Paris, May 24: Rafael Nadal and Simona Halep will be out to defend their French Open titles when the second grand slam of the year starts at Roland Garros on Sunday.
Nadal will have to fend off a fearsome Novak Djokovic, who is seeking to hold all four slams at once for the second time in his career, and Roger Federer if he is to extend his own record and win the trophy for a 12th time.
Halep ended her wait for a first major when she triumphed over Sloane Stephens in Paris last year. The Romanian too has plenty of elite competition, with world number one Naomi Osaka looking to emulate Serena Williams achievement, who again has history in her sights as she attempts to tie Margaret Court's record by winning her 24th slam.
Two days out from the start of this year's battles for the Coupe des Mousquetaires and the Coupe Suzanne-Lenglen, we look at some of the best Opta facts ahead of the 2019 tournament.
- In the last 25 years only five times has the number one seed won the tournament: Nadal (2018, 2014 and 2011), Djokovic (2016) and Gustavo Kuerten (2001).
- Djokovic has not made it past the quarter-finals in his most recent two appearances at the French Open after reaching the semi-finals in his six previous tournaments, which included making four finals.
- Federer has not appeared at the French Open since 2015 and has not reached the semi-finals of this tournament since 2012. Federer has won 20 grand slam titles but only one at Roland Garros.
- Dominic Thiem is the only player to have reached at least the semi-finals at Roland Garros in each of the past three years. He has not reached the semi-finals in any other grand slam tournament.
- Eighteen different players have won the French Open since the last time it was won by a French player (Yannick Noah in 1983).
- Gael Monfils, the highest-ranked Frenchman in the draw, has reached the quarter-finals at Roland Garros only once in the past five years (2014), after reaching that stage in three of his five previous appearances.
- Halep is aiming to become the first woman to win successive French Open titles since Justine Henin (2005, 2006, 2007).
- If Halep reaches the final she will be only the third player, after Henin (2005, 2006, 2007) and Maria Sharapova (2012, 2013, 2014), to play in three consecutive finals at Roland Garros since 2000.
- Halep has not reached the quarter-finals in any of the three grand slam tournaments she has appeared in since she won the title at Roland Garros in 2018.
- Osaka is aiming to become the first woman to win three successive grand slam titles since Serena Williams, who won the 2014 US Open and then the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon in 2015.
- Osaka has won the past two grand slam tournaments (US Open and Australian Open) but has never reached the last 16 at Roland Garros.
- Williams has not won any of the past eight grand slams, with her last triumph coming at the Australian Open in 2017 - this is her longest span without a major title since 2002.