Nadal and Federer in same half of French Open draw

Needless to say, Ostapenko is far from the same player who made the semifinals of the Wimbledon a year ago, and that's honestly the last time she's looked good or confident on the court.

Like Djokovic, he only has one French Open title to his name, but the very fact that he is returning to the Parisian dirt for the first time since 2015 means he feels he has a chance to land a second and extend his Grand Slam haul to 21.

But a few days off and some treatment seem to have done the trick.

In the women's draw, world number one Naomi Osaka will kick off her bid for a maiden French Open title against Slovak Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.

"It's a bit of a question mark for me", Federer told a news conference on Friday.

For two glorious weeks the grinning youngster had swung her lime green racket with abandon, her plaited ponytail swinging side-to-side as she ousted increasingly impressive challengers day-by-day.

Kerber is attempting to complete the career Grand Slam with a French Open title.

Nadal didn't make a dominant start to the clay court season but triumph in Rome seems to indicate that he is peaking at the right time.

At her best on hard courts, Osaka said she was learning how to adapt her game to clay, a process helped by a recent trip to the Rafael Nadal Academy in Spain and a meeting with Nadal.

Thiem, the 2018 runner-up to Nadal at Roland Garros, has defeated the Spaniard four times on clay.

"Maybe his claycourt season has been more of a rollercoaster ride this year but at the same time you can get away with that at the French Open over five sets".

In the women's draw, Simona Halep will open the defense of her title against Ajla Tomljanovic.

One of the main reasons why the victor is expected to come from the bottom half of the draw is because Rafael Nadal is there.

"At the US Open. I quickly learned to enjoy good things and accept the bad ones being calm". That's, first and foremost, most disappointing for him but I think it's also disappointing for tennis.

And while the 32-year-old remains the favourite again this time around - although only just - things have changed dramatically.

"That would be unbelievable, for me that would be a bigger deal than Rafa winning 12 French Opens", Wilander said.

"In Australia, the goal was to win". I was thinking, like, I'm late, like, I'm kind of late to the party.

"For me here, I'm trying to emulate the same mindset".

Further, Nadal said to the British broadcaster: "There are kids that would love to have this racquet, so no, I am not going to break a racquet". This will also be their first clay-court match since Federer switched to a racquet with a bigger head, reducing his number of shanks.

  • Leroy Wright