A pair of Czech threats loom for men’s title hopes Andy Murray and defending champion Stanislas Wawrinka when the French Open plays catch-up on Monday.
After a damp squib of an opening Sunday, Radek Stepanek – the oldest player in men’s singles – will take on world No.2 Murray, while Wawrinka faces another Czech challenge in the form of Lukas Rosol – the man best known for beating Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon in 2012.
More rain is forecast for day two of the championships, with only 10 of the 32 scheduled matches completed on day one.
Australia’s Nick Kyrgios produced another rant on his way to a 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 defeat of Italian debutant Marco Cecchinato, while home favourite Benoit Paire – one of 16 Frenchman to start in the main draw – produced a topsy-turvy display in beating Moldovan qualifier Radu Albot in five sets.
Fifth seed Kei Nishikori was interrupted by the rain when he was leading Italy’s Simone Bolelli by two sets and 2-1 in the third.
Nishikori’s match will resume second-up on Philippe-Chatrier Court after Wawrinka and Rosol do battle, with Murray and Stepanek slated as the fourth match should the weather hold out.
Stepanek, aged 37, is a few months older than Ivo Karlovic and is one of 51 men aged 30 and over in the first round – a record for 30-somethings in the main draw of a grand slam.
Rome champion Murray needed three sets to beat Stepanek in Madrid recently and knows he will need to be on his guard against a player who rips up the claycourt textbook with a net-charging style.
Wawrinka arrived in Paris only late on Saturday after beating Marin Cilic to claim the title in Geneva, his first on clay since he stunned Novak Djokovic here last year.