(AP Photo/Francois Mori)
PARIS (AP) The tennis equivalent of climbing three mountains, just to reach the Roland Garros final. Never have the obstacles loomed so large between Rafael Nadal and another trophy on the red clay of Paris.
The draw Friday could hardly have been more unkind for the nine-time champion whose confidence and reign as "King of Clay" look shaky.
There were "oohs" and "aahs" in the auditorium as defending women's champion Maria Sharapova plucked out Nadal's name to set up another potential blockbuster encounter with top-ranked Novak Djokovic. Only this time, the finalists of 2012 and 2014 are on course to meet in the quarterfinals.