French Open 2013 Draw: Stars with the Easiest Road to Title
The French Open 2013 gets underway on Sunday, and Rafael Nadal was one of the stars who received a favorable draw.
Nadal, who is the defending champion, will be one of the favorites to win the title this year.
Stars like Novak Djokovic faces a difficult road to the finals. Even as the No. 1 seed, Djokovic has a daunting task ahead of him. He could potentially face Nadal and Federer in the final two rounds.
While those stars will be tested, other players will have an easier time in Paris.
Who joins the defending champion with a favorable draw?
Nadal, who received the No. 3 seed, might be on his way to defending his title.
As mentioned, his toughest challenge would be a matchup with Djokovic in the semifinals. As tough as taking on the top seed would be, Nadal would be ready for the challenge. He defeated Djokovic in the finals in 2012, so he has history on his side.
The defending champion also has recent success against his other rival, Federer. Nadal dominated Federer in the 2013 Rome Masters, 6-1 6-3.
Of course Nadal must first find a way to get to the semifinals and finals.
He drew Germany's Daniel Brands in the opening round. In four attempts, Brands has never advanced out of the first round.
The third round will be the first time Nadal could face a seeded opponent. Japan's Kei Nishikori could meet Nadal in the third round, but Nadal has had his way with Nishikori in the past. The No. 3 seed has defeated Nishikori in all four previous meetings.
Nadal already has seven French Open titles under his belt. Thanks to a good draw, he could be well on his way to getting his eighth victory in Paris.
It may seem like pointing out the obvious, but Feder and Nadal appear destined to meet in a second consecutive tournament final.
A favorable draw gives Federer the best chance to make the finals out of anyone in the tournament.
His toughest opponents will be Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (France) and David Ferrer (Spain). Tsonga and Federer could meet in the quarterfinals, and Ferrer would be a potential semifinal matchup.
Federer has had his way with each of those competitors. He has won all 15 previous matchups against Ferrer, and he has won the last five meetings with Tsonga.
He has yet to win a title in 2013, so he will have plenty of motivation at the French Open 2013. After Nadal cruised past him in the Rome Masters earlier this month, he will be looking for revenge.
Federer should have an easy road to the finals. He will be favored in every match, so anything less than a trip to the finals will be a disappointment. A showdown with Nadal or Djokovic would give Federer the chance to prove that he is still an elite player.
*All stats are via ESPN.com
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