French Open 2019 Draws Unveiled, Matches for Roger Federer, Serena Williams More

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMay 23, 2019

Switzerland's Roger Federer wipes his face during his ATP Masters tournament tennis match against Portugal's Joao Sousa at the Foro Italico in Rome on May 16, 2019. - World number three Roger Federer pulled out of the Italian Open before his quarter-final match on May 17, 2019 with a right leg injury. Federer, a four-time Rome finalist, had been due to meet Greek eighth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas for a place in the semi-finals. (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP)        (Photo credit should read TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)
TIZIANA FABI/Getty Images

Roger Federer will face Lorenzo Sonego in his first match at the French Open since 2015, while Serena Williams takes on Vitalia Diatchenko in her opener at Roland Garros.    

Federer will be the subject of much attention in Paris, as he makes a long-awaited return to the clay courts in France. Rafael Nadal is a favourite for glory once again, and he will start his quest for a 12th title against an unconfirmed qualifier; top seed Novak Djokovic takes on Hubert Hurkacz.

Williams will hope to build some overdue momentum in 2019 after a succession of injury issues. Defending champion Simona Halep will meet Ajla Tomljanovic, while world No. 1 Naomi Osaka will be up against Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.

            

Draws

Tennis writer Michael Samulski posted both draws in full:

The competition Twitter account relayed the potential quarter-final lineups:

               

French Open Preview

Federer's decision to skip Roland Garros in recent years is difficult to argue with, as he's been able to maintain a high level at the other Grand Slam events he's played in. Still, the Paris crowd will be excited to see him back.

His preparation for the competition has been mixed, as he lost in the Madrid Open final to Dominic Thiem in a gripping three-set match before pulling out of the Italian Open in the quarter-finals due to a leg issue.

Per Tumaini Carayol, he's appeared in good spirits:

He's showcased some of his trademark touch too:

It'll be fascinating to see how Federer fares back at Roland Garros, as he looks to add to the one French Open title he has from a decade earlier.

The Swiss has been unfortunate to be playing in the same era as Nadal when it comes to this event, as the Spaniard has enjoyed an unprecedented streak of dominance in Paris. In 13 years of playing the French Open, he only has two losses on his record.

Ricky Dimon thinks Nadal will be pleased with his draw, too, as he will take on qualifier in Round 1 and 2:

The Spaniard will also avoid Djokovic, who has won the last three Grand Slam events, until the final:

In the women's competition, it's difficult to know what to expect from Williams, as injuries have prevented her from finding a rhythm. 

The 37-year-old has pulled out of her last three tournaments because of fitness concerns, including the recent Italian Open. With that in mind, it'd be a monumental effort if she were to add to her haul of 23 Grand Slams at this event.

Halep will return as the defending champion, as she finally broke her Grand Slam duck at the French Open a year ago. Per Eleanor Crooks of the Press Association, she got her hands on the trophy again at the draw:

The women's draw did also throw up arguably the match of the first round, with Venus Williams up against ninth seed Elina Svitolina:

In the men's bracket, it's hard to see past Nadal, despite the recent dominance of Djokovic in the major events. While the latter crushed the former in the Australian Open final earlier this year, the Spaniard saves his best for these famous clay courts and will be too good for the field again.

The women's competition feels more open, especially with doubts over Williams' condition and Halep in indifferent form this year. That may open the door for the in-form Karolina Pliskova, who played some of her best tennis in years to win the Italian Open recently.

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