Djokovic, Nadal lined-up for Roland Garros semi-final duel
Paris: World number one Novak Djokovic and nine-time champion Rafael Nadal have been seeded to meet in the French Open semi-finals after the draw was made Friday.
Djokovic needs a Roland Garros title to complete a career Grand Slam after losing three finals in four years including last season to Stan Wawrinka.
Fourth seed Wawrinka is scheduled to take on second seed Andy Murray in the other semi-final.
Top seed Djokovic, bidding for a 12th career major, starts his campaign against Taiwan’s Lu Yen-Hsun, the world number 110 who made the Wimbledon quarter-finals in 2010.
Djokovic is seeded to face Tomas Berdych in the last-eight.
Nadal, who lost to Djokovic in the quarter-finals in 2015, had originally been set to be seeded at five until 2009 champion Roger Federer withdrew through injury on Thursday.
Fourth seed Nadal starts his French Open against big-serving Sam Groth of Australia with a potential quarter-final against home hope Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Murray, fresh from beating Djokovic in the Rome Masters final last weekend, will meet a qualifier in the first round with a potential quarter-final against Japan’s Kei Nishikori.
Wawrinka opens against Lukas Rosol, the Czech player who shocked Nadal at Wimbledon in 2012, while his potential last-eight rival would be Canada’s Milos Raonic.
In the women’s draw, defending champion and top seed Serena Williams, bidding for a fourth Paris title and 22nd Grand Slam crown, starts against Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova, the world number 76.
The 27-year-old Slovak has never made it beyond the second round in Paris.
Williams could face 2010 champion Francesca Schiavone of Italy in the third round.
Former world number one and two-time Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka is a potential quarter-final foe for the 34-year-old American.
Second seed Agnieszka Radwanska is scheduled to face 2014 runner-up Simona Halep in the last eight.
Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber, the third seed, is lined up for a last-eight duel with last year’s semi-finalist Timea Bacsinszky.
Wimbledon finalist Garbine Muguruza and US Open runner-up Roberta Vinci is the other potential quarter-final if seedings go to plan.
The women’s tournament is missing two-time champion Maria Sharapova who is serving a doping suspension and the injured Caroline Wozniacki.