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In this June 10, 2018 photo, Spain’s Rafael Nadal returns the ball to Austria’s Dominic Thiem during the men’s final match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris.
In this June 10, 2018 photo, Spain’s Rafael Nadal returns the ball to Austria’s Dominic Thiem during the men’s final match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris.|Thibault Camus | Associated Press
Tennis

French Open ‘19 at a glance – Rafael Nadal and Simona Halep look to defend titles against Djokovic, Federer, Osaka, and more

Associated Press

PARIS (AP) — A glance at the French Open, the year's second Grand Slam tennis tournament:

SURFACE
Red clay courts

SITE
Roland Garros in Paris

SCHEDULE
The 15-day tournament begins Sunday. The women's singles final is Saturday, June 8; the men's singles final is Sunday, June 9. Like at Wimbledon, there are no night sessions.

2018 MEN'S SINGLES CHAMPION
Rafael Nadal
of Spain

2018 WOMEN'S SINGLES CHAMPION
Simona Halep
of Romania

LAST YEAR
Nadal became the first man to win 11 championships at one Grand Slam tournament, beating first-time major finalist Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-3, 6-2. That raised Nadal's major trophy haul to 17, second only to Federer's 20 among men. Halep won her first Grand Slam title following three losses in major finals, coming back from a set and a break down to defeat Sloane Stephens 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.

LOOK WHO'S BACK
Roger Federer
returns to the French Open for the first time since 2015. He missed the 2016 tournament because of back issues, ending his record streak of 65 consecutive appearances at major tournaments. He also sat out Paris in 2017 and 2018, when he skipped the entire European clay-court circuit, instead opting to prepare for Wimbledon.

STREAKS
Novak Djokovic
is seeking his fourth Grand Slam title in a row; Naomi Osaka is bidding for her third straight. Djokovic already held all four major trophies simultaneously in 2016, becoming the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to do so.

NEW COURT
The tournament has added an arena that will be its third largest, with a seating capacity of 5,000: Court Simonne Mathieu. It is semi-sunken and surrounded by four greenhouses with tropical plants.

FINAL SETS
The French Open is now the only Grand Slam tournament that will continue to eschew final-set tiebreakers — fifth sets for men; third sets for women — and let singles matches continue until someone wins by two games. The Australian Open and Wimbledon are eliminating the possibility of never-ending final sets this year; until 2019, the U.S. Open was the only major with a last-set tiebreaker.

KEY STATISTIC
24 — Margaret Court's record for most Grand Slam singles titles; that's one more than Serena Williams' mark for the professional era, which began in 1968.

PRIZE MONEY
Total: About 42.5 million euros (about $48 million).

Men's and women's singles champions: 2.3 million euros each (about $2.6 million).

Men's and women's doubles champions: 580,000 euros each pair (about $650,000).