Rafael Nadal handed Alexandr Dolgopolov challenge


Share this story

World number one Rafael Nadal will take on Alexandr Dolgopolov in the first round of the French Open.

The Spaniard has been the dominant force at Roland Garros for well over a decade now and he is looking to win a record-extending 11th title in the French capital this year.

The second Grand Slam of the year is due to get underway on Sunday and Nadal has been handed a tough looking draw against Ukrainian Dolgopolov, who has been ranked as high as number 13 in the world and has twice made it through to the French Open third round.

Dolgopolov has also twice before beaten Nadal on the ATP Tour, although their most recent meeting at last year’s US Open ended in a straight sets victory for the 16-time major winner.

Should Nadal make it through at Dolgopolov’s expense, then his route to the final could see him come up against childhood friend Richard Gasquet in round three, Denis Shapovalov in the last 16, before a potential showdown with Kevin Anderson and then Marin Cilic in the semi-finals.

Novak Djokovic is not in the same half of the draw as Nadal, so they cannot meet until the final, and the Serbian, who has struggled to find his best form since returning from injury earlier this year, will take on a qualifier in his first round match.

Alexander Zverev is the second seed for the tournament, although he has never made it beyond the fourth round of a Grand Slam event, and his opening match will see him come up against Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis.

Leave a comment