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Tennis-Five things to watch out for at the French Open on Monday
May 29, 2017 / 2:03 AM / 4 months ago

Tennis-Five things to watch out for at the French Open on Monday

PARIS, May 29 (Reuters) - Five things to watch out for on day two of the French Open on Monday:

* Muguruza hopes to dodge Schiavone banana skin

For potential banana skins, look no further than reigning champion Garbine Muguruza’s clash with another former Roland Garros winner, Francesca Schiavone. The Italian, now 36, has lost some of her sharpness since she took the title in 2010. But she has fought her way back into the top 80 this year while the fourth-seeded Spaniard has had a mixed season on the clay.

* Greater expectations for wunderkind Zverev

In what promises to be one of the encounters of the round, number nine seed Alexander Zverev will trade blows with Fernando Verdasco. A good workout against the Spanish veteran could set the 20-year-old German on course for a strong tournament. For no less a judge than seven-times grand slam champion John McEnroe, it’s not a question of if but when Zverev wins a grand slam.

* Infighter Mathieu to slug it out with Goffin

Raising a homegrown champion may be beyond it, but infighting is something the French tennis federation (FFT) does well. Spectators can catch the latest player to star in a spat with administrators on Court One when Paul-Henri Mathieu, who took umbrage at not being granted a wildcard and then qualified for the main draw anyway, takes on Belgian 10th seed David Goffin.

* Nadal pairs off with French maverick

Hot men’s singles favourite Rafael Nadal gets his campaign for a 10th Roland Garros crown under way against Frenchman Benoit Paire, a master of the unpredictable who can live with the best - he has won six of his 32 matches against top 10 players - but also lose his way spectacularly. Might number three seed Stan Wawrinka pop by to watch on his day off? “It’s gonna be fun ...That’s for sure,” the Swiss said.

* Gulbis dreaming of old times

Latvian Ernests Gublis, ranked 225 but a semi-finalist at Roland Garros as recently as 2014, made the main draw thanks to a protected ranking of 99. His reward? - a first round match against Croatian seventh seed Marin Cilic. (Reporting by John Stonestreet, editing by Julien Pretot)

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