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Swiatek and Osaka set for intriguing meeting - day four preview

Swiatek and Osaka last met in the 2022 Miami Open final which the Pole won 6-4 6-0
Swiatek and Osaka last met in the 2022 Miami Open final which the Pole won 6-4 6-0 [Getty Images]

Defending champion Iga Swiatek returns to French Open action on Wednesday but faces a potentially tricky tie against former number one Naomi Osaka in the second round.

The pair, who have both won four Grand Slams, are scheduled to play the third match on Court Phillipe Chatrier.

Current world number one Swiatek is aiming to become the first woman since Justine Henin in 2007 to win three French Open titles in a row.

Osaka, who is now 134th in the world rankings as she continues her return from maternity leave, has never gone beyond the third round in Paris.

Elsewhere, third seed Carlos Alcaraz faces Dutch qualifier Jesper de Jong in the second match on Chatrier, while Australian Open champion Jannik Sinner headlines the night session.

Italy's Sinner, seeded second at this year's tournament, faces home favourite Richard Gasquet from 19:15 BST.

The first rounds of the men's, women's and mixed doubles are set to start on day four after rain disrupted Tuesday's schedule.

Britain's Joe Salisbury and American partner Rajeev Ram are likely to be among those playing, while Andy Murray and Dan Evans are also entered into the competition.

Swiatek and Osaka set for showdown

Poland's Swiatek began her French Open title defence with a trademark 61-minute dismantling of qualifier Leolia Jeanjean on day two.

The 22-year-old is in formidable form after securing back-to-back titles in Madrid and Rome in the build-up to Roland Garros.

She already has an impressive French Open record, having won 29 of her 31 matches there.

Japan's Osaka came through 6-1 4-6 7-5 against Italy's Lucia Bronzetti for her first win in Paris in three years.

Each of Osaka's major triumphs have come on hard courts - at the US Open in 2018 and 2020, and the Australian Open in 2019 and 2021.

She did, however, reach the last 16 on the Italian Open clay earlier in May.

Improving Alcaraz feeling 'better and better'

Carlos Alcaraz celebrates
Carlos Alcaraz was beaten by Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals of the French Open last year [Getty Images]

Spain's Alcaraz dropped just four games in a 6-1 6-2 6-1 dispatching of American lucky loser JJ Wolf in the first round.

The 21-year-old has been struggling with a right forearm injury and wore a compression sleeve during his first-round match, but said afterwards he believed his injury was getting "better and better".

The Wimbledon champion faces a second-round meeting with qualifier De Jong, who shocked Britain's Jack Draper in five sets.

The 23-year-old has never reached the third round of a major.

Sinner, who has a burgeoning rivalry with Alcaraz, is looking to better his quarter-final showing in 2020.

He will replace defending champion Novak Djokovic at the top of the world rankings should the Serb fail to reach the semi-finals.