Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

France: 2014 in review

Read more

#THE 51%

South Africa: Taking a stand against child marriage

Read more

DEBATE

The Future of the Book

Read more

DEBATE

The Future of the Book (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

France 24’s best documentaries of 2014

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'We have to build a new Tunisia', says the president of the Tunisian Parliament

Read more

FACE-OFF

France on alert after attacks: a case of collective hysteria?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'Beijing needs to revaluate its policy in the Tibetan areas', says FM of the Tibetan government-in-exile

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Uruguay: freed Guantanamo detainees try to adjust to normal life

Read more

Sports

Nadal and Henin to face tricky path in Paris

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-05-21

French Open favourite Rafael Nadal will have to battle hard in his bid for a fifth title on Paris's clay courts, as will Justine Henin, who might face Maria Sharapova in the third round.

REUTERS - Favourite Rafael Nadal must negotiate a tricky path in his bid for a fifth French Open title following Friday's draw for the claycourt grand slam starting on Sunday.

World number two Nadal, however, did not seem too worried by his fate as he was spotted practising on a sunbathed centre court while holders Roger Federer and Svetlana Kuznetsova were making the draw.

Nadal, beaten for the first time at Roland Garros last year, is in the same half as fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco and third seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia.

Following a first-round match against Frenchman Gianni Mina, the Spaniard could meet Australian Lleyton Hewitt and big-serving Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia before a possible quarter-final against Verdasco and a semi-final clash with Djokovic.

Nadal refused to look beyond his first-round opponent. Asked who were his main rivals for the May 23-June 6 tournament, he said: "First round, no? I play against a wildcard from France and that's my toughest opponent now."

Nadal, wearing a white cap back to front, practised for more than an hour on centre court, looking relaxed as he punished his sparring partner with his trademark forehand winners in front of his uncle and coach Toni Nadal.

Paris crowd

Fourth-seeded Andy Murray, gunning for his first grand-slam title, will face gifted Frenchman Richard Gasquet and the Paris crowd in a treacherous first round.

Murray lost two of his three matches against Gasquet but won the last one in a memorable five-set thriller at Wimbledon in 2008.

World number one Federer takes on Australian Peter Luczak in the first round en route to a possible fifth French Open final against Nadal, whom he has never beaten at Roland Garros.

He could face France's Gael Monfils in the fourth round and Swede Robin Soderling, whom he defeated in last year's final to win his first and only Paris crown.

In the women's draw, four-times champion Justine Henin, who returned to tennis in January after 20 months in retirement, got a difficult draw with a possible third-round clash with Russia's Maria Sharapova.

A quarter-final match-up with world number one Serena Williams, who takes on Swiss Stefanie Voegele in the first round, looms for the 22nd-seeded Belgian.

Holder Kuznetsova, seeded sixth, is in the other half, and had an easier draw with a possible quarter-final match against Dane Caroline Wozniacki, the third seed.

She then could face second seed Venus Williams in the semi-finals, but the American will not have it easy to get there.

She takes on Swiss Patty Schnyder in the first round before a possible fourth-round encounter with either Russian Nadia Petrova or France's Aravane Rezai, who beat her in the final in Madrid last Sunday.


 

Date created : 2010-05-21

  • TENNIS

    Surgery dashes Del Potro's French Open and Wimbledon hopes

    Read more

  • TENNIS

    French Open could be moved from cramped Paris venue

    Read more

COMMENT(S)