|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Nadal ready for French Open defence
Simon Cambers | May 29, 2006 13:25 IST
Rafael Nadal will have more than the defence of his French Open title on his mind when he steps out to face Swede Robin Soderling in the first round on Monday.
Undefeated on clay this year with victories in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome, the Spaniard said his main goal was to win a second successive title in the French capital.
"I'm going to try my best," Nadal said. "Not for the record. For Roland Garros."
While Nadal will provide the late-afternoon entertainment in the last match scheduled on centre court, two former world number ones, Kim Clijsters and Venus Williams, will also be in action.
Second seed Clijsters, twice the runner-up at Roland Garros, plays Virginie Razzano of France while 11th seed Williams, who lost to her sister Serena in the 2002 final, meets Austrian Sybille Bammer.
Sixth seed Elena Dementieva of Russia, the runner-up in 2004, faces Slovakian Martina Sucha while seventh seed Patty Schnyder kicks off proceedings against Michaella Krajicek of the Netherlands.
In the men's event, 2004 champion Gaston Gaudio takes on Croatian qualifier Roko Karanusic, while his predecessor as champion, 24th seed Juan Carlos Ferrero, eighth seed James Blake and Frenchman Richard Gasquet are also in action.