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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

From Verdict to Crown, One Day at the French Open

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David Goffin and Thanasi Kokkinakis. | Getty Images

This afternoon, the French Open begins to take shape for tennis players from France and the United States.

Champions Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will play the opening two matches of the day when they face Gilles Simon and Nikoloz Basilashvili. Novak Djokovic will also kick off his season in Paris against Adrian Mannarino.

By tournament’s end, the field will probably contain 16 players, meaning that three French favorites, including Dominic Thiem, Alize Cornet and Kenny De Schepper, will be eliminated. That could leave only three left for the next round, creating a two-or-more-set cut in the tournament, where knockouts generally follow a two-set norm.

Besides Thiem, there are two other players who have an outside chance to reach the last 16 of the tournament. Borna Coric and, if he gets past Cyril Saulnier, Gael Monfils.

The top players on paper, however, are Federer and Nadal, which could mean that the final still has a different winner.

— James Oliphant

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