Federer Stands Between Djokovic and History

on May 25 2012 3:57 PM
Federer Stands Between Djokovic and History

Novak Djokovic might have to get past Roger Federer if he is going to win a fourth consecutive Grand Slam title in the 2012 French Open.

Just as in 2011, the draw has a potential Federer-Djokovic semi-final in Roland Garros. The road to the semis won't be easy for Djokovic, as he may have to face local boy and No. 5-ranked Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Djokovic, a three-time finalist at Roland Garros, may also face former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt in the early rounds.

In 2011, Djokovic lost to Federer in four epic sets, which ended the Serb's 43-match winning streak, and turned Djokovic's last loss at a major. Since then, he won Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the Australian Open.

If Djokovic wins this time, he would become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win four Grand Slam trophies in a row.

The journey will probably not be easy for Federer, either. The 16-time Grand Slam champion could face Argentine Juan Martin del Potro, the 2009 U.S. Open champion in the fourth round.

Meanwhile, defending champion Rafael Nadal has a much easier draw with third-seed Andy Murray, who is suffering with a back injury, posing as the most dangerous threat.

Nadal could face eighth-seed Janko Tipsarevic in the quarter-final. David Ferrer is another possible foe for Nadal.

The most stunning part of the women's draw is a probable quarter-final clash between Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova.

Sharapova, a semi-finalist in 2007 and 2011, is seeking her first-ever French Open title.

The Russian won on clay in Stuttgart and Rome, while Williams, who owns 13 major titles, including the 2002 French Open, claimed the Charleston and Madrid titles before withdrawing from the Rome semi final because of back pain.

Seven-time major champion Venus Williams, appearing in her first Grand Slam tournament since revealing she has an autoimmune disease, could meet No. 3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the second round and 2009 French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in the third.

Top seed Victoria Azarenka, who begins against Italian Alberta Brianti, has US Open champion Samantha Stosur as her possible quarter final rival.

Twice a quarter-finalist has a shoulder injury concern after having been forced to quit her fourth round match in Rome.

Defending champion Li Na of China, who starts against Romania's Sorana Cirstea, could turn up against Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the last eight.