Rafael Nadal will begin his quest to retain the French Open and win it for a ninth time against American Robby Ginepri, as the draw for the main competition was held in Paris on Friday.
The Spaniard has only ever lost once at Roland Garros in 60 matches, and he has been pitted in the same half of the draw as last year’s runner up and compatriot David Ferrer.
There could be a repeat of last year’s final at the quarter-final stage, should both players get there.
All of the main contenders for the 27-year-old’s crown will be expected to make it through the early rounds, and Novak Djokovic, his main rival for the title this year, will face Joao Sousa of Portugal in his opening match.
The Serbian will complete the career Grand Slam of winning all four Grand Slam tournaments if he is to win the tournament this year, and he is in the same half as Roger Federer, who beat him in the semi-finals in 2011, and they could meet at that same stage this year.
The Swiss, who was the tournament winner in 2009 and is the only other former champion in the men’s draw, will come up against Slovakian Lukas Lacko, and his trickiest potential opponent before the semi-final stage is Czech sixth seed Tomas Berdych, who reached the semi-finals in 2010.
British number one Andy Murray will face world number 55 Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan, and he could face third seed and Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarter-finals.
Murray will be playing in his first Grand Slam since parting company with former coach Ivan Lendl in March, and he has only reached the last four of the tournament on one occasion.
Wawrinka will fancy his chances of causing a shock in Paris, as he unexpectedly won his first Grand Slam title in Melbourne last January and won the Monte Carlo Masters on clay in April, and his tournament begins against Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain.
Home favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who beat Federer on the way to the semi-finals last year, will play fellow Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin, and with a seeding of 13 he is the most likely player to cause an upset outside of the top 10 seeds.
Other ties of note that will be played between Sunday and Tuesday are a mouth-watering clash between French number one Richard Gasquet and Australian Bernard Tomic, as well as Ferrer’s opener against Dutchman Igor Sijsling.
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