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What to look for Thursday at the French Open

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 28, 2014 at 2:23 pm •  Published: May 28, 2014
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PARIS (AP) — Five things to look for Thursday at the French Open:

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THE MAIN ATTRACTION: Three days after playing his opening match in the second biggest stadium at the French Open, Rafael Nadal will make his first appearance on the main stage.

The eight-time French Open champion will face Dominic Thiem of Austria in the second round on Thursday. The match will be played on Court Philippe Chatrier, the showcase stadium at Roland Garros.

After his opening win on Monday on Court Suzanne Lenglen, Nadal played down the significance of being forced to play on a smaller court for his first match.

"Doesn't matter if it's Chatrier or Lenglen or another court, (being) around here in Roland Garros (is) always going to be great," the top-seeded Spaniard said. "I am not sure, but probably next one (I'm) going to play in Chatrier. That's it."

He was right, and given Nadal's history at the clay-court major — he's 60-1 — he will be playing on the big court a few more times this year.

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PAST CHAMPIONS ON COURT: With three former French Open women's champions already eliminated, that leaves three more with a chance to win this year's tournament.

Two of them, Ana Ivanovic and Svetlana Kuznetsova, will play in the second round on Thursday.

Ivanovic, the 2008 champion at Roland Garros, is seeded 11th this year and will face Elina Svitolina of Ukraine in the main stadium.

Over on Court No. 2, 2009 champion Kuznetsova, seeded 27th, will take on Camila Giorgi of Italy.

Serena Williams, Li Na and Francesca Schiavone are all former champions that have already been eliminated this year. The only other French Open winner still in the women's draw is Maria Sharapova.

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