French Open 2021: Monday Schedule and Predictions for Roland Garros BracketMay 30, 2021
Serena Williams will add another historic achievement to her illustrious resume Monday at the 2021 French Open.
Williams will face Irina-Camelia Begu in the first official night match on Court Philippe-Chatrier at Roland Garros.
Matches in previous years have been played under the lights on Chatrier, but they were forced to complete those contests at night because of weather delays or long matches that occurred earlier in the day.
Williams' match will finish off a loaded slate of stars on Chatrier, which begins with 2020 French Open women's singles champion Iga Swiatek.
Second-seeded man Daniil Medvedev will follow, and Roger Federer makes his return to Roland Garros in the final day match on the primary showcase court.
The full order of play for Monday's matches can be found here on the tournament's official website.
Serena Williams Opens with Strong Showing
Williams has not advanced to the French Open final since 2016.
Her results in two clay-court tournaments this season suggest she is not the favorite to win at Roland Garros, but she should move on past Begu.
Williams went 1-2 in a pair of Italian clay tournaments, but she has not suffered a first-round exit in Paris since 2012.
The No. 7 seed holds a 1-0 head-to-head record over Begu. That victory was a straight-set win on the Rome clay in 2016.
Begu suffered a first-round exit in 2019 and 2020, won a single match in 2018 and went 2-2 in the clay-court buildup to Roland Garros.
Both of Begu's victories came over players outside the top 100 in the world rankings. One of her losses also occurred versus a woman further down the rankings.
If Williams was playing a tougher foe on clay, there may have been some concern about her status in the tournament.
But at least for Monday, Williams should be in great shape to cruise into the next round of her bracket, which got easier Sunday when No. 26 seed Angelique Kerber was upset.
Roger Federer Cruises in Roland Garros Return
After missing the last three Grand Slams, Federer will be back in action Monday.
Because of his absence, the 20-time major winner was dropped to the No. 8 seed. He is typically a top-three seed alongside Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic when fully fit.
Federer could not have asked for a better first-round opponent to get back into his major groove. He owns a 7-0 head-to-head record over Denis Istomin.
Istomin has not been strong on the Paris clay, as he owns a single spot in the second round since 2015.
That is a good sign for Federer, who lost a tune-up match in Geneva two weeks ago. That loss looks much better than it did since Pablo Andujar ousted Dominic Thiem on Sunday.
As long as Federer plays his game and does not press, he should cruise to a three-set victory over his Uzbek opponent.
Statistics obtained from ATPTour.com and WTATennis.com.