Play begins at French Open under sunny skies

Tanya Simon
May 26, 2019

At 21, the US-based Osaka has the tennis world at her feet and Li, the first Asian player to win a grand slam singles title, said she is capable of great things.

"If I can beat Jimmy Connors' record, I do not say no".

Federer has played down his chances of winning the title, although 73rd-ranked Sonego, making his main draw debut at Roland Garros having lost in qualifying previous year, should not cause him undue alarm as he reacquaints himself with his surroundings.

"Losing in the semi-finals is considered bad..."

Defending women's champions Simona Halep is seeded third entering the defense of her crown, and Brisbane native Ajla Tomljanovic could offer up an awkward test in round one. I knew that I love the clay season and I wanted to be a part of it.

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"I was just speechless", she said.

Kerber's preparations for Roland Garros, where she never advanced past the quarterfinals, were hampered by the injury she suffered at the Madrid Open last month. "She's actually one of my idols, and when I was young I was looking for her game, how she's playing", said Potapova, the 2016 junior Wimbledon champion.

Federer will kick off his French Open campaign with a first-round clash against Italian Lorenzo Sonego on Sunday night AEST.

"I appreciate that you (the media) see me like that, but (Dominic) Thiem, Novak (Djokovic), Federer, Tsitsipas who has been playing well, (Juan Martin) del Potro, (Kei) Nishikori - all those that are the best in the world will be favourites".

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