Serena Williams will face Kristyna Pliskova while Rafael Nadal faces potential banana skin Alexandr Dolgopolov in their respective opening rounds of the French Open.
Former world number one Williams will play in her first grand slam since giving birth in September. The 23-time major winner gains entry to the Paris spectacle via the WTA’s protected ranking rule.
Also in Williams’ quarter of the draw is long-time rival Maria Sharapova – who is playing in her first slam since serving a doping ban – and world number six Karolina Pliskova.
Meanwhile, men’s top seed Rafael Nadal faces the dangerous Dolgopolov in the opening round. The Ukrainian boasts two wins over Nadal, though never on clay. Later, sixth seed Kevin Anderson could be the defending champions’ quarter-final opponent. The ten-time winner will arrive at Roland Garros with a superb 23-2 win/loss record for the year.
Former world number one Novak Djokovic has been seeded 20th and will face a qualifier in the opening round. Should all hold seed, the Serb will face the talented Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round.
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