Chance phone call led to Novak Djokovic snaring Andre Agassi

Look for a gritty Rafa to make the push for his 15th major title and 10th taste of the French Open trophy.

He is in top 10 of virtually all of the major serving stats on clay this season and that delivery will stand him in good stead, especially if the temperatures hold up in the French capital as they are expected to do for the foreseeable future.

- Three of the last six Roland Garros winners were ranked number one when they won the tournament, unlike any of the previous nine.

Keys hasn't won on clay this season (0-3) and I'd imagine her rise will have to take place later this summer on courts that favor her game.

On the women's side of the draw, Garbine Muguruza experienced her finest hour when she took the title a year ago, but it is anybody's guess who will have the honor of getting their hands on the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen this time around.

Muray lost to Thiem in Barcelona in the semi-finals before bombing out early in Madrid and Rome. "I haven't played for nearly five years and I hope to be well on the day I play", added the 28-year-old. The Croat was a quarterfinalist at Flushing Meadows past year. "Of course we're both hoping this can bring success on the court", he said, "but it's an opportunity for us to really grow and evolve, first of all as human beings and as tennis players". While this is the case, don't count her out of the running for this year's title because she knows her way around a clay court. The Spaniard has appeared in 18 WTA tournaments since her memorable triumph at Roland Garros, but she has not reached a final in these past 12 months.

FILE - In this June 2, 2016, file photo, Novak Djokovic stretches to make a return in his quarterfinal match against Tomas Berdych at the French Open tennis tournament in Paris, France.

Nadal and Federer rolled back the years to reach the final of the Australian Open, where it was the legendary Swiss who prevailed in an absorbing showdown.

The top half of the French Open draw can produce a surprise finalist says Andy Schooler, who has 125/1 and 150/1 picks.

The defending French Open champion and the player most synonymous with clay-court mastery could meet this year before the finals at Roland Garros.

"Is true that if you do the things well, then you have more chances in Roland Garros", the 14-time Grand Slam victor said following his loss in Italy.

Halep was the most popular choice, but her participation itself is in doubt now because of a torn ankle ligament she suffered in the Rome final. "It's still not 100 percent ready, so we will see how everything goes, but I'm happy that I am able to play again".

What is also encouraging is that Cuevas has shown he can play in differing conditions - slower in Monte Carlo, faster in Madrid.

  • Julie Sanders