25 May 2009

Nadals starts bid for fith French Open

6:38 pm on 25 May 2009

The world tennis number one Rafael Nadal starts his bid for a fifth successive French Open title tonight when he plays a Brazilian qualifier Marcos Daniel in Paris.

The world number two Roger Federer is also in action, playing Spain's Alberto Martin.

The women's world number one Dinara Safina of Russia is first up on centre court, taking on Britain's Anne Keothavong.

A former number one, the third seed Venus Williams plays another American, Bethanie Mattek-Sands. on the Suzanne Lenglen court

The tournament started with an early exit for the Frenchwoman Amelie Mauresmo while the defending champion Ana Ivanovic progressed.

In the men's draw the third-seed Andy Murray advanced with Marat Safin.

So did Australia's Lleyton Hewitt, a five set winner over Croatia's Ivo Karlovic , who served a record 55 aces.