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Petra Kvitova headlines day one at Roland Garros

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Originally published on 27/05/17 00:00

“I knew this day would come and I’m really happy that the dream has come true,” beamed Kvitova. “It was a difficult time for me of course, it wasn’t easy, but I’m happy I went through this and can play tennis and be in the draw.

“Of course my hand doesn’t have the power and the strength yet, but I’m working on it. Hopefully one day everything will be perfect, but you never know.”

World No.1, Angelique Kerber, who was beaten in first round last year, is also involved in the action and will take on the dangerous Russian, Ekaterina Makarova. “I don’t think it’s such a bad thing to have a tough match early on,” explained the German. “Makarova is a former top ten player and she can play very well, but clay is perhaps not her favourite surface.

“I’ve got to be focused from the beginning and I’ve got to really make sure that I have the best possible attitude and play 100% tennis. I hope, obviously, to get off to a better start than I did last year.”

In the men’s draw, Dominic Thiem will launch his title challenge against Bernard Tomic. The Austrian is widely-tipped to excel in the French capital, and he has been delighted with his recent form.

“The win over Rafa [Nadal] was of course a big thing for me,” said Thiem. “I played the best player on clay three times in three tournaments and I learned a lot. I think I have prepared well for the tournament.”

Elsewhere on the grounds, Grigor Dimitrov will challenge Stephane Robert, Lucas Pouille will play Julien Benneteau and Tommy Robredo will look to overcome Dan Evans.

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