Saturday at the French Open

The duo, who own with 22 Grand Slams between them, were drawn in the same half of the tournament and a quarter-final tie will edge closer if they come through their weekend clashes.

Nadal???s uncharacteristically low seeding of sixth put the cat among the pigeons at the tournament he has won a record nine times and means a match against Djokovic, usually reserved for the semi-finals or final of a Grand Slam, could arrive in the last eight.

Djokovic, the world No 1, faces the talented young Aussie Thanasi Kokkinakis in the third round on Saturday.

The 19-year-old is feted alongside Andy Murray???s opponent Nick Kyrgios as one to watch in the future but will experience the highest level of the game when playing Djokovic.

Kokkanakis, who has developed a friendship with Murray on tour, can do the British No 1 a big favour by upsetting Djokovic but his world ranking of 84 suggests he will have to wait for his bright future before claiming such a scalp.

Nadal, whose clay court form was shaky heading into his favourite Grand Slam, has strung together some dominant showings and finds the unranked Andrey Kuznetsov in his way next.

He will be eager to detract attention from the criticism received when he requested umpire Carlos Bernardes??did not officiate his match but,??as Roland Garros??? finest ever player, still retains the ability to awe on the court rather than shock off it.

Serena Williams, a day after watching French Open champion Maria Sharapova win, comes up against Victoria Azarenka in a big-name clash on Saturday, while fourth seed Petra Kvitova meets Irina-Camelia Begu.

In the pick of the rest, men’s seventh seed and clay specialist David Ferrer plays Simone Bolelli, ninth seed Marin Cilic plays Leonardo Mayer and exciting youngster Borna Coric meets Jack Sock.