French Open Draw: Rafael Nadal Lands In Novak Djokovic’s Quarter!

by Staff | May 22nd, 2015, 6:47 am

The worst case scenario for both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic has happened, with the 9-time champion Nadal landing in Novak’s quarter at the French Open.

The two met in the 2014 finals, but this year could now square off in the quarterfinals a week from Wednesday. Djokovic, who is celebrating his 28th birthday today, is seeking his first French Open title, which would complete his career Slam.

Andy Murray, who’s been undefeated on the clay, also ended up in the top half of the draw, paired with David Ferrer in his quarterfinal.

Roger Federer is at the bottom with Stan Wawrinka in his quarter. Tomas Berdych could be Federer’s semifinal opponent. He has Kei Nishikori to contend with.

Potential QF Match-ups:

The full French Open draw is here:

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50 Comments for French Open Draw: Rafael Nadal Lands In Novak Djokovic’s Quarter!

sienna Says:

their respective quarters are a joke. 90% of qualifi4s are there and aboot….

you guys are cracking me up. Mat4 mamed 8 names and he got 1 pairing right.
out of 4 quarters he 1 and 1/2 pairing correct.

Ooooh Its killing me!

skeezer Says:

Finally, Rafa is in a tough draw at the FO. Go Fedole.

chris ford1 Says:

That just sucks for both Rafa and Nole.

Lesser lights will be happy with that. Also that the survivor of that QF may face Andy Murray..then whoever is in the lucky bottom half of the draw in the Final.
It just seems that both Nole and Rafa are worthy of another rematch, Center Court, in the Final. And it won’t happen.
I like how Wimbledon makes small adjustments that make for better matchups.

Giles Says:

It may well be a Fedal final!

AndyMira Says:

Oh!well..that was expected for Rafa from the begining right?As much as i hate that,that was a price he have to pay for playing so poor all season so far,hope the award that he just received will give him a boost and confidence to battle it out to the very end.

James Says:

@Let’s hope Federer is able to make the most of his cakewalk draw. :)
Hopefully someone takes out Monfils for him as well.

Whoever wins the Rafa-Novak QF will be the heavy favorite for the title. If it’s Rafa, I hope we get a Fedal final ;)

ckr Says:

Let’s see if Rafa can nake it to QF. :)

Bummer draw..

Nikola Says:

Fedal final is possible now only on 500 ATP events.

Damien Mills Says:

I think Fed, even with his superb path to the final, stumbles at R16 when/if he plays Monfils. If he gets past him, lock him in for the final.
Top half is a coin toss.

Margot Says:

A nice article on Andy’s chances, also an analysis of the improvements to his game with Amelie coaching, as well as stuff on other players.

Damien Mills Says:

I think the only certain thing in this tournament is that John Isner will play a tiebreak set in each of his matches.

AndyMira Says:

To James,i’m sorry but i’m not so sure about your statement that whoever win between Rafa/nole QF will be the favourite to lift the trophy..Nole..yes but Rafa is not so much..remember when he lost to Stan in Rome,he said he don’t have a ‘leg’..and Rome was played back to back with Madrid..and play nole will surely will drag him to 4 or 5 sets,and he will likely to play Murray at semi who will likely drag him also to 4 or 5 sets..Rafa of today is so vulnerable,he couldn’t even close up the match so easily as he was before..not to mention at that stage nerves and lack of confidence will surely play a big part in his mind..although i hope very much that he can lift the trophy for the 10th time and shut the doubters for good.

Margot Says:

@ the DA
But we all know magic is accomplished by distracting the audience’s eye, and many on here seem to find Scharapova very distracting….;)

Humble Rafa Says:

I think the only certain thing in this tournament is that John Isner will play a tiebreak set in each of his matches.

Win or lose, my water bottles will be lined up perfectly.

