Raducanu & Norrie lead Britons on star-studded day


Emma Raducanu looked relaxed as she trained with the Lawn Tennis Association’s doubles coach Louis Cayer, who is part of her team in Paris
Dates: 22 May-5 June Venue: Roland Garros, Paris
Coverage: Live text and radio commentaries of selected matches across BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, the BBC Sport website and app

Emma Raducanu says she is “learning to be effective” on clay as she makes the final preparations for her senior debut at the French Open on Monday.

The US Open champion, 19, starts the clay-court Grand Slam with a first-round match against Czech qualifier Linda Noskova at about 15:00 BST.

Raducanu, seeded 12th, follows British men’s number one Cameron Norrie on to Court Simonne Mathieu in Paris.

Fresh from winning an ATP title in Lyon on Saturday, 10th seed Norrie faces French wildcard Manuel Guinard in his opening match.

Raducanu and Norrie are among the five British players in action, with 29th seed Dan Evans, Heather Watson and Harriet Dart also starting their campaigns.

A star-studded second day of the tournament also features Spain’s 13-time men’s champion Rafael Nadal, along with defending singles champions Novak Djokovic and Barbora Krejcikova.

Poland’s Iga Swiatek – the WTA world number one and strong favourite after a dominant run – opens play on Court Philippe Chatrier at 10:00.

Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka, who withdrew from the tournament 12 months ago and said she had been suffering from depression, has a tough opener on Court Suzanne Lenglen against 2019 semi-finalist Amanda Anisimova at 10:00.

American Anisimova, seeded 27th, ended Osaka’s Australian Open title defence in January.

However, Chatrier is the only court with a roof on a day where rain showers are forecast throughout.

[1] Iga Swiatek (Pol) v Lesia Tsurenko (Ukr)
Diane Parry (Fra) v Barbora Krejcikova (Cze) [2]
Jordan Thompson (Aus) v Rafael Nadal (Spa) [5]
[1] Novak Djokovic (Srb) v Yoshihito Nishioka (Jpn)

Raducanu has been hampered with a back injury during the European clay-court swing, saying on Friday the issue had put her participation at Roland Garros in doubt.

But she looked to be moving and hitting freely when practising on Sunday.

Raducanu only made her senior debut on the surface last month, but produced some encouraging performances in Stuttgart and Madrid before retiring injured in her opening match in Rome against Canada’s Bianca Andreescu.

“I’ve learned how to be effective on a clay court,” said Raducanu, who is working with the Lawn Tennis Association’s head of women’s tennis Iain Bates and doubles coach Louis Cayer in Paris.

“It is not always about hitting hard and fast and flat, sometimes if the conditions are heavy then it doesn’t do as much.

“I’ve definitely learned a few things.”

Oceane Dodin (Fra) v Andrea Petkovic (Ger)
[10] Cameron Norrie (GB) v Manuel Guinard (Fra)
[12] Emma Raducanu (GB) v Linda Noskova (Cze)
Benoit Paire (Fra) v Ilya Ivashka

Evans, who plays on his 32nd birthday, has never won a main-draw match at Roland Garros and looks to end that run against Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo when they meet on court seven at about 12:00.

Watson, 30, is aiming to reach the second round for a sixth time. Now ranked 103rd, she starts against French wildcard Elsa Jacquemot – who is 215th in the world – on court 14 at about 12:00.

British number three Dart was given a tough draw on her debut, with the 25-year-old facing Italy’s Martina Trevisan – a quarter-finalist in 2020 – on court 12 at 10:00.

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