PARIS, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Rafael Nadal, who is seeking a record-extending 13th French Open title, was handed a relatively tough path to this year’s final at Roland Garros when the draw was made on Thursday.
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 Grand Slam.
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.
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.
The tournament was rescheduled from May 24-June 7 to Sept. 27-Oct. 11 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Toby Davis)
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