Emily Says:

I guess this would be the darkest timeline for this year’s French

No-one really wants to see these two play in the quarters, the most triumphant win for Novak would be finally beating Rafa in the final. Maybe it won’t matter in terms of his legacy, but as a tennis fan, I’m not thrilled about some of these quarterfinal match ups

Seth Says:

Oh, I’m very much looking forward to seeing Nole and Rafa play in the quarters. Looking forward to seeing Nole send him packing.

kriket Says:

I’m thinking Novak will have easier time playing Rafa in the QF than he would have in the finals.

There will be no pressure from the final match.

Tennis lover Says:

Rafa won’t reach quarterfinal this year. Novak won’t have to beat him. If Novak wins FO, he’ll do it in similar fashion as Fed did in ’09. And, if Rafa reaches Quarterfinal he’ll beat Novak again and put all doubters into grave silence. For fed, this time it depends on how he plays, if he can improve his defence and return play, he’s in well chance to make another deep run at Rolland Garros after 2011.

brando Says:

Saw the draw and just ended up laughing. It is so bad for rafa that it’s unbelievable. And novak too. He said he didn’t want rafa post rome and not only has he got he’s got him in QF. No Marty what: that’s the worst opponent still of the possible QF. And then Mr Unbeaten Murray in SF and likely a fresh Nishikori or Federer in final. Even muzza to an extent has it brutal. Put simply: barring nishikori and Federer all the other viable contenders have it brutal.

jane Says:

aw, tough one for novak: potentially rafa, then murray, then potentially fed, kei or monfils to win it. maybe the french will never be nole’s.

anyhow, we will have to see how it all plays out!

happy birthday to nole today!! ajde! :)

brando Says:

Ah yes, as Jane said: happy birthday novak. But is this draw the worst gift? I’m a rafa fan and for me its brutal for rafa but I’d say same for Novak. He said after Rome that he did not want to face rafa since he ain’t no idiot nor a hero: he knows the deal at RG. He’s got him in QF. That’s bummer for both no matter what. Then he will face MR Unbeaten, grand slam champion, uber confident, nothing to lose and can push novak on clay (rome 2011 MP): andy Murray. And after all of that: a likely well rested nishikori or Federer in the final. Sorry: but for me thats no walk in the park. Honestly: I can see however comes through the novak, nadal and Murray side to the final being battered and bruised so bad he gets blitzed by nishikori or Federer in the final.

jalep Says:

Draw is not a pleasant b-day gift, jane.

But yes. Happy Birthday and ajde Nole!

Tennis lover Says:

People are biting their tongues in disgust for no reason, Rafa will be beaten early 2nd to 4th round or he’ll go all the way. So, Novak fan need not worry that much. It’ll either be glory or another sorry departure for Nole since he’s been terrific so far in 2015. Fed should utilize this opportunity by summoning his vintage tennis. For Novak, without having to play Nadal, he’ll win his elusive RG trophy. But, history and tradition doesn’t favour an AO champion, RG Crown. And, no one in this forum seems to be aware of the plight of an AO champion in RG! Why??

jane Says:

is it true that novak/rafa/andy side will start second and fed’s side starts first? does anyone know the schedule?

Joe Says:

R u kidding? We TOTALLY want to see Novak play Rafa in the quarters. Rafa has had a shite season and deserves it (even with the fanboys who thought he should be higher seeded because he has had a great career), and Novak has to deal with the bad luck. Bring it on!

Emily Says:

Read some comments from Sharapova attacking the disrespect towards Nadal right now. Recent results tilt the odds towards Novak, but good for her for stating an opinion, even when she isn’t involved

NK Says:

What disrespect?

The draw on paper may not translate that way in reality. Who knows what will happen. One match at a time is the best way to approach a grand slam. May the best player win!

Brando Says:


Yes I saw that too. Major props to Shazza for that.

Maybe the organisers could have seeded Rafa in the top 4. A great number felt he warrants that still led by Novak Djokovic who said it would atleast be a sign of respect if not smart thinking.

