French Open men’s draw: Andy Murray to face Stan Wawrinka, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic learn fate


Murray will face Wawrinka in the first round of the French Open (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)

Andy Murray has been handed a fiendishly tough draw on his return to the French Open against former champion Stan Wawrinka.

Murray last competed at Roland Garros in a five-set semi-final defeat to Wawrinka three years ago – a match he said ‘turned out to be the end of my hip’.

He has practised with Wawrinka, the 2015 champion, in the buildup to this tournament and they will meet again in the first round this time around.

Rafael Nadal, meanwhile, will begin his quest for a 13th French Open title against Egor Gerasimov.

Nadal, dubbed the ‘King of Clay’, has won the title at Roland Garros in each of the past three years and once again heads into the clay-court Grand Slam as the favourite.

Should he triumph on Philippe-Chatrier, which boasts a new roof for the 2020 edition, he will equal Roger Federer’s all-time Grand Slam record.

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic – tipped to be one of the few who could stop him – is in the other half of the draw and will open against Mikael Ymer.

Djokovic picked up a title in Rome this week (Picture: ATP Tour)

Djokovic, the 2016 champion, bounced back from his US Open disqualification in style to win the Italian Open – the biggest clay-court warm-up event in this most unusual of seasons.

The tournament has been moved from May to a September start amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and there remains uncertainty about how many fans will be permitted to enter the grounds each day, with tournament organisers still hopeful 5,000 spectators will be allowed on site.

Djokovic and US Open champion Dominic Thiem – a losing finalist in Paris in the past two seasons – are considered the biggest threats to Nadal.

Thiem, the world No. 3 from Austria, could only meet one of Nadal and Djokovic before the final and he has landed in Nadal’s half of the draw.

Thiem faces a very tricky opener against Croatia’s Marin Cilic.

Murray’s fellow Brits Dan Evans, and Cam Norrie will face Kei Nishikori and a qualifier respectively.

Kyle Edmund was forced to withdraw with a knee injury. Liam Broady will be in the draw, however, after coming through qualifying.

Murray was supporting Broady, 26, courtside as he qualified for the main draw of a Grand Slam outside of Wimbledon for the first time.

‘I started the match pretty badly, then Andy showed up and I think it definitely helped a lot. He is a very loud supporter,’ Broady said after his 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 win over Australia’s Marc Polmans.

‘You can’t fault Andy as a tennis player or a human being. I have got to know him a bit better over the last few months and it’s been absolutely fantastic.

‘Since the Battle of the Brits events, a lot of the British players have become closer.

‘We have got group chats on WhatsApp and everyone has been so supportive, driving me on and giving me tactics for the players I’m facing.

‘The abuse I got at the second Battle of the Brits especially probably made it easier to remain calm in stressful situations this week.’

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