PARIS (Reuters) - If Serena Williams expects a walk in the park at the French Open on Wednesday, a simple look at her second-round opponent’s CV should set her straight.
French teenager Caroline Garcia pushed current champion Maria Sharapova to the brink at Roland Garros two years ago, leading by a set and 4-1, and she is confident of her chances against the world number one.
“I have grown up. Yet it is going to be a difficult match and, you know, Serena has so much experience,” said world number 114 Garcia, who eventually succumbed to her Russian opponent.
“She knows how to manage grand slams. She will be the favorite, and really the favorite, but I’ve got to play my match. And I believe in it. I’ll believe in it until the very end.”
Weather permitting, the match will be played last on Court Philippe Chatrier as organizers play catch-up after some first-round ties were canceled because of rain on Tuesday.
Third seed Victoria Azarenka’s match against Russia’s Elena Vesnina was among those postponed and they will now open proceedings on Chatrier.
Sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga plays Finn Jarkko Nieminen and Gael Monfils faces Ernests Gulbis of Latvia both on Chatrier as the local hopes are given their opportunity to shine on Roland Garros’s showpiece arena.
Second seed Roger Federer, who is looking to win his second French Open title after triumphing in 2009 near the Bois de Boulogne, takes on Indian Somdev Devvarman on Court Suzanne Lenglen.
Spain’s fourth seed David Ferrer is still not considered a headline act in Paris and is scheduled on an outside court against compatriot Albert Montanes.
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Toby Davis