A whole host in the media, online have actually disrespected Rafa this clay season in the manner Sharapova alludes to.

But it matters not.

THE PLAYERS have all been all respect for him: past and present.

Federer has consistently voiced support, ditto Muzza. Even Novak.

So where it matters he’s still getting his due. All the talking is done now:

It’s time to play and I just hope Rafa produces his absolute best and puts in a worthy defense. IF he goes down to a player after giving his all, fighting fiercely but it not being enough:

I’m all for it. That’s a fabulous performance and someone bettered it. It’s all cool.

I just hope he doesn’t give a performance he’ll regret latter and lament as he has done at times in 2015 when he was shaky mentally and just gave nothing in terms of resistance.

He needs to fight. Fight hard. Then he’ll be fine.

skeezer Says:

“Maybe the organisers could have seeded Rafa in the top 4”
Why is that?

Wog Boy Says:

I don’t know who is going to win FO, but I know who ever makes final from the bottom half will be as fresh as a daisy, who ever makes final from the top half will be buggered.

Daniel Says:

Don’t agree that who ever comes from bottom half will be fresh. Nishikori has tendency to lose sets in his matches, so if he is to reach finals I bet he would have played a few 4 and 5 sets along the way. If Stan decided to play he can be a match for Fed in Quarters. If Fed reaches finals he could lose sets to Monfils, Stan and Kei/Berdych in the process. He never reached a RG final without losing a set.

It will all depends if the Novak / Nadal quarters and winner versus Murray seems will be as epic as we think of it on paper. If both those matches are 4 sets, can’t see no difference.

Regardless, French Open always has at least 1 day rest between semis and finals barring rain. Forest for this year is cool weather with clouds, but not heavy rain expected so the tourney could go as schedule. Last thing we need is rain screwing things up.

Tennis lover Says:

According to current form Nadal is bound to loose, while according to tradition and history Djokovic will loose since AO champion had always a tough time in FO.

Jimmy Says:

The draw was made on Nole’s birthday and they would play on Rafa’s birthday!

Ahsan Says:

Don’t know why everyone is thinking that Nadal got unlucky because he has to play 3 of the top 4 to win. Once he was seeded outside top 4, there was always a fair chance that he would have to play top 3 from qf onwards. Suppose he landed in fed or murray’s quarter, there would have been 50 percent chance that he would have met the other top guy in sf(whoever he avoided in qf out of Fed and Murray) and then would have met novak in finals. Even in the best case scenario Rafa would have met nishi in qf (and that is not a walkover by any means) and in semis and he would have needed to beat two of the top three. Therfore, Rafa would have had it tough anyway you try to make it.

I think Nole is the one who is really unlucky. He could have easily avoided one of the top 3 and in best case scenario even met one of the other top 3.

Travis Bickle Says:

Want are the chances Nole gets Rafa in Qf and Murray in SF?
I believe it is (1/7) multiplied with (1/3), which is 1/21. That is about 4% chance!
This means, that if they did RG draw 100 times only 4 times we would get this…
When you combined this with the probability that Federer gets his minion Wawa in QF and Berdich in SF, the today’s draw outcome has a total probability of 1/never, or in other words, if they did RG draw 100 times, they would get this exact draw …. never – but that os only assuming draws are random.

Perhaps, only perhaps they are not.

sienna Says:

wow tokking bout fed reaching slamfinale without losing set.

Am I entering bizarro world?

please let feddy play match by match set by set.
when he faces a type like on fire Cilic it can be over in the wink of an eye.
Monfils bested him handiley last fel times.

Federer draw is loaded with pitfalls and harder to navigate rhrough to quarter then Novak/Nadal.

