Nadal in 'bizarre' French Open snub

Rafael Nadal will be starting his French Open campaign on Roland Garros' secondary court, a move derided by fans on social media.

Story highlights

  • First round of the French Open begins at Roland Garros
  • Federer, Isner, Berdych, Tsonga, Raonic all through
  • eight time champ Nadal begins tomorrow, on second court
  • Furious reaction on social media by fans

There were no shocks in the first round of the French Open Sunday, except for one: eight time champion Rafael Nadal will begin the defense of his title in the secondary Suzanne Lenglen court, a move dubbed as "bizarre" by one player.

As world number one and reigning champion, not to mention arguably the greatest player to ever grace the clay of Roland Garros, Nadal would have expected to start his campaign -- a match against American wild card Robby Ginepri -- on the Philippe Chatrier court.

But organizers decided to host Novak Djokovic versus Joao Sousa and Stan Wawrinka versus Guillermo Garcia-Lopez instead, a move which has prompted a furious reaction on social media, and amongst some players.

"That's really bizarre," John Isner told AFP, after the American had needed two tiebreaks to beat tough Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/4), 7-5.

"I mean, how many times does the guy have to win the tournament to be able to have his first match on Chatrier?"

Sunday's matches saw Roger Federer play in his record 58th consecutive grand slam. It was easy pickings for the 33 year old who beat Slovakia's Lukas Lacko 6-2, 6-4, 6-2.

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Sixth seed Tomas Berdych also won in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4, against the Canadian Peter Polansky.

Another Canadian, exciting young prospect Milos Raonic who came close to shocking Djokovic at the Rome Masters recently, had a slightly tougher time beating Australia's Nick Kyrgios 6-3, 7-6 (7/1), 6-3.

World number one Serena Williams began her campaign with a simple 6-2, 6-1 victory against Alize Lim of France whilst sister Venus beat Switzerland's Belinda Bencic 6-4, 6-1.

The action now moves on to Monday for Nadal and Djokovic.

"It's a big court, there is television, so you can put it everywhere, you know, in the world," said French number two Jo-Wilfried Tsonga when asked about Nadal's court allocation.

"I hope it's okay for him."


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