NBC and Tennis Channel will combine to air live coverage of the French Open, which begins Sunday in Paris. NBC will broadcast Roland Garros for the 36th straight year, with TV coverage of French Open 2018 Live also streaming on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app.
Top-ranked Rafael Nadal eyes his 11th French Open title. That would tie Margaret Court‘s record for singles wins at a Grand Slam event (Court won 11 Australian Opens, but seven came when it was the Australian Championships, an amateur event.).
Other notables include Novak Djokovic, who last won a Slam at the 2016 French Open, and German Alexander Zverev, the top player in 2018. Roger Federer (rest) and Andy Murray (hip surgery) will miss the season’s second major tournament.
Serena Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam singles titlist and three-time winner at Roland Garros, plays her first Grand Slam since giving birth to daughter Alexis Ohanian on Sept. 1. Williams was not given a seen by French Open organizers as she comes back from maternity leave.
Williams has played four WTA Tour matches, all in March, since winning the 2017 Australian Open. Like Nadal, she can tie a Court record this year — the most career Grand Slam singles titles at 24.
Other contenders include top-ranked Simona Halep, Australian Open champ Caroline Wozniacki, U.S. Open champ Sloane Stephens and past French Open champions Maria Sharapova, Garbiñe Muguruza and Jelena Ostapenko.
FRENCH OPEN: Men’s Draw | Women’s Draw
French Open Broadcast Schedule
|Sunday, May 27||5 a.m.-3 p.m.||Tennis Channel||First Round|
|12-3 p.m.||NBC||First Round|
|Monday, May 28||5 a.m.-3 p.m.||Tennis Channel||First Round|
|12-3 p.m.||NBC||First Round|
|Tuesday, May 29||5 a.m.-3 p.m.||Tennis Channel||First Round|
|Wednesday, May 30||5 a.m.-3 p.m.||Tennis Channel||Second Round|
|Thursday, May 31||5 a.m.-3 p.m.||Tennis Channel||Second Round|
|Friday, June 1||5 a.m.-3 p.m.||Tennis Channel||Third Round|
|Saturday, June 2||5 a.m.-12 p.m.||Tennis Channel||Third Round|
|12-3 p.m.||NBC||Third Round|
|Sunday, June 3||5 a.m.-12 p.m.||Tennis Channel||Fourth Round|
|12-3 p.m.||NBC||Fourth Round|
|Monday, June 4||5 a.m.-3 p.m.||Tennis Channel||Fourth Round|
|Tuesday, June 5||7 a.m.-1 p.m.||Tennis Channel||Quarterfinals|
|Wednesday, June 6||7 a.m.-1 p.m.||Tennis Channel||Quarterfinals|
|Thursday, June 7||8 a.m.-2 p.m.||Tennis Channel||Women’s Semifinals|
|11 a.m.-2 p.m.||NBC||Women’s Semifinals|
|Friday, June 8||6 a.m.-11 a.m.||Tennis Channel||Men’s Semifinals|
|11 a.m.-2 p.m.||NBC||Men’s Semifinals|
|Saturday, June 9||9 a.m.-1 p.m.||NBC||Women’s Final|
|Sunday, June 10||9 a.m.-2 p.m.||NBC||Men’s Final|
No.2 Caroline Wozniacki will open against the American Danielle Collins.
A French Olympian ice dancer is then called to the stage. *Gallic shrug*
Serena is unseeded remember…
And she will play world No 70 Kristyna Pliskova in the first round!
The non-seeded players are drawn first.
Remy Azemar the tournament referee has taken to the stage to conduct the draw. It’s the women’s draw first.
Quite a lot of preamble in French
I’d be lying if I said I understood it all. One commenter on Facebook has written ‘English please’.
Before the draw…
…a snazzy virtual reality tour of the refurbished grounds at Roland Garros. Then the president of the French federation takes to the stage to make the draw.
Come on fella, don’t talk too long about the new facilities at RG.
Here we go
The draw is being broadcast live on Facebook, and some moody music has started playing. I think this is a good thing, and means the draw is about to get under way.
