PARIS - Rafa Nadal, the ultimate claycourt machine, will begin his charge towards becoming the first man to win seven French Open titles when he takes on Italian Simone Bolelli on Court Philippe Chatrier on Tuesday.
Despite having lost only one match at the claycourt slam in the last seven years, the Spaniard refused to count out the challenge posed by the 111th ranked Italian.
"When you start the tournament, when you play, you play day by day. That's what I am doing," Nadal, who won in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome before heading to Paris, told reporters.
He will be third on centre court after local favourite Richard Gasquet faces Estonian Jurgen Zopp and before American Serena Williams starts her quest for a second Roland Garros title against France's Virgine Razzano.
Former world number one Maria Sharapova, seeded second, will be on Court Suzanne Lenglen against Romania's Alexandra Cadantu.
Briton Andy Murray, the fourth seed, will be last on Lenglen when he takes on Japanese Tatsuma Ito.