The action at the 2014 French Open got underway Sunday at Roland Garros, ahead of a Day 2 slate full of enticing matchups featuring notable names kicking off their quest for the Grand Slam title.
Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Stanislas Wawrinka all get their quests to become the men's singles champion underway, while women's tennis standouts Maria Sharapova and Petra Kvitova look to get past tough first-round matchups.
Let's break down everything you need to know for Monday's action at the French Open.
|2014 French Open TV Schedule: Day 2|
|Monday, May 26||5 a.m.||ESPN2|
|Monday, May 26||10 a.m.||Tennis Channel|
|Monday, May 26||12 p.m.||NBC|
For the complete TV schedule for every day, visit TennisChannel.com
Schedule of Matches
Click here for Monday's schedule of first-round matches, courtesy of RolandGarros.com.
No. 2 Novak Djokovic vs. Joao Sousa
Novak Djokovic's quest to complete his career Grand Slam will begin Monday with an opening-round matchup against Portugal's Joao Sousa.
The sensational Serbian has seen plenty of success so far in 2014, and the overall No. 2 seed looks to be the biggest threat to Rafael Nadal's potential ninth French Open title after beating him in the Rome Masters the week before play at Roland Garros began.
He has to get past Sousa first, but that doesn't look to be much of a problem for a player of Djokovic's caliber. He won the only matchup between the two, and he is on a tear on clay so far this season.
If anyone at all trips up Djokovic on the clay courts of Roland Garros in the coming weeks, it will be someone of championship caliber.
Prediction: Djokovic wins, 6-2, 6-1, 6-4
No. 1 Rafael Nadal vs. Robby Ginepri
For someone who has won eight titles at the French Open, all of which have come in the last nine years, Nadal's struggles on the clay court are a concern heading into Roland Garros.
The last time Nadal lost three times on clay ahead of the French Open was in 2004, ahead of his first title at Roland Garros. He's never defended his French Open title after losing more than two matches on the clay courts entering the tournament.
It remains to be seen whether the Spaniard will be able to hold off a number of pesky opponents and then beat out the world's elite to win No. 9. But, at the very least, he's assured to get past America's Robby Ginepri, who has never advanced past the fourth round of the French Open.
Nadal's biggest tests will come in facing Nicolas Almagro, David Ferrer and Djokovic—the three he has already lost to on clay this season and could face again at Roland Garros.
Prediction: Nadal wins, 6-3, 6-0, 6-1
Ksenia Pervak vs. No. 7 Maria Sharapova
Among those looking to step back into the spotlight of the sport in a big way at Roland Garros is Maria Sharapova.
The 27-year-old, four-time Grand Slam winner is one of the best players in women's tennis. However, there have been doubts cast over her in recent times; Sharapova has only won one Grand Slam title in the past six years after picking up three between 2004 and 2008.
That one title since 2008 came at Roland Garros in 2012. She has a chance to start out her 2014 run on a high note against fellow Russian Ksenia Pervak.
With major championships becoming more and more rare for Sharapova, she elaborated on how hungry she is to get back to the top, per RolandGarros.com:
I want to achieve more, I want to win more Grand Slams and I want to get back to No. 1. I think when you have that feeling of being there before and holding those trophies, they are so memorable and you work, you spend so many hours training to feel that excitement, that energy, that adrenaline for those moments of match point victories. And that's why I play, because that's what I've known my whole life.
Recent history bodes well for Sharapova against Pervak. The two faced off in the 2010 French Open first round, where Sharapova disposed of the competition quite easily, 6-3, 6-2.
Being placed in the same quarter of the bracket as Serena Williams is a whole different problem, but Sharapova looks intent on at least getting to that quarterfinal clash with the 2013 champion.
Prediction: Sharapova wins, 6-3, 6-3
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