Paris | Nadal has mountain to climb!

At first glance the French Open draw promises an exciting fortnight of tennis from the opening moments.

Heading the list of exciting openers is the 14-time champion, Rafa Nadal, unseeded for the event, facing the Rome champion, Alexander Zverev.

Nadal, the ‘King of Clay’, who has yet to declare himself fully fit since losing in the second round of Rome, will have a mountain to climb if he is to have any hope of extending his record of title wins at Roland Garros.

For Zverev it will be an opportunity to set the record straight following their last meeting when, in the semi-finals two years ago, he suffered that horrendous career threatening ankle injury which forced him to retire and then kept him out of the rest of the 2022 season.

The German is now back to full fitness and in good form as he showed last week in Rome where he dropped just one set in his run to the title.

Meanwhile the 37-year-old Spanish icon, who is currently ranked 276th in the world, is likely to be playing the Grand Slam for the last time before retiring though he still hopes to be able to compete at the Paris Olympics later in the summer at the same venue.

The world No.1 and defending champion, Novak Djokovic, opens against the French wild card Pierre-Hugues Herbert while his main challenger Jannik Sinner, the Australian Open champion, takes on American Christopher Eubanks, a quarter finalist at Wimbledon last year whilst Carlos Alcaraz awaits a qualifier and Daniil Medvedev faces Germany’s Dominik Koepfer.

Seventh seed Casper Ruud, who is aiming to go one better after losing in the last two finals in Paris, opens against Jakub Mensik.


Andy Murray training on Court Four at Roland Garros

(Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Another interesting clash is the encounter between two three-time grand slam champions, Britain’s Andy Murray and Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka.

While Murray has reached the semi-finals at Roland Garros (2016), Wawrinka is a former champion of the event having won it in 2015. The Briton, a former world No.1, holds a 13-9 win-loss record over the Swiss star in what will be their 23rd meeting in 19 years.

Dan Evans has been drawn against 13th seed Holger Rune of Denmark while Cameron Norrie, the last player to be seeded filling the 32nd spot, faces the Russian Pavel Kotov ranked 57 with Jack Draper, the British No.2 won’t know his opponent until the qualifying competition is completed.

For Norrie and Draper second round matches could provide more interest as the British No.1 could win through to face Murray or Wawrinka while a meeting with Alcaraz could well be Draper’s reward!





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