The second Grand Slam of the year, the French Open, gets underway on Sunday, after it was pushed back by a week due to coronavirus disruptions.
The prestigious tournament in Paris returns to a more familiar spot in the calendar this year, after it was played across September and October in 2020, again due to the impacts of the pandemic.
All eyes will be on Rafael Nadal, who has the chance to make history once again at Roland Garros, with victory moving the Spaniard ahead of Roger Federer (20) in the all-time Slams list with 21, with what would be his 14th French Open title.
Nadal will face plenty of competition, however, with Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic bidding to become the first man in over 50 years to win all four majors on multiple occasions.
Defending champion Iga Swiatek will also make her return to Roland Garros, after she claimed an historic title last year aged just 19, becoming first player from Poland to win a Grand Slam singles title – and doing so without dropping a set.
With the tournament swiftly approaching, Sportsmail takes you through the essential details.
Rafael Nadal claimed an historic 13th French Open title at Roland Garros in October 2020
Iga Swiatek became the first-ever Polish singles Grand Slam winner with victory last year
When is the French Open?
As stated, the French Open gets underway on Sunday, May 30, with the men’s and women’s opening rounds.
The tournament will run through until the men’s final on Sunday, June 13, which takes place the day after the women’s final.
The qualifiers for the tournament have taken place this week, with British trio Jodie Burrage, Samantha Murray Sharan and Jay Clarke all bowing out in the opening round, while Liam Broady lost to Russian Roman Safiullin in the second.
There was hope for Harriet Dart, who reached the final qualifying round, but she lost in straight sets to Liang En-shuo on Thursday.
How to watch the French Open
The French Open will be available to watch on ITV 4, who have exclusive free-to-air rights in the UK.
Those with a valid TV license will be able to stream the action live on their ITV Hub.
Meanwhile, viewers can also watch on Eurosport, or via their Eurosport player, which is available for £6.99 a month or £39.99 for a 12-month pass.
Can fans attend?
As stated, the tournament was pushed back by a week – and that was in an effort to get as many fans in as possible.
There will be fans present from the off, but until June 9, there will be just 5,388 spectators allowed into Roland Garros, with a total of 1,000 on any court.
Additionally, there is currently a curfew at 9pm in Paris, meaning the night sessions will be played largely without fans.
That will all change from June 9, however, when the EU’s Covid ‘health pass’ comes into play, while the curfew will also be moved to 11pm.
In practice, this means that a total of 13,146 spectators can be within the grounds, which each court holding up to 65 per cent capacity or 5,000 fans, whichever is fewer.
So, from the quarter-finals, Chatrier will host 5,000 cheering fans.
French Open draw
The draw for the French Open was made on Thursday, and remarkably Nadal, Djokovic and Roger Federer are all in the same side – meaning only one of them can make it to the final!
It was a possibility discussed prior to the draw, with Nadal dropping to third in the world rankings, below Daniil Medvedev.
Despite the fact Nadal is the overwhelming favourite to win the tournament, seedings are now picked based on form across the year, which is why Medvedev – who has never won a Grand Slam – is the second seed.
Regardless, the great Spaniard will open his defence against young Australian Alexi Popyrin, and will face Cameron Norrie in the third round, provided the Brit makes it that far.
Djokovic will start his championships against Tennys Sandgren, and he’s lined up to face Federer in the quarter-finals, while Dan Evans faces Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia.
As for the women’s draw, Serena Williams is in the same half as Naomi Osaka and Aryna Sabalenka, while world No 1 Ash Barty and defending champion Swiatek are set to meet in the semis.
Brit Johanna Konta will face Sorana Cirstea of Romania in round one, while Heather Watson will play Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan.
