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French Open: Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer all in same half of draw

Novak Djokovic could face Roger Federer in a potential French Open men's quarter-final, with 13-time champion Rafael Nadal also drawn in the same half; Russian Daniil Medvedev leads the bottom half; No 1 Ashleigh Barty and women's defending champion Iga Swiatek are in the same half

Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal - French Open 2021 USE
Image: Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have all landed in the same half of the draw at this year's French Open

Defending champion Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer have incredibly landed in the same half of the draw at this year's French Open.

With 13-time Roland Garros champion Nadal having dropped behind Daniil Medvedev to third in the rankings, it raised the possibility of a lopsided draw, and so it has proved.

There can be no repeat of last year's final, when Nadal defeated Djokovic to win a 20th Grand Slam title, with the pair seeded to meet in the last four.

Projected men's quarter-finals (by seedings)

Djokovic vs Federer

Nadal vs Rublev

Zverev vs Thiem

Tsitsipas vs Medvedev

Djokovic will open his campaign against American Tennys Sandgren, while Nadal faces young Australian Alexei Popyrin and Federer meets a qualifier.

Swiss legend Federer is a potential quarter-final opponent for Djokovic, although, given the 39-year-old's lack of matches and stated target of hitting form on the grass, it would be something of a surprise if he made it that far.

Russia's Daniil Medvedev reacts after winning a point against Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas during their semifinal match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Feb. 19, 2021.(AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)
Image: Daniil Medvedev is already a US Open and Australian Open finalist and he will fancy his chances of reaching another Grand Slam final in Paris

Matteo Berrettini, Andrey Rublev and 2020 semi-finalist Diego Schwartzman are also in that half.

Russian star Medvedev, Dominic Thiem, a two-time finalist in Paris, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev are in the bottom half with Roberto Bautista Agut, Casper Ruud, Fabio Fognini, Pablo Carreno Busta and Grigor Dimitrov.

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Medvedev, who reached his second Grand Slam final at the Australian Open but has never won a main-draw match at Roland Garros, faces a tricky opener against in-form Kazakh Alexander Bublik.

Britain's Cam Norrie, who also opens against a qualifier, has reached two ATP Tour finals on clay in the last month and is a potential third-round opponent for Nadal, while British No 1 Dan Evans meets Serb Miomir Kecmanovic.

Ashleigh Barty of Australia celebrates after defeating Iga Swiatek of Poland during their match at the Madrid Open tennis tournament in Madrid, Spain, Monday, May 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Paul White)..
Image: Ashleigh Barty and Iga Swiatek have been drawn in the same half

Projected women's quarter-finals (by seedings)

Barty vs Svitolina

Kenin vs Swiatek

S Williams vs Sabalenka

Andreescu vs Osaka

Returning to Roland Garros for the first time since winning her maiden Slam in 2019, top-seed Ashleigh Barty squares off against world No 70 Bernarda Pera in the women's draw.

Defending champion Iga Swiatek is in the same half of the draw as Barty and she faces Slovenia's Kaja Juvan in her opening match.

Serena Williams, who is chasing a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam, is in the opposite half and meets Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania, with the winner to face either Arantxa Rus or Mihaela Buzarnescu. Second-seed Naomi Osaka takes on another Romanian in Patricia Maria Tig.

Johanna Konta plays a shot against Cori Gauff of the U.S. in the first round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Image: Johanna Konta faces a tricky opening test against Sorana Cirstea, who stormed to her first title in 13 years in Istanbul, last month

British No 1 Johanna Konta, seeded 19 this year and defending ranking points from 2019's semi-final, faces a tricky opening match against in-form Sorana Cirstea, with Heather Watson, who has won just one of her last seven matches, up against Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan.

Last year's finalist Sofia Kenin will take on 2017 winner Jelena Ostapenko in a blockbuster tie, while Carla Suarez Navarro makes her return following successful cancer treatment against former US Open champion Sloane Stephens.

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