Young pretenders target the tennis old guard at the French Open

Rafael Nadal is 17-1 on clay this year and has a career record of 72-2 at Roland Garros

Rafael Nadal is 17-1 on clay this year and has a career record of 72-2 at Roland Garros

Nadal boasts a sensational career record at Roland Garros with 72 wins and just two defeats, against Djokovic in 2015 and an injury-affected shock loss to Robin Soderling in 2009.

Novak Djokovic has been in a slump for almost a year (his last Grand Slam title came at the 2016 French Open, when he won his fourth major in a row) so he opted to shake things up.

Djokovic will play Spain's Marcel Granollers in round one and has been placed in the same half of the draw as title favourite Rafael Nadal.

Djokovic, seeded second behind an out-of-form Andy Murray, said resurgent Spaniard Rafael Nadal is favourite for the title as he seeks a 10th French Open crown.

Djokovic, who swept all Grand Slam tournament trophies with success a year ago, will meet Spanish Marcel Granollers in his opening title defence match. Nadal has won 15 of his last 16 matches on clay court.

World No. 2 Djokovic, who is about to begin the defence of his French Open title, said he initially sought out Agassi's contact details just so he could thank him for his support as his career threatened to hit the skids earlier this year.

Murray is in the same half of the draw as 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka, who he beat in last year's semi-finals. However, Kerber is on the same side as defending French Open champion Garbine Muguruza. World number one Angelique Kerber will open her campaign against Ekaterina Makarova.

"So having seen that, there's a little bit of uncertainty". Though Nadal lost to Dominic Thiem in the quarter-final of the Italian Open, several analysts feel the Spaniard is playing his best tennis since 2014.

The rest of Europe can watch the 2016 French Open on Eurosport 1, Eurosport player, ITV Sport, rtbf.be, NOS, Setanta Sports, yle, PTPC, SRG SSR.

Patrick McEnroe, who enjoyed success playing tennis on both the collegiate and professional levels for more than 10 years, serves as a tennis analyst for ESPN.

"And after these three I think there are some players who can go very deep here in paris, who can make big surprises and to these players I count Sascha (Alexander Zverev) and myself", the Austrian added.

The old facility, now 89 years old, is the one tennis complex of the four major-tournament venues which does not have either lights or a roof.

Although he has often wasted his talent with his antics and his inability to handle frustration, Frenchman Paire is a gifted player anyone should handle with care, nine-time Roland Garros champion Nadal said.

Murray caught shingles after the Australian Open before an elbow injury conspired against him during the early United States hard court season.

"Every time that I am able to be back on this court brings me back to the past, back to wonderful moments that I had there", he tells CNN.

World number one Andy Murray said Friday he considered himself lucky despite seeing his season torpedoed by shingles, flu, an elbow injury and now a pre-French Open fever.

On the women's side, Petra Kvitova will play her first tournament for six months after she was stabbed and suffered serious hand injuries at her home in December past year. "I definitely see him as the No 1 favourite for this title". I'm going to play this tournament again which is really nice and very important.

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