Top seeds Djokovic and S Williams in French Open action on Tuesday


Novak Djokovic, the French Open men’s singles 10/11 odds-on favourite with Coral, begins his tournament campaign on Tuesday in search of a first Clay Court crown at Roland Garros, which would also result him in claiming a rare career Grand Slam.

The Serb faces a potentially tricky tie against veteran Finn Jarkko Nieminen (20/1 to win), who has reached the fourth round here before, but is still heavily odds-on at 1/200 for victory and a more enticing 1/8 to do so in straight sets.

Elsewhere in the Men’s draw, exciting Bulgarian prospect Grigor Dimitrov (2/7) faces American Jack Sock (5/2) in a closer battle. However, there is more of a chance of a shock in the Andreas Seppi (2/1) v John Isner (4/11) clash, with the former being a clay court specialist.

Home hope Richard Gasquet (1/33 odds-on favourite) is also in action, and is up against Belgian qualifier Germain Gigounon. The Frenchman will need to be wary of his opponent, though, after he knocked out Colombian Alejandro Falla in the qualifiers.

In the Women’s section, meanwhile, world number one and top seed Serena Williams (1/33) duels with Czech qualifier Andrea Hlavackova (10/1). The double French Open champion is also the favourite to lift the title again at 11/4.

Last year’s semi-finalist Eugenie Bouchard (33/1 tournament chance) kicks off her campaign against young Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic, and the Canadian is odds-on at 4/7 to beat her.

Other top names that feature include Serbian Jelena Jankovic (3/10), who is up against Bulgarian Sesil Karatantcheva (12/5), a quarter-finalist here a decade ago, and former top five player Daniela Hantuchova. The Slovakian (2/1) is unfancied in her encounter with teenage Swiss star Belinda Bencic (4/11), though.

All the above stars will be hoping to emulate the likes of British trio Andy Murray, Kyle Edmund and Heather Watson in reaching the second round.

Interestingly, Murray (10/1 tournament chance) and Edmund could face each other in the thirds round if they see off respective opponents Vasek Popisil/Joao Sousa and Nick Kyrgios. Watson, however, faces a tricky tie against rising American star Sloane Stephens, who knocked out Venus Williams in the first round.

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