The second Grand Slam of the year gets underway at Roland Garros today. There are plenty of exciting matches lined up with top players looking to start the tournament with a bang.
Here are 5 matches that you must watch on Day 1:
No. 13 seed Lucie Safarova faces a tricky test in her opening round against the young Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. The Czech is coming into the French Open after a second round loss to Romanian Alexandra Dulgheru in Rome. Pavlyuchenkova was also ousted in the second round at Rome by World No. 1 Serena Williams.
Safarova, whose best result in Paris has been a fourth round appearance last year cannot take the Russian lightly. Pavlyuchenkova was in fact a quarterfinalist here in 2011 and holds a 4-1 win-loss record over Safarova in their five meetings. Pavlyuchenkova won their last match in straight sets in the Fed Cup in 2011. Apart from that, all their remaining matches have gone the distance. The former doubles partners will know each other’s games inside out.
This is the first time they are facing off on clay.
Time: Around 8:30 p.m IST.
Ivo Karlovic Vs Marcos Baghdatis
Crowd in court 7 will get to witness an entertaining match between Ivo Karlovic and Marcos Baghdatis in the first round. The big serving Croat will pose a serious challenge to Baghdatis who enthrals people with his antics. Both players have not gone beyond the third round stage at Roland Garros.
Karlovic lost in the first round in Madrid to Richard Gasquet and skipped the Rome Masters, while Baghdatis lost to Thomaz Bellucci in the first round at Geneva.
Baghdatis leads their head-to-head 2-1. This is their first meeting on clay.
Time: Around 4 p.m IST.
Ana Ivanovic Vs Yaroslava Shvedova
Former World No. 1 Ana Ivanovic is struggling for consistency at the moment. She lost in the third and second rounds at Madrid and Rome respectively. Yaroslava Shvedova will look to capitalise on the Serb’s poor run of form in the opening round.
The Kazakh player is a quarterfinalist here in 2010 and 2012 and will to expose any chinks in Ivanovic’s armour today. The 2008 champion was ousted in the third round last year and she knows all too well that she has to be at her best to make it past Shvedova.
Both players have split their previous two meetings. However, Shvedova’s win came way back in 2007 on the hard courts of Miami. It will be interesting to see the approach taken by Ivanovic in this match.
Time: Around 7:30 p.m IST