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French Open 2015: Sunday Schedule and Predictions for Roland Garros Bracket

Steven Cook@@stevencookinFeatured Columnist IVMay 23, 2015

Switzerland's Roger Federer practices during a training session for the French Tennis Open at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, Saturday, May 23, 2015. The French Open starts Sunday. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Francois Mori/Associated Press

The clay courts of Roland Garros are being hosed down in anticipation of the 2015 French Open's commencement Sunday, and some of the field's top stars will be in action.

You won't find either of the top seeds slated to play in Day 1, but the schedule for the first day of matches isn't short on big names and contenders who figure to go deep into the two-week spectacle. It takes a handful of rounds before a clear picture on either draw presents itself, but warning signs can crop up in the first few rounds along with the occasional upset.

With that in mind, here's a look at the matches to watch for Sunday and picks for the biggest ones.

Day 1 French Open Schedule: Sunday, May 24

Most Notable Day 1 Matches
Men's SinglesTime (ET) / Match #
No. 2 Roger Federer vs. Alejandro Falla2nd Match
No. 14 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Christian Lindell4th Match
No. 8 Stan Wawrinka vs. Marsel Ilhan2nd Match
No. 5 Kei Nishikori vs. Paul-Henri Mathieu3rd Match
No. 19 Roberto Bautista Agut vs. Florian Mayer5 a.m.
No. 22 Philipp Kohlschreiber vs. Go Soeda5 a.m.
Women's SinglesTime (ET) / Match #
No. 3 Simona Halep vs. Evgeniya Rodina5 a.m.
No. 9 Ekaterina Makarova vs. Louisa Chirico5 a.m.
No. 7 Ana Ivanovic vs. Yaroslava Shvedova4th Match
No. 21 Garbine Muguruza vs. Petra Matric2nd Match
No. 13 Lucie Safarova vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova4th Match
No. 24 Shuai Peng vs. Polona Hercog4th Match
RolandGarros.com
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Complete schedule at RolandGarros.com

French Open TV Schedule for Sunday, May 24
Time (ET)EventTV
5 a.m. - 10 a.m.French Open first roundESPN2
10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.French Open first roundTennis Channel
1 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.French Open first roundNBC
RolandGarros.com

Predictions

No. 2 Roger Federer vs. Alejandro Falla

Francois Mori/Associated Press

The premier men's star to hit the clay courts on Sunday's kickoff afternoon will be the one with the easiest draw—by comparison. Roger Federer emerges as the No. 2 overall seed to face unseeded Alejandro Falla.

While top-seeded Novak Djokovic has Rafael Nadal to face in the quarterfinals before Andy Murray in the semis, Federer is sitting pretty with three of the Big Four on the opposite side of the draw. But his opponent in front of him isn't one to scoff at.

Falla's biggest moment nearly came at Federer's expense back in 2010 when he almost topped the Swiss star in the first round of Wimbledon. Falla is still 0-of-7 for his career against Federer, but that one moment sticks out in the memories of many, including tennis journalist Chris Goldsmith:

Chris Goldsmith @TheTennisTalker

Roger Federer has a 7-0 H2H over Alejandro Falla but we all remember this match up for that 5 set match at Wimbledon 2010!

The Colombian may have that one experience to pull from, but his recent outings give no indication that he can seriously threaten Federer. World No. 73 Federico Delbonis bounced him in qualifying of the Rome Masters, and he didn't make it out of the round of 64 in Madrid. 

Meanwhile, Federer looked to be nearing his clay-court best in Rome off his championship defeat to Djokovic. Having gone down two sets to none to this same opponent years ago, the Swiss maestro won't make that same mistake again.

Prediction: Federer wins in straight sets

No. 7 Ana Ivanovic vs. Yaroslava Shvedova

Andrew Medichini/Associated Press

After emerging as one of the first-rate women's contenders in tennis over her 2014 campaign, Ana Ivanovic is now mired in some of the worst struggles of her playing career. 

Her strong season last year pushed her near the forefront of the sport, but she's falling out of that spot just as quickly. Her shocking first-round loss to a qualifier at the Australian Open was just the start of a massive slump, which has seen her go a woeful 4-5 in her last five tournaments.

Meanwhile, opponent Yaroslava Shvedova has emerged as a dangerous opponent. And while Ivanovic slipped immediately at the Australian Open in the year's first Grand Slam, Shvedova surprised by knocking off 16th-seeded Lucie Safarova in the first round.

Should Ivanovic bring her best to the clay courts, there's no doubt that Shvedova won't be able to keep up. But to say Ivanovic's best hasn't come out over the last several months wouldn't be an exaggeration. 

Early troubles at a Grand Slam will doom Ivanovic again, as the hot hand of Shvedova tops her. 

Prediction: Shvedova upsets Ivanovic in three sets

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