Friday, May 25, 2012

Djokovic finds Federer in way of history

Updated May 25, 2012 21:28:02

Novak Djokovic's bid to become the first man in 43 years to hold all four grand slam titles at the same time hit its first hurdle on Friday when Roger Federer became a potential French Open semi-final opponent.

World number one Djokovic, three times a semi-finalist in Paris, is the top seed at the French Open with Federer, the 2009 champion, seeded three and Friday's draw pitted them in the same section.

Djokovic starts against Italy's Potito Starace and could face former world number one Lleyton Hewitt in the second round after the two shared a classic battle at the Australian Open.

Hewitt, granted a wildcard to take his spot at Roland Garros, takes on Slovenina Blaz Kavcic in the opening round while fellow Aussie Bernard Tomic faces a qualifier and Matt Ebden plays 24th seed Phillipp Kohlschreiber.

Samantha Stosur faces Scot Elena Baltacha in her opening-round match with a quarter-final clash with world number one Victoria Azarenka in the offing.

Casey Dellacqua plays 21st seed Sara Errani, Anastasia Radionova takes on Frenchwoman Mathilde Johansson, Jarmila Gajdosova faces Slovakian Magdalena Rybarikova and wildcard Ashleigh Barty meets fourth seed Petra Kvitova in the first round.

Adding spice to the top half of the men's draw is the presence of dangerous Argentine Juan Martin del Potro, the 2009 US Open winner, who could face Federer in the fourth round.

Federer starts against Germany's Tobias Kamke with David Nalbandian a possible second-round foe and Czech Tomas Berdych a potential quarter-final opponent.

Rafael Nadal, the second seed bidding for a record seventh French Open, starts against Italy's Simone Bolelli and has dangerous clay-courters Nicolas Almagro and Juan Monaco also in his quarter of the draw.

The Spaniard could face Serbian eighth seed Janko Tipsarevic in the last eight.

Fourth seed Andy Murray, struggling with a back injury, is Nadal's scheduled semi-final opponent. Murray starts against Japan's Tatsuma Ito.

In the women's draw, top seed Azarenka begins against Italian Alberta Brianti while world number two Maria Sharapova was drawn against Alexandra Cadantu of Romania.

Sharapova and 2002 champion Serena Williams are potential quarter-final opponents.

Defending champion Li Na starts against Romania's Sorana Cirstea while Williams begins against France's Virginie Razzano.


Tags: tennis, sport, france, australia

First posted May 25, 2012 21:28:02

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