The female seeds
1. Simona Halep
2. Caroline Wozniacki
3. Garbiñe Muguruza
4. Elina Svitolina
5. Jeļena Ostapenko
6. Karolína Plíšková
7. Caroline Garcia
8. Petra Kvitová
9. Venus Williams
10. Sloane Stephens
11. Julia Görges
12. Angelique Kerber
13. Madison Keys
14. Daria Kasatkina
15. CoCo Vandeweghe
16. Elise Mertens
17. Ashleigh Barty
18. Kiki Bertens
19. Magdaléna Rybáriková
20. Anastasija Sevastova
21. Naomi Osaka
22. Johanna Konta
23. Carla Suárez Navarro
24. Daria Gavrilova
25. Anett Kontaveit
26. Barbora Strýcová
27. Shuai Zhang
28. Maria Sharapova
29. Kristina Mladenovic
30. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
31. Mihaela Buzărnescu
32. Alizé Cornet
The male seeds
1. Rafael Nadal
2. Alexander Zverev
3. Marin Čilić
4. Grigor Dimitrov
5. Juan Martín del Potro
6. Kevin Anderson
7. Dominic Thiem
8. David Goffin
9. John Isner
10. Pablo Carreño Busta
11. Diego Schwartzman
12. Sam Querrey
13. Roberto Bautista Agut
14. Jack Sock
15. Lucas Pouille
16. Kyle Edmund
Rafael Nadal’s 15 most outrageous ever shots
17. Tomáš Berdych
18. Fabio Fognini
19. Hyeon Chung
20. Kei Nishikori
21. Novak Djokovic
22. Nick Kyrgios
23. Philipp Kohlschreiber
24. Stan Wawrinka
25. Denis Shapovalov
26. Adrian Mannarino
27. Filip Krajinović
28. Damir Džumhur
29. Andrey Rublev
30. Richard Gasquet
31. Feliciano López
32. Gilles Müller
Afternoon all, welcome to our coverage of the French Open draw, which will get underway at 6pm BST.
Andy Murray is out of course, but there are four Brits in the singles draw – including the 16th seed in the men’s competition Kyle Edmund, and the 22nd seed in the women’s event Johanna Konta.
Both draws have 32 seeds and 128 entrants, which makes for seven rounds.
Below, our pals at the Press Association have helpfully profiled the British quartet.
The seven greatest ever French Open matches
Edmund goes into the tournament as Britain’s main hope for success after a superb start to 2018.
The 23-year-old Yorkshireman will be seeded at a slam for the first time after breaking into the top 20 and can hope to build on his stunning run to the semi-finals of the Australian Open.
Edmund has developed a lot under his coaching team of Fredrik Rosengren and Mark Hilton and is unusual among British players in being totally at home on clay, which rewards his huge forehand. He reached the third round last year and will hope to go further.
Norrie has qualified directly for a slam on ranking for the first time thanks to his swift progress. The 22-year-old only turned professional a year ago after a stellar college career in the United States but will break into the top 100 on Monday.
Born in South Africa to British parents before growing up in New Zealand and now based in the States, Norrie made a remarkable Davis Cup debut in February by beating Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut from two sets down.
That was virtually his first experience on clay but the left-hander has shown himself to be a quick learner and an excellent competitor.
Konta’s dramatic slump at the end of 2017 carried over into 2018 but there have been signs over the last couple of months that the British number one is feeling more confident again.
The 27-year-old now finds herself ranked down in the 20s having spent more than a year in the top 10 and has made only one quarter-final this season.
Clay is Konta’s weakest surface, although she insists she does not dislike it, and she has never won a main draw match at Roland Garros. Even one victory would be a welcome boost ahead of the grass-court season, where Konta has a huge number of ranking points to defend.
Watson’s career has been marked by inconsistency and 2018 has been miserable so far for the 26-year-old.
She at least goes into the French Open having ended a lengthy losing run on the WTA Tour, which began with a semi-final loss in Hobart in January and extended until the first round in Nurnberg this week.
On a positive note, Watson is in the main draw by right this year, unlike 12 months ago, and the world number 86 will hope to take belief from previous performances at Roland Garros, where she has made the second round five times.
You only have to listen to the two men who played it to understand how high the stakes were for the 1984 men’s final at Roland Garros. Lendl has said that, looking at his French Open career in its entirety, which included three titles and a 53-12 record over 17 years, the only match he cares about now is his win over McEnroe in ’84. The same, unfortunately, can be said for Johnny Mac. No defeat over the course of his 15-year career would haunt the American as much as this one.
