Play starts at French Open with Halep on Chatrier

Play has begun at the French Open with top-seeded Simona Halep first up on a sunny Court Philippe Chatrier.

Halep, who lost in last year’s final, was playing 16th-seeded Elise Mertens.

Later, 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams will face five-time major winner Maria Sharapova on the same court.

The two players are coming back from time away — Williams after having a baby daughter; Sharapova after a doping ban. It will be their 22nd head-to-head meeting. Williams has won 19 so far, including the past 18.

Their encounter follows 10-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal’s fourth-round match against Maximilian Marterer, a 22-year-old German ranked 70th.

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