Paris - Andy Murray and defending champion
Stan Wawrinka start their French Open campaigns on Monday against a pair of
fiery Czechs on a day when Roland Garros plays catch-up after a rain-soaked
Second seed Murray, a three-time
semi-finalist in Paris, takes on 37-year-old Radek Stepanek, the oldest man in
the draw and one of a record 51 men over the age of 30 to start the first
Murray, buoyed by beating world number one
Novak Djokovic to the Rome Masters title on clay on the eve of Roland Garros,
holds a 6-2 career record over Stepanek.
But the wily Czech is a former world number
eight who is a Grand Slam doubles and Davis Cup champion.
Despite his advancing years, Stepanek came
through the qualifying competition and that's a factor which makes Murray wary
of the challenge.
"The qualifiers have played three
matches. That's tough," said Murray.
"They are probably feeling pretty good
about their conditions and comfortable on the courts."
Stepanek is one of the game's more
entertaining characters whose antics on court occasionally get under the skin
Off court, his life is just as colourful -
he was engaged to Martina Hingis, married and divorced former player Nicola
Vaidisova and briefly dated two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova.
Wawrinka, who shattered Djokovic's latest
attempt to complete the career Grand Slam with victory in last year's final,
takes on another Czech, Lukas Rosol.
Rosol famously defeated Rafael Nadal at
Wimbledon in 2012 and was involved in a bad-tempered clash with Murray in
Munich last year when the Scot told the Czech that "everyone hates
Wawrinka defeated Rosol as recently as last
Friday in the semi-finals in Geneva on his way to the title.
Roland Garros organisers will attempt to
squeeze 54 singles matches into Monday's programme after heavy rain on Sunday
allowed just 10 ties to be completed.
However, more bad weather is expected with
torrential rain and temperatures hovering again around the 15-degree mark.
There should be time for Japanese fifth
seed Kei Nishikori to complete his match with Italy's Simone Bolelli.
Nishikori was leading 6-1, 7-5, 2-1 when
play was halted on Court Philippe Chatrier on Sunday.
Victory would give the 26-year-old Japanese
his 50th Grand Slam win.
Second seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland
starts against Serbia's Bojana Jovanovski.
Radwanska was a quarter-finalist in 2013
but lost in the first round to Germany's Annika Beck last year.
Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova, the 2009
champion, resumes against Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan 4-6, 6-1, 3-1.
Fourth seed Garbine Muguruza starts against
Slovakia's Anna Karolina Schmiedlova with a 4-0 career advantage.
But Schmiedlova, the world number 37, made
the third round in 2014, defeating Venus Williams on the way.
Ana Ivanovic, the 2008 champion, takes on
France's Oceane Dodin.