Grand Slam of the tennis calendar is almost upon us, with many critics having already prepared the winners speech for overwhelming favourite, Novak Djokovic.
However, the Serbian world number one faces an arduous task as he attempts to become the eighth man in history to have emerged victorious at all four majors.
Despite the recent struggles of Rafael Nadal, Djokovic would have been hoping to avoid the 'King of Clay' until at least the semi-final stage. Neutrals can now potentially look forward to a mouth-watering clash between the pair in the quarter-finals which is reflected in Nadal's seeding of sixth – not surprisingly his lowest ever at the tournament that he has dominated for the past decade.
Fellow title contender Roger Federer told Eurosport that Nadal's seeding could potentially hurt the pre-tournament favourite.
If as expected these two face off, then the winner is likely to have to take on Andy Murray who heads into Roland Garros undefeated on the red dirt, boosted by his impressive thrashing of Nadal in the Madrid final.
It would be no great shock if Nadal versus Djokovic went the distance, so deep down Murray must surely fancy his chances against the weary winner who would have to take on the Scot 48 hours after their quarter-final.
Make no mistake, there is never an easy draw in a Grand Slam, but Murray, Federer and all of the other potential contenders will be ecstatic if they could avoid a quarter-final showdown with Nadal.
The Swiss maestro will be delighted with his side of the draw, but it is still going to be a big ask for the 33-year-old to pick up an 18th major in Paris.
Another player touted to go a long way in the tournament is Japan’s Kei Nishikori. His stock continues to rise and he should be considered a dark horse given his excellent run on the clay this season.
Regardless of current form, the surface in the French capital is Nadal’s home. Djokovic is going to have to write his name in the history books the hard way. Moving the left-handed gladiator from his pedestal will not come easy.
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