The French Open draw was announced Friday at the Musee de Roland Garros and a number of the first-round pairings jump off the page. Here's a look at five matches to watch as the first round gets under way Sunday morning in Paris. (Click here for the TV schedule).
(4) Andy Murray vs. Richard Gasquet
One can imagine the out-of-form Brit had fingers crossed for a quiet first-round engagement on one of the outer courts. No such luck. Instead, the fourth-seeded Murray will meet France's Gasquet -- presumably before a frenzied audience on Court Phillippe Chatrier. Gasquet is a game opponent whose ability belies a modest world ranking (currently No. 68) that was undercut by a controversial drug suspension in 2009. The Frenchman holds a 2-1 edge in the head-to-head series but Murray stole their most recent meeting, rallying from two sets down at Wimbledon 2008.
(6) Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. Sorana Cirstea
The 2009 French Open women's singles champion opens her title defense against one of the breakthrough stars from last year's tournament. Cirstea upset Alize Cornet, Caroline Wozniacki and Jelena Jankovic to crash the quarterfinals at Roland Garros in '09, but the 20-year-old Romanian will have her hands full against Sveta, one of four former French Open champions on the women's side.
Gisela Dulko vs. (10) Victoria Azarenka
Dulko may be unseeded, but the 25-year-old Argentine ranked as high as No. 30 as recently as September. It's a tricky draw for the floundering Azarenka, the Belarusian who's struggled to string victories together since making the final at Dubai and just fell out of the Top 10 for the first time in more than a year.
Patty Schnyder vs. (2) Venus Williams
A first-round clash of cagey veterans -- Schnyder is 31, Venus turns 30 in a few weeks -- may be a trendy upset pick in most pools. But there's plenty of fight left in the elder Williams sister (even on clay), who's climbed to No. 2 in the rankings on the strength of a 15-match win streak earlier this season and a run to the Madrid final last week.
Robby Ginepri vs. (18) Sam Querrey
It's been more than a decade since Andre Agassi lifted the Coupe des Mousquetaires and 19 years since Jim Courier's back-to-back Paris triumphs. Successes for American men at Roland Garros have been few and far between since, so you're going to have to catch them while you can. Querrey, up a career-high ranking of No. 17 this week, tries to bag his first-ever French Open victory against an American foe.
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