Rafael Nadal’s tough draw in quest for French Open No. 10

The French Open draw has been made in Paris and Rafael Nadal faces a major test if he is to claim ‘La Decima’. He has been drawn in the same half of the draw as defending champion Novak Djokovic, Milos Raonic and Dominic Thiem.

Rafa will meet Benoit Paire in the first round as he looks to add to his incredible 72-2 record at the clay-court Grand Slam championship, where he has clinched the 2005-08, 2010-14 crowns.

Rafa’s potential route to the final:

  • 1st round: Beniot Paire
  • 2nd round: Viktor Troicki
  • 3rd round: Gilles Simon
  • 4th round: Jack Sock
  • Quarter-final: Milos Raonic
  • Semi-final: Novak Djokovic or Dominic Thiem
  • Final: Andy Murray or Stan Wawrinka

Potential French Open 2017 quarter-final draw (if top seeds win through):

  • Andy Murray v Kei Nishikori
  • Stanislas Wawrinka v Marin Cilic
  • Milos Raonic v Rafael Nadal
  • Dominic Thiem v Novak Djokovic

View Singles Draw


Source: ATP World Tour


  1. Rafa’s [Singles] Roland-Garros Record

    -72 wins [all-time record], 2 defeats.
    -9 titles. He’s unbeaten in final.

    -5 straight titles [all-time record] from 2010 to 2014. 39-match winning streak [all-time record] between first round 2010 and QF 2015.

    -12 participations at RG prior to 2017, the first in 2005, the year of his first title.

    -56 matches played on center court [all-time record, like Stefi Graff in women’s], Rafa’s first was in 2005 vs Xavier Malisse.


    Roger: semi-final 2005, final in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011.

    Nole: QF 2006, semi-final’s 2007, 2008, 2013; final’s in 2012 and 2014.

    Andy: semi-final in 2011 and 2014.

    Stan: QF 2013.

    [from Roland-Garros.com]

    • I just noticed that some of the stats I posted from Roland Garros.com already had been posted by RNF in the Paire post. My apologies for the redundancy.


  2. I am calling on the original Greek Olympians to guide you through your on-paper, relatively easy draw, to a win in the final. Let this draw translate to a win.

    I know you will give it your all so the best to you in your quest for that tenth, that decima, that dixième.


  3. Hi Rafa, I know you always do your best on every match. You will just have to adjust your way to each individual opponent but always be aggressive and focus and not waste your shot. Do not keep going back and forth too many times as your opponent will take a chance on the open court, you have to use it instead. Good luck we are all for you, Vamos Rafa

  4. I can’t comment whether the draw was tough or not as Rafa said tennis is a sports of error. I guess it’s a matter of luck sometimes but in the case of Rafa he’s got all what it takes to win for as long as he stays focus mentally and physically and don’t get panicky on the score especially when he goes thru the semis. Am sure Rafa is also aiming for his 3rd Decima (as we your fans are as well) and moments like this it brings butterfly on your stomach and might cause tension. So am constantly praying for our RAFA to stay healthy physically and mentally and stay focus. May God grant you that winning strikes in all your matches. We love you RAFA. VAMOS RAFAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  5. Looking forward to seeing you on Monday, Rafa. A SS quick win over Paire is in order. Wishing you the best.


  6. Rafa the only I now thes year is your.good luck Champ .thes is the clay your best .you can do it vamosssssssssssssssssssssssssss.love your fans for ever.🎾🎾🎾👍👍👍🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸❤️❤️❤️😃😃😃🎾🎾🎾

  7. Until after the 4th Round he should win without difficulty if he keeps the form he has had during the clay season so far. Raonic is dangerous if playing well, but has been inconsistent / injured and clay is not his surface. If he wins against these people he is in week 2. Djoker or Dominator could beat him, but in five sets at RG he is the favorite if he keeps playing consistently. Murray has been all over the shop so might not arrive at the final, Wawrinka can be a stanimal or a damp squib. As Rafa says top goal is be healthy practice well and play with calm. Then we will see whats going on, hopefully La Decima #3.

  8. hi everyone,
    here is my take on the draw. Its not a tough draw but more a tricky draw. In my opinion nadal off course should take it match by match. His most difficult opponnents are waiting in the semifinal and the final off course but the most tricky opponents are in the first and third round.
    Bennot paire is a tricky opponent especially when he has nothing to lose. He beat nishikori two years ago at the us open in the first round and beat wawrinka in madrid So not a easy opponent in the first round. He is also playing infront of a chauvinistic french crowd which could lead him to playing the match of his life. That counts also for gilles simon. Raonic is vulerable and weak on clay.
    The first week is important for nadal. He needs to be focus, sharp and agressive but also cautious. If he gets through the first week and history teach us that nadal at the french open is almost unbeatable

    • I was trying to approve your comments but mistakenly disapproved them. Please ignore that. I too agree that Paire is a tricky opponent, but I don’t think he can beat Rafa in three sets. Raonic is not playing well right now. Simon is having an off year otherwise he can be a threat. Playing Frenchmen adds drama, but most of the non French fans will root for Rafa. If Rafa stays healthy, he will be fine.

