Tonight, Australian time Australia’s world no. 1 Ash Barty returns to the court on which she claimed her maiden Grand Slam title.
Back in 2019 Barty charged through the field to claim the French Open title after defeating Marketa Vondrousova in the final.
Barty faces USA’s Croatian born world no. 70 Bernarda Pera. It is their first meeting.
Pera has struggled in 2021 with her best results only being round of 32 appearances at Madrid and Rome. In Rome she did push Garbine Muguruza to three sets.
Barty should be too good for Pera on this occasion as the Australian has played plenty of matches on clay this season including lifting the trophy in Stuttgart and being the runner-up in Madrid.
The only concern would be how she bounces back from an arm injury that saw her pull out of her quarterfinal match against Cori Gauff in Rome.
Alexei Popyrin has the toughest opening round match you could ask for at Roland Garros.
World no. 63 Popyrin faces 13-time champion Rafael Nadal who is defending a title he has held since 2017.
Nadal won their only meeting to date when he claimed a 6-3, 6-3 victory in the Madrid Masters.
It is hard to pick anything other than a victory for Nadal.
Court 6 – Alex de Minaur v Stefano Travaglia (ITA)
de Minaur will be the first Australian on court tonight, along with Astra Sharma on court 12.
World no. 22 faces world no. 78 Stefano Travaglia for the second time. de Minaur defeated the Italian in a round of 64 match at the 2020 Paris Masters.
Travaglia has struggled for much of 2021, however he did start the season well with a quarterfinal appearance in Antalya and he reached the final of the ATP 250 event in Melbourne back in early February.
de Minaur won the Antalya title to start the season but since then his best effort has been a round of 32 appearance at the Australian Open and a round of 16 appearance in Madrid.
This match should be won by de Minaur but he has also lost four of his first matches at tournaments in 2021.
Astra Sharma faces Romanian qualifier Irina Bara. Sharma should be a good chance to win this match although Bara is a solid player and she has three qualifying matches behind her.
James Duckworth v Salvatore Caruso from Italy.
Duckworth is currently ranked at no. 101. His opponent sits at no. 82 on the rankings.
The players met each other in the opening round of the 2020 US Open where Caruso won in four sets.
Duckworth goes into the match with just one match on clay in 2021, that was a loss in the opening round of qualifying for the ATP 250 in Parma.
Caruso got the clay court season off to a good start when he advanced to the main draw from qualifying for the Monte Carlo Masters 1000. He won the first round match against Poland’s world no. 388 Lucas Catarina before losing to Andrey Rublev in the next round.
After Monte Carlo, Caruso has lost four straight first round matches.
This could go either way.