French Open 2015: Day 1Preview

Nine of the 32 men’s seed will be in action on Day 1 at the Stade Roland Garros as the second major in the 2015 calendar, the French Open gets underway in Paris. Led by the 2009 champion Roger Federer and his Swiss countryman Stanislas Wawrinka, local hope Jo Wilfred Tsonga and Japan’s Kei Nishikori will be playing their first round matches in the French Capital. Federer is drawn against the lucky loser from Colombia Alejandro Falla, who like many left handers have troubled him in the past. The 33 year old Swiss came within two points of loosing in the first round of Wimbledon 2010 and also needed three sets in the Olympic Games 2012 Opener, both occasions on grass against the 31 year old veteran.

Here is a list of matches to be played on Opening Day in the men’s section with my pick mentioned first :-

Roger Federer (2) v. Alejandro Falla
Kei Nishikori (5) v. Paul Henri Mathieu
Stanislas Wawrinka (8) v. Marcel Ilhan
Jo Wilfred Tsonga (14) v. Christian Lindell
Roberto Bautista Agut (19) v. Florian Mayer
Ernest Gulbis (24) v. Igor Sijsling
Phillip Kohlschreiber (22) v. Go Soeda
Ivo Karlovic (25) v. Marcos Baghdatis
Guillermo Garcia Lopez (26) v. Steve Johnson
Nicholas Mahut  v. Kimmer Coppejans
Elias Ymer v. Lucas Rosol
Mikhail Youzhny v. Damir Dzumhur
Marcel Granollers v. Mathias Bachinger
Mikhail Kukushkin v. Dudi Sela
Pablo Andujar v. Albert Ramos Vinolaz
Dusan Lajovic v. Maximo Gonzales

Qualifier Elias Ymer will hope to revive the great legacy of Sweden’s Bjorn Borg (champion in 1974-75 & 1978-1981) and Mats Wilander (1982,85 & 88) as he plays the Czech Lucas Rosol. Probably the biggest spectator interest would be on the local favourite Tsonga who plays another Swede Christian Lindell. Another Frenchman Paul Henri Mathieu who is a wild card entrant faces Japan’s Kei Nishikori who won in Barcelona last month. In an intriguing first round match up the fast serving Croat Ivo Karlovic faces the evergreen Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis and the hapless Latvian Ernest Gulbis who toppled Federer in five sets last year will hope to reverse his fortunes after a miserable start to 2015 against the Dutchman Igor Sijsling.

In the women’s section third seeded Simona Halep of Romania who finished runner up last year loosing to Maria Sharapova opens up the day’s proceedings on Court Phillipe Chatrier against little known Russian Evgeniya Rodina. The 2008 champion Ana Ivanovic of Serbia and the Russian Ekaterina Makarova will be in action on Court Suzanne Lenglen. Just like the men’s, 16 women’s matches are scheduled on Sunday and for the first time since play began on Sunday in 2006 at the only grand slam with an early start, many of the top names have been lined up.

– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy.You can reach him at the email: sportzcosmos@gmail.com]

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