By CHRIS LEHOURITES
2014-05-26 03:42 AM
PARIS (AP) -- Here are five things to look for on Monday at the French Open:
NADAL PLAYS: Rafael Nadal will start his pursuit of a record ninth French Open title Monday on Court Suzanne Lenglen, the No. 2 court at Roland Garros.
Nadal had the day off Sunday, so nobody knows how he feels about being denied a spot in the main stadium, Court Philippe Chatrier. American player John Isner, however, thought it was an interesting decision.
"That's really bizarre. I mean, how many times does the guy have to win the tournament to be able to have his first match on Chatrier?" Isner said after winning his opening match Sunday. "But I don't think Rafa really cares that much. He's just going to go out there and try to win."
Nadal will open this year's tournament against Robby Ginepri of the United States.
The top-seeded Spaniard is 59-1 at Roland Garros, with his only loss coming in the fourth round in 2009. Before that, he had won four straight French Open titles. And since then, he has won another four.
DJOKOVIC GETS GOING: Novak Djokovic still needs to win the French Open to complete a career Grand Slam, and he'll get going Monday against Joao Sousa of Portugal.
Djokovic has been sidelined for part of the season with a right wrist injury, but he returned to action and beat Nadal in the Rome final.
At the French Open, the second-seeded Djokovic has reached at least the semifinals in the last three years, losing to Nadal in the 2012 final and last year's semis.
STARTING WITH SHARAPOVA: The opening match on the main court will feature Maria Sharapova.
The seventh-seeded Russian won the title on Court Philippe Chatrier two years ago, and then lost in the final to Serena Williams last year.
To open this year's tournament, Sharapova will face another Russian, Ksenia Pervak.
This season, Sharapova has won clay titles in Madrid and Stuttgart, runs that include six victories over players ranked in the top 10.
GRAND SLAM CHAMPION: Stan Wawrinka will play his first Grand Slam match since becoming a major champion.
Wawrinka won the Australian Open title in January, beating Nadal in the final.
He's also done well on clay, beating Roger Federer in the Monte Carlo final last month.
At the French Open, the third-seeded Wawrinka will take on Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain in his opening match.
RAINY MONDAY: Rain is expected all day Monday, and that could start to cause havoc in the schedule with more rain expected later in the week.