“It's possible to be a sweet person and still succeed in this gladiatorial sport of ours. Just look at Lucie Safarova, who is retiring after Roland Garros,” Martina Navratilova wrote in her WTA column.
Safarova and Cibulkova meet Andrea Petkovic and Sofia Kenin in the first round.
Men's top seeds ready to roll
Polish-Brazilian pair Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo begin their quest for a second Grand Slam title together in Paris to go with their 2017 Wimbledon silverware.
Kubot had previously won the Australian Open in 2014 with Robert Lindstedt, while Melo has triumphed on the clay at Roland-Garros alongside Ivan Dodig five years ago. Kubot and Melo have won 12 titles together, with their strongest showing this season being a runner-up finish at Indian Wells. They open against Spanish pair, Roberto Carballes Baena and Jaume Munar.
Their results may not have set the world alight just yet – three straight losses from their first four matches as a team – but Americans Mackenzie McDonald and Reilly Opelka will bring a contrast of court speed and service speed to the Roland-Garros doubles draw. Not to mention a whopping 33cm disparity in height. At 211cm – or 6’11” in the old scale – Opelka is the joint tallest player on tour. McDonald stands at 1.78m (5’10”). They face Ricardas Berankis and Yoshihito Nishioka first up.
Mahut and Melzer join forces
One half of the defending men’s doubles winning tandem, 37-year-old French favourite Nicolas Mahut teams up with 2010 Roland-Garros singles semi-finalist Jurgen Melzer, 38, for just the second time.