Nadal faces tough path to French Open final




 

COMPLETE SHOTLIST AND SCRIPT TO FOLLOW

VIDEO SHOWS: PLAYERS PRACTISING AT ROLAND GARROS - RAFAEL NADAL, DOMINIC THIEM, KAROLINA PLISKOVA, GARBINE MUGURUZA, VENUS WILLIAMS AND SOFIA KENIN

SHOWS:

PARIS, FRANCE (SEPTEMBER 24, 2020) (FFT - SEE RESTRICTIONS BEFORE USE)

1. WORLD NUMBER TWO AND 12-TIMES FRENCH OPEN CHAMPION, RAFAEL NADAL WALKING ON TO THE PHILIPPE-CHATRIER COURT, WEARING A MASK

2. INTERIOR OF STADIUM, WITH THE ROOF CLOSED, NADAL PRACTISING ON COURT

3. VARIOUS OF NADAL PRACTISING

4. NADAL SAT DOWN, SPEAKING TO COACH, CARLOS MOYA

5. VARIOUS OF NADAL PRACTISING

6. NADAL WALKING ON COURT AND TALKING TO MOYA

7. NADAL WALKING TO HIS TOWEL AND WIPING HIS FACE

8. WORLD NUMBER THREE AND U.S. OPEN CHAMPION, DOMINIC THIEM (WHITE SHIRT) WALKING ON COURT AND TAPPING RACKETS WITH ANDY MURRAY (RED SHIRT) AND MURRAY'S COACH, JAMIE DELGADO, THIEM WALKING ON TO THE COURT

9. VIEW OF SUZANNE LENGLEN COURT AS THIEM PRACTISES

10. VARIOUS OF THIEM PRACTISING

11. WORLD NUMBER FOUR AND SECOND SEED, KAROLINA PLISKOVA (BLACK SHIRT) PRACTISING ON THE PHILIPPE-CHATRIER COURT

12. INTERIOR OF COURT WITH PLISKOVA PRACTISING

13. VARIOUS OF PLISKOVA PRACTISING

14. VIEW OF CLOSED ROOF / WORLD NUMBER 15 AND TWO-TIMES GRAND SLAM CHAMPION, GARBINE MUGURUZA PRACTISING

15. VARIOUS OF MUGURUZA PRACTISING

16. MUGURUZA'S COACH, CONCHITA MARTINEZ WATCHING ON

17. MUGURUZA PRACTISING

18. SEVEN-TIMES GRAND SLAM CHAMPION, VENUS WILLIAMS ON COURT, WEARING A MASK

19. WILLIAMS HAVING FUN ON COURT BEFORE TAKING JACKET OFF

20. WILLIAMS PRACTISING

21. WILLIAMS' SHADOW SEEN ON COURT AS SHE PRACTISES

22. VARIOUS OF WILLIAMS PRACTISING

PARIS, FRANCE (SEPTEMBER 22, 2020) (FFT - SEE RESTRICTIONS BEFORE USE)

23. VARIOUS OF AUSTRALIAN OPEN CHAMPION AND WORLD NUMBER SIX, SOFIA KENIN PRACTISING

STORY: Rafael Nadal, who is seeking a record-extending 13th French Open title and a record-equalling 20th grand slam singles crown, was handed a relatively tough path to this year's final at Roland Garros when the draw was made on Thursday (September 24).

The Spaniard will take on Bulgaria's Egor Gerasimov in the first round and faces a potential last-eight clash with U.S. Open runner-up Alexander Zverev, who has never made it past the quarter-finals at the claycourt tournament.

Nadal then faces a possible semi-final clash against last year's runner-up and U.S. Open winner Dominic Thiem.

Top seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia will face Swede Mikael Ymer in the first round, where Swiss 16th seed and former champion Stan Wawrinka will take on Briton Andy Murray in the hottest opener.

Djokovic, who was ejected from the U.S. Open after he inadvertently hit a line judge in the throat with a ball after a point, has an easier route to the final than Nadal after being drawn in the same half as Russian fourth seed Daniil Medvedev.

Canadian Milos Raonic, the world number 20, pulled out, organisers said.

Serena Williams, hoping to win a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title, will start her campaign against fellow American Kristie Ahn.

The sixth seed, who was drawn in the same half as top seed Simona Halep, faces a potential fourth-round clash with U.S. Open runner-up Victoria Azarenka.

World number one and 2019 champion Ashleigh Barty has pulled out of the tournament citing the coronavirus pandemic and a troubled preparation.

With Switzerland's Belinda Bencic a last-gasp withdrawal, only six of the top 10 in the WTA rankings will start the tournament.

The tournament was rescheduled from May 24-June 7 to Sept. 27-Oct. 11 amid the COVID-19 pandemic

It will be the first year with a retractable roof at the French Open which some of the players, including Nadal, practising with the roof closed on Thursday (September 24).

(Production: Tim Hart)

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