French Open Draw: Nadal, Djokovic Set For Blockbuster Semi-Final Clash
Defending champion Novak Djokovic and nine-time winner Rafael Nadal were drawn to face each other in the French Open semi-finals on Friday.
File image of Rafael Nadal. (Getty Images)
Defending champion Novak Djokovic and nine-time winner Rafael Nadal were drawn to face each other in a blockbuster French Open semi-final on Friday.
Nadal is chasing a 10th title at Roland Garros while second seed Djokovic, working with new coach Andre Agassi, is looking to defend the only major he still holds.
World number one Andy Murray is seeded to face 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka in the last four.
Murray starts against Russia's Andrey Kuznetsov, Djokovic tackles Spanish clay courter Marcel Granollers while Nadal meets combustible Frenchman Benoit Paire.
If the seedings work out, 2016 runner-up Murray, who is reportedly suffering from an illness, would face Japan's Kei Nishikori in the last eight.
The other quarter-finals would see Wawrinka meet 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic, Nadal would meet Canada's Milos Raonic while Djokovic could take on Dominic Thiem.
Djokovic demolished highly-regarded Austrian Thiem for the loss of just one game in the Rome Masters semi-finals last week.
The 30-year-old Nadal has already reached the magical 10 titles number this year at the claycourt events in Monte Carlo and Barcelona.
For good measure, he also won Madrid for a fifth time, ending a seven-match losing streak, stretching back over two years against Djokovic in the process.
Nadal boasts a sensational career record at Roland Garros -- 72 wins and just two defeats, to Djokovic in 2015 and an injury-affected shock loss to Robin Soderling in 2009.
'no magic pattern'
On clay this year, Djokovic has been on an upward curve -- quarter-finals in Monte Carlo, semi-finals in Madrid and a runners-up spot in Rome where he was comprehensively demolished by Alexander Zverev.
"It was one of my last dreams in terms of tournaments that I wanted to win here," said Djokovic at the draw on Friday.
"It was missing from my list so I ticked it off and got the full set of Grand Slams."
"Looking at the trophy again brings back lots of memories. It was one of my most special feelings."
Murray has endured a wretched season by his standards with an elbow injury not helping his cause.
He lost in the third round in Monte Carlo, made the semis in Barcelona, was a third-round loser in Madrid before an opening defeat in Rome to Fabio Fognini.
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