No centre court for Nadal

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iol spt pic Rafael Nadal raquet REUTERS Rafael Nadal is pictured during a training session for the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros. Photo: Gonzalo Fuentes

Paris - Rafa Nadal, looking to extend his French Open record to nine titles, starts his Roland Garros campaign with what is likely to be his only appearance on court Suzanne Lenglen on Monday.

The world No.1 from Spain, who takes on American Robby Ginepri in the first round, has a possible second-round meeting with local favourite Paul-Henri Mathieu and organisers surely want the showdown to be held on the main Philippe Chatrier court.

They said that Nadal usually plays one match on Lenglen before staying on Chatrier for the remainder of the tournament.

Maria Sharapova, the 2012 champion seeded seventh this year, opens proceedings on Chatrier against fellow Russian Ksenia Pervak before Novak Djokovic, who has never won the French Open, plays Portuguese Joao Sousa.

On Court Two, Frenchman Nicolas Mahut is up against Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin knowing a win would send him to a second-round meeting with American John Isner - the man with whom he played the longest match in tennis history at Wimbledon in 2010.

Reuters


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