Friday's draw for the French Open means Rafael Nadal could face world number one Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals after being handed handed one of the toughest routes possible to a 10th title on the clay courts of Roland Garros.
The world number seven was seeded sixth after a disappointing year so far and so faces the daunting prospect of a potential semi-final against third seed Andy Murray and a final against 17-times grand slam champion and long time rival Roger Federer.
However before reaching the quarter final stage, the Spaniard must first overcome a potentially tricky fourth round encounter with the Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, despite having a 6-0 record against the 24-year-old.
"I need to win four matches before (possibly playing Djokovic)," Nadal, who has failed to win a claycourt title in Europe this season, said after the draw at Roland Garros.
"My draw is a tough one but I hope I will be ready to fight again," added Nadal, who currently holds the record for the most French Open titles.
The prospect of facing Djokovic, who is heading to Paris with a 22 match unbeaten run may be a challenging one for the Spaniard, however the Serb will hardly be pleased by the thought of facing the "King of Clay" so early in the tournament as he bids to win the only major title that has elude him.
Second seed, and the only player player apart from Nadal in the tournament with a French Open title to his name, Roger Federer will be more optimistic about his draw for a chance to get his hands on his first grand slam title since 2012. He faces a potential quarter final clash with Stanislas Wawrinka and then a potential semi final clash with Tomas Berdych, both of him he deafeated 6-4 6-2 and 6-3 6-3 respectively on his way the Rome Open final last week where he lost to Novak Djokovic.
Murray, who beat Nadal in the Madrid Masters final this month and won his first professional claycourt title in Munich the week before, begins against a qualifier, while a possible quarter-final clash against seventh seed David Ferrer awaits.
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