Rafael Nadal is the fourth seed at the 2017 french open, and he has picked up a nice draw in the early rounds. There aren't any dangerous floaters in his section of the draw ahead of the fourth round, meaning that the Spaniard should be able to make the 2nd week without any hiccups, so long as he doesn't pick up an injury.

Nadal opens his tournament vs. Benoit Paire

In the first round, Nadal will face French player Benoit Paire. Paire is a player that has enjoyed some success, mainly in 2015. That season, he surprised Kei Nishikori in the first round of the US Open. However, Paire's ranking has dipped over the last season and a half.

He enters the French Open unseeded, having never made it beyond the third round of the event.

In the second round Nadal will probably face Robin Haase. The Dutch national, who is now 30 years old, has yet to really make it on tour. He does, however, have two career tour titles, both of which came on clay. At his best, he promises to be tricky against Nadal, but Haase has never really had much flare for winning best-of-five-set matches. He has only rarely made the third round of a major, and he isn't likely to upset Nadal should the two face one another in the 2nd round.

Nadal vs. Simon possible

In the third round, Nadal could face no one more proven player in Gilles Simon. The former top-ten player's clay court achievements are largely dated, in what has to be called the late stages of his career.

His last tour title on the surface came in April of 2012. His success at Roland Garros has been inconsistent over the years, and his results from his home country's major have only included a place in the fourth round three times. So often at the French Open, Simon has fallen to a player of much less aptitude than Nadal.

In career head-to-heads against Nadal specifically, Simon has just one victory heads-up in nine matches, and that came way back in 2008.

Nadal looks very strong to make the round of sixteen where perhaps he could face either Roberta Bautista-Agut or Jack Sock. After that the most likely players by seed would be Milos Raonic or Grigor Dimitrov.

Nadal did get some late-round bad luck as both Dominic Thiem and Novak Djokovic share a path with the Spaniard to the final. Nadal would have been luckier to share a path to the final with Andy Murray, a slumping player that has reportedly picked up an illness. However, a lot can happen ahead of the semifinals with a potential match-up against either Djokovic or Thiem very much down the road at this point.

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