Easier draw gives Federer a head start over Nadal
Roger Federer won the opening skirmishes of his French Open battle with double defending champion Rafael Nadal on Friday.sports Updated: May 26, 2007 02:51 IST
Roger Federer won the opening skirmishes of his French Open battle with double defending champion Rafael Nadal on Friday when the world number one was handed the easier of early round draws.
Federer, hoping to become only the third man in history to hold all four Grand Slams, will face his first serious test in the fourth round, where former 2003 champion Juan Carlos Ferrero may be waiting. He will open his campaign against America's Michael Russell, world number 71, before facing either a qualifier or Frenchman Thierry Ascione in the second round.
By contrast Nadal, hoping to follow Bjorn Borg by winning three French Opens in a row, faces highly rated Argentinian Juan Martin del Potro in his opener, before a second round clash with either a qualifier or Russia's Teimuraz Gabashvili.
Meanwhile, women's top seed and defending champion Justin Henin, seeking her third consecutive title and fourth in five years, opens her campaign against Russian world number 67 Elena Vesnina. The Belgian world number one is expected to meet 2002 champion Serena Williams in the quarterfinals.
Sania faces Brianti in opener
Meanwhile, Sania Mirza will take on Italian Alberta Brianti in her opening match of the French Open.