Daniel Says:


Probability to Nole ger Nadal in Qiarters is 1/4 (either he will play #5, #6, #7 or #8, 4 chances. Probability to get Murray in semis 1/2 (either he will play #3 or #4, so only 2 possible chances). Combined it is 1/4 x 1/2 which is 1/8 12,5% chance. Every 8 times they run the draw 1 time this scrnario would happen.

Indeed if we combined with the same outckme for Fed getting Wawa and Berdych than it is 1/8*1/8, which is 1/64, 1,56 % chance. Meanong every 64 times they run the draw only 1 time the draw we got would play out.

sienna Says:

trevis B.

you should have paid more attention during math class.
this sucks big time.

sienna Says:

chance for fed to face monfils is much smaller then him meating Wawa….

How about thema apples.

Daniel Says:

The thing is that Fed could not face neither of them as Monfils, Wawa and Nishikori or Berdych could all lose early. But judging on latest form, Berdych is making good use of his rankings and draw and usually goes deep. Kei also only lost to top dogs so I think this two will be there in Quarters.

While it’s almost impossible on top draw to one of the finalist not be Djoko, Nadal or Murray. The question is, who?

Eric Says:

Djokovic has a pretty easy-peasy draw aside from Rafa. (Minor detail.) Potential Tomic third round (or Kokkinakis, who is a player on the way up, never predictable!), but Tomic has not exactly been great on clay. Gasquet or Anderson in the fourth round might be dangerous, but not really.

Rafa’s, by contrast, has some bombs– Almagro in the second round, and if not Almagro then Dolgopolov! Almagro, of course, is a three-time quarterfinalist at RG who is not to be sneered at.

I will say Federer’s early draw is not bad. I don’t think he’d lose to Monfils, but anything is possible, I guess. But actually Falla, LL or not, is a pretty rough opener. If anyone remembers that time he almost beat Roger at Wimbledon…

All in all, it’s a pretty fair draw. The big winner is actually Berdych with his no. 4 seed (does anyone really think Berdych is the fourth-best player on tour?). Rafa was always going to get an unusually rough draw, as I pointed out the other day– such are the wages of falling out of the top four.

Eric Says:

And for everyone complaining about the “rigged” draw– how about all those years when it was “rigged” for Roger-Djokovic semis, hmm?

brando Says:

Serious question: when was the last time anyone has seen Federer have a tough draw at a slam? Just a question not a statement.

Ahsan Says:

Wimbledon 2013 where he was supposed to meet Rafa in quarters Andy in semis and Novak in final…… Never happened though

Eric Says:

Brando, how about in the very last slam, when Roger was drawn to face Murray in the QF and Rafa in the semis? (Alas, he lost to Seppi, also a dangerous player, as were Chardy, Robredo, and Karlovic, all in his eighth of the draw.)

skeezer Says:

Serious question: when was the last time anyone has seen Rafael Nadal have a tough draw at a slam? Especially FO?

Barjona Says:

I don’t see what all the fuss is about. For both Nadal and Djokovic anything less than the title will be a dissappointment so they were going to play each other anyway. Is it unfortunate that the loser will be sent home in the quarters? Yeah, for sure. But I don’t think the extra points really matter to these two at this point in their careers. What makes their draw the toughest is that they also drew Murray in the semis rather than Berdych but that’s no big deal. And unless they’re really fatigued going into the finals I don’t see Fed winning this one, I just don’t think he’s got it in him anymore.

kriket Says:

If the draw was rigged, hypothrtically speaking, than it would be so Fed has a cakewalk at least til the semis. Since the French always hated that their Grand Slam happened to be Fed’s worst, for he is their favorite player of all times.

This is a dream draw for the French crowd, Nadal standing in the way of Novak reaching Fed, and then Murray, them three being Fed’s toughest opponents.

So if those three cancel eachother out, and whoever comes out on top is to be worn out by the time they reach Fed, it’s a French crowd dream. Fed in the final with a tired opponent who is probably not “the Ogre”.

Though I don’t think it’ll play out just like that, but they can hope.

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