The 2014 French Open is officially underway. The world's premier male and female tennis stars will square off in Paris on Roland Garros' clay court for the year's second Grand Slam tournament.
The action is just beginning to heat up, with Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka and Maria Sharapova all taking the court Monday. Here's a look at the Day 2 schedule, courtesy of the Tennis Channel:
|May 26||5 a.m. - 10 a.m.||ESPN2|
|May 26||10 a.m. - 7 p.m.||Tennis Channel|
|May 26||12 p.m. - 3 p.m.||NBC|
What to Watch on Day 2
Tennis' top talents will look to once again temper any underdog tales during the first round. No notable upsets occurred on Day 1, with all of the highest seeds handling their overmatched opponents.
Expect more of the same Monday, particularly on the men's side. Nadal and Djokovic have their sights on meeting once again in the finals. While they have only met once before in the championship bout at Roland Garros, it would mark their 10th title match on clay, per ESPN Stats and Info.
Following today's win in Rome, Novak Djokovic improves to 4-5 vs Rafael Nadal in clay finals.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 18, 2014
Nadal, seeded No. 1, will take on Robby Ginepri, who earned a wild-card bid by beating James McGee in Tallahassee, Florida, three weeks ago. Djokoivc's victim is Joao Sousa, who is a career 14-20 on clay courts. Don't expect any miracles here.
For those eager to find a potential upset, Wawrinka is not a mortal lock to advance. The Australian Open champion has struggled lately, suffering a stunning loss to 20-year-old Dominic Thiem in Madrid before falling to Tommy Haas in Rome.
The 29-year-old, who bested Djokovic and Nadal during his incredible Melbourne run, is capable of running the table at his best but becoming a footnote as his worst. It will be interesting to see if the erratic star can shake off his recent losses at Roland Garros.
Before those recent blemishes, he was cruising along, playing what he described to The Wall Street Journal's Alexandra Wolfe as the best tennis of his career:
"I have a great serve, I'm playing strong from the baseline, and I have a lot of power, so I can really put pressure on the other person," he says. Still, he was surprised to win a Grand Slam: "I never dreamed I would do that, because it's so big that I couldn't imagine that one day I [would] win it."
A 30-year-old journeyman, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez is an unassuming opponent, but he's not the easiest first-round foe. Last April, he defeated Berdych in Monte Carlo and later took the first set over Djokovic during an eventual loss.
It would certainly be a monumental upset, but it's at least in the realm of possibility for those tired of the status quo constantly prevailing.
The men don't get to have all the fun, though. The women's slate is led by Maria Sharapova, who kicks off her tournament run against fellow Russian Ksenia Pervak. A day before her 23rd birthday, Pervak will look to snag her first French Open victory in her fourth try, the first of which came against Sharapova in 2010.
Sharapova, who won the French Open in 2012, is 12-1 on clay courts this year. The loss, however, came early at Rome to Ana Ivanovic. But she's not worried about the defeat, spinning the shortcoming as a positive to ESPN's Jim Caple:
In a way, I think it gave me a few extra days maybe to rest, instead of trying to hurry up and come here and trying to get on the courts as soon as you can and get as many hours on the big courts as you might get before everybody else comes. So in a way it's been great to have that. I would have loved to have done well in Rome, as well. I had great preparation. I had two great tournaments and had really tough matches, easier matches. I think a lot has been thrown at me in the last few weeks in all the matches I have played, and I think that's great for coming into a big tournament like this.
She looks poised to collide with Serena Williams in the quarterfinals, constituting a rematch of last year's finals.