French Hopefuls At Roland Garros

Niki AdityanContributor IMay 23, 2009

With 19 French players in the men's draw at Roland Garros, out of which 13 are in the top 100 of the ATP rankings, one can expect a few surprises from the French this year.

Gilles Simon: This 24-year-old is currently ranked No. 7 in the world and has won five ATP titles so far. Best known for his wins over top players like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in the past year, he plays Wayne Odesnik in the first round.

Michael Llodra: This three-time Grand Slam Doubles champion has a career-high singles ranking of No. 34. Having reached the fourth round last year, he is expected to do well but has to get past 5th-seeded Juan Martin Del Potro in the first round.

Arnaud Clement: This veteran tennis player is well-known for his match against Fabrice Santoro at Roland Garros 2004 which lasted for a record six hours and 33 minutes. He meets Russian Dmitry Tursunov in the first round.

Fabrice Santoro: This 36-year-old, nicknamed 'The Magician', is set to retire at the end of this year and has a career win-loss record of 460-428. He plays Belgian Christophe Rochus in the first round.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: This Muhammad Ali look-alike rose to fame after reaching last years Australian Open final and is currently ranked No.9 in the world. He faces compatriot Julien Benneteau in the first round.

Gael Monfils: This 6'4" Frenchman made a big impact at The French Open last year reaching the semifinals where he lost to Roger Federer. He is up against American Bobby Reynolds in the first round.

Other French players to look out for are Paul-Henri Mathieu, Julien Benneteau, Florent Serra, Nicolas Devilder, Jeremy Chardy, Marc Gicquel, Mathieu Montcourt, Laurent Recouderc, Guillaume Rufin, Alexandre Sidorenko, Josselin Ouanna, Romain Jouan and Adrian Mannarino.

Richard Gasquet has not been included in the draw since he has been suspended by the ATP Board for cocaine use.

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