French Open: Naomi Osaka handed tough first round assignment

French Open
Naomi Osaka

Former World No 1 Naomi Osaka will start her 2022 French Open campaign with a tough match against in-form 27th seed Amanda Anisimova.

Osaka has an underwhelming career record on clay but has shown signs of improving her game on the surface and will be a real test for the young American.

Elsewhere the stars of the women’s draw are top seed and World No 1 Iga Swiatek and second seed and defending champion.

The second Grand Slam of the year starts on Sunday, with a star-studded field set to contest the women’s singles at the clay court major.

Swiatek is at the top of the draw, and will open her bid for a second Roland Garros title against a qualifier.

The Pole, who has dominated the women’s game this year, will face either Alison Riske or Dayana Yastremska in the second round if she can secure her 29th straight win.

Two former winner lurk as potential fourth round opponents for Swiatek with Simona Halep, the 2018 champion, and Jelena Ostapenko, the 2017 champion, also in that section of the draw.

Karolina Pliskova, is at the bottom of this quarter as the No 8 seed and is the woman who could prove a quarterfinal stumbling block for the mighty Swiatek.

However she has Jessica Pegula hovering about in her section of the draw and might have to fight her way past the Madrid Open finalist in the fourth round.

World No 3 Paula Badosa also hold the corresponding seeding and she heads up the second quarter.

Badosa reached her first Grand Slam quarterfinal at Roland Garros last year and opens against French wildcard Fiona Ferro.

Also in Badosa’s quarter are Elena Rybakina, who reached the French Open quarterfinals last year, and 22 Madison Keys, a former semifinalist in Paris.

Aryna Sabalenka and Danielle Collins are players who would love a deep run in Paris but they are lined up for a possible Round-of-16 showdown.

Yulia Putintseva, Shelby Rogers, and No.20 Daria Kasatkina could also prove to be contenders in the Sabalenka-Collins section.

Ons Jabeur is at the top of the third quarter with the Madrid champion and Rome runner-up, who is the clay-court match-win leader so far this season, starting against Magda Linette in the first round.

World No 12 Emma Raducanu and former No 1s Angelique Kerber, and Petra Kvitova are in Jabeur’s section which promises to be highly competitive.

Krejcikova is at the bottom of the draw and will play French teenager Diane Parry to begin her defense.

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