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Seven-title chasing Nadal ready for action

sports Updated: May 29, 2012 09:25 IST

AFP
Highlight Story

Rafael Nadal gets his bid for an historic seventh French Open title under way on Tuesday when he faces Italy's Simone Bolelli on Philippe Chatrier Court.

Second seeded Nadal, who equalled Bjorn Borg's record of six Roland Garros titles 2011, takes a 45-1 career record in Paris into the match.

Nadal has defeated the world 111 Italian in both of their career meetings.

Ten-times a Grand Slam title winner, Nadal, 25, has a remarkable CV at the French Open which has yielded six trophies in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011.

His only blip, a 2009 fourth round loss to Robin Soderling, came at a time when he was plagued by the acute knee problems which have often threatened to overwhelm him.

This season, Nadal has, once again, been surpreme on clay and arrives in Paris boasting a 16-1 record on the surface.

But the Spaniard is keen to play down talk of a seventh French Open.

"I have much more than I ever dreamed," said Nadal. "I am coming here every year with the motivation to play well. But I am not going to be more motivated because I have six and I can win seven."

British fourth seed Andy Murray starts his campaign against Japan's Tatsuma Ito.

In the women's tournament, second seed Maria Sharapova takes on Alexandra Cadantu of Romania while 2002 champion Serena Williams, the fifth seed, tackles France's Virginie Razzano.

Former champion Francesca Schiavone meets Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan while Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova, the fourth-seeded Czech, faces Australia's Ashleigh Barty.