RG 2012: Novak vs Starace in R1

French Open – Roland Garros begins on Sunday, May 27, 2012.

128 players will try to do their best on the courts of the tennis complex during the fifteen days of the competition. The winner will be known on June 10.

Opening round matches will be played during the first three days of the competition, on 20 courts. The main are Philippe Chatrier, Suzanne Lenglen and Court no.1.

World no.1 Novak Djokovic (top seed) will open his campaign against no.97 in the ATP rankings, Italian Potito Starace. They have met only once, in the first round of 2007 Wimbledon, Nole won 6-0, 6-3, 6-4.

Novak might play either Australian WC Lleyton Hewitt or Blaz Kavcic of Slovenia in the second round.

The 5-time Grand Slam champion could face Frenchman Nicolas Devilder or German Michael Berrer in the third round.

Nole’s potential rivals in the later stages of the tournament are:

4th round: Fernando Verdasco (ESP, 14), Andreas Seppi (ITA, 22)
Quarter-finals: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA, 5), Gilles Simon (FRA, 11), Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI, 18)
Semi-finals: Roger Federer (SUI, 3), Tomas Berdych (CZE, 7), Juan Martin del Potro
(ARG, 9), Feliciano Lopez (ESP, 15)
Finals: Rafael Nadal (ESP,2), Andy Murray (GBR, 4), David Ferrer (ESP, 6), Janko Tipsarevic (SRB, 8)…

“My mindset is always positive and always expecting from myself a lot. I’ve had the best year and a half of my career. I believe that I’m at the peak of my career at this moment, Novak said at the pre-tournament press conference. “I definitely want to use this confidence that I have and try to make a good result here in Roland Garros.”

Rafael Nadal is the defending champion. Last year, Nole reached semi-finals where Roger Federer ended his remarkable 43-match winning streak.

Djokovic will look to win the French Open for the first time and to become the first man since Rod Laver (in 1969) to win four straight majors.

“Winning four Grand Slam tournaments in a row would definitely mean the world to me from that perspective, but I haven’t thought about that too much because I do not want to put too much pressure on myself.” 

Photo: Zdravko Stambolija

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