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KEY DATES FOR WIMBLEDON 2017

Qualifying begins: 26 June

The Draw: 30 June

Pre-event Press Conferences: 1 & 2 July

Order of Play: 2 July

Championships begin: 3 July

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News
Friday, 26 May 2017 17:08 PM BST
Analysing the 2017 French Open Draw
Wimbledon.com breaks down the 2017 French Open draw. READ MORE

Nadal and Djokovic on collision course

Twelve months on from what he describes as one of the best moments of his career, Novak Djokovic will have his work cut out if he is to retain his French Open title after he was drawn in the same half as nine-time winner Rafael Nadal.

Second seed Djokovic, who starts his title defence against Marcel Granollers of Spain, could play Dominic Thiem in the quarter-final. The young Austrian reached the final in Barcelona and Madrid but has lost all five matches they’ve played.

If Djokovic gets through that match, he could play Nadal for the 51st time in his career.

Although the Serb leads leads 26-24, he’s only beaten the Spaniard once in seven matches at Roland Garros, in 2015. Nadal also snapped a seven-match losing streak against Djokovic earlier in May, beating the world No.2 handily in Madrid.

Djokovic, who split from his entire coaching staff early May after he struggled with his form following his Roland Garros victory, will be working with former winner Andre Agassi. The pair had their first practice session on Thursday at Roland Garros.

"(Having Agassi) brings a new dimension of motivation and also excitement to me and to my team," Djokovic told a press conference at Roland Garros on Friday." So we all are looking forward to the next couple of weeks."

Murray and Wawrinka drawn in same half

Men’s top seed Andy Murray of Britain was drawn on the same side as former champion Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland, meaning the pair could clash in the last four.

Murray, who reached his first French Open final last year, starts against Andrey Kuznetsov of Russia, but could face a particularly tough run from the third round onwards, beginning with the Argentine Juan Martin del Potro.

Other potential men’s quarter-final line-ups include Wawrinka against former US Open winner Marin Cilic of Croatia while Nadal could play 2016 Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic of Canada.

Alexander Zverev, who handed Djokovic a straight-sets defeat in the final of last week’s Rome Masters, will play Spain’s Fernando Verdasco in the opening round. The 20-year-old German, the youngest member of the top 10, was drawn in the same half as Murray and could play the Scot in the quarter-final.

Tough draws for Muguruza, Kerber

With established names such as Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova all missing from Roland Garros this year, the women’s tournament is wide open.

The draw also wasn’t kind to defending champion Garbine Muguruza, who finds herself on the same side of the draw as women’s top seed Angelique Kerber.

Muguruza faces 2010 champion Francesca Schiavone of Italy in the opening round. If she overcomes a possible quarter-final showdown against Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia, she could play Kerber in the last four.

Just like Djokovic, Spain’s Muguruza has struggled with her form since winning her maiden Grand Slam title in Paris last year.

When asked about her draw, Muguruza said: “I have no idea! Prepare the best you can, be motivated. It’s tough. There is no secret, no magic.”

Kerber, who was ousted from Roland Garros last year in the opening round by Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands, has lost five of her last eight matches on the clay in Europe this spring.

She faces a tough first-round opponent: 40th-ranked Russian Ekatarina Makarova, a former semi-finalist at the US and Australian Open.

Kvitova returns

Petra Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion who is on the comeback trail after sustaining a serious hand injury in a fight with an intruder shortly before Christmas, plays 86th-ranked Julia Boserup of the US.

Jo Konta, the seventh seed from Britain seeking her first win at Roland Garros, plays 109th ranked Hsieh Su-wei from Chinese Taipei in the first round.

Title favorites Simona Halep and Elina Svitolina may play each other in the quarter-finals after both were drawn in the bottom half. Also on their side of the draw is second seed Karolina Pliskova, who starts against Saisai Zheng of China.

The third-seeded Halep, a 2014 finalist, starts against 88th-ranked Slovak Jana Cepelova. But there are questionmarks over Halep’s form after she rolled her ankle in the final of the Italian Open last weekend.

Ukraine’s Svitolina, the most in-form player of this season who claimed a fourth title this year after beating Halep in Rome, starts against Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan in the first round.

Big-serving American Madison Keys could be a potential opponent in the last sixteen, before a possible clash with Romania’s Halep.

The tenth-seeded Venus Williams, 36, faces Qiang Wang of China in her opening round.