  9. Every match is tough when you want to win so bad. I will be watching every match. I hope and pray you continue your great clay season. You are playing with such confidence and skill. It is wonderful to watch you. I hope when I recover I will get a chance to see you play in person. I would settle for a practice match. Vamos Rafa you can do it! ❤️

  10. I think the draw is not too bad and I highly doubt we will see the semifinal we all “think” may happen. Rafa just might play someone else other than what we expected. It could be David Goffin he meets in semis. We just don’t know!

  11. Dear Rafa we know you will do your best and we are behind you!!!! So proud of you!!!!!!

  12. Look at it this way. Rafa has lost one match this year and it’s already the end of May. Novak has been looking stronger but Murray and Stan have had a spotty last few months. So why not, Vamos! We’ll be there, Rafa!

  13. Rafa tienes un cuadro complejo…pero tu has demostrado tener un nivel alto y jugando bien…y podras realizar tu trabajo…el ultimo partido con Thiem es k t cogio d improviso su forma d jugar…hoy x hoy tu reaccionarias mucho mejor y competirias con el…
    VAMOS RAFA a x tu 10

  14. I don’t consider that tough draw, till the semi–Djok or Thiem, probably the two toughest opponents he could meet in the tournament, and the fact that he only has to play one–they play each other first, if through–is a stroke of luck.

    So not a tough draw at all. To say the semi opponent is tough–and he will be–is not a tough draw. Tough means playing very dangerous players earlier, and frankly I think Rafa got a great draw.
    I am so NOT worried about Raonic at this point. Sock even less.

    The cupcake draw goes to Murray as usual. Very protected, till he meets Zverev, who should clobber him.

    All four “experts” on tennis.com pick Rafa to win the FO. Don’t get too happy about that though–they are mostly wrong.

    LOL I pick Rafa too.

    Wawrinka? That’s another question. Lately he’s been nothing, but we’ve seen him rise to the occasion many times in the past.

    • Agreed, the title of this article was already written and decided on before the draw was out. Any draw would have gotten this title clearly – as this is definitely not a very tough draw. Of course to win the slam, there will be top 4 players on your route. A tough draw means having former major winners (e.g. Delpo, Cilic) in week 1 or in the QF, or having the likes of Thiem, Coric, A. Zverev, Kyrgios, Dimitrov (the age old junior aka Babyfed) in the early rounds, or to face a dark horse like Gulbis, Zeballos, Verdasco, Tsonga, Gasquet, Dolgopolov. None of it is the case, a few of those would be elements to call this a tough draw!

      1st round: Beniot Paire: SHOULD BE NO PROBLEM, never lost to the lad.
      2nd round: Viktor Troicki BEAT RAFA ON HC recently, but Rafa – supposedly – was injured then (quit the season right after I believe) and used to own this guy. THIS IS CLAY.
      3rd round: Gilles Simon NEVER EVER beats a big guy on the high stages. When did Simon shock the world – never!
      4th round: Jack Sock Rock ’em Sock ’em was not up to Rafa when Rafa was at 70% two years ago. A mental wreck, completely off rhythm, looking scared, looking out of place – still he beat Simon at RG 2015.
      Quarter-final: Milos Raonic: a tough customer, but not that good on the clay. Doubtful whether he will even be there in the QF’s. Tell us who the alternative is rather!

  15. Some tough opponents, but it’s nothing Rafa can’t handle. The good news is that he’s in great shape, happy and full of confidence!

  16. Once again Rafa is drawn in the same half as Djokovic. It should not be because Djokovic is number 2 and Rafa is number 4 as once numbers 1 and 2 are placed on opposite sides of the draw, then 3 and 4 are drawn at random for placement one on either side
    However as Blair says he only has to face either Thiem or Djokovic but not both which is a blessing.. He should be able to manage the others so long as he is sufficiently rested.
    I read that he played Golf in Mallorca , which he said he was going to do or else go fishing. I think fishing would have been more restful mentally and physically. However I am sure Rafa would not have done anything to spoil his chances for Roland Garros as this is one of his greatest dreams to hold the trophy aloft for the tenth time.
    Although he is seen as the overwhelming favourite to win the final I must remind myself to follow Rafa’s example and take one match at a time and not look too far ahead. Easier said than done but I will try.!!
    He really deserves this win. He works so hard and throws his heart and soul into every practice session. It is good to see both Uncle Toni and Moya there – Toni who has been with him since he was three years of age, and Moya who seems to be bringing a new perspective.

  17. Wishing you the best at the FO Rafa. May your dream come true.

    As anyone knows, it’s way too early to start thinking about the final and I’m not gonna start hyperventilating. LOL


  18. I don’t think it’s that tough, it coule be much worse as he only has to face either Thiem or Djokovic and not both.

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