The draw for the 2010 French Open was revealed today, with 2009 champions Roger Federer and Svetlana Kuznetsova present at the Roland Garros Tennis Museum, to draw the seeds for the women’s and men’s singles respectively.
Roger Federer will begin the defence of his title against Australian Peter Luczak and may have to play 2008 semi-finalist Gael Monfils in the fourth round. Other potential challenges include a possible rematch of last year’s final with Sweden’s Robin Soderling in the quarters, or the in-form Latvian Ernests Gulbis, who defeated Federer at the Rome Masters.
In the other half of the draw, the four-times champion Rafael Nadal, who is undefeated on clay this year, will play 18-year-old French wild card Gianni Mina in the first round and could face Lleyton Hewitt as early as round 3. Lurking in Nadal’s section of the draw is a heavy-weight trio of clay court specialists: Fernando Gonzalez of Chile, as well as Spaniards Fernando Verdasco, and Nicolas Almagro.
World No.3 Novak Djokovic is in the same quarter of the draw as Argentine Juan Monaco as well as Spain’s Juan Carlos Ferrero and David Ferrer, while Andy Roddick will be attempting to halt the prospects of a Nadal-Djokovic semi-final.
Fourth seeded Andy Murray has been given a tough first round match in the form of France’s Richard Gasquet. Murray’s quarter of the draw contains some quality competition, including Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis, Czech Tomas Berdych, and France’s World No.8 Jo Wilfried Tsonga. If Murray can navigate his way past these heavy hitters, Federer would most likely be his semi-final opponent.
In the women’s event, top seed Serena Williams faces Stephanie Voegele in the first round, while sister Venus, seeded No.2 also faces Swiss opposition in the first round in the shape of Patty Schnyder. Defending champion Svetlana Kuznetsova begins her defence against Sorana Cirstea.
Justine Henin – a four-times winner at the French Open – returns to Roland Garros as the 22nd seed. She faces Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria and could play Maria Sharapova in the third round and Serena in the quarter-finals.
Meanwhile, Britain’s Elena Baltacha and Anne Keothavong have been drawn against tough seeded opposition in the first round: Baltacha is up against Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska while Keothavong will play Italy’s Flavia Pennetta.
2010 French Open starts on Sunday 23 May.