26 May 2014

Nadal gets centre court snub

6:20 pm on 26 May 2014

The defending champion Rafael Nadal begins his bid for a ninth French Open title tonight but it won't be on the Roland Garros centrecourt after a controversial scheduling snub.

Nadal, who has a phenomenal record of 59 wins and just one loss in Paris, comes into the tournament suffering his worst claycourt sequence in a decade.

The top seed and world No.1 plays American wildcard Robby Ginepri.

But it is the location of the clash which has caused consternation.

Roland Garros's showpiece Philippe Chatrier court will stage title rival Novak Djokovic's match against Joao Sousa and Stan Wawrinka's clash with Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

The main court will also host opening women's matches featuring Maria Sharapova and home player Alize Cornet.

The French Open doesn't follow the same protocol as Wimbledon where the defending champion always opens proceedings on Centre Court.