French Open 2011: Roger Federer/Feliciano Lopez, and Other First-Round Matches

Dimitri KayCorrespondent IMay 22, 2011

ROME, ITALY - MAY 11:  Roger Federer of Switzerland plays a forehand during his second round match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France during day four of the Internazoinali BNL D'Italia at the Foro Italico Tennis Centre on May 11, 2011 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Court Philippe Chatrier

First Round: Roger Federer [3] vs. Feliciano Lopez

The last time these two met in Madrid they played three tiebreakers. Will Lopez be able to push the Fed Express to the limit this time around?

The former showed he can play at a reasonably high level for three sets; but this is a Grand Slam match, a feeling all too familiar for Federer.

The Swiss will want to start strong, showing his intentions in the process. Lopez can hit hard and flat, and if he is on his day, you can be sure he will give Federer some problems.

First Round: Marion Bartoli [11] vs. Anna Tatishvili

Bartoli has not played that well on clay this year, and her losses have been quite heavy.

To add to this, she will be nursing a thigh injury sustained in Strasbourg, which could make this match very interesting.

Tatishvili has had to go through qualifiers to get here, so she will be ready and raring to go. But the home favorite will stick to her attacking game, and with the French crowd spurring her on, she should too much to handle for Tatishvili in her debut of Roland Garros.

Court Suzanne Lenglen

First Round: Richard Gasquet [13] vs. Radek Stepanek

This should be a great contest featuring two different playing styles.

Stepanek will play his usual serve-and-volley game intertwined with the chip and charge, while Gasquet will try to pick his opponent up at the net.

The Frenchman just came off a great showing in Rome, beating Federer and reaching the semifinals. With the Parisian crowd going crazy after every point, it will encourage Gasquet to bring his brilliant attacking game.

And let’s not forget his beautiful one-handed backhand.

Court 7

First Round: Mardy Fish[10] vs. Ricardo Mello

Mello has never been past the second round of Roland Garros; surprisingly, the Brazilian's best results in Grand Slam play have been on hard courts. Even Fish has done better here, reaching the second round twice!

This one could be a classic. The American is fitter, faster and looks stronger; plus he is the 10th seed. On paper, Fish ought to be able to cook Mello for a side dish.

Nevertheless, both players are in their 30's and will play on perhaps their least favorable surface. They have a similar type of game, which gives this match potential to be a classic five-setter.

You know what they say, oldies are goodies.