“It was the worst loss of my life,” McEnroe recalled. “Sometimes it still keeps me up at night.”
“To make a comparison to golf, I blew a 12-inch putt to win the Masters, and that’s hard to live with.”
For McEnroe, that disappointment begins with the fact that for two hours on that hot afternoon in Paris, he was playing the most masterful tennis of his life. At 25, he was at the peak of his considerable powers. He had started the 1984 season, his annus mirabilis, with 42 straight wins, and he would finish it 82-3, with titles at Wimbledon and the US Open. But perhaps the most telling measure of his excellence that season was how unbeatable he was on clay.
In his four previous trips to the French Open, McEnroe had failed to make it past the quarterfinals. No male player from the U.S. had won the title there since 1955, and, despite his obvious gifts, McEnroe seemed to be one more American attacker who didn’t have the patience for dirt. But in ’84, he was so superior to the rest of the men’s field that it didn’t matter what style he used; in his first six matches in Paris, he dropped one set. In the semifinals, he cruised past his longtime rival Jimmy Connors in straights.
After an hour of the final, it looked like he would do the same to Lendl. McEnroe arrived to loud cheers from the audience, and after serving-and-volleying his way to a two-set lead, he was trading knowing smiles with his friends in the stands—his doubles partner Peter Fleming had the champagne on ice. McEnroe had won his previous five matches over Lendl, a run that included two lopsided victories on clay that spring. The 24-year-old Czech was 0-4 in Grand Slam finals, and he looked to be well on his way to folding for a fifth straight time.
WATCH—Stories of the Open Era: 1968 French Open
“I get a feeling from time to time,” McEnroe has said when trying to explain what happened next, “when it seems that things are going too well, that something bad has to happen.”
That “something bad” was typically a line call that went against him. This time, McEnroe couldn’t blame the officials; this time, it seemed, he went looking for the problem. In the third set, he found it, of all places, in a headset—an NBC cameraman had taken his off and left it on the sidelines, “squawking while I was trying to play.” Unable to ignore it. McEnroe stalked to the camera pit, picked up the headset, and dropped an f-bomb into it at the top of his lungs. “Just like that, my concentration was shot.”
Well, maybe not just like that. While Lendl would win the third set, McEnroe would regain his form long enough to break twice in the fourth and get to within two service holds of the title. By then, though, the clay, the heat, and even the Parisian crowd that had applauded him began to have their revenge—by the fifth set, their cheers for the American had turned to boos. Worse for McEnroe, he was half a step slower as he approached the net. It was just the opening that Lendl needed.
“I saw hope as soon as I broke him,” Lendl said. “I felt that once I could break him, I could do it again.”
Instead of seeing his passing shots cut off and volleyed for winners, the Czech began to find the holes he needed to rifle them for winners. Instead of dominating with his lefty serve, as he had early on, McEnroe couldn’t buy a first serve. The match would last for 51 games, the most in a French final in the Open era. By the end it was Lendl’s superior fitness, as much as McEnroe’s lapse in concentration, that made the difference. The final point said it all: Set up with a high forehand volley that he would put away 99 times out of 100, McEnroe hit it wide.
Lendl was overjoyed by the miss, but so exhausted by his effort that he could muster just one sentence in his winner’s speech: “I’m very happy that I won my first Grand Slam tournament here in Paris.”
McEnroe would never return to the French Open final; it would be left to Michael Chang five years later to beat Lend and end the U.S. men’s drought in Paris.
“It’s the only match in which I ever felt I was playing up to my capabilities and lost,” Johnny Mac would say.
But while the defeat would haunt McEnroe in later years, in the short term it served as inspiration. Determined not to take his foot off the pedal again when he had a lead, he would go on that year to beat Connors in the Wimbledon final and Lendl in the US Open final, each in one-sided straight-set matches.
For Lendl, the effects of his breakthrough at the French would be felt later. Knowing now that he could beat McEnroe when it counted, he would knock the American out of the No. 1 spot in 1985 and dominate the sport for the rest of the decade. The game’s biggest choker would transform himself into its most iron-willed champion. All Lendl needed was an opening.