Novak Djokovic handed Pierre-Hugues Herbert test to begin French Open defence

By PA Sport Staff

Defending champion Novak Djokovic will play wild card Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the first round of the men’s singles at next week’s French Open.

World number one Djokovic, 37, who defeated Casper Ruud in straight sets in last year’s final, will be bidding for a record-extending 24th grand slam title at Roland Garros.

Frenchman Herbert, 33, is currently 143 in the world rankings is better known as a doubles specialist, having won four grand slam doubles titles.

Women’s world number one Iga Swiatek will launch the defence of her French Open crown against a qualifier or lucky loser in the opening round.

Former world number one Rafael Nadal, bidding for his 15th men’s singles title at Roland Garros, has been handed a tough draw as he will face German fourth seed Alexander Zverev.

World number two Jannik Sinner will play American Christopher Eubanks and two-time grand slam winner Carlos Alcaraz, a semi-finalist at Roland Garros in 2023, faces a qualifier or lucky loser.

Three-time grand slam champion Andy Murray must battle past old foe Stan Wawrinka, while British number one Cameron Norrie faces Russia’s world number 57 Pavel Kotov.

British number two Jack Draper will play a qualifier/lucky loser and Dan Evans, currently British number three, has been drawn against Danish 13th seed Holger Rune.

Women’s 26th seed Katy Boulter, seeded for the first time at a grand slam, will take on Spain’s Paula Badosa and British number two Harriet Dart plays Czech Republic’s Linda Noskova.