By Mike McIntyre
Photos from Jimmie48 Tennis Photography
In the men's draw Rafal Nadal will attempt to win his 11th Roland Garros title. He begins his defense against Alexandr Dolgopolov and then would face the winner between Joao Sousa and Guido Pella. A fourth round re-match from Rome against rising Canadian Denis Shapovalov would be an entertaining match but truthfully there does not appear to be any serious threats until the finals for the World No. 1. Even then, the term "serious threat" on clay against Nadal would be considered a stretch. Players who are being discussed as potential obstacles for the Spaniard such as Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev and Novak Djokovic are all in the other half of the draw.
On the women's side it will be far more difficult for Jelena Ostapenko to repeat as champion in 2018. The 20 year old Ukrainian will be challenged quite early in the draw as she is likely to face former World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka in the second round. Ostapenko's run to the title a year ago was one of the most shocking moments on the WTA Tour that year but a repeat seems almost equally unlikely.
One of the main threats on the women's side is current No. 1 and last year's finalist Simona Halep. The Romanian was up by a set and a 3-0 lead in the second frame of her championship match against Ostapenko but could not secure the victory. With another agonizing defeat to start 2018 at the Australian Open, could this year in Paris allow Halep the occasion to finally capture her first major title?
Check back this weekend to see our full draw preview on both the men's and women's sides at the French Open. Be sure also to follow us on Twitter throughout the two week event for up-to-date news and photos.