French Open seeds
There will be no repeat of the 2020 final, with Nadal and Djokovic in the same side of the draw
Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams are also on course to collide before the finals
1. Novak Djokovic
2. Daniil Medvedev
3. Rafael Nadal
4. Dominic Thiem
5. Stefanos Tsitsipas
6. Alexander Zverev
7. Andrey Rublev
8. Roger Federer
9. Matteo Berrettini
10. Diego Schwartzman
11. Roberto Bautista Agut
12. Pablo Carreño Busta
13. David Goffin
14. Gaël Monfils
15. Casper Ruud
16. Grigor Dimitrov
17. Milos Raonic
18. Jannik Sinner
19. Hubert Hurkacz
20. Félix Auger-Aliassime
21. Alex de Minaur
22. Cristian Garín
23. Karen Khachanov
24. Aslan Karatsev
25. Dan Evans
26. Lorenzo Sonego
27. Fabio Fognini
28. Nikoloz Basilashvili
29. Ugo Humbert
30. Taylor Fritz
31. John Isner
32. Reilly Opelka
1. Ashleigh Barty
2. Naomi Osaka
3. Aryna Sabalenka
4. Sofia Kenin
5. Elina Svitolina
6. Bianca Andreescu
7. Serena Williams
8. Iga Swiatek
9. Karolina Pliskova
10. Belinda Bencic
11. Petra Kvitova
12. Garbiñe Muguruza
13. Jennifer Brady
14. Elise Mertens
15. Victoria Azarenka
16. Kiki Bertens
17. Maria Sakkari
18. Karolina Muchova
19. Johanna Konta
20. Marketa Vondrousova
21. Elena Rybakina
22. Petra Martic
23. Madison Keys
24. Coco Gauff
25. Ons Jabeur
26. Angelique Kerber
27. Alison Riske
28. Jessica Pegula
29. Veronika Kudermetova
30. Anett Kontaveit
31. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
32. Ekaterina Alexandrova
Who are the big names missing from the draw?
Andy Murray pulled out of the French Open after experiencing discomfort at the Rome Masters
On the most part, the big names in tennis will all be involved at the French Open this year, but one player who won’t take part is Andy Murray.
The Brit will instead focus on preparing for Queen’s and Wimbledon in this season’s grass court season, with the tournaments starting on June 14 and June 28 respectively.
Murray had been getting in some practice on the clay, partnering Liam Broady in the doubles at the Italian Masters, but after feeling discomfort he declined a wildcard for the Miami Open and pulled out of the French.
Elsewhere, Simona Halep, Stan Wawrinka and Kyle Edmund are the other major absentees.
French Open odds
With 13 French Open titles to his name, it comes as no surprise that Nadal is the favourite to prevail at Roland Garros once more.
The Spaniard is the outright favourite at 5/6, with Novak Djokovic at 9/2 and Stefanos Tsitsipas at 5/1.
In the women’s game, the bookies are favouring Swiatek to win back-to-back trophies, with odds of 11/4 to emerge victorious.
Ashleigh Bartley is the second-favourite at 5/1, while Serena Williams is down at 22/1 – just ahead of 17-year-old Coco Gauff at 25/1.
*Bets as per Betfair and correct at the time of publication.
French Open Schedule In Full
Sunday 30 May: Men’s and women’s first round
Monday 31 May: Men’s and women’s first round
Tuesday 1 June: Men’s and women’s first round
Wednesday 2 June: Men’s and women’s second round
Thursday 3 June: Men’s and women’s second round
Friday 4 June: Men’s and women’s third round
Saturday 5 June: Men’s and women’s third round
Sunday 6 June: Men’s and women’s fourth round
Monday 7 June: Men’s and women’s fourth round
Tuesday 8 June: Men’s and women’s quarter-finals
Wednesday 9 June: Men’s and women’s quarter-finals
*Play starts at 10am everyday, 11am on Chatrier (BST)
Thursday 10 June: Women’s semi-finals (1pm start on Chatrier)
Friday 11 June: Men’s semi-finals (2pm start on Chatrier)
Saturday 12 June: Women’s final, 2pm
Sunday 13 June: Men’s final, 2pm