Rafael Nadal's path to a record fifth successive French Open title looked more like a minefield on Friday when he was handed potential clashes with Lleyton Hewitt as well as Spanish compatriots David Ferrer and Fernando Verdasco.
Top seed Nadal will begin his campaign against a qualifier, but then could run straight into Australian former world number one Hewitt, who showed his claycourt ability in April when he won the Houston event.
Nadal, who has never lost at Roland Garros, beat Hewitt in the fourth round here in 2005 and 2006.
Claycourt specialist David Ferrer, twice a quarter-finalist, is a possible fourth round opponent with Verdasco a likely last eight rival.
Old American rival Andy Roddick is seeded to face him in the last eight.
Third seeded Scotsman Andy Murray renews his fierce rivalry with Argentinians when he meets Juan Ignacio Chela, while fourth seed Novak Djokovic, a semi-finalist in the last two years, faces experienced Nicolas Lapentti of Ecuador.
If the seeding works to plan, then Nadal would face Murray in the semi-finals while Djokovic would take on Federer.
Nadal will be happy to see Djokovic in the other half of the draw having had to overcome three match points in a four-hour, Madrid Masters semi-final against the Serbian last weekend.
That effort left the Spaniard exhausted by the time he played Federer in the final with the Swiss coasting to his first trophy of 2009 and ending Nadal's 33-match winning streak on clay.
"Lapentti has been on the tour for a long time now and has had ups and downs," said Djokovic.
"But if I play at the same level that I have been lately then I have a big chance to win."
Serena comes into the tournament under a cloud having lost three times in succession in Marbella, Rome and Madrid. In Spain, she withdrew from her opening match with a knee injury.
"I'm just glad to be here," said Williams. "I'm more confident than I was a couple of weeks ago, so that's a step in the right direction."
Former world number one and 2007 semi-finalist Maria Sharapova, who has just returned from almost 10 months on the sidelines because of a shoulder injury, is unseeded and faces Anastasiya Yakimova of Belarus.
Safina, the winner of the Madrid Open, could face promising compatriot Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the third round and Ivanovic in the quarter-finals.
The Williams sisters are in opposite sides of the draw.
A win for either of them would mean a family sweep of the Grand Slams with Serena the reigning US and Australian Open queen while Venus is Wimbledon champion.
Interactive graphic on the French Open which gets under way at Roland Garros on Sunday and where Rafael Nadal will try to become the first man to claim five successive titles.
Source: AFP Global Edition