Rafa Nadal could face world number one Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals of the French Open after Friday`s draw handed him the toughest of routes to a possible 10th title.
The Spaniard, seeded sixth after a disappointing year so far, would then face a potential semi-final against third seed Andy Murray and a final against 17-times grand slam champion Roger Federer.
The 28-year-old, who holds the record for titles at Roland Garros, will take on Frenchman Quentin Halys in the first round but life will get tricky with dangerous Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov a likely fourth round opponent.
“I need to win four matches before (possibly playing Djokovic),” Nadal, who has failed to win a claycourt title in Europe this season, said after the draw at Roland Garros.
“My draw is a tough one but I hope I will be ready to fight again,” added Nadal, who has suffered only one defeat on the Parisian clay, in 2009.
World number one Djokovic will probably be less than happy about the prospect of facing Nadal in the quarter-finals as he bids to win the only major title to elude.
He lost to Nadal in two of the last three finals and in an epic semi-final in 2013.