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American hopes are bright at a soggy 2016 French Open

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 22: Jack Sock of the United States plays a forehand during the Mens Singles first round match against Robin Haase of Netherlands on day one of the 2016 French Open at Roland Garros on May 22, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)
May 22, 2016 06:41 PM

By Jackie Finn, USTA.com

The French Open, the second Grand Slam tournament of the season, got off to a slow start Sunday with rain washing out much of the play on the Roland Garros clay courts. Of the 32 singles matches originally scheduled for the day, only 10 were completed, including a couple losses by Americans Donald Young and Alison Riske.

No. 23 Jack Sock (pictured above) was in the middle of his first round match against Dutchman Robin Haase when play was suspended. Sock took the first two sets, 6-3, 7-5, before dropping the next two 6-3, 7-6 (3). The match will pick up at the start of the fifth set on Monday, weather permitting.

Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia beat Young 7-6 (1), 6-2, 6-3 while Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland defeated Riske 6-2, 1-6, 6-2.

Even with Young and Riske not advancing into the second round, the United States remains highly represented in this year’s draw with nine men (including Sock) and 17 women left to compete.

The 18 American women in the main draw represented the most of any country; they are led by top-seeded Serena Williams, who will be joined by some well-known names that include her sister No. 9 Venus Williams, No. 15 Madison Keys and No. 19 Sloane Stephens, as well as a couple of up-and-comers, Louisa Chirico and Sachia Vickery, who earned spots in the main draw by advancing through qualifying.

Serena is looking to defend her 2015 French Open title as well as capture her first Grand Slam victory of the year. She will take on No. 76 Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia in the first round. The two have met only once before, with Williams beating Rybarikova, 6-1 6-1, in the Toronto quarterfinals in 2013.

In addition to a title defense, Serena is also hoping to grab a piece of history during this year’s French Open. A title at Roland Garros would finally bring her to 22 Grand Slam singles titles, equaling Stefi Graff’s Open era record. She’ll be riding a wave of momentum, coming off a 70th career WTA title victory in Rome at the Italian Open 10 days ago, where she defeated Keys in the final.

In the men’s draw, the U.S. will be led by No. 15 John Isner, who is set to take on John Millman of Australia on Monday.

In addition to Isner and Sock, American men scheduled to play on Day 2 include No. 33 Steve Johnson, Denis Kudla and an all-American match-up of Sam Querrey versus wild card Bjorn Fratengelo, who earned his spot in the main draw by winning the USTA Pro Circuit Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge.

A full slate of American women are scheduled to be in action on Monday, including Nicole Gibbs, CoCo Vandeweghe, Madison Brengle, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Shelby Rogers, USTA Pro Circuit Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge women's champion Taylor Townsend, Varvara Lepchenko, Christina Mchale and Stephens. 

Below is the complete list of Americans competing in the main draw, with seeds, qualifiers (Q) and wild cards (WC) in parentheses:

Women
Serena Williams (1)
Venus Williams (9)
Madison Keys (15)
Sloane Stephens (19)
CoCo Vandeweghe
Madison Brengle
Varvara Lepchenko
Bethanie Mattek-Sands
Christina McHale
Irina Falconi
Lauren Davis
Alison Riske
Nicole Gibbs 
Samantha Crawford 
Taylor Townsend (WC)
Shelby Rogers 
Louisa Chirico (Q)
Sachia Vickery (Q)

Men
John Isner (15)
Jack Sock (23)
Steve Johnson (33)
Donald Young
Brian Baker
Sam Querrey
Denis Kudla
Rajeev Ram
Taylor Fritz 
Bjorn Fratangelo (WC)
 

 

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