Three of the greatest men’s tennis players of all time have found themselves on the same side of the 2021 French Open draw.
As a result, only one of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer will be able to make the final.
Djokovic was the No. 1 overall seed in the field while Nadal was ranked No. 3. Unfortunately for the legends, Nadal got an unlucky draw and landed in Djokovic’s bracket.
Meanwhile, Federer, serving as the No. 8 seed after playing sparingly the past 15 months while rehabbing from knee surgery, was always likely to land with one of them, but will not have to fight through both in his return to action.
If the favorites win throughout the early rounds, then Federer and Djokovic could square off in a quarterfinal matchup. The winner of that could then face Nadal in the semifinal.
Needless to say, it’s unusual for all three legends, who have combined for a whopping 58 Grand Slam titles, to be on the same side of the bracket. That will add some extra intrigue to the early rounds of the French Open and will open up the opportunity for the likes of Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev to reach the final from the other side of the bracket.
Of course, this draw drew a lot of reactions from tennis fans. From excitement about the three legends squaring off to seeding complaints to jokes about how lucky the other side of the draw got, here’s a look at what the tennis world had to say.
Medvedev trolling everyone by taking the number two seed on clay and putting Nadal, Federer and Djokovic in the same half so that his next gen brethren can make a slam final without having to play them https://t.co/qt3CJogdMi
— Matthew Willis (@mattracquet) May 27, 2021
Nadal lands on Djokovic’s half of the draw, meaning they would meet in the #RG21 semifinals.
Having Nadal as a #3 seed in Paris is fairly absurd, y’all.
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) May 27, 2021
Don’t know why people are getting up in arms about Djokovic, Nadal and Federer being in the same half of the draw. Nadal needs a test for once and its unlikely Federer plays Djokovic at the QF stage because if Fed makes it into the second week it’ll be a miracle. #RolandGarros
— Umarah (@_umara) May 27, 2021
Roland Garos this year has a Highlander theme… as Djokovic, Nadal and Federer all in the same half of the draw…There can be only One….in the final and potentially add to their ridiculous grand slam victories…
— Ian Turner (@Sport_Mad_Ian) May 27, 2021
Nadal the 3 seed at @rolandgarros after claiming his 13th French Open title last year? Come on. Sure, he’s #3 in ATP rankings, just barely behind Medvedev at #2. But at Roland Garros, you absolutely cannot have Nadal outside of a top-2 seed in a Grand Slam he’s defending champion https://t.co/gjaq21Fp7W
— Brett R. Johnson (@Brett_R_Johnson) May 27, 2021
I can’t wait for @rolandgarros this year. However, someone needs to explain the thought process in seeding @RafaelNadal 3rd. He could be on crutches and still be the number 1 seed. Rankings don’t need to be followed.
— Jason Shelley (@jshel1214) May 27, 2021
Soon enough, we’ll see whether any of the three legends can emerge and play for the French Open final. While Djokovic is the highest seed of the bunch, Nadal has won at Roland Garros four consecutive years and 13 times overall.
So, it would seem that the Spaniard may well be the man to beat.