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SportFrench Open 2024 schedule: Draw pits Nadal v Zverev, Djokovic and Murray...

French Open 2024 schedule: Draw pits Nadal v Zverev, Djokovic and Murray discover matches in first round

Rafael Nadal has been drawn against world number four Alexander Zverev in the first round of what is likely to be the 14-time champion’s final grand slam in Paris.

Modern great Nadal is ranked 272 places below Germany’s Zverev, who retired after suffering a gruesome ankle injury during the second set of a tight match between the pair at Roland Garros in 2022.

Nadal’s ranking reflects the 37-year-old’s long-term inactivity because of a succession of injury problems, although he reached the round of 16 at last month’s Madrid Open in a rare sustained run of appearances.

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The most successful player in French Open history was forced to abandon his hopes of featuring at the Australian Open in January but has spoken of his desire to be competitive in the second grand slam of the year.

Elsewhere, Andy Murray has landed an eye-catching opener against fellow three-time grand slam title winner and veteran Stan Wawrinka. The tournament starts on Sunday, May 26.

Nadal, Djokovic French Open draw

Defending champion and top seed Novak Djokovic will start against home wildcard and world number 143 Pierre-Hugues Herbert, a 33-year-old two-time doubles champion at the tournament who has never gone beyond the third round of the singles competition.

Iga Swiatek, who is seeking a third straight women’s singles title, will face a qualifier or lucky lose in the first round and cannot meet world number two Aryna Sabalenka until the final.

Poland’s Swiatek could take on former world number one Naomi Osaka in the second round if the Japanese beats world number 48 Lucia Bronzetti.

Four-time grand slam title winner Osaka is continuing her return to the tour following maternity leave and is currently ranked 134th.

Men’s second seed Jannik Sinner will encounter American Chris Eubanks in the first round – a quarter-finalist at Wimbledon 2023 – and third seed Carlos Alcaraz will play a qualifier or lucky loser.

Djokovic will have the most grand slam trophies of any player in history if he wins one more major, eclipsing the record he shared with Margaret Court of 24.

Nadal was champion on that last appearance in 2022 but has only appeared at one major since, reaching the second round of the Australian Open 2023.

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