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Beyond the Baseline

Rafael Nadal gets snubbed with court scheduling at the French Open

Defending champion Rafael Nadal will play his first match on Roland Garros' secondary show court, Court Suzanne Lenglen. (MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images) Defending champion Rafael Nadal will play his first match on Roland Garros' secondary show court, Court Suzanne Lenglen. (MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)

PARIS -- John Isner described the French Open's scheduling of No. 1 and defending champion Rafael Nadal's first-round match on Court Suzanne Lenglen as "really bizarre." It is not uncommon for Nadal, an eight-time French Open champion, to have his matches scheduled for the tournament's second show court, but it is a rare sight to see a tournament welcome back its defending champion on a secondary court for his or her first match.

The two men's matches scheduled for Court Philippe Chatrier feature No. 2 Novak Djokovic and No. 3 Stan Wawrinka.

"I mean, how many times does the guy have to win the tournament to be able to have his first match on Chatrier," Isner said. "No offense to Stan, but if you look at it I figured they'd be flip‑flopped. But I don't think Rafa really cares that much. He's just going to go out there and try to win."

Nadal will play American wildcard Robby Ginepri, who earned his wildcard by winning the USTA wildcard playoff.

"I believe Robby got up at 8:00 in the morning to hit on Chatrier this morning," Isner said, laughing.

Here are of the Twitter reactions to Nadal's court placement:

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