The day will feature the two favourites to lift the tournament’s ultimate prize – Djokovic on account of his world-beating form over the past few years and Nadal, the reigning champion, due to his remarkable record in Paris.
The one, elusive accolade that is missing from Djokovic’s pristine trophy cabinet is up for grabs and he will strut his stuff for the first time this year a day after Andy Murray’s first round win.
The world No 1 will play Jarkko Nieminen in his first test of a schedule where the cards have not fallen in his favour. A potential quarter-final with Nadal awaits, while Andy Murray could be a semi-final opponent and Roger Federer may await in the final.
Djokovic’s form on clay courts makes him an ominous threat to overcome the daunting challenge ahead of him – he recently dominated the Rome Masters final against Roger Federer to demonstrate his growing prowess on the surface.
The Serbian has reached a pair of Roland Garros finals, in 2012 and 2014, but first must focus on the task at hand on Tuesday.
Nieminen, of Finland, is a veteran at 33 years of age but worryingly has a less than intimidating record at the French Open.
The world No 87 has never progressed beyond the fourth round although can boast quarter-final appearances at the other three Grand Slams.
Nadal’s sixth seeding after injuries and poor form plummeted his world ranking has caused quite a shake-up in the draw this year and he gets his defence of the title underway against Quentin Halys of France.
Nadal, widely recognised as the greatest clay court player ever, has won nine of the past 10 editions of this tournament yet enters this year with question marks over his durability.
His first round opponent, Halys, is just 18 with a world ranking of No 296. He reached the semi-finals of last year’s junior French Open.
Big-serving pair Kevin Anderson and John Isner face??Tim Smyczek and Andreas Seppi, respectively.
Serena gets started
Women’s top seed Serena Williams, the 2002 and 2013 champion, begins against the Czech Republic’s Andrea Hlavackova.
The 190th-ranked Czech lost 6-0 6-0 to Williams in their only other meeting three years ago at the US Open.
Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, the fourth seeded Czech, opens play on Court Philippe Chatrier against Marina Erakovic of New Zealand.
Spanish seventh seed David Ferrer, the runner-up to Nadal in 2013, starts proceedings on Court Suzanne Lenglen against Slovakia’s Lukas Lacko.
Former world No 1 Caroline Wozniacki, who has never got beyond the quarter-finals, faces Italy’s Karin Knapp, the weekend winner of the Nuremberg title.
Canadian sixth seed Eugenie Bouchard, who made the semi-finals in 2014, plays France’s Kristina Mladenovic.