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Roland Garros 2020: Tough Draw for Rafael Nadal; French PM Approves Entry For 1000 People a Day Into Stadium

Rafael Nadal, who is chasing the 13th French Open title, has Fabio Fognini, Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem in his half of the draw. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister of France has given permission for entry of 1000 people per day, including the staff, organisers, and players.
Rafael Nadal vs Dominic Thiem at French Open 2020

A possible match-up with US Open champion Dominic Thiem is also on cards for Rafael Nadal in his half of the draw, a repeat of the 2019 final which was won by the Spaniard in four sets.

Rafael Nadal, who is currently chasing two personal records -- a 13th French Open title and a 20th Grand Slam singles crown -- will have to go through a very tough path at Roland Garros.

Nadal, who will open the tournament against Egor Gerasimov, could face the US Open runner-up Alexander Zverev in the last eight. Zverev has never made it past the quarterfinals and will be looking at this as an opportunity to go past that barrier.

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On the top half of the draw, Novak Djokovic will go against Mikael Ymer in the first round. The most interesting match-up in the opening round would be between Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray, one of the most high profile opening round match-ups in any Grand Slam in recent years. Meanwhile, Milos Raonic has pulled out of the tournament, the organisers announced.

In the women’s draw, Serena Williams, fresh off the semifinal defeat at the US Open, will begin her pursuit of a 24th Grand Slam singles title against Kristie Ahn. The sixth seed is likely to run into her US Open nemesis, Victoria Azarenka, in the fourth round. Williams and Azarenka have met 23 times, 11 of which were at Grand Slams. The rivalry now stands at 18-5 overall, heavily in favour of Williams.

World No. 1 and 2019 champion Ashleigh Barty will not be a part of the tournament.

Entry for 1000 People

The Prime Minister of France, Jean Castex, stated that only 1,000 people a day will be allowed to attend instead of 5,000, which was the number earlier decided. This would include players, officials, staff and the organisers.

“We will apply at Roland Garros the same rules as elsewhere. We will go from 5,000 to 1,000,” he said.

The organisers reiterated that this year’s tournament, under extraordinary circumstances, will act as a sign of resilience as well as responsibility. 

“This year’s French Open will already go down in history because of the circumstances,” French federation president Bernard Giudicelli said.

“The key words of Roland Garros 2020 are resilience and responsibility.”

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