Usurped from the top of the rankings by Andy Murray last November and a shock second-round loser at the Australian Open, Djokovic enters the second major of the season facing the prospect of also relinquishing the last remaining grand slam crown in his possession.
After last year's French Open, Djokovic lost in the third round at Wimbledon, his earliest defeat in a Grand Slam in seven years.More news: The Late: Italy leader says G-7 talks were calm and free
If the seedings work out, Murray would face Japan s Kei Nishikori in the last eight.
Andy Murray will begin his 2017 French Open campaign against Russia's Andrey Kuznetsov.
On clay this year, he has at least been on an upward curve - quarter-finals in Monte Carlo, semi-finals in Madrid and a runners-up spot in Rome where he was demolished by Alexander Zverev.
Nadal, who retired previous year before his third-round match with a wrist injury, has a 72-2 record at the clay-court major and is the only player with nine trophies from one Grand Slam tournament. I was not rushing the process of getting a new coach because I trust in myself. Kerber is due to face defending champion Garbine Muguruza of Spain in the semi-finals.
"I am super-excited to be here".More news: B.C. political parties very close to reaching deal, Green leader says
"I have been pretty lucky with that over the last couple of years".
He'll need to come through some tough matches to reach the same stage again with Olympic final opponent Juan Martin Del Potro and former French Open victor Stan Wawrinka among the potential rivals on his side of the draw.
Romania's world number four Simona Halep, who is battling to be fit after tearing ankle ligaments, starts against Slovakia's Jana Cepelova and is in the same half of the draw as Elina Svitolina, who beat Halep in the Italian Open final last weekend.
All eyes will be on nine-time champion Nadal, as he bids to lift the La Coupe des Mousquetaires trophy for an unprecedented tenth time.
While Nadal remains the absolute favourite for Thiem, the Austrian is confident he can go far into the tournament.More news: Europa triumph is for bomb victims
"But first of all, I will just try to, you know, being step by step and trying to, yeah, get in love a little bit with the clay", she said smiling.
- Watch Trump strut his stuff into prime position
- Europa League victory lifted Manchester, says Ferguson
- Netanyahu: US to Boost Military Aid Amid Saudi Arms Deal
- Trump shoves fellow Nato leader aside on his first summit
- Trump told not to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital ahead of visit
- Manchester bomber Abedi 'wanted revenge' for United States raids on Syria, says sister
- Donald Trump condemns media leaks after complaints from Britain
- Trumps continues Iran nuclear tirade as tensions mount in West Asia
- G7 leaders sign Declaration on fight against terrorism
- Palestinian protesters hold Trump effigy at gunpoint to decry visit