The second Grand Slam of the year – French Open – begins on Sunday and the first order of play has been released with Petra Kvitova first up on Philippe-Chatrier Court. The Czech number-15 seed is making a comeback after six months while she recovered from a brutal knife attack at her home in Prague. She practiced this past week at French Open and was officially included in the main draw for Roland Garros on Saturday. She suffered a career-threatening injury but overcame that and faces the first test on Sunday. “I knew this day would come. I’m really happy that I’m here, the dream comes true,” said Kvitova. “I’m here in the draw and I’m here playing tennis again. It was a difficult time for me, of course. It wasn’t easy. I know that my hand is still not 100% ready, so we will see how everything goes, but I’m happy that I’m able to play again,” she added after the draw was made.
Kvitova would take on USA’s World No 86 Julia Boserup in the first round. Boserup is making her first appearance at the French Open and in her only appearance on clay this year lost 1-6, 0-6.
After Kvitova, World No 1 Angelique Kerber would take court and try to end her dismal run on clay court when she faces tricky opposition in Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova. She has a best finish of fourth round in 2011 and 2015 and is not new to causing upsets at the French Open. She beat Ana Ivanovic in 2015 and sent Victoria Azarenka bundling in 2011.
Meanwhile on the other main stadium – Suzanne-Lenglen Court – Frenchman Adrian Mannarino will get play underway when he faces Argentine Horacio Zeballos. This will be followed by 2099 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova against USA’s Christina McHale before a top contender for the men’s singles title Austria’s Dominic Thiem battles Bernard Tomic.
OTHER KEY MATCHES:
Stephane Robert vs Grigor Dimitrov, Lucas Pouille vs Julien Benneteau, Venus Williams vs Qiang Wang, Lara Arruabarrena vs Dominika Cibulkova, Monica Puig vs Roberta Vinci.