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Southern Players to Take on Roland Garros

May 23, 2008 10:04 AM

With the 2008 French Open set to begin in Paris on May 25, the Americans are looking to have a stronger showing than the previous year on the clay courts. With favorites such as Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer looking to ease through the draw, seven players from the Southern Section will be trying to turn some heads in the grand slam tournament.

Five players from the Southern Section will be competing on the men’s side of the draw in Roland Garros. John Isner of Greensboro, NC will face Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina in the first round. Isner is looking to recapture some of the fire he had when starting off his career in exciting fashion last summer in the US Open Series and US Open. Another young player from the Southern Section, Bobby Reynolds of Acworth, GA will take on Thierry Ascione, a Frenchman that will have the home crowd on his side.

In one first round match the Southern Section is guaranteed to have one of its own make it to the second round. Donald Young of Atlanta and Robby Ginepri of Kennesaw, GA have drawn each other in the first round. With Young making his first appearance at Roland Garros, Ginepri is looking to make it past the first round for the first time in five tries at the French Open. Scoville Jenkins of Atlanta will also be making his first appearance in the main draw after beating Ruben Ramirez of Spain in the third round of the qualifier 6-3, 6-7(1), 9-7.

On the women’s side of the draw, two more Southern Section players are set to compete in the tournament. Julie Ditty of Ashland, KY will face Nathalie Dechy of France. Ditty will be making her first singles appearance at Roland Garros. Ashley Harkleroad of Rossville, GA will go up against fellow American and 2002 champion Serena Williams. Harkleroad’s best finish at the French Open came in 2003 when she made it to the third round.




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