Simona Halep, Garbine Muguruza – Day 1 from 2016 French Open

Muguruza and Halep are the players among the tournament favorites that will be playing on Sunday.

The order of play is out for Day 1 from the 2016 French Open. The main show courts at the event will feature first-round matches of two players that are considered to be among the favorites at this year’s clay-court Grand Slam. Garbine Muguruza of Spain will play in the third match on Philippe-Chatrier Court while Simona Halep with play in the fourth match on Suzanne-Lenglen Court.

Muguruza, who enters the tournament as the World  No. 4, was the subject of a recent article at RolandGarros.com. She stated that Rafael Nadal has served as an inspiration for her as opposed to other Spanish players:

“I caught Rafa more when I was younger,” she said, “and liked looking at him winning here every year. Like ‘no way!’. He did it again…and he did it… and he did it! So I think he inspired me more.”

Muguruza, who made the Wimbledon final last year, has yet to establish herself as a tournament closer on tour. So far in 2016, she has no titles and at the age of 22 she has just two overall. But while she seems unlikely to win the title in Paris over the next two weeks, she certainly does threaten to make the deep rounds as she did in Rome last week.

Simona Halep, the World No. 6, is much more of a contender at the French Open. She made the final two seasons ago and has a recent title from WTA Madrid, one that added to her growing collection. Halep definitely has a draw that she can work with at Roland Garros 2016 with just Nao Hibino in the first round, a player making her French Open debut. Furthermore, Halep shares a quarter with Agnieszka Radwanska, a player who slumped during the lead-up clay-court events while Halep played well. If you disregard No. 2 Radwanska, a player who has admitted to clay-court problems, and went with the seeds then a Muguruza-Halep semifinal may end up taking place much later in the tournament.

Other women on Day 1’s order of play include Petra Kvitova, Lucie Safarova, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Karolina Pliskova, and Christina McHale.  All the courts will start at 11am on Sunday local time in Paris. That’s six hours ahead of the Eastern Time zone in North America so tennis fans on that continent will need to wake up early. However anyone that sleeps late can certainly tune in later in the morning or early afternoon to catch later matches on the order of play, like Halep’s and Muguruza’s.

(image: Simona Halep at Roland Garros 2014 by Carine06)

Shane Lambert