French Open starts this weekend and the draws are out. There is nothing trickier, and therefore more important, for a professional tennis player, than his or hers first round match in a major tournament. It can be said that this is the round in which underdogs have the greatest chances of stunning seeded players. Lack of rhythm, knowledge of the opponent, and feeling for the tournament are among the reasons an upset can happen in the early round.
Due to the large size of the draws, Grand Slam events have historically been protagonists of some interesting first round matches. This can mean not only an upset of a favorite player by a less known one, but also an early encounter of two “big dogs”.
Players and their coaches are particularly careful with their preparation for the opening match. It is not rare to hear a player saying, on a post match interview, that he or she is relieved for getting through the first round.