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Home / Features / Draw hands Federer smooth start on French Open return

Draw hands Federer smooth start on French Open return

PARIS (Reuters) – Roger Federer was handed a comfortable-looking start in the French Open draw on Thursday as the 20-times Grand Slam champion makes his return to the tournament after a three-year hiatus.

The third-seeded Swiss will open his quest for a second Musketeers Cup against Italian Lorenzo Sonego, the world number 73, but faces a potentially tricky quarter-final against young Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas who beat him at this year’s Australian Open.

Former world number one Federer, 37, is in the same half of the draw as clay court master Rafa Nadal and could meet the Spaniard in the semis.

Defending champion Nadal, seeded second, will open up against a qualifier as he aims for a record-extending 12th title at Roland Garros.

“I had my first training today and I had good sensations,” said Nadal, who was given a tour of the renovated stadium by tournament director Guy Forget after winning his first clay court title of the season at the Italian Open.

“It was very important for me to play well in Rome, I hope it’s a good sign for Roland Garros,” the Spaniard, who could face Japanese Kei Nishikori in the last eight, added.

World number one Novak Djokovic, who is looking to hold all four majors for the second time in his career, will take on Hubert Hurkacz with a possible quarter-final against German Alexander Zverev.

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