Nine-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal will begin his quest for a 10th title at Roland Garros this season but it will be under far different terms, as the defending champion was handed a lower seeding due to his ranking, which has placed him in quite a predicament for this year’s draw. Nadal, who could come up against Novak Djokovic in the quarter-final round, is scheduled to begin his title defense campaign against home favourite Quentin Halys, whom he has never faced previously on the professional tour.
Over the past few weeks, we have gotten to see just how bad a clay court season Rafael Nadal was actually having this year on the tour. He has compiled a 17-5 record on clay so far in 2015, which include two losses to Fabio Fognini, a Madrid final loss to Andy Murray and a loss to Stan Wawrinka in Rome two weeks ago. Now ranked at No. 7 for the first time in a decade, Nadal is seeded sixth for the French Open and has been handed a draw that does not resemble what he is used to at this event. Nadal could potentially gets Nicolas Almagro in the second round, No. 30 seed Adrian Mannarino in the third round, Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth before Djokovic in the quarter-final.
Halys recently lost his opening match at the Bordeaux Challenger before getting an opportunity to be a lucky loser in Nice. After retiring against Sam Groth in the qualifying stage, Halys entered the tournament and lost to James Duckworth in the second round of the tournament.
Nadal will begin his campaign this season at the French Open against Quentin Halys, whom he has never faced previously on the professional tour. As the defending champion and nine-time tournament winner, it is difficult to pick against Nadal or not consider him the favourite to win the tournament, even though he is dealing with a turbulent season on the tour. Against Halys, he should have little trouble dispatching the local favourite to close out the match in straight sets.
Prediction: Rafael Nadal in Straight Sets