World Tennis News: French Open

All eyes turned to Paris yesterday for the start of the second Grand Slam event of the year, The French Open held at the Roland Garros Stadium.

Fresh from his Italian Open win in Rome where he defeated Rafael Nadal in the final 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, Novak Djokovic is seeded two in this event and will be looking to add the missing Grand Slam clay crown to his array of titles.  Defending champion and top seed Nadal has won this Grand Slam title eight times previously and is favourite to win again this year on his favourite surface.

imageDjokovic beat Nadal in the Italian Open final but Nadal is favourite to win the French Open for the ninth time.

British number one Andy Murray has been in Paris preparing for the event after losing to Nadal in a brilliant three-set thriller in the Italian Open quarter-finals in Rome 1-6, 6-3, 7-5. Current Wimbledon champion and seventh seed Murray withdrew from last years French Open due to back problems that eventually saw him undergo surgery last September. He will face Kazakhstan’s Andrey Golubev in the first round and in his first French Open match for two years.

_74922710_amreutMurray lost to Nadal in the Italian Open Quarter finals but is hoping for a better result at the French Open.

_74922396_raffNadal celebrates his quarter final win against Murray in Rome

Defending champion Serena Williams is looking for her third French Open title and is coming into the tournament on a winning streak after beating Sara Errani in the final 6-3, 6-0 to win Italian Open title. World number one Williams who is top seed in Paris got off to a good start yesterday beating Alize Lim from France 6-2, 6-1 in round one and will now play Garbine Muguruza in the next round.

imageWilliams with her Italian Open trophy

Nadal, Djokovic, third seed Stanilas Wawrinka and Maria Sharapova all play their first round matches today. In British tennis news James Ward and Heather Watson both had three wins in qualifying and have earned the right to play in the main draw alongside countryman Murray.

_75082401_james_ward_gettyWard is the first British male player in more than 40 years to progress from qualifying to the first round

All photographs courtesy of the BBC Sport website (www.bbc.com/sport/0/